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What's in the September 2009 issue
of the Shambhala Sun?

Here you can view full articles and excerpts from the September 2009 issue of the Shambhala Sun, as well as related web-only exclusives. Just click on any title to start exploring.

Editorial: Looking for Help

Shambhala Sun Editor in Chief Melvin McLeod on our "cover star" Tara, and how she embodies this issue's theme of "Buddhist Wisdom for Difficult Times."

Inside the September issue:
A Shambhala Sun Audio preview.

Melvin McLeod gives the Editor in Chief's point of view on the people and practices found in the new issue.




Erring and Erring, We Walk the Unerring Path

If we use them as opportunities to work with our mind, all our mistakes, confusion, and difficulties become an unerring path of awakening. This, says The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche, is the essence of the Buddha’s wisdom for challenging times.

Meditation for Difficult Times

Pema Chödrön on four ways that meditation helps us deal with difficulty.

Love, Loss, and Anxious Times

Fear and uncertainty mark our lives as we face our own difficulties and those of a troubled world. Yet in difficult times, says Norman Fischer, we can also discover the love and vulnerability of the human heart, and so much more.

The Suffering We Share

At her weekly meditation class, Sylvia Boorstein finds that sharing stories of those we worry about and love leaves her feeling kinder and more connected.

"Wisdom for Difficult Times": A Shambhala Sun Urban Retreat with Sylvia Boorstein, Norman Fischer, and Tsokyni Rinpoche (Oct 2, 3, 4)

Join these three gifted teachers for a weekend of Buddhist wisdom and meditation specially aimed at all the challenges of life today.


Wisdom for Difficult Times: A special section on

Here are some of the finest examples of Buddhist wisdom for difficult times, from the names you've come to trust all from the pages of the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma. Includes pieces by Pema Chödrön, Sylvia Boorstein, John Tarrant, Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche, and more.


Practices for Difficult Times: A special section on

In this sampling of writings from the pages of the Shambhala Sun, you'll find practical and profound Buddhist guidance for transforming difficulties into opportunities to live a more awakened life. Featured contributors include Pema Chödrön, Thich Nhat Hanh, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Geshe Tenzin Wangyal, Cyndi Lee, Darlene Cohen, and more.


Pema Chödrön: A special section on

Pema Chödrön is one of the most prominent women teachers of Buddhism. She is resident director at Gampo Abbey monastery in Nova Scotia and the author of several books, including The Wisdom of No Escape, When Things Fall Apart, The Places That Scare You, and No Time to Lose. The Shambhala Sun offers the best selection of her teachings available on the web.


Difficult Times: Wisdom From Our Readers

Google Searches

Barry Boyce reports from Google world headquarters on a groundbreaking course called Search Inside Yourself. It’s a new model for teaching mindfulness and emotional intelligence in the workplace.

Meng’s Peace Plan

Chade-Meng Tan, creator of Google's Search Inside Yourself course, hopes the benefits of meditation will someday be as widely accepted as those of exercise.

Who's on Meng's Wall?

See the influential people who have befriended the creator of Google's Search Inside Yourself course.

For 30 Years the Best of Buddhism in America: Art & Artists

Continuing our celebration of the Shambhala Sun’s 30th anniversary, we showcase seven artists whose work manifests the qualities of awakened mind, with commentary by the Sun’s art director, Liza Matthews.


Why does the Shambhala Sun look like it does?

In a blogpost for Shambhala SunSpace, award-winning art director Liza Matthews takes you inside her process.


Art and Buddhism: A special section on

k.d. lang, Alex Grey, Leonard Cohen, bell hooks... all artists whose lives and work have been enriched by Buddhism. Come meet them (and more).

The Shitty Monk

Even a zendo enforcer, says Shozan Jack Haubner, finds his practice put to the test when trouble sneaks up from behind.


The Spring Prayer

In the debut Shambhala SunSpace blogpost from Shozan Jack Haubner, the author of "The Shitty Monk" finds himself going wild.

The Great Escape

Yoga and meditation help Pippin Ross escape the hell of America’s oldest prison for women.

other voices

Ready, Steady, Go

One of the essential qualities of the bodhisattva warrior, says Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, is the steadiness of mind that fosters strength and confidence. We ride the energy of mind through the practice of meditation.

Silencing the Inner Critic

The nagging, negative voice of self-judgment, says Christina Feldman, is a powerful affliction best met with courage, kindness, and understanding.

Any Last Thoughts?

Simon Critchley, author of The Book of Dead Philosophers, sits down for a Q&A with the Shambhala Sun's Andrea Miller.

Love’s Legacy Lost

A child of one economic crisis, he died on the eve of another. His gift was economic securrity for his family. His son James Kullander reflects on the sadness of a legacy lost.

About a Poem

Pico Iyer on a haiku by Kobayashi Issa.

the mindful society

Teach Our Children Well

Barry Boyce looks at how Cultivating Awareness and Resiliency in Education (CARE), the Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting Education Program, and the U.S. Forest Service firefighters are making the most of mindfulness and service.


Shambhala Sun Audio: Inside this issue's
installment of The Mindful Society

Coming soon.

feature book review

Green Dharma: Stephanie Kaza reviews two new books that address the ecology

Stephanie Kaza reviews Ecological Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, and A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency, edited by John Stanley, David Loy, and Gyurme Dorje.


Buddhism & Green Living: A special section on

In this sampling of writings from the pages of the Shambhala Sun, you'll get refreshing and hopeful wisdom from some of the great Buddhist voices who practice Green Living with a Buddhist perspective, including Thich Nhat Hanh, Stephanie Kaza, Rick Bass, and Gary Snyder.


Talking "Green Dharma" (and more) with
Ethan Nichtern

The founder of NYC's The Interdependence Project speaks about how his community is making a difference, and how you can too.


Are you practicing eco-mindfulness?

The Interdependence Project's Jerry Kolber shares practices that you can do to make our world a healthier place for all — and he wants to hear your suggestions.


David R. Loy and John Stanley: An Online Q&A

David Loy and John Stanley, co-editors of A Buddhist Response to the Climate Emergency, respond to your questions and comments about Buddhism and the environment.

Shambhala Sun Audio: Stephanie Kaza

The ecophilosopher discusses her review in this issue. Coming soon.

september 2009 books in brief

Read the latest reviews

Andrea Miller brings you up to speed on a new book from Chögyam Trungpa, a charming selection for the kids, a hard-hitting collection from bell hooks, and more.

Shambhala Sun, September 2009, Volume Eighteen, Number 6

Available on newsstands beginning in late July.

To order a trial subscription to Shambhala Sun, click here.

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