Seeking Verity

Verity climbed down from the scaffold and stood with me, looking up at his work. I murmured something about how otherworldly the statue looked. “I look for something other when I carve them,” he said. “They’re not connected to this world. They’re in another place, in their heavenly robes.” I was wearing the clothes of […]

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Finding the Path

Among the tasks or “yogi jobs” a participant can volunteer for during silent retreats at the Insight Meditation Society, a Buddhist meditation center in rural Massachusetts, the most resonant in every sense is that of bell ringer. Before dawn and before every meditation session during the day, the bell ringers walk around the grounds and […]

A Beautiful Mind: A Conversation with Gina Sharpe

I arrived at meditation teacher Gina Sharpe’s house prepared to talk about what it means to live a beautiful life for the “Beauty” issue of Parabola. The bare facts of Sharpe’s life were promising. Born in Jamaica, Sharpe moved to New York when she was eleven. She excelled in school and in the world of […]

A Shared World

“Therefore, Ananda, Be Islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves. . . .” As he lay dying, the Buddha gave this advice to his beloved cousin and disciple Ananda. I thought of it as I stood in a security line in the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, just after a male security guard gestured […]