Editorial: Energy - mind in body
Like electricity, energy is something we often take for granted, until we run out of it or we need to do something particularly demanding: like trying to change ourselves through spiritual practice. And when we come to think about energy, it seems mysterious. Where does it come from? How can we harness it? What is the connection between the energy of the body and that of the mind?
In our final issue we are ending not with a whimper but a bang: exploring the theme of energy through its connection with the body. Reggie Ray examines the Tibetan teachings about transforming the body's subtle energy and the chakras through tantric meditation. Katherine Thanas discusses how physical awareness connects with emotional presence, and how she has healed blocks through listening deeply to her body. Two practising Buddhists share their individual paths through mastery of physical arts: Lalitaraja takes his meditation experience into the world of dance and improvisation, while Nicolas Soames outlines the inner and outer aspects of judo. Viryadevi explores energy by reflecting on her link with Vajrapani, the Bodhisattva of Energy. And the the Buddhist physician Mitchell Levy recounts the extraordinary life-force he witnessed during the last days and weeks of the previous Karmapa's life.
In a special section to mark the 80th birthday of Sangharakshita, Nagabodhi reflects on his own experience of his multi-dimensional teacher, while Vajrasara interviews the man himself. And in a final feature Vishvapani says farewell, looking back over the last decade and the 26 editions of Dharma Life.
We are sad to announce that after nine years this issue of Dharma Life will be our last. There are several reasons why we can't continue. Windhorse, our publisher, whose team has handled our distribution, ads sales and financial management, have contracted, and can no longer support the magazine. The rest of the Dharma Life staff have been supported in various ways by the FWBO and spending priorities are under scrutiny; and Vishvapani is moving on from the work for the movement that he has been doing and the magazine is in no position to support him.
In truth, Dharma Life has always been an ambitious project for the resources available. Hopefully we have produced something that looks and reads like a professional magazine, but we have done so on a shoestring; and while the magazine is sold widely across North America and to some extent in the UK, our sales never enabled us to invest in marketing. Meanwhile all those working for the magazine have had other, often demanding, responsibilities.
Discussions are continuing about whether there will be a new publication, but if there it is likely to be considerably more modest and aimed at those within the FWBO including news and discussion of the movement and its approach to the Dharma, rather than addressing the wider audience that Dharma Life has aimed at.
The two of us have worked on Dharma Life since its inception, but it has been the product of very considerable effort on the part of many people. We will be saying more in the magazine itself, but we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have worked on, contributed to and read the magazine.
Vajrasara and Vishvapani