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Look inside the November 2013 Shambhala Sun magazine

FEATURING: 10 reasons why Buddhism can be helpful to the Spiritual But Not Religious; an intimate look at writer, activist, and seeker Alice Walker; Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman on enemies; Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, and other comedians who embody key Buddhist principles; the latest book reviews, and more.

Click titles below to read excerpts and select complete articles.

this issue's editorial:

Welcome to the Big Tent

"'Spiritual but not religious'? ...It sounds so non-committal," writes ROD MEADE SPERRY. But, he adds, "that's precisely the point."

special feature section: "spiritual but not religious?"

10 Reasons Why Buddhism Will Enrich Your Path

The number one reason is: “No God.” Number ten is: “It Works.” MELVIN MCLEOD on what Buddhism can offer your spiritual path.

How It Helps Me

Six non-Buddhists — including KIM STANLEY ROBINSON, DONNA M. JOHNSON, and PICO IYER — on how Buddhism has benefited their lives.

Is Buddhism Even a Religion?

There’s no easy answer. CHARLES PREBISH (yes), DZOGCHEN PONLOP RINPOCHE (no), and JOAN SUTHERLAND (kind of) join the debate.

more features

Alice Walker: The Beautiful Truth

COLLEEN MORTON BUSCH offers an intimate look at this celebrated writer, activist, and seeker.

Know Your Enemy

When we unlock the us-versus-them mindset and see the person behind the label "enemy," say leading Buddhist teachers SHARON SALZBERG and ROBERT THURMAN, everyone benefits.

Wise Fools

Great comedians may not know much about Buddhism but they practice some of its most important principles. ROD MEADE SPERRY on today’s comics of merit, including Louis C.K., Tig Notaro, Garry Shandling, Sarah Silverman, Mike DeStefano, and more.

Stillness in Action: Reflections on Dag Hammarskjöld

The late Secretary-General of the United Nations was both a deeply spiritual person and a highly effective diplomat. ROGER LIPSEY tells us why we need more leaders like him.

other voices

Kuala Lumpur to California

ELAINE PIERCE describes her mother’s moving journey of forgiveness.

“Look, Look!”

The nun Yoshihime thrusts the gatekeeper’s head between her legs. JUDITH SIMMER-BROWN comments on this ancient Zen story.

Mindfulness Is the Best Medicine

SISTER DANG NGHIEM looks back on her medical career and realizes monastic practice and medicine aren’t really that different.

Don’t Think of the Elephant!

JOHN KAAG on looking the elephant of pain squarely in the face.


Review: How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who’s Sick

How To Wake Up and How To Be Sick author TONI BERNHARD reviews the new book by Letty Cottin Pogrebin.

Books in Brief

ANDREA MILLER reviews new titles by Norman Fischer, Ira Sukrungruang, Lodro Rinzler, and more.

About a Poem

CHRISTOPHER MARTIN on Byron Herbert Reece’s “Mountain Fiddler”

Shambhala Sun
, November 2013, Volume Twenty Two, Number 2. Cover photo: Head of a Buddha. Mid-6th century China. © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY

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