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“Beings are numberless, I vow to save them.”

An impossible vow that lots of people chant each day, knowing there is no chance in hell of ever fulfilling it. Why do we do this? What does it look like to even attempt to keep this vow in these times of globalized fear, greed, aggression, and delusion?

The Jizo Chronicles aspires to be a place to explore these questions, share stories, and keep a joyful heart and good sense of humor all at the same time. If indeed there is no separate ‘self,’ then we certainly shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.

UPDATE: As of January 2012, I am posting on this site much less frequently. I’m focusing most of my efforts these days on my other blog, The Liberated Life Project. I invite you to visit that site — I think you’ll enjoy what’s happening over there.

There’s still quite an archive of good articles here on the Jizo Chronicles, though. Here’s a guided tour of this site:

–>Look on the right side of each blog page and you’ll find categories that articles are clustered under. These include:

–> I’ve been doing a series of interviews with some socially engaged Buddhist folks who do great work in the world (including Roshi Joan Halifax and Bhikkhu Bodhi).

–>You can find a collection of my previously published writings here.

–>And finally, I’ve compiled a calendar of events in the world of socially engaged Buddhism here (though it’s in need of an update, which I’ll hopefully get to soon!)

About Jizo

Jizo is one of a number of bodhisattvas, beings who have vowed to save others before themselves reaching ‘enlightenment.’ Jizo, also known as Kshitigarbha and the Earthstore Bodhisattva, is the kind of bodhisattva who lurks in the darkest places… those places most of us would rather not go. As the Great Vow Monastery website describes it, “Jizo is the bodhisattva who plunges fearlessly into any place or situation to help those in need…Jizo’s qualities include unflagging optimism, fearlessness, and gentleness.”

About the author (Maia Duerr)

I’ve been practicing and studying the Buddha way since 1993, and exploring the question “What is engaged Buddhism?” since the late 90s. As former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and editor of its journal, Turning Wheel, I was lucky enough to meet many teachers and practitioners of engaged dharma. Now I direct the Upaya Buddhist Chaplaincy Program along with Roshi Joan Halifax, where we forge new pathways of everyday engagement.

My spiritual lineage includes Shunryu Suzuki Roshi, Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh, and more directly, some wonderful, strong women teachers: Shosan Victoria Austin and Roshi Joan Halifax. Oh yeah, and I also include the Boston Red Sox in this lineage… lessons on impermanence, humility, and hopelessness (true at least until 2004).

My current home is in Santa Fe, NM, with my partner in freedom, Doshin, and my already-enlightened dog, Lucy. Past homes have included San Francisco, Oakland, Eugene (OR), Northampton (MA), and New Haven.

Other places you can find me online include:

  • Five Directions, my coaching and consulting business where I help small nonprofits to engage their members more effectively through marketing, communications, and fundraising.
  • The Liberated Life Project, a kind of stealth Buddhist blog. I think of it as a personal transformation blog for smart people with a social conscience.

In action… with my friend Mitchell Ratner at the 2007 Buddhist Peace Delegation in DC

If you value the work that I do on this blog, you can find out more about how to express your appreciation here….

Thanks for visiting!

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