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Articles on Socially Engaged Buddhism and a New Program

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Articles on Socially Engaged Buddhism and a New Program

Waking Up badge

As you may know, these days I’m primarily posting at my main website,  If you’re not yet signed up for the list on that site, here are a few items of interest to Jizo Chronicle readers:

Recent posts on socially engaged Buddhism and dharma:

  • Toward a Socially Responsible Mindfulness — a beginning effort to draft a “Socially Responsible Mindfulness Manifesto” that invites mindfulness teachers to include social and environmental justice concerns into their work. Includes an interview with Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi.
  • Dreams of Freedom: Responding to Charleston — based on a dharma talk I gave at Upaya Zen Center in response to the June 17, 2015, massacre at the Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.
  • The Tree of Contemplative Practices — the story behind the Tree, which I created while working as the research director of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.


Online Program: Waking Up to Your Life

If you’ve been seeking more guidance and accountability for your spiritual journey,
Waking Up to Your Life” may be just what you’ve been looking for. This 12-week program, starting September 20th, supports you to establish or deepen a contemplative practice and learn how to apply that practice in a powerful way that helps you to have healthier relationships, more fulfilling work, and deeper engagement with our world. Co-taught by Katya Lesher and myself.

Registration for Waking Up is now open (until September 18)… learn more on this page. If you have questions about the program and want to explore if it’s right for you, please feel free to contact me — maia [at] maiaduerr [dot] com


palms together,


Waking Up to Your Life in 2015

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Waking Up to Your Life in 2015



Dear friend of the Jizo Chronicles,

I wanted to let you know about a new program I’ve created that you may be interested in…

Waking Up to Your Life” will support you to establish or deepen a practice and learn how to apply that practice in a powerful way that helps you to have healthier relationships, more fulfilling work, and deeper engagement with our world.

Katya Lesher and I will be your guides for this journey — both of us have many years of experience as meditation practitioners and we are deeply dedicated to supporting others to realize the many gifts of having a practice.

Because this is the first time we’re offering “Waking Up to Your Life,” this first cohort will be limited to 15 people. We have set up an application process to make sure that the program will be a good fit for what you are seeking. We are accepting applications through Monday, January 5, and there are still a few spaces left.

If this feels right to you, we’d love to have you join us! To learn more please visit this web page:

If you’re ready to apply right now, you can find the application here.

many blessings for the new year,


Mindfulness for Military Vets

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Maxine Hong Kingston, author of “The Woman Warrior”

On a day when the New York Times headline story is  “Suicides Outpacing War Deaths for Troops,” I wanted to call your attention to some good work going on with returning combat veterans.

To be clear — I want to see the day when military action becomes entirely replaced by skillful and persistent diplomatic efforts, and when the U.S. as a whole (government and citizens) is able to look deeply at the root causes and conditions of war and understand our place in that karma. Until that day comes, we have vets coming home who are wounded physically and emotionally.

Here are a few contemplative and mindfulness-based initiatives that I’m aware of that are serving this community (one of which is time-sensitive, with a retreat coming up this July). If you know of more, please share them in the comments below.

  • “The Coming Home Project” is a non-profit organization founded by Dr. Joseph Bobrow, Roshi, a Zen teacher. The project, begun in 2006, is devoted to providing expert, compassionate care, support, education, and stress management tools for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, service members, their families, and their service providers. Visit their website to find out more about their services.
  • The Buddhist Military Sangha is a nonpolitical and nonsectarian forum for Buddhists serving in the US Armed Forces. This website includes quite an extensive collection of links on pastoral care, mental health, and re-entry/readjustment websites.

Public Displays of Contemplation

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Kudos to the Interdependence Project for organizing this public display of contemplation… a sit in the middle of a NYC subway station.There’s a nice interfaith moment midway through the video when some calls out, “Jesus! Repent!”

During the years that I lived in San Francisco and took BART, I often used the time waiting for the train to do some stealth zazen and metta practice… come to think of it, the underground and underworld is the realm of Jizo!

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