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Parabola Magazine



Embodiment-300HSummer 2014: Embodiment

This issue of Parabola offers glimpses of human beings who embody the spiritual qualities of wisdom, compassion, and service to God. Some, like the Sufi master Barkat Ali, with a flowing grey beard and upright, military bearing, look as you would expect; while others like Raghu Makwana, the son of poor Indian laborers and crippled by polio, shatter comfortable preconceived images. What emerges in these pages is that embodiment is not a fixed state but a process requiring deep listening, honesty, and a willingness to leave the known for the unknown—to leave the realm of familiar ideas and ways of thinking for the wide open territory of living truth..

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[Cover: La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans. Edgar Degas.
Bronze cast of statue originally modeled in wax c. 1880]

Articles from Summer Issue: Embodiment

A Shared World PDF  | Print |

01-Cochran-web-1by Tracy Cochran

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 for me to move to the line marked “Ladies.”

The Resurrection PDF  | Print |


The Mystery of the Resurrection
The Gospel of Mark contains a very short description of the resurrection, one with a rather abrupt ending. Though the text does continue, with stories about Jesus meeting with his disciples after he arises, this material—from Mark 16: 9 onward—is considered a later addition intended to explain the original version of the resurrection as Mark depicted it. I believe this additional material lessens the impact, so I’m going to stick with the original version as Mark wrote it. 

Exploring the Frontiers of Science PDF  | Print |

Piiloner-Interview-web-3A Conversation with Leo Piilonen

I’ve interviewed hundreds of scientists and engineers. Typically there are no surprises. The scientists are happy to share what they know, more or less by rote. Every once in a while, you meet someone who has the ability to explain complex ideas in a language the rest of us can comprehend, and isn’t afraid to explore the boundaries beyond what we think we know. Enter Leo Piilonen, head of the Physics Department at Virginia Tech, and the physics teacher I wish I’d had in school. His open attitude and sense of humor catalyzed a line of questioning that surprised both of us. With Leo as a guide, I was reminded of one of Einstein’s precepts: that even the most complex ideas in science can be explained simply. But an interview is also a clue to, perhaps even a road map of, how someone thinks. The journey, the line of thought, can be as compelling as the subject itself. With Leo, it was a mind-boggling tour from the outer reaches of the universe to what the Next Big Thing might be in materials science. Along the way, there were unexpected connections and Aha! moments, the hallmarks of exploring any frontier. —Jim Metzner

My Journey to Qigong Master PDF  | Print |

Qigong-Peng-web-2Robert Peng

The Legendary Monk Xiao Yao

Sometime around the year 1889, a baby boy was born to a poor family in a small, long-forgotten village in southern China. The facts surrounding his early years remain vague. Both his parents died while he was still a child, and the orphaned boy was entrusted to a duty-bound relative who couldn’t afford another mouth to feed. The boy’s future looked bleak. After some deliberation, the relative decided to present the boy to the abbot of Jiuyi Temple, a Buddhist monastery several days’ walk away. He packed a few belongings for the child and ventured warily with him into the forest. Despite gangs of bandits stalking the woodlands, the pair trekked to the base of Snow Peak Mountain safely and began their arduous ascent to the monastery.

The Search for One Thing PDF  | Print |

Cornwell-Search-1by Betsy Cornwell

Give it one week of hard frost,” my new husband says, “and all the green will be gone.” He has slowed the car to let two adolescent does cross the road, and we watch them vanish neatly into the ditch on the other side. In the 4:30 November gloom, the perfect white of their rumps is nearly all we can see.


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