Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Zine available

For several weeks I've been reviewing things I've written on being Buddhist and polyamorous with the goal of finishing a zine for debut at the Portland Zine Symposium. I included a few essays from here, and wrote some new things based on ideas I've written in emails. For one thing I've realized when people ask how to navigate this thing called polyamory, my responses are specific to their circumstances but on the big issues I'm pretty consistent, and I wanted to gather some of those thoughts into one place. For another, I work well with a deadline, and it seemed to me a good thing to experience the zine symposium and bring my own little offering. Even up until a week ago, I wasn't sure I could do cobble the pieces together and do the writing that was needed. I did it, and managed to edit posts from here and organize my thoughts so I knew what pieces to write to complete the zine in one day, and write those pieces the next day. (I wonder if loyal readers can guess which 4 I used for 3 essays on Buddhism and polyamory.)

When I told Steve's sweetie about my plans, she was full of encouragement. She didn't want credit, but she helped me come up with the title. I told her I was interested in linking it to Samantabhadra, the Bodhisattva of Love. At least I'd heard this phrase, but I hadn't been able to find any corroborating idea in Buddhist thought that Samantabhadra, or Fugen in Japan, is the Bodhisattva of Love. I'd learned he is called the Bodhisattva of Great Activity. She said, "The Great Activity, I like that. That would be a great title." So there it was, I had a great title, but I needed to find out if I could indeed link the Bodhisattva to love. Given all I have learned about love, it makes perfect sense to me. What greater activity is there than love?

A few weeks before, my google searches proved fruitless, but now that I was coming down to the wire, I got lucky and did find something. D.T. Suzuki explains figures found in Zen monasteries in the Manual of Zen Buddhism. He says, "Seeing [Sakyamuni] attended by his two chief disciples, he is a historical figure, but with Monju and Fugen who represent or symbolize wisdom and love, the two ruling attributes of the highest Reality, Sakyamuni is Vairocana standing above the world of transmigrations."

I also learned that in some esoteric Tibetan Buddhist sects, Samantabhadra is depicted naked with Samantabhadri in sexual union. Perhaps someday this will be the subject of my second tattoo. Interesting that my current tattoo, Prajnaparamita, is the Mother of the Buddhas, and Samantabhadri is the Primordial Mother of the Buddhas. Perhaps an artist friend of mine could create an image for me where they are not so skinny as this.

I may have used the word "cobble" but rest assured my zine is arranged well, and dare I say, well-written. Email me if you want me to send you a copy. Please.

Donations for costs welcome, but not required.

The contents:

Understanding the Great Activity
your guesses
Poem: On the Question of God to a Lover
Understanding Polyamory
Negotiating the Many Possibilities
Key Ingredients
That Jealousy Thing
Falling in Love
Tools for Relationships
In the Dictionary
Big Love

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