Letters

A Deep Bow to Barbara Casey A deep bow of gratitude to Barbara Casey. I’ve so admired the work you’ve done as managing editor for the past five years, giving the Mindfulness Bell a new look, the color of the cover, more photographs and artwork, blending them beautifully with text, and creating visually appealing layout in general. You’ve brought us so much wisdom from Thây and the fourfold Sangha in issue after issue. The issue on the 20th anniversary of Plum Village was a special treat for me as were the recent ones that shared Thây’s return to Vietnam.You have transmitted a jewel of a journal to Janelle to continue the work of our ancestral editors. Thank you so much for your gift to the paths of so many of us around the world.

Richard Brady Washington, D.C., USA

I loved working with Barbara. The Bell now has more color, more space, and more submissions from our monastic brothers and sisters. It is a lovely testimony to our practice as a sangha and I’m grateful for her good work and good-heartedness that have been a part of the Mindfulness Bell.

Peggy Rowe Escondido, California, USA

Just recently, I resurrected my copies of the Mindfulness Bell—from the first issue to the most recent. As with our own practices, an incredible transformation has unfolded over the years. A simple one-color journal with a few articles has blossomed into a wide diversity of articles, colorful covers, and beautiful illustrations. It is with much gratitude that I take this time to honor the editorial prowess of Barbara Casey. Her efforts were a beautiful reflection of her Dharma name “True Spiritual Communication.” During the past five years, under her care and nurture, the changes to the Mindfulness Bell have been monumental, and readership has increased.

Barbara, on behalf of the Board of Advisors and the Sangha community, thank you for making a difference in the lives of so many who savor the Dharma and the work of Thây. The seeds that you have watered have created a garden that will continue to blossom in the care of our new editor. We bow to you.

Jerry Braza Salem, Oregon, USA

Barbara, How do we adequately thank you for all the work you have done for the Mindfulness Bell over the years? You literally transformed the MB into a beautiful manifestation of the Dharma. It is a living and breathing testimony to your hard work and dedication. You had the skills and patience to work with the four-fold Sangha, the contributors, the advertisers, the printer, the mailing house, the designer, and the subscribers and make it come together wonderfully issue after issue.Your love, peace, calm, and persistence turned mere paper into a great instrument for practice, for sangha building, and for supporting the wonderful work of our teacher. It was a pleasure working with you and a joy to be able to offer my support. But, we won’t let you go... you are a valuable resource and we all look forward to working with you in an advisory capacity.

David Percival Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

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Love That Bell

Greetings to you with peace! A kind brother from the Deer Park Monastery sent me a copy of the Autumn 2004 issue, which I absolutely loved! All the articles and poetry were very good, but as an African-American, I found “Our Racism is a Crying Baby (Interview)” and “Being Born a Person of Color” especially good. But I also liked “Roots” by Emily Whittle and “An Open Letter from a Southern White Girl” by Trish Thompson. In truth, the magazine was excellent from cover to cover and Thich Nhat Hanh is a delight to read and learn from. I’ve read a couple of his books and they were very good.

The article “The Culture of Violence in Boys and Men” really hit home with me. I got into drugs and gangs at an early age. Anger really drove me, especially due to being hit by a speeding car at the age of five, which left me with a permanent facial disfigurement on the left side of my face and neck. For years, my anger and inner hurt, I projected onto many people I didn’t even know, not just rival gang members. My acts of violence and aggression have done much harm even to myself. Regret and remorse are a noose around my neck that chokes me almost daily. I’m going to turn 38 this July 8, and I get out of prison in two years. I’ll be a free man at 40. Am I scared? Yes! I’ll have spent over twenty years in correctional facilities and the outside is more like an illusion to me.

These years in prison I’ve endeavored to educate myself. I got my GED, and I read voraciously. Recently, I’ve begun to study Buddhism, and I like what I’m learning. Like Thich Nhat Hanh I write poetry... In fact, poetry has kept me from “throwing in the towel,” though I’ve been very close at times.

I really like what you all are doing at the Mindfulness Bell. I wish you peace and prosperity.

Malachi Ephraim Arizona State Prison Florence, Arizona, USA

I got the Summer issue of the Mindfulness Bell this morning and realized I had never written to congratulate you and thank you for the beautiful job you did on the Winter issue. And now I have to do the same for the Summer one too. Both issues are very fine.

Steve Black Statesboro, Georgia, USA

As a reader of the Mindfulness Bell for a few years, I’d like to thank you for all the nourishment & inspiration coming to me & my practice through each issue. The current Winter issue had me in tears of being moved deeply several times.

Susanne Olbrich Findhorn, Morayshire, UK

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Corrections

The cover photo in the Summer 2006 issue was miscaptioned; it is indeed, as many astute observers pointed out, the courtyard at Son Ha Temple, at Plum Village in France.

In the article about the Bridge of Peace Award, we incorrectly identified Claude Anshin Thomas as a lay priest. He is a Soto Zen priest.

Several articles in recent issues did not receive proper credit. The following pieces came from Spoken Like a True Buddha, an unpublished compilation of stories about mindfulness practice in everyday life, edited by Carolyn Cleveland Schena and Sharron Mendel:

Winter 2005-2006: “Mindfulness in a Virginia Supermax Prison” by Bill Menza, “Responding with Respect” by Brian N. Baird

Summer 2006: “Mindfulness in a State Psychiatric Hospital” by Bruce Hilsberg, “Inner Therapy” by Ryan Niemiec, and “Joyful Purpose of the Heart” by Annie Mahon

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