Susan Chaityn Lebovits recently wrote a thoughtful profile of Buddhist lama and Boston College professor John Makransky (my client) in the weekly "People" column in the Boston Globe (Sept. 30, 2007): "Sharing enlightenment: In his new book, professor spreads word of Buddhism." (His new book is Awakening Through Love: Unveiling Your Deepest Goodness from Wisdom Publications.)
I especially like that she questioned the assumption that a Buddhist lama like John should always be calm, cool, collected.
"With his skills and knowledge, one might assume that Makransky is in a perpetual state of calm. When asked if he ever experiences, say, 'road rage,' he answered, 'Of course!' The point of meditation, he said, is not to be instantly transformed into a saint who will never experience anger, but to have a spiritual place to return to -- what you really mean to be as a person."
"'You have to feel what humans are going through in order to have some compassion,' explained Makransky. 'It's not by avoiding or suppressing feelings of rage, anxiety, fear, worry, or nightmares; it's by experiencing them that we can feel compassion for others who are, or who have also shared these feelings.'"
Sends a good message to folks. I've noticed that Westerners, Americans particularly, can become frustrated in their practice or detached from others or even living an illusion -- me included.