What are the through lines that weave together in my life story? My involvement with Zen and Buddhism is clearly one of them. Thinking about how that relates to other threads suggested the three overlapping circles I used for years to balance my life: Formal Practice, Family, and Career. Immediately I realized those are 3 of the 5 parts of the mandala that Bernie Glassman based on the Five Buddha Families. In his language they were called Spirituality, Relationship, and Livelihood. What were the other two? Study and Social Action. Perfect! I can trace those five strands in my life as a way to immerse myself in the mandala of liberation. The strands are:






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