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Issue 14 Cover
Issue 14  /  Fall–Winter 1998
What Is Enlightenment?
Does Anybody Know What They're Talking About?
Conversations with leading proponents of Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta on the true nature of the spiritual path and goal. Contributors include H. H. the Dalai Lama, Helen Tworkov, Ramesh Balsekar, Swami Dayananda, Stephen Batchelor and Frances Vaughan.

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table of contents


From the Editors

Introduction to this issue
by Andrew Cohen

Advaita - Introduction
Who Is Ajja? A Meeting with the Absolute

"The one who was here is gone—someone else has come." WIE introduces a little-known Indian farmer whose extraordinary experiences transformed him into a fully realized sage.

Interview by Andrew Cohen

Close Encounters of the Advaita Kind

Ramesh Balsekar

A mindbending conversation with a former president of the Bank of India now considered by many to be the successor of the great Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

Interview by Andrew Cohen

Advaita 101

Swami Dayananda Saraswati

The lessons of a Vedantic traditionalist who believes that studying the ancient scriptures, not having spiritual experiences, is the most direct route to profound nondual realization.

Interview by Andrew Cohen

Making God Laugh

Dr. Vijai Shankar

"There are no problems in life; the only problem is thinking." A journey beyond time, space and the world as we know it with an outrageous modern Advaitin.

Interview by Simeon Alev


No Independent Existence

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama speaks about the nature of emptiness and the meaning of enlightenment.

Interview by Amy Edelstein

Is Buddhism Surviving America?

Helen Tworkov

The editor of Tricycle, America's most popular Buddhist review, discusses the secularization of Buddhism in a culture "aggressively antagonistic to the pursuit of the unknown."

Interview by Amy Edelstein

Absolutely Not!

Stephen Batchelor

"Transcendence, to me, is a relative term." A provocative inquiry into the nature of enlightenment with the renowned scholar and author of Buddhism without Beliefs.

Interview by Andrew Cohen

The Roar of the Timeless Beyond

Peter Masefield

A distinguished Pali scholar asserts that the Buddha's transmission of "right view" was nothing less than a transcendent revelation.

Interview by Simeon Alev



In the Meantime...

Frances Vaughan

WIE asks one of America's leading exponents of transpersonal psychology if this contemporary form of psychotherapy can really take one beyond the personal.

Interview by Susan Bridle