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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

When The Teacher Fails

The press reported recently that Osel Tendzin, the successor to Buddhist meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, has had AIDS for years. Tendzin made love with some of his students without telling them they were at risk, and passed the virus on to them and their unknowing partners.

The Law Of Relation

(Part One)

When is a confession not a confession? When it is not in search of absolution; when it is not given in remorse or shame, but in illustration of a point. What I intend to say about myself is what I want to know about other people: what makes them think what they think. I give essential details of my life because ideas are incomplete without them. If I speak of ethics or epiphanies, how will my meaning be clear unless I say why I mean it, what caused these thoughts and not others to make sense to me? Absolution would be pointless: what can it matter if I am “forgiven” — how, in any case, is it forgivable to be forgiven — when all I have done and been still exists, with results that unwind into a continuity?


Lord Shantih

Stories by Thomas Wiloch

The Teaching Of The Sandal A seeker once approached the Lord Shantih to ask a que…

Man Made

There is nothing to be said for standing in the snow at a burial, wearing black vinyl pumps from the Salvation Army that were molded to someone else’s more adaptable feet. This is particularly true when it’s the ceremony mourning the woman for whom your lover betrayed you. No need for magazine polls with character-analysis questions such as, “Would you still be angry with your man if he had a torrid affair, but his lover suddenly died?” or “Would you forgive the woman?” Blackness, whether it describes the color of your footwear or the state of your heart, is most obtrusive.

Mary Unger, Empty

Mary waits at the foot of the stairs. She means to go up the stairs and back to bed but feels too exhausted to make the climb. Last night she was awake until disastrously late, first at he office preparing three final articles for the newsletter, then at home on the telephone with her tearful daughter, who was suffering a premarital panic attack. This morning she lugged herself out of bed at 6 a.m. to pack sandwiches and coffee and see off her husband, Ryan, and her son, Peter, on what was to be their last great adventure together. The boy is starting his first year of college next week. Now that they’re gone, she waits with one hand on the banister and her right foot on the first step, barely aware of how she came to be there, deflated and silent.

*NOTE: Original copies of this issue are no longer available. Unbound, laser-printed copies will be provided for print orders.

Readers Write

Breaking Up

I’ve broken up with only one person if you don’t count my boyfriend in high school who threatened to throw a cast-iron frying pan at me and then later, when he had calmed down, said sadly, “His is bigger than mine, isn’t it?” Even at sixteen it was too ridiculous.

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸


Just because the spiritual master lets you call him by his first name doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous.

Source unknown

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