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The Sun Magazine

The Sun Interview

“All Praises Due To Allah”

An Interview With Brother Yusuf Salim

In Durham’s West End stands a symbol. This community, once thought of as “off-limits” to whites, is changing fast. At the center of these changes is the Salaam Cultural Center, a meeting place, liquor-less night club, and sometimes a restaurant. On its side is a huge mural of a black man and a white man shaking hands.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Prepare To Die

A friend, who had been meditating for some time, approached a Zen master recently arrived in this country. He asked the roshi if he might study with him, to which the roshi replied, “Are you prepared to die?” My friend shook his head in bewilderment and said, “I didn’t come here to die. I came here to learn Zen.” The roshi said, “If you are not willing to die, you are not ready to let go into life. Come back when you are ready to enter directly, excluding nothing.
If we are not open to anything that might happen, if we are closed to any possibility, any event whatsoever, our perceptions narrow to a kind of tunnel-vision that excludes the unacceptable — the unacceptable being anything that does not reinforce our fantasy of our imagined self, the fantasy of some solid permanence. We exclude quite a bit, approaching most events with a kind of drowsy blindness.

Call Them By Their Names With Passion

We live meager, pinched lives, all of us, because we speak and write meager, pinched language. . . . What is happening to the brain of a person who uses the passive, who writes, “Delay should not be allowed to take place,” instead of “Hurry!”? The user of the passive verb doesn’t want a universe where responsible agents do their acts. You see? Bad language is ultimately immoral.

The Terminal Restaurant

I used to go to a place to eat called the Terminal Restaurant. I guess it was called the Terminal Restaurant because it was on the lower level of the Reading Railroad Terminal which was also known as the Terminal Market because of the few dozen meat and vegetable stands which were there from the time before people heard of supermarkets and people who lived in cities went to places like the Reading Terminal Market where men stood behind huge white enamel cases and you bought cuts of meat or pounds of fruit which you saw through the glass and had weighed in brown bags.

Fiction

Stories

When the Lord Shantih was a child he played in the forests of the country of Mas, where forests and mountains and swift-moving rivers are found in abundance.

Entering The House Of The ’Lord

So here I am, living with leo in east texas, about sixty miles out of dallas on the edge of a very small town. At first it is all right. We don’t have to pay rent, we keep chickens, we have a garden, and we write a lot. But then the money runs out. The truck breaks down, the plumbing breaks down, the garden rake breaks, the dishes break, leo breaks me over his knee, I break every promise I ever made to him, and no money in the house for fixing anything. Two of my kids off to el paso to live with their dad. Later on they will tell me how they got used to having sausage every morning with their eggs. Only morgani stays. He’s already been in el paso with his dad. He’s a high school drop-out, his eyes weird, unable to focus right, so it’s not easy for him to get a job in a city running fourteen percent unemployment. In el paso he drilled holes in polished rocks for jewelry for a little while, but the holes were always off-center by a quarter of an inch. He dropped too many dishes on the sambo’s restaurant job. Burger king told him he didn’t have what it takes to be burger boy. Fluorescent lights at safeway were like strobes to him, made him disoriented and blind. He comes to be with me in the country just when the money is running out, and I am thinking it is time we all move to dallas and get some jobs.

Readers Write

Hitchhiking And Other Tales Of The Road

There you are, standing by the side of I-70. Everything is simple. All you have is the pack on your back. Everything is mystery. You can’t count on anything except that sooner or later someone will give you a ride (although you may even doubt that, waiting for six hours in the desert trying to stay in the shade of a lightpole and worrying about the water level in your canteen).

Personal Stories By Our Readers ▸
Quotations

Sunbeams

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. I do not agree with the big way of doing things. To us what matters is the individual. To get to love the person we must come in close contact with him. If we wait till we get the numbers, then we will be lost in the numbers. And we will never be able to show that love and respect for the person. I believe in person to person; every person is Christ for me, and since there is only one Jesus, that person is the one person in the world at that moment.

Mother Theresa

More Quotations ▸
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