Buddhists talk Trump, George Takei urges Democrats to #VoteBlueNoMatterWho

The Buddhist Peace Fellowship recently hosted a conversation on the phenomenon of Donald Trump and the state of contemporary US Presidential Politics. The conversation features a wide range of topics, from fascism and anti-Trump rallies to solidarity and collective liberation; audio from the conversation can be downloaded here. You can also read their "5 Ways Buddhists Can Counter Trump’s Bigotry" and "Are Trump Protests A Collective Form of Boundary Setting?" by Katie Loncke. It's great to see B … [Read more...]

Buddhism, Politics, and the 2016 US Presidential Race (April/May Poll)

As April comes to a close and the leading candidates from both major parties widen their lead, it's time for yet another poll of Buddhist political leanings. If you've voted before, vote again! This process allows for longitudinal analysis (seeing how preferences change over time) alongside the monthly numbers.As noted last month, a new question seeks to differentiate between "cradle", "convert", and "sympathizer" Buddhists. As Wakoh Shannon Hickey wrote in 2010 (.pdf): If we want to … [Read more...]

“The Story of God” – A Buddhist Perspective on Evil

In this week's episode of "The Story of God" (airing May 1), Morgan Freeman explores the concept of evil. As with previous topics, apocalypse and creation, their is no perfect word for evil in the Asian languages of Buddhism. However, as with those concepts, when we tease them out, exploring their etymological and historical roots, we see that even in English and associated languages, these words can mean much more than we commonly take them to mean.Getting beyond the superficial, we find … [Read more...]

5 Lessons from the Nepal Earthquake for the Japan and Ecuador Disasters

A Year After the Earthquake, Nepal Is a Man-Made Disaster.This is the headline today at the Huffington Post at least. The news from PRI isn't much better: One year after Nepal's devastating earthquake, much of the country is still in ruins. And this CNN video concludes with a quote from residents saying that "they don't think their country will ever be the same again."When I wrote about the Nepal earthquake a year ago, I listed 5 Ways to Help victims, with a link to Global Giving … [Read more...]

Buddha’s advice on wilderness and living in the present moment in nature

“The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild; and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the world.” - Henry David Thoreau, "Walking" (emphasis added) In this sentiment, Thoreau, who was influenced by the Indian philosophy trickling into the Euro-American mindset of his time, echoes the Buddha's words about life in the forest (Pali arañña). Much scholarly ink has been spilled on Buddhism and the environment. An excellent starting point here … [Read more...]

The Souse Family and Buddhism’s Fifth Precept

A guest post by Daniel D. Woo (© 2016) I once thought that I had very few indelible childhood memories in the first 4 years of my life and that what little I remembered had no impact on my life. Then I remembered learning from infancy three songs:The Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalists) Republic of China (ROC) National Anthem The US Army Aircorp The drinking song “Glorious”The ROC anthem’s translated lyrics are: “San Min Chu-i,Our aim shall be:To found a free land,World pe … [Read more...]

“The Story of God” – A Buddhist Perspective on Creation

This week's episode (airing Sunday the 24th), brings us face to face with the question of creation. As Morgan Freeman muses at the beginning, walking through his own history in Mississippi, "You can't understand me without understanding where I was created.""Every religion has a creation story," he continues.But is that true?The episode doesn't cover my area of specialization, Buddhism, but it does cover Hinduism. And the other religious stories of creation, including those of Islam, … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, George Takei – American Buddhist, Actor, Author, Activist

Today is George Takei's 79th birthday.In honor of the occasion; and perhaps in horor of the latest Trump primary victory, we revisit George Takei's remarks about growing up with Japanese heritage in the xenophobic period around WW II. He is celebrating his birthday at Seattle's Key Arena advocating for "We Day" celebrating youth engaged in volunteer work. Follow him and see video from this morning in Seattle on facebook.(December 10, 2015)Ever since Donald Trump proposed a ban on … [Read more...]


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