Luke Wilson gives Jimmy Fallon the Shambhala pocket Chögyam Trungpa

Not exactly exuding praise, Wilson tells a story of stumbling across a little self-help shop in Canada, finding the book and ultimately being glad to get it off his hands: "I have had to read it a couple times... when I ran out of Sports Illustrated and stuff like that."Fallon offers us part of the entry, "Smile at Fear" (which, in full, is): When you are frightened by something, you have to relate with fear, explore why you are frightened, and develop some sense of conviction. You can … [Read more...]

3 shirts, 4 pairs of pants, 150 total belongings: inspired by Zen philosophy

Years ago, a Buddhist teacher of mine told me that "you don't own stuff. The stuff owns you."Every thing you have costs you an attention tax, a worry tax, eventually a loss tax, as you waste precious energy on the objects around you that could be used in activities and in caring for people and the world.As I wrote about my recent time in the desert, there is a kind of simplicity developed there that makes clear the great cost of having so much stuff. That cost is … [Read more...]

Returning, or “5 meditations on the desert”

A little over a week ago, I packed my bags, spent a night in Missoula, MT, picked up 3 (and then 4) fellow travelers, and headed into the wilds of Utah where we met two more friends. I'm not a seasoned backpacker or hiker, having spent usually only a day or two in the "back country" and six days last year hiking 80+ miles of the Wind River National Wilderness Area with two good friends who are much more knowledgeable than I probably ever will be.However, I am a long-time meditator (over 15 … [Read more...]

Unplugging, or “practicing mindfulness in the desert”

I'm off tomorrow for a week off the grid. Or, more truthfully, about 3.5 days of driving and camping with 3.5 days trekking through some of the remoter gullies and gulches of southern Utah with three good friends and three soon-to-be good friends.Mindfulness will be on the menu, though it is a hard thing to avoid when your life is on your back, the sun is hot overhead, and one missed step could mean a sprained ankle (or worse) and hours, if not days, of pain. Once you get the basic … [Read more...]

A glimpse of Buddhism in Obama’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton

You'll see Secretary Clinton walking with President Obama and the abbot of Wat Pho monastery in Bangkok, Thailand at about 55 seconds in. The image is from a 2012 tour of Asia by the President and Secretary of State. As the picture flashes on the screen, President Obama discusses his his and Clinton's "pursuit of diplomacy in capitals around the world."While it would be easy to make too big a deal of it - it is, after all, just one second in a three-minute video - it is still worth remarking … [Read more...]

A politics of fear, not hope

Editors' Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Faith and the Election. Read other perspectives here.Politicians, more than anyone else, have the power to appeal either to our fears or our better natures.This year there are still three major politicians in the race for the US Presidency: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump. I was an early (early) supporter of Clinton, who, from the very start was "anointed" by Democratic party insiders. She served … [Read more...]

Slipping Support for Sanders, Buddhists turn to Trump, Stein, and Johnson in latest reader poll

Citing a recent survey of anonymous superdelegates, the AP last night said that Clinton has what is needed to win the Democratic nomination. I've seen the outrage (Glenn Greenwald is always a good read). I've also seen that this has, sort of, happened before. And what next? Former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton and current Sanders supporter, Robert Reich, has some advice.But that is getting ahead of ourselves a bit. First, results from this month's reader (self-selected, online, … [Read more...]

Buddhist Political Preferences Poll Extended to June 5

With just over 200 responses thus far, this month's Buddhist Political Preferences online poll is already shaping up to be quite interesting.Some notes thus far: it seems to be the most equally balanced in the age ranges so far. There is still an overwhelming over-representation of white/Caucasian identified Buddhists as well as males and those identifying as converts and sympathizers as opposed to "cradle" Buddhists (those raised by a Buddhist family). While it's likely that no particular … [Read more...]


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