The Arc of the Moral Universe, January 20, 2017

The local store is out of White Poster Board. Hmmm... I wonder where it all could be. The quote, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice" is often attributed to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is thanks to him that the phrase has become part of our American lexicon. Yet the exact wording predates his use of it by around half a century, and the origins go back further still to the Unitarian minister Theodore Parker.Theodore Parker, born 1810, was a minister … [Read more...]

Buddhists in a Democracy: Be Political, but not Partisan

This year's election and the impending inauguration of Donald Trump have drawn out some heated discussions about the role Buddhism ought to be playing in our political system. Two articles that come to the forefront, in part for espousing different views on the topic, are Jiryu Mark Rutschman-Byler's article Buddhism is Apolitical? (Or, Stop Trying to Wiggle Out of the Damn Koan!), updated at Lion's Roar as Isn’t Buddhism Supposed to Be Apolitical? and Brad Warner's Should Plumbing Be Politic … [Read more...]

Buddhist Ethics Today – or can we all be a little more enlightened?

Seth Zuiho Segall has a lengthy and thoughtful piece in the latest Tricycle Magazine, titled, "A More Enlightened Way of Being." The topic is ethics, specifically Buddhist ethics in the contemporary world.Segall's writing is wide-reaching and wonderfully fluid. He mentions Aristotle, Kant, Hume, Kierkegaard, and other luminaries of the West. He also surveys the long history of Buddhism and its developments and encounters with Bon (Tibet), Daoism (China) and Kami worship … [Read more...]

Buddhist Gladness for a Trump Victory

The Bubble Like many inside the liberal bubble, I have had (and continue to have) a tough time with November's election results. Our team lost. Their team won. And by our team, I include the disabled children who now face more bullying, the LGBTQ community who face the possibility of lost rights, Muslims, Native Americans, all people of color, women, and anyone else who now lives in heightened fear of attacks or has faced them already. A fair amount of my dukkha in the last several weeks has … [Read more...]

False: Trump did not say he’d turn to Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh instead of the Pope

Today the website Religiousmind.com published a story claiming that “Trump Says He Will Turn To Dalai Lama and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh For Spiritual Guidance But Not The Pope." This comes almost exactly two months after their last false news story claiming that the Dalai Lama had compared Trump to Hitler. That story has since been removed from the site, but was also debunked by Snopes.In today's story, the well-known disagreements between Trump and Pope Francis play a role, as Trump su … [Read more...]

The First Nidana – A Christmas Song for Buddhists

Growing up Catholic in the US, I have a certain fondness for Christmas songs - especially loving the voices of Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, and others of a certain bygone era of American music. So when I stumbled across this beautiful Buddhist Christmas song (or a Buddhist song set to a modern Christmas tune), I was hooked. This week I got in touch with the song's creator, Ryan Hunt, for an interview. Please read, enjoy the music below, print/share the … [Read more...]

Spiritual Life takes Courage, and part of that is asking for help

My blogging life has been a bit quiet of late. This is despite the fact that I have some developing ambitions to write more and curate more wonderful writing from friends and strangers around the topics of Buddhism, meditation, and mindfulness. More on that in a moment.If you missed it, my neighbor here in the Patheos Buddhist world and long-time facebook friend - I'm still hoping to get him up to Montana for a sermon at our local Unitarian Universalist fellowship - James Ford recently … [Read more...]

Thich Nhat Hanh travels to Thailand “to be near his homeland”

Thich Nhat Hanh's adoptive home of France is in early winter now and his monastery, Plum Village, is entering its fourth week of a three-month winter retreat. These days the retreats, once led by the 90 year-old Zen master himself, are taught by his senior disciples.It has been nearly a year since Thay (as he's known to disciples) returned to France after treatment in the U.S. for a stroke.According to the monastics at Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh has requested to visit Thailand, where … [Read more...]