The Buddhist Parable of the Mustard Seed: Grief, Loss, and Heartbreak

Most Christians will know the Parable of the Mustard Seed, wherein Jesus describes the Kingdom of God as like a mustard seed in that it is tiny but grows into a great tree.Buddhism, too, has its Parable of the Mustard Seed, but here the story is quite different. Kisa Gotami In the Buddhist story a young woman -Kisa Gotami- follows a rather fairy-tale like path from birth in a poor family to a marriage to the only son of a wealthy family. She was not treated well by the wealthy family of … [Read more...]

Thich Nhat Hanh disciple offers Buddhist Wisdom for a World Gripped by Fear

The Vietnamese Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh has been a source of deep wisdom in times of global political stress for over 50 years. In 1967 he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. In his nomination Dr. King said, "I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of [this prize] than this gentle monk from Vietnam. His ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity."Last month, Thich Nhat Hanh celebrated his 90th bi … [Read more...]

Facing Election Results with Buddhist Practices of Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity

Well, we certainly do live in interesting times, don't we? One truth that has been exposed by the recent election is the chasm that has opened up in the American electorate. Some hoped that after Nov 8 that divide would be closed and we could go back to life as usual. That hasn't happened. I wrote just before the election on this topic, but was reminded of it today so I'll send it out again, minus the pre-election thoughts. Now the vote is behind us. Political leadership is in transition. We … [Read more...]

Day 1 after the election, solidarity and kindness

A LOT of feelings came up for me Tuesday night. After teaching meditation, I turned on my phone to see a text from my girlfriend reading, "I'm pretty freaked out right now." I noted it as I walked to my car, unsure then (around 9pm MST) of what was going on exactly in the election.When I got home it was a clear, crisp night. I took a deep breath outside of my car. I looked at all of the stars I could see. So many brilliant bits of light sent to us from the distant past.A shooting star … [Read more...]

Nate Silver’s Predictions, Live Results Coverage, and Mindfulness Kittens

We know anything can happen on election day and Nate Silver and the team at FiveThirtyEight is not infallible. We saw, among other surprises, Oklahoma flip from a very strong (>75% chance) Clinton prediction into a Sanders win in the primaries this year. And four years ago this blog got its 15 minutes of fame (forbes!) when I wrote about Nate Silver failing to give Jon Tester the predicted victory despite polling data giving him both momentum and a lead heading into election day.For those … [Read more...]

Buddhism and Politics: Applying the First Precept

A guest post by Andy Lambert Ah, the 2016 election....This has been a huge (or should I say YUUGE?) test of metta. Loving Kindness meditation is an important Buddhist Practice. Those of us who have spent some time in various forms of practice understand that this can be a very difficult practice in the best of times. In times such as these, it can be damned near impossible. We must cultivate compassion for all living beings, even those that we have a hard time even stomaching the site of. … [Read more...]

American Buddhist political survey continues (a sneak peek)

With just under one hundred respondents so far, the picture emerging is more in Hillary Clinton's favor than any previous poll, especially when 3rd party contenders are removed from the equation.However, when asked, "In a hypothetical three-way race with Bernie Sanders as a Green Party candidate, who would you support?" things change rather dramatically, as Sanders steals a couple votes from Trump and the majority of Clinton's. And it seems that in real life Sanders is still getting some … [Read more...]

Buddhism and American Politics, a final reader survey

This will be our final survey of readers' political preferences with a long and winding road behind us. I, for one, was first introduced to a number of third-party candidates through write-ins on the poll and was exposed to a number of perspectives I otherwise would never have seen. I found out that polling is a fairly costly and time-intensive enterprise if it is to be done scientifically, and while NBC/Survey-monkey seems to have found a way to crunch their huge numbers into an acceptable … [Read more...]