Buddhist Blessings for Dolls, Thailand’s new luck charms

Thailand dolls for luck4

"Anywhere from $44 for cheaper dolls, and up to nearly $1500 for top-of-the-line models..."Who doesn't like a little memento, a souvenir to carry around for good luck? Buddhists, especially but not exclusively those of Theravadin Buddhism, have long found value in amulets, "small, mystically charged objects carried [to] provide the bearer with good fortune or protection from harm." (Encyclopedia of Buddhism) When I visited Thailand in 2012 I recall seeing amulets for sale (via donation) at ma … [Read more...]

Top 5 Reasons to Study Buddhism

SOAS Library Buddhism Books

As college classes start up this time of year, many people will find themselves debating the merits of this course versus that one, this major versus that. As I'm now going on 15 years as a student of religion and philosophy I might be a bit biased, but for what it's worth, I still think these two topics (and in particular Buddhism) are the best thing you can study in college. In fact, in this age of adult education programs and online courses, it's something that you should study even if your c … [Read more...]

Life shifts and karmic momentum


Or, "On submitting a PhD thesis, and going back to school."This week I saw, probably on twitter, an image of a man around thirty wearing a backpack and a sign hanging from his neck reading "Starting 19th Grade." The caption said, "what grad school feels like."No doubt that image captures how a lot of people are feeling this time of year, aged 5-35. As for me, I've just submitted my Ph.D. thesis, something about comparing early Buddhist and Kantian ethics, leaving me in a sort of … [Read more...]

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche on how us lazy people can start meditation

Mingyur Rinpoche-lazy meditation

Mingyur Rinpoche, founder of Bodhgaya's giant Tergar Monastery and author of numerous widely praised books on Buddhist practice including The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness and Joyful Wisdom: Embracing Change and Finding Freedom, has a new video out on the topic: "I'm Too Lazy to Start a Meditation Practice."Substitute "Busy" for "Lazy" and I think we'll have most of the non-meditating world covered.So if you find yourself saying "I'm too lazy" or "I'm too … [Read more...]

Rubin Museum hosts Sharon Salzberg: Mindfulness and Art

Rubin-salzberg-meditation for artists2

The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City is hosting Sharon Salzberg and other teachers from the New York Insight Meditation Center this month and next to teach mindfulness and discuss intersections between meditation and art.The Rubin's PR and Marketing Manager Robin Carol writes, "The practices of meditation and art have long gone hand in hand, and art itself is often described as a meditative experience. Today, the Rubin Museum of Art is launching a weekly lunchtime Mindfulness Me … [Read more...]

Thich Nhat Hanh comes to USA for further treatment, funds sought to cover costs

Thich Nhat Hanh - Namovalokita 2013

In their latest update, Plum Village of France, Thich Nhat Hanh's home monastery, informs us that Thay has been transferred to UCSF (University of California, San Francisco) Medical Center for further rehabilitation after his stroke last November. You can read accounts of his continued progress here:Thich Nhat Hanh: still stable but “sleeping more deeply and communicating less”  (November 22, 2014) Thich Nhat Hanh still stable and his “hemorrhage has slightly reduced in size” (December 1 … [Read more...]

Buddhist monastery serves meals to fasting Muslims in Ramadan

buddhists feed muslims at ramadan

Agence France-Presse reported today that Dharmarajika, a Buddhist monastery in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, is serving food to Muslims this Ramadan, "in a rare example of social harmony between the religions in the South Asian nation."The monastery, they report, "has become a hit on social media since it started distributing daily food packs for Muslims who break their fast during the Islamic month at sunset, known as Iftar." The abbot of the monastery, Suddhananda Mahathero, speaking … [Read more...]

Thich Nhat Hanh’s remarkable recovery shows that “everything is possible”

Thich Nhat Hanh by Geoff Livingston CC flickr

In their most recent update, the  Monks and Nuns of Plum Village have great news regarding Thich Nhat Hanh's continuing improvement:We are happy to report that Thay’s health has improved greatly since he returned to his Plum Village Hermitage in early April. Every day Thay has been out in nature, enjoying the blossoms, listening to the birds and resting at the foot of a tree. Thay enjoys lying in his hammock next to the running creek, in the fresh cool of the bamboo grove he planted more th … [Read more...]