Two Videos you MUST see today

Video - earth

From the video: We are traversing a terrain, which we as a species and as a planet overall have not seen before. We are facing an ecological crisis that has the capacity to tremendously alter life on earth.Today we have not only an ecological crisis. We also have a kind of story crisis. That is to say there is something very wrong with how we understand who we are and our relationship with the earth. Where are you? Where is your mind? Here: Or here: And maybe this will help:See … [Read more...]

Better than Zizek: a critique of Contemporary Spirituality (and many Buddhists) worth investigating

I just finished listening to a podcast interview of my friend David Webster on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting). Knowing Dave, I know that he is a bit (at least) of an admirer of the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek. My own view of Žižek is not a secret. One of my most popular blog posts last year was a discussion of Žižek, who had recently given a lecture that was, in title at least, about Western Buddhism: "Zizek waxes on about Zionism, Sex, Gangnam Style, Justin Bieber, the Pope, and Buddhism … [Read more...]

Six Months given to Save the Buddhas of Mes Aynak

Mes Aynak

Breaking News from The Buddhas of Aynak (via facebook):I have some unfortunate news - archaeologists only have SIX MONTHS from now to perform rescue archaeology at Mes Aynak. So they do NOT have until 2014. They have until June 2013. I feel that now is the time to submit all signatures for our two official petitions to show the significant international support for saving Mes Aynak. As I wrote 3 months ago: The site, in the rugged and arid mountains of Afghanistan, was once a … [Read more...]

Nietzsche meets the iPhone

one second film - BBC

The BBC has a story this week titled "Can filming one second every day change your life?" (click for video) It makes for a useful meditation for the new year. The story features Cesar Kuriyama, who began filming one second of each day at the age of 30. What began as a one year project promises to be a life-long occupation. As he states in the video, "Trying to make the best movie possible is making me live the best life possible."This brought to mind one of my favorite philosophers, F … [Read more...]

Yoga Bags, Family, and Christmas (UPDATED)


I've been on break for travels this last week, plus grading, paperwork, and time catching up with family, hence the long break from blogging.Now, home in Montana, my brain is soaked in good food, card games, and Montana's beautiful big skies. Blogging, or writing anything for that matter, doesn't come easy.Breaks are good. Academics rarely get 'true' breaks. There is always something hanging over our heads. A friend of mine posted one of those vintage card memes recently that stated: … [Read more...]

New Petition to save the Mes Aynak Buddhas

Mes Aynak Buddhas Petition

In just over two months, a Chinese-owned mining company is scheduled to begin work in NE Afghanistan. If they go forward, they could create the world's second largest copper mine. But they would also destroy an unknown number of ancient Buddhist (and other, earlier) artifacts.The site, in the rugged and arid mountains of Afghanistan, was once a hot spot on the Silk Route, home of thriving communities of traders and monks. The site was only rediscovered two years ago, when the Chinese mining … [Read more...]

“A Buddhist Perspective on Occupy Wall Street” by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi

I have not yet met the Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, but I very much hope to do so soon. I have spent time with several of his students, collaborators, and friends, and I have been impressed by all of them. And I have listened to countless hours of Bhikkhu Bodhi's podcasts and lectures and -needless to say- read countless pages of his writings and translations of the Buddha's words.In this video, Bhikkhu Bodhi lays out the US economy in clear terms we all can understand.  Usually, in my experience, … [Read more...]

A Careful Walk through the Spirituality Minefield


Or, a review of David Webster’s “Dispirited: How contemporary spirituality makes us stupid, selfish, and unhappy.”Webster teaches Religion, Philosophy, and Ethics not far from me and as a fellow traveler on the road of Buddhist studies (Webster’s fist book is on Buddhism and Desire) and philosophy, I have been looking forward to reading this book for some time. At just over 70 pages, it’s written as a pamphlet almost, perhaps a manifesto: light on footnotes, jargon, and the kind of verbiage t … [Read more...]