Six Months given to Save the Buddhas of 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

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

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...]

Wake up America: Greed, Hate, and Guns

Sometimes the only word I can come up with to describe my country is "exacerbated." First there is the shooting in Aurora, CO. What can one say?Except to express the shock and sadness we all feel for those lost and hurt, their families, and everyone else affected by this tragedy. This hits close to home - close enough at least - as my mom, Ronnie, grew up in Aurora and my sister, Eve, currently lives just a few miles from there. My sister's friend, Kirk Siegler, is a reporter in the area … [Read more...]

Grassroots American Militarism… For the Children

Or "weighing in on the Kony 2012 campaign..."Here is the video:When I first watched it, having seen it posted on facebook by a do-gooder Canadian friend and a very-smart-cookie friend from Africa, I was inspired. To get me to watch anything not related to my studies these days is quite a task, and this video managed to get, and hold, my attention for 30 (precious) minutes.I reposted it. A couple more of my friends reposted it as well.And then I saw a message stating that the … [Read more...]