Australia’s Next Top Guru (Parody)

australias top guru

The English-speaking world loves their gurus and Eastern mysterious wisdom and enlightenment and all that stuff. And while (I hope I'm not being too optimistic in saying) we're collectively growing out of our most infantile--and destructive--phase of interacting and mingling with "the East", there is still a long way to go. Colonialism's dual projections of "dark evil" and "mysterious goodness" continue to play out in popular culture. But both rely on obscured vision of the place(s) and people … [Read more...]

F*ck That: a guided meditation (humor)

f-ck that a guided meditation

I've been off the blog and social media for the most part this month, working busily on my PhD thesis, which is nearing completion (or at least its last deadline) and enjoying a bit of Montana's amazing National Forests and Wilderness areas. After a 4 mile hike with a 3200 foot ascent, this was my view on the 4th of July:Yet I still get emails when I'm tagged in something on social media (which alerted me to the content of my last post). And this week I've been tagged at least three … [Read more...]

The Onion sends NBC’s Brian Williams to Tibet

Brian Williams in Tibet via the onion

Wearing what appears to be a Japanese Zen robe and a shaggy beard with his hands in good meditation position, complete with wooden mala, Brian Williams, according to The Onion, has absconded to the remote mountains of Tibet (never mind that the picture looks like it was taken in the summer). Williams is quoted by the paper as saying: “Truth itself is in many ways the one universal constant—that which indisputably conforms to reality. But the question remains: Can we as humans understand this con … [Read more...]

College Humor takes on Yoga – perfectly.

Gandhi does yoga

As the "mindfulness buzz" grows, along with its detractors, let us not forget the other mystical Eastern trend taking root in Western culture: yoga. This week College Humor takes on the contemporary yoga world by resurrecting Gandhi:As I wrote back when Portlandia did its meditation spoof, it's funny because it is true (partially). Happy weekend, everyone. … [Read more...]

10 Steps to being a “Good” Convert Buddhist


This is a repost of a 2010 piece that was recently brought to my attention. Since work and travels have kept me away from the blog for a while and may do so for the coming weeks, I thought I'd share this again with some minor updates. And so here we go... ~ My thanks to Adam (of Home Brew Dharma) for pointing me to NellaLou at Smiling Buddhist Cabaret who has a great article (or should I say novella) today that begins by noting:Nathan at Dangerous Harvests wrote a post “Is Convert Buddhism … [Read more...]

Macklemore punches Justin Bieber, becomes Buddhist monk


Ben Haggerty, known by his stage name Macklemore and formerly Professor Macklemore, has announced that he will live out his remaining years as a Thai Theravadin monk. Since 2000, the well known lyrical gangsta has independently released three EPs, two albums, introduced a successful line of designer fur tracksuits, and significantly collaborated with producer and friend Ryan Lewis. Last year he  became engaged to long-time girlfriend, Tricia Davis.All of that is behind him now, as he … [Read more...]

The Onion satirizes Buddhism: “Extremist Cell Vows to Unleash Tranquility On West”

Onion - buddhism

You can read the full story for yourself at The Onion.But after settling in for what I thought would be a light-hearted parody on Buddhism's ever-so-peaceful image in the West, I began to feel a bit uneasy. The article is clever enough (although the mish-mash of Buddhist traditions leaves much to be desired) but the parody instead is on the Western image of Islamic terrorism (principally that of al-Qaeda).It may just be that I recently finished a grueling up-and-down week of teaching … [Read more...]

Tegan and Sara “Closer” with Dogs (including Pug)

This has nothing to do with Buddhism or any of the serious posts of late. But, part of samsara is the moments when we can sit back and enjoy the cute, the frivolous, and the perfect artistry to be found in our shared human and animal realms:Tegan and Sara + dogs (especially the Pug). While the Buddha taught that all such things are, ultimately, dukkha, I'm perfectly happy to take a pause and just enjoy... … [Read more...]