Study shows most Americans shouldn’t meditate: repress awful life events instead

Lead author Willow B. England of Orange University in upstate New York describes why meditation has become an increasing malice to the American public. Her scientific research conflicts with the increasingly incoherent ramblings of French monk Matthieu Ricard, who says: "Everyone would be helped by meditating for half-an-hour a day. Meditation is a very vague term and there's a lot of cliché - like emptying your mind and relaxing and all that stuff. But it's really a means to cultivate or be f … [Read more...]

Meditation Olympics – the winner might surprise you

Capitalizing on the ongoing surge in mindfulness popularity, comedian, actor, and motivational speaker Kyle Cease has produced a witty look into meditation in the contemporary world. Borrowing the last name of my favorite figure skater, Kyle co-comments on an Olympics-styled competition between three meditators:An average Joe, just starting out (rather strangely said to be from Bangladesh) A super-metaphysical gadget-laiden hippyesque woman, and An Asian clad with all of the Western … [Read more...]

The Onion takes on popular Buddhist “meditation apps”

In their latest jab at the growing popularity of Buddhism in the West and one of its most common delivery systems: meditation via a 5-inch screen, The Onion offers us 31-year old Eric Reeves, a Seattle man whose new meditation app promises to lead him to a "Lotus Plane of Eternal Serenity." Noting that he was "just moments from being carried like a cherry blossom on a soft breeze into a placid realm of unending tranquility," The Onion reports that:Having readied himself to expand his aw … [Read more...]

Australia’s Next Top Guru (Parody)

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)

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

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.

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...]