Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from American Buddhist Perspectives

christmas-bodhgaya3

From all of us to all of you, many wishes of joy, peace, and happiness this holiday season. For many Americans and Europeans, the cultural trappings of Christmas make it a default holiday, even those who have long since given up believing in Santa and Christianity and Consumerism and all of the other things that make the holiday so... special. In my family this is a time for togetherness, and that tends to focus on the dining room table. Whether it's for meals, snacks, coffee, cards, or just te … [Read more...]

World Compassion and Vegan day – via the Jain eLibrary

Bodhgaya cow 2010

One of my favorite non-Buddhist religions to teach and to study is Jainism, which is a bit like Buddhist asceticism on steroids. Jains also share a deep respect for non-human animals and generally act on that in compassionate ways that put most other religions to shame. The religion is small, limited mostly to India, though there are Jains all over the world, so they rarely get much press. Yesterday I received the following newsletter from a Jain list I am on and I thought I'd pass it on to you … [Read more...]

The Future or Death of Religion: an Interfaith Discussion

An Interfaith Discussion, The Future or Death of Religion

February 25, 1pm PST.Mark your calendars.I will be speaking with three amazing representatives of different religions, hosted by Mark W. Gura, on the topic of the future of religion. Here is the official blurb:An Interfaith Discussion About The Future Or Death Of Religion Hosted By Mark W. Gura With the turn of the new year and recent depictions of religion in the media, many are asking where religion is heading in 2014. The Rise of the Nones, the recent Pew Study on Religious … [Read more...]

Announcing the Death of the International 969 Movement

969_twitter_last tweet

As of now:The 969movement website is down. The 969movement twitter account hasn't been updated since Oct 29. The "inspirational" Islamophobic video, apparently from an Australian 969movement supporter (linked here) is down, as are others by the same individual.Although it may simply be dormant at the moment, it seems that the international 969 Movement (as opposed to the Burmese 969 Movement which inspired it) is no more.In a post written in August, I discussed my interactions wi … [Read more...]

A Very Buddhist Thanksgiving with VIDEO from Mary Grace Orr, Rev. Thich Hang Dat, Sensei Bob Oshita and Ajahn Brahm

Meditating turkey - may all beings be well

These two people are hard to find in the world. Which two? The one who is first to do a kindness, and the one who is grateful and thankful for a kindness done."— AN 2.118I'm back in Montana, enjoying time with my family - mostly eating, watching TV/movies, and playing cards, a good break from phd/teaching/etc life in England. This is, for me, always the best time of the year. Time with family, with no schedule, no deadlines, nothing to do. Just being.In the midst of that, it has b … [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...]

India, Pakistan, & a commercial to make you cry with joy

I'm a sucker for nostalgia, and growing ever more nostalgic for India myself (I can't believe it's been 3 years!). But nothing could have prepared me for this:When I was just 21 or 22, a friend lent me Cracking India, a story of the partition as experienced in Lahore. Later I watched Deepa Mehta's film adaptation of the book, Earth (1998), and watched it again, and again (full movie available here). … [Read more...]

The Dalai Lama, the Pope, and Jennifer Lawrence.

dalai lama - prince charles

The moment we choose to love we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. That action is the testimony of love as the practice of freedom. - bell hooks Natural, spontaneous acts of kindness are impossible to deny.The Dalai Lama has long been known for his reaching out, literally, to take the hands of those he is visiting. The effect is almost always heartwarming … [Read more...]


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