Trump has already led me to the Bible: 7 Passages near to my Heart

Many of my Christian friends over the last few months have assured me that part of their reason for supporting Donald Trump for the presidency has been his grasp of Christian values. "God will be back in America," they tell me.I'm still not entirely sure what that means. "Did He leave?" Is He in Canada? That's where I hear a lot of people are thinking about moving to, so maybe God's already up there? Just waiting?But today I've had a bit of a "come to Jesus" moment of my own.With the … [Read more...]

The Arc of the Moral Universe, January 20, 2017

The local store is out of White Poster Board. Hmmm... I wonder where it all could be. The quote, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice" is often attributed to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is thanks to him that the phrase has become part of our American lexicon. Yet the exact wording predates his use of it by around half a century, and the origins go back further still to the Unitarian minister Theodore Parker.Theodore Parker, born 1810, was a minister … [Read more...]

The First Nidana – A Christmas Song for Buddhists

Growing up Catholic in the US, I have a certain fondness for Christmas songs - especially loving the voices of Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, and others of a certain bygone era of American music. So when I stumbled across this beautiful Buddhist Christmas song (or a Buddhist song set to a modern Christmas tune), I was hooked. This week I got in touch with the song's creator, Ryan Hunt, for an interview. Please read, enjoy the music below, print/share the … [Read more...]

Dalai Lama: There is no “Muslim Terrorist” or “Buddhist Terrorist”

Addressing the European Parliament last week, the Dalai Lama said: "Buddhist terrorist, Muslim terrorist. That wording is wrong." "Any person," the Dalai Lama continued, "who wants to indulge in violence is no longer a genuine Buddhist or a genuine Muslim."The Dalai Lama, who is teaching on ethics beyond religion at the moment in Strasbourg, has been making this point for some time already.He continued by saying that all religions teach, "love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, George Takei – American Buddhist, Actor, Author, Activist

Today is George Takei's 79th birthday.In honor of the occasion; and perhaps in horor of the latest Trump primary victory, we revisit George Takei's remarks about growing up with Japanese heritage in the xenophobic period around WW II. He is celebrating his birthday at Seattle's Key Arena advocating for "We Day" celebrating youth engaged in volunteer work. Follow him and see video from this morning in Seattle on facebook.(December 10, 2015)Ever since Donald Trump proposed a ban on … [Read more...]

The Dalai Lama’s inspiring appeal to love, human values, and inter-religious harmony

Even at the age of 80 (or 81 by Tibetan standards), the Dalai Lama continues to blaze a trail of wisdom and compassion across the globe. Last month the Dalai lama spoke from a hospital in Rochester, Minnesota where he was undergoing precautionary prostate treatment (he told audiences in Minnesota this week that he's in good health). There he reminded listeners to not simply say the words "happy new year" (tashi Losar delek) but to embody the spirit behind them in their actions.In his recent t … [Read more...]

The Santa Claus Sutra, Christmas becomes Buddhist (Video)

Christmas is less than a week away now, and if Star Wars mania doesn't completely eclipse the popular winter holiday, we'll all be left with the usual yearly questions like "Happy Holiday" or "Merry Christmas"? Or "to tree or not to tree..."Or,"why are all these pagan festivities being practiced by Christians this time of year, anyway?"How about one more question: Could Christmas become a genuine Buddhist holiday?I concluded my university class on Buddhism last week by talking about ways … [Read more...]

Buddhist monastery serves meals to fasting Muslims in Ramadan

Agence France-Presse reported today that Dharmarajika, a Buddhist monastery in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, is serving food to Muslims this Ramadan, "in a rare example of social harmony between the religions in the South Asian nation."The monastery, they report, "has become a hit on social media since it started distributing daily food packs for Muslims who break their fast during the Islamic month at sunset, known as Iftar." The abbot of the monastery, Suddhananda Mahathero, speaking … [Read more...]