How Reza Aslan made a book about religion a best-seller and what we can learn from it

As an educator in religious studies I was intrigued by Reza Aslan's book Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth when I first heard about it 2 or 3 weeks ago. I listened to a couple interviews (NPR and HuffPo) and thought, "this is interesting enough, but I don't know if a) this is really groundbreaking work, or b) this is sound scholarship."So I asked some scholars closer to the field and received at best lukewarm responses. I'm not an expert, I haven't read the book, and this is a … [Read more...]

“Bones of the Buddha” to air on PBS

via WNET:Watch Bones of the Buddha - Preview on PBS. See more from Secrets of the Dead.If you haven't seen PBS's The Buddha, Tuesday the 23rd is a great chance to see it, and catch the first airing on PBS of Bones of the Buddha.   This summer, PBS is dedicating a full evening to the Buddha, anchored by an intriguing new Secrets of the Dead episode, Bones of the Buddha.  The film presents a convincing collection of evidence that suggests an amateur archaeologist discovered the leader’s sa … [Read more...]

Brad Warner: Buddhist meditation in a bunny suit

Taking on the very serious topic of "Why should we meditate" while dressed in a cosmic bunny suit might seem a bit strange and, well, it is. But that's Brad Warner for you, the man who brings you hard core zen and a slew of books with titles like:Hardcore Zen: Punk Rock, Monster Movies and the Truth About Reality Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, and Dogen's Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye Sex, Sin, and Zen: A Buddhist Exploration of Sex … [Read more...]

Buddhism: religion of the internet? Digitizing the word.

The Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC), has a couple podcasts and articles this week on this topic:Buddhism: made for the internet and Buddhism on the Move.The article surrounding the first begins: At the heart of Buddhism is a metaphor for interconnectedness: Indra’s net. The Vedic god’s net, which is supposed to hang over his palace on Mount Meru, is said to stretch to infinity. At each point where the threads cross sits a jewel that reflects all the other jewels, and like mi … [Read more...]

Meditation and this Human Body: Two Recent TED Talks

These are two talks that are really about 'everyone' - everyone social that is. Everyone that has to deal with people, and stress, and stuff, and managing all of that people-stress-stuff on a daily basis. The first, with some remarks below the video, is: Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you areNot only do you get the great (funny, memorable) examples - such as President Obama shaking a British police officer's hand and then (then Prime Minister) Gordon Brown going up to the officer, … [Read more...]

Buddhist Meditation and the Harlem Shake?

I'm about a month behind on this and I'm not sure I'll ever understand this internet phenomenon, but, for what it's worth, apparently Buddhist meditation groups are in on this thing as well (this one via Karme Choling, a Shambhala center in northern Vermont):I find the "kids react" video much more 'enlightening':Says one 10 year-old, "Stop it. Now! If you make one more video, I will pull your brains out and feed your liver to my dogs." (violent? yes. necessary? maybe.) And while we're … [Read more...]

A Talk and Guided Meditation with Lama Surya Das and Ram Dass

The talk starts off a bit slowly and meanders (in a good way) at times, but for those who like Lama Surya Das and/or Ram Dass, this will be a great treat.  The conversation flows from preparing for death, being Jewish and inspired by Jesus, Maharaj-ji, experiences in India, Cats vs. Dogs, baseball, love, and more "teachings and moments on the spiritual path" along with a brief period of meditation.For more, see my Oct. 2012 interview with Lama Surya Das: American Buddhist and Bestselling Au … [Read more...]

Two Videos you MUST see today

From the video: We are traversing a terrain, which we as a species and as a planet overall have not seen before. We are facing an ecological crisis that has the capacity to tremendously alter life on earth.Today we have not only an ecological crisis. We also have a kind of story crisis. That is to say there is something very wrong with how we understand who we are and our relationship with the earth. Where are you? Where is your mind? Here: Or here: And maybe this will help:See … [Read more...]