Overview: Astronauts talk about Cognitive Shift

What happens to the mind when you leave earth? It might not be so different from what happens when you meditate.Divisions melt away.And, in case you didn't know, it reduces suffering, or - as some would say - leads to happiness. … [Read more...]

Would a Buddhist Affirm that belief in God is a Delusion?

Last month a handful of great minds met in Cambridge, England, for a debate. The motion for this debate was, "This House Believes that God is not a Delusion."  In the video shared below are some of the best arguments both for and against the belief in God:The result: Ayes: 243, Noes, 229: Abstentions: 129.So, according to the students and others in Cambridge last month, God indeed, is not a Delusion. What do you think?I have come across several reasons to think of God as a delusion. T … [Read more...]

Mitt Romney seeks Buddhist Counsel (Video)

Mitt Romney has "invested in a high-paid soul-searching team to help him weigh his possibilities" according to the satirical news site, the Onion.Mysteriously, however, the report never mentions the monks, pictured here, which include one Theravadin monk along with what appear to be three Tibetan monks (one wearing the characteristically Geluk yellow hat of the "pandit" or learned person). The report continues:"The talented group of life-purpose consultants, which Romney is expected to … [Read more...]

Finding Happiness, one photo at a time

There is an old zen story that I'll happily pass on (albeit perhaps in a disfigured form) for you: A monk is wandering in China and comes across a royal caravan. The king, seeing the monk, stops the caravan in order to question him."Who is your teacher?" asks the king from his carriage."My teacher is Gautama, the Awakened One," replies the monk without looking up."What is his teaching?" asks the king."Cease to do evil. Cultivate good. Purify the mind," says the monk."This … [Read more...]

Buddhism in pop-culture? Namaste. Portlandia’s Meditation Crush.

The popular sitcom Portlandia has released a sneak-peek into next season, including this humorous clip showing characters portrayed by  Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein at what is presumably their first time at Vipassana meditation.(if this doesn't work, click here: http://www.hulu.com/watch/442586) Of course it's funny because it's true. But like many things, that truth is only partial.Much of meditation is what you bring to it. If you come neurotic, whiny, and selfish, then your medi … [Read more...]

Toward a (Good) Buddhist Fundamentalism

I thought about calling this post "Is Buddhist Fundamentalism like Christian Fundamentalism?" But after seeing that the bulk of the discussion was clearly on Buddhism, and in fact supporting a sort of "Buddhist Fundamentalism" I thought I'd change the title.I have, on some occasions, been accused of being a "Buddhist Fundamentalist" over the past few years; usually for suggesting such things as the need to get back to the texts and exact meanings of key terms in order to understand the … [Read more...]

Zizek waxes on about Zionism, Sex, Gangnam Style, Justin Bieber, the Pope, and Buddhism

Žižek, what can I say?He's at it again.Last month Žižek was in Vermont, not far from where the Dalai Lama himself was giving a talk on his latest US tour. His topic: "Buddhism Naturalized" (video below). At least that was the title of the talk. In fact he only talks about Buddhism for about a quarter of the talk. The rest, while interesting, is a bit all over the place.And while he twice notes his appreciation for Buddhism, especially Zen, which he calls the most honest form of Buddh … [Read more...]

Despite Buddhist Beliefs: The world is becoming more peaceful

Buddhism has always held that all phenomena are transitory, including both the teaching of Buddhism as we know it and the world itself. While the Dharma -speaking of the Truth he came to understand - is universal, eternal, and uninfluenced by particular human circumstances, the sāsana, or lineage of teachings handed down for the last 2400+ years, will come to an end.Likewise, Buddhism inherited the cosmology of Proto-Hinduism (Brahmanism), which held that humans today are living in an age of … [Read more...]