Psychology of Happiness

I am doing some research on metta-bhavana (cultivation of loving-kindness) meditation and, along with a slew of recent articles discussing its efficacy, I just stumbled upon this little gem:The authors hypothesized that thinking about the absence of a positive event from one’s life would improve affective states more than thinking about the presence of a positive event but that people would not predict this when making affective forecasts. In Studies 1 and 2, college students wrote about the w … [Read more...]

A Proud Fundamentalist Buddhist Scholar White Guy in America

I'm not sure about that title, but judge for yourself.I want to try to tie together threads from three recent blog-conversations where well-meaning and intelligent contemporary Western/American Buddhists have come to loggerheads over practice, definitions, and the likes.These were at:Buddhist Ethics, some Buddhist sayings on Morality, where Tom and I had a brief and cordial back-and-forth.The Reformed Buddhist, where Kyle defends his Buddhist identity and his (wantonly?) breaking the precepts … [Read more...]

Shakespeare and Sunsets

Last night Julie and I and Blake and Amy and her new roommate made our way to UM's Oval to watch Shakespeare's "The Tempest." According to wikipedia it was first cataloged as a comedy but later re-assessed by some as a romance. In this production at least it was the comedy that held center stage as Caliban, a fish-man (comically labeled as a 'monster'), and Trinculo and Stephano, a jester and a drunken butler, funbled drunkenly through a plot to take over the island.Even the budding love … [Read more...]

Gratitude Journal

I am long overdue for a post specifically on Gratitude. It is gratitude that connects our heart with the world around us. Anxiety, fear, anger, greed, and so on all come from a lack of or weakness in this connection.I am working on a conference paper on the Buddhist practice of Metta Bhavana, the Cultivation of Loving Kindness. One of the stanzas there is:Mātā yathā niyaṃ putthaṃĀyusā ekaputtam anurakkha,ewam pi sabbabhūtesumānasam bhāvaye aparimāṇaṃ.Which is well translated as:Even as a mother p … [Read more...]

China: The Longest Way Longest Way 1.0 - one year walk/beard grow time lapse from Christoph Rehage on Vimeo.Inspiration, double-plus. … [Read more...]

Cousin’s Wedding

This weekend was spent around Denver, CO at my cousin's wedding. Unbenownst to me, my mother (aunt of the bride) had spread rumors that I was a great photographer, so I was recruited as a back-up photographer. At one point a cousin even asked me if I was "doing photography for a living now." Sheesh. Mom. Come on.Like many of us, there are two distinct sides of my family: the sane side (my father's) and the crazy side (my mom's). This was my mother's side. So on the 12 hour car ride down from … [Read more...]

Musings on Friendship

In tonight's Dharma-talk, a recording of Jack Kornfield reading from "The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology," he mentioned two very poignant things.The first was a quote from a Chinese (his attribution) teaching that:Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for … [Read more...]

China: Virtual Tour

Many thanks to Peter, one of our fearless organizers, we have a googlemap of the sites visited on the recent Woodenfish in China program. This is what the map looks like:But click on the map or this link and you can zoom right in on our points of interest and discovery, from our humble beginings at Pumen Vihara in downtown Shanghai to the far reaches of Famen Temple and the Terracotta Warriors near Xi'an.Eventually I'll finish editing the 5000+ pictures and dozens of videos I shot there and post … [Read more...]