Wonderful News

This week tens of thousands of human lives may have been saved by the courageous action of a few dockworkers in South Africa.A ship from China was loaded with "millions of rounds of AK-47 ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar rounds, all intended for the Zimbabwe Defence Force" (source). If you haven't been following the news, Zimbabwe recently held an election in which the opposition party appears to have won (exact results are being held by the ruling party under current president … [Read more...]

Puppy Kisses and Ego Trips

Puppy (Brady) laying a surprise wet one on yours truly.I am in lovely Medina, Ohio this week with Kelly's mother and awaiting Kel's arrival on Friday for her wedding shower. In my time here I have worked on recuperating from London exhaustion and even the restlessness and 'astral smog' as our friend Raven describes it, of the DC area. One thing both Kelly and I have jumped into recently has been Oprah's web classes with Eckhart Tolle based on his latest book, A New Earth. (more on that … [Read more...]

Western Medicine, Western Problems

Years ago a friend of mine told me of her refusal to vaccinate her two young children, then aged around 5 and 8. She told me about links to autism and other mental and physical abnormalities associated with childhood vaccines. It sounded to me then like one of those goofy conspiracy theories that people come up with, but ever since then I've kept an eye out for evidence one way or another about vaccines and health.Also along the way I've subscribed to the newsletter of Dr. Mercola, a doctor … [Read more...]

A Talk Between Lovers

Zen at its best is something like a talk between two would be lovers: "If you love me, get over the words and distance, but give space."- Piya Tan - from a Buddhist discussion list.The issue of distance or space is perhaps a constant in relationships between unenlightened beings. Sometimes we want others very near, other times we want 'our space'. Too lonely one day, smothered the next.This phrase of Tan's was particularly poignant as I contemplate marrying a perfectly amazing woman only to … [Read more...]

Thomas Merton

Last night I watched a beautiful and moving documentary: Merton: A Film Biography. To be honest, the film quality, editing and whatnot were all quite mediocre, it was the subject that made viewing so exquisite. Thomas Merton, a Trappist (Catholic) Monk, lived a life of fierce spirituality, struggling to the very heart of what it meant - and means - to live a life of both amazing spiritual depth and passionate social commitment.My own love and amazement with Merton began when I was in England … [Read more...]

Thesis Q & A

My thesis (oh yea, that) will aim to answer two questions:Can Buddhism be said to be deontological in nature? That is, is Buddhism, as a philosophy of life, based on a notion of an underlying duty that each of us can and should understand and live by?andCan a deontological ethics, namely Kantian, incorporate elements of other forms of ethical theory such as virtue ethics and utilitarianism?1. Buddhism does preserve the term dharma from its precursor Hinduism (Brahmanism), and dharma can at … [Read more...]

A Scary World

If you don't like horror movies, especially ones based on reality, you might want to avoid these two documentaries:No End in Sight, about the Iraq War, and Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders.No End In Sight brings you back to the rushed days leading to the war up through the many mistakes leading to today:the un-or poorly-supported claims of Iraq's WMDs, capacity to attack the US and Britain, and ties to Al Qaeda, andthe (continuing) rosily optimistic assessments … [Read more...]

More Karma

Karma is one of the most evasive doctrines in Buddhism (and throughout Indian religion/philosophy). Here is a typical statement on karma/kamma...You want: long life, health, beauty, power, riches, high birth, wisdom? Or even some of these things? They do not appear by chance. It is not someone's luck that they are healthy, or another's lack of it that he is stupid. Though it may not be clear to us now, all such inequalities among human beings (and all sorts of beings) come about because of the … [Read more...]