A great deal of intellectual energy in Buddhism these days is being poured into the twin doctrines of karma and rebirth. What do they mean? What are their personal, ethical, and social implications? Can we abandon them and still have Buddhism?These are just some of the questions being thrown around lately. Another quote from that same book review:On another page he suggests we need to get beyond thinking only in terms of causal relationships, “and it is perhaps by only moving to a different l … [Read more...]

kamma, karma

There is a proposal due today for a conference discussing Karma and/or Causality in Buddhism. But, my karma being somewhat of the overly lazy and busy sort, I don't think I am going to get a proposal together in time.It is a bit of a shame, but we'll see what happens. I'll work on it.For now, a quote: Moment by moment we recreate ourselves through what we think, say and do. Over time we develop distinctive habits: a recognizable “self” that makes us most likely to perpetuate those habits rat … [Read more...]

Trouble in Tibet – history, 1935

It is interesting that the article begins with Chairman Mao's acknowledging his debt to Tibet as "our only foreign debt" and ends with the recommendation that "the United States should first acknowledge that the Chinese have sovereign right to Tibet..."From "Foreign Policy in Focus":In 1935, the People’s Liberation Army swept through Tibet on the Long March to evade Chiang Kai-Shek’s Nationalists. It was a grim time. Harassed by snipers, Mao’s armies faced a much greater challenge: cold and hunge … [Read more...]

Optimism on Tibet

Is there reason for optimism for Tibet? I believe so.First of all, the world is watching. Never before has Tibet won such sustained media coverage and discussion. (I say that not knowing fully how much attention it gained in 1988-1989 when the Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize and peaceful protests/celebrations in Tibet were violently put down. But I do not think it was as much as we have today.)Second, the world is learning. Interest in and discussion of Buddhism, particularly Tibetan … [Read more...]

Tibetan Buddhism and Modern Physics, CH 2

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance -- it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. BoorstinChapter one of Vic Mansfield's book, "Tibetan Buddhism & Modern Physics" helped clear the ground for the rest of the book. It did this by pointing out some of the prejudices in Western (primarily scientific) thought against Eastern ideas and anything sounding remotely religious. By showing us why so many people simply 'write off' these important ideas without even looking at them, … [Read more...]

On retreat (2, Tibet videos)

Well, not Tibet per se, but actually of the ongoing protests across the world of the upcoming Olympics. I look forward to seeing how it goes in San Fransisco, the torch's next stop. As you will see/hear from the second video, The International Olympic Committee is beginning to express its concern (at last!). Keep up the protests, keep up the support of the protests, keep contacting your senators and representatives!Olympic Torch Relay Protests - in London:And in Paris: … [Read more...]

On retreat (1, the three jewels)

In the Buddhist tradition, we are encouraged to 'take refuge' in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha (the 'Three Jewels'). In fact, for most this is what defines one as a Buddhist. This weekend I went on a short retreat, learning a lot about suffering (first hand!) only to return to more. More on that in the next post, but first a recap of the three jewels.THE THREE JEWELS: THE BUDDHAThe Buddha is the man who awakened to (Buddha means 'awakened one') reality, seeing through the delusions … [Read more...]

Nature Deficit Disorder

Beware!Ye of mild angst, moodiness and worry!It may be... Nature Deficit Disorder!It is somewhat funny, how our society is making EVERYTHING into one disorder or another, but oh well. At least the pharmaceutical companies aren't selling nature pills (yet!). It is also a bit (sadly) funny because, looking back over my last couple months, I seem to be bouncing from one self-diagnosed illness to the next.C'est la vie.In addition to traditional treatments, like going for walks in nearby nature-like … [Read more...]