World Compassion and Vegan day – via the Jain eLibrary

Bodhgaya cow 2010

One of my favorite non-Buddhist religions to teach and to study is Jainism, which is a bit like Buddhist asceticism on steroids. Jains also share a deep respect for non-human animals and generally act on that in compassionate ways that put most other religions to shame. The religion is small, limited mostly to India, though there are Jains all over the world, so they rarely get much press. Yesterday I received the following newsletter from a Jain list I am on and I thought I'd pass it on to you … [Read more...]

India, Pakistan, & a commercial to make you cry with joy

I'm a sucker for nostalgia, and growing ever more nostalgic for India myself (I can't believe it's been 3 years!). But nothing could have prepared me for this:When I was just 21 or 22, a friend lent me Cracking India, a story of the partition as experienced in Lahore. Later I watched Deepa Mehta's film adaptation of the book, Earth (1998), and watched it again, and again (full movie available here). … [Read more...]

Reposting “Femicide” for the International Day of the Girl Child

This is a repost of an article written by Naga R Dhoopati last spring. Given that today is the UN International Day of the Girl Child, I felt it worthwhile to repost it in the hope that the educational message will spread further and wider, bringing a swifter end to atrocities committed against girls around the world.Educating girls around the globe.There have been many cases where a girl’s life has become a burden to her parents, especially in India. Femicide is one practice used to re … [Read more...]

Three great Buddhist projects deserving your support

Seth Segal's Walk to Feed the Hungry for Buddhist Global Relief

"The practice of giving is universally recognized as one of the most basic human virtues, a quality that testifies to the depth of one's humanity and one's capacity for self-transcendence," writes Bhikkhu Bodhi in his essay introducing a Wheel publication devoted to generosity in Buddhist practice.There are countless ways you can practice generosity each day, from simply giving some time to a friend or stranger in need, giving comfort, giving consolation, giving respect and recognition, … [Read more...]

Smile. Breathe. Repeat., or The Need to Travel

Images from around India and Burma (Fall/Winter 2010-2011), photos by Justin Whitaker

Last Friday in Missoula, at a public talk given by Anam Thubten Rinpoche, a friend asked me what I learned in all of my travels. I hadn't put much thought into such a question, but I immediately answered, "that our lives are unnecessarily complicated."A second insight I had, as I prepare for a little talk/slideshow about my travels, is just how profoundly interconnected we all are. And how the simplest of encounters can alter the direction of our life. Or, a bit less dramatically, these … [Read more...]


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