ALL LIVES ARE SACRED : A plea for peace & reconciliation in Bangkok

Thailand (formerly "Siam") is the only country to declare in its constitution that Buddhism is its national religion.  (It is commonplace for boys there to ordain as monks as their rite of passage into manhood.)  Little wonder the monastics are concerned with the unrest in  their land. I cannot speak first-hand.  I've read The New York Times' backgrounder and reports.  This week, Agence France-Presse (AFP) published a moving piece featuring the monks' prayer for peace. Today, the International Ne … [Read more...]

Sites Along the Way :: Buddhist E-Cards

Along with health, holy, and whole, in the tree of language the word hale shares a common root.  It's universal. Hello.  Greetings.Case in point: In 1910, a man named Joyce Hall  bet that the postcard craze of 1903 would be outclassed by greeting cards.  A century later, his company, Hallmark Cards, is worth ±$3 billion.I'm not aware of any Buddhist products in the vast Hallmark list. But you don't have to be Buddhist to send a Buddhist greeting ... nor use paper!  Here are some sites offer … [Read more...]

Sound Meditation : Be Hear Now

Want to stop rehearsing the future? Reviewing the past? Be here now! Wherever you are, there's always sound upon which you can meditate ... to focus, stablize, and calm the mind.Listen ...Find a seat where you won't be disturbed.  Close your eyes.  Close your mouth.  Open your mind.  Open your heart.Relax.  Let go.  Give yourself a moment to let your body lead you into the presence of the now ... by  the sheer physical fact of its being here.  Your mind may be elsewhere, but your body's alw … [Read more...]

Recipes for an Ordinary Happy Life :: Interview with Karen Maezen Miller (Part 1 of 2)

Karen Maezen Miller is  a Zen Buddhist priest and meditation teacher at the Hazy Moon Zen Center in Los Angeles, California. As such, she is skilfully and warmly engaged with spirituality in everyday life.   She's also the compelling of two compelling, inspiring books,  Momma Zen and, as of last month, Hand Wash Cold. Of this recent title, Mandala magazine writes: "Read how she copes with the suds and stains of living and you’ll never look at an overflowing laundry basket in the same way again … [Read more...]

Can the Soul Learn To Tweet ?

Recently, 88-year-old  comedienne Betty White hosted Saturday Night Live. What's unusual here is not so much her age. Rather, she did so in response to a campaign mounted on Facebook.  In her opening monologue, she ribbed the popular online social network, reminiscing, ""When I was young we didn't have Facebook, we had phone book — but you wouldn't waste an afternoon with it."As for me, I've wondered how you can call it FaceBook when it doesn't have chapters, much less page numbers. But I'm of … [Read more...]

On Mother’s Day

.:. The thought "mother" cannot be separated from that of "love." Love is sweet, tender, and delicious. Without love, a child cannot flower and an adult cannot mature. — Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh, A Rose for Your Pocket Question: To what does the Buddha liken metta ? (Metta can be translated as lovingkindness.) The Buddha compares cultivating  metta ... as to a mother, who'd risk her life to protect her child.Consider a newborn baby bird, just hatched from its egg.  It's been pecking away from the … [Read more...]

A Cup of Tea — ( How Would You Like Yours Served ? )

Have you heard the story of the Western scholar who visited the Buddhist temple in Asia?  He'd knocked and introduced himself to the monk at the door and asked to see the abbot, explaining he had written and published articles and even books about this very temple.  The monk nodded.  The man continued on about his academic interests as someone took his luggage and he walked with the monk through the tranquility of the front courtyard.  The monk stopped and suggested the man must be tired from his … [Read more...]