Archives for November 2012

Robert Thurman vs. Grover Norquist’s Congressional Pledges

Well, here's something you don't see every day! (Though we certainly need more Buddhist leaders doing things like this, so I say that delightedly.)I'm not sure if it will really take hold as an internet meme at 11 minutes minus the snappy presentation of similarly lengthy memes like "Kony 2012", but who knows? The message is important, and I commend "Buddha Bob" on this. Now let's see more Buddhist activism of this sort![UPDATE: I just noticed that my pal Justin Whitaker blogged … [Read more...]

I Helped Write “Competency Guidelines: Sheltering & Mass Care for Buddhists” for the National Disaster Interfaiths Network

The title says it all you can download a copy of the sheet here.And don't miss all the other great work the National Disaster Interfaiths Network is doing at … [Read more...]

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: I Will Be Moderating “An Evening with Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman” for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ [ALOUD] Series This January

I'm very excited to tell you all that I will be moderating an upcoming event with Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski, True Grit, Tron) and Zen master Bernie Glassman for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles' [ALOUD] series this coming January 10th, 2013!! I'm delighted and shocked that this opportunity has come my way, and am very much looking forward to it.Tickets for "An Evening with Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman" are on sale now. Reserve yours today! Proceeds … [Read more...]

The Books, Music and Films that Made Me

Recently, one of my students mentioned that he'd be curious to see a list of general recommendations I might have in terms of arts and literature. Not long after, in an interesting coincidence, Cornel West's Hope on a Tightrope: Words and Wisdom found itself on my reading table: Dr. West ends the book with a list of the books and music that "made him." I took that as a hint from the universe that I should take a moment to answer my student. I'm not sure how interesting this will be to the rest o … [Read more...]

An Opportunity for Aung San Suu Kyi, President Obama…and You

This past week, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi – the leader of Burma’s parliamentary minority party the National League for Democracy, iconic Engaged Buddhist leader, and Nobel Peace laureate – broke her long and much-criticized political silence over the violence between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in the western part of her country, encouraging the government to take action to stabilize the region. She also added within the last day or so that the unrest is “an international tragedy.”It’s … [Read more...]

On Veterans Day

Among the family, friends, students, colleagues, and others in my life who have served our country are both of my grandfathers: Daniel Warner (left, in a portrait in his Army uniform) and the late Clarkson S. Fisher (right, pictured in the U.S. Signal Corps. in New Guinea circa 1943). I'm thinking of them both today, trying to comprehend just how they and their fellows did what they did at such a young age with so much at stake. It's stunning to consider really -- the enormity of the situation, … [Read more...]

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is a Great Big, American Masterpiece

I know I'm biased, but trust me: Steven Spielberg's new film Lincoln is a masterpiece of the first order -- the director's career-best film in my view.I was fortunate to attend an early screening here in Los Angeles yesterday, and I think it's hands-down the best film ever made about the US of A -- what we are, what we aren't, what we could be. It's a most important artistic mulling over of our country, its processes, and the human being we hold up as the paragon of its leadership. I've … [Read more...]

On the 2012 Election

First of all, vote. Even if you're just going to write-in Mr. T and R2D2. There are people who died so that all of us could have the right to vote, so you should do it if for no other reason than that. (Though there are lots of good reasons to do it, especially this time around.) If you can't find your polling place, this humorous and helpful website will guide your way. Additionally, make sure you bone up on your rights as a voter here, and report any fishiness at your polling place to Video … [Read more...]