Archives for May 2013

Chinese Authorities Destroy Jokhang Temple; Tibet Scholars Appeal to Halt the Destruction of Old Lhasa

CNN reports: Ignoring both religious freedom and the outcry of the Tibetan people, the Chinese authorities have begun demolishing the ancient capital of Lhasa, including one of the most important Buddhist sites of the city, Tibet's holiest Jokhang Temple.Chinese authorities are planning to destroy the ancient Buddhist capital of Lhasa, and replace it with a tourist city similar to Lijiang. "Shangri-La" in Yunnan Province. Several large-scale construction projects are underway for a number … [Read more...]

Two Good Pieces on Issues Facing Buddhists in Thailand

Just a quick heads-up about two interesting pieces about issues in Thailand that appeared this week: a large Bangkok Post report on gay and transgender monks in the Thai sangha, and a Religion & Ethics Newsweekly segment on consumerism and Buddhism in the country. … [Read more...]

Support Seeking Heartwood

Last week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by filmmaker Adam Eurich for his massively researched, one-of-a-kind, upcoming documentary feature Seeking Heartwood -- a cinematic survey of Buddhism in America. Adam took the above photo during our interview and posted it on the film's Facebook page. I think Adam is a great guy, and I've been amazed by all the work he's put into this project (he's visited more than forty U.S. states), so naturally I was honored to be included.Adam is still … [Read more...]

INTERVIEW: William Whittington and Vicki Callahan on Buddhism, Film and Social Justice

William Whittington is the Assistant Chair of Critical Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, where he teaches courses in film and television history, genre, audio and digital culture, film and Buddhism, adaptation, and contemporary LGBT media. He is also the author of Sound Design and Science Fiction (University of Texas Press, 2007). Between 1993-1997, he served as the curator of the USC Warner Bros. Archives, assisting with research on various films, … [Read more...]

Plot to Save the Earth

I’ve blogged before in the past about my friend and inspiration Charles S. Prebish. I interviewed Chuck and John Harding about the late Leslie Kawamura for Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly Online; did a roundtable conversation with him, my buddy Justin Whitaker and Sarah Haynes for Ted Meissner’s The Secular Buddhist Podcast; and reviewed his memoir An American Buddhist Life: Memoirs of a Modern Dharma Pioneer in the last issue of The Journal of Global Buddhism.Chuck wrote to me rec … [Read more...]

Want to Get a Cool Big Lebowski T-Shirt and Support Buddhist Global Relief at the Same Time? Now You Can!

Awesome news: my dear old college friend Dan Ewen, the noted screenwriter and comedian, and his friend Tom Richner (a longtime artist for The Simpsons) have designed an amazing T-shirt that both honors the Buddhist connection to The Big Lebowski and benefits Buddhist Global Relief with 10% of each sale. You can buy one right here.Dan wrote to me awhile back asking me what one Buddhist charity I would make a donation to if I had a bunch of money, and I said Buddhist Global Relief -- … [Read more...]

Shodo Spring on “Finding an Appropriate Response to Climate Change” at The Jizo Chronicles

Shodo Spring, the Soto Zen priest who leads the Compassionate Earth Walk -- "a physical walk through the heart of North America, a moving spiritual community dedicating our energy to nourishing the earth, and an invitation to all humans to wake up, end the destruction, and return to our home in the community of life" -- has contributed a guest post to our friend Maia Duerr's blog The Jizo Chronicles. The subject is "finding an appropriate response to climate change." You can read it in full … [Read more...]

Why I Think Chris Broussard Should Be Censured by ESPN

Faithful America -- an online community dedicated to "reclaiming Christianity from the religious right and putting faith into action for social justice" -- has a petition on their website today entitled "Tell ESPN: Don't Use the Bible to Gay Bash Athletes". It reads: When Jason Collins became the first openly gay player in the NBA, he emphasized the importance of his Christian faith in accepting himself and deciding to come out.But within hours, ESPN sportscaster Chris Broussard c … [Read more...]