Jack Kornfield Demands Clean Power Now — Join Him!

Join Jack Kornfield in telling President Obama to reject the climate-destroying, Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and lead the way to a clean energy future instead -- just click this link. … [Read more...]

“Buddhist Ministry and the Prison-Industrial Complex” — A New UWest Course I’m Co-Teaching with Jane Naomi Iwamura

The professors and students for the University of the West class MDIV 601: "Buddhist Ministry and the Prison-Industrial Complex" at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, Los Angeles, CA, on September 10, 2013. Photo by Linda Hayward.

This semester, as part of my fall course load at University of the West (where I am an associate professor and Chair of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Department), I'm co-teaching a brand new course with my fellow associate professor and Chair of the Religious Studies Department, Jane Naomi Iwamura. This is has been an exciting development, not only because of a great group of enrolled students and the opportunity to work with a most admired friend in Jane -- whose recent interview on New Books in … [Read more...]

INTERVIEW: Douglas Penick, Author of Dreamers and Their Shadows

Douglas Penick is a 30 year practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, a former research associate at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. He wrote the National Film Board of Canada's award-winning two-part series on the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the libretti for the operas King Gesar and Ashoka's Dream (with composer Peter Lieberson). Douglas has also written pieces to music by Philip Glass, for choreographer Katsura Kan, and on commission from … [Read more...]

“Buddhism Has a Big Role to Play in the World Today, and I Am Impatient Because Buddhists Don’t Seem to Realize That…”

...So begins Japanese cultural anthropologist Noriyuki Ueda's amazing interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, recently translated into English and posted on Tricycle: The Buddhist Review's blog. Seriously -- don't miss this one! Here's just a snippet of His Holiness in their conversation: When faced with economic or any other kind of injustice, it is totally wrong for a religious person to remain indifferent. Religious people must struggle to solve these problems. Read the rest … [Read more...]

REVIEW: Daughters of Dolma: The Spiritual Journey of Tibetan Buddhist Nuns in Nepal

Last year, I interviewed Alex Co, team leader of the documentary film Daughters of Dolma: The Spiritual Journey of Tibetan Buddhist Nuns in Nepal, for this blog. Along with five other friends, he has produced this wonderful feature-length documentary film that tells the story of three generations of Tibetan Buddhist nuns living in two nunneries in modern-day Nepal.Alex very kindly offered me a sneak peek at the film, and I must say: it's as remarkable a piece of film as its subjects are pract … [Read more...]

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Has a Dream…

#DreamDay … [Read more...]

Please Check Out My Interview with Sex Slavery Survivor and Activist Somaly Mam in the Fall 2013 Issue of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review

She has been named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Glamour’s Woman of the Year, and a CNN Hero. Along with such luminaries as Sophia Loren, Chilean writer Isabel Allende, Susan Sarandon, the late Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai, and others, she was part of the historic first group of women ever to carry the Olympic flag at the 2006 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. Two-time Pulitizer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nick Kristof -- heroic in his own right -- call … [Read more...]

SPECIAL REPORT: The California Prison Hunger Strike Demands Our Attention

Actor and activist Danny Glover speaks at the International Day of Action in Solidarity with the CA Prisoner Hunger Strikers and Justice for Trayvon Martin's Family Members in Downtown Los Angeles, July 31, 2013. Photo by the author.

In case you've missed news coverage about it -- and you might have, as the media has not been granted interviews with striking prisoners -- a coordinated, mass hunger strike by 400 California prisoners is now in its second month. The prisoners have five demands (which I will explain in full later), but which primarily have to do with what they see as violations of their human rights by the California prison system (especially the state's use of what are called "Security Housing Units," or SHUs). … [Read more...]