Human Rights and Film

As I previously mentioned here at this blog, I've been hosting a social media mini-course on "Human Rights and Film" at my Facebook fan page. The course is over, but I've put all the material from it below, in this post.This is not the first time I've fiddled with social media mini-courses on Twitter. Inspired by our friend and past interviewee Stephen Prothero, the goals of my mini-courses “Religion and Film” and “Buddhism and Film” were really one and the same: to offer some preliminary inf … [Read more...]

Time Magazine Offers Portraits of Burmese Political Prisoners Advocating for Others

Time Magazine has just posted a really interesting set of pictures taken by James Mackay. The series, entitled "Even Though I’m Free I Am Not," is the result of three years of work taking portraits of "Burmese dissidents and democracy activists," like the one above. Time writes: In each photo, the subject lifts his or her hand in the classic Buddhist gesture of the ‘abhaya mudra,’ a sign representing protection, peace and the dispelling of fear. Inscribed on their raised hands are the names of a … [Read more...]

The Telegraph Interviews Sulak Sivaraksa

Here's a rare treat: The Telegraph has a new audio interview with the great Sulak Sivaraksa -- Thailand’s preeminent social activist and one of the titans of the modern engaged Buddhist movement.Sulak founded and currently directs Thailand’s Sathirakoses-Nagapradeepa Foundation.  He also serves on the advisory board of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists. In addition to all his work as an activist, organizer, and social critic in Thailand, he has also served as chair of the UN’s As … [Read more...]

The First Anniversary of #OWS

This week, Occupy Wall St. turned one-year-old.Much ink has already been spilled about this (anniversary? milestone? random designation?), but it seemed as though we ought to acknowledge it here. Occupy has gotten some attention at this blog, most notably our interview with the great Joshua Eaton about his participation in the movement and "Occupy Buddhism."One year ago, I was involved (though certainly not as much as some of my friends and students) in Occupy Los Angeles. I would later … [Read more...]


Two things occur to me:I haven't been posting as much as I would like. A number of things have happened recently that deserve mention here.On the first point, I resolve to do better. Regarding the second, I think this calls for a roundup! So here's a quick rundown of some things worth sharing at a blog devoted to Buddhism and social justice:To begin with, an update: I reached my fundraising goal for the US Campaign for Burma! I previously mentioned my fundraising campaign at this … [Read more...]

Something You Can Vote On…Right Now!

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi is the well-known and prodigious translator of Pali Buddhist texts into English, and founder of Buddhist Global Relief, the visionary, Buddhist-inspired humanitarian organization that contributes to relief and justice efforts worldwide.Well, BGR needs your help -- and right this very second! This from our friend Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi: We need your help! Tomorrow is the last day!!!Chase Community Giving has awarded over $20MM in grants to over 500 charities in 41 states, W … [Read more...]

This Week in “Things that are Totally Awesome…”

Get this: our friend and past interviewee Joshua Eaton will be teaching a class on "Buddhism and Social Justice" at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education this fall. The course description reads: Join us to look at Buddhist ideas about social justice, both ancient and contemporary. Readings will come from poetry, philosophy, narratives, sermons, and lectures from across Buddhist Asia. You'll gain a working knowledge of the history of ideas about political philosophy with the various Buddhist … [Read more...]

We Know What Happens Next

We know what happens next.Or, rather, we know what doesn’t happen next: we won’t talk about guns, and we won’t talk about mental health care.As I write this, a terrible shooting attack has just ended at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, near Milwaukee. A man, as yet unidentified, opened fire on the community, killing six and seriously wounding at least three others (including a policeman). In an exchange of gunfire with the police, the killer was "put down," ending the rampa … [Read more...]