“Those who are awake live in a state of constant amazement.”
-Fake Buddha Quotes
is your one-stop shopping for all quotes misattributed to The Buddha.
Joanna Piacenza tackles difficulties she sees in the American conception of Buddhism. She was spurred out of writing silence several months ago by Time Magazine choosing for the second time in a decade to sell their magazine with a consumerist representation of Buddhism depicted on their cover with an pretty and ethereal looking white woman
. Today, she published an article in First Things
on why she believes Buddhism can't be just "an add-on: an energy boost in your spiritual smoothie," but is a religion and the American attitudes that she sees as enabling this misconception.
Over a thousand monks and laymen are revered in Tibetan Buddhism as the incarnations of past teachers who convey enlightenment to their followers from one lifetime to the next. Some of the most respected are known by the honorific "rinpoche." For eight centuries, rinpoches were traditionally identified by other monks and then locked inside monasteries ringed by mountains, far from worldly distractions. Their reincarnation lineages were easily tracked across successive lives. Then the Chinese Red Army invaded Tibet in 1950 and drove the religion's adherents into exile. Now, the younger rinpoches of the Tibetan diaspora are being exposed to all of the twenty-first century’s dazzling temptations. So, even as Tibetan Buddhism is gaining more followers around the world, an increasing number of rinpoches are abandoning their monastic vows. Reincarnation in Exile. [more inside]
Dare 2 Share Ministries offers profiles and tips
on how to "share your faith" with fourteen different types of friends a teen Christian might have, such as Andy the Atheist
, Marty the Mormon
, Jenna the Jew
, Sid the Satanist
, Mo the Muslim
and Willow the Wiccan
. If none of those strategies work, they also offer articles
on how to "use the buzz in current teen culture to initiate God-talk with your friends" by "sharing your faith" through Indiana Jones
, Halo 3
, Brokeback Mountain
, Kung Fu Panda
and The X Files
is a traditional Thai
, Lao and Burmese
practice using beautiful
and intricately designed yantras
for good luck, fortune, strength and protection. [more inside]
In 2009, four Buddhist nuns (Bhikkunis) were secretly ordained
in Australia - the first ever ordination of Bhikkunis in Australia, and a first for the Thai Forest
tradition anywhere. London-born Ajahn Brahm
, a long-time supporter
of women's equality in Buddhism, facilitated the ordination. For this he was expelled
from his community, the Wat Pa Phong Sangha
, and his monastery's status was revoked
. This video
summarizes the conflict, and is possibly the first use of the Downfall meme related to Buddhism. This March, more nuns were ordained
in the UK for the first time since the Australia controversy, but they're still not equal
to male monks. This blog post
discusses sexism, fundamentalism, and the conflict between East and West. The modern opposition to bhikkhuni ordination is no ancient Buddhist tradition. It can be traced no earlier, so far as I am aware, than the abhorrent 1928 ruling against bhikkhuni in Thailand, made by monks who thought it reasonable to arrest nuns and throw them in jail for ordaining. [more inside]
At 14 months, Spanish infant Osel Hita Torres was brought by his parents to Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama decreed him to be the reincarnation of the recently deceased Lama Yeshe. Torres became Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche, and spent most of his life growing up in a gilded cage in the Tibetan exile capital, venerated as a living deity and isolated from the corrupting influences of the world. But then he escaped
. [more inside]
When Jesus met Buddha.
"Something remarkable happened when evangelists for two great religions crossed paths more than 1,000 years ago: they got along." [Via]
Ancient Buddhist Paintings
Were Made Of Oil
, Hundreds Of Years Before Technique Was 'Invented' In Europe. [Via MonkeyFilter.] [more inside]
Traveling a lot this weekend? Long drive, plane or train ride? You can use that transit time to listen to the Dalai Lama talk for more than four hours with neuroscientists and Buddhist scholars on the topic of craving, suffering and choice. Part one
. Part two
. [iTunes links]
If you're stuck at home, you can watch the video
. The video link has the full list of participants.
Searching for God in the Brain.
"Researchers are unearthing the roots of religious feeling in the neural commotion that accompanies the spiritual epiphanies of nuns, Buddhists and other people of faith." [Via MindHacks, which points out a few niggling omissions in the article.]
Three small classes of high school students, one in Watsonville, California, one in Jos, Nigeria, and one in Dharamsala, India, are currently collaborating on "Project Happiness"
. The students are "exchanging their thoughts about
what happiness is, and how to behave in ways that promote happiness all around them," drawing on the Dalai Lama's Ethics for the New Millennium (useful 50-page pdf study guide; positive review from Christian Century magazine)
. In their work creating a curriculum for the book, the students communicate via email, a blog
, and videos (an instructor in India describes the project's focus; a "what life is like here" video from India)
. The podcast
section of the official site
currently features just one introductory video posted a few weeks ago. The project will culminate in a meeting of all three classes in March 2007 in Dharamsala. A book and a PBS documentary are planned.
"Killing the Buddha
is about finding a way to be religious when we're all so self-conscious and self-absorbed. Knowing more than ever about ourselves and the way the world works, we gain nothing through nostalgia for a time when belief was simple, and even less from insisting that now is such a time. Killing the Buddha
will ask, How can we be religious without leaving part of ourselves at the church or temple door? How can we love God when we know it doesn't matter if we do? Call it God for the godless. Call it the search for a God we can believe in: A God that will not be an embarrassment in twelve-thousand years. A God we can talk about without qualifications." I particularly enjoyed The Temptation of Belief
, by a Buddhist exploring evangelical Christianity, and My Holy Ghost People
, by an unbelieving daughter in a praying-in-tongues family.
Is there any real possibility of an after-life?
Some argue that belief in the after-life is an inherently unfalsifiable proposition. Others argue that science has already ruled out the possibility. Buddhism takes a radically different view, embracing a conception of the after-life
far different from any found in the Judeo-Christian faiths. What about the possibility of Eternal Recurrence
, as proposed by Nietzsche? Just what do we mean when we speak of the "after-life" anyway?
THE PRINCIPLES OF JEWISH BUDDHISM
-- 12. To Find the Buddha, look within. Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers. Each flower blossoms ten thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals. You might want to see a specialist.
And there's even a term now: Jubu
Death is not news to Buddhist monks.
The minute observation and contemplation of corpses
is a standard Buddhist practice to increase awareness of the transitory nature
of all things (including you, gentle reader.) This friendly attitude toward what is hidden away in most of the "civilized" world has prepared monks in the tsunami-stricken nations to deal with the task of cremating thousands of dead bodies. Preparing for the inevitable turns out to be a useful tool for facing the unthinkable. [via a fine new site called The Buddhist Channel
The legacy of Dr. Babasahed Ambedkar,
Indian Dalit ('untouchable') intellectual and activist who agitated for reform and equality
through education for his people. He converted from Hinduism to Buddhism
, and encouraged other Dalits to do likewise, based on that religion's casteless nature.
Related :- National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights.
Globalized fundamentalism versus tradition.
This report for the Society for International Development
describes the efforts of foreign funded Christian evangelists
to gain converts in Sri Lanka
, which the author views as an assault on traditional Sri Lankan culture. There is a backlash
, which some say is leading to the suppression of religious freedom
and state sponsorship of Buddhism
. [Via Plastic.]
Gods of Japan.
A photo-dictionary. 'This photo library and dictionary is a labor of love. After moving to
Kamakura in 1993, I became intrigued by the many deities and faces of Buddhism and Shintoism.
There are over 650 photos in this library ... '
Related :- Quirky Japan.
This site is
just fabulous. 'Are you tired of shrines and temples, reconstructed ferro-concrete castles
and tea ceremonies? Do you like to get off the beaten track? Would you like to meet
Japanese people who do not meet the conformist stereotype? Japan, behind the conservative
grey suits and formal bows, is a country quirkier than you can ever imagine. The Quirky
Japan Homepage provides information about oddities such as the The Meguro Parasitalogical
Museum, the Thousand Person Bathtub, Love Hotels, temple lodging, and the Yakiimo man (the
ice cream man's evil twin). '
Related interest :- Lost
Here's an interesting
interview with the author, Alex Kerr; and here's a piece about his wonderful house.
are containers built to hold objects of special religious significance, such as the foot
of a saint, or the skull
of a king. The art of European reliquary making reached it's zenith in the Middle Ages when craftsman created fantastic objets d'art
for cathedrals and monasteries in the form of caskets
, bodily appendages
, and freestanding holders built to visually display occasionally gruesome
bits of the venerated individual. The layperson had access to reliquaries as well, typically in the form of small lead crosses
worn around the neck, containing pieces of bone or one of the ubiquitous fragments of the True Cross
. Reliquaries are not unique to the Christianity, but can also be found in Buddhist
All of the talk about Islam
, got me thinking about how religions move evolve/devolve and move even more and even sometimes go away. Sure, we’ve all heard of Christianity
but how many recall this one?
Speaking of which, aren’t we due for another Big Ole Religion? What’s the next big God thing in your opinion?
An anthropology professor explores the common threads of fundamentalism ranging from Native American revivalism, Christian fundamentalism, the Islamic Movement, Jewish Orthodoxy and Shinto and how they give rise to vigilante groups such as Operation Rescue, American militias, Hamas and Gush Emunim.
Buddhist monks and leaders are people too, although it's easy to think otherwise judging by the uncritical adoration heaped upon the religion, and it's most high-profile representatives, in the United States. Why is it difficult for religious adherents to accept the basic fact that any religion (including Catholicism
, and the Church of the SubGenius
) includes helpings of the good, the bad, and the ugly? Maybe this is why I refuse to join any group that would have me as a member
The Tibet Game
: Doom for Buddhists. Give away your possessions, pump up your karma, see and hear beautiful Tibet. (Don't forget your high bandwidth, grasshopper.)