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This is a repost of sorts, parts of this piece are culled from a couple of previous posts, prompted by Thursday’s Turner Classic Movies schedule. Every year in August TCM does Summer Under the Stars where they dedicate each 24-hour period of programming to one actor or actress. Yesterday, it was Charlie Chaplin, and boy, [...]

A Philosopher in Bollywood

Bertrand Russell was the greatest English-speaking philosophers of the 20 th century and also one of its greatest mathematicians. Few people know it but he also had time to appear in what were then known in the west as “Bombay Dreadfuls” and what we now call Bollywood movies. Show More Summary

Metta Month - Everybody Matters or Nobody Matters

Let's just say you were walking with a dear friend, a stranger, and an enemy, and a group of armed criminals stop you by force. They ask you to choose one person among you to be killed by them. Which one would you choose? read more

“How to Be a Peacemaker”

“Looking at modern champions of peace such as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, and the Dalai Lama,” writes Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, “we see that as life put them to the test, they all came to the conclusion that peace is the way. How did they do it?” Good question! See Sakyong Mipham’s […]

Add Kids Subtract Adults Watch Growth

As I type, my computer sits on scraps of shaped construction paper and sticker-eye balls spread about in disarray on our dining room table. The items are part of crafts projects our town library carefully assembles for children to take home and put together. read more

Buddhism and psychology

The first mass marketing of Buddhism and other Eastern religions came by way of the Theosophical Society which became what Helena Petrovna Blavatsky called "spiritual psychology" which we would call today, parapsychology. Despite the mass marketing in the West by...

Taking Meditation Practice Lightly

Is your meditation practice a drag? Is life getting in the way of loving kindness? Has it been a rough week, or just a rough lifetime? read more

Talking About Depression

Sometimes great benefit follows great tragedy... Robin Williams’ unfortunate death by suicide has drawn some much-needed attention to the disease of depression. Addiction is often a gateway to depression, and vice versa. Williams may have had a genetic predisposition toward developing both. The major surgery he underwent in 2009 to replace his [...]

Breaking our ties with our former religion

I have long been suspicious of the motives of Western Buddhists when it comes to converting or choosing to become a Buddhist or a Zen Buddhist. It is somewhat like getting a divorce after a long marriage then, in only...

Summer books: Looking for a fun and meaningful new read?

Then look no further — in our new, September 2014 magazine, Andrea Miller tells you about the latest books from Tom Robbins and Peter Matthiessen, a re-release of Nyanaponika Thera’s classic Heart of Buddhist Meditation, and more. Click here to read. (And once you’re there, click any book’s bibliographical information to purchase directly from its […]

A Kick in the Pants

Here is a well-known Buddhist story. There are a number of slightly different versions, this is mine: A monk named Hung Chou came to visit the Ch’an master Ma Tzu one time and asked him, “Why is it said that in order to become Buddha you must give up both the idea of Buddha and [...]

Zen's non-Buddhist connotations

There are many books about various kinds of Zens, for example, Zen of Hoarding, The Zen of Oz, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, The Zen of Listening, The Zen of Mountains and Climbing, The Zen of Gambling and so...

Extreme Detox: How Buddhist monks led me to humility and freedom from alcohol addiction

Author Paul Garrigan tells how Buddhist monks in a Thai temple helped him to drop his drinking, and even the very idea that he was an addict. In 2006, I entered an addiction treatment program in Thailand. I did this in the hope of curing a problem that had been making my life miserable for […]

Pema Chödrön on the power of love, gratitude, loneliness, embarrassment, and inadequacy

“Without realizing it, we continually put up protective walls made of opinions, prejudices, and strategies, barriers that are built on a deep fear of being hurt. These walls are further fortified by emotions of all kinds: anger, craving, indifference, jealousy, and arrogance. “But fortunately for us, the soft spot — our innate ability to love […]

Metta Month: Release Your Heart

Sunday is a full moon. I could tell even before I checked the calendar, based on the phone calls that came in to the newspaper where I work. That's not unusual -- the callers range from those with tomatoes that resemble Richard Nixon to ones who tell you they're wearing tinfoil on their heads while they talk on the phone about conspiracies. read more

Metta Month: Unite for Peace

2 weeks agoReligion / Buddhism : IDP Blog

Having conversations about Israel and Palestine is fraught, to say the least. (Jon Stewart nailed it the other week.) I find myself experiencing different kinds of quick reactions to articles, Facebook posts, invitations to attend demonstrations and protests. Show More Summary

“All the Rage” — read Andrea Miller’s new Shambhala Sun editorial about working with anger

“At its best,” writes Shambhala Sun Deputy Editor Andrea Miller in her newest Editorial, “anger is a formidable tool that shows us when something is unjust and needs to be rectified. Much more commonly, however, anger is simply an ugly and destructive force.” So, she says, “I gave a lot of thought to anger and […]

Is That a Cushion Under Your Arm? (Or are you just happy to see me?)

I'm a Buddhist, a Zen Buddhist no less, and this is my first contribution here. Since I practice Zen, there is time spent in meditation on a cushion. Do I think I'm going to get all enlightened by doing it? No, no more than it would give me a mirror-like shiny brick (read about Mazu if that seems a totally incomprehensible metaphor). Show More Summary

If Buddha And Warhol Went To A Water Zumba Class

2 weeks agoReligion / Buddhism : IDP Blog

I often feel that my kids are pint-sized Buddhas. They force me to get all sorts of uncomfortable and face things I'd love to distract away. They call me out on emotions I'm otherwise quick to dismiss or bury. And when I most need a pause and least want one, (which is a read more

New Shirt, New Shoes, New… What?

2 weeks agoReligion / Buddhism : IDP Blog

There are those five minutes after getting a major hairstyle change we wish our entire lives lived in. Assuming it looks good and it’s what you wanted, the fresh feeling of a new look - from long to short, from short to shaved, from brown to blonde - carries the promise of a new day. read more

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