Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for August, 2008

Over on DJ Buddha, I read about the upcoming Women in American Buddhism convention, something that I feel is getting too little attention in the Buddhist community. Women and “not enough coverage” were the themes of another post I’d attempted to write in June. Cambodian sex workers had staged a protest at a Buddhist temple, taking issue with the government’s recent crackdown. 

These news stories were accompanied by comments of disgust and repulsion: Prostitutes and Buddhism don’t go together. But there is more overlap than one might otherwise imagine.

(more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

One Purple Note

Tucked in my desk drawer, or somewhere, encased in a plastic sandwich bag and carefully dated, is a note. It is a note about anatta.

The night the note was dated I was shooting pool with an old friend, and being beaten, again and again. The hall cleared up and the people cleared out, walking into the dry early morning air that was rain-slick so recently. I walked back to my car and, pinned under my windshield wiper, was the note:

THANKS FOR PARKING SO CLOSE ASSHOLE

Written in purple ink, with big loopy letters.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

A Complainer (not properly naming this photo because too many people accidentally link to this post due to an unrelated search)

Up late due to a car alarm that won’t go off in the neighborhood (and practicing loving kindness with every ounce of my sleep deprived consciousness).

I’m going to try to avoid just ranting about the Buddhist community for once. Last weekend I noticed a lot of talk about Right Speech at the full-moon uposatha. Those teachings plus all this ranting have got me thinking about where the act of complaining fits into the practice of Right Speech. So here’s some rambling about Right Speech…

(more…)

Read Full Post »

It’s been 11 days since the South Ossetia war began between Georgia and Russia, and the only thing that Tricycle Blog has to say about this conflict is a snide comment that implies McCain might not know the difference between “Georgia with Tblisi, not Atlanta.” Otherwise, not one word. Indeed, there’s been ethnic cleansing. We have a powerful oppressor weighing down on a small nascent democracy. There are even Buddhists nearby. So what’s stopping the ink?

Oh yes, if only they were Buddhists.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

A friend recently sent me an article on the current situation of China’s Uighurs. If you don’t know about the Uighurs, they’re an ethnic minority in China’s Xinjiang province. As the Financial Times states, who really cares?

Xinjiang is in a similar situation to Tibet. But it lacks the religious radiation provided by the Dalai Lama … It has no high-profile Hollywood star such as Richard Gere to emote for it; more people probably worry whether giant pandas mate than whether the Uighurs can survive as a culture and a people. If only they were Buddhists.

I took a little offense. Was my friend telling me that the media loves Tibet only because they’re Buddhist? I shot back an email: “Show me the Uighur Nobel Peace Laureates!”

This only got me thinking more about how I approach politics and religion. While I may see the status of Tibet as a chiefly political issue, I am always keeping an eye out to see if Tibetans are taking a “Buddhist approach” (whatever that means). The same goes for Burma. Tibet and Burma aren’t inherently Buddhist issues, so when a Buddhist blog such as the Tricycle Blog talks about them (and boy are they mentioned often), do these issues suddenly become religious? Are we distorting the Tibet and Burma issues by mixing religion and politics?

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Thanks to The Worst Horse, I decided to stay in last night and watch CNN Special Investigations Unit: Buddha’s Warriors. The show looks like a test run for God’s Warriors, a potentially more touchy subject about religious extremists from Christian, Jewish and Muslim perspectives.

Buddha’s Warriors focused on contemporary stories of political oppression and resistance in Tibet and Burma (Myanmar). These are two societies which are predominantly Buddhist, and so Christiane Amanpour asks: “How do people who are committed to love, kindness and nonviolence confront severe political oppression?”

(more…)

Read Full Post »