Life as a glowstick

May 25, 2015

Nora Meiners sent me a link to this video of herself performing “Glowsticks” at the Women of the World Poetry Slam. It deals with the familiar parental situation of dealing with a child who can’t get his head around the impermanence of a toy, and makes the connection with the impermanence of our own lives. We’re more like glowsticks than not…

Nora graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in Creative Writing but started writing poems fairly only recently She has competed in the National Poetry Slam for Boston Poetry Slam (2013) and Lizard Lounge Poetry Slam (2014). She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

I like the poem, although I’d love to see it performed with … Read more »

Buddhists are pro-environment, pro-evolution

May 22, 2015


Josh Rosenau, evolutionary biologist and Programs and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education downloaded the 2007 version of Pew’s Religious Landscape Survey and mapped the correlation between attitudes on the environment and attitudes on evolution. The result is the graph above. His blog post on this graph is here.

In the original survey, people had been asked which of these statements they most agreed with:

Stricter environmental laws and regulations cost too many jobs and hurt the economy; or
Stricter environmental laws and regulations are worth the cost.

The second question asked people to agree or disagree with the statement:

Evolution is the best explanation for the origins of human life

Read more »

An important appeal: please respond!

May 19, 2015


The short version

We need to raise $4,000 so that we can redesign our website, making it easier to use generally, and also making it much more accessible for users of mobile devices, such as smartphones.

  • If you prefer to use Paypal (whether or not you have an account), you can click here and enter your chosen donation.
  • If you want to use a credit card, you can click here, enter the amount you want to donate, and then click on “add to cart.”
  • And lastly, checks can be mailed to: Wildmind, 55 Main St. Suite 315, Newmarket NH 03857, USA.

The more detailed version

We’re calling this our “Multitude of Hands” fundraiser in homage to … Read more »

Pop Art Buddhas

May 16, 2015


“Pop art,” Wikipedia tells us, “is an art movement that emerged in the mid-1950s in Britain and in the late 1950s in the United States … Pop art presented a challenge to traditions of fine art by including imagery from popular culture such as advertising, news, etc. In pop art, material is sometimes visually removed from its known context, isolated, and/or combined with unrelated material.”

For some reason I found myself using Google’s images search to look for Pop Art representations of the Buddha. There’s rather a lot of them out there, and I’ve included a few here, with links so that you can support the artists, if you’re so inclined. (None of these are … Read more »

We can save a precious Buddhist archaeological site!

May 15, 2015

Brent Huffman, who travelled to Afghanistan to film the desperate efforts by archaeologists to document the ancient city of Mes Aynak before it turns into a Chinese-funded open-cast copper mine, wrote today to point out these new artifacts, which were recently unearthed:

The unheard-of level of preservation on discoveries just like this is one of the many reasons why Mes Aynak provides such a unique insight into Buddhism and Afghanistan’s past. This historical treasure must be protected and preserved!

Mes Aynak (“little copper well” in Pashto) is a mountainous site in the Taliban-controlled Logar Province, Afghanistan, 25 miles southeast of Kabul near the Pakistan border. Mes Aynak contains the ancient remains of a 2,000-year-old … Read more »


“A Love as Deep as Life Itself” begins June 1st

May 15, 2015
A Love as Deep as Life Itself
Click here to register for A Love as Deep as Life Itself!
In this 28 day event we’ll explore the quality of upekkha, or loving wisdom.

This event is by donation and is suitable for people who are familiar with lovingkindness or compassion meditation.

Upekkha is often translated as “equanimity,” but this is just a secondary aspect of this quality. Upekkha rests on an awareness that for beings (including ourselves) to be truly happy, they need spiritual insight.

Therefore, the practice of upekkha involves cultivating insight as we develop metta (kindness), karuna (compassion), and mudita (joyful appreciation). Not only do we cultivate insight ourselves, but we wish that all beings find the deep peace of … Read more »

What is mindfulness?

May 14, 2015

Closeup an eyeConsidering that I’ve been practicing meditation for over 30 years, I’m rather embarrassed about how hard I find it to define mindfulness.

I’ve described it elsewhere as “the gentle effort to be continuously present with experience.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn’s has described it as “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”

The other day I thought of a useful way to describe or define mindfulness:

“Mindfulness is when we observe our experience rather than merely participate in our experience.”

Unmindfulness is an almost hypnotic state. We’ve lost our perspective on our experience, and we’re swept along by it. We may be caught up in an angry rant, or in some … Read more »

Every moment is a new chance

May 12, 2015

You Are Not Your Pain Vidyamala BurchYou Are Not Your Pain by Vidyamala Burch Pain always seems worse at night. Something about the silence amplifies the suffering. Even after you’ve taken the maximum dose of painkillers, the aching soon returns with a vengeance. You want to do something, anything, to stop the pain, but whatever you try seems to fail. Moving hurts. Doing nothing hurts. Ignoring it hurts. But it’s not just the pain that hurts; your mind can start to suffer as you desperately try to find a way of escaping. Pointed and bitter questions can begin nagging at your soul: What will happen if I don’t recover? What if it gets worse? I can’t cope with this. Please, I … Read more »

Raw Voices podcast

May 11, 2015

1587The other week I was interviewed by Olivier Larvor and Tim Brownson of the Raw Voices podcast. You can listen to the podcast here.

Olivier seems to be a fan of mine:

A truly enlightening podcast with Buddhist and meditation teacher Bodhipaksa Dharmacari, author of the book ”Living as a river: finding fearlessness in the face of change”

Prepare to be transported by Bodhipaksa’s stories, wisdom and soft-creamy voice.

Such a cool and humourous guy!

And his voice…



Ok fine, I am jealous!

The interview was rather rambling, since I was responding to questions and points that Olivier and Tim were bringing up. It’s partly about meditation and how it works, and … Read more »

Buddhism poised to shrink globally

May 8, 2015

PF_15.04.02_ProjectionsOverview_populationChange_310pxA new report by the Pew Research Center suggests that of all the world’s major religions, Buddhism is the only one destined to lose ground between now and 2050.

The total number of adherents to Buddhism will remain virtually unchanged, with a slight decline from approximately 187 to 186 thousand people. But since the global population will have risen, the percentage of the world population that practices Buddhism will have declined sharply from 7.1% to 5.2%.

In the meantime, the percentage of the world practicing Christianity will be roughly static, while Islam will go from being embraced by 23.2% to 29.7% of the world.

This strikes me as ironic, since at the moment Buddhist practices … Read more »