May 02, 2013
Be forewarned. You’re going to see a bunch of headlines soon like this one from Business Week: Economists Nail It: You Can Never Be Too Rich.
The Business Week post is rather breathless: “I just spoke with Justin Wolfers, co-author of a short but important new paper that concludes the more money you have, on average, the happier you are.” I almost see the author’s laptop screen misting as he pants with excitement.
Business Week describes this finding thus: “That may seem to deserve a Homer Simpson “Duh!” award for most obvious research finding of the month” before going on to admit that actually previous research …
Dec 05, 2012
In this short talk, Professor Robert Thurman of Columbia University highlights the contradiction involved in congresspeople taking the oath of allegiance to the US Constitution and also pledging never, under any circumstances, to raise taxes. Further, he argues that the desire of Grover Norquist, who started this pledge, to shrink government to the size that it can be “drowned in a bathtub” is anarchistic and profoundly unconstitutional: in effect an act of sedition or treason.
The core of the sedition argument is that the oath of office says:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
Nov 17, 2012
“Reality is always kinder than the stories we tell about it.” – Byron Katie
Can you imagine understanding, even loving, someone who belongs to a group of people responsible for killing your father, brother, or best friend? Can you imagine growing close to someone whose people have driven you from your home, humiliated your family, and turned you into a refugee in your own country?
Twenty-two teenage girls from Israel and Palestine were flown in to a camp in rural New Jersey, where they would live together in the face of these questions. As …
Jul 18, 2012
On CNN, we see two dramatically different views on the Dalai Lama’s position on the wave of self-immolations by Tibetans protesting the Chinese occupation of their country and the persecution of their religion and culture.
Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar, author of “The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation,” and regular CNN Belief Blog contributor, calls on the Dalai Lama to condemn the protesters.
Tenzin Dorjee, executive director of Students for a Free Tibet, responds, saying that Prothero’s post is a “crass display of moral blindsight” that “blames the victim.”
Dorjee praises the courage of the self-immolators and compares them to past non-violent protestors:
How can the
Jun 09, 2012
Marriage equality is one of the key social and legal issues of our time. I’d like to offer a Buddhist perspective.
As with so many ethical and social questions, especially those that involve sexuality, we find that religion wants to be at the core of things. The conservative Christian churches are leading the opposition to marriage equality. We can’t generalise on the basis of religion, though. Many Christians believe that Christ’s message of compassion and love, and the fact that he never made any statement on homosexuality, provide a basis for support of marriage equality.
In Australia there was an interesting exchange between the highly conservative Catholic leader Cardinal George Pell and …
Nov 15, 2011
Sunada drew my attention to this detailed exposition by Dr. King on the principles and practice of nonviolence. I thought it was worth reposting in its entirety, especially given the levels of violence being directed against the Occupy protestors, and the need for the movement to remain nonviolent:
First, it must be emphasized that nonviolent resistance is not a method for cowards; it does resist. If one uses this method because he is afraid or merely because he lacks the instruments of violence, he is not truly nonviolent. This is why Gandhi often said that if cowardice is the only alternative to violence, it is better to fight … The
Wildmind Meditation News
Nov 05, 2011
Andrew Jacobs: A Buddhist nun in southwest Sichuan Province died Thursday after setting herself on fire, becoming the 11th Tibetan to embrace a grisly protest against Chinese rule and at least the sixth to die doing so.
The death of the nun, Qiu Xiang, 35, was reported by Xinhua, the official news agency, and confirmed by exile groups, who gave her Tibetan name as Palden Choetso. She was the second nun in the predominantly Tibetan region to take her own life by self-immolation.
Like two previous cases, the most recent suicide took place in Ganzi Prefecture, known as Kardze in Tibetan, which is the site …
Oct 15, 2011
Thanks to Maia Duerr and the follow-up comments on a post on her blog, the Jizo Chronicles, here’s a quick round-up of some of the recent posts that Buddhists have made on the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon.
Oct 14, 2011
The Buddha’s concerns with politics — or at least those what found their way into his teachings and have been recorded — were very limited.
Perhaps this isn’t surprising, since he lived at a time when kingdoms ruled by absolute monarchs were expanding their territory at the expense of clan-based republics and other kingdoms. The rise of monarchies was probably unstoppable, and there was little chance of any alternative for the foreseeable future.
Some of the kings were notoriously paranoid, placed spies in religious communities, and would literally kill their own parents to consolidate their power. It would have been very dangerous to criticize them directly, and so the Buddha’s emphasis …
Oct 14, 2011
Robert Thurman, the Buddhist writer and Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies at Columbia University, gave a rousing address to the protestors at Occupy Wall Street, encouraging “cool heroes” (i.e. non-violent heroes) as opposed to “hot heroes” (those motivated by anger and hatred).
The address is frequently very funny. The people who were assigned to repeat his words, in order to make them audible to the large crowd were often too busy laughing to be able to effectively relay Thurman’s message.