A wonderful photo by Amadeus tops our highlights from last week. Also, in the past week in Blogmandu, Buddhists discuss aspects of their practice, the treatment of an Afghani taxi driver leads our Politics section, and "Revenge of the Sith" gets the lion's share of attention from those bloggers making recommendations to others.
Lamp Post ©Amadeus Soren 2005; posted with permission.
The picture above appeared this week in Amadeus's blog dharma::vision, in an entry titled 'Lamp Post'. Against the black background of the weblog, the high-contrast photograph is particularly wonderful. Amadeus writes, "This shot was taken on SW Broadway — a couple blocks up from Pioneer Square. One thing I dig about Portland is how the Downtown area looks at night."
Nacho of WoodMoor Village recommends a series of posts in Wondering on the Way about the nature of practice. Nacho also talks about his own practice: "One crucial thing is that my practice has bestowed upon me an internal bullshit detector for the stuff I shovel at myself." Like Nacho, the anonymous blogger of Wondering on the Way finds, in one recent post in the series, that meditation does not quickly bring the miraculous results initially hoped for. "My mind is bored sometimes," the blogger tells us. "And living in the moment also deprives me of all my memories about who I am. To me this is the scariest renunciation of all; the willingness to live as a nobody."
Danny Fisher of the same-name blog, in a post with a bibliography (!), explains mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. "Mindfulness … is the experience of the present moment on its own terms," he tells us in the opening paragraph. "[I]t is our full and open awareness to what is happening right now, without investment in the evaluative mind and its tendency to compulsively jump from discursive thought to discursive thought."
Hokai in hokai's blogue writes about how amazing the right-here, right-now world is in a post titled "Love love love."
In dharma::vision, Amadeus writes about 'other people' and the practice of learning to avoid establishing set perceptions of others.
Tobe of Dharmacrank offers up a sage story to illustrate the idea that humor is an antidote to anger. James of Buddhist Blog wades into the thick of anger -- violence -- with a post that asks "Is there EVER a place for violence?" James quotes the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Buddha to show their contrasting takes on this all-important question.
genkaku in the same-name blog talks about the benefits of finding that the life you stived for isn't the life you end up wanting. "…the once-imagined joy, the freedom and security that beckoned are not quite right. Things feel stale and confining and splintered, a strait jacket that once looked like wings." La chica of Van Gogh Chica mourns, bemoans and deals with the stuff, physical and emotional, that hangs around her from past relationships. She writes, "I wish I could let go of the pain from those memories like I can toss out things."
Both Mumon in Notes in Samsara and James in Genius of Insanity cite a New York Times article that relates the story of the Afgani taxi driver that American soldiers tortured to death. The details are horrible, but then there is this capper: "Most of the interrogators had believed Mr. Dilawar was an innocent man who simply drove his taxi past the American base at the wrong time."
Gareth of Green Clouds looks at the use of the word marriage for same-sex unions and explains why this expanded use of the word is appropriate.
James of Genius of Insanity in a long post writes about a vital topic that is much under-reported. A vaccine that would protect women from gynecological cancer is being withheld, though it could save a great many of the 4,000 women and girls killed each year. Reason? James quotes a right-wing member of the Family Research Council saying "Giving the HPV vaccine to young women could be potentially harmful because they may see it as a license to engage in premarital sex."
steve at Interlog throws caution to the wind [He sets the CapsLock.] to tell us that Akiro Kurosawa's much-underappreciated and hard-to-find 1957 film "Lower Depths" is TERRIFIC. "The whole thing is set in a garbage dump in a ravine at the edge of Edo [aka, Tokyo]," he tells us. Of the last five minutes, steve says he was "absolutely mesmerized with its surreal comedic beauty."
Trev Diesel of The Sound of Diesel Musing saw an early screening of 'Revenge of the Sith' and says "it was an excellent picture ... and had a handful of awe-filled, 'goosebump' moments." He concludes, " Nevermind its moments of over-the-top CGI, 'Star Wars Episode III' is the Star Wars movie that fans have been waiting to see." eric of virtual zen loved it, too, writing, "Holy crap! Its the best of the bunch, its dark, its scary, its a little predictable …" Contrariwise to Trev, eric seemed to fully like the CGI, writing that it was "one of the most visually spectacular films I think I've ever seen." An Integral review of Episode III by Nicq over at Generation Sit, titled, appropriately enough, "Generation Sith." Writes Nicq in the beginning section of the analysis: "We all know why Star Wars is relevant to [Generation Sit] -- it is a tale of cosmic spirituality gone horribly, horribly wrong." Tinythinker of peaceful turmoil looks at the film with respect [or disrespect] to Bush and his administration, but concludes, all levels of meaning aside, "it's a really fun movie." Danny Fisher of Danny Fisher also connects Sith and Bush in his post "And the Jungians go wild …"
A side note, Joshua of Mudita Journal recommends Store Wars, a website that parodies Lucas's Episode IV: A New Hope using organic foods puppets with names like Obi wan Canoli and Chewbroccoli. Mark, the "true Star Wars geek" of Zen Filter tells us about "Zen and the Art of Being Jedi," an article you can link to at his weblog.
Adela, the mercurius blogger, recommends the novels and short stories of Philip K. Dick. His works have been the basis of the films Bladerunner and Minority Report.
Meanwhile, in our galaxy, in a place very, very near … a quote from the Dhammapada seems to be making the rounds. Fogueira of f.kwan [formerly Fogdux] presented it first; Sujatin of lotusinthemud followed 36 minutes later Saturday morning with these four lines. Forty hours later, we present them here, too:
Of all the medicines in the world
Myriad and various
There is none like the medicine of Truth
Therefore, O followers, drink of this.
~ The Buddha - the Dhammapada