Clarity in Clarity's blog quotes Marion Lompa from a Shambhala training talk: “When we talk about basic goodness, we are not talking about being happy all the time, but about being real.”
coolbuddha of Bringing Buddhism to the Masses informs us that his day job is with a PR firm and at a meeting this week the topic was “how blogs can be used as a PR tool.” Cool shares the notes from the meeting with us. Bottomline: Look out for more celebrity blogs; there's money to be made.
Bodhiwater in Ambhoja cites the Eight Worldly Conditions from the Anguttara Nikaya and writes, “When discerning, he will gain insight. With insight, freedom can be gained. The Eight Wordly Conditions are not permanent. Samatha, or calm abiding, is where we take our first steps to freedom.”
John, the Inveterate Bystander, writes about a book and website called “Authentic Happiness,” a project of a Univ. of Penn. psychologist who founded Positive Psychology after observing that his profession and people generally devote a lot of time to the study of mental disorders, but not to normalcy or happiness. John then uses a New Yorker article to launch into a look at the evolutionary basis for happiness.
In a fascinating, scholarly post, Jayarava in Jayarava Rave looks, indepth, at Buddha's last words. Translated by Jayarava from Pali, Buddha words were, “all things are perishable, through vigilance Awaken!” But there are many shadings and connotations to the Pali words that don't come sense cleanly, easily in English.
Want to embark on some independent scholarship so you can go to Albuquerque and talk Buddhism with a bunch of other nerds? Well you might see nerdy Nick of The Lotus & the Magnolia there. He tells us about a CALL FOR PAPERS regarding Buddhism in America for the 2007 Southwest/Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association Conference (website).
In a similar vein, Sujatin of lotusinthemud tells us about a conference on March 29 in London, which a letter from an organizer informs us is “primarily for Buddhists who are teachers in schools in England and Wales. It's one of a series of faith-community-specific conferences arranged as part of the government's dissemination of the new non-statutory National Framework for Religious Education.”
Zenmom in her eponymous blog tells us about her dharma teacher's practice called healing the past in the present moment: “... invite difficult feelings in rather than pushing them away, holding them like a mother holds her crying baby. With mindful breathing and attention the feeling is calmed and released.”
K'vitsh of the same-name blog read The Complete Idiot's Guide to Zen Living -- which she recommends -- and was inspired to try her hand at haiku. Here's one:
SnowingAfter a four-month absense, Chodpa posts again in Luminous Emptiness. But after a response given to a commenter in a previous post, she seems to hurry off.
Work makes me bored
Jeff Wilson in TricycleBlog writes about an important technique for ending the suffering of those most-Buddhist of peoples, the Cambodians. It’s been 27 years since the terrible Khmer Rouge were driven from power in the troubled nation of Cambodia, but Cambodians there and emigrants to America suffer in enormous proportion from trauma-related stress disorders stemming from life during the reign of terror. Where Buddhism and its methods have been unsuccessful, pharmaceuticals and Western talk-therapy have brought needed relief.
Soen Joon of One Robe, one Bowl had posted on suffering earlier in “This floating world.” Having made overwhelming changes to her own life which she views as certainly positive, one might expect that Soen Joon would be optimistic about the world and delivering it from pain, but she writes, “What I've come to ask at this point isn't how we can save the world, but if we can save the world. What if we can't stop the suffering? How do we practice from that point?” The answer she finds from Ryokan: to be with the world in its pain. She also quotes Thomas Merton, who says in part:
In an age when totalitarianism has striven, in every way, to devaluate and degrade the human person, we hope it is right to demand a hearing for any and every sane reaction in the favor of man's inalienable solitude and his interior freedom.Caroming off Soen Joon’s 1R1B post, Bill insists this week in Eternal Peace that hope for saving the world persists – though not in our lifetime. And that it is a mistake to conclude – as Thomas Merton seems to – that “freedom of the interior life may be all the salvation there is.” Bill quotes MLK’s Birmingham letter, which includes these binding-us-together words, “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial ‘outside agitator’ idea.”
In curious contrast, Justin Whitaker of American Buddhist Perspective devotes a post to Merton about the unity he sees in contrast to our individuality. Quoting Merton: “The heresy of individualism: thinking oneself a completely self-sufficient unit and asserting this imaginary 'unity' against all others. ... The true way is just the opposite: the more I am able to affirm others, to say 'yes' to them in myself, by discovering them in myself and myself in them, the more real I am. I am fully real if my own heart says yes to everyone.”
The Most-Dangerous Sutra of Them All
Zenmar writes in The Buddhist about “the most dangerous sutra in all of Buddhism,” the Nirvana Sutra [qv,
The new blog, same as the old blog. And then, again, not.
Ajahn Punnadhammo of Bhikkhu’s Blog has moved his blogging activities from the quirky abode within the old Arrow River Forest Hermitage website to a Blogger setup using one of their ‘simple’, basic-black templates. Now, the bhikkhu’s posts can be directly commented on, and he has permalinks and backlinks and an Atom Feed. Welcome to the 21st Century, Ajahn, with your new software and site. Meantime, Arrow River Forest Hermitage – where he is abbott – is moving its Internet operations to a new domain: http://www.arrowriver.ca/.
Following his welcoming post, the bhikkhu posted “Apocalypse Not” about theistic religions and their concept of time. "Judaism is waiting for the Messiah, Christianity for the second coming and Islam, at least the Shiite form, for the Mahdi, the returned twelfth imam. ... Buddhism, on the other hand, doesn't generally concern itself with beginnings and endings.”