Friday, April 28, 2006

Roundup for Apr 23 - 29, 2006

There is/was a ton of great stuff for Buddhism blog readers to find, written by our noble blogger friends. Hot topics: Ken Wilber, the Dalai Lama, Osho, animal rights, Kabbalah, Hotei on a wall, Peaceful Warrior, Buddhism in the hinterlands, another Danny Fisher sighting, a killer cow, and differences between South Koreans and Americans.

Ken Blogging

Hover over the tip of Ken’s ring finger, make the symbol of Switzerland spin, click and you are taken to young naked Ken, underneath whom is the first entry in the blog at newly configured [5/5/06 Update: Here's a shortcut to the blog.] And who writes the entry, and is one of the foursome who will keep it going? Famous Mel, now known as ~C4Chaos. His entry is tentative and self-conscious, but by the end of it, he gets in some really good wordriffs, such as … “The blogosphere has become my playground where ideas are formed and channeled, where friendships are brewed, where love and angst are expressed, where the profane and profound mutually co-exist, and where Spirit manifests as hyperlinked ephemeral web pages. I thank the elegance of Integral Theory for making it possible for this consciousness to have a map of ‘reality’ that enables it to hold different ideas and points-of-view, conflicting or otherwise, and still see ‘the big picture.’”

There is no RSS nor permalink nor comments functionality to this blog – features as important to excellence in blogging as having a welcome mat, front door and guest room is to owning a nice house – but we’ll see how it all goes and evolves. [5/5/06 Update: Here's a permalink to ~C4Chaos's entry. There still is no RSS nor comments taken; and now that there are about ten entries, we can see that there is no way to easily distinguish who wrote what in this group blog.] Warm congrats to ~C4Chaos, certainly! This gig is equivalent to Gabriel getting hired by God. One wonders if one of the perks to KenWilberBlogging is that you get to zoom past Yellow, Teal and Coral and go straight to the Clear Meme, which atunes you to the Kosmos such that you never again have to pay for cable or buy adding-machine tape.

Streamin', Part I

James of The Buddhist Blog takes the Dalai Lama’s philosophy of kindness and finds it under the blanket in the script of I Heart Huckabees. “Bernard [pushes hand up in different places under the blanket] … ‘… I'm, what, 60-odd years old and I'm wearing a gray suit. Blah, blah, blah. And let's say over here, this is you. And, you're... I don't know, you're 21. You got dark hair, etc. And over here, this is Vivian, my wife and colleague. Then over here, this is the Eiffel tower, right? It's Paris. And this is a war. And this is, uh, a museum. And this is a disease. And this is an orgasm. And this is a hamburger. [And later...] … We think everything is separate. Limited. I'm over here. You're over there. Which is true. But it's not the whole truth because we're all connected.’”

Kristian of Wandering where you will is impressed by some teachings of Osho [q.v., wiki].

Chase of Cut to the Chase has a video he wants the president to see. He ends his post with this quote: “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: 1.) not going all the way; and 2.) not starting” ~ Buddha. Hopefully, Bush won't use these words of Buddha's to justify his War in Iraq and its continutation!

Sean of Wandering the Pathless Land seems to have come to a bit of a fork in his own life’s path. But happily he has picked up the fork, eaten a meal of wisdom, and has come to a determination of what will be front and center in his life: Focusing on Design. He writes, “I can look back over the totality of my life and say with confidence that if there is one thing I love to do the most it’s design things. There’s something about the process of taking an idea and transforming it into tangible reality that has never ceased to fascinate me.”

Clarity of Clarity’s blog will soon be teaching Shambhala Training Level III, “Warrior in the World.” A couple of items from a bulleted list of notes he's taken: “The goal of warriorship is to express basic goodness in its most complete, fresh, and brilliant form” And “fearlessness - you are prepared to be awake in every situation, because you are not on the side of success or failure” Cool!

Ajahn Punnadhammo, Bhikkhu’s Blogger and occasional Toronto Star columnist, wrote of his thoughts on baby-seal hunting and factory farming for the newspaper [q.v.], in a piece with similar sentiment to a blog post earlier this month. Writes the bhikkhu regarding response to his new column, “Anything to do with animals always seems to stir things up. The one I did on the spring bear hunt was another one which got lots of comment. … The next most active response was to my article on the gay marriage issue. If the Star ever needs a big boost to circulation, I'll do one on homosexual bears.”

Moose, The Contemporary Taoist, tells us about AIN SOPH [q.v., wiki] – a principle of Qabbalistic [q.v., wiki] Cosmogony – that is the unconditioned state of all things, that is indefinable and permeates all space. Then, in a topic lerch, Moose tells us just a wee bit about “the brevity thing.”

Hokai of Hokai’s blogue is also interested in Qabbala [only he spells it “Kabbalah”] His interest is in the connections between Japanese Shingon Buddhism AND Western mysticism (Kabbalah and Christian mysticism). It seems that sets of symbols appear in these seeming disconnected traditions that are very similar or the same. Hokai identifies many instances for us that is just a sampling of all that he has found.

John of Inveterate Bystander supplies some delicious notes about consciousness, East and West. Here are parts of two of the six bulleted items.
  • Eastern gurus teach that to think is to be plunged into time. They say that to be in the eternal present of consciousness is to be without thought. … Consciousness, then, is a function of memory.
  • Eastern teachers say that you are not the thoughts. They teach that thoughts are mistaken for the self. They also teach that the thinker is in the thought. … There is no conscious thinker, except as an after-effect perceived on the screen of consciousness.
Cliff, now being respectfully referred to as “Mr. Jones,” is becoming a bit of a celebrity in his neighborhood as the fellow who will be giving a talk on Vesak on actual Vesak day. Mr. Jones blogs This is this.

Jay Allen [formerly writing as Jigdral Dawa] of The Pagan Bodhisattva writes about problems in his upbringing that manifest as difficulties for him as an adult. He then discusses how issues such as his – quite common for Westerners – are disregarded to painful effect when western Buddhists rely on Asian techniques for spiritual advancement. “The result: Western teachers and advanced Dharma students who have reified their fragile egos into spiritual ideals.” Citing Ken Wilber insights, he then writes, “[Instead, we need to use] depth techniques to learn and discover more about our issues before we heap a shitload of spiritual techniques upon them. It’s all about ‘knowing thyself’ - the spiritual conjunction of Socrates and Freud.”

An alert to fans of The Pagan Bodhisattva: The blog has moved to, and, as mentioned above, our blogger friend is now using his name Jay Allen rather than Jigdral Dawa. Correct your bookmark, RSS aggregator [RSS] and blogroll, y’all.

“Gone, gone, beyond gone, entirely beyond gone, awakening is so.” Morgannels of the eponymous blog writes about the do-it-yourself Heart Sutra. Seems the instructor of a class on emptiness suggested that the students write their own, so Morgannels, not knowing Sanscrit, borrowed Red Pine’s translation and wrote a modern do-it-yourself version, called “The Mother of all Buddhas.”

Update on the Buddha on the Wall

Forget about the Da Vinci Code, and its lawsuit and the subsequent mystery in a ruling by the geeky British judge. The controversy that amuses and intrigues many Buddhists - including a few bloggers - is Buddha Wall, where many Floridians saw a vision of Hotei, the obese Laughing Buddha, stained onto brick. Do great Buddhas attempt to communicate with us using supranatural means!? Opinion is divided.

The picture, here, and a story about it, "Sightseers Flock to Buddha Wall," appeared in Kit Baskind's PaperFrog early this month. Kit's story, and the piece posted by The Buddhist Channel, originated from an Associated Press International report out of Naples, Florida. This was followed shortly thereafter by a report in the Hindustani Times, which prompted discussion in the Delhi-based English-language forum, The Prism. One forum member's assessment: "For a scientific explanation you might want to explore 'Pareidolia' which is the human tendency to see faces in objects. A quick example is the man in the moon. " A more doubtful second forum member writes, "Isn't graffetti a wonderful thing?!"

And then there was a post on the topic just two weeks ago in Phra Noah Yuttadhammo's blog Yuttadhammo, followed by pictures taken Apr. 17th, posted in Zonel's IT & photo blog Zoolander. Because the image on the wall is vague, some, such as WoodMoor Village’s Nacho, believe it is just a remarkable coincidence that a constellation of stains has a slight resemblance to Hotei. "It is no different nor any more unlikely than the Mother Teresa miracle NunBun or the Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich, or the Fish Stick Jesus, or the Via Negativa watermelon revelation -- coincidences, all."

Others think the image, though vague and incomplete, includes remarkably accurate details, including the navel and glints of light. "There has to be mystical intelligence explaining its appearance," says Speculatoria forum writer Timberwolf. A small item in the Orlando Tribune, dated April 28, reports that the image has now disappeared and that the wall no longer draws visitors. What stains are there now look to be nothing more than random blobs and flaws in the brick. Only a blot on a single brick, ten layers up from the ground - "the navel," to those who felt they could discern a buddha on the wall - remains exactly as it was. Perhaps it is significant that it is the navel, of all things, that remains.

Streamin', Part II

In an interesting, short post titled “Why I don’t separate the personal stuff from the philosophy” in Ordinary Extraordinary, Justin writes “…I don't want to regard … abstract ideas as if they were free-floating entities in some separate Platonic realm. Rather, they are my thoughts, the thoughts of a particular brain and body and life.”

Mudita Journal: Mindfulness and Individualism, which mixes sympathetic joy with the philosophy of Ayn Rand, is interested in movies this week. Joshua’s blog reports on a movie version of Dan Millman’s The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, coming to theatres in June; terrific reviews for United 93; and, at last, a celluloid version of Rand’s masterwork Atlas Shrugged, possibly starring Brad and Angelina.

John of My Zen Life is also looking forward to the coming movie, Peaceful Warrior, made of Millman’s book. The book touched his heart, deeply. In another post, John finds Buddha-wisdom in a quote Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius: “very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”

Mark of Zen Filter put a blog recommendation up at the end of this week: Exploring Buddhism. It is a fairly freshly minted blog by a fairly freshly minted Buddhist, Annie, a Yankee expat who now lives in Scotland. The subheading of Annie’s blog tells us she is especially interested in the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh.

In a post titled “The myth of our exalted human place,” George of Sentient Developments writes about the experiences that all sentient beings share AND about those in denial about what considerable pain is visited upon non-human animals by humans. George concludes his post, “it is when we consider the well-being of both human and non-human animals that we become truly humane.”

Kit of PaperFrog apprises us of a small-newspaper article about Buddhism. The article itself as well as its message is proof positive that Buddhism’s reach now extends into the hinterlands of America. The piece was first published in The Hackensack [NJ] Record, but is republished, and appears online, in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Times Leader. The article, titled “Buddhism’s reach is extending into America,” begins with a quote of “Betty Levy Practicing Catholic”: “In the Gospels, Christ is teaching how to live. … And Buddhism helps give me the tools to live like we should … .” In another post, Kit informs us that PaperFrog is still hopping after all these years - which number exactly three, and change. Happy Birthday, Frog Blog!

Reflecting on his recent retreat with Stephen and Martine Batchelor, Will of thinkBuddha offers his thoughts regarding systematic meditative investigation, aka inquiry.

Danny Fisher and his eponymous blog has re-emerged, sort of. The blog is there; a post isn’t, yet.

Nirodha begins a post in Steps along the path with a quote from the Bahiya Sutta. “Upon hearing these words, Bahiya was immediately enlightened. Moments later he was killed by a runaway cow. So he was right: life is uncertain…” Nirodha then engages the idea of Instant Enlightenment that the sutta presents.

Tyson of quotes Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron’s book How to Free Your Mind: Tara the Liberator. Here’s my favorite snippet: “…attachment to pleasant feelings and to the people, objects, and situations that cause them, and aversion to unpleasant ones – it is these emotions that cause trouble.”

Kalsang Dorje of The-universe-is-all-in-your-head tells us what he wants from us. His post ends, “The real value is the interactivity of my environment and since you are here, you've entered it. So, for my benefit and everyone elses, bring quality.

So, What's in your head?

Soen Joon Sunim writes in One robe, one bowl about differences in how Americans and Koreans think – in part because of how the nations’ languages are structured. But also for cultural reasons. It’s a delicious post for any Western reader. Here’s a quote from the nicely very long post:
What I’ve found is that Korean society relies heavily on appearances, not in a superficial way, but in a functional way. It’s part of the reason titles are more important than names in Korea. It keeps things structured and working. In the school I taught in my first year in Korea, about half the teachers knew each other’s names. The other half didn’t have a clue. It didn’t matter. You just called everyone “Teacher” and that was good enough. It was what you needed to know in order to make the school work. Names—a personal identity—were not a necessary component of the work-day. Call this crazy (and it is maddening for a Westerner), but it’s the way things work in Korea.

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Roundup for Apr 16 - 22, 2006

This week in Blogmandu, many bloggers were stressed and depressed, the Dalai Lama gave an address at the Mayo Clinic you may see online, there's trouble, trouble, trouble with Buddhist celebrity bloggers, one blogger is gracious, others are seeing their blogging activities pay off.

The Stream, Part I

Each day from March 9 until April 20 [and maybe beyond], William Harryman of Integral Options Café put up a post identifying those things he was grateful for that day. It was to have lasted for thirty days, but the gratitude kept on coming. Among things he was grateful for were an inspiring line in a book [Apr 17], a friend who called to arrange a lunch date [Mar 9], clients of his who read his blog [Mar 27], that there is a tomorrow [Mar 29], to be doing squats, again [Apr 3], the excellent photos Dave and Tyson put up at Via Negativa and, respectively [Apr 5], Cheesecake Sugar-Free Instant Pudding [Apr 9] engaged readers and mozerella cheese [Apr 11], and nature in all its splendor [Apr 14]. So ... What are you grateful for?

Amanzi of amanziblog has a new job. Things seem to be going OK, but he doesn’t tell us what his job is, exactly. [Professional tennis player? Violinist? Competitor on the Xtreme Yoyo circuit?] “In reality, the string is neither too loose nor too tight. Having been much tighter in the past, it seems much looser now. It is not, however, too loose. Just looser. A bit more comfortable. And I have been humming along on my well-vibrating string for well on 9 days now, making more progress than I ever do when I bury myself in effort.”

beesucker of Authentic Personality advises that the Dalai Lama’s webcast of his Mayo Clinic address of Apr 17 is available online [Yipee!] but it doesn't work on Firefox [Boo!]. In a second post, beesucker asks, “What happens when the Dalai Lama dies?”

~C4Chaos of the same-name blog writes that he gave up on having a regimented regime of practice and returned to the homeostasis of going with the flow. “Calling it quits on the ‘rigidness’ of personal development practices was the best thing I did since I started to engage the personal development domain. The good thing about it is that, there’s no need to prolong the day into 36-hours, do polyphasic sleeping, or compartmentalize practices into quadrants.”

“Rainy days and stomach aches and clenched jaws and dogs in bed. Notes slipped under the door announcing a ‘loos’ tooth.” So begins the Saturday morning post by ‘the girl’ of auspicious coincidence. It’s been a tough time for ‘the girl’ recently, as readers of her blog well know. But the morning reaps a playful, dizzying post for us readers. “It’s Saturday. Nothing less, nothing more. And so it begins, or finishes beginning, as the case may be. I’m off to meditate, if I can remember how.”

Will of thinkBuddha wrote this:

April retreat –
not a single poem
until the train home.

Norman of Thole Man gives us Stump: “An ancient stump standing like some sentinel in the misty depths of and even older part of the forest; ancient coppice which has become engulfed by the relatively new conifer plantation.” [It’s his latest painting, btw. Quite beautiful.]

George Dvorsky of Sentient Developments writes, “James Hughes interviewed me last Saturday for his Changesurfer Radio show. We talked about a number of things, including the Toronto Transhumanist Association, virtual worlds, postgenderism, animal rights, expanding personhood, and Battlestar Galactica.” George links to the show in mp3. Didn’t work for me; may work for you. Interesting stuff -- 0bviously!

Ooo, Ooo, Celebrities, Ho!

The Tricycle website has launched “Tricycle Blogs” that offers the words of either four or five individuals and is free to read but requires registration with Tricycle Blogs to comment. [Trike is wanting to build a database of prospective subscribers, no doubt.] Jeff Wilson’s old offsite no-comments Blogger blog [called TricycleBlog] has been melded with what’s going on here. The new blogs are by celebrated Buddhists [and constant subjects or authors of Tricycle pieces] Stephen Batchelor and Susan Salzberg, as well as Lin Jensen and, possibly, Enkyo Roshi. The single posts thus far by Batchelor, by Salzberg and by Jensen seem stiff and preachy, like book introductions – not surprisingly, perhaps – demonstrating a lack of familiarity with the blogging milieu. But corporate blogs, rather notoriously, are stiff, endeavoring to control, use and spin blog readers rather than participate as equals in the big block party that is the spirit of the free-wheeling blogosphere.

Enron Redux: In Thoughts Chase Thoughts B’du Reporter writes about new financial information and whatnot the US government forces Tricycle to disclose to the public. Though the non-profit has a significant negative fund balance, the salary of its editor has been increased to 95K and the former editor was paid $100/hr for 210 1/2 hours of work [that's four grueling hours/week]; the vast majority of its contributions for the year before last are now disclosed as coming from a “disqualified” source; its much-ballyhooed fundraising concert, Demonic Devine, starring Laurie Anderson & Philip Glass, netted ZILCH; and 601 meditation kits sent to individual prisoners cost Trike approximately $450 each, even though Tricycle solicited donations claiming they would cost $75!

Meantime the frenetic FOBs [Fans O’ Brad] are yapping at the groupblog/fansite Flapping Mouths about Brad shutting down comments at his blog Hardcore Zen. Ryunin who solo-blogs Reality, Anyone? writes in Flapping… “As for his cancelation of all comments, I hope you guys don't mind. It seems like ‘I am not going to talk to you anymore.’ But it is rather making sure that people don't waste time in flamy discussions.” Justin, who solo-blogs Ordinary Extraordinary writes in the comment thread to Ryunin's post, “I find it odd and interesting that Brad is treated so differently from everyone else here. Sometimes it seems that Brad could let off a fart and we'd have someone explaining why it was the exact right thing to do at that moment for the good of humanity and someone else would comment what a wonderfully 'Zenny' aroma it had.”

In Hardcore Zen this week, The Brad pokes texty knife holes into a prospective employer, Clouds in Water Zen Center, where the interview questions he endured were not up to his high standards. Spectulation is that Crazy Brad either didn't get the job or won't get the job but certainly that he shouldn't get the job. In a second post, The Brad is going to Atlanta to get a brainscan.

Speaking of branscans, Bodhiwater of Ambhoja…water born…seeking light tells us that Zen meditators’ and Himalayan yogis’ brains are different – likely to be speedier at reacting to events. Futher, Bodhiwater posts a link to where we may each check our own brain speed.

The Stream, Part II

The IOC serves steak: William Harryman of Internet Options Cafe tosses down the blood-filled gauntlet, asking readers to respond to his interesting, well-worded essay on not being a vegetarian. See if you'll bite down on this:

I sometimes feel guilty that I eat meat, but it passes quickly. I tend to think that most food animals are fulfilling their role in life when they become my meal. I don't eat animals that I know to be intelligent (which means pigs), and I no longer hunt wild game. I have actually only killed a deer once, when I was thirteen.

Derek of don’t drop that atomic bomb on me uses as part of his practice the challenge of driving at or under the speed limit.

In his post “The Past is Dependent on the Present,” Justin of Ordinary Extraordinary waxes heavy about the Flexiverse. “The old view of history being dependent only on its own past is turned inside out. The past and the present are interdependent. 'Mind' is back in the center of the picture. Subject and object are two sides of the same coin. And it all ties in closely with Buddhist notions of relativity, mind and that only the present is true reality.”

In a post that offers bodacious online stuff for those interested in the Leary-route to expanded consciousness, Daniel of The Hyperaware Consciousness recommends Psychedelics and Religious Experience by Beat Buddhist Alan Watts, Zennist Susan Blackmore’s I Take Illegal Drugs for Inspiration and his own popular blog entry, “Insanity, Paradigms and Consensus Reality.” Plus, there are links to awesome flash animation.

Vincent of Numinous Nonsense promises us that he is very soon going to launch a "project that is devoted to pseudo-academic Buddhist blogging." In the comments section, Vince explains what he means. "The pseudo has to do with acknowledging that I’m not an expert in the field, and that I’m mostly just playing with ideas."

After seven weeks of blogging celibacy, chalip of Blogisattva Best Blog Award-winning Zen Under the Skin says hello and tells us how very busy she’s been with a class, a writers’ group and family. In two-weeks’ time, she hopes things free-up so she may re-up as a passionate blogger and blog reader.

The Internet Pays Off – for readers and bloggers

Moose has pulled his “Tao of Cats and Dogs,” posted on April 5 to The Contemporary Taoist, for hardcover publication in the May issue of LivingNow, “Australia's biggest holistic and alternative lifestyles print mag.” Other good news, Moose will soon have his own domain:, natch. Blog on, El Moose!

~C4Chaos of ~C4Chaos got a healthy check for the use of his photos by the Experience Washington tourism website. Well, maybe it’s not so healthy: Of the many things TildeCeeFour intends to do with the money, one is buying “a few cups of Caramel Macchiato” at Starbucks.

F. Kwan of foot before foot: the photoblog is fully determined to make what she’s passionate about more central to her life. She writes, “I made the decision, once and for all, to throw myself into my passion of photography as an actual vocation.”

“Blogging is good for your career. A well-executed blog sets you apart as an expert in your field.” says the opening sentence to a 4/16 Boston Globe article. The article tells us that we should choose a focused topic for our blog, and having done that, there are eight reasons why blogging helps. The article fleshes out the reasons, as listed below:

  1. Blogging creates a network.
  2. Blogging can get you a job.
  3. Blogging is great training.
  4. Blogging helps you move up quickly.
  5. Blogging makes self-employment easier.
  6. Blogging provides more opportunities.
  7. Blogging could be your big break.
  8. Blogging makes the world a better place.


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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Roundup for Apr 9 - 15, 2006

The mind, meditation, Dr. Who and Passover were among the hundred topics Buddhists and quasi-Buddhists blogged about last week. The Buddhoblogosphere is teeming with interesting content, y'all. Truly, it thrives. Below is just a tantilizing taste of some of it. Smell the aroma! Lick that One Taste. Yes! Take off your shoes and unholster your mouse and CLICK YOUR WAY ON IN to the Buddhoblogosphere of Bliss!

Streamin', Part I

Gareth Thompson of Green Clouds had written a poem, “Deadlines” last week. Ed Ovett of Ed’s Mixed Bag was jazzed by the audio version, mixed in some music – with Gareth’s permission and that of the musical artist, Lee Spears – and featured it as the lead item for his April 15 podcast. This week, Gareth writes, “the remixed Deadlines and the music [Ed]’d chosen was perfect. Ed had chosen a track called One Bright Star from a Lee Spears album 'The Brighter Side of Night.'” Great stuff, Gareth, Ed and Lee!

American Buddhist Perspective's Justin’s Left Coast Vacation with Ana has ended. He is back in Montana, now, studying Sartre’s Being and Nothingness and his beloved has returned to Spain. But their love will bring them back together, again, eventually. Writes Justin, “I feel a strong sense of clinging toward Ana now, missing her, wishing we had gone through with her brilliant plan to fold me up into her carry-on luggage.”

Brain, Mind, Reality and all of That

Christopher Kelly in his Mind and Reality blog writes about the interdisciplinary conference, “Toward a Science of Consciousness” held Apr 4 - 8 in Tucson. Writes Christopher of the seventh biennial meeting, “According to event organizers ‘[w]e do not yet understand consciousness, but it is fair to say that, at the very least, we understand the problem far better.’” Prominent Buddhist scholars John Dunne and B. Alan Wallace were among those mentioned in Kelly’s short report. Copious links in the post lead readers to fascinating reading related to the conference. B’du recommends the 100-page pdf file of a chapter – “Meditation and the Neuroscience of Consciousness” – written by Dunne from a forthcoming book. The early sections, detailing the history, styles and controversies regarding meditiation are fascinating as are later sections tying it all in with neuroscience.

Pretentious [but in a nice way] c0mmie of Quest for Nothingness, who writes the titles of all his posts in French, answers the questions of Gauguin: “Where are we from? What are we? Where are we going?” Here, just a small bucket [pronounced bouquet] of c0mmie’s untangled web of meaning, delivered in word units: “…instead of becoming stronger and more fit in a natural sense, we are genetically adapting to institutions that we ourselves created. Somehow, I feel that's a reason for concern. Where are we going?”

Daniel Poynter of The Hyperaware Consciousness dives into Terrance McKenna audio files and the question “What is the psychodelic experience?” Here’s a McKenna-file excerpt Daniel provides:
All boundaries are illusions, and Life is a thinking, feeling intellect, of some sort, and we are just like a little droplet that has somehow escaped from the river of cognition, and just imagined that we are the only cognition in the universe…
Immigration from Mexico into the USA

Tucson, Arizona-resident William Harryman has posted a call in Integral Option Café for ideas on how to fix the Mexico-to-US unlawful immigration problem. William is seeking an “integral” <qv> solution. He makes some observations on the situation, and then writes,
There are no easy answers. We must attempt to see this from all sides and try to come up with an approach that is fair to all involved. We cannot become so entrenched in an us-versus-them mentality that we fail to have compassion in our hearts or justice in our actions.
His proffered solution includes these elements: Easy-to-get work visas for Mexicans; amnesty and a route to citizenship for those who have been in the US five or more years; a more arduous path to citizenship for those who have been here less than five years; increased immigration quotas; strengthened border policing; be very tough on large businesses that hire illegals, border-crossing guides, and drug runners.

California Central Valley-resident Nargarjuna of Naked Reflections puts forward a tough approach that he believes would never be enacted. He calls for national ID cards for US citizens, and tough laws against employers who hire non-citizens. He endorses a rise in minimum wages and a Guest Worker program if a need is demonstrated. He wants to end automatic American citizenship to anyone born in the US and to see an effort made by America to make the societies in Latin America more affluent.

Colorado-citizen James of Genius of Insanity feels the single biggest need is tough laws, fines and enforcement against businesses that hire illegals. Other important elements of his immigration-reform ideas include beefing up all means to block illegal border entry and giving amnesty to illegals already in the US.

Don’t Pass Over the Buddhists!

Kit of PaperFrog finds the Buddhist-Jew section of the bookstore, just in time to get himself invited for a Passover feast! Writes Kit, “Wouldn't it be great to chow down on a sideboard groaning with matzoh, roasted eggs, and bitter herbs? You bet! But how can the dharma bum fit in? … It's Haggadah for Jews & Buddhists to the rescue!” Other Jewish-Buddhist book finds: Zen Judaism: For You, A Little Enlightenment; Letters to a Buddhist Jew and Touching the Wall - Entering the Steam.

F. Kwan writes in foot before foot: the photoblog about getting a bit of Dr. H’s matzo that he passed around to employees, “It tasted so good. He must have gotten the Rich Zip Code Matzo, salted perfectly. It didn't taste like stale cardboard. It was not too sweet. It was just right. Goldie Lox would have been in her element.” … and later … “I wanted to kidnap Dr H and go somewhere for a meaningful Passover Seder dinner, one at which we would both feel welcome, I that was estranged from my Heritage and tried endlessly and fruitlessly to return…”

Meditation and Stillness
[Note the three posts that are interweaved in this section are not directly related.]

Ajahn Punnadhammo of Bhikkhu’s Blog takes us through the steps of Meditation on Voidness. “The meditation proceeds through a series of contemplations. The whole trick of making it work is to remember that nothing new is added at any stage. On the contrary, each stage is a successive subtraction. You advance through the stages by a process of selective non-attention.”

Writes Seamus “Moose” Ennis, The Contemporary Taoist, “One of the most challenging things about maintaining an effective meditation practice is, when the situation requires it, finding the time and the will to meditate long enough to achieve Stillness.”

Dharmasattva in the same-name blog quotes the Majjhima Nikaya Sutta, “The Buddha turned round. 'My legs move but my mind is still,' he said. 'Your legs are still but your mind moves all the time in a fire of anger, hatred, and feverish desire. Therefore, I am still but you are not.'"

From Moose’s post, this: “As I began to calm down, I had an interesting vision. I saw my mind as being like a huge old Art Museum. All of my memories were represented as pictures hanging on the wall, but there was nobody in the building but me. I realised that I could, if I chose, look at the pictures, but that it would be more beneficial to ignore them for now and simply enjoy the quietness and space of the cavernous, empty rooms.”

From Ajahn Punnadhammo’s post, on the penultimate and ultimate step in the Meditation of the Void: “…eventually even nothingness starts to seem ‘busy’. In the next step we remove the concept of nothingness from our field of awareness and rest in the field called 'neither-perception-nor-nonperception.' Don't try to figure it out. The name is meaningless really, it's what's left when you remove nothingness.”

Streamin', Part II

K’vitsh of the same-name blog DJs a one-hour weekly radio show, Friday nights at 6pm MST, on CJSR, 88.5 FM, broadcast from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. And – hooray for this – the show can also be heard by anyone with Internet access and a decent computer since it is simulcast on audio-stream at the CJSR website. The show, which features an eclectic selection of music, is called Liza’s Pills – and, no K’vitsh’s real name isn’t Liza.

Justin of Ordinary Extraordinary tells us “The Middle Way of Buddha is about freedom - internal freedom” He then, without equivocation, tells us how Buddhism came about and developed and gives us the meaning behind some common terms and concepts.

Jigdral Dawa of The Pagan Bodhisattva finds insight, initiated by this realization: “The body CAN'T be me. The body is just meat. No, it's not just ‘meat’ - it's food by-product!”

Harvests & Recommendations

amanzi [aka, Andrew MacFarland] of amanziblog launches a new blog The Idea Collective, “A website where people could post their original ideas, where companies or individuals could bid for the brightest undiscovered minds.”

Two weeks ago in B’du, it was Atlanta’s Chase of Cut to the Chase who was hyped about Trader Joe’s, now there’s a rave by near-Albuquerque’s Joshua in Mudita Journal:“Anybody who understands that the only proper way to sell avocados is in bags of 6 at a time, has my money.” Joshua lists and explains his fav products at T. Joe’s and links to a location finder.

With some fanfare, Google has added Calendar to its burgeoning free-services listing. Google’s online calendar is not greatly different from other products out there, but per-usual for Google stuff, it operates in sometimes- unique and delightful and sometimes-frustrating ways. B’du reporter, Tom Armstrong, has created a publically available Buddhist Blogger feed/add-in for Calendar that will capture future events found via blogs that are of wide interest and any Buddhist Internet-related future stuff of interest. Here is the somewhat secret address of Calendar [still in Beta version]: All you need is free gmail registration and away you go.

Mahala of Quoting Buddha tells us of Pema Chadron’s “only United States teaching appearance in 2006, but people everywhere will be able to participate in this program through live web broadcasting.” Event is schedule for May 12 – 14. Mark your calendars.

Bodhiwater of Ambhoja … water born … seeking light recommends Voice of Tibet, radio in exile, which broadcasts, in the Tibetan and Mandarin languages, Tibetan news and talks by the Dalai Lama. Bodhiwater provides links to a documentary about the freedom-seeking radio station.

Carlos Rull of recommends a site that allows you to make 80x15 pixel buttons. This is the first online one I’ve seen that allows you to incorporate images.

“While visiting the Mayo Clinic, the Dalai Lama will deliver an address to patients and staff. ‘Compassion in the Face of Suffering’ will focus on practices that encourage a peaceful mind and positive ways to live during difficult times.” writes beesucker of Authentic Personality. The address will be presented in a live webcast. More details are forthcoming. [Here, btw, is a link to the Dalai Lama’s Schedule at his official website. There is nothing there re the Dalai Lama speaking at the Mayo Clinic as of 4/15.]

coolbuddha of Bringing Buddhism to the Masses is bonkers about the new Dr. Who. [Note: The bbc’s Doctor Who webpage.]

~C4Chaos of the eponymous blog gives a full-throated [hopping-keyboarded?] endorsement of What is Enlightenment? magazine, in hardcover and online as WIE Unbound. ~C4 tells us that the WIE website has been nommed for a Webby.

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You can contact Blogmandu Reporter at this address: tarmstrong /att\ zenunbound \periedd/ com

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Roundup for Apr 2 - 8, 2006

In ways it has been a less happy week than usual in the Buddhoblogosphere. Thoughts of death, a world gone mad and liberty lost are on the minds of many Buddhist bloggers. BUT, National Poetry Writing month in America has spilled over to other countries in the Buddho'sphere as many have found the time to rhyme.

Freedom and Liberty and Constraints

Trey Smith, The Rambling Taoist, cites an article about a college student senator who voted against the creation of a campus gay & lesbian club. The senator said she voted no because of her Christian beliefs. Trey doesn’t agree with the student senator, but applauds her for voicing her reasons, which were much criticized. Writes Trey…
As I've written on RT before, the greatest value of free speech is in understanding that some of the people who freely exercise it will voice an opinion that is unpopular or, at least, an opinion that you or I don't share. If we believe in this right, then we must defend its application for those who are like-minded OR those who state things we abhor. To do otherwise is to negate the very thing we say we believe in.
Hokai in hokai’s blog writes his third post on mutuality. He concludes, “The West has indeed gone far with individualism and liberties, emancipating a great and new worldview, and in process has inevitably created some extreme variants. What we certainly don't need is to transplant those gone-astray variants into our contemplative efforts …”

Sujatin of lotusinthemud endorses words of famous blogger-about-blogs Rebecca Blood: “…every act of personal reflection (however minute) followed by the public speech act of opining to the universe is a political act. It is why freedom of speech is so fundamental (and so frightening to the fascists).”

Speaking of Rebecca Blood, this week ~C4Chaos reposted an interview he did with her in In the leadup, she's pictured in a mohawk hairdo and is called the Kosmic Blogging Goddess.

wch of the possibility of fire writes a long, thoughtful post on this theme, “watching good night and good luck forced me to question, again, what i do to combat the gradual erosion of my freedoms.”

And Death Shall Have No Dominion
[ kiped title of a Dylan Thomas Poem. (This is Poetry Month in the US, btw)]

~C4Chaos, still known by a piddling few as coolmel, writes jokingly about disposal of dead bodies in a quick and linkity post this week. One of his cyberleaps is to a post in the blog of Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams. Adams tells us he bought a townhouse, getting rid of all its furnishings except a carpet that he can use to wrap and dispose of dead bodies. “[I]f the situation comes up I don’t want to compound the problem by using my good towels,” writes Adams. At the same time as his blog post, Adams was leaving officeworker Asok in the middle of the desert to die in his cartoon strip about that tangy, common combination: sociopathy and officework.

Douglas Imbrogno of mountainword [formerly, Hundred Mountain Journal], writes a two-part post about a retreat, “Awareness of Death,” at the Bhavana Society Buddhist monastery he is about to attend. Days before, as with any retreat, he cleans up his act, foreswearing booze, ciggies and dank internet haunts. And he ponders the possibility of taking the Five Lifetime Precepts. Hmm. Prob’ly not. In his second post, he recalls a retreat at the same monastery where he conspicuously didn’t take the precepts, and faced Bhante G., to whom he has been a 15-year spiritual friend.

As publisher/editor/all-tasks administrator for the famed Buddhism emagazine Hundred Mountain Journal [1998-2001], Douglas presented two terrific articles about death that are still fully relevant, rot-free and springtime fresh. In “Clear Light of Death,” Ruth Blackwell Rogers learns Tonglen and finds it useful in dealing with her relationship with her father during his final years. In “At the Autopsy,” Walter Schwidetsky writes about at effort of his Theravada meditation group to learn greater detachment from the body and to overcome lust. It is decided that viewing an autopsy would be beneficial in this effort.

Traveling in Northern Pakistan, Will Buckingham picked up a Buddhism book at a used-book store and, on a long bus ride through the mountains, is fascinated by a chapter titled ‘Meditation on the Stages of Decomposition of the Corpse.’ When pulled away from full attentiveness to what he was reading, Will realizes the dangers of the road he’s on with the abrupt fall on one side down to a raging river. “…at that moment, something strange happened. It was as if I awoke for a few moments to the sheer naturalness of the inevitability of my own death.” In this marvelous, fulsome post titled “The Mountain Road” in thinkBuddha, we learn of Will’s quite interesting and unusual introduction to Buddhism.

In a splendid, beautifully crafted post, Soen Joon of One robe, one bowl writes of the burial of a bird, with the train of events and thoughts leading to a meditation on death, rebirth and the horrors of the occupation of Korea by the Japanese during WWII. Here’s just a snippet:
“[W]hen Death drops a bird on the Dharma Hall porch, we get a little bit closer to the reality of death: stiff body. A smell of danger--infection? contagious?--and the small thorn of sadness that pushes up through the skin.”
Love me, Hate me, in Bodhi and Mind.

tinythinker of peaceful turmoil writes about a phenomenon he sees in himself of sometimes being “Bodhi-er than Thou.” He writes, “I judge people harshly all the time. Of course we tend to sweep such thoughts away or try to replace them, perhaps not even admitting they were ever there. But denial isn't the answer. As a limited karmic being, though I aspire for generosity and equanamity, I sometimes can truly suck at being fair or balanced.”

In a post “Who I am and Who I Want to Be” in Integral Options Café, William Harryman writes, "One of the hardest things I faced last year in therapy was the realization that I felt unloved, and unworthy of being loved, by God (I'm not Christian, so that may sound silly, but God is the best word I have for the Eros of the Kosmos). ... I'm working on that hole within me. And part of doing that is learning to accept myself exactly as I am, whether I am satisfied with me or not.”

In a comment to a quote he presented in his post “Don’t Hate the Hate,” James of The Buddhist Blog writes, “Often when I do something that hurts or is painful to me or others I then start on the ‘hate myself’ guilt train not remembering that the self hate only makes the suffering worse.”

to free the breath from its restless tides
[part of a line from the section on Death from Khalil Gabron’s “The Prophet”]

The sudden death in Zambia of Amrita Dhammika, chaplain in the Amida Order, affected the lives of many, which includes a number of Buddhist bloggers in Britain. In his blog Dharmavidya Web, David Brazier writes of events during the past two weeks, including learning of Amrita’s death. “…a very brief phone massage from a mobile phone in Africa [told us] that Amrita in Zambia was dead. As the day went on further messages arrived confirming this awful news.” The title of his post: “Much too Much.”

Sujatin writes in lotusinthemud, “This time, when death has been much in my mind, has been uplifting, inspiring and motivating alongside the sadness at the loss of my friend in bodily form and the sorrow for her teenage daughter and all those in Zambia for whom she did so much.” Sujatin cites a post in Tyson William’s blog, quoting Sogyal Rinpoche. It ends with these words: “The fruit of frequent and deep reflection on death will be that you will find yourself emerging, often with a sense of disgust, from your habitual patterns. You will find yourself increasingly ready to let go of them, and in the end you will be able to free yourself from them as smoothly, the masters say, ‘as drawing a hair from a slab of butter.’”

Matthew of posted a photo of Amrita and these wonderful words, “This life, so precious, how often do we stop to notice. The moments passing, smiles coming and going, frowns too. It sometimes takes a harsh lesson for us to sit up and take heed. Amrita Dhammika of the Amida Buddhist Order died this week in Africa. She was a beautiful spirit, devoted to peace in all it's guises."

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Matthew of begins a post this week, “I say we live in a mad world. What do I mean? I mean that the way we collectively organise things is nothing short of insane. The three main products of our economics are work, waste and weapons.”

Trey, The Rambling Taoist, writes, “I am categorically opposed to nuclear power. It creates byproducts that are extremely lethal and NO ONE has yet to figure out how to store said byproducts safely. The continued use of all things nuclear poses one of the greatest dangers to life on planet earth.” He then proceeds to post parts of three articles [with links to full write-ups] on (1) a radioactive cloud that swept through the UK in 2003, (2) a finding that radiation in any amount is harmful & (3) an effort by the Bush Administration to restore large-scale nuclear-bomb manufacturing capacity.

Mumon of Notes in Samsara begins a post, “The creationists are in high dudgeon over Eric Pianka's somewhat Cassandra-like warnings regarding over-population exhausting resources on this planet and ‘nature’s revenge.’”

In a second Notes… post, Mumon sticks up Tom DeLay’s high school yearbook photo (taken from police headquarters) and scribes a Suesslike poem. Here is but one stanza:
You're a vile one, Tom DeLay.
You have termites in your smile.
You have all the tender sweetness
Of a seasick crocodile.
Tom DeLay.
James of Genius of Insanity writes about major conflicts in the world that rarely make the news. Here’s just one of seven countries James cites: Sierra Leone is currently in the grips of a civil war and according to Human Rights Watch over 5o,ooo people have been killed in the conflict and over one million displaced.

Ajahn Punnadhammo of Bhikkhu’s Blog writes, “[Seal hunting is] horrid and barbaric and unneccessary and should be banned. But I can't help wondering why there isn't a hundredth part of the outrage over the much crueler practises of modern factory-farming.”

William Harryman, writing in Raven’s View, quotes The Nation magazine, “Last Sunday, the New York Times reported that -- for the first time -- a full-time worker earning minimum wage cannot afford a one-bedroom apartment anywhere in America at market rates.”

Then William writes, “Let's make this a central campaign issue in 2006 and 2008. Bush and the GOP have screwed the average working American in order to make their wealthy friends even wealthier. This is the kind of thing that can generate a Democratic sweep in November. … The revolution starts with us.”

In Honor of Poetry Month...
[It’s poetry month in the USA, and throughout the Buddhoblogosphere.]

A highly romantic, strictly 21st Century poem written by Jiki Sen Peg Syverson in Zen Odyssey is titled “Don’t Podcast this Poem.”

M of Zen Filter links to a modest online collection of poems by Ikkyu, Basho, and Ryokan, called “A sample of Zen Poems.”

Nacho of WoodMoor Village began a poetry meme, with haiku here, here, here, and here and a poem for poor Judas, in the manner of Paul McCartney – I think. Na-na-na-na-na-na-na Na-na-na-na Hey Jude.

Gareth of Green Clouds lives in the Mother Country, but, inspired by WV’s Nacho, is into the Colonies’ poetry meme thing. His creations this week – in text and audio – are “The British National Press”; “The Smile”; a haiku, “Merely Remembering You”; “It’s not you,” which I think has potential as a Country-Western song; “Two Halfs” and “This Night.”

Jigdral Dawa posts his poem “In Love and Honor” in The Pagan Bodhisattva.

Dave Bonta of Via Negativa posts a short poem, “Part of the Solution.”

The Stream

Kalsang Dorje of The-universe-is-all-in-your-head sends blessing and sympathy to us all in his post, “Just So Ya Know.” He writes, “I recognize that your pain is the same as mine. I've felt the same frustration, confusion, hurt, anger and the rest. I know that the circumstance changes, but the feeling is the same.”

Jigdral Dawa posts a short essay on “Sex and Buddhism” in his blog The Pagan Bodhisattva. Here is a pivotal sentence: "The only 'sin' for a Buddhist is an action that clouds the mind with anger and confusion, and embeds one further in the delusion of samsara. Calling homosexuality a 'sin' in 21st century America is nothing short of discrimination."

In a similar vein, James of Genius of Insanity excoriates Supreme Court Justice Scalia for his words recently to Swiss university students, saying that, in America, homosexuals shouldn't have privacy rights.


Wikid!: Jigdral Dawa of The Pagan Bodhisattva alerts us of the Integral Wiki! Can a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy be far behind!? Jigdral's assessment: “damn cool.”

J.E. of everything is illuminated recommends a “jewel” of a website, “Essential Buddhadharma (in under 10 minutes), a garland of essential points for students, by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche.”

Justin who solo-blogs Ordinary Extraordinary recommends Nagarjuna. Writing in the group blog Flapping Mouths, quoting an online article, he says, “Nagarjuna is surely one of the most difficult philosophers to interpret in any tradition. His texts are terse and cryptic. … Nonetheless, his influence in the Mahayana Buddhist world is not only unparalleled in that tradition, but exceeds in that tradition the influence of any single Western philosopher in the West.”

And Brad Warner of Hardcore Zen [the book and the blog] recommends that you attend his Zen Micro Retreat on Tax Day, April 15th. “The perfect way to experience a bit of what a Zen retreat is like if you're too much of a wuss to do the real thing. Be there, or be un-Enlightened!”

Technorati Tags: Buddhism, Zen, blogging, blog carnival, blangha, death, liberty, freedom

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Roundup for Mar 26 - Apr 1, 2006

“…why the $%!@ are you trying so hard to get me into blogging when i already repeatedly said that i ain't got no time?” ~comment, dated 3/29/06, from Ken Wilber to the blogger formerly known as coolmel, to a post to the blog formerly known as <q.v.>

Another fun, busy week in the Buddhoblogosphere, kids! Topics that delight include maitri, Buddhist practice, Nichirin Buddhism, meditation, kittens, a baby, coffee, bees, vegans, Norwegians, poets, Dad, hats, Vegas, fear, money, baseball, Kukai, puffery, Azoth, meat, "Blogging as Spiritual Practice", Trader Joe's, yet more coffee and mayonaisse. Mix it all together, cook it with cream, serve in on skewers and you got Blogmandu.

Practice Helps

Clarity of Clarity’s blog is giving a talk on maitri and shares with readers a bulleted list of notes he amassed.

amanziblog’s amanzi knows that it was and is his Buddhist practice that allows him to be who he is today and appreciate his hard worklife: “The hours I have spent ‘practicing’ (whether I knew I was doing it or not), have enabled me to be who I am today, to do the work I do today, to approach life as I do today. And I am happy to have put in those hours, no matter how deep my confusion or delusion may have been at any point.”

Rev. Ryuei of Ryuei's Blah Blah Blaaaggghhh! tells us how he sees the role of study, faith and practice in Nichiren Buddhism.

Rev. Mugo of Moving Mountains links to a new blog find for B’du, Thole Man, and a recent post by its writer, Norman, “Does Meditation Help?” Here are a couple of the post’s great lines: “The stillness of meditation can be likened to a stone lying on the beach but below the tidal margin. The waves constantly crash over it but when the waves recede, it is still there, a stone.”

Buddhists’ Lives

beesucker of Authentic Personality’s Peaches had kittens! Aren’t they tiny and cute.

Speaking of tiny and cute -- only quite incredibly human, this time – baby Ethan brings joy to moments in the life of Robert of Beginner’s Mind. “…there are times when just curled up on Mommy or Daddy's chest fills all my present requirements. I don't have to have or do anything else, this is just fine as it is, thank you very much.”

Zataod of Zen and the Art of Dreaming is getting a major headache from a first day of leeching caffeine from his system. That morning, he dreamt of bees. [I guess he’s trying to lose his buzz.]

A busy bee is what Mark of Writing to Reach You tells us he is. His life so far this spring? “work hard, play hard”

Carlos Rull in tells us when he first became a vegan. As guest at a celebration in the Philippines, he was given the honor of slitting the throat of the primary item for the feast. “I couldn’t do it!” he writes, “The pig was squealing and crying the whole time!”

Update from last week: Things turn out well for Nerdine of my world at the moment and the Norwegian Tibet Committee board elections.

Let them read cake: Blogisattva Award-winning Dave of Via Negativa has ambitions to be a more widely read poet. “I want to be able to speak to the concerns of so-called ordinary people - at least, those among them [Note he calls “ordinary people” them, not us. Dave, you snob!] who like to ponder the age-old questions about love, death, the place of humans in the cosmos, the nature of our relationship with the numinous, and [giving a genteel wave of his hand] so forth.”

“I've been getting emails from my Dad lately, which is a little disconcerting because he passed away last month.” writes Shokai of Water Disolves Water. And then there’s the interesting matter of the picture of his father in the Lanikai Canoe Club t-shirt.

Cliff of This is this waxes heady about chapeaus in a post called “Hats All for Now.” “If a friend below the age of 60 comes up to you and you've never seen [him] in a hat before, I bet you think, ‘Oh, look, it's Steve. In a hat.’” writes Cliff. But Cliff, well under 60 himself, buys a cap, which makes a keen fashion statement, but Cliff doesn’t want to be keen. Cliff parts from us with these breezy words: “Take care everyone, I'm going away for a while to watch the wind get lost.” Hat’s entertainment!

Justin of American Buddhist Perspective is on the road. His post on Tuesday was from Las Vegas. Unless he leaves there with only his skivvies and toothbrush and has to walk home to Montana, he is traveling to LA and then up the Left Coast, luxuriating in the land’s advanced spiritual sensibilities and modern conveniences. Ahhh, California – the ultimate paradise.

Interesting Topics

A Musing Taoist's Qalmlea explores Fear. “They say that it's not the pain that bothers us so much as the fear of the pain. But even then it's not so much the fear as the avoidance of the fear.”

Either a lender or a borrower be. amanzi of amanziblog has started a group called ‘Buddhist Lenders’ at So, if you’re a middle-way man (or woman) wanting to avoid the middleman charges of corporate financial institutions, write amanzi or visit his group site.

Robert of Beginner’s Mind is looking for Joe Torre-wannabes for a Yahoo Fantasy Baseball league he hopes to start. C'mon, play ball! And bring your own steroids.

Jayarava has been discussing his very favorite historical Buddhist in two of his blogs, The Jayarava Rave and Bricolage. In Rave, Jayarava tells us that in the year 804, Kukai was a bit of a Japanese outlaw when he managed, by pluck, luck and charm, to get to China and, from there, get posted to one of its great temples which had a huge library in the capital city of Chung-an. In no time, Kukai returned to Japan with “a boatload of new scriptures, images and artifacts, but also with a new language and script, and with a new form of Buddhism.” All this helped to transform Japan. In Bricolage, Jayarava writes about a virtual rendition of the ancient city of Chung-an at the National Unitversity of Singapore and a film about Kukai.

Jigdral Dawa writes a long, helpful post about battling puffery in The Pagan Bodhisattva.

Our now-novelist friend Moose, The Contemporary Taoist, tells us about Azoth, the One Thing.

George of Sentient Developments writes about the end of meat as we now know it. “The science of tissue engineering and the development of in vitro meat may one day, hopefully, result in the end of livestock,” he writes. “In vitro meat, referred to by some as laboratory-grown meat, is animal flesh that has never been part of a complete, living animal.

“…scientists can grow frog and mouse meat in the lab, and are now working on pork, beef and chicken. Their goal is to develop an industrial version of the process in five years. It will be at that point that we can say a viable threat exists to the ongoing presence of animal farming. And at the very least it will certainly make the presence of livestock that much less justifiable.”

Blogging as Spiritual Practice (con’d from last week)

Jigdral Dawa of The Pagan Bodhisattva joins the conversation on Blogging as Spiritual Practice, writing…

One person's insights aren't as important as the network of insights. In other words, we can all be teachers - from the most enlightened among us down to the rankest spiritual amateur. This is the social dimension of spirituality taken to a new, exhilarating level.Perhaps that's what Coolmel - er, C4 is feeling in his recent "rush" of blogging. Let's hope for all of our sakes that it is. …
While Jigdral spots the verdant plain in Blogistan, Vincent and C4 may have ventured off to the silliness of a bog and high, windy mountain.

Christianity inevitably brought on its opposite, Satanism; Blogging-Flow Spirituality now has its. Vincent of the well-titled blog Numinous Nonsense sits in a white pool of malaise*. “…the ephemeral, transient, and constantly fluxing nature of blogxistence has got me down.” he writes.

Sinking even deeper into the angsty, sticky pond, Vince writes, “I’m surrendering to the lack of inherent meaning that not even this blog can solve. If anything it’s a salve, a temporary resolution to a problem that can’t be solved. Or rather, a problem that can be solved only via death of the blogger.” THEN, in his very next post, feeling a tad perkier, Vincent shows off that he is a whiz at speedy typing. That Vince!

Meantime, the Mel Man, or ~C4Chaos, as he now prefers to be called, screams his creedo -- as if it were an exploding yellow roman candle -- into the black inkless firmament of cyberspace. Fifty years ago, similar words might have been forthcoming from a goateed fellow named Maynard, accompanied by bongo drums in a coffee bar. Today, tapped out on a keyboard in a Starbucks, no doubt, come stirring phases, that much better to mix the cream. [I have taken the liberty of repositioning Ceefour’s words from his post in to better suit the appearance of the blank-verse poetry that it is.]

I have no grand illusions
of claiming that blogging
can catapult anyone into
I have already stated my belief
when it comes to enlightenment!
My path is via SERENDIPITY
and NOT
I respect your path,
and I bow down to the Buddha-nature in you,
but I tried it
and it
work for me. Dig?


beesucker of Authentic Personality recommends a Yoga Blog, told from a teacher’s perspective.

~C4Chaos of [formerly coolmel of] recommends that instead of saying perspective we say beer-goggles.

Sooo. Let me try that first item in this section again: beesucker of Authentic Personality recommends a Yoga Blog, told from a teacher’s beer-goggles.

Chase of Cut to the Chase writes, “What a wonderful discovery: I was elated when I found The Buddha Project. It’s a collection of photographs of Buddha that people submit. I can’t wait to take some of my own.”

In a second post, Cut to the Chase’s Chase is also keen on Trader Joe’s.

Amadeus of DharmaVision finds a Buddha that lights up when stuck in your car’s cigarette lighter. He writes that it would be especially helpful for the B’du reporter.

Ian of Jinajik links us to the Dharmapedia, or RangjungYesheWiki, a wikipedia that strives to aid in the translation of the Tibetan Buddhist canon to English.

Find the human bean. [A riddle, puzzle, bit of fun. A tool for analyzing the development of the right side of your brain. A post by Terry of More coffee, less dukkha.]

Quote of the Week

Posted by Jigdral Dawa in The Pagan Bodhisattva this week. Your errant B’du reporter will try to take this one to heart.

Focus, not on the rudenesses of others,
not on what they've done or left undone,
but on what you have & haven't done yourself.
- The Dhammapada, Verse 50 (tr. Thanissaro Bikkhu)

* I sometimes confuse this word with mayonnaise.

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You can contact Blogmandu Reporter at this address: tarmstrong /att\ zenunbound \periedd/ com Be advised that I have plenty of vitamins, porn, Viagra, and money given to me by relatives of dead Nigerian royalty. Please don't write me about any of that.