Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Blogisattva Award nominations have been announced a larger sense, we cannot nominate, we cannot award, we cannot hallow the buddhoblogosphere. The brave Buddhist bloggers who struggle here have consecrated the Internet far above our poor power to add or detract. -- from a Blogisattva Blogsite post
Earlier today, the Blogisattva blogsite announced the 2007 Blogisattva Award nominations honoring English-language Buddhist blogging during calendar year 2006.

Bill Harryman and his blog Integral Options CafĂ© led the way with eight nominations, including Best Blog; Best Multi-part Post, for the series “Who Owns God?”; and the Wordsmithing Prize. Bill also garnered nominations for two series within his blog, "speedlinking," a daily link carnival, and "gratitude," a daily practice Bill had going for a spell where he blogged thanks for things or people in his life he felt grateful for.

Cliff Jones’s clever humour in This is This was honored with seven noms in categories including Best Blog; the Wordsmithing Prize; and Best Blog Post for “Vesak and the Art of Changing Tyres” which was the source for an article published in Mandala magazine last year. Two others of Cliff’s entries were nommed in the Funniest Post category.

Miso’s Onion-like blog Big Red Buddha tallied the most nominations for a blog less than a year old – five noms – with scores in the categories Best New Blog and Best Niche Blog. Other nominations were for Elegant Design and a double nomination in the Funniest Post category.

Other blogs with high tallies of nominations were George Dvorsky’s Sentient Developments, Will Buckingham's and Michael’s One foot in front of the other. Each received four nominations including Best Blog of the Year.

Other blogs up for Blog of the Year are Danny Fisher’s eponymous blog and Mystery of Existance by a mysterious blogger Blogisattva is calling DotDotDot Putali

Vince Horn did something distinctive this year, getting two nominations to go with three he received last year, where all the noms are for differently titled blogs. This year, Vince was part of the trio that has started the podcasting Buddhist Geeks, a Best New Blog nominee. His solo blog Numinious Nonsense was nominated for a post that was a Conversation Sparker. Last year, Vince had three nominations in the Best Integral Blog category for his solo blog which was then titled, and for two group blogs he was involved with, Generation Sit and Kosmic Bloggers.

You can see the nomination announcement with a complete list of Blogisattva nominees at the Blogisattva blogsite. There are 21 categories of awards with an aggregate of 115 nominations. Winners will be announced there on February 15.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Be a Slave for Ken

BLOG: Integral Spirituality Typos?
from Journal by
Hello Friends!Iand#39;m happy to announce that Shambhala will be bringing out a paperback version of Integral Spirituality this fall.andnbsp; In preparation for this launch, we need to know if there are any errors orandnbsp;typos that need to be fixed before the book goes to print--thatand#39;s where you come in.andnbsp; Ifandnbsp;you noticed anything while reading IS youand#39;d consider to be an error, please let me know at; Whoever submitsandnbsp;the most genuine errors will get a signed copy of Integral Spiritualityandnbsp;from Ken :-)andnbsp; Thanks everyone, Colinandnbsp;
- - - - -
The above is the RSS feed from Ken Wilber’s blog, from a post that went up yesterday written by Colin. Must be nice to be between CEOs such that you can fully disregard the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1934.

I am afraid that it is not strictly legal to put out a work notice and expect labor to be unpaid [which would be the case for most folks who search and find a few errors in Ken's book] and then send a trinket to the most successful of your slave employees.

I don't know the set up, exactly, but I would guess it goes like this: Integral Spirituality is Ken's book for which he will collect royalties on the Shambhala paperback. The plea for aid finding typos comes from Colin who works for somebody or something but I would bet the details are a bit cloudy and confused or is split somewhat arbitrarily between Ken and one of his non-profit organizations. Shambhala may or may not be responsible for copy editing the paperback edition, but it is to Ken's credit that he is interested in clearing out errors found in the hardcopy edition.

But without a thought for integrity and the keeping of one's beans properly organized and counted and the ending of slavery in 1864, somebody comes up with the bright idea LET'S HAVE THE PESKY LOVE-STARVED INTEGRAL PEONS FIND THE ERRORS. They'll do the grunge work for free! And then, with a nod to charity, it is suggested "Let's send the best slave an autograph from Moviestar Ken." And Ken begrudgingly says sure he'll do it, after all signing his nine-letter name will only take a few seconds.

Now I know I sound harsh, but Integral Headquarters in Denver has turned all wealth-seeking and money grubbing in recent years [or is it singular, year] and has been embracing more than a few personality-disordered wannabe gurus while curtly showing the back of the hand to, you know, rape victims and I-I staff members of high integrity and people who want a signed book and victims of dred Boomeritis and such.

And I know Ken is sick, and all, and word is out that we're supposed to be tippy-toeing around his hospital crank-bed, but I still find it remarkable and worth a remark when something new crops up to show how much mucky muck continues to accumulate in the Denver pigsty.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Couple of Blog Conversations

Often, blogging is a conversation that bounces from blog to blog, or develops into long comment threads. Here are a couple recent integrobuddhoblog conversations you all may relish by reading or by jumping in on by adding your comments to a post on the topic, or by posting on the matter in your own blog, if you have one. And if you don’t have a blog, start one. The easiest way to start one? Probably at .

Why Meditate?

Buzz started on meditation when Jeff Wilson wrote on Dec 26, in Tricycle Blog –Jeff Wilson, a tangential statement of fact in a rambling post comparing Japan and America, that “meditation is quite uncommon in Japanese Zen.”

The first comment to the post, written by Pat Montague, asked about the statement, “How does this square with the enormous emphasis placed on meditation in Shunryu Suzuki's “Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind”? [Suzuki, a patriarch of Zen in America, started the San Francisco Zen Center, which focused on meditation, in the early 60s and he and the center were quickly sensations during the beatnik era carrying over to the hippie era. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind was first published in 1970 – a year before Suzuki died. The book continues to be popular.]

Jeff devoted a new, long post on Dec 30 – a journal-quality article, really – to Pat’s comment, titling it “Meditation: A Rare Practice.” Jeff demonstrated the truth of his assertion that meditation is rare in Japan, and in Asia, too. He also explained why meditation became central to Western Buddhists: because it quickly became what lay Buddhists were interested in and because it was the easiest thing for English-challenged teachers to give instruction in. Jeff summed things up with these words, “Obviously, this isn't meant as an attack on meditation, which I too value. But we should be aware that meditation is not a common Buddhist practice, including within Zen. Helpful to some, valued by many, but by no means common.”

In the comment threat to “Meditation: A Rare Practice,” the discussion broadened along these lines: The great opportunity that the Internet affords and the Buddhist literature that Westerners have generally allows for a wonderful foundation to study and practice our religion and to know how Buddhism is practiced elsewhere in the world.

Jeff’s post caught the eye of CJ of CJ’s Words who wrote in a Jan 9 post, starkly titled "Real Buddhists Don't Meditate," “I was quite pleased to read [about the rarity of meditation in Jeff’s post], as [I am] a lazy meditator. It strikes me that it really is a central theme in Western Buddhism and often the aspect that one will come across first and practise before having any inkling of ethics. Why are we so into this sitting still and navel gazing practice? Does it help us feel like we're being spiritual or does the daily discipline make us feel like we're being good Buddhists?”

CJ then quoted Wade from a Jan 2 post in his The Middle Way blog: “Meditation is not just sitting down on a zafu, or chanting...the Eightfold Path... is applied in all aspects of life, from talking to others, to breathing, to understanding things correctly.”

Jeff G. in his Barefoot Path took things from there on Jan 9, citing CJ's post and then writing in support of meditation. “We are creatures of habit and normal habit energy has us jumping from distraction to distraction. By practicing meditation we set the conditions to help us change our habit energy and allow our minds a little more spaciousness before reacting to external stimuli. This translates into our lives in real and concrete ways.”

Whither now, Integral?

Hokai in hokai’s blogue wrote unctuously of a post he read, “I thought and expected better of Paul Salamone.”

Paul had written a post titled “Integral: What Now?” in Paul’s Blog in the community of zaadz. Paul mused on what was now to become of I-I, Integral Institute, now that the wind had left its sails with staff layoffs [including himself] and the longterm health problems of Ken Wilber.

Paul proposed that people “continue to cultivate the intellectual curiosity which brought us to integral in the first place”, seek “a renewed commitment to personal development and practice” and “[refocus] on artistic and media-based [expression] OF an integral vision – of a life lived with greater freedom and fullness.” He also envisions a support community outside I-I for Integral ex-pats and other outsiders [or folks appalled by the cult they believe Wilberism has become] to buttress zaadz and Integral World. [Integral World is Frank Vissar’s website, chockablock with essays that analyse Integral issues. Many if not most of the some 750 essays in IW take Ken Wilber to task for perceived errors or inconsistancies in his writings. Last June, Wilber notoriously lashed out at Integral World and his critics, telling them to ‘suck my dick’ in a blogpost that was either a rant disguised as a test or a test disguised as a rant.]

In his post, Hokai was spitting venom, sarcastically dismissing the ex-pats as lazy and unskilled and lacking the dedication to move Wilber’s vision forward. He wrote, “Ken Wilber is desperately in need of competent staff, … people who don't see themselves as the ones who will take the integral vision further before they can attain the basic discipline of a five-year old.”

In what may be closely connected to all this is a post in ebuddha’s Integral Practice that delves into the mishaps of Andrew Cohen, Ken Wilber’s dialogue buddy who is now an authoritanian guru who has repeated abusive behaviour problems – including, perhaps, theft of $2 million from a troubled disciple. Even Cohen’s mother can’t stand him.

There are other personality-disordered characters associated with or at or near the top of the extended Wilber Empire exhibiting many similar authoritarian, abusive, greedy, narcissistic and needy traits. There is rot within bringing the whole world down. And what would be laughable if it weren't so depressing is that so many continue to think that Wilber and Cohen and Gafni and others are themselves at the cutting edge of enlightened human development, when obviously they can't walk the walk and we should be more earnest at questioning whether they can talk the talk.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Roundup for Jan 9, 2007

copyright, Danny Fisher

A central detail from a photograph in a post titled "India Post #23" by Danny Fisher in his same-name blog.

It's a beautiful day in the buddho­blogospheric neighborhood; A beautiful day for a blog-reading neighbor; Would you be mine? ... Could you be mine?...

But it may not be a beautiful day for long. Ajahn Punnadhammo in Bhikkhu’s Blog writes about the severe threat of climate change and gives us a Buddhist approach to meet the challenges. This is a must-read post, y’all; a planet saver. Writes the bhikkhu, “… Buddhism can make a real contribution. Buddhism teaches the virtue of santutthi, contentment with little.”

In his 23rd post from India, Danny Fisher presents more wonderful photographs in his blog, Danny Fisher. Be sure to click on Danny’s 18 thumbnails to enjoy the splendor of his photographs – the colors! the wonders! – in a size such that you feel you are there, with the chaplain in India. A central detail from one of his photos is at left.

John Craig of Craig Photography takes dog Kiani, coffee, but no camera on a nature hike. With text alone in an outstanding essay, John captures the beauty of a farmer’s field and a silent wood. A snippet: “Sitting on a non-moss covered log I see the white tail of a deer, then another tail and another tail. Deer heads start popping out of the low brush; I am resting in the herd’s nest.”

James of Genius of Insanity is excited that the middleground is finding both sides in the stem cell debate. Scientific research to the rescue! The latest, if you haven’t heard, is that new work investigating amniotic cells strongly suggests that they might reap powerful, curative benefits in mankind’s future – without use of destroyed embryos.

Ryan Oelke, of Integral Awakening and one of the podcasting Buddhist Geeks [qv], is kissing up to the Zero Boss [qv], maybe, which will possibly help his chances in this month’s “Blogging for Books” contest. Ryan’s entry is “Time Yoga,” which was originally posted in IA last April.

“Tonight...I douse myself in geekery, and light the match” So writes Bob Goodfriend in a post about three weeks ago about computer games, but mostly about BattleLore, the “big fantasy battle game,” that he had just received. Chicago Bob was begun on Dec 4, but is only now getting blasted into the buddhoblogosphere by the jet engines of Technorati. Bob’s post yesterday revealed his resolutions for the new year, which include keeping his weight down, reading and studying Buddhism, extending his leadership skills in SGI and to fight less with his wife and when they do quarrel for it to resolve itself positively. And, to be a great daddy to his daughter, Ren, born five days ago.

digitalzen of Digital Dharma wants us to know he packed up his electrons and moved to But the old address still works, too.

Renegade Buddha of the same-name blog has made a triumphant return to bloggery with twenty posts in just the last few days, after just a few posts all of last year – and those were in March. Recent posts include lots of great vids, a post on labels and praise for a quote by tinythinker of peaceful turmoil on Buddhist stereotypes, with commentary.

All for now, everyone. But I may add more stuff t'morrow.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Roundup for Jan 7, 2007

Grand Canyon

A portion of a photograph in a post titled "Impermanence" by Dharmasattva in the blog Dharmasattva's Meditations.

There is pain and there is beauty in the buddhoblogosphere. Here, some wild samples, some good ones, posted on Jan 6, plucked fresh from the Internet meadow with the dew still clinging.

Dharmasattva, of Dharmasattva's Meditations, shows us that the Grand Canyon demonstrates the Buddhist principle of impermanence. “Even the earth under our feet is dynamic and ever-changing.” [See a portion of one of Dharmasattva's photographs, at left.]

Dee, the ordinary immortal of Urban Mystic, writes to recommend a book, Life is ForEver. The book makes the case that the mind and brain are not the same. The book is important since those that believe that death brings oblivion are getting their case heard in Britain, while those that believe and have evidence for immortality are not being heard.

Joe Perez of Until has quit his job because of health issues. His situation, which he describes at some length, seems very serious. He is interested in recommendations readers of his blog might have on how to use meditation to deal with chronic pain. Blogmandu readers: Any knowledge about this, thoughts or ideas you could share with Joe?

Moose, The Contemporary Taoist, has been absent without leave from his blogging duties, with just a couple posts in the last couple months, but he is happy to report that past pieces in his column, called “The Contemporary Taoist,” in LivingNow hardcopy magazine will soon be available online. Moose should know; he’s in charge, re-vamping the magazine’s online presence.

Howdy Seven, S’long Six. Justin Whitaker welcomes in the new year in American Buddhist Perspective and then is visited by the Ghost of Blogging Past who takes him on an extended texty tap dance down the garden trail of a year gone by. One pithy bit of wisdom plucked from last June: “In life, what is needed is less map and more compass.”

C4’s fav wine merchant, Joshua Zader of Mudita Journal, is keen on an audio CD called “True Meditation” by Adyashanti. After meditating for twenty minutes following listening to the first hour of the 3 ½ hr. CD, Joshua has been in a fairly “perpetual state of witness consciousness” since.

whiskey of whiskey river posts A Triangle. It’s like a haiku that Escher might write, you think?

A Triangle of Thought

Our memories mellow time
As wine mellows memories
as time mellows the wine
- Linda Delayen

TMCG of the same-name blog was jazzed seeing a rockumentary on the Pixies called loudQUIETloud. She writes that the Pixies wrote the soundtrack of her generation such that “not a moment of the movie went by that I didn't have some memory associated with a bass line, howling vocal, swirl-grinding guitar or kick-pedal pound.”

Paul, A Blue Eyed Buddhist, writes, in a post titled “I love America,” “Is this a great country, or what?” The cause of his glee: New Muslim congressman Keith Ellison has his picture taken being sworn in by Speaker Nancy Polosi, using a two-volume Koran that had belonged to Thomas Jefferson. The scene has Paul wondering if Jefferson might have had a copy of the Lotus Sutra that might be held in the Library of Congress, somewhere.

A couple Buddhist blogs posted yesterday or today regarding a 50 min. video that is free online - A BBC/Discovery Channel co-production, The Life of the Buddha, found at Marcello’s E-Dharma blog, originally posted in November. Word is getting out. TMCG says the E-Dharma link is great. Bill of Integral Options Cafe says the film is "a good quality production, worthy of watching."

That's all for today, y'all. Happy blogging and blog reading to everyone!