Buddhist bloggers, if not Buddhism, is on the move these days.
|Will Buckingham, author of Cargo Fever and a coming novel, set in Bulgaria.|
Sometime soon, Will Buckingham of the blogs thinkBuddha and willbuckingham.com will be off to Bulgaria to research his next novel. He has funding from Arts Council England, but he'll not be living in the lap of elegance at some swanky hotel, no. He'll be Couchsurfing, which means he'll be bumming nights' stays on strangers' fleabitten sofas when he's in Sofia, and out in the Bulgarian countryside. This is something he's done before -- in Indonesia, India and Pakistan. [OK. I've told a fib. Actually, Will tells us that Couchsurfing is an "extremely well run" "global network, run on the basis of generosity and hospitality" that facilitates staying in private homes and is "not much more dangerous than eating crackers."
|Justin Whitaker, a vicious clay-bird killer and member of the Dalai Lama wing of the NRA. [From post "Life: Family activities"]|
Justin Whitaker, aka Buddhist Philosopher, of American Buddhist Perspective [But who will soon move his blogging activities to Justin in England, or to American Buddhist in England -- not sure which.] is cloyingly, insufferably happy these days. He's been accepted by Goldsmiths College of the University of London where he will be in hot pursuit of his PhD in Buddhism [or, Philosophy specializing in Buddhism, or something]. In his effort to rub our noses in his happiness, he facilitated a reading group based on Mattieu Ricard's latest book, "Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill." In his post re the reading group, Justin links to an article that tells us Ricard is the world's happiest man [now supplanted in Guinness by Guinness-drinking Justin]. Justin is also happy because student reviews of the Buddhism classes he taught at University of Montana, Missouli, were all glowing in their love of him. Also, while in England, Justin can be with his beloved who lives just a canal swim and a long walk away in Spain. Justin has now determined that he will direct his life toward teaching Buddhism to others. But How might that work? Our religion is about suffering! Ay, Carumba!
|C4 with his beloved (in a London Starbucks?)|
Our man ~C4Chaos, blogger of ~C4Chaos, is currently in Jolly Old. We know this because a recent post shows his legs standing on the grave of Charles Darwin. In a prior day's post, he says, "I just love everything about the city of London – the people, the fashion, the attraction, the history, the art, the architecture, the shorter working hours and the public transportation."
|Seamus "Moose" Anthony|
Seamus "Moose" Anthony who blogs Seamus Anthony, which recently supplanted The Contemporary Taoist, is in Paris in the summertime, when last he blogged. We know he had a stop in Lumpy Koala, Malaysia, [Ha, ha. We think he means "Kuala Lumpur."] and will be several places in Europe, including France and Ireland. Bad news is that on the way to the airport in Melbourne, Moose was in a huge car smash-up – but that has not dampered his enthusiasm for his travels. He writes, from Paree, that he is "sipping ultra expensive coffee in cafes and feeling very chick however you spell that and generally enjoying some no brainer time."
It was just Saturday last that I mentioned that Danny Fisher, in his eponymous blog, wrote about the “world-aiding benefits of vegetarianism.” Because of intense interest in the subject [and not because of the B’du’s blurb], the post has garnered a long comments stream: 12 posts as of this moment, many of them long, all of them thoughtful.
In his post, Danny develops three important arguments:
- Vegetarianism can help in dealing with water and sanitation problems in the developing world.
- Humans can significantly help to deter global warming by adopting a vegetarian diet.
- The first precept of Buddhism is to refrain from killing. Plus, it is not a viable excuse to say the meat you buy at a store has already been killed. In our modern age, when purchasing meat, you stimulate the chain of supply in response to your demand.
By all means, read the post – and the comment thread that touches on these areas:
- Tibetans and the nature of their plateau necessitates the consumption of meat. The Tibetan diaspora should now become vegetarian.
- The idea that we can encourage vegetarianism by example, since confronting carnivorous humans doesn’t work very well.
- Rather than nibbling at our environmental problems, we should control human population growth.
- Meat eating is healthy and natural for humans and no more ecologically harmful than a vegetarian diet.
- There are humane ways to utilize animals for food.
- Meat is a natural part of the human diet and is a link in the modern-age food chain. For some animals, were we not raising them for consumption, they could not thrive as species.
- Meat eating violates the 1st precept.
- While there is not such a thing as a harm-free diet, a diet that excludes or significantly excludes animals is definitely less of a moral nightmare.
In my last roundup, I wrote that I thought the first two [#1, #2] of a planned three Brad Warner audio interview episodes at Buddhist Geeks were terrific. Well, now the final episode has been posted. Let us just say it is disappointing – sort of like The Godfather, Part III was when, long ago, it was released. What was Francis Ford Coppola [or in the BG case, Gwen Bell] thinking!?
Actually, the third pod cast isn’t uber-terribly bad, but The Brad gets off on the wrong foot with me, complaining about the hoi polloi, proving himself to be fact-challenged with respect to the history of printing and then prattles on, more than a bit, about the obvious difference between encyclopedic knowledge and wisdom. [Thus, Brad bloviates just as he accuses the hoi polloi of doing.] But when Brad and Gwen venture into some fun and giggliness discussing sex and Brad’s work and future job opportunities the depth- and interest-throttle gets nicely squeezed. Brad does have interesting things to say about the cultural differences between Japan and the US.
UPDATE: Warner posts a bit about the “third part” in his blog, Hardcore Zen. He writes, “They put up the last part of my interview on Buddhist Geeks. So go give it a listen if you're into that sort of thing. I listened and did not puke, as is my usual reaction to my own interviews.” Brad’s stomach must be getting stronger if he thinks the third part, which Buddhist Geeks titled "It's Like Phil Donahue!," is better-than-average Brad fare.