General

  • What's On Your Mind? Paid Member

    Today's guest post is by Andrew Titus, a Canadian Soto Zen Buddhist and an English literature professor at St. Thomas University. In his piece "What's On Your Mind? Facebook, Suffering, and Letting Go," he explores what the use of Facebook means to a Buddhist practitioner. In the end, let us know what you think—is Facebook a "nefarious temptation to continually assert our false sense of self" or can it be something more? And of course, if you so desire, don't forget to give the piece a More »
  • Meditation Month, Day 27: Drowsiness Paid Member

    I am very good at falling asleep. This is probably because I am almost always tired. And I'm never more tired than when I meditate. Especially if I meditate at the end of the day, I'm so excited to have 5 or 10 (or if I'm lucky, 20) minutes of nonactivity that I'm immediately in relaxation mode. As soon as I relax, I'm drowsy. As soon as I'm drowsy, my head and body begin to pitch forward; a few minutes after that, I'm lucky if I'm not dead asleep. My mind during meditation: My body during meditation: More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Buddhist History in Danger Paid Member

    Sad news from the Maldives this week, an islands-nation that lies southwest of India. The Maldives, though now strictly Islamic, was Buddhist until the 12th century. In recent political turmoil, during which the first democratically elected president in the country's history resigned (he says he was forced to), six men entered the National Museum and smashed almost 30 Buddhist statues, some of which were over 1,500 years old. A New York Times article reports on the loss:   More »
  • Buddha Buzz: E-blessings, Art, and Ceasing to Be Human Paid Member

    Buddhism and modernity have sat down together at the table once more. Last Friday, the China Daily published the article "Buddhist temple offers e-blessing service," which covered one innovative method of controlling crowds, reducing the burning of incense, and making some money: sending blessings via text. Guiyuan Temple in Wuhan, China, in cooperation with China Mobile, is charging people 3 to 10 yuan (normal text messages, according to the article, cost 0.15 yuan) to send a blessing text, which includes the phone number of the person for whom the blessing is meant for. While China Mobile forwards the text to the appropriate person, the blessing appears on an LED board outside the temple, where monks are chanting prayers for all the texters and textees. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Dating, Drugs, and Death Paid Member

    First off, Happy Lunar New Year! Welcome to the year of the dragon. As befits such a year celebrating a creature who is often associated with longevity, some Buddhist monks in Japan have a similar concern in mind: from the Japan Times, "Matchmaking Service gives Buddhist monks a boost in dating market." From the article: In Japan, it is typical for relatives of monks—especially head monks—to inherit caretaker duties of their temples. But because of a lack of successors, the monks have become desperate to find wives in order to preserve this tradition and save their temples from being closed or integrated. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Buddhism and the Internet, Friends or Foes? Paid Member

    The Internet is a many-headed beast. A many-headed beast that sometimes seems like it's eating everything, my free time being the first item on the menu. Websites like YouTube, StumbleUpon, Facebook and Twitter are so addictive—and some of the time, so mindless—that they can suck even the most seasoned Buddhist practitioner into a vortex of websites, blogs, and profiles, where the most profound of insights lose out to...are those pictures of baby animals? Let's put it this way: if the Internet could be summed up into one word, it would be distraction. More »