• Buddha Buzz: Wolverines, Starbucks, and a Buddhist Statue from Outer Space Paid Member

    For someone whose job consists of (among other things, I swear) writing about the news every week, I don't like reading the news all that much. It's just too depressing. So forgive me while I indulge myself in something much more fun.Hey there, Hugh Jackman.The promotional posters for the next Wolverine movie have been released, with Jackman standing in front of what looks like a Buddhist temple (see, this had relevance after all). The movie is set in Japan, so now I'm wondering: is it going to have a Buddhist theme? We'll have to wait until next July to find out. More »
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    The Truth about Truth Paid Member

    One of the most urgent tasks for contemporary practitioners of any spiritual tradition, including Buddhism, is to learn how to take traditional stories seriously without taking them literally. Religious texts employ symbol, metaphor, and allegory to weave narratives that reveal truths about meaning, value, and purpose in human affairs. Although traditions tend to see their stories as historically accurate, the value of these stories does not depend on whether or not they are literally true. But in the modern period, we have come to take science and instrumental reason as the only reliable means and the model for ascertaining truth. For many, this means that they must choose between rejecting the narratives of religious tradition (atheism) or embracing one narrative literally (fundamentalism). More »
  • Occupy Sravasti Paid Member

    This guest blog post comes our way from Joshua Eaton, an editor, writer and translator. Eaton holds an M Div in Buddhist Studies from Harvard University. His most recent piece for tricycle.com is "Making Buddhism accessible to working-class people." Occupy Sravasti: How Buddhism Inspires Me to Occupy By Joshua Eaton More »
  • Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Calm Abiding Paid Member

    Buddhist practice and Buddhist art have been inseparable in the Himalayas ever since Buddhism arrived to the region in the eighth century. But for the casual observer it can be difficult to make sense of the complex iconography. Not to worry—Himalayan art scholar Jeff Watt is here to help. Beginning with this post and future posts, Jeff will make sense of this rich artistic tradition by presenting a weekly image from the Himalayan Art Resources archives and explaining its role in the Buddhist tradition. We begin with shamatha, or "calm abiding." More »
  • Eido Shimano and the Zen Studies Society on Sweeping Zen Paid Member

    Stories of sexual abuse in Buddhist communities touch something raw in us, often rocking us to our core. For some, this leads to overwhelming feelings of betrayal, shock, and outrage; for others, the airing of criticism of one’s teacher evokes many of the same feelings, but now toward those who do the criticizing. Discussions quickly become difficult and divisive, and sanghas may well break apart as a result. But much too often, these discussions never happen in the first place. Teachers and sanghas can sit on allegations for years, hoping that they will never see the light of day. As the victims of the abuse become pressured to keep things under wraps, the media—both Buddhist and mainstream—shy away from printing their stories, unable to publish accusations without a willing accuser. 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 »