Mindfulness

  • The Karmapa on the Environment Paid Member

    I recently came across this interview in the Asia Sentinel with Ogyen Trinley Dorje, one of the two young lamas recognized as the 17th Karmapa.  It is a great interview and I recommend reading the whole thing, but this passage in particular jumped out at me. The distance between humans and the environment is becoming wider and wider and likewise, we are bringing more and more harm to the environment by using it indiscriminately. Actually, before using the environment, we should think; it is very important to think of the consequences of indiscriminate destruction of the environment. Lack of mindfulness is creating a lot of problems. More »
  • Off the grid, into the mind Paid Member

    In today's New York Times, Robert Wright, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, describes his experience returning to technology after a week-long Buddhist meditation retreat at Insight Meditation Society (IMS). Having spent his time at IMS "unplugged" from technology---Wright spent five hours of sitting meditation and five hours of walking meditaiton each day---upon returning home he had to confront his email, smart phone, and the seduction of the 24-hour news cycle. Wright describes the wave of complicated emotions that befell him after falling into the trap of clicking on a link to a video of Paris Hilton's recent arrest and then succumbing to his "techno-lust"---online window shopping for a new smart phone (though he admits that he already has an iPhone): More »
  • 5 recent quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh in today's Guardian Paid Member

    In the current issue of Tricycle, contributing editor Andrew Cooper recounts his travels with Thich Nhat Hanh, the much beloved Vietnamese teacher, poet, peace advocate and environmentalist. Cooper's view is unique; charged with attending Thay, as he is called, on an early visit to the United States, Cooper offers an up-close-and-personal view of a man who changed—in fact, helped to shape—Buddhism in the West. Today's Guardian features a nice piece on Thay on the occasion of his visit to Nottingham, where he led nearly 1,000 people in walking meditation (above). Here are five outtakes: 1. "The situation the Earth is in today has been created by unmindful production and unmindful consumption. We consume to forget our worries and our anxieties. Tranquilizing ourselves with over-consumption is not the way." 2. More »
  • Buddhist Cafe Culture and "Happiness Classes" Paid Member

    Monks from Mt. Koya (Koyasan), a center of Shingon Buddhism, are coming into Tokyo to offer classes to harried city-dwellers in cafe setting. This immediately made me think of the city centers of American Zen Centers, where one can go during the week before heading out to the mountains for retreats and so on. But here, it's usually the more serious students who do the calligraphy as the women are doing in the photo above. More »
  • More on mindfulness and technology Paid Member

    More from the New York Times on how the overuse of technology can be counterproductive: The technology makes the tiniest windows of time entertaining, and potentially productive. But scientists point to an unanticipated side effect: when people keep their brains busy with digital input, they are forfeiting downtime that could allow them to better learn and remember information, or come up with new ideas. Read the rest of “Digital Devices Deprive Brain of Needed Downtime.” In related news, the second Wisdom 2.0 Conference has been announced. From their website: There is little question that most of us will live "connected" to technology ... More »
  • Top Seven Challenges of Western Socially Engaged Buddhism Paid Member

    The following seven challenges were expressed by participants at the first major Symposium for Western Socially Engaged Buddhism taking place August 9-14, 2010.  The event is hosted by the Zen Peacemakers and you could check out detailed coverage of the Symposium at the Bearing Witness Blog. More »