News

  • Monks in Ferguson Paid Member

    Tensions continued to escalate in Ferguson, Missouri over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, on August 9. His death set off days of protests and a heavy-handed, militarized police response that has sparked national outrage. But Ferguson residents got a pleasant surprise on Sunday: A visit from a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks. “Ferguson was a very heated issue in our backyard,” explained Patty Maher, who is hosting the monks during their stay in St. Louis. “Sunday was their day off. . . . We didn't know what to expect, but they gladly went. And as you saw, their presence was profound.” More »
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    Joshu Sasaki Roshi, Rinzai Zen Master, Dies at 107 Paid Member

    On Sunday, Joshu Sasaki Roshi, a Rinzai Zen Buddhist who came to the United States in 1962 and went on to become one of the country’s most influential, if not most controversial, Zen teachers, died at Cedars-Sinai medical center in Los Angeles. He was 107 years old. Although said to have no dharma heirs, Joshu Roshi had legions of followers who founded about 30 Zen centers, from Seattle to Oslo, Vancouver to Berlin, some of which later closed. He led a large center in Los Angeles and two training centers in the Southwest, one in New Mexico and one at Mount Baldy, in the mountains east of Los Angeles. The poet and songwriter Leonard Cohen lived at Mount Baldy in the 1990s, lending his teacher a semimythic status among spiritually inclined rock fans. More »
  • Mipham Chokyi Lodro, the 14th Shamarpa, Dies at 61 Paid Member

    Shamar Rinpoche passed away suddenly this morning in his center in Renchen Ulm, Germany, at the age of 61. The 14th Shamarpa, Mipham Chokyi Lodro, was born in Tibet and recognized and enthroned there by his uncle, the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, supreme head of the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. More »
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    Let Them Eat Empathy Paid Member

    I’m no marketing executive, but I’ve watched enough TV to understand the basic syllogism underlying all endorsements: celebrity X is well-liked; celebrity X will appear with a product; therefore the product will be well-liked. Variations arise, of course, depending on what the advertisers are trying to sell. They get Megan Fox to endorse jeans because she’s sexy. They get George Clooney to endorse tequila because he’s classy. And, as it turns out, they get His Holiness the Dalai Lama to endorse market capitalism because he’s virtuous. More »
  • Buddhist volunteers comfort families of those lost on Flight 370 Paid Member

    At a press conference on Monday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that “new analysis” had confirmed Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 had crashed into the southern Indian Ocean. As with other developments in the international mystery, news channels quickly displayed footage of the victims’ families bunkered in a hotel conference room.   More »
  • Why I Disrupted the Wisdom 2.0 Conference Paid Member

    The invisibility of the crisis in San Francisco right now is reminiscent of that of the AIDS epidemic. To quote from Vito Russo, a founder of the AIDS activist group ACT UP, film historian, and rabble rouser, it’s “like living through a war which is happening only for those people who happen to be in the trenches.” He lived in this city when it was a haven for political radicals, queer people, artists, and immigrants, when it was America’s great city of sanctuary. “You look around and you discover that you’ve lost more of your friends, but nobody else notices,” he said. “It isn’t happening to them.” More »