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  • Buddha Buzz: Chinese New Year and Death Cafes Paid Member

    Chinese New Year this year falls on Sunday, February 10. It's the year of the black water snake. If you're celebrating (and hey, even if you're not), a very happy new year to you! More »
  • Buddha Buzz: A Columbia Professor and a Death Row Inmate Paid Member

    Not to be outdone by Burma's shocking level of prejudice against Muslims, a group of Sinhalese Buddhist monastics known as the "Buddhist Force" is campaigning to ban halal meat in Sri Lanka amidst attacks on Muslim-owned businesses and other violence. The Sinhalese president has urged the monks to maintain religious harmony within the country, especially since the nation's civil war with the Hindu Tamil Tigers ended only four years ago. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Buddha Porta Potties, Marine Mindfulness, and Tibetan Rap Paid Member

    I don't know what Dutch company Boels Rental was thinking when they green-lighted an advertising campaign that involved images of Shakyamuni Buddha printed on Porta Potties around the Netherlands, but it's safe to say they didn't expect a massive Facebook campaign, led by two Thai Buddhists, demanding that the images be taken down. The campaign gathered such support that only two days after it began, the company had apologized and promised to "withdraw the designs from the market." More »
  • Social Media Guidelines for Vajrayana Students Paid Member

    The following guidelines were posted on the Facebook page of Buddhist author and filmmaker Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche (via American Buddhist Perspective). If you think or believe that you are a student of Vajrayana—whether or not that’s true is another matter—but as long as you think you are a Vajrayana practitioner, it becomes your responsibility to protect this profound tradition. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Buddhism, Self-Help, and Suicide Paid Member

    Some of us Buddhists, myself included, like to decry Buddhism being used as self-help or therapy. And yet, Buddhism has become so entwined with self-help that in New York Magazine's recent self-help issue, half of the six feature articles mention Buddhism in some way. Kathryn Schulz's piece "The Self in Self-Help," accurately summarizes the whole phenomenon in just one sentence: "Curiously, Buddhism is simultaneously a burgeoning influence on the Western self-help movement and entirely at odds with it: anti-self, and anti-help." More »
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    The Self in Self-Help Literature Paid Member

    In New York Magazine's new self-help issue, journalist Kathryn Schulz examines how we can improve ourselves and why it's so damn hard. You might know you shouldn't watch the next episode of that serial television show on Netflix (those new countdowns don't help) or eat that deep-fried, bacon-wrapped Twinkie (or five), but that doesn't mean you won't! Exploring this dissonance between the prudent, "better" you and the troublemaking mortal sinner leads Schulz to grapple with the thorny question, "Can self-help work if we have no idea how a self works?" More »