Random Notes

  • Dinosaurs in Thailand Paid Member

    On Monday the Science section of the New York Times published "Old Bones Yield a New Age of Dinosaurs in Thailand," an article that reveals Thailand’s rich prehistoric past. According to the Times, Thailand was “teeming” with dinosaurs starting around 200 million years ago. Now, during periods of heavy rain, giant dinosaur bones wash ashore in the remote region of Baan Na Kum. For many years, residents were unsure of what to do with the ancient bones. So where did the prehistoric bones end up? Some were kept in local Buddhist temples: For years, farmers did not know what they were or what to do with them. The superstitious buried them. Others brought them to Buddhist temples, where monks collected them alongside artifacts and other curios. More »
  • Soka Gakkai International returns Ponzi scheme donations Paid Member

    VIA The Globe and Mail, A Buddhist organization is giving back more than $300,000 in donations it received from a Toronto businessman who was accused of running an elaborate Ponzi scheme. “In the circumstances, it was clear to us that it’s our moral duty to return these donations,” said Tony Meers, director-general of the Canadian chapter of Soka Gakkai International, or SGI, a Buddhist charitable organization founded in Japan. “We don’t want to keep this money. Our members wouldn’t want us to, it’s pretty obvious.” More »
  • The Heartful Dodger on MTV Paid Member

    In the Spring 2010 issue of Tricycle, Alexander Sharkey wrote a profile of Vinny Ferraro, an ex-convict and recovering drug addict who now works as the teacher-training director of the Mind Body Awareness Project (MBA) in Oakland, California. In Sharkey's piece, "The Heartful Dodger," Vinny talks about leading MBA's Challenge Day—a mindfulness-based program that introduces kids to mindfulness exercises in order to open them up to their own "thoughts, fears, prejudices, and vulnerabilities"—and how he works with kids to help them find freedom beyond conditions: More »
  • Diagramming Western Buddhism Paid Member

    Can a Venn diagram represent the relationship between Buddhism, the West, and Western Buddhism? The Buddha is My DJ recently posted an alternative from the traditional two-circle diagram. From DJ Buddha: a diagram [would] take into account the diversity of sub-cultures within the West (or America) and how those sub-cultures interact with and adapt a diversity of Buddhist traditions in dozens of complex ways. An accurate diagram would look more like a fractal, something I can’t draw with a Sharpie, and something that should not be described with a singular noun. So it's not as simple as A=The West, B=Buddhism, C=Western Buddhism: According to The Buddha is My DJ, it should look more like this (times 20): More »
  • Buddhist Street Art Paid Member

    UPDATE: Here is an interview with the artist. Some highlights: It seems like Buddhist art is a big inspiration for you. Is this just aesthetic or is there a deeper meaning to it? Intuitively, I felt that “Eastern Philosophy” would be a good place to start. Nowhere in the world will you find as much information on the study of the mind than in the East. Also, I wanted to start with something that was easy to digest before getting into more esoteric/occult philosophies. How do people seem to be reacting to your work? So far, the response has been pretty positive. Most people assume it’s just a Buddhist Movement, but I’m hoping they can stay with me as I move on to more challenging ideas. More »