Buddha Buzz Spring 2005

Strange but true tales from the modern Buddhist world

Jeff Wilson

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Don’t Mess with Jizo
Litter was becoming a major problem in the Japanese town of Nagato last year, as tourists passing through to nearby ski resorts threw their garbage wherever they parked. Finally, officials hit on a unique solution: the town placed statues of the popular bodhisattva Jizo, patron of travelers and children, at parking spaces around Nagato. Trash levels subsequently dropped to near zero. As one reformed litterbug explained, “I can’t drop litter now, not with the statue looking at me.”

Don’t Be Fooled by the Dharma That I Got
The year 2004 ended on an auspicious note for celebrity Buddhist watchers. Jennifer Lopez began a foray into Tibetan Buddhism after discussions with Shall We Dance? co-star Richard Gere. And Lord of the Rings super-heartthrob Orlando Bloom converted to Soka Gakkai. No word yet on whether Zen is catching on in the Shire.

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