Politics

Buddhist teachings on civic engagement without attachment to outcome
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    It's Not Our Karma Paid Member

    THE SRI LANKAN VILLAGE where the Theravadin Buddhist nun P. G. Ranwala built her temple is in the upcountry, miles from any city. One-story mud-and-thatch houses painted pastel pink, blue, and green, and deeply ridged paddy fields carved into the mountainside below give the village a prosperous feeling, although the people here live on the edge of poverty. Before Ranwala came, the villagers waited weeks for monks to come from the city of Kandy to perform chanting ceremonies and other Buddhist rituals on their behalf. Most parents relied on weekly radio programs to provide religious education to their children. More »
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    Visible & Invisible Paid Member

    MUCH INK HAS BEEN SPILLED in recent years over the question of what con­stitutes genuine "American Bud­dhism." ls it the Buddhism of recent European­ American converts, or the generations-old tradi­tion into which many Americans of Asian ances­try were born? ls it a matter primarily of ideas or of practice? ls it meditative, devotional, or both? Must one be a member of a specific organization to be counted as a Buddhist, or should "free­lancers" be included as well? In short, are there any criteria at all for defining ''American Bud­dhism," and precisely who should be included in the picture? 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 »
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    Under One Umbrella Paid Member

    It is likely that few English-speaking admirers of the Dalai Lama recognize Thupten Jinpa Langri’s face, even though they may well attribute to him an almost revered status. We who attend the Dalai Lama’s public appearances know Jinpa, His Holiness’s translator and interpreter, mainly by his voice. His job is to be an invisible conduit, and he keeps a low profile. So it was an unusual event—and the first time I had heard him address his own thoughts to an audience—when he took center stage at the Kalachakra Initiation in Washington, DC, in 2011 to deliver a talk entitled “Under the Umbrella of Buddhism: Do Religion, Science, and Secularism All Fit?” Jinpa began apologetically. When he prepared his talk, he had understood he would be addressing an audience of people from Himalayan regions, like Tibetans and Mongolians. Instead, several hundred Westerners showed up. More »
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    Every Revolution Needs Fresh Poems Paid Member

    Every revolution needs fresh poemsthat is the reasonpoetry cannot die.It is the reason poetsgo without sleepand sometimes without loverswithout new carsand without fine clothesthe reason we committo facing the darkandresign ourselves, regularly, to the possibilityof being wrong.Poetry is leading us.It never cares how we willbe held by loversor drive fastor look goodin the moment;but about how completelywe are committedto movementboth inner and outer;and devoted to transformationand to change. From The World Will Follow Joy: Turning Madness into Flowers, by Alice Walker © 2014 The New Press. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. More »