my view

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    Eight Pedals of a California Lotus Paid Member

    Nonprofit organizations in the heart of Silicon Valley often marvel at the irony of not having websites to promote their work. Enter Nipun Mehta, a twenty-four-year-old former Sun Microsystems computer programmer who organized a network of over 350 well-meaning techies to create free websites for nonprofits on weekends and in their spare time. Mehta's organization, CharityFocus, appears to be meeting its stated goal of introducing the pleasures of dana—the Buddhist practice of giving—to hundreds of computer professionals. Mehta says ChariryFocus is "an experiment in the joy of giving without any expectation of material gain." Beneficiaries of CharityFocus include Sustainable Business Alliance, India Literacy Project, and California School for the Blind. More »
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    An Everyday Aspiration Paid Member

    In early spring, I moved to a house in a village at the edge of Cambridge, England, where I work as a writer and administrator in a local Buddhist center. I share this small house overlooking cornfields with two friends, both of whom are also Buddhist. Though our living arrangements are not formally oriented toward communal practice, we take for granted that each of us will try our best to support the others; we know we can assume a certain vocabulary and a familiarity with shared ideals and approaches to our practice. So when one of my housemates upbraided me a few weeks back for not doing my share of the housework, he reminded me—without sanctimony—of the bodhisattva aspiration. More »
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    Vision and Routine Paid Member

    All human activity can be viewed as an interplay between two contrary but equally essential factors—vision and repetitive routine. Vision is the creative element in activity, whose presence ensures that over and above the settled conditions pressing down upon us from the past we still enjoy a margin of openness to the future, a freedom to discern more meaningful ends and to discover more efficient ways to achieve them. Repetitive routine, in contrast, provides the conservative element in activity. It is the principle that accounts for the persistence of the past in the present, and it enables the successful achievements of the present to be preserved intact and faithfully transmitted to the future. More »
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    What the Buddha Taught? Paid Member

    People have always made sense of the present through understanding the past. Usually, we arrived at the past through a blend of myth, legend, spoken accounts of actual events, and perhaps written records. While historical study is often said to have begun in ancient Greece, with Herodotus and Thucydides, it is only in the modern period that its methods have matured to become our definitive way of knowing, well, history. More »
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    Sitting Practice Redux Paid Member

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    Eco-Dharma Paid Member

    Does meditating on your zafu help us deal with climate change, or are Buddhists getting away with “sitting” out the ecological crisis? It may be surprising to some that Buddhism, often regarded as otherworldly and introspective, has been a launching pad for environmental activism in the 21st century. Shakyamuni Buddha’s 2,600-year-old teachings have inspired the modern and diverse ecological efforts of the Sri Lankan organization Sarvodaya and individuals including Australia’s John Seed, Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi, Thailand’s Phra Khru Pitak, America’s Joanna Macy and Gary Snyder, Vietnam’s Thich Nhat Hanh, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Buddhist teachings continue to inspire and inform the activism of a new generation of environmental leaders. More »