June 21, 2010

Green Buddhism, Basketball, Gary Gach, and Stephen Batchelor

Green Buddhism
James Ure's Buddhist Blog looks at Green Buddhism. With the ongoing horrors of the BP Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, environmental concerns weigh heavily on us all. James calls the environment "the ultimate middle-path." Similarly Clark Strand's recent columns for tricycle.com describe the way of the Green Bodhisattva, a description of the environmentally awake Buddhist. Clark will continue to write for us on this urgently important matter. Look for his next piece on Green Koans on tricycle.com next week.

Garden of 1000 Buddhas
Bitterroot Badger's Bozeman Blog
is folding its tent as Konchog heads west to Arlee, Montana to help out with the Garden of 1000 Buddhas Project. His previous blog, Dreaming of Danzan Ravjaa, dealt with his adventures in Mongolia. We expect Konchog will find a new muse in his new home, and we wish him all the best and look forward to hearing more from him!

Why the Lakers Won
George MumfordReaders of this blog will know there's a certain partiality in some some quarters of this blog toward a certain West Coast team arrayed in imperial gold and purple. Phil Jackson is well known as basketball's "Zen master" and Laker advisor George Mumford (recently profiled by Tricycle) is a proponent of Insight Meditation. Now we see exactly how Kobe and company got the leg up on their Boston rivals:

...By careful design, before shootaround the team will assemble in the comfortable chairs in the film room at their practice facility in El Segundo. Phil Jackson will say a few words, and then the lights will be turned off, and everyone will have instructions to pay attention to nothing but the in and out of their breathing. For five to ten minutes they'll sit in the dark, and nobody will say anything. They do not chant. "Breathing in silence" is the goal. Afterwards, they will watch film.

It's mandatory to be in the room, but this is not a graded exercise. "It's not a requirement. We don't go around and check," says assistant coach Jim Cleamons. "They could very well be asleep."

Buddhism for Complete Idiots
Tricycle's good friend Gary Gach, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism and guiding spirit behind the very popular Haiku Corner on the Tricycle Community, was recently profiled by Kyle of The Reformed Buddhist blog. Kyle links to a video of the inimitable Mr. Gach. Thanks for the heads-up! Gary is always worth watching if you're into books, Buddhism, and that sort of thing, which we hope you are.

Stephen Batchelor at Buddhist Geeks
Self-styled Buddhist Atheist Stephen Batchelor has a talent for bringing out passionate responses in people, both pro and con. His recent interview with Vince Horn of Buddhist Geeks was no exception. The comment thread is closed and the smoke from the battle has cleared, so now's a good time to stop by and listen to the talk and make up your mind, which is how the Buddha would have wanted it.

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Ed's picture

The "Green Buddhist" movement (is it a movement at this point?) is an interesting idea, but I have to wonder if it is necessary. Can't (and shouldn't) I address these concerns through my traditional Zen Buddhist practice? I realize those involved in Green Buddhism have the best intentions, but it seems like adding something extra where nothing really needs to be added.

I'm often tempted to "dress up" Zen a little bit, when all that is really lacking is my own commitment. It's all there. I just need to make the connection.