“Are you really an atheist?”

said the friend sitting next to me at Christmas Eve dinner, with a vague look of disgust on her face, like I’d just admitted to enjoying self-flagellation. I was in the company of a number of people who had escaped Western religion (all some form of Christianity) and landed firmly in Eastern religion (all some … [Read more…]

65mph Challenge

“Hypermiling” has become all the rage in the media sources I frequent (in order of its appearance: Wired, NPR, and GroovyGreen), but it’s always seemed too dangerous and requiring too much thought. I learned to drive on the Autobahn, where there is no speed limit, only a minimum, and a posted “recommendation” of 120kph (about … [Read more…]

Music Monday: Bodhisattva Vow, by the Beastie Boys

You’d never think that the Beastie Boys, of all groups, could produce thoughtful, meditative/religious tunes.  This one is god-free, but does pitch some supernatural Buddhist ideas: [wp_youtube]KtKhakSmwhA[/wp_youtube] I love to blast this and focus exclusively on the deep bass chanting. The following song is all about doubt and searching.  The imagery is pretty generic, so … [Read more…]

Dharma Rap Masters

Here’s a fun headline: Japanese Buddhist monks try to lure believers with fashion, rap music A Google search for “rapping Buddhist” led me to these Dharma Rap Masters. Their site also has the lyrics to the Heart Sutra Rap, which begins: Avora… master of compassion His mind no longer thrashin’ Did some hard time lookin’ … [Read more…]

On Suffering.

There wisdom in the following quote from the Buddhist monk, Matthieu Ricard, but I’m a bit disturbed by it as well: We want the world to allow the unconditional fulfillment of all our aspirations. And since this does not happen, we fall prey to suffering. Our search for happiness is more often founded on our … [Read more…]