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1 year of buddhist carnival!

thai buddhist templewelcome, welcome, welcome! this is the 12th edition of the buddhist carnival – one year of a monthly celebration of bloggers who write about buddhism. as usual, i’ll post it in two parts. it occurred to me a while ago that there is something decidedly un-buddhist or at least un-zen in a buddhist post that’s completely overloaded with information.

i’ll post part 2 on monday, november 17.

the peace of wild things
as usual, we start with a poem, a beautiful one by wendell berry

the peace of wild things

when despair for the world grows in me
and i wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
i go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
i come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. i come into the presence of still water.
and i feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. for a time
i rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

this comes to us from bodhileaf.

a NaNoWriMo-er walks her talk
dharmashanti “dharma” kelleher writes fiction and non-fiction, focusing on the effects of addiction, depression and discrimination on the LGBT community. glad to find her here in the blogosphere; it looks like we have a lot of interests in common. her work is shown here because of my promise to talk about NaNoWriMo in every post this month; she’s participating in it, too. i really enjoyed this post, what it takes to get what you want. here’s an excerpt:

if you want a world based on respect, peace and compassion, then that’s what you have to put into the world. and you can only put it into the world if you allow it to exist unhindered within you. in other words, you have to let go of hate and practice the way of peace. as within, so without.

look at the presidential election. in a contest between hope and fear, the people chose hope. in a contest between unity and division, we chose unity.

“i can’t do what they did,” we say. people think that revolutionaries like gandhi and dr. king were saints. they weren’t.

i’d say she’s walking her talk – a concept that’s very important to me. in fact, some time ago, in a discussion about motivation, i realized that that’s one of my biggest motivators. if you want to get me to do something, make a convincing case that that would mean i’d be walking my talk, and i’ll show up.

a concise definition of buddhism
in his post the meaning and purpose behind buddhist chanting and prayer, loden jinpa gives a great concise definition of buddhism:

the buddhist path could be summarized as having two main aspects. the removal of dysfunctional states of mind, such as anger, attachment and ignorance and the development of functional minds such as compassion and wisdom – the wisdom knowing the nature of reality.

loden jinpa will also be hosting next month’s buddhist carnival – please bookmark his blog and visit on december 15!

the last contribution for today comes from ambud, who talks, among other things about one of biggest myths about buddhism. i am always surprised how even some people who have investigated buddhism a little bit tend to think that buddhism is about complete detachment and disinterest – the nihilism that ambud mentions. this misconception often arises in the context of “emptiness”.

whenever we work with emptiness we must be on guard to the extremes of nihilism and absolutism. our path is the ‘middle way’, between nihilism and absolutism, and as such rejects both nothingness and ‘me-ness’. nihilism refutes the existence of things, which contradicts reality; we can plainly see that objects do exist. the buddhist argument is with how things exist, not that things are non-existent.

absolutism is the opposite extreme which avows predefined characteristics both in the substratum of the universe and in individual objects themselves. absolutism is the assertion that objects exist intrinsically, without dependence on other factors.

read here for the rest.

see you on monday for part 2!  and if you have a buddhist blog post you’d like to contribute, please send it to me here, or, if you have a hard time connecting to blog carnival, drop me a line.

the image from a thai buddhist temple comes from aimforawesome