a buddhist carnival – march 2008

free tibet: buddhist monks protestinghello friends, and welcome to the march edition of the buddhist carnival.

free tibet
this is written while monks in tibet are asking/fighting/praying/protesting for a tibet that is free from occupation. after all, when we do metta, we say, “may all beings be happy, may all beings be healthy, may all beings be free.”

danny fisher, an american buddhist chaplain, talks about this in several of his posts, one of them containing a clear and impassioned interview with richard gere. make sure you watch the video to the end – there’s an interesting little turn at the end.

danny is one of the people who won the 2008 blogisattva award for the best buddhist blogs in 2007. here is a sampling of some of the winners.

best buddhist blogs

stuff, stuff, more stuff. less stuff?
unstuffing from stuff is an article by wayne c. allen

my, we do like our piles, don’t we? this entire series is sort of about piles of stuff”all that changes is the content of the pile. i’ve listed “money, possessions, titles, jobs” for today’s discussion, but that’s not the end of it, by a long shot. stuff could include eating too much of the wrong foods, drinking too much booze (or anything-coffee, tea, water…) or being stuffed to the gills with the stories you tell yourself.

if you take a step back from it, you begin to see that each pile is about how you identify yourself.

* i am this / not that.
* i have this / i never want that.
* here are my collected fears / these are my collected passions.

much of what i do is to get people, first, to acknowledge that their pain (called dukkha in buddhism, normally translated ‘suffering,’ but actually meaning ‘unease’ or ‘unsatisfactoriness,’) comes from their death-grip (clinging to) on their piles.

material deprivation and spiritual poverty
our next post, the soothing words of a nun, is interesting because the nun in question, cheng yen, points out that not having enough stuff (food, clothes, education, a roof over your head) also leads to misery. cheng yen’s tzu chi foundation is a non-profit organization has been contributing to better social and community services, medical care, education and humanism in taiwan for nearly 40 years. master cheng yen firmly believes that suffering in this world is caused by material deprivation and spiritual poverty. she felt that “lack of love for others” has been the root of many problems in this world. “to save the world, we must begin by transforming human hearts.”

in the art of giving what you don’t have, the urban monk tells us that

when a tibetan monk hooked up to an EEG began meditating in a way that was designed to generate compassion, the sensors registered a dramatic shift to a state of great joy. “the very act of concern for others’ well-being, it seems, creates a greater state of well-being within oneself,” writes bestselling author goleman (emotional intelligence)

karma is a word that is used very freely nowadays. this, says our contributor, is not karma:

stanley walks into a bar, bumping into xavier on his way out. he sneers and yells “watch where you’re going” and slides up to the bar. soon after his advances are rejected by an exceedingly beautiful woman, maribel. charles, who witnessed the whole scene, sneers back at him and says “that’s karma for you.”

find out what chris thinks is a better interpretation of karma.

wide awake
tarakananda quotes the bhagavad-gita

“amongst the sleeping wide-awake”-such is the wise man. before buddha stated this, krishna had told arjuna: “the recollected mind is awake in the knowledge of the atman, which is dark night to the ignorant. the ignorant are awake in their sense-life which they think is daylight. to the seer it is darkness.” (bhagavad-gita 2:69)

other articles
charles green provides the kind of insight that we often get with meditation and practicing buddhism. two things: we are much more ruled by our emotion than we think, and it is important to develop the habit of serving others.

i’d also like to acknowledge sj yee and sam zoranovich who also submitted to the carnival.


thank you everyone for reading and sharing. our next edition will come out april 15. if you have or know of a buddhist post that you feel should be included at that time, please bring it to my attention using this submission form.

may you all be healthy, happy, peaceful and free.

(image thanks to david)

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