16-Year-Old Malala Yousafzai Leaves Jon Stewart Speechless With Comment About Pacifism

malaladailyshow-2What an amazing young woman. After being shot in the head by a Taliban member, she has come back fighting. Fighting for the right of Pakistani women to be educated. She is now the youngest person ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. And though she …

There’s something about the Dalai Lama

Dalai-Lama+DavidsonRichard Davidson and The University of Wisconsin Madison recently hosted conference called “Change Your Mind, Change the World” attended by many heavy-hitters including the Dalai Lama himself.

During one session the presenter talked about a research study showing that 47% of Americans are not paying attention …

Buddhism & the Mindfulness Movement: Friends or Foes?

This is a post by Vishvapani, a mindfulness trainer and senior member of my Buddhist order. I’m very much in agreement with his views — that the meeting of these two streams is creating a wonderful synergy that can profoundly benefit both. I, for one, am dedicating my energies to advancing this cause.

Buddhism & the Mindfulness Movement: Friends or Foes?

We’re in the middle of the Mindfulness Boom as Buddhist-derived meditation practices enter the cultural mainstream. But is this the Dharma touching and transforming western society, or is Buddhism being turned into a self-help technique and a consumer product? Its time for Buddhists to start reflecting seriously on the mindfulness movement and to learn its lessons.

Journalism and Compassion

This is a wonderful interview with Nicholas Kristof, the Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist for the New York Times, who often covered the worst of human suffering — like Darfur. In particular, I appreciated his insight that telling the stories of individual people help pierce …

Occupy Wall Street: Where Everybody Has A Say In Everything

I was really pleased to hear this story on NPR this morning. It’s about how the participants of the Occupy Wall Street movement are organizing themselves. Everyone gathers together every night …

The power of the human spirit

I recently came across two true stories about the amazing power of the human spirit shining through in adversity. I found them both so moving I wanted to share them with you.

The first is a full-length documentary that aired on PBS, called Freedom Riders. This tells of the beginning of the civil-rights movement in 1960s America – a group of black and white people who risked their lives to stand up for the right to travel together openly by bus. Despite being met with bone-chilling racism and mob violence, they stayed true to their commitment to non-violent resistance. It’s a truly inspirational story, and a fabulously well-done documentary.

Some Buddhists weigh in on the death of Bin Laden

phatI realize there’s been full saturation coverage of Bin Laden in the media this week. I’d like to add just one more to the fray, please – about how some Buddhists are responding to the news. Myself included.

I especially appreciated what Susan Piver had to say. On the one hand, she felt we as a nation “had no choice.” There seemed to be no other options for bringing an end to the violence he perpetrated. From a purely pragmatic matter of policy, I have to agree with her. Sometimes there are no good choices. Sometimes we have to choose the least bad out of a bunch of terrible (“Sophie’s”) choices. Was that right or wrong? I don’t know. Susan doesn’t either.

Japan watching

I have family in Tokyo. So I’ve been glued to the news for the last few days. The short version of the story is that my family is safe, thank goodness.

I got an email from my brother first thing Friday morning (the night of their quake day). He was on a skiing vacation north of Tokyo, though on the west coast AWAY from the tsunami side. My 86-year-old mother was home alone in Tokyo, but he had spoken to her by phone and confirmed she was OK. They are now all safely back in Tokyo.

My mother was at the local grocery store when the quake hit. Things literally started flying off the shelves. After the store owner corralled everyone out to the street, a very kind young stranger walked my mother all the way home to her apartment – about a 15 minute walk away. My mom was very grateful.

HOME: a rallying cry for our planet earth

homeHere’s a film I highly recommend. One person called it “the most beautiful and terrifying portrait of earth I’ve seen”. I have to agree.

Here’s a description from the website:

“We are living in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have 10 years to change the way we live, avert …

The Noble Ninefold Path? The Complex Ethics of Right Consumption

21st Century BuddhismThis is an excellent, thoughtful post by Dennis Hunter, on the ethical dilemmas we face as 21st century Buddhists living in an increasingly interdependent world. Today, even our simplest choices — like the food we eat and the clothes we wear — can often have …