Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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From Tricycle.com

Ask Pamela Gayle White about Tibetan visualization practice. The noted translator and dharma teacher will be taking questions until December 21.

Buddhism emphasizes the emptiness of all phenomena and does not posit a personal god. Does that mean that Buddhism is amoral and nihilistic? Read Joseph Goldstein‘s answers from our most recently featured Q&A here.

Can you teach your child about death? Read Family Dharma: The Elephant’s Footprint. Beth Roth writes about helping our children understand death.

On Generosity: Gifts That Keep Giving. Joan Duncan Oliver profiles some of the better options for compassionate gift-giving this holiday season.

And keep an eye on our Editor’s Blog where we report on books, Burma and all Buddhist issues of the day!


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Reason, Religion and Fear

We live in a time in which people with strong opinions about the end of time can influence foreign policy. It’s fair to ask Romney the questions put to Kennedy: will your faith conflict with your duty? Will others, even non believers get a fair shake? Romney says separation of Church and state has gone too far. Inquiring minds want to know: What exactly does he find excessive?

Bill Curry: Reason, Religion and Fear – Politics on The Huffington Post


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A Feast of Ideas

When different-minded people gather at Marnita’s Table, meaningful conversation is always the main dish

The dining room windows are foggy with conversation. Every seat, nearly every piece of floor space in Marnita Schroedl’s modest three-bedroom house in Minneapolis is occupied. Patio furniture has been pressed into February service. Guests perch on radiators and test the limits of the pet-weary sofa, juggling paper plates, plastic wine glasses, and animated discussions.

Although space is tight, the more than 50 people who have crunched through fresh snow to get here tonight don’t seem to care. They’ve come to meet six international doctors who specialize in HIV/AIDS and to meet each other. All of them have some connection to the disease. Over the next four hours, they swap stories about how it has changed their lives and their communities and grope for new strategies and answers.

A Feast of Ideas

Please remember that Saturday, December 1st is World AIDS Day.  Do something.


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Cave With a View

I sit in a pink plastic lawn chair in front of my borrowed meditation cave. The afternoon is perfect, a warm cedar-scented breeze sighing through the branches of the deodar cedars on the hill. Tiny birds chirp in the underbrush. My rosary drops onto my lap, my mantra recitation slurs to a halt.

Past my bare toes is a gulf of bluish, haze-softened air. Far below, the sacred lake glints like dull-green jade. The high Himalayas are visible today, low and pale across the horizon.

Cave With a View


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Bottom-ranked school shoots to top after introducing Harry Potter-themed curriculum

A primary school has been praised as “outstanding” in an official
government report after introducing Harry Potter-themed lessons, it has
been revealed.

The fictional young wizard created by J K Rowling has helped
standards at Robert Mellors Primary and Nursery in Arnold,
Nottinghamshire, rise dramatically after pupils picked him to be the
inspiration for all their classes.

This term has seen the seven to 11 year olds learning
subtraction with the help of a Potter-esque “spell”, writing their own
plays based on the best-selling books and even keeping fit by
pretending to get on and off imaginary broomsticks.

Bottom-ranked school shoots to top after introducing Harry Potter-themed curriculum | the Daily Mail

No doubt they’ll all go to hell, but at least they’ll be educated enough not to think it’s real.


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Combating Muslim Extremism

American politicians should cease implying that Muslim nations and individuals are different from, or somehow more dangerous than, any other group of human beings, a racist idea promoted by the Christian and Zionist right. They should acknowledge that most Muslim nations are US friends and allies. A wise American policy toward the small networks of Muslim extremists would reduce their recruitment pool by the quick establishment of a Palestinian state and by a large-scale military drawdown from Iraq, thus removing widespread and major grievances. An increase in visible humanitarian and development aid to Muslim countries has a demonstrable effect on improving the US image.

Combating Muslim Extremism


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Outrage fatigue? Get over it

“…On the one hand, it is, you can argue, generally the way of the meaner-than-thou blogosphere, with all but the most professional and intelligent and positive-minded of outposts seeming to suffer an undue percentage of reactionary chyme in their comment areas, hordes of Net-drunk twentysomethings and extremists and shut-ins who have way too much free time and merely chime in to see their sneers “published” and to prove how much more jaded and apathetic they are than the next person, while adding zero to the conversation.

“But maybe it’s worse than that. Because this is where it can happen, where you can get sucked into the vortex of whining and bitterness and where you might feel part of yourself wanting to wallow too, desiring to avoid doing the actual moral and spiritual work of dissecting and researching and analysing something as politically messy and morally ugly as torture for yourself, opting instead for the easy path, for closing your eyes and sticking your fingers in your ears and going, nyah nyah nyah shut up shut up SHUT UP! Hey, it sure beats thinking. …”

Outrage fatigue? Get over it / Are you sick of being sick? Suffering way too much Bush-induced nausea? Well, tough

I suppose he’s right, in principle, but he misses the point of his own column.  The whiners are the people who complain but offer no solutions — precisely what he’s done himself on many occasions, including this one.

Outrage predisposes us to not look for the compromises that will lead to solutions.  I prefer thinkers who look at the reality of the situation: that there are two sides, that there always will be, and that the answers will all be found someplace toward the middle, and not by painting the issues black and white.