Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

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How is Atlanta like Tibet?

After a 1995 visit, the Dalai Lama and actor Richard Gere, America’s celebrity Buddhist, stopped in [at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, in Atlanta, for soul food].

Mims recognized Gere. The Dalai Lama? Nope.

His crimson and saffron robes confused her when she saw him getting out of the car.

“I thought he was a lady Dalai Lama at first. Because somebody said the name Dolly, you know?”

“I didn’t know he was a big-time church man,” Mims said.

Gere and the bespectacled Dalai Lama strolled in, ate corn bread, vegetables, rolls and cheese grits.

“He loved it,” Mims remembered. “He blessed us and everything.”

Good thing, too. Because that same day, a Mary Mac’s employee wrecked his motorcycle. “He didn’t have a scratch on him,” said the suitably impressed Mims.

How is Atlanta like Tibet? |


If Al Gore Wins The Nobel Peace Prize

It is possible that in a few short weeks America wakes up to news from Europe that Al Gore has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

If this occurs, it will be a powerful transforming event in American politics that will bring a surge of patriotism and pride to a nation that has been torn by war, divided by partisanship, trapped in a quagmire and alienated from what Jefferson called the decent opinion of mankind.

Let’s set aside for now the question of whether Al Gore runs for President, which is unlikely though world events can change our politics in a heartbeat.

The more important matter is what happens to our national dialogue and our democracy if indeed the Nobel Prize is awarded to Gore.

From the moment his award is announced through his speech in December accepting the prize, Al Gore will be the most influential living American in defining the terms of our national debate.   If Al Gore Wins The Nobel Peace Prize


No War, No Warming, Rise Up!

The options before us are crystal clear. Down one road, the one we’re now on, lies a cascading series of oil and water wars, climate disasters and ecological devastation. Down the other lies a turn toward peaceful resolution of conflicts, energy conservation, efficiency and a clean energy revolution, and social and economic justice.

Another world is possible, but for it to come about another US is necessary…

Ted Glick | No War, No Warming, Rise Up!

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Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain

The results show “there are two cognitive styles — a liberal style and a conservative style,” said UCLA neurologist Dr. Marco Iacoboni…

Los Angeles Times: Study finds left-wing brain, right-wing brain

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What Is the Rightful Role of Faith in Politics?

Through Christian representatives from a number of Christian faith traditions, “Golden Rule Politics” explores what is the rightful role of faith in politics. Democratic politicians share their Christian witness, without ever making an exclusive claim to the politics of providence. Clergy caution that political parties are neither thoroughly moral nor completely immoral, that God is neither a Republican nor a Democrat, that sin is a universal reality and that God transcends human finitude. …  What Is the Rightful Role of Faith in Politics?

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Pope blasts Europeans for not having enough children

 MARIAZELL, Austria (AFP) — Pope Benedict XVI blasted Europeans for being selfish and not having enough children, in a sermon on Saturday at the 850-year-old pilgrimage site of Mariazell in Austria.

“Europe has become child-poor. We want everything for ourselves and place little trust in the future…”

Spoken like a true Global leader.  If I ever thought the man had an ounce of concern for his “flock,” (which I don’t recall, mind) I certainly just lost it.  He’s a didacticist through and through.  Let’s go ahead and finish overpopulating the planet — it’s GOD’s WILL that we destroy His creation! 

Jesus wept! (John 11:35)

AFP: Pope blasts Europeans for not having enough children

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Einstein Archives Online

The Einstein Archives Online provides the first online access to Albert Einstein’s scientific and non-scientific manuscripts held by the  Albert Einstein Archives at the  Hebrew University of Jerusalem and to an extensive Archival Database, constituting the material record of one of the most influential intellects in the modern era.

The site allows viewing and browsing of approx. 3,000 high-quality digitized images of Einstein’s writings, available for viewing in two sizes: a standard resolution image, as well as a high-resolution image for closer inspection.

Einstein Archives Online

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Buddhist fest lets Nashville in on the secret of inner peace

The Buddha preached: “Even if thieves carve you limb from limb with a double-handed saw, if you make your mind hostile you are not following my teaching.” The Dalai Lama says: “Hatred will not cease by hatred, but by love alone. This is the ancient law.”

Impossibly naive words. The only thing more naive is the assumption that the shock-and-awe business of high-strung 21st century reality (nukes, car bombs, arms sales, torture cells, spouse abuse, dog-fighting) is a worthy, practical solution for future human security.

Buddhist fest lets Nashville in on the secret of inner peace – Nashville, Tennessee – Saturday, 09/01/07 –

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Master Dogen on “Time”

Do not think that time merely flies away. Do not see flying away as the only function of time. If time merely flies away, you would be separated from time. The reason you do not clearly understand the time-being is that you think of time only as passing. In essence, all things in the entire world are linked with one another as moments. Because all moments are the time-being, they are your time-being.

Daily Dharma

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How’s This For Dichotomy?

ZEN Green Tea Liqueur
ZEN Green Tea Liqueur is a unique blend of the finest Japanese green tea leaves, premium herbs and natural flavors. It is also the first super-premium green tea liqueur ever introduced in America. The fresh and original taste of ZEN Green Tea Liqueur, which is primarily derived from the ceremonial Japanese Green Tea, results from the use of the finest ingredients available. The perfection inherent of the final product is the result of time-honored Japanese traditions of quality and craftsmanship combined with a modern sense of elegance and style. ZEN is available in finer bars, lounges and restaurants across the USA. ZEN is stylishly packaged in a tall, elegant 750ml bottles priced at a MSRP of $29.99.

The last of the five Buddhist moral precepts enjoins against the use of intoxicants. On the personal level, abstention from intoxicants helps to maintain sobriety and a sense of responsibility. Socially, it helps to prevent accidents, such as car accidents, that can easily take place under the influence of intoxicating drink or drugs. Many crimes in society are committed under the influence of these harmful substances. The negative effects they have on spiritual practice are too obvious to require any explanation.

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I wonder about the compulsion.

I’ve been poking around some atheist sites today. It has been interesting.

Anyone who has read about “Me” knows that I am likely to be one of the last to find fault with apostasy, and let me say at the outset that I do not. What I do find interesting, however, is a seeming need on the part of some folks to beat a dead horse.

Most of the sites I visited — and I will not insult the doubtless well-meaning habitués thereof by naming the sites themselves — are populated by people who seem not to be satisfied with freedom from their god-ridden states but, rather, compelled to restate their theses over and over again while being patted on the back by their peers.

In some cases — Oh, rapture! — a theistic apologist will wander onto the stage and want to debate. Despite the fact that debating logically with a theist amounts to taunting a cripple to throw down his crutches and walk (and is just as pointless) they readily rise to the bait.

Isn’t that Old Time Religion jerking their strings just as it always did?  It seems to me that all this amounts to making a 180° turn and charging back down the same old ruts, beating a dying dogma all the while. Why not strike off on a new course and leave the pathology in the dust? I suggest that is the healthier way to go.

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Change Your Mind Day

In 1993 Tricycle created Change Your Mind Day, an afternoon of free meditation instruction,
as a way of introducing the general public to Buddhist thought and
practice. Tricycle decided to hold the teachings out of doors, as in
the time of the Buddha, in the hopes of welcoming people who otherwise
might shy away from the formality of a zendo or gompa. We booked a hill
in Central Park and put up fliers around town.

A few hundred
people showed up for the first Change Your Mind Day, a pleasant mix of
newcomers and seasoned practitioners. Seven Buddhist teachers from
different lineages gave instruction. Allen Ginsberg and Philip Glass
performed “Do the Meditation Rock.” Maggie Newman got the crowd up on
their feet to do twenty minutes of tai-ch’i. A lone shakuhachi ended
the day as the sun began to set behind the trees.

Change Your Mind Day has since grown into a worldwide event.
Some gatherings are large, attracting thousands of people, while others
may consist of just a handful sitting together and reading guided
meditations from a variety of Buddhist traditions (see the Change Your Mind Day Meditation Kit).
But whether attended by many or few, the event is always powerful,
connecting thousands of silent sitters around the globe. Please contact
Tricycle for more information.

Change Your Mind Day