Category: Arts

Unsubscribe: Opt Out of Delusion, Tune in to Truth {Book Review}

  By Brent R. Oliver I’m a champion of the modern mindfulness movement. I think the scientific path of rigorous meditation unbound from religious traditions is the key to improving our human condition. It’s easily accessible to a massive audience and doesn’t require any beliefs to yield benefits. It’s what I study; it’s what I teach; it’s what I practice. But I am a Buddhist. Secular and post-traditional, but a Buddhist nonetheless. I’m not a joiner and I never settled on a specific lineage or approach that felt right for me. The one that comes closest, the one that’s...

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The Calm Buddha at Bedtime. {Book Review}

  By Alicia Wozniak   Reading to our kids before and at bedtime plays an important part in their lives. It tightens the bond between us, expands their imagination and hopefully, calms them down enough to fall asleep. If a lesson can be learned through stories, even better. The Calm Buddha at Bedtime gives us just that; time to bond through conversations and learn about mindfulness and compassion from stories beautifully illustrated and easily explained. There are 18 lessons; each with their own Buddha at the end summarizing the story played out by characters like Percy the ostrich and...

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Bhakti Blossoms {Book Review}

By Tammy Takahashi As a young, fledgling writer in high school, I often found myself penning anything from creative writing exercises to poems, songs and short stories (even a film treatment—I was ambitious!) featuring male protagonists. I never questioned this tendency. My teachers as well, both male and female, never asked me to reflect on why I might not be writing women characters or female perspectives. It took me many years, and a male protagonist-driven novella later, to realize what seems so glaringly obvious: I had been under-examining and also not understanding or embracing a massive part of who...

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The Buddha’s Dream of Liberation {Book Review}

  By John Pendall James William Coleman has done something that I once dreamed of doing, which is great because it means less work for me. The Buddha’s Dream of Liberation: Freedom, Emptiness, and Awakened Nature is part sight-seeing guide for Buddhist time travelers, and part apologetic essay on Western Buddhism. Coleman takes us through the, “Three Turnings of the Wheel,” which are three major paradigm shifts in Buddhism. He also paints Secular Buddhism as a kind of Fourth Turning—laying out some of the risks and benefits of modernizing Buddhism. Coleman doesn’t just write off-the-cuff in this piece; he...

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Single White Monk: Tales of Death, Failure, and Bad Sex (Although Not Necessarily in That Order) {Book Review}

  By Brent R. Oliver If you’ve read Shozan Jack Haubner’s first book, Zen Confidential, you know he’s an unorthodox figure in modern Buddhism, especially considering he’s a monastic. If you haven’t read it, you’ll just have to trust me on that. And also, you should read it because it’s fucking great. His follow up, Single White Monk: Tales of Death, Failure, and Bad Sex (Although Not Necessarily in That Order), is further proof that his approach and habits are anything but usual. But don’t think his twisted tales and odd tendencies obscure his spiritual insights. Mr. Haubner is...

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