Category: The American Buddhist

Hell is Empty: Equanimity in a World Full of Brimstone

  By Alex Chong Do Thompson “Hell is empty and all of the devils are here.” ~ William Shakespeare The life of an activist can be very painful. Often times you find yourself fighting battles that seem hopeless. Other times you are arguing for things that should be common sense. And at the end of the day, you lose more often than you win. It’s a rough life, but every day you dust yourself off and keeping fighting because you’re an activist. And giving up isn’t what activists do. That being said, the life of a Buddhist activist comes...

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Walking the Walk

  By Alex Chong Do Thompson One of my all-time favorite anime shows while I was growing up was Naruto. It followed the adventures of a group of children who were training to become ninjas in order to protect their village from rival clans. For a kid’s show, it dealt with some pretty adult themes like the importance of loyalty and the dangers of seeking revenge. But my favorite part of the show was the way everyone manifested their ninja abilities in different ways. One ninja might be an expert in hand to hand combat (taijutsu) while another might...

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Buddhism Gave Me Super Powers

  By Alex Chong Do Thompson    If I had to describe myself in three words, I’d probably go with “comic book nerd.” The mythologies and social commentaries that can be found in comics have enraptured me for as long as I’ve been able to read.  While other kids spent their summers playing video games and watching TV, I preferred to patrol the streets of Gotham with Batman and fight epic battles with the Incredible Hulk. I was fairly small for my age growing up. I didn’t have my first serious growth spurt until 11th grade, so the idea...

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Can We Have Buddhism Without Buddhism?

  By Alex Chong Do Thompson   I just finished reading Buddhism Without Beliefs, by Stephen Batchelor. I enjoyed the book immensely, and it’s making me look at the dharma in a new way. The secularized Buddha that Batchelor presents is completely lacking any religiosity. In fact, he strikes me more as a scientist than a spiritual teacher. I could easily picture him standing in an auditorium, presenting his data on the causes of suffering to college students, and then jetting off to give a Ted Talk on the eight-fold path. As a result, I can’t help but wonder...

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Buddhism For Dudes

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