Thursday, July 29, 2010

Korean Buddhist Lantern Festival

A Buddhist ritual, the Lantern Festival, or "Yeondeung hoe," is emerging as an important part of contemporary Korean culture, but brings with it both positives and challenges. The festival has its textual origins and a long history in Asia, but its Korean version has unique features in many aspects, including its social role.....

Continue reading here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dharma Talk July 18th: Intention

By Bup Chon

Many people who may know me at the temple or at my job many not be aware that I am also a martial arts teacher. I teach a Japanese Sword art a couple of nights a week and have been involved in martial arts for a large part of my life. Those who know me in that world may also know of my life at the temple. I often get, from both worlds, a question along the lines of: "How can you be a Buddhist and also be a martial arts teacher?" They seem to struggle with a dichotomy that they see between those two worlds. How can someone study the Dharma and also do something that seems so violent.

Before I tell you how I answer that question, let me first ask you a few questions:

Do you think I can take this big statue of the Buddha sitting behind me and smash it over your head and maybe severly hurt or kill you? Probably, its big and heavy.

Do you think I could take my mala and put it around your neck and choke you, probably killing you if it was done long enough? Probably so, the mala is pretty think and strong.

Do you think I could grab these brass candle sticks and strike you with them?

How about taking the cushion I am sitting on and put it over your face, cutting off your air?

So why don't I do those things? Because that is not my intention to do so, I sit here to try and help people, not harm them. The item in my hand is very secondary, either a sword or a stick of incense. That intention is also a very important part of our practice.

Intention ties into the concept of Karma and the results of good or bad Karma. Many people (especially raised in the west) have a very skewed idea of what karma is. They think of it as the result of something. Somebody does something bad, and three days later an anvil falls on their head, and people say: "Well, there's karma for ya!".

However, that would be saying that there is someone, or something that is watching, judging and creating, through some force, an action of retribution on that person. So if someone is bad, this "watcher" tracks on the chart of good and bad karma and dishes out the appropriate punishment. I believe we are ingrained with this idea from the years of growing up under the belief that someone (like God) is watching and judging every move to determine if we are good and go to heaven, or bad and go to hell. It also like Santa - he knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you are awake, he knows if you have been good or be good for goodness sake (by the way, Santa really sounds a lot like a stalker).

The Truth however, is that there is nobody watching you, and "Karma" is not the result, its the origination. Karma is what you put out into the world, the world that is subject to one of the most basic Buddhist concepts; that of cause and effect (Hetu, cause and Phala, effect). All things that arise effect one another endlessly and there is nothing that does not fall into that rule. However, Karma, the origination, can go into two different areas of storing good or bad "Karmic effects" based on your intention.

Lets say you are walking down the street and you accidently step on a bug, compared to walking down the street, seeing a bug and stomping on it. The cause - stomping on the bug and the result - the bug dying are the same in both cases. However, due to your intention, the karmic energy is either good (or without blame) or bad (with the intention to kill).

So, if nobody is watching, who cares?

Well, someone is watching - you. You are watching you. You are also part of the universal consciousness that we are all a part of. So the building of bad karmic results does have effects over time.

Picture yourself walking up in a brand new apartment, with clean white walls, fresh hardwood floors and not a spot of dust anywhere. You spend your day eating and drinking, throwing your garbage around. You don't clean up, get tired and go to bed. You wake up the next day and the garbage is still there, and today to get more food and maybe relieve yourself in the corner. More garbage builds up, you get tired again. By a few days in, its getting hard to sleep. The air is stale, the flies and the dirt start to cause disease. You wake up the next day tired and crabby, and so on.

Now picture the same room. You eat whole foods, there is no waste. You clean the room at the end of the day, making it even cleaner then the day before. You go to sleep and wake up the next day, the room is still shining, you clean it some more...

The idea of the room is like your karmic storehouse. You can fill it with dirt and garbage, or you can endeavour to polish it. Every time you go to sleep and wake up is like rebirth. Each time you are reborn, the environment you left behind is either that much cleaner, or that much worse.

So as we watch our actions in our practice, also watch your intention or motivations behind them. It can be the difference between holding in your hand a weapon to harm others, or sitting on it to help us all.

Dharma Talk: July 11th Craving

On Sunday July 11th, Hae Doh Sunim gave the following Dharma talk about craving:

From the Dhamapada: Chapter 24 on Craving or Thirst:

" The compulsive urges of the thoughtless grow like a creeper. They jump like a monkey from one life to another, looking for fruit in the forest.

When these urges drive us, sorrow spreads like wild grass. Conquer these fierce cravings and sorrow will fall away from your life like drops of water from a lotus leaf."

When I brought my first son Jeff on his 14th birthday to rehab at Brighton Hospital Adolescent Center, the parents had their own weekly sessions with the kids. Each would sit there and say "My name is...and my drug of choice is: ..." and then fill the end with Marijuana, alcohol, herion, etc...

People uses these substances as a way to "self-medicate", to escape the pain of reality or uncertainty of everyday living.

It was years later that I was also able to sit there and say "My name is Gary, and I am an alcoholic".

In the past weeks we have discussed dukkha, which is usually translated as "suffering". However a better description could be "dissatisfaction", "inadequacy" or "imperfection". It means life is never sufficient enough, not good enough.

According to the four noble truths, the second noble truth explains that "dukkha samudaya" or dukkha arises due to craving. To break down the word: "sam" means "with" and "udaya" means "to go up". So what arises with dukkha? Desire, thirst, craving for escape from dukkha. So the cause of dukkha is samudaya (craving) but also cause of craving is dukkha.

What is your drug of choice? What do you reach for to take away the emptiness, uncertainty, dissatisfaction? What is your salve for the wounds of life? What is it that makes you feel good about yourself again?

We all have a strategy, some kind of behaivor to feel good. Maybe its to be busy all the time; at home, with work, with school. Maybe its being tidy, shopping, gambling, eating, drinking, being co-dependent (caring for those who don't change).

Even meditation can be a form of drug to escape reality.

Only through the recognition of imperfection do we have that chance at salvation from our cravings.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dharma Talk Summary - Just Breathe

July 25, 2010

Talk Given by Deokwun Russell Pitts

13 Minutes

When Sunim contacted the three of us and asked us to talk a few weeks ago I thought, “Oh, what does an old fart like me have to say? Realizing most of you, if not all, are younger than I am.”

Two things happened to me that helped me come to some idea of what I wanted to share with you. My wife called me up on the phone and told me that she was sitting with a gentleman who was diagnosed with a bad disease. He has a complicated job, he’s panicing, and he’s a mess. Will you talk to him? And I thought, “why does he want to talk to me?” Shouldn’t he see a doctor or a therapist? My wife said no, because she told him about my life, and he wanted to talk with me.

I agreed and I sat down with the man to talk and he was clearly a mess. He was completely exhausted. When we met, I asked what could I help you with? The man said that he heard I had twice lived a very complicated life and that twice I walked away. I asked him what else she had said. “Well, once you did it well, and once you didn’t.” I told him that was true. Once I went from complicated to more complicated. Instead of from complicated to less complicated. I asked him what it was that he really wanted. He told him his doctor instructed him to simplify his life. The man said he had to quiet down everything. I asked him what he intended to do. He had this list, and he went on and on, and on. I told him, “You realize how active that is going to make you? You’re going to be doing this, and doing this, and doing this.” He looked at me and said, “I never thought of that.”

I asked him, if you could have something happen in the next 48 hours that would help you, what would it be? He thought about it for a minute and he said, “I would love a good night sleep.” In the back of my mind I remembered there is a sutra somewhere that translates into, ‘An Excellent Night’. It goes like this:

Let not a person revive the past, or on the future build his hopes

For the past has been left behind, and the future has not been reached

Instead with insight let him see each presently arisen state

Let him know that, and be sure of it, invincibly and unshakably

Today the effort must be made, tomorrow death may come, who knows?

Nobody with mortality can keep him and his hordes away

But, one who dwells thus, ardently, relentlessly, by day and night,

It is he the peaceful sage has said, who has a single excellent night.

So I came back to the man, and I said, “So you want to simplify your life?”

What’s the simplest thing you do each day? He didn’t have a clue. I told him, Do you realize you can go 30 days without food, 4 days without water, but you can only 4 minutes with breath. The most simple thing we do every day is breathe. It’s where everything begins. That’s what we just finished doing. When you calm down, and you center and you just take a breath, your body and your mind comes back into balance. So when this man says he wants to simplify his life, he really wants to get his body and mind back in balance. He wants his mind to settle and rest, so his life can settle and rest for him. So instead of having this list of things to do, I suggested to him to find a couple of times a day, and no matter what you’re doing; whether you’re casting stuff off, or worrying about something, if you you just took a couple of minutes, what would happen?

I thought back to what I did at those points in my life, when I was under complications. It was interesting that both times it involved breathing, but I didn’t realize it until I talked to this guy. The first time, I was in the Navy. At that time I was living in Sardinia, and, you couldn’t tell my looking at me now, but back then I was an international marathon runner for the Navy.

Everyday for a year, I ran past this little stone cottage. This old man would come out with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and he’d just look at me. One day, the old man walks down this path, stands at the gate and makes a hand gesture to wave me over. I go up to the gate, I notice there is a donkey, a couple of chickens and a turkey. If you know anything about Italy, they know nothing about turkeys. The turkey comes screaming out of the corner, approaches me at the gate, feathers flying, runs over to a enormous boulder, and starts humping it. The man says to me, “Where are you running to?” I said, “Over there.” The man then asks, “Where are you running from?” I said, “From back there.” The man asks, “Where from there all the way to there?” I didn’t have an answer. He asked me what I did, I told him. He said, “You need to be like the turkey. The turkey doesn’t worry about anything. He comes around here, eats, goes over there, then goes to sleep. He’s happy. Be like the turkey.”

I thought that was an interesting image, but it stuck with me. 9 months later I left the Navy. Which I had planned to make a career. The guy in the cottage said, you need to stop right here and take a breath. So I tried to impart this to the gentleman I was talking to earlier. The cornerstone of what we do is just stop, and breathe, and the rest will follow. It was a reminder to me to get back to the core, the center, the focus of our practice. And that is, just be still, and the rest will follow. I want to leave you with a quote,

“If your heart is pure, then all things in your world are pure.

Abandon this fleeting world, Abandon your self.

Then the moon and flowers will guide you along the way.”

DVD Spotlight - Oseam

Oseam follows two orphans, Ga-mi and her younger brother Gil-son. Ga-mi is a gentle and reserved blind girl, while Gil-son is hyperactive and often gets into mischief. The two seek refuge at a Mahayana Buddhist temple, helping with the chores, as they cope with the loss of their mother and home several years ago due to a fire accident, which is also where Ga-mi lost her sight. Gil-son, too young to understand, still believes they will find their mother someday as Ga-mi has never told him she died in the fire. Soon later Gil-Son accompanies a monk to go meditate in the mountains and find a cure for his sister's blindness.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Why Do We Like What We Like?

Why do we enjoy things like bitter foods and horror films? And are we the only species that likes art? Paul Bloom, professor of psychology at Yale University and author of How Pleasure Works,explains our penchant for art and why we find some unpleasant things so enjoyable.

NPR Science Friday story that is a definite recommended listening and offers some insight as to how our perception creates reality and briefly touches on some of the reasons of how pain can be beneficial and even sought after.

Seungmu: 'Seon' meditation through dance

Korea has a unique cultural heritage listing system for recognizing intangible skills that have been passed on through the generations. Among these is “seungmu” or monk’s dance, which is one of the most well-known folk dances. It was designated as Korea’s Important Intangible Cultural Asset No. 27 in 1968. The dance, as its name suggests, comes from the Buddhist tradition. Its origins can be traced back to about 500 years, and to this day it has been passed on as a dance performed during Buddhist ceremonies, as a form of physical expression of making an offering to Buddha. However, the seungmu that one often encounters these days are staged works with strong theatrical elements that stand as an artwork that strives for universal, rather than religious ideals. It should thus be considered more a folk dance rather than a Buddhist ritual.

It draws beautiful spatial designs by using the long sleeves of the costume coupled with characteristics of the Korean traditional dance such as harmony of motionlessness, dynamism and subtlety. It has evolved throughout the years in Korea and has been refined to become a theatrical dance form leaving its religious origin behind.

Articled continued here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

DVD Spotlight - Zen Buddhism: In Search of Self

This week's DVD Spotlight is Zen Buddhism: In Search of Self

Following a tradition dating back over 1000 years, two dozen Buddhist nuns gather for a ninety day period of meditation, fasting and contemplation deep in the mountains of South Korea. With the singular goal of attaining enlightenment, the women undertake a rigorous schedule of meditation, at one point sitting for seven days without sleep. In this first ever documentary on the practice of Dong Ahn Geo (Winter Zen Retreat), you'll be invited into the Baek Hung Buddhist Temple to witness not only the nuns' strict meditation practice, but their daily lives in which we see not only a deep spiritual discipline but an almost childlike joy and simplicity. Since the Great Monk Hyecheol built Baek Hung Temple in the 10th century during the Silla Dynasty (AD 57-935), the temple has been known for the most rigorous Cham Sun (Zen) practice. Forbidden until now, the camera captures the austere beauty of the Korean countryside and the long secret traditions of this Buddhist Zen retreat. This historic documentary was filmed from November 29, 2001 to February 26, 2002 at Baek Hung Temple, Palgong Mountain, Daegu, South Korea.

Teaser Trailer for Osamu Tezuka's Buddha

Warner Brothers released a teaser trailer for Osamu Tezuka's Buddha today. The trailer is in Japanese and although while short (it is only a teaser after all) it is pretty understandable. Buddha is based off of the 8 volume manga series written by Osamu Tezuka. I'm VERY excited for this one. The graphic novels, while fictionalized to some degree for entertainment, is a very fun read and the animated feature looks like it is getting good treatment and high production values.

Watch the trailer here.
(Click the big Japanese button in the middle of the screen to watch.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Japanese Temple Bells

Each week BBC features a half-hour audio program entitled “Heart and Soul”that explores spirituality in different parts of the world. This week’s installment is Japan’s Buddhist temple bells.

Inception - Planting an Idea

Director Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Dark Knight) is back with his new movie Inception (starring Leonardo DiCaprio), which opens today. I went and saw the midnight showing last night and thought I would take a few minutes here to share my experience of it.

Inception is a movie about ideas and the mind and particularly about extraction and inception. The idea of being able to steal ideas or plant new ideas in people's subconscious minds through shared dreaming.

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Dom Cobb, a professional extractor who specializes in subconscious security and stealing ideas. Cobb is hired by Saito (Ken Watanabe) a business man who wants Cobb to plant an idea in a business rival's mind. The story follows Cobb as he assembles his team to perform the job and as they travel through their target's mind via shared dreaming.

Inception poses some good questions throughout as the Cobb struggles with recurring memories and questioning what is actually real as the line between dream and reality start to blur.

Inception is a good paced action/thriller that will actually prompt you to think, a difficult tasks for many summer movies. Some viewers may be reminded of The Matrix and other movies that also deal with conscious and subconscious perceptions of reality and dreams but I felt Inception was fresh and smart and enjoyable the whole way through.

A lot of Buddhist philosophy and studies address the nature of dreams, memory and perception and many of those concepts are a key component to Inception.

After watching Inception I was reminded of a Chinese philosopher I read back in my undergrad studies by the name of Chuang-Tzu. Chuang-Tzu meditated on his dreams and wrote about them in great detail; especially famous is his Butterfly Dream, where he could no longer differentiate whether he was a human dreaming he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was a human. DiCaprio gets so far into his dreams, even dreams within dreams that soon everything has to be questioned as to whether or not it's real and if he can ever wake up.

Below are a few links to various film reviews, trailers and other articles you mind find interesting.

Overall, I would recommend seeing Inception. I know I'll be seeing it at least once more while it's still in theaters.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Beompae: Korean Chanting

I saw this article today that has information about the style of Korean Buddhist chanting called "Beompae". If you have attended a service when Ven. Dr. Park Kun Sunim is in town, this is the style he was trained in (I believe).

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Not necessarily a particularly Buddhist posting but definitely appropriate since many of us love tea. I was in Somerset Mall today getting my iPhone fixed at the Apple Store and as I was leaving I spotted in my peripheral vision what appeared to be several tea pot sets in a store window. I took a double-take and went back to explore what was in fact a speciality tea store called Teavana (Heaven of Tea™) They had tons of fresh imported and rare loose leaf teas, most of which were available to sample and a very knowledgeable sales staff. I ended up spending over $50 on tea and also purchased a new tea pot. They seem to have a strong Asian/Buddhist vibe going on in the store and also sell tons of awesome Buddhist statues and some interesting books. I know there is a Kuan Yin/Heart Sutra statue I am interested in myself. A very awesome tea store I was quite excited to discover today. Some of you may already know of this store but those of you that don't will want to check it out. I know I'm going to be a regular customer now.

Check out their website here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

DVD Spotlight - Samsara

This week's DVD Spotlight is Samsara.

A spiritual love-story set in the majestic landscape of Ladakh, Himalayas. Samsara is a quest; one man's struggle to find spiritual Enlightenment by renouncing the world. And one woman's struggle to keep her enlightened love and life in the world. But their destiny turns, twists and comes to a surprise ending...

Nalin has written, produced and directed many great films and is also the director of the upcoming biopic titled Buddha: The Inner Warrior (2011)

Click here for a video interview with the director.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 75th Birthday to H.H. Dalai Lama!

Tomorrow (July 6) is the Dalai Lama's 75th birthday. There will be a live webcast of the celebrations from his website which you can watch here. The webcast will start at 9:00 AM Indian Standard Time (GMT +5:30)

MWZ extends our well wishes to the Dalai Lama and hopes for many more years of teachings and inspiring compassion all around the world.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dharma Talk Summary - Suffering is Optional

July 4, 2010

Talk Given by Hae Doh Sunim

16 Minutes

Dhammapada Reading: Chapter 16 "Pleasing"

Engaging himself in what is unfit

and not engaging in what is fitting,

having abandoned the goal,

the person who grasps after what is pleasing

envies the person who applies himself.

Do not be attached to what is pleasing,

and never to that which is unpleasing.

Not seeing what is pleasing is painful,

as is seeing the unpleasing.

For this reason, you should not make things pleasing;

for the absence of what is pleasing is troubling.

There are no bonds for those people

for whom there is no notion of pleasing and unpleasing.

Sorrow springs from what is pleasing.

Fear springs from what is pleasing.

For the person freed from what is pleasing

there is no sorrow. From where could fear emerge?

Sorrow springs from liking.

Fear springs from liking.

For the person freed from liking

there is no sorrow. From where could fear emerge?

Sorrow springs from attachment.

Fear springs from attachment.

For the person freed from attachment

there is no sorrow. From where could fear emerge?

Sorrow springs from sensual pleasure.

Fear springs from sensual pleasure.

For the person freed from sensual pleasure

there is no sorrow. From where could fear emerge?

Sorrow springs from craving.

Fear springs from craving.

For the person freed from craving

there is no sorrow. From where could fear emerge?

People hold dear the person

who is endowed with virtue and vision,

established in the teaching,

truthful in speech,

and who does the work that is his.

The person who would bring forth

a desire for the nameless, mind clear,

thought not enmeshed in sensual pleasures,

is called "one who is streaming upward."

Long absent, a person returns safely from afar.

Relatives, friends, and companions

joyously greet the one who has returned.

In the same way, just deserts receive

the person who has created value

and passed from this world to the world beyond,

as relatives receive a loved one who has returned.

A old man decided to go out for a walk one day, went out into the woods near his home and this frog jumps out in front of him on the path. He looks down and says, "Wow." Then all of a sudden he hears this voice. "HEY! Hey up there!" He looks down and it's the frog the voice is coming from. "Hey mister! If you just pick me up and give me a kiss I'll turn into a beautiful woman and we can make love all day and all night long!"

"Really?" says the old man. He bends over, picks up the frog, but rather than giving it a kiss he puts the frog in his pocket and continues walking along the path.

"HEY! HEY! I don't think you heard me! If you just give me a kiss I'll turn into a beautiful woman and we can make love all day!"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I heard you. But at my age I rather have a talking frog."

I'll tell you, when I was younger I couldn't of appreciated that story, but being older now I can understand where he's coming from.

I went to the chiropractor for the first time in 8 years. My back hasn't been doing well, especially since the recent clergy protocol retreat. The chiropractor took X-rays and as soon as I saw them I was surprised and the chiropractor said, "I don't know if I can help you." When the chiropractor says they may not be able to help you, you may be in trouble.

It's tough getting old. When you're T'ajin's age and young, you can stay up all night and get up and go the next day, boy, that just fell by the wayside for me years ago.

People ask what is Buddhism all about? It's really about the three marks of existence:

  • Impermanence
  • Suffering
  • No-Self

After Buddha became enlightened he went to give his first teaching, his first talk to five of his former ascetic monk friends. This is what he said,

" Now this Bhikkhus, is the noble truth of Suffering. Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering. Union with what is displeasing is suffering. Separation from what is pleasing is suffering. Not to get what one wants is suffering. In brief, the five aggregates (skandhas) subject to clinging are suffering (form, feeling, thought, impulse, consciousness). "

The first four; birth, aging, illness, and death, any organism that has a central nervous system is going to experience and realize pain. People always exclaim, "I'm in pain! I'm suffering!" But I want to differentiate between pain and suffering.

Pain serves a useful biological function. It warns us when we're in trouble. With suffering, there is an emotional component that comes with it. The Buddha said, I can't teach you how to eliminate pain, the stuff that really hurts, the physical pain, but I can help you with the emotional element. How did he do that? He offered the eightfold path. RIght Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood….etc. You do less harm to others and the less harm that happens to you.

It's not easy getting older. I don't necessarily want to go back to being 18 but I sure wish my body worked better than it does now at 63. But it doesn't but I have to try and accept it.

There's a story about an old Zen monk at a monastery. Nothing phased him. The young monks thought there had to be something to phase him. It was the old monk's turn to take the tea to the Dharma room in the morning, around 3:30 AM when monks usually wake up, so it was dark in the temple. The young monks hid in the hallway and when the old monk walked by with the tea the young monks jumped out and screamed trying to startle the old monk. The old monk just keeps walking on, and sets the tea cups down on the table around the corner, and then starts breathing heavily, trying to catch his breath and calm himself down. Later the Zen teacher says, "See, it's not that you don't have emotions, it's that you learn how to control them. Learn how to be with them. There is nothing wrong with emotions but it's how you keep them in check."

Pain may be a given. Suffering is optional.

Digital Dharma

Many people who are interested in Buddhism are interested in finding out what they should read or what should be on their book list to get them started on the path. While there are several dozens if not hundreds of different authors and commentaries on Buddhist teachings, perhaps the best place to start is to go directly back to the source material and interpret it for yourself.

The Buddha's teachings are collected in the Nikayas and also the Dhammapada. There are several different translations and editions widely available at most local bookstores or online.

There are also a few helpful websites that have digitized portions of the above collections:

Access To Insight has a massive free digital library of over 1,000 sutras searchable by subject.

ATI also has a free offline iPhone/iPad/iPod version for those of you that would like to take parts of the Pali Canon with you on the go. is also a great online resource with enough content to easily fill hundreds of hours worth of reading.

DVD Spotlight - The Cup

In celebration of the ongoing 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament this week's DVD Spotlight is The Cup.

The Cup (Phörpa) is a 1999 comedy film directed by Khyentse Norbu. The plot involves two young football-crazed Tibetan refugees in a remote Himalayan monastery who desperately try to obtain a television for the monastery to watch the 1998 World Cup final.

The movie was entirely shot in the Tibetan refugee village Bir in India (Himachal Pradesh) (almost entirely between Chokling Gompa and Elu Road).

Director Khyentse Norbu is a Buddhist monk and is also the director of Travelers and Magicians.

An interesting related book some viewers may be interested in is How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization

Happy Interdependence Day!

As we celebrate the 4th of July weekend, let us not forgot our interdependent nature. Here is a link to the Declaration of Interdependence from 2004 that was presented to both Republican and Democratic delegates at their respective conventions that year.

MWZ hopes everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dharma Dots

Browsing through some Buddhist blogs today I ran across a site called Dharma Dots. Dharma Dots is a daily Dharma aggregator and Buddhist News Feed Hub linking to several great Buddhist blogs from around the internet. A must have bookmark for anyone wanting to get their Dharma fix online!

Selflessness of strangers: The search for an evolutionary theory

This book popped up on my RSS News Feed via The Economist about a month ago but just recently dug it out of my backlog of bookmarked articles. Looks like an interesting story and thought I would share it here if anyone else wants to check it out.

From -

"Set against the sweeping tale of 150 years of scientific attempts to explain kindness, The Price of Altruism tells for the first time the moving story of the eccentric American genius George Price (1922–1975), as he strives to answer evolution's greatest riddle. An original and penetrating picture of twentieth century thought, it is also a deeply personal journey. From the heights of the Manhattan Project to the inspired equation that explains altruism to the depths of homelessness and despair, Price's life embodies the paradoxes of Darwin’s enigma. His tragic suicide in a squatter’s flat, among the vagabonds to whom he gave all his possessions, provides the ultimate contemplation on the possibility of genuine benevolence"

Friday, July 2, 2010

Temple halls: sanctuaries of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

An interesting article that lends some insight into Korean temple structure and how different temple halls are arranged and the meanings behind them.