here is part 2 of this month’s buddhist carnival. part 1 can be found here.
one of the things that attract me so strongly to buddhism is the idea of moderation and balance. i love the story of the buddha attaining enlightenment not through his years of asceticism but after accepting a modest drink of milk and honey from a young woman. this is walking the middle way.
grace talks about the balance that is such a hallmark of the well-lived buddhist life. i love the story she tells to illustrate it:
i walked along a favourite creek not too long ago. it is in a pristine slot canyon, with high red rock walls on either side. to get to the spring at the end, i must criss-cross the water a dozen times.
each crossing is different. some are easy, with large flat rocks. in some, poles have been placed across the water, and i must balance with one foot on each log, in an awkward, hitch-step fashion to reach the other side.
as i get deeper into the canyon -
read a balanced life to see what happens there …
my good friend carol sill has an exciting new site, called opensourcespirit.org. on it, she interviews people from all walks of spiritual life, usually on video. here is an interview with peter fenner from radiant mind, who talks as eloquently about the various strains of buddhism as about his approach to making buddhist ideas accessible to all.
william at integral options, where he tirelessly scoures the blogosphere for interesting material, has a thoughtful article on change, inspired by two articles that he discusses at length. one is about changing ourselves:
we can’t change the world, we can’t change our country, we can’t even change our family members, but we can change ourselves. wanting to change others is attachment – a clinging to the way we want things to be rather than working with things as they are.
and the other about leaving the box of safety or, as they say in german, “jumping over your shadow”:
as long as we remain in our comfort zones, change is not very likely to happen. we know we are open to change when we live on the edge of our personal safety. and this does not mean physical safety, but rather those feelings and situations that create anxiety, such as a personal or national crises.
the reason i started 12-step sangha was to focus on meditation as part of a recovery program, not as a substitute. i’ve included the format we’ve been using below, but in a simpler version. the idea was to use some buddhist meditation techniques, but to keep the style, topics and sharing oriented to recovery. this is different than a buddhist style group that allows recovering people.
loden jinpa is a buddhist scholar, and opens for us doors into buddhist philosophy that we may sometimes not even know exist. one of the great teachers he discusses on his blog is tsong khapa. here is a little introduction:
tsong khapa’s overall enterprise and in particular his insight into the illusory-like nature of persons and phenomena is about solving the problem of existential suffering. the solution to this problem is found in the extirpation of ignorance – the ignorance that reifies essence in things and functions as the root cause of suffering. it is the root of suffering, as it pervades the cognitive process for ordinary unenlightened beings propelling them into dysfunctional actions.
read on here
the dalai lama’s successor
on now public:
the dalai lama opened his much anticipated meeting with the international media here on sunday with a terse “i have nothing to say”, but went on to indicate that he was ready to pass on his political role to tibetans in exile and choose his successor, probably a young girl, in his lifetime. in his 90-minute interaction with the media, the nobel laureate made many remarks that are sure to irk china and cause some anxiety in new delhi. he said tibet’s cause was linked up with the question of democracy in china and that india’s approach to the tibetan issue was “too cautious”.
therion, a fellow canadian, sends us the story of a different successor: ram bahadur bomjon : buddha boy back from the jungle