Monday, July 18, 2011

Buddhist Blogosphere Round Up

There are a lot of interesting posts floating about right now. I have a few things I could write about, but will today offer you a taste of some other blogs instead.

First, here's a piece by our head teacher at zen center touching on Huineng’s Platform Sutra. Byakuren has been posting writing about once a week now, and yesterday during her morning dharma talk, referenced how she's loving blogging. So, go take a look.

Arun reports that Ven. Hong Yuan, the Buddhist nun who was recently wrongfully arrested in New York, will now not be charged by the Manhattan DA's office. My understanding is that a number of Buddhist bloggers and readers sent various forms of messages to the DA office about her case, and although there's no way to tell if that had any impact on the case, I personally think it probably did something. Having numerous voices from around the nation (world even) writing in about an obscure case lifts some of the obscurity, and maybe makes those involved think again about the situation simply by bringing it to mind.

The perspectives on what constitutes Right Action around food and diet seem to be endless. Debates about vegetarianism swirl round and round, while the world's Buddhist populations are all over the map in their eating habits. Here are a few lines from a post on the blog Zen Mirror:

The Vinaya, then, is quite clear on this matter. Monks and nuns may eat meat. Even the Buddha ate meat. Unfortunately, meat eating is often seen by westerners as an indulgence on the part of the monks.

I have been vegetarian for almost half my life now. However, I still don't view it as the only way, and feel that issues such as geographical location and body make up need to be taken into consideration when it comes to diet.

And here is an interesting piece by Tom Armstrong recalling the Buddhist economic ideas of E.F. Schumacher and considering the current state of things here in the U.S. Personally, I think we are at a major crossroads. While too many people are still wooed by a mishmash of beliefs derived from the capitalist market fundamentalism gospel, the actual structures and landscapes that have been built through such views are crumbling all around us. I had a wonderful conversation with a friend from the zen center board yesterday about what might be called the "two Detroits": crime ridden, falling apart former auto empire on the one hand, and wildly creative and re-inventive collection of communities on the other. To me, the "two Detroits" symbolizes the general status of our entire nation. And so, while there is a lot of misery to be found, there's also an abundance of opportunity and possibility to reshape how it is we live together.

* Photo of urban farm projects in Detroit, Michigan.

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