Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Month-in-Review: Celeb Social Media Buddhism

Responding to recent scandal, Tiger Woods reveals “I have a lot of work to do, and I intend to dedicate myself to doing it. Part of following this path, for me, is Buddhism, which my mother taught me at a young age."

Brit Hume responds : “He’s said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So my message to Tiger would be: Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and by a great example to the world.”

Meanwhile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visits the United States and meets with President Obama. When asked about Tiger Woods, he admitted that he did not know who that was.

In response to the recent interest in Buddhism, Bill Maher chimes in: "[Buddhism] really is outdated in some ways — the “Life sucks, and then you die” philosophy was useful when Buddha came up with it around 500 B.C., because back then life pretty much sucked, and then you died – but now we have medicine., and plenty of food and iPhones"

Outdated?! Little did Bill know, only days before,His Holiness the Dalai Lama got a verified Twitter account.

The Moral of the Story:

HHDL: Great chatting with you on Facebook Bernie.

Bernie: You too! Be sure to check out Bearing Witness, our FREE online monthly newsletter on Western Socially Engaged Buddhism.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bearing Witness: Prison Dharma

The prison issue of Bearing Witness: A Newsletter for Western Socially Engaged Buddhism (FREE subscription) contains stories of inspiring successes and heart-breaking frustrations. It sheds Buddhist insight onto questions faced by all people struggling with the challenges of life behind bars including:

· 9 links to Buddhists working in prisons

· 6 articles

· 5 videos

· 1 podcast interview

The View from Inside:

Peace and Liberation Behind Bars

One inmate describes how a prison Zen Sangha helped him find serenity, concentration and discipline. In a podcast interview, a leader of Sokka Gakkai International shares a letter from his incarcerated son in which his son explains how Nichiren chanting helps set him free, even while “in the hole.”

Ministering in Prisons:

Getting In and Staying There

An Insight meditation teacher from North Carolina describes the draconian regulations volunteers traversed to work in prisons. A Zen Master in Oregon explains how giving an inmate precepts led to her getting kicked out of the prison while a Zen group in Los Angeles teamed up with a Christian leader to ease anxiety about their presence.

Towards a System Based on Interdependence

After years of ministry with the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, pioneers Alan Senauke and Melody Ermachild Chavis share rich personal experience and poignant Dharmic and social analysis. As exemplified by Fleet Maull’s videos of Integral Transformative Justice, Buddhist teachings on karma and interconnectedness help build alternatives that both support inmates taking responsibility while also addressing the preconditions that enable our unjust prison system.

Free Subscription to Bearing Witness

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