In August 1994, I was an introspective, brainy 16-year-old, fresh from a summer in Israel with a busload of other 16-year-olds. On my last morning in Jerusalem, I had watched the sun rise: cool breezes over ancient golden stones. I heard church bells ring and the Muslim call to prayer, whispering my own Hebrew dreams into fuzzy pink air. As a Jewish teen who went (reluctantly) to Israel for the Roman ruins but stayed for the prayers, when we chanted under desert stars I was suspended somewhere in between Reform Jewish teenagerhood and a future as a religious studies professor—plus my always evolving, complex relationship with Jewish adulthood.
This was when I first encountered Rodger Kamenetz’s The Jew in the Lotus: A Poet’s Rediscovery of Jewish Identity in Buddhist India.
Cuban film director Fernando Pérez was inspired to make Life Is to Whistle by the work of modernist painter René Magritte, in whose work "reality does not stop being reality, but is, at once, another reality." Magritte's paintings have been described as "elaborate fantasies constructed around commonplace situations." Life Is to Whistle is an energetic look at commonplace situa
St. Augustine told Christian pastors that their most eloquent instruction would lie not in their words but in their lives. The Dalai Lama's new book is an example of that principle still at work. Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, offers his wisdom for handling the problems of life, ranging from personal discontent to global conflicts.
Since the Vietnam War era, Thich Nhat Hanh has been known to North Americans as an activist for peace and justice and an interpreter of Vietnamese Buddhism and culture. Martin Luther King Jr. and Thomas Merton were his friends.
Buddhism has entered North America in ways that are transforming both the Buddhist tradition and North American culture. Images of Buddhism have inundated advertising, sports, movies and politics. The Nobel Prize laureate Dalai Lama has become one of the icons of the age. Metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York have significant Buddhist populations.
about a religion is a dangerous thing. A generalization that had seemed safe
was that Buddhism is a peaceful religion. It's all about compassion, isn't
it—about renouncing desire and learning to empty yourself?