Thursday, June 22, 2006

My blogroll roundup 6/22/06

Since Tom at Blogmandu is currently on hiatus from his regular round-up of Buddhist blogs, I thought I would do one for some of the blogs currently residing on my blogroll. This is not limited to Buddhist-themed blogs nor an attempt to pick up the slack for Tom, just a fun exercise...

The American Buddhist Study Center, a Shin Buddhism website, and its blogs were recently added and to give you a sense of the place, here is something from the current featured article...

You don'’t have to be Shin Buddhist to have a profound insight that the universe and you are one, but how lucky we are to come here to this temple by whatever path and get an Enormous Clue from the Buddha as to how things actually work in the Nembutsu!

So, the main point of the story is this moment of connection. Everything is changed by that realization. The ocean is a friend, not an enemy. Life itself is our teacher and everything in it is, as they say, '“just right for me.'

However, we should not deceive ourselves that everything is rosy for the rest of our lives, now we'’ve got it, no more problems. Yes, the ocean will truly support you, but you could also drown or be eaten by sharks, and I guess that is all part of the ocean too.

Another new addition is Bhikkhu's Blog. It is self-described as (a) 'Theravada monk blogs about Buddhist philosophy and other random things'...

The cosmology of Buddhism is a side-alley of the Dhamma that has always fascinated me. Depending on how you count them there are five or six realms of rebirth, or thirty-three stations of existence, or three planes. The territory of the upper realms is divided between the sensual heavens, the fine-material or Brahma realms and the formless abidings.

Then there are all the fabulous beings which exist in some way on this earthly plane; yakkhas, nagas and bhumma-devas.

There isn't any one good source for a detailed road-map of the heavens; stories and anecdotes are scattered through out the canon, but especially in the Dhammapada commentary and the Jataka tales.

Various questions arise whenever this topic comes up. The first and most obvious question is also the most tedious - are they real?

Genkaku's Blog keeps reminding me that wisdom isn't just found in everyday observations, but rather that these two things are inseparable...

There are such a lot of questions in Buddhist practice. I guess it's the nature of the human beast -- ask and answer. What about rebirth or karma or devas or devils? What about scriptures or past lives or magical powers or extending a meditation period? What about anger and love and freedom and compassion and enlightenment? What about vegetarianism and precepts and flying saucers and levitation? What about corrupt teachers and unassailable teachers and strong students and weak students? What about arguments and agreements and marriage and homosexuality? What about other religions and getting a robe and lighting incense and prostrations? What about animals and clouds and rain and corn fields? What about greed and riches and poverty and hunger? What about evil and ethics and .... I'm running out of steam here.

Every question carries with it an importance. Sometimes the importance lies in a longing for safety. Sometimes it lies in a longing for freedom. Sometimes it lies in a desire for power. Sometimes it lies in abject fear. Sometimes ... well, you get the drift -- the importance could stem from any of 10,000 places. Sometimes the questions are desperately important.

Zen Under the Skin features personal reflections from Chalip...

I want to help my parents. I want to be there to do the cooking when it needs to be done... to wash some dishes... to take out the trash, to do whatever I can so they can feel comfortable resting/healing. I want to do it because they have done it for me, over and over again. After a couple of weeks of driving to different hospitals after work, running around to buy meals or groceries, helping them in the little ways that I could at the end of the work day, I started to feel the creeping sensation of burnout. My routine became this precious thing that was being encroached upon, turned upside down. My sleeping patterns were all out of whack. I was exhausted. The more I let myself think that way, the worse off things would be for all of us. But somehow, in the space of 20 minutes, it all falls away and all that is left is the happiness that comes from just being able to lend a hand. That's how today went.

Philocrotes is as the Unitarian Univeralist Association's General Assembly meeting and is interested in talking to people interested in blogging about UU...

On Thursday I'm convening an informal lunch conversation called "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about UU Blogging but Were Afraid to Ask." Unlike the hotel with free wireless in Fort Worth last year, the Renaissance Grand across the street from the main entrance to the convention center has a rather small lobby without much space for congregating -- but there's a nice lounge right behind the concierge desk that would make a great meeting space if we can colonize it quickly enough. I'll be there from 11:15 to 12:45 and hope you'll stop by. With the free wireless, we might even be able to demo a few things you can try at home.

Rachel at Velveteen Rabbi is making plans and arranging services for another convention, the Progressive Faith Blog Con. I hear they have a small pool of money to help those who might be interested attend, but alas, I need to be working then. But since it's a blog conference, one would expect the internet coverage to be quite good...

Because it's barely three weeks until the Progressive Faith Blog Con (eek!), I spent a good chunk of this afternoon working on the erev Shabbat liturgy for the scheduled Friday evening service.

In hindsight, I kind of wish now that we hadn't labeled the services "ecumenical." I've gotten feedback suggesting that that term isn't entirely clear. (I tried to explain what we meant a while back on the con blog, though I don't know how helpful that was.) Well, maybe next year we'll use different names for things. What we meant all along, and what we still mean to do, is to enliven the weekend with prayer, meditation, and worship, in a way that's authentic to each of these several traditions, but is also welcoming to those who aren't from that tradition.

Kyle has something to say about (political) bloggers on his own blog, am i patriotic? Umm, I don't think I even qualify for a 'place', but otherwise he makes some good points...

The blogosphere lately has become a bit unhinged. I fear enough missteps and sniping at traditional media will come back to hurt us badly in the upcoming elections. So let's actually affect some change and win something before we start pontificating on what it takes to win an election.

People need to stop thinking that they are more important than they actually are. Resist the urge to become a self absorbed jackass. Know your role in the movement and achieve results.

When reading some recent material from The Moor Next Door, don't get unduly hung-up on his critique of Matt and Trey's cinematic 'flipping the bird' to radicals blowing things up in the name of Islam. It's not a bad critique, but make sure you keep reading the rest. His latter observation will be familiar to many who may also remember the beginning of jadedness towards various groups espousing some kind of righteousness when they were in high school...

I've learned that liberals and conservatives may accuse one another of being "racist", but in reality, they tend to end up being no different when it really counts.

This anti-prejudice crusader asked me earlier this year what "derka" meant, staring into the eyes of the patronized.

I don't know. I think it's made up.

She was rejected from her top-choice Ivy League school. She blamed the minority second in her class for this, for Affirmative Action is what determines the fate of minorities. I too will get into a crusty harkness hall, I am told. Because I'm brown, and that's just how it works, right?

I have little faith in those who speak on behalf of others. I once believed in multi-ethnic gatherings formed to prevent hate, until I joined one. Hypocrites hide everywhere, especially among the righteous.

Faithful Progressive (another case of the blog and blog owner going by the same name) typically doesn't just give the news or his views of it, he also provides links, addresses, and phone numbers to encourage people to take action. This week the target is the minium wage...

The minimum wage in this country is a disgrace. Congress has raised its own salary 8 times since minimum wage workers have seen their wages rise--nine years ago. Some brave Republicans broke with their party's anti-worker orthodoxy this week, and have given minimum wage workers a glimmer of hope on this issue.

The writers over at The Panda's Thumb respond to the supposed attacks on the credibility of evolution by 'a "provocative" American conservative columnist'...

Four of her chapters (8-11) are on evolution. Now, we know Coulter is going to be provocative, and no-one expects these chapters to follow the guidelines of the Journal of Molecular Evolution, but within the limitations of a popular book by someone who is not a biologist, how does she handle evolution?

Badly; really, really badly. As PZ Myers has just posted, she basically repeats every Creationist canard ever produced (she does the no transitional fossils argument on page 216), and even some that the creationists themselves have since abandoned such as the tautology argument (page 199). What she doesnÂ’t get wrong is badly misrepresented. Behe, Dembski and Berlinksi are thanked fulsomely for their help with the evolution section (see Acknowledgments, page 303); they should hang their heads in shame.

OK, well that's it for the roundup. Thanks for visiting.


  1. Harrumph! I'm away on vacation and that other hotdog cart is taking over my street corner.

    A very, very fine roundup, again, kind tinythinker.

    I may need to return from vacation early to protect my business! I mean, sure, you're keeping our corner of the blogosphere warm and informed and happy while I'm away. And, yeah, I have to admit, begrudgedly, that you're doing a, um TERRIFIC job. And, um, yes, I do like your technique and I will be stealing it, and some of your sources. And, well, ah, yeah, I am envious that the bloggers are writing particularly good stuff for you to report on.


    -- Tom

  2. I do like your technique and I will be stealing it, and some of your sources

    Take what you want. :o)

    the bloggers are writing particularly good stuff for you to report on

    Yup, that's where it's at. It's not about my style or techniques--it's all about the great writing people are putting out there.


Hello! Thanks for leaving a comment.

Everything but spam and abusive comments are welcome. Logging in isn't necessary but if you don't then please "sign" at the end of your comment. You can choose to receive email notifications of new replies to this post for your convenience, and if you find it interesting don't forget to share it. Thanks!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...