Comics for the New Economy: The Art and Activism of Kate Poole

At first glance, the fields of economics, religion, and comics seem utterly apart; a combination of two of them, let alone all three, would seem incongruous. However, in her innovative work, economist, artist, and activist Kate Poole delivers impassioned yet playful critiques of capitalism from a spiritual perspective.

Militant Resistance Can Look Like This

In Downtown Oakland on August 31, a group of Buddhists and interfaith allies sat in meditation, blocking the doors of the Marriott Hotel. The group was protesting the hotel hosting Urban Shield this week, a militarized police expo and SWAT Team training. Nichola Torbett shares her friend’s reflection of the demonstration.

Supreme Court Ruling on Public Prayer Re-enforces Christian Supremacy

While a strict separation of synagogue and state, mosque and state, Hindu and Buddhist temple and state, and separation of atheists and state and virtually all the other approximately 5000 religions and state has been enacted, on the other hand, church – predominantly Protestant denominations, but also Catholic – and state, have connected virtually seamlessly to the affairs and policies of what we call the United States of America, from the first invasion of Europeans in the 15th century on the Christian Julian to the Christian Gregorian Calendars up to 2014 Anno Domini (short for Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi – “In the year of our Lord Jesus Christ”).

Secular Buddhism and the Illuminated Tenfold Path

Secular Buddhism — a relatively new development in the world of Buddhist practice — can serve as a resource for people who are seeking to escape atomization and instead create loving connections with each other and nature. The notion of an Illuminated Tenfold Path can serve as a guide on this journey.

5 Big Problems With Compassion-Baiting

Unfortunately, we spiritual-progressive types, including but not limited to dharma heads, seem to be particularly prone to something I call compassion-baiting. In social justice situations, specifically, compassion-baiting often sounds like: “You’re more upset / loud / angry about social harm than I, arbiter, deem appropriate. You must therefore be lacking in wisdom or compassion.” Why so touchy, you ask? Let’s break it down: 5 major fails associated with compassion-baiting.

Glory, Fame, and Ambition: the Custer Model

This achievement-compassion nexus can make one’s head spin. A writer friend, Tarn, however, has an approach I admire: she always seems to consider her writing in a spiritual light, as part of her service and connection to others, not just a race for acclaim.

Torah Commentary: Beshalach- Eating and Abjection

Kristeva, in her Powers of Horror, describes the powerful sensation of food loathing as an evolution of desire into abjection-
…loathing an item of food, a piece of filth, waste, or dung…the repugnance, the retching that thrusts me to the side and turns me away from defilement, sewage and much…The fascinated start that leads me towards and separates me from them… food loathing is perhaps the most elementary and most archaic form of abjection… ‘I’ want none of that element… ‘I’ expel it … I abject myself within the same motion through which ‘I’ claim to establish myself… There, I am at the border of my condition as a living being…

Nonviolence, God, and a Theology of Not Knowing

Hungry ghosts, according to my own limited understanding, are mythical creatures characterized by an emaciated body with a huge and empty belly, combined with narrow necks and tiny mouths. It’s almost impossible for them to feed themselves, or even to be fed by others who care for them, because the passage is so constricted.This image keeps coming back to me because it symbolizes so dramatically in a physical way the emotional condition of our time: profound hunger for love and connection that cannot be satisfied because we have been trained in isolation to such a degree that most of us cannot receive sufficient love, even when it’s offered.

Why the Dalai Lama is Wrong to Think Meditation Will Eliminate Violence

This quote by the Dalai Lama is going viral on the internet, “If every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” Marianne Williamson shared this quote via her Facebook account and it received a tremendous reception. Google the quote and you will find tens of thousands of web sites, Facebook pages and twitter feeds where it has appeared. Needless to say, the enthusiasm over the Dalai Lama’s statement is profound. It has struck a cord for sure.