Monastic Basketball

Also via Kenley Neufeld, check out this really wonderful short video of a Monastic Basketball game:

(“Playing basketball on Lazy Day at Deer Park Monastery in mid-June.”)

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The Metta Sutta – Upaya Zen Center

Wow.

Thanks to the digitalZENDO for pointing this out, and to the Upaya Zen Center for sharing this.

The Metta Sutta Campaign

If you are not familiar with it, Rev. Danny is trying to get a viral campaign going of folks reading the Metta Sutta in virtual solidarity for the monastics of Burma.  As reported in the The Irrawaddy:

Buddhist monks at the Myat Saw Nyi Naung Pagoda in Yenangyaung, Magway Divison, were warned on Wednesday not to hold a ceremony to chant the Metta Sutta—the Buddha’s discourse on loving-kindness.

The monks originally planned a 12-hour-long recitation, scheduled to start at 6 p.m. Wednesday, to mark the full moon day of the fifth month of the Burmese calendar, traditionally celebrated as “Metta Sutta Day” by Burmese Buddhists.

“We only intended to recite Buddhist sutras, including the Metta Sutta, to wish for all sentient beings to be peaceful and free from anxiety. But the authorities told us to call off our plans,” a monk from Yenangyaung told The Irrawaddy on Thursday.

Similar ceremonies are normally held throughout the country on this day. However, since a brutal crackdown on the monk-led protests of 2007, which featured marching monks reciting the Metta Sutta, most monasteries have been wary of publicly chanting the sutra.

Please check out Danny’s original article, as well as his latest update.  In the former you’ll find Danny’s original video, in the latter embeds of other folks’ readings.

Grasshopper

Grasshopper - click through to view.I stumbled upon Grasshopper tonight.  It’s a short rotoscoped film by the folks who did the film adaptation of A Scanner Darkly.  Sometimes I’m a bit slow to get to these things – it was filmed in 2003, and I’d even seen it mentioned over at the blog at Shambhala Sunspace.

In Grasshopper, park-bench philosopher AJ Vadehra expounds on astrology and more productive avenues of contemplation.  Done all in grey-green, this animated but otherwise unedited interview is a good example of what happens when you approach the right stranger with a camera. Grasshopper premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival and has since played in many other festivals worldwide.

Mr. Vadehra has a lot to say in this 14 minute film.  It’s well worth a listen, in my opinion.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver dies at 88

This doesn’t come as a great shock, but I’d like to note Mrs. Shriver’s passing – she was an amazing, compassionate woman.

During my teen years, I volunteered often with the Special Olympics – my first job was Hugger – and it was a fantastic job. ^_^  I miss it and look forward to volunteering again at some point, when we are closer to events.  Please consider getting involved – it’s a total joy!

(Note – today the Special Olympics link forwards to Mrs. Shriver’s foundation site.)

I’m not surprised, but…

…this is unfortunate.

Critters (Long one, sorry!)

American RoachI was delighted to find Gabriel Cohen‘s article “Night of the Cockroach” on Shambhala Sun‘s website.  It appeared in the July 2009 issue, but as magazines are a luxury purchase at the moment, I only stumbled upon it a few days ago.  It’s a quick read, and I recommend it.  If you want to read it with “ambiance” – read, cockroach photos all over the page – check out Cohen’s .pdf of the original article on his website.

Cockroaches and other small critters have definitely played their part in the daily Practice of my life, and it’s good to bump into other people thinking about the potential struggle they provide.

Let me tell you a little bit about my house, and I’ll explain what I mean. Continue reading