The Scene

When something needs to be done in the world to rectify the wrongs, if one is really concerned with benefiting others, one needs to be engaged, involved.” -–14th Dalai Lama

What is the state of our world today? And what’s Buddhism got to do with it? This section offers commentary on where and how Buddhism interfaces with other larger-picture, higher-level topics: like politics, economy, international relations, the environment, and virtual reality.

Anticipating Bliss

The Mind  |  The Scene  |  The Tribe   |   Lauren Bausch  |   August 2, 2012, 6:00 pm

“Happiness in a new size,” reads a billboard on Telegraph Avenue at 40th Street in Oakland. The “New 89¢ 12.5 oz.” bottle of Coca-Cola. In a time when “nirvana” is sold in a bottle, where do I turn in pursuit of happiness? Why am I looking at all? Since the 19th century, American advertising strategies [...]

Etchings of Education

The Scene  |  The University   |   James Roberts  |   July 25, 2012, 6:18 pm

In a recent post about architecture and education, I explored a few questions about physical space, the space of the mind, what this has to do with learning, and how we might choose to construct educational spaces with these questions in mind. They originate with all parents’ concern for their children, a concern for our [...]

Tuning In

The Mind  |  The Scene  |  The Tribe   |   Lauren Bausch  |   July 10, 2012, 4:30 pm

As I tuned in, I noticed that I was hearing not only Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C. Major, but a cacophony of noise provided by my own mind.   Just as the soloist was accompanied by dozens of other performers, my perception of the concert was accompanied by past mental structures.  Thoughts, sensations, and images sounded, not always in harmony, with the orchestra. [...]

Patience: In a Crowd or While Alone

The Mind  |  The Scene  |  The Tribe   |   Brooks Hansard  |   July 5, 2012, 4:30 am

When I was a sophomore in college, I recall having profound loneliness, and as a result, depression. Logically, there was no reason for me to feel lonely, because I had a girlfriend, as well as a group of supportive male friends. Yet, I still felt bitterly lonely. [...]

Solitude vs. Loneliness

The Mind  |  The Scene  |  The Tribe   |   Alexandra Gross  |   July 3, 2012, 5:00 pm

In a recent post, Patience and Solitude, James wrote about what it has been like to give up so much of his previous existence in order to live a simpler, more solitary life at CTTB.  I was struck by his observations about the challenge of loneliness; it got me thinking about the differences between loneliness [...]

Patience and Solitude

The Mind  |  The Scene  |  The Tribe   |   James Roberts  |   June 29, 2012, 5:15 pm

When I came to live at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, I was very idealistic. I was determined to make a big shift in my life, a shift that required a lot of idealism, and a little bit of courage too. I was putting on hold many of the expectations about what I had been taught about success, particularly with regard to making money or having a romantic relationship. I was giving these things up in order to follow what seemed to be greater ideals.... Like all romantic notions, there was some truth to these ideals, and there was some fantasy as well. [...]

Valuing Education

The Scene  |  The University   |   Jason Tseng  |   June 18, 2012, 5:15 pm

Recently, the issue of student debt has once again come back to the forefront of public discourse.  The New York Times did a fairly lengthy cover story on it.  A chorus of commentators, including notable critic Mark Cuban, a media and tech mogul, has been even more vocal in comparing higher education to the last housing bubble. In some ways, this debate has been smoldering for the past 3 years about the true value of higher education. [...]

Portraits of American Zen

The Scene   |   James Roberts  |   May 18, 2012, 8:10 am

A couple weeks ago, my friend Jesse’s piece entitled “Strangers” won the 2012 Ippy Award for Best Photo Essay. He’s been working as an independent photojournalist for a number of years, having contributed to a number of publications, including Buddhadharma.... Jesse recently finished another photo essay entitled “Ordinary Zen,” shown below.  The essay features an intimate look at four Zen practitioners, through their own words and Jesse’s photos [...]