Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another article about enlightenment
more from the same guy:

More for my own reference than for posting to y'all. I keep running into this stuff, mindblowing (literally) stories with some kind of brain imaging, same characters (Shinzen Young, Daniel Ingram), a pretty reasonable story for why it's not more widespread (we're just getting into the age of really understanding things in the west that Buddhists have known for a while, appropriating them into our own language and culture). Then I go read Dharma Overground for a while, and then I get fed up because it's all so much talk.

Wow, when I put it like that, it sounds like crazy talk. Well, I'm not sure it all isn't. But it seems like the most reasonable conception of spiritual experiences that I've got going, so I'm half-skeptically running with it for now. Speaking of which, I'm going on a retreat the week after next (March 10-16) at Bhavana Society so maybe I'll have more direct experience to report then. But based on past experiences, don't count on it :P

Sunday, February 09, 2014

A thought about the Olympics

Is this really what we want, as a celebration of world peace and togetherness and what have you? Rabid competitions, where bumping your leg once derails your four years of preparation? It's a spectacle, not of amazing sportspersonship, but of constantly tearing people down.

When I'm in charge of the world, we'll get all the athletes together and have them do some ski jumps and tricks, and after each one we'll point out what was so absolutely amazing about that trick. Or have the cross-country skiers race next to an average schlub so we can see how freakin' fast they are. Show why the speed skaters do that really fluid loping thing when it looks like they ought to be taking more steps. Show how much higher our athletes can jump compared to the last Olympics, or how much steeper moguls they can ski, or how much more accurately they can curl.

And no medals, and no nations. I realize we can't all get along on a day to day basis when there are important resources at stake, or cold wars, or snowdens, or whatever, but just for once, when we're all getting together to play sports, can we try to set a more collaborative tone instead of competing with other nations for the most gold coins? If I were an alien who saw this, I'd come back in a thousand years when we're a little more civilized.