Communion Town, by Sam Thompson

Smart, Edgy Horror. Except Better. Sam Thompson’s Communion Town: A City in Ten Chapters reminds me a little of Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, except I has more plot. It reminds me of China Mieville’s The City and the City, except it has less plot. Mostly it feels like literary slug undulating beneath the reader’s skin

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Fascism by Madeleine Albright and Thoughts about Trump’s America

Trump’s losing at politics, ignoring democracy, declaring an emergency where no emergency exists. Like it or not, we’re getting a lesson in fascism. I’m reading Madeleine Albright’s Fascism: A Warning. No, it is not a Trump-bashing tell-all. It barely mentions him. But like the title says, it warns democratic countries to learn from the mid-20th

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Rascal in the Bardo

This Christmas Eve is a Bardo day, and particularly festive for me and my old buddy and Tibetan Terrier Teacher, Rascal. You may know, Rascal died November 5. I was with him, and felt his moment of passing. Very real. Very immediate the way a spirit lifts and leaves. My teachers say 49 days after

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Take a Tour with Lama Rinzen and 49 Buddhas

A blog tour, that is… Visit these sites for reviews, comments and contests. Today through June 15 May 15 Silver Dagger Book Tours Mythical Books May 16 2 Girls & A Book Midnight Book Reader May 17 Sarah’s Reading Addiction 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! May 18 Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews

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Quit the Tribe, or… What are We? Mistake Theorists or Conflict Theorists?

A few months ago in a NY Times op-ed, David Brooks laid out a theory. He summarized our current polarization as a battle between Mistake Theorists and Conflict Theorists. Mistake Theorists—a term coined by Slate Star Codex blogger Scott Alexander—believe that world’s complexities are a product of error and incompetence. Like the way comedians see

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Ten Things I Question

No proselytizing. No endorsements. No political ax to grind. Just ten things I wonder about: The Buddha teaches us to see things as they are, without the overlay of ego. But if I do, and what I see reflects what I already believe, am I doing it right? Or have I always been seeing things

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An Everyday Meditation #2: Thoughts Arise

During our everyday meditation, thoughts arise. These can be the seeds of insight, if only we are aware of them. Some say thoughts during meditation are impediments. This is true, they can be. Thoughts can arise either with our being aware or not being aware of them. To reconsider things, it is not the thought

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What the Buddha Means when He Talks about Emptiness: The Thoughtless Thought

Our president talks thoughtlessly, but that’s not what I mean by the Thoughtless Thought, nor is it what the Buddha means when he talks about emptiness. I’m talking about a few weekends ago when I listened to Radio Lab’s story Emergence, which began by speaking about a river in Thailand where at night thousands of

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An Everyday Meditation #1

  Here’s a thought. Step outside. Go for a walk. The first person you encounter, ask yourself what you notice about them. Be aware. Be specific. Focus on encountering specific characteristics that influence your experiencing the person. Now ask, how did you notice these characteristics? With your eyes, ears, nose (maybe), touch, or taste (doubtful).

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Delusions are our Teachers

People ask—what should I do when thoughts arise during my meditation? The question suggests the meditator is doing something wrong. Thinking is not allowed while meditating. In a dualistic way of seeing things, if I am thinking I must not be meditating. If I am meditating, I should not have thoughts. In the Winter 2017

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How Commandments are different than Precepts.

  In Buddhism, we don’t have commandments. Growing up Catholic, I learned about commandments. There are ten of them. They are a code of ethics handed down by God to Moses on Mount Sinai, divided into three commandments about treating God right, and seven about treating our fellow humans right. God’s passing down these Ten

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4 Ways of Loving

I am a student. I am a searcher. I look for a teacher. I look for what the world teaches, and what I can learn from others. These are the hardest lessons. I read recently that Zen master Thich Nhat Hahn says the path to learning is through love. He said the 4 Ways of

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