A Buddhist Guide To Surviving The Holidays: Four Practices

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(follow Ethan on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram) Let's face it, sometimes the holidays just…suck. Maybe that's not the most Buddhist way of saying it, but it is how it feels. Even more than in past years, friends and students are reporting feeling stress and foreboding right now. To be honest, I’m feeling a sense of burden and anxiety, too, that strange feeling when there’s too much to do and not any clear sense of intention behind the doing of it. This holiday season has given me reason to pause and think about what really matters. And guess what, it's neither black Friday nor cyber Monday. (more…)

The Best Graduation Speech Ever?

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My dear friend Abigail  sent me this New York times reprint of George Saunders' speech at the 2013 Syracuse University commencement. I've read and heard some great graduation speeches before, but his speech, with great humor, is some of the best spiritual advice I've seen, anywhere. It is always quite tricky to claim that something not explicitly dharmic is somehow "Buddhist," but his three "Darwinian confusions" could very easily be taken from Madyamaka (Middle Way) philosophy. It's a pretty amazing read. What it brought up for me is the need for our intention to be incredibly simple in daily life. We need some rallying cry, some mantra, some contemplation that we can return to when we lose our Northstar moment by moment. Perhaps kindness is the best mantra. (Follow Ethan on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram)

A Buddhist Response To The Boston Tragedy: No Such Thing As “Inherent Evil”

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On a day of insanity and horror, one of the most heartwarming things for me was reading this passage in comedian Patton Oswalt's Facebook post about the Boston Marathon tragedy, which went viral on the social network: (more…)

Wealth is Not The Problem, Greed is The Problem

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(cross posted on the Interdependence Project blog - follow Ethan on Facebook or Twitter) Since the decline of Occupy Wall Street as a major social and media phenomenon, the notion of wealth inequality has sort of dropped off my personal political and moral radar.  Then a friend sent me this video below the other day. It's a tutorial on wealth inequality in America. It's pretty amazing to have things demonstrated  visually for me. It really reopened my eyes. (more…)