15 classic Buddhism-and-advertising collisions

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"I'd like to buy the world a Dharma-Burger"? Don Draper's meditation-based epiphany, as seen on Mad Men's finale, is all but immortal now. Though we'll never truly know what came next, one thing's for sure: the relationship between meditation and commerce wouldn't, for better or worse, be just fiction. Advertisers and marketers have been trading on it for decades, and [...]

In Mad Men finale, a meditative breakthrough

mad men don draper meditating finale breakthrough

No, he didn't become a Buddhist, but in "Person to Person," Mad Men's finale, Don Draper definitely came closer than many might have expected he could. Buddhism or no, it made for a memorable meditation-and-pop-culture moment. (Spoiler alert: this post does in fact address the very end of the final episode and some of the details leading up to it.) His unannounced flight [...]

Buddy Nielsen of Senses Fail on trauma, sexuality, and Buddhism

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Since its formation in 2002, Senses Fail has gone through changes—from startup melodic punk band to capital-H heavy post-hardcore juggernaut (boasting, for example, some 523,000 fans on Facebook). Founding singer Buddy Nielsen, too, has had his share of boundary-busting transformation. It hasn’t come easy. As he’s written, “For over nine years I suffered in a cycle of shame [...]

How to Meditate With Noise


Each workday, members of our staff sit together in meditation for twenty minutes. Meanwhile, the lot right outside our window is being torn apart in preparation for the construction of a new building. The pounding, the pummeling -- it's every bit as loud as you might imagine. So: what to do about it? That's one of the "Dharma FAQs" covered in the Beginner's Mind section of [...]

You know that photo of “100,000 monks praying for world peace”?


You may have seen this photo (or others like it) going around, posted on Facebook, etc, with a note that it depicts 100,000 Burmese monks praying for world peace, or something along those lines. After the earthquake in Nepal, it's now circulating again, described as "100,000 monks in Napal [sic] in prayer after the Nepal earthquake as a necessary gesture of power." So: who's in [...]

The Tibetan Comic-Book of the Dead

The Tibetan Book of the Dead Comic

It's fun! It's visionary! It features Donald Trump as Yama Raja, the Lord of Death. It's "The Comic Bardo Thodol" (aka The Tibetan Book of the Dead), as created and executed by writer/artist Thomas Scoville. How nice to see it making the rounds online again, since it's now been posted on UltraCulture.org. It first surfaced in 2008, and I reached out to Scoville, who [...]

Reports of self-immolation emerge from Tibet

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Two reports of self-immolations have emerged from Tibet. Update – Friday, April 17, 11:20am: New facts have emerged that indicate that there were not two self-immolations, as we originally reported, but one self-immolation that was reported differently by two news agencies. Tibet Post International reports that Yeshe Khado set herself on fire near a police station in Draggo [...]

Thinking good thoughts for Joni Mitchell

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We're thinking especially fondly today of singer/songwriter/multifaceted musician Joni Mitchell today, having gotten the word that she was hospitalized last night after being found unconscious in her home. Thankfully there's already positive news, via JoniMitchell.com: “She regained consciousness on the ambulance ride.... She is currently in intensive care undergoing tests and [...]

Michael Imperioli talks Buddhism and The Sopranos

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In a new interview with comedian Marc Maron on Maron's famous WTF podcast, the multitalented Michael Imperioli gets personal -- about acting and directing, life after his stint on The Sopranos, playing music, cooking (he was the winner of the Chopped Tournament of Stars), meeting Lou Reed as well as Allen Ginsberg and other Beat figures, and his practice of Tibetan Buddhism. "I [...]

Dharma makes a difference for prisoners

Our second annual batch of magazines and Buddhist books for inmates in the L.A. County system went out last week.

We've just packed up and sent out our second annual collection of copies of Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma, as well as some select Buddhist books to the Los Angeles County penal system, to be shared among chaplains and interested inmates there who wish to explore and practice the dharma. We're hardly the only ones to do this sort of thing; lots of Buddhist publishers fulfill [...]