The Buddha in Obama’s pocket

Obama, in White House video, shows the tiny Buddha statuette he "carries around all the time."

A little something for Throwback Thursday: In a White House-produced YouTube video first shared on January 15, President Obama addressed a number of things -- including what's in his pockets. It turns out that, along with a rosary gifted to him by Pope Francis, a small Buddha statuette, given to him by a monk, is often found on the president's person. "Ever since I started [...]

Trailers: Doctor Strange has a Buddhist wifi password; Iron Fist is still white

Dr. Strange.

In this new official trailer for Doctor Strange, we get a new, longer glimpse at Benedict Cumberbatch as Marvel's "master of the mystic arts" -- and, at the end, learn how how his neighbors can hack his internet. Strange's wifi password will be recognizable to many, not least of all our readers, who will recognize it as a variation on a key word in our old name, before we [...]

Harold Ramis, Judd Apatow talk “Groundhog Day,” Buddhism, and San Francisco in the 60s

Harold Ramis and Judd Apatow

Comedy fans won't want to miss Sick in the Head, Judd Apatow's collection of his interviews through the years with some of America's finest comedians, stand-up and otherwise. (It's now in paperback.) And if you're interested in the collision of Buddhism and comedy -- as we are -- then you'll especially want to read Apatow's discussion with the legendary and late Harold Ramis [...]

Twenty Tibetan Buddhist nuns are first ever to earn Geshema degrees

A Geshema candidate at this year's Geshema examinations in Dharamsala, India. Photo via Tibetan Nuns Project (courtesy of Venerable Delek Yangdron).

Equivalent to a Doctorate in Buddhist Philosophy, the Geshema degree represents the highest level of training in the Gelugpa school of Tibetan Buddhism -- a level of training previously only available to men (in whose case the degree would be a Geshe degree). But that's changed now that twenty Tibetan Buddhist nuns have become the first to pass all the exams necessary to earn [...]

When Buddhists re-release lobsters and other animals, is that safe?

Lobster.

You might have seen a recent story about how monks from the Great Enlightenment Buddhist Institute Society (GEBIS), located in Prince Edward Island, Canada had re-released caught lobsters back into the sea in order to save them from being boiled alive for dinner. There's no doubt that this is a noble effort -- and one other Buddhist groups also engage in (or at least adapt). [...]

Beyond Privilege: a Q&A with angel Kyodo williams

angel Kyodo williams Lion's Roar Shambhala Sun Brooklyn Zen Center Race diversity Buddhism

To make diversity real, says Zen teacher angel Kyodo williams, Buddhists must look deep into their own hearts. Brooklyn Zen Center executive director Greg Snyder has spoken of a mind-meld that’s gone on between you and he, and BZC guiding teacher Teah Strozer. Let’s talk about that connection. I’m a New Yorker. I lived in Fort Greene and had a little sitting group, an [...]

Revisiting a classic, cringe-tastic Dharma-Burger

yogurt

New York magazine's blog The Cut has a funny new post called "A Brief History of Terrible Yogurt Commercials Targeted at Women." Among them is a classic Dharma-Burger. It's so classic, in fact, that there's actually a Buddhist book named after it. The ad is for Yoplait yogurt. In it, two women in a luxurious spa setting are swooning over their Yoplait, trying to come up with [...]

Watch Stephen Colbert clear things up about NYC’s fake Buddhist monks

Stephen Colbert with his new friend, Donny The Real Buddhist Monk.

We've told you in the past -- with an update just yesterday -- about the problem in New York, and worldwide, of fake Buddhist monks out to scam people for "donations." But would you know one if you saw one? Maybe not. "These faux monks are hard to spot," Stephen Colbert told his Late Show audience. And that's why he performed the public service of bringing "Donny, the Real [...]

Author and devoted Buddhist practitioner Michael Herr dies at 76

Michael Herr.

Michael Herr, the author of the famed memoir, Dispatches, about his time covering the Vietnam war, has died. He was 76. Herr was also known for his contributions to other famous works, including the films Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket, for which he wrote the screenplays. In addition, Herr became a devoted student of Buddhism in the latter years of his life, studying [...]

Watch the short film, “Altered Focus: Burma” (Features great skateboarding, too!)

Happy International Skateboarding Day! If you have 19 minutes to spare, here's something to check out: "Altered Focus: Burma." Its makers describe this sweet little 2011 film as a look at "three filmmakers and skateboarders, including rider Ali Drummond, as they travel across Yangon and Mandalay. The film explores the reaction to this activity whilst touching on the political [...]