Read “Just Like That,” the Editorial from the July 2014 Shambhala Sun magazine

Rod Meade Sperry, Associate Editor of the Shambhala Sun, introduces our July 2014 magazine with its special section, "Your Guide to Buddhist Meditation." Buddhists talk a lot about cause and effect (i.e., karma) and interconnection, but you don’t have to be a Buddhist to understand that everything you know, as you know it, could completely change. Just like that. For Allan [...]

“Martin Luther King & The Montgomery Story” — Read the comic (and see the story behind it)

Last year in the Shambhala Sun we ran a piece called "3 Heroes, 5 Powers," which shared a sample of The Secret of the Five Powers, a comic book that shed light on the work of Thich Nhat Hanh, Alfred Hassler, and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. The Secret of the Five Powers, I learned, was in fact inspired by a previous comic published by Hassler and the FoR. That comic was [...]

Into the Light with Dale Cooper


Twin Peaks’s quirky-cool special agent famously upended the idea of the TV G-man. Now he’s back in a deluxe new Blu-ray set. Rod Meade Sperry looks at one of pop culture’s most endearing, enduring dharma friends. Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery 9 Blu-ray discs; Paramount A man is dying on the floor of a jail cell between two mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Not even two [...]

Video: A Buddhist temple, on the rocks

We've all seen variations of the cliched "water droplet and ripples" image that's been used to sell so many spiritually minded products -- many of them Buddhist (or at least quasi-Buddhist). Here's an unusual twist: in this video, which does begin with the usual droplet-and-ripples affair, Kyoto, Japan's Kinkaju Zen Buddhist temple is carved out of ice to sell... SunTory [...]

Scrabble goes Zen?

According to the Washington Post: "After a month of crowdsourced searching, the new addition to the official Scrabble dictionary will be either “zen” or … “geocache.” The working definition of "Zen" here is: "Zen, noun: a Japanese form of Buddhism that emphasizes meditation." Though the Post notes that this is mostly a publicity bid, it's kind of hard to believe it's taken [...]

Louis C.K.: Gleefully Digging Deeper

Louis C.K. is hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend! Okay, okay: perhaps you're one of the many people who think SNL hasn't mattered for two decades now. I can't say I agree, though I'll grant you that there've been some pretty rough patches at times, and the recent season has had its share. But still: Louis C.K.! He's considered the ultimate comic's comic today, and though [...]

Tibet House’s 2014 benefit show: Iggy Pop, Philip Glass “join” New Order (video)

Not surprisingly, it was a fun, fun, fun, fun, fun time. In addition to the presence of Patti Smith, members of the National, the Drepung Gomang monks, and others, there was a special surprise for modern music fans. As Rolling Stone reports, Tuesday night's gala concert at Carnegie Hall included a performance by the reformed classic band New Order. Sort of, that is: "The band [...]

Taking Refuge from the Darkness: Remembering comedian Mike DeStefano, three years gone

When comedian Mike DeStefano died -- three years ago last week -- he wasn't quite a household name yet, though it looked like things might be heading that way. Now, "Drugs, Disease, Death: A Comedy," a new documentary film-in-progress, seeks to bring Mike's comedy and (at times, quite harrowing) personal story to a new wave of fans. (April 21 Update: according to the project's [...]

Watch the Dalai Lama’s opening prayers in the U.S. Senate on Thursday

As announced on Wednesday, His Holiness the Dalai Lama did in fact give the opening prayers in the US Senate on Thursday. Among the words he shared are his favorite prayer, from Shantideva's Way of the Bodhisattva: "As long as space remains, and as long as sentient beings remain, until then may I too remain and help dispel the misery of the world." Video here: He made quite [...]