The Tao of the RZA

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The RZA—born Robert Diggs—needs no introduction to hardcore fans of hip-hop. After setting the rap world on its ear with 1993's groundbreaking Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), the mastermind of the Wu-Tang Clan has since produced a slew of albums and has branched out to film scores (Kill Bill, Ghost Dog), filmmaking, and books. He first found inspiration in the teachings of The [...]

May the Force — and Luke Skywalker’s wisdom — “Awaken” with you

Star Wars Dharma Lion's Roar

The trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has just been released (watch it here), and to celebrate, we're sharing an excerpt from Matthew Bortolin's book, The Dharma of Star Wars. In the book, Bortolin, an ordainee of Thich Nhat Hanh, sorts through the films' spiritual themes and applies Buddhist teachings to George Lucas' epics. Bortolin writes in the book: "In Star [...]

Thanks to Yoko

Yoko Ono Lion's Roar Shambhala Sun Lisa Carver

Everyone, it seemed, liked to tell Lisa Carver what she couldn’t do: it wasn’t proper, it wasn’t art, it wasn’t done. But Zen koans and Yoko Ono—now eighty—turned all that upside down. Decades before the dark and angry performance art/No Wave scene of the late eighties and early nineties, Yoko Ono was creating radically unconventional conceptual art. Raised Buddhist and [...]

Buddhism and anime collide yet again

Doraemon Anime Buddhism

We posted recently about a Japanese temple that is using “cute-sexy” anime depictions of deities to promote itself. Now, here’s another surprising trend in Buddhist art. A temple in Thailand is noted for including images of an anime character amongst the symbolism in its murals. Over the course of years, while retouching the walls of the temple, artist Rakkiat Lertjitsakul [...]

Pema chats with Oprah

Pema Chödrön and Oprah

On October 19, the Oprah Winfrey Network will broadcast a feature interview with Oprah and Tibetan Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön. They will discuss Pema’s life, her book, When Things Fall Apart, and techniques for living more consciously. The program will be broadcast at 11AM EST, on the program Super Soul Sunday. Pema is a regular contributor to the Shambhala Sun, and our Pema [...]

Time to re-visit “Twin Peaks”?

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Twenty five years after it ended, Twin Peaks is returning to television, director David Lynch announced earlier today. Written and directed by David Lynch and Mark Frost, the 1991-92 series followed an FBI investigation, headed by Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), into the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer. The show is famous for its campy, creepy surrealism [...]

Watch: “Hector” (aka Simon Pegg) goes to Tibet

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If a good-natured, fun-loving film is your cuppa tea, you know Simon Pegg; think Hot Fuzz, Paul, Shaun of the Dead, and so on. Pegg's latest star turn is in the title role of Hector and the Search for Happiness, in which he plays a psychiatrist who's trotting the globe in search of, yes, happiness. Over at IndieWire, they've got an exclusive, newly released trailer for the [...]

Like Thangkas You Can Hear: Buddhism & the Metal Underground

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"Buddhist Metal." That's... a thing? Yes, it is. And it runs the gamut. Some of it's artier, some's goofier, some's pure expression, some of it is capable of conveying real dharma -- if we're willing to listen. Of course, it can be heavy, hectic, screamy music, so it's understandable why many may not be so willing. But there are rewards. Like a Buddhist thangka, the [...]

Cast your eyes upon the sage, there on his *silver* donut throne

Two years after the appearance of the Homer-Simpson-as-Buddha statuette, the toy is now getting a new release in a silver "Silver Anniversary" edition, marking 25 years of The Simpsons on the airwaves. From the marketing copy: "Meditating with a pretzel in one hand, and a giant donut beneath him, Homer, at long last, has found his inner peace. [...] Inspired by The Simpsons [...]

Don’t miss this: NY Times on Would-be Ambassadors of Shangri-La (Updated)

"Tom Hugo seems to be well-versed in Chinese, and he evidently cares deeply about the Tibetan people," writes Andrew Jacobs in his excellent piece from Monday's New York Times. "There’s only one problem with Tom Hugo’s Twitter account." You've probably already guessed what it is. As Jacobs goes on to explain, "Tom Hugo" is just one of a sea of people who are enthusing about [...]