George Takei on ‘Being Gay, Being Buddhist’

George Takei Gay Buddhist Star Trek LGBT Lion's Roar Japan Interment Camps Stonewall California Social Media Brad

The actor, author, and undisputed King of Social Media reflects on his fascinating personal history: his childhood and his family’s internment during World War II, his life as a gay man and activist, how far we’ve all come, and why we must press on together. I was born to a Buddhist family -- my father was Zen and my mother was Shin, and both were rather casual about it. [...]

Buddhism and The Force meet again


Today CNet alerts us to the existence of a new Etsy store, run by digital artist Chris Milnes, that sells "Zen" versions of iconic pop-culture characters — Batman, Yoda, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Groot, and so on -- whose heads have been supplanted onto the body of Hotei, often referred to as the "laughing Buddha." They're all 3D printed, and so are a good deal more [...]

Why Punk & Buddhism Beats “Us Vs. Them”

Miguel Chen Teenage Bottlerocket Buddhism Meditation Punk Rock Music Culture

I’m a musician, a punk rocker, a Buddhist of sorts, a yogi. Most of all, I consider myself an individual. But the further I come along on my path, I realize that while that’s true—I am an individual—I am also the same as everyone else. The more time I spend on a meditation cushion, or turning inward during yoga, the more I realize that this “self” I have held onto so tightly [...]

Benedict Cumberbatch talks meditation and “Doctor Strange”


As a comic-book nut with a bit of a spiritual bent, I was intrigued when, last year, Marvel announced plans to release a film featuring Doctor Strange, the comics company's famed "master of the mystic arts." But who would play the very-strange-indeed "Doctor"? A follow-up announcement told us it would be none other than Benedict Cumberbatch, star of Sherlock -- and, seemingly, [...]

The Tao of the RZA


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”?


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 [...]