The strange case of Doctor Strange’s Tibet

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Recently we told you about the coming release of Marvel's Doctor Strange film starring Benedict Cumberbatch -- who's had his own experiences with meditation, as well as living with Tibetan Buddhist monks. It seems he's got one up on his character there. As fans of the Doctor Strange comic book know, much of it takes place in a sort of highly mythical version of Tibet mashed up [...]

George Takei on ‘Being Gay, Being Buddhist’

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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. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Was Yoda based on this Buddhist master?

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Star Wars is loved by many Buddhists for its hidden Buddhist teachings (more on that in our excerpt from Matthew Bortolin's The Dharma of Star Wars), especially today on Star Wars Day. (If you're unfamiliar, the unofficial holiday comes from the play on words, "May the 4th be with you"). But there may be an even more direct connection. According to Buddhist scholar Alexander [...]

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

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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 [...]

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 [...]

11 Buddhist book covers that went pop!

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From Milton Glaser to the very prolific "Uncredited"--a select visual history from the 1950s-1970s. An uncredited designer matches bold, semi-exotic type and a candid Tibetan Buddhist ceremony shot for an illustrated cloth edition of Heinrich Harrer's to-be-famous book. Seven Years in Tibet documents Harrer's escape from a British internment camp, and the resulting [...]

Remembering “Irish Zen Saint” Maura O’Halloran

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Maura O'Halloran was a young Irish-American woman who took to Zen practice (and how!), as famously recounted in her journals, posthumously published as the book Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint. (O'Halloran was killed in an accident and her novel, of course, never finished. But you can read "Annie Mirror Heart," part of that [...]

From Patti Smith to Miley Cyrus, Tibet House benefit blurs boundaries

Debbie Harry on playing "Heart of Glass" at the concert: "Heart of Glass" at the coming Tibet House benefit: "...it’s about love and lost love and there’s definitely a loss that Tibetans are suffering. The song’s about getting beyond that loss, and Tibetans can fully appreciate that sentiment."

Thursday night's Tibet House benefit concert continued the annual series' reputation for eclectic artistry, featuring music from names long associated with the pro-Tibet cause—like Patti Smith and Philip Glass—as well as new additions like Miley Cyrus, the Flaming Lips, Dev Hynes, Sturgill Simpson, NPR mainstay Ira Glass, and Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry (who told the [...]