Friday, May 27, 2011

The Art of the Buddha | Gross National Happiness

PBS Arts : The Art of the Buddha

Across two and a half millennia, the life of the Buddha has been depicted in art rich in beauty and complexity. Most paintings and sculptures focus on key episodes in his spiritual journey: his birth and childhood, his renunciation of worldly life, his enlightenment, his first teaching, his life as a teacher, and his death.

The Buddha | PBS

first half | more at TheBuddhaPBS's Channel

This documentary for PBS by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin and narrated by Richard Gere, tells the story of the Buddha’s life, a journey especially relevant to our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. It features the work of some of the world’s greatest artists and sculptors, who across two millennia, have depicted the Buddha’s life in art rich in beauty and complexity. Hear insights into the ancient narrative by contemporary Buddhists, including Pulitzer Prize winning poet W.S. Merwin and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Join the conversation and learn more about meditation, the history of Buddhism, and how to incorporate the Buddha’s teachings on compassion and mindfulness into daily life."

Gross National Happiness

"Bhutan – Taking the Middle Path to Happiness” is a documentary on the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan and its development policy of “Gross National Happiness.

Imagine a country where the peoples’ happiness is the guiding principle of government. Imagine a people who see all life as sacred, a land with abundant renewable energy, a nation committed to preserving nature and its culture. Imagine a country where the government’s goal is “Gross National Happiness.” Where is this Shangri-La? Bhutan.

But can a place like Bhutan really exist? Can such ideals be realized? Can this small, geographically isolated country tucked away in the Himalayans truly protect its environment and culture as they open their doors to the West?”

The concept of taking “the middle path” is one rooted in the Bhutanese view of the world, a simple message: happiness lies in the middle path. Neither overindulging in the world’s pleasures nor rejecting the world’s goodness can lead to a prosperous and peaceful society. Happiness can only be found by taking the middle path – the path that provides the needs of mankind without sacrificing the life generating diversity of nature.

But now with Bhutan’s entry into the global marketplace, the introduction of television, advertising and the social pressures of consumerism can Bhutan maintain this delicate balance?

BHUTAN: Taking The Middle Path To Happiness

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Japanese gardens & Moss Diversity | Lichens

Japanese gardens: a haven for moss diversity | OurWorld 2.0

by Yoshitaka Oishi on May 25, 2011
Keywords: Japan, moss, traditional knowledge, urban ecosystem

When I mention my research on moss (bryophytes), it’s not unusual to be asked “why do you study moss?” Such questions likely arise because, for many, moss is considered to be of little use. However, in reality, moss plays a vital role within ecosystems and is valued as a biological indicator of the environment."

Our World 2.0
Solutions to the global challenges of climate change, food security, biodiversity loss and peak oil are within our reach. The Our World 2.0 web magazine shares the ideas and actions of citizens around the world who are transforming our lives for the better.
This award-winning web magazine, produced by United Nations University Media Studio, exchanges these insights through video briefs, articles, debates, photo essays and public events. We invite you to contribute to this growing global conversation.

USGS Release: Lichens May Aid in Combating Deadly Chronic Wasting Disease in Wildlife

MADISON, Wis. – Certain lichens can break down the infectious proteins responsible for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a troubling neurological disease fatal to wild deer and elk and spreading throughout the United States and Canada, according to U.S. Geological Survey research published today in the journal PLoS ONE.

The researchers found that lichens have great potential for safely reducing the number of prions because some lichen species contain a protease enzyme (a naturally produced chemical) capable of significantly breaking down prions in the lab.

"This work is exciting because there are so few agents that degrade prions and even fewer that could be used in the environment without causing harm," said Jim Bennett, Ph.D., a USGS lichenologist and a co-author of the study.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Night Photography on QUEST: Steven Christenson

Your Photos on QUEST: Steven Christenson - KQED QUEST Video: "Most nature photographers put their cameras away at night. Not Steven Christenson. As the co-founder of the very successful Bay Area Night Photography group, he guides like-minded, low-light photographers to find interesting subjects after the sun goes down. Steven reveals his special process of photographing star trails for Your Photos on QUEST."

QUEST on KQED Public Media.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

new at whats up: beggar's bowl

whats up: beggar's bowl

I am not exactly a monk (sort of an ascetic though I guess), but offer my art, meditations, blogging and activism in hope that I am helping to educate and inspire others, helping to create through my small efforts a better world for us all. I do this in order to contribute to our mutual overall well-being, in service, without expectation; and, I never run any sort of advertising on my pages. If you enjoy my blogs and have found what I am doing here to be useful, please consider making a contribution. This will help me to continue my work... (more)

Buddhistic monk meditating with Buddha bowl at Oigawa, Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan. This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons

The term mendicant (from Latin: mendicans, "begging") refers to someone who survives by begging or relies on receiving charitable donations, and is most widely used for religious followers or ascetics who depend exclusively on charity to survive and continue to do their good work.

Contributions made in appreciation of my artistic, educational, spiritual, and activist efforts, and for my free high resolution artwork downloads* should be considered gifts, and are much appreciated! Anything you might offer will help, will be counted as personal income on my end, and is not tax deductible.


ha ha - tag! - you are Buddha!

tag on facebook | buddha artwork by rc

whats more: Diamond Sutra

a derivative work made from 2 files from Wikipedia Commons

All conditioned phenomena

Are like dreams, illusions,
bubbles, or shadows;

Like drops of dew,
or flashes of lightning;

Thusly should they be contemplated.

see also:
a youtube slideshow and index of art & photos

Dharma talk - What is “kind speech?"

Master of the Shakuhachi
& about Zen & Buddhism

Dharma Wheel & About Dharma

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Ino's Blog: Counting To Nine | Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind

you are already Buddha yourself
  ~ Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

The Ino's Blog: Counting To Nine
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Counting To Nine
I bought myself another copy of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, and I was looking for the explanation of why we do nine prostrations at the beginning of morning service instead of three, which I have heard here many times over the years: Suzuki Roshi thought American students were more stubborn than Japanese and needed more help in letting go of the ego.

Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind is a book of teachings by the late Shunryu Suzuki, a compilation of talks given to his satellite Zen center in Los Altos, California. Published in 1970 by Weatherhill, the book is not academic. These are frank and direct transcriptions of Suzukis' talks recorded by his student Marian Derby. Trudy Dixon and Richard Baker—Baker was Suzuki's successor—edited the talks by choosing those most relevant, arranging them into chapters. According to some, it has become a spiritual classic, helping readers to steer clear from the trappings of intellectualism.


In the book we read,
'After zazen we bow to the floor nine times. By bowing, we are giving up ourselves. To give up ourselves means to give up our dualistic ideas. So there is no difference between zazen practice and bowing. Usually to bow means to pay our respects to something which is more worthy of respect than ourselves. But when you bow to Buddha you should have no idea of Buddha, you just become one with Buddha, you are already Buddha yourself.'
- These last two sentences are ones I should probably memorise, as I often find myself answering a question around this from new students or visiting high school kids - if there is no god in Buddhism, why are you bowing, who are you bowing to?"
  ~ more

Shunryu Suzuki (鈴木 俊隆 Suzuki Shunryū, dharma name Shōgaku Shunryū 祥岳俊隆) (May 18, 1904 – December 4, 1971) was a Sōtō Zen roshi (Zen Master) who popularized Zen Buddhism in the United States, particularly around San Francisco. Born in the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan, Suzuki was occasionally mistaken for the Zen scholar D.T. Suzuki, to which Shunryu would reply, "No, he's the big Suzuki, I'm the little Suzuki."

Suzuki Roshi dot org (

•   Suzuki Roshi Dharma Talks

•   Suzuki Roshi Verbatim transcripts

Shunryu Suzuki Roshi on YouTube

•   "Zen Mind Beginners Mind"

San Francisco Zen Center

The purpose of San Francisco Zen Center is to make accessible and embody the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha as expressed in the Soto Zen tradition established by Dogen Zenji in 13th-century Japan and conveyed to us by Suzuki Roshi and other Buddhist teachers. Our practice flows from the insight that all beings are Buddha, and that sitting in meditation is itself the realization of Buddha nature, or enlightenment.
•   Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
~ by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

• Shunryu Suzuki-roshi, a Japanese Zen priest belonging to the Soto lineage, came to San Francisco in 1959 at the age of fifty-four. Already a respected Zen master in Japan, he was impressed by the seriousness and quality of "beginner's mind" among Americans he met who were interested in Zen and decided to settle here. As more and more people of non-Japanese background joined him in meditation, Zen Center came into being and he was its first abbot. Under his tutelage, Zen Center grew into City Center, Green Gulch Farm and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. He was undoubtedly one of the most influential Zen teachers of his time.

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."

So begins this most beloved of all American Zen books. Seldom has such a small handful of words provided a teaching as rich as has this famous opening line of Shunryu Suzuki's classic. In a single stroke, the simple sentence cuts through the pervasive tendency students have of getting so close to Zen as to completely miss what it's all about. An instant teaching on the first page. And that's just the beginning. In the thirty years since its original publication, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind has become one of the great modern Zen classics, much beloved, much re-read, and much recommended as the best first book to read on Zen. Suzuki Roshi presents the basics—from the details of posture and breathing in zazen to the perception of nonduality—in a way that is not only remarkably clear, but that also resonates with the joy of insight from the first to the last page. It's a book to come back to time and time again as an inspiration to practice.
Purchase Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind from Zen Center's on-line bookstore.
•   The Ino's Blog

SOTOZEN-NET official site (english)

•   A Message from the Head Priest

ZEN playlist @ rc's youtube channel


ha ha - tag! - you are Buddha!

tag on facebook | buddha artwork by rc

see also:
Master of the Shakuhachi & about Zen & Buddhism

Dharma Wheel & About Dharma

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

abolish atomic

the attached file is suitable for high resolution photo printing at 4 x 6 - please feel free to print some and pass them around :)

> go to whats up for nuclear news

self portrait, roseadjoa

Roseadjoa says waking up isn't easy when living a nightmare ♥


buy a print!

> go to whats up for nuclear news