Monthly Archives: December 2011

Chögyam Trungpa on connecting to Buddhist teachings

“In order to become a follower of the dharma, the teachings of the Buddha, one has to become nonaggressive, beyond aggression. In order to do that, there has to be some kind of warmth in oneself, gentleness to oneself, which is known as maitri, or loving-kindness. There also has to be greater gentleness to others, which is known as karuna or compassion. When we begin to make a connection to the teachings, to dharma, we are willing to open our gates, to tear down our walls.” — from “Aggression,” in The Collected Works of Chögyam Trungpa, Volume Two. Via Ocean of Dharma.

For more from Chögyam Trungpa, see our special online collection of his teachings from the Shambhala Sun, and don’t miss “Ocean of Dharma,” Barry Boyce’s account of Trungpa’s dramatic life and profound legacy, in our January 2012 magazine. (You can read Part 1, titled “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism,” here.)

Thich Nhat Hanh: “We laugh all day long, yet not one of us has a private bank account.”

Gift-giving is one thing; materialism is another. So: what can we do about excessive materialism in our culture? It’s a good question — and, it would seem, an especially timely one, given the seasonal pressures some of us are feeling –  and it was put to Thich Nhat Hanh in “Be Beautiful, Be Yourself,” the feature interview from our current magazine. Here’s how the Zen teacher replied:

“You can set up an environment where people live simply and happily, and invite others to come and observe. That is the only thing that will convince them to abandon their materialistic idea of happiness. They think that only when you have a lot to consume can you be happy, but many are very rich without being happy at all. And there are those who consume much less, but who are happier. Continued »

What’s new for book lovers?

Whether you’re looking to hunker down with a good read as the snow flies, or you need some help finding a meaningful gift to give, Shambhala Sun Deputy Editor Andrea Miller has got you covered with reviews of new books by Jack Kornfield, Frances Moore Lappe, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Anne Waldman, and others. You’ll find Andrea’s reviews on page 83 of our current issue, or you can click right here to read them now. (And if you’re looking for a great Buddhist book for a child in your life, see Tynette Deveaux’s feature review “Good Reads for Little Buddhas” — also in our current issue. )

So much for “Mad Men” — Former monk Gregory Burdulis brings mindfulness to an ad-world leader

By Adam Tebbe

Gregory Burdulis is a former Theravadan monk who spent several years in intensive silent meditation practice in Burma. Today he teaches mindfulness meditation to employees at the famous, 600-person advertising agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B). Participants are often looking for balance amid a hectic work schedule. “It’s not that I am perfect or enlightened. It’s that I think I can help,” says Burdulis.

In this TED video from last year, Burdulis discusses becoming a monk, practice, and his life and priorities today. Watch and read on for an update on his work below.

Continued »

Imagine… a happy, greed-free holiday

Photo by Gregory Palmer

“Every billboard, every message from television, radio,” says Diana Winston, “is telling us to consume.” But does that mean that Winston — the Director of Mindfulness Education at the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA — thinks we should give up on holiday gift-giving entirely?

“I’m not saying that,” she says. “But probably the thing that people want more than anything is you. Supplement your presents with presence. That’s one of the greatest gifts you can give another person.”

Learn more about how to do that and how to make the holidays meaningful for children (and your inner child as well) in “Have a happy, greed-free holiday,” a new interview published on

The Dharma of… Barbie?

Yes — “The Dharma of Barbie.” That is, the Shambhala Sun article by that name, in which mom Karen Maezen Miller offers some perspective on the commercialism and often-assumed message behind one of America’s favorite gifts for girls.

Just right for you conflicted procrastinating shoppers. Click here to read it online here.

Video: Buddhist Geeks’ Vincent Horn on “Uniting Wisdom and Technology”

We told you the other day that we’re a proud to be partnering with Buddhist Geeks in the presentation of the second annual Buddhist Geeks conference. Here you can get a taste of why. In this video, BG’s Vincent Horn explores, via slidehow, the interdisciplinary insights to be gained by combining geek culture’s radical experimentation, facility with external technologies, and forward-thinking with Buddhism’s wisdom of the human condition, mind-training systems, and familiarity with the inner world. Enjoy.

Buddhist Geeks: Uniting Technology and Wisdom from Buddhist Geeks on Vimeo.

From the new Shambhala Sun magazine: Thich Nhat Hanh on what to do in the face of suffering

Fans of Thich Nhat Hanh: Have you seen our January 2012 magazine yet? In addition to Andrea Miller’s exclusive interview with the Zen teacher, there’s her account of a retreat with him and his community and “Imagine a Pine Tree” — a new teaching about what to do in the face of suffering. You’ll find it on page 44 of the magazine, but you can also now read “Imagine a Pine Tree” online, in its entirety. May it be helpful to you — and if so: pass it on!

Video: The “Speak No Evil Experiment”

Could YOU practice Right Speech for a month? No lies, no hurtful speech, no gossip?

That’s just what Michael Stusser — author of The Dead Guy Interviews: Conversations with 45 of the Most Accomplished, Notorious, and Deceased Personalities in History — tried to do, and he writes about the experience in “Speak No Evil, Tweet No Evil,” found in the January 2012 Shambhala Sun magazine. In this video, Michael introduces the why and how of his “experiment.”

Watch it and then tell us: How would you do?

How you can help the Thich Nhat Hanh Continuation and Legacy Foundation

Plum Village, the main center for the community of Thich Nhat Hanh, invites us all to make monthly or one-time gifts to the Thich Nhat Hanh Continuation and Legacy Foundation, a fundraising effort that seeks to deepen the Zen teacher’s community and its “capacity to bring healing and transformation to our world.” Among other things, the foundation will introduce Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings to new audiences, provide relief assistance to children and others affected by flooding in Vietnam, support three monasteries (Blue Cliff, Deer Park, and Magnolia Grove) sponsor monks and nuns in Thailand and Vietnam, and improve online offerings from the community. Make a donation and/or find out more here.

For more about Thich Nhat Hanh and his community, see the current issue of the Shambhala Sun, which features an exclusive interview, a teaching, and more.

The top-flight chef with the mala on his wrist

Black Book has published a new interview with Chef Laurent Manrique of Millesime, the restaurant (or, “casual seafood brasserie”) found in NY’s Carlton Hotel. Manrique — known especially for his Tuna Tartare; you can watch a video of him preparing it here — is, as you might have guessed by my posting about this here, a Buddhist, and he addresses this with Black Book. A sample quote: “Buddhism helps me remove the unnecessary things on the plate; if it’s not important, what’s the point?” Read more of the interview here.

See also: Q&A: Top chef Eric Ripert dishes up Buddhism | Eating and cooking mindfully: A taste of the latest and best books | Shambhala Sun Audio: Edward Espe Brown on mindfulness in the kitchen

Thanks for making our Auction a success!

Cindy and Jodi Bastien made the Auction happen.

From Cindy Littlefair in the Shambhala Sun Foundation’s “Department of Departments” comes this followup on behalf of us all:

Our Fifth Annual Online Auction is over, and let me tell you, it was a flurry of bidding to the end. Regarding its value, one bidder wrote us to say that she’d gotten a gift for her husband and “an extra present for a young friend of mine AND got to help out the Shambhala Sun Foundation. I mean, who gets happy karmic convergences like that handed to them on a silver platter every day?” We hope you had a similar experience, and want to thank everyone, bidders and donors, who took part. All items are now making their way to their successful bidders.

Second annual Buddhist Geeks Conference: Registration is open

We’re proud to be a partner to Buddhist Geeks, who are putting on their second annual conference exploring the intersection of Buddhism, technology, and global culture. Featured speakers will include Lama Surya Das, Tami Simon, Stephen Batchelor, Elizabeth Mattis-Namgyel, Ken McLeod, Susan Kaiser Greenland, Daniel Ingram, Sofia Diaz, Michael Stone, Martine Batchelor, Vincent Horn, Hokai Sobol, and Rohan Gunatillake. And that’s just for starts; more people will be added.

All that’s needed now is you. And registration for the conference, which will take place in Boulder from August 9th – 11th is open now. So just click here for more information and to sign up. We hope to see you there!

Pema Chödrön on how to practice

“My middle way and your middle way are not the same middle way. For instance, my style is to be casual and soft-edged and laid-back. For me to do what usually would be called a strict practice is still pretty relaxed, because I do it in a relaxed way. So strict practice is good for me. But perhaps you are much more militant and precise. Maybe you tend toward being tight, so you might need to find out what it means to practice in a relaxed, loose way. Everyone practices in order to find out for him- or herself personally how to be balanced, how to be not too tight and not too loose. No one else can tell you. You just have to find out for yourself.” — from The Wisdom of No Escape, via Heart Advice.

Want more classic encouragement, Pema-style? See our special Spotlight page of her teachings.

Help us build the Shambhala Sun Foundation

By James Gimian, Publisher

We at the Shambhala Sun Foundation deeply appreciate your support. After all, we, as a not-for-profit organization, would not be in such a strong position to serve the dharma without it. And now your support is more important than ever.

As the year ends, we’re pleased to report that readership of both Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines remains strong. Healthy subscription and newsstand sales have enabled us to extend our reporting and community-building. And we’re more than just magazines — through our websites, sponsorships, conferences, and programs we serve Buddhist communities of all traditions. Continued »