Topic: Pop Culture

Ahead of North American premiere of “Vara”, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche talks movie-making, rock music, film violence, and more

It’s no simple matter juggling life as an internationally in-demand Buddhist teacher, while also satisfying the schedules for directing and promoting a major film. “I’m so bad at managing time,” Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche told the Wall Street Journal‘s David Walter, lamenting that he missed the world premiere last October of his latest project, Vara: A […]

Scrabble goes Zen?

According to the Washington Post: “After a month of crowdsourced searching, the new addition to the official Scrabble dictionary will be either “zen” or … “geocache.” The working definition of “Zen” here is: “Zen, noun: a Japanese form of Buddhism that emphasizes meditation.” Though the Post notes that this is mostly a publicity bid, it’s […]

Twin Peaks turns 24; Check out “Into the Light with Dale Cooper” from the May 2014 Shambhala Sun

It was on this day in 1990 that Twin Peaks debuted on American television, quickly becoming not just must-watch dorm viewing but a full-on, culture-wide sensation. But were you aware of the Buddhist predilections of its hero, Kyle MacLachlan’s Dale Cooper? In “Into the Light with Dale Cooper,” from our current issue, the Sun’s Rod […]

Louis C.K.: Gleefully Digging Deeper

Louis C.K. is hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend! Okay, okay: perhaps you’re one of the many people who think SNL hasn’t mattered for two decades now. I can’t say I agree, though I’ll grant you that there’ve been some pretty rough patches at times, and the recent season has had its share. But still: Louis […]

TEEN: Daughters of Buddhist composer Peter Lieberson making music of their own

With their second album, The Way and Color, coming in late April, now’s a fine time to introduce you to TEEN, a musical act made of four friends, including three sisters — Kristina, Katherine, and Lizzie Lieberson—with music in their blood. They’re the daughters of the late, famous Buddhist composer, Peter Lieberson. Watch the video […]

Read Lisa Carver’s “Thanks to Yoko,” from the current Shambhala Sun, now

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-one — turned all that upside down. “Thanks to Yoko,” Carver’s exclusive appreciation of Ono (Carver also wrote the excellent book, Reaching Out with No Hands: […]

“When is the Buddha not the Buddha?”: Gorgeous, Buddhist-themed art exhibits springing up this month

March seems to be the month for art exhibits in which the artists re-imagine Buddhist imagery and concepts. Here’s a roundup of three shows opening across the U.S., and one abroad: Tashi Norbu will be on hand at Tibet House NY for a reception Friday, March 14 (tonight!), to open his solo show, Transcending Boundaries, […]

Tibet House’s 2014 benefit show: Iggy Pop, Philip Glass “join” New Order (video)

Not surprisingly, it was a fun, fun, fun, fun, fun time. In addition to the presence of Patti Smith, members of the National, the Drepung Gomang monks, and others, there was a special surprise for modern music fans. As Rolling Stone reports, Tuesday night’s gala concert at Carnegie Hall included a performance by the reformed […]

Taking Refuge from the Darkness: Remembering comedian Mike DeStefano, three years gone

When comedian Mike DeStefano died — three years ago last week — he wasn’t quite a household name yet, though it looked like things might be heading that way. Now, “Drugs, Disease, Death: A Comedy,” a new documentary film-in-progress, seeks to bring Mike’s comedy and (at times, quite harrowing) personal story to a new wave […]

Hesse’s “Siddhartha” still inspires, in unexpected ways

Nearly 70 years after earning Herman Hesse the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, his novel Siddhartha continues to provide inspiration, in surprising ways and surprising places. Like in a maximum security Italian prison, and the mind of Billy Corgan. In Italy, singer and director Isabella Biffi initiated a program to produce musicals in the aptly named […]

Video: “Zen” ad sells Krispy Kernels, meditational weirdness

Meditation may be becoming mainstream, but you can always count on the ad industry to keep things suitably weird. Take for example this new ad (titled, yes, “Zen,”) for Krispy Kernels. It won honors at Cannes. But can it really sell Canadian roasted nuts? I don’t know… but where I’d never been cognizant of the […]

The Buddha and the swarm of minutiae: provocative new artwork by Gonkar Gyatso on display at the Met

This 2013 artwork, Dissecting Buddha by Lhasa-born Tibetan artist Gonkar Gyatso, is on display as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Tibet and India: Buddhist Traditions and Transformations exhibit now through June 8. Have a look (you can even go to the Met site and use a zooming tool to examine myriad details of […]

Confronting the “selfie” and human-hair Buddhas: Odd artistic detours, then and now

Is it just exquisite coincidence or impishly deliberate? On Friday, Mainsite Contemporary Art in Norman, OK, will mount an exhibit entitled “Selfie: An Exploration of Identity” simultaneously with “Buddha Tuesdays,” featuring “small Buddha sculptures, corpse drawings, painted clay canvases and a variety of other items.” It seems they passed on “No-Selfie” as a title for […]

Sharon Salzberg launches “#RealHappiness #MettaBomb” site to promote loving-kindness in social media

Looks like Sharon Salzberg is hoping that loving-kindness will go viral. The meditation teacher and frequent Shambhala Sun contributor (“Know Your Enemy” written with Robert Thurman, is her latest with us) recently launched “#RealHappiness #MettaBomb” — a site that aggregates “mindful content” from the social media postings—tweets, writing, news, photos, video—that she and her friends […]

Artists inspired by Buddhism and Trungpa Rinpoche on exhibit in Denver

If you find yourself in Denver this holiday season, you might treat yourself to an excursion to the Robischon Gallery, where the creations of two of the four artists currently on exhibit derive inspiration from the Buddha and contemporary Buddhist teachers.