let’s get our groove on

I have a suspicion that you (all of you) have Googled yourself. I do it, too, but in my case it it’s a lost cause. Unfortunately, not only do I have a pretty boring and common Anglo-Saxon name, but two professional football players share it, too (one America, one British). So until the day comes when I’m really a rock star, finding me on Google with just my name is pretty useless.

So I tend to Google this blog more often. I’m interested in seeing who links to me, in part, because I’m a self-centered, foolish, unenlightened being. I’m also interested in finding new stuff to read. Somewhere out there, someone posted here describing this site as the “curiously named the buddha is my dj.” “Curious”? Really? I thought I’d made this choice of name pretty clear.

Then I remembered that over the last year or so I’ve made several minimalist changes to this blog, cutting out clutter. Lost in the shuffle have been long-winded explanations about me or the site that I thought would be self-evident or the type of thing that, if you were really curious, you’d just ask.

In lieu of that, what is the deal with the buddha is my dj? First, keep in mind that I came up with this title as something of a joke. Back when I first started blogging, the only people reading were friends and family who immediately got the joke. As time went on, it was one of those things that just stuck. I’m loath to change the name because it’s how I’ve come to be know in these parts (the Internets, that is). And, more importantly, I like it.

Plus, it’s developed some deeper significance for me. It has come to represent the meeting of two, at first glance, separate worlds. In this case, “Buddhism” and “pop-culture.” I don’t think I need to make a case for how important pop-cultre is to the world of Buddhism (thanks for taking care of that one, Horse!), So instead I’ll digress to the whole idea of separate worlds.

To be blunt, no such thing.

I happily inhabit multiple worlds. All of us do. Like I said a few weeks back, we have this habit of compartmentalizing our lives; separate spheres for work or family or dharma or whatever. But it’s a myth. There is no separation between different aspects of our lives; each influences the other. What I do in my personal life invariably effects my public persona, my work life, my Buddhist practice. And the reverse is equally true.

But more to the point of my Buddhist practice, my professional life, and how this blog connects the two: in one area of my life, I am a Buddhist scholar. Buddhist studies, like any academic discipline, like any professional speciality or organization, has its own lingo, its own discourse, its own areas of interest. We’re having one conversation, a conversation that is often miles away from the conversation of practicing Buddhists. Practicing Buddhists have other concerns, other agendas, other needs, and, consequently, are having a different conversation, using a different discourse.

And sometimes I think that’s just ridiculous.

I think the assumption on the part of the scholar that practicing Buddhists can’t talk on their level is insulting; and I think the assumption on the part of practicing Buddhists that scholars’ concerns are out of touch or meaningless is rooted in the same sort of anti-intellectual hogwash that almost elected a moose-killer to within a skin-cancer relapse of the Oval Office.

So part of the intent of this blog, part of the meaning behind that mixing of seemingly disparate things like Buddhism and turntablism, is to bring together these two worlds. To talk about what they have in common and how issues from one impact the other.

Let’s get our groove on.

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5 thoughts on “let’s get our groove on

  1. Regarding your name, you should at least be thankful you don’t have a Chinese/Korean/Vietnamese last name! The benefit is that it’s just that much harder for people to dig up dirt about you when it comes time for job interviews 🙂

  2. On the note of my last comment… two days ago I signed up for the Long Beach Public Library, and there’s already someone in the system with the exact same first, middle and last name as me.

    It’s very true what you say about no two separate worlds. Although I’ve been having a tough time attending to blogging while I’m also trying to slap together the rest of next quarter’s lesson plans!

  3. Thanks for the comments, the props, the dharma-burgers, the angry Asians, and the conversation. Now that I’m back in town, I must catch up with all the blogging shenanigans I’ve missed over the holiday!

  4. I comletely agree with the notion that your work affects your home life and vice versa. Also, in regards to your name, don’t feel too bad, as you can see, my name is John Hopkins so when I google it, all i get is the famous hospital. Haha. Best Wishes.

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