digest: around the internets

Here’s a bunch of stuff that you’ve probably already seen (and some you might not have) around the Internets.

  • I’m not sure where I first heard about the sci-fi temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand (Qiana tipped me off on Facebook, a couple folks tweeted about it), but it’s been making the rounds this week, deservedly. Here’s The Worst Horse’s write up. What I think is most interesting about this temple is its mix of traditional and modern art and architecture. From that Feel Guide piece, I get the sense that the builders were attentive to traditional aspects of Buddhist art and temple design while incorporating contemporary art. Very cool.
  • There is a lovely guest post on Blathering Nonsense about Sukhavati (the Pure Land central to Shin Buddhism) from a Tibetan Buddhist perspective. Apart from being a well-written, thoughtful piece, it was nice to see how pan-Buddhist cosmologies show up in different practice traditions, pointing once more to our commonalities rather than our sectarian differences. Nice job, folks.
  • To do a little self-promotion, this past Monday I posted something called Monday Morning Dharma. I’m hoping to do more of these posts. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by real-life projects of late that have kept me from writing anything overly long or particularly deep or insightful here. But I still believe in the power of this medium, and I figure that I can contribute to the spread of Dharma messages in some small way. So, while I’m not making any promises or new year’s resolutions, do check back regularly on Mondays for more bits of Dharma wisdom. (I hope to do more disembodied quotes posts, too.)
  • In academic news, Oxford University Press has a new online bibliography dedicated to Buddhism. The bad news is that it’s a paid service, the kind of academic service that your local university library should invest in but your local ordinary person probably can’t afford. The good news is that they’re offering some free trials right now and what you can see without a subscription is still pretty useful. Either way, for my readers who have university (or library) connections, I encourage you to pester your librarian to sign up. (The online bibliographies cover all sorts of topics, not just Buddhism, by the way.) In addition to being, I think, a valuable resource, this is also a little self-serving. I had the pleasure of working on some of the entries for this, and many folks whom I admire and respect contributed as well.
  • And finally, there’s this: a very interesting reflection on the Internet. Sometimes the writing here strikes me as the “I’m using big words to sound smart” type; but I do appreciate Mr. Smith’s observation that the meatspace real world reality is just as made up, socially constructed, and virtual as the virtual reality we call the Internet. Good read.

Enjoy. And be good out there.

p.s. and, apropos that last item, here’s this:
new way of thinking