the Dalai Lama

Dana and I had the opportunity to see the Dalai Lama speak in Berkeley yesterday. Through a series of more than fortunate events, not only did we get tickets to the Greek Theater, we got front row tickets. And, by the way, sitting directly behind us, was James Hetfield, Metallica front man, and his family.

The fifteen-year-old-kid in me, who played Metallica covers in his junior high school band, wants to gloat about that, wants to say irreverently that he got better tickets than James Hetfield. But there’s not much to say and I suspect you’d rather hear about what the Dalai Lama had to say.

compassionate violence

This past Friday, Prof. Steve Jenkins from Humboldt State University gave a lecture at the Institute of Buddhist Studies called “Compassionate Violence, Torture, and Warfare in the Bodhisattva Ideal.” In short, it was super fascinating.

While I can certainly do no justice to his lengthy talk, and while I certainly haven’t spent the better part of the last twenty years reading countless Buddhist texts — in their original languages — I did want to put down some of the things I learned and raise some interesting questions. And, of course, talk about The Matrix.

tibetan protests

In case you’ve been living under a rock (on Mars, with your fingers in your ears), there’s much happening in Tibet right now. As the world gets ready for the Olympics, many folks know that this is as good a time as any to shine a spotlight on China and it’s long laundry list of human rights violations (despite what the State Department says).