Big exciting news!
Welcome to the latest iteration of the buddha is my dj blog. If you’re a long-time reader, you’ll no doubt have already noticed that I’ve moved everything to a new subdirectory which means, sorry, you’ll have to update your bookmarks and subscriptions, etc., etc
This is not my last blog post. But consider this a warning. In the coming months, I am going to be expending more energy on other projects and less energy on long-winded blog posts. Some big things are coming in over the horizon, positively diverting my attention. And as a consequence, this blog will be moving. I’ll give y’all fair warning on when you’ll need to update your bookmarks.
I have absolutely nothing new to say. In point of fact, I have many many old things to say. And some questions, of course, but I don’t expect anyone to have any answers.
The frequency and quantity of posts here at the buddha is my dj certainly fluctuates over time. But I feel as though I have written considerably less since September than I have in the past. No. Wait. Check that. I’ve written a ton; what I haven’t done is post any of it.
I just wrote, and deleted an exceptionally long and self-reflective post about, among other things, my lack of critical posts over the past few months and a central question of mine of late: why the hell am I blogging?
Then I got up, went to get some coffee, and, having returned to the computer, realized that that post was really the kind of thing I should have written for a private journal, were I the kind of person who still kept a private journal. (This may be a subconscious plug that I should start keeping a journal again like I did when I was younger.) And I’m guessing that no one wants to read that. Or, maybe more likely, that I don’t know if I want to share that much with you.
Nevertheless, there were a couple of things in that post that I think are worth putting out there. But they come with the following disclaimer. In my now deleted post, I wrote at length about how I don’t know anything. About how I’ve come to see the world not in terms of absolutes, of rights and wrongs, but instead as a series of complex and nuanced issues that have no right or wrong answer, and that at the end of the day we’re going to have to live with uncertainty, we’re going to have to live with inadequate, crappy answers that make one or two people, if not happy, at least less irritable, and leave the rest of us more or less in a bummed out state of resignation. A state of, “Well, I guess that’s just how it is. And how it is sort of sucks.”
I had a morning meeting today wherein I was reminded of the importance of my task blurring the boundaries between “scholar” and “practitioner.”
Also today, when other meetings I (thought I) had scheduled didn’t actually happen, I slacked off and went through over six years of blog posts looking for things that might be controversial. I was thinking about this blog project of mine, my transitional state between grad student and full-time academic, and whether or not this blog may have deleterious effects on the later. I do occasionally look back, of course, at what I’ve written. But not in such a systematic way. Looking over almost everything I’ve written in this space all at one, I am left with the following conclusion: I write a lot of really pointless dribble.
First and foremost, my dear readers, it is the second Friday of the month which means you’re all being treated to a new episode of the DharmaRealm podcast. And not just any new episode but the first episode recorded before a live studio audience!
Actually pulling this event off was pretty rewarding, I gotta say. Between you and me, we kind of threw it all together without much foresight (a consequence of a more-than-insanely-busy late summer, early autumn). Harry and I learned a lot from the experience, though and are looking forward to recording more stuff with an audience. And next time we’ll do it on a Saturday so more people can attend (and maybe I’ll look into live-streaming but don’t hold your breath!). Apart from all that behind-the-scenes stuff, the content of this episode is, in my humble option, actually quite good! We were inspired by a question about the nature of the Pure Land, and to the extent this is the kind of question us Shin Buddhists get asked a lot, it was good to hash out our ideas. Harry’s perspective, that the idea of whether or not the Pure Land is really real and how that forces us to question the reality of our mundane world, is something worth considering. Needless to say, he blew my mind once or twice.
We got some weird weather in these parts in September. September in the Bay Area is usually a late summer, dry and hot. Instead, we got thunder storms. A somewhat fitting end for a summer of contentious, Buddhist blogging about the politics of race and representation.
Over the last couple of days, I have tried to write a blog post about these issues, some sort of summary post, or some sort of recap of the issues, or even a response to some of the more slanderous things that been said out there. But I can’t seem to get the right tone, get my thoughts in order. I keep getting distracted.
I’m exiling myself from the Internets until further notice while I take care of some very pressing matters out here in that funny place called “the real world.” Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s beautiful.
In the mean time, read this surprisingly pertinent article. Or watch Pres. Obama indoctrinate his socialist agenda to schoolchildren. (If socialism is all about staying in school and working hard to make a better life for you and your family sign. me. up.)
But, above all, be good to each other. Don’t forget that precept about refraining from false and malicious speech.