Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bad Buddhist Radio

I want to write a review for a really interesting podcast I found called "Bad Buddhist Radio". Now the subject of Buddhism always interested me since I took a class on world religions. I approached the subject several times, just to abandon it after a while. Some things made perfect sense, while others were so wrapped in mystical mumbo-jumbo that it left me scratching my head. Earlier this year though, I found a podcast that explained it in perfect "American" English. No BS, just straight to the heart of what the Buddha meant when he said what he said and did what he did. The guru of Bad Buddhism is a guy name Ryu Cope. Ryu seems to be a pretty talented guy, he is an actor, a designer, created a role playing game, bunch of stuff. His name pops up in a bunch of places on Google, so check it out. Back to the podcast. Ryu handles the material like if he is your buddy, drinking a beer, explaining to you what Buddhism is all about. Don't worry about karma or zen or beams of light, "Buddhism is about being fully in the moment and seeing the world as it truly is. The here and now. This life, not one to come, not one that has already been. Buddhism is practical, the ordinary world, human nature and what we struggle with. Buddhism is moderate, the Middle Way, walking the fine line between extremes." Now, that is an explanation of Buddhism I can understand and relate with. I am sure "traditionalists" will have more than a few bones to pick with the way he deals with the Buddhist ideal of karma and rebirth, but then again, Ryu approaches them as the Buddha said one should: He studied, he reviewed, he contemplated, and Ryu made up his own mind on the subject. Right now, there are 57 episodes, and trust me, each is worth your while. The first 16 episodes are an introduction to Buddhism, who was the Buddha (he was just some dude who was awake), what Buddhism is, what it isn't, and explains the Four Noble Truths and the Middle Way, which lay the groundwork for the path to enlightenment. The next 29 episodes Cope did "Buddhism A to Z", one letter and how it relates to Buddhism. He also did some Q & A episodes, and the last few episodes continue explaining Buddhism and the day to day. That is what I like about his podcasts: he includes stories we can all relate to. He talks about his office, but it could be anybodies coworkers. The dude is funny, belligerent, arrogant in a way you can appreciate. It's like a friend smacking you upside the head saying "Dude, wake up. Open your freakin eyes and ears and pay attention." I recommend downloading the first few episodes, and if it clicks with you, take the time to download them all. Well worth your time.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

god Is Dead

As a kid, one of my favorite movies was "Oh God, Book II". A line I remember is when George Burns appears to the girl, and she says she expected long flowing robe and beard and Burns replies "You're thinking of Charlton Heston". It is with sadness that I pass this along:

Statement by the Family of Charlton Heston
Saturday April 5, 11:24 pm ET

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., April 5, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Legendary actor, civil rights leader and political activist Charlton Heston passed away today, at the age of 84. He died at his home with Lydia, his wife of 64 years, at his side. Mr. Heston was loved by his two children, Fraser Clarke Heston and Holly Heston Rochell, and his three grandchildren, Jack Alexander Heston, Ridley Rochell and Charlie Rochell.The Heston family issued the following statement:

"To his loving friends, colleagues and fans, we appreciate your heartfelt prayers and support. Charlton Heston was seen by the world as larger than life. He was known for his chiseled jaw, broad shoulders and resonating voice, and, of course, for the roles he played. Indeed, he committed himself to every role with passion, and pursued every cause with unmatched enthusiasm and integrity.

We knew him as an adoring husband, a kind and devoted father, and a gentle grandfather, with an infectious sense of humor. He served these far greater roles with tremendous faith, courage and dignity. He loved deeply, and he was deeply loved.

No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country. In his own words, "I have lived such a wonderful life! I've lived enough for two people."

A private memorial service will be held. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Motion Picture and Television Fund:

22212 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 300
Woodland Hills, CA 91364