Buddhaiku #3

This was inspired by a walking meditation earlier this morning in Culver City with the Organic Garden Sangha. Before setting out for our mindful meander, we read some beautiful selections from our Thây’s, Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh’s, writings. 

Sweet lungs of the Earth,

Bark so tough yet leaves so soft,

Hug a tree: it’s free!

Be well 🙂

Show your solidarity with our Muslim sisters and brothers!


Dear friends,

The simplest of gestures can speak volumes to those in need.

Attacks against Muslims are on the rise, and tragically the current political climate suggests that they won’t be slowing down any time soon.

Ask yourself what you can do to stand up to the bullies persecuting people for their religious beliefs at this very moment.

A simple starting point would be to set the above image as your profile picture on your social media sites.

Thanks to the pervasiveness of technology in our lives today, many of the friendships we cherish exist primarily in the virtual realm.

We shouldn’t underestimate the impact that something as seemingly trivial as a profile picture can have.

To give just a taste of the effect I’ve seen already since setting my profile pic yesterday, here are two comments from Facebook friends:

I used to live in an Islamic neighborhood in Dearborn Michigan, was one of only two white families on the street, the rest were mostly Lebonese and Jordanian…some of the nicest neighbors I ever had. Our neighbor across the street was having a hard time removing a stump in his yard, I went over and helped him. He was moved to tears I would help without any expectation of pay or anything, he brought me in his home and gave me the most beautiful silk prayer rug with scenes from all holy sites in mid-east, I still have it and cherish it.


Thank you for posting this. My in-laws are Muslims.

If that’s all we feel comfortable doing, that’s just fine. If we’re called to do more, even better!

Should you find yourself compelled to go above and beyond, I encourage you to read the letter by Sofia Ali-Khan that went viral last week

The article is titled “Dear Non-Muslim Allies, Now is the Time to Stand Up and Defend Your Fellow Citizens’ Human Rights“. Her letter makes some great recommendations for ways to take action.

Please also feel free to share this blog post, and before you go, click here to set your profile pic.

Thank you for your compassion,


Lessons from History for the Here and Now: Thoughts Inspired by “When Muslims Admired the West and Were Admired Back”

I highly recommend reading this article (link below) by UCLA history professor Nile Green. We need to learn more from the lessons of history as we endeavour to forge mutually enriching ties between Muslims and the “western world” in the present.

One of the key elements of such community, as the article illuminates, is the recognition of and unity in universal struggles across cultural frontiers. Insistence on this emancipatory principle is one of the reasons I find Slavoj Zizek’s works so compelling, and timely.

In the article, the Muslim students living abroad in London admired and learned from the feminist struggle there, and were moved to action. What could be more universal–and inspiring–than that?!

The only area where I see a need for expansion is with regard to the mutuality of responsibility to reach out and learn from the “other”. The onus cannot be solely on Muslims to do so. We all, as human beings, share in this fundamental responsibility. And in so doing we are walking the exhilarating walk of making a better world. Let’s do this!

Read and share the article here: Zócalo Public Square :: When Muslims Admired the West and Were Admired Back

Stopping Islamic fundamentalist violence, in two easy steps

Wanna take the wind out of the sails of Islamic fundamentalists? Easy:

1. Stop invading and dropping “shock and awe” on their homelands.

Source: https://politicalfilm.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/iraq-shock-awe-10/

2. Oh, and stop vilifying and brutalizing their diaspora while you’re at it.

Source: http://www.vosizneias.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/nypdm1-725x628.jpg

If those things seem too difficult to do, you’re likely part of the problem.

Edward Snowden meets Arundhati Roy and John Cusack

Arundhati Roy, Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden & John Cusack, pic by Cusack

I wanted to share a favorite quote from this amazing piece of journalism by Arundhati Roy. Please read and share the full original article here!

We’re told, often enough, that as a species we are poised on the edge of the abyss. It’s possible that our puffed-up, prideful intelligence has outstripped our instinct for survival and the road back to safety has already been washed away. In which case there’s nothing much to be done. If there is something to be done, then one thing is for sure: those who created the problem will not be the ones who come up with a solution. Encrypting our emails will help, but not very much. Recalibrating our understanding of what love means, what happiness means – and, yes, what countries mean – might. Recalibrating our priorities might.

An old-growth forest, a mountain range or a river valley is more important and certainly more lovable than any country will ever be. I could weep for a river valley, and I have. But for a country? Oh, man, I don’t know…

A stirring conversation whose propagation could only serve to benefit humanity. Spread the word!

Questlove shares the amazing story of meeting Robin Williams in an elevator

He was a Roots fan too?!! Awesome body of work… tragic loss.

Consequence of Sound

The sad news of Robin Williams apparent suicide at the age of 63 is still settling in. As we fondly remember the movie moments the comedian gave us, others are looking back on how he personally touched their lives. For his part, The Roots’ drummer Questlove posted an Instagram of Mork and Mindy-era Williams and shared his story about the band meeting the actor on one fateful elevator ride. Read his full statement below:

Man. The smallest gesture can mean the world to you. Robin Williams made such an impact on me and didn’t even know it. He named checked all of us in the elevator during the 2001 Grammys. I know y’all think I do this false modesty/T Swift “gee shucks” thing to the hilt. But yeah sometimes when you put 20 hour days in you do think it’s for naught and that it goes thankless. Grammy time is…

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