Have an account?

    Friday, February 19, 2010

    Tiger the Buddhist

    Today Tiger Woods gave a press conference, of sorts, where he apologized (again) for his infidelity.  You can read the statement here.  I thought the most interesting thing he said was,
    I have a lot of work to do, and I intend to dedicate myself to doing it. Part of following this path for me is Buddhism, which my mother taught me at a young age. People probably don’t realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist, and I actively practiced my faith from childhood until I drifted away from it in recent years. Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside ourselves causes an unhappy and pointless search for security. It teaches me to stop following every impulse and to learn restraint. Obviously I lost track of what I was taught.
    Although he has publicly spoken about his Buddhist upbringing before it was sort of a tepid endorsement, "I believe in Buddhism. Not every aspect, but most of it. So I take bits and pieces. I don't believe that human beings can achieve ultimate enlightenment, because humans have flaws."

    For him to talk about Buddhism today took some guts.  His corporate sponsorships are at risk.  And when you think about it, how many of the corporate big-wigs that will decide if he keeps those sponsorships or ever gets any new ones are Buddhists?  And how many are Christians of the Brit Hume variety?  As Max Kellerman, of HBO Sports said on the Rachel Maddow Show today, "In this country, if you're just saying what you think people want you to say, you have to kow-tow to Jesus, and he didn't do that."  Max gets 10 brownie points for one of the most visually striking religious metaphors I've heard in a long time.  I hope Tiger takes some comfort in the Buddha's teaching that there is no Karma so negative that it can't be purified.
    Do not think a small sin will not return in your future lives.
    Just as falling drops of water will fill a large container,
    The little sins that steadfast accumulate will completely overwhelm you.
    Do not think a small virtue will not return in your future lives.
    Just as falling drops of water will fill a large container,
    The little virtues that steadfast accumulate will completely overwhelm you.

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    There is no beer in Nirvana ...

    Buddhist monks in Thailand, have been building a temple complex from empty beer bottles.  Known as Wat Lan Kuad or 'the Temple of a Million Bottles', located in Sisaket province near the Cambodian border.  Of course alcohol, for lay and monastics, was strongly discouraged by the Buddha, so I don't know if this is exactly "kosher".

    The overall effect is beautiful and yet kitschy at the same time.  You can see more photos here and read more about it here.

    Monday, February 1, 2010

    "Ithaca" (1911) by CP Cavafy

    When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,

    pray that the road is long,

    full of adventure, full of knowledge…

    visit many Egyptian cities,

    to learn and learn from scholars.

    Always keep Ithaca in your mind.

    To arrive there is your ultimate goal.

    But do not hurry the voyage at all.

    It is better to let it last for many years;

    and to anchor at the island when you are old,

    rich with all you have gained on the way,

    not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

    Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.