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One City

One City

Bio

Born in Baton Rouge, raised in Philadelphia, Paul Griffin is a writer, scholar and tutor working and living in New York City. He writes book reviews for The Brooklyn Rail. His poetry and fiction can be found on his website: http://thepennies.blogspot.com. He believes enlightenment is real.

Dharma Poetry: W. H. Auden, a Reflection on Haiti and Human Suffering

posted by Paul Griffin

by Paul Griffin Because of the earthquake in Haiti, human suffering has been on my mind.  Today, I wanted to share a W. H. Auden poem that deals with the theme of suffering.  I haven’t written a Dharma Poetry blog […]

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Meditating with a Baby

posted by Paul Griffin

Probably like many others, I am in the midst of my new year’s kick to meditate more.  So yesterday, I found myself diligently sitting down to meditate even though Iris, my little eight month old girl, was up and running […]

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Dharma Poetry: Hafiz

posted by Paul Griffin

by Paul Griffin In honor of Jessica Rasp‘s new four-week-long course on the 14th century mystic poet Hafiz, I’d like to share a Hafiz poem today on the ol’ blog.  Hafiz is similar to the more well-know Sufi poet Rumi.  […]

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Meditation in Action: Practice Off The Cushion

posted by Paul Griffin

by Paul Griffin My partner Erin and I had a baby girl six months ago, and largely because of little Iris’s existence I’ve had more trouble getting to the cushion recently than in all my seven or so years of […]

Dharma Poetry: Octavio Paz

posted by Paul Griffin

by Paul Griffin The tantric teachings on the subtle or energetic body were an aspect of the dharma to which I responded very strongly when I first discovered Buddhism.  Why?  Two reasons.  First, I found that I basically lived my […]

Meditation Marathon: Dealing with Distraction

posted by Paul Griffin

I sat the graveyard shift at the meditation marathon.  The 3 am drunkards definitely served as mara-demon quality distractions.  Reminded me of Milarepa meditating in his cave:

DharmaPoetry: Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche

posted by Paul Griffin

by Paul Griffin As music director of the Milarepa Children’s Chorus, I thought it was about time I shared a poem, a doha, by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche that my kids sing in the chorus.  What is the Milarepa Children’s […]

DharmaWorm: Reading the Dharma

posted by Paul Griffin

by Paul Griffin In Buddhism, the three avenues to understanding are study, reflection, and meditation.  To study is to listen to the teachings and to read the texts.  To reflect is to think about the material and to make it […]

DharmaWorm: Reading the Dharma

posted by Paul Griffin

by Paul Griffin In Buddhism, the three avenues to understanding are study, reflection, and meditation.  To study is to listen to the teachings and to read the texts.  To reflect is to think about the material and to make it […]

Dharma Poetry: Mahmoud Darwish

posted by Paul Griffin

Here is the dharma poem of the week, a wonderful poem by Mahmoud Darwish. I Was Not With Me Staring at the ceiling, resting my face on my hand, like some- body stealing up on a fresh idea, or lying […]

Thich Nhat Hanh: A Day of Mindfulness

posted by Paul Griffin

by Paul Griffin I’ve just returned from a day of mindfulness with Thich Nhat Hanh.  This wonderful daylong program at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan was sponsored by the Omega Institute.  The focus of TNH or Thay’s message was building […]

Baby Practice: Being A Mindful Buddhist Father

posted by Paul Griffin

by Paul Griffin I am attending the Thich Nhat Hanh program this Saturday at the Beacon Theater in New York City.  I’ll be sure to report back tomorrow, Saturday, with a blog entry on what goes down (the schedule calls […]

Dharma Poetry: William Blake

posted by Paul Griffin

by Paul Griffin I attended a meditation retreat with my teacher Reggie Ray last weekend at the Tibet House in New York City.  Reggie Ray is a wonderful and gentle dharma teacher who was a student of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche […]

Dharma Poetry: Jane Hirshfield

posted by Paul Griffin

A few weeks ago I blogged about Tyler Doherty, a fine contemporary Buddhist poet, and Gary Gach of Tricycle Magazine posted a comment.  I looked Gary up and found out that he hosts a lively Haiku Corner blog at Tricycle’s […]

Dharma Poetry: Robert Creeley

posted by Paul Griffin

I am sitting here thumbing through Robert Creeley’s Selected Poems, 1945-2005.  There is much song and delight in these lines.  And love.  Creeley’s an old crooner.  Because of my dharma poetry series, I am also, of course, searching–rather narrowly, I […]

Dharma Poetry: Tyler Doherty

posted by Paul Griffin

          Big nasty-looking blue-black hornet    with obscene dangly stingerweaves in & out          of rusted white Chevy’s dented                                       front grill–         pancake flat back tire tilts the rig        cobwebs around the plough                                                             (10:50 am) […]

No Impact Man

posted by Paul Griffin

This month, I reviewed Colin Beavan’s book “No Impact Man: The Adventures Of A Guilty Liberal Who Attempts To Save The Planet And The Discoveries He Makes About Himself And His Way Of Life In The Process” for The Brooklyn […]

Dharma Literature: Reincarnation, Karma, and Ken Grimwood’s “Replay”

posted by Paul Griffin

Reincarnation as a theme does not lend itself easily to discussion or literary treatment.  So where does one turn in our culture for discourse on that difficult philosophical subject?  Many, if not most, of the Buddhists I know are perfectly […]

Dharma Philosophy: Emerson’s “Circles”

posted by Paul Griffin

Emerson’s essay “Circles” is a wonderful piece of dharmic writing.  The essay, a short twelve pages of meandering and profound prose, is a meditation on religion and time and the natural world.  In short, Emerson discusses a view of reality […]

Dharma Literature: Flannery O’Conner

posted by Paul Griffin

As a devotee of religious literature, I recently read Flannery O’Conner’s novel Wise Blood, and I realized that I increasingly read everything though a kind of dharmic lens.  Meaning, even if a book isn’t particularly dharmic, I find a way […]

Dharma Poetry: Anne Waldman

posted by Paul Griffin

Anne Waldman is a towering beat generation poet.  She is the co-founder of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute and she is currently the director of the Writing and Poetics program there.  In her work, […]

Dharma Discourse: Plato

posted by Paul Griffin

Teacher: What’s on your mind?Student: Well, many things.T: What would you like to talk about?S: The view.  I would like to talk about the view. T:  Okay.S:  You see, I studied a lot of Western philosophy in college, so whenever […]

Dharma Poetry: Gary Synder’s “Riprap”

posted by Paul Griffin

As I look out my window and pray for a cessation of this rain, I am packing for a weekend of camping in upstate New York.  I am eagerly awaiting the smells of the woods, the wet grass, the burning […]

Dharma Poetry: Stephen Dunn

posted by Paul Griffin

If you haven’t read Stephen Dunn, and you like your poetry, pick up his Pulitzer Prize-winning book Different Hours and enjoy.  I find myself returning to this slim volume time and again. While the entire book is enchanting in its […]

Dharma Poetry: Rilke and Rodin

posted by Paul Griffin

Rilke, like Rumi or Gibran, wrote almost exclusively about the spirit.  Or course I feel in over my head trying to say something new and insightful about Rilke’s works–“A god can do it.  But tell me how a man / […]

Dharma Poetry: Mark Strand

posted by Paul Griffin

The fundamental thesis of the dharma poetry series is as follows: Many poets have long been expressing the dharma through their chosen medium of poetry.  Now that’s a grand statement, full of big words like “poets” and “dharma” and “poetry,” […]

Dharma Poetry: Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche

posted by Paul Griffin

What a joy to spend time with Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s poetry!  A student of mine canceled this afternoon, so I had the good fortune of having a few free hours to sit on my balcony–which, incidentally, my girlfriend has recently […]

Dharma Poetry: Philip Appleman’s O Karma, Dharma, pudding and pie

posted by Paul Griffin

I was on the train, reading poetry, when I stumbled upon a delightful Philip Appleman poem that I thought simply must be included in the dharma poetry series.  Yes, indeed!  The poem begins as follows: O Karma, Dharma, pudding and […]

Dharma Poetry: Allen Ginsberg’s Wichita Vortex Sutra

posted by Paul Griffin

Allen Ginsberg is arguably the most well-known Buddhist poet.  Famously, he met Chogyam Trungpa on the streets of New York–as they were vying for the same cab.  They shared the cab and discovered during the trip that they were both […]

Dharma in Poetry

posted by Paul Griffin

The dharma is elusive. It speaks to us so plainly, then turns, shifts in its seat, and to me, seems complex again. In principle, the essential ideas are straightforward: keep it real, let things be what they are, be kind. […]

Lydia Davis and the Buddhist Art of Fiction

posted by Paul Griffin

In my continuing project to identify instances of honest Buddhist thought appearing in Western culture, I would like to discuss the writer Lydia Davis today. Davis is a short story writer whose work blends poetry, philosophy and fiction. Many of […]

A Mistake

posted by Paul Griffin

A Mistake or, In Lieu of My Regular Friday Post He wanted to change the energy, his energy. He wanted to take his frustration and irritation and, like an alchemist, turn it into flamboyance and originality. It was a small […]

Agent Dale Cooper

posted by Paul Griffin

Twin Peak’s Agent Dale Cooper is my favorite Buddhist character is Western culture. Here is the scene in which Agent Cooper uses the “Tibetan method” in order to figure out who exactly out of a group of suspects is in […]

Buddhism in Western Culture

posted by Paul Griffin

Last week, I wrote about Wallace Stevens’s poem “The Snow Man”, arguing that Stevens was writing about shunyata. My real and abiding fascination with this kind of investigation is looking at representation of the Buddhist view—emptiness, interconnectedness, mindfulness, etc.—as they […]

Emptiness and Wallace Stevens

posted by Paul Griffin

I am interested in how emptiness shows up in Western culture, particularly in poetry, philosophy and music.  Today I wanted to take a close look at a poem by Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man,” and discuss to what degree what […]

Totally Irrelevant: Emptiness

posted by Paul Griffin

It is so silly to talk about emptiness. It’s totally irrelevant. Emptiness is not this, not that. (And both not this and not that, and neither not this nor not that.) Really, what was I thinking when I decided to […]

Totally Irrelevant: Emptiness

posted by Paul Griffin

Buddhists talk a lot about emptiness. I want to talk about it more. Trungpa said, “This seminar is on shunyata, although we are quite uncertain what shunyata actually is. It seems that shunyata means not that, not this. So we […]

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Thank you for visiting One City. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Most Recent Buddhist Story By Beliefnet Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading! ...

posted 2:29:05pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Mixing technology and practice
There were many more good sessions at the Wisdom 2.0 conference this weekend. The intention of the organizers is to post videos. I'll let you know when. Here are some of my notes from a second panel. How do we use modern, social media ...

posted 3:54:40pm May. 02, 2010 | read full post »

Wisdom 2.0
If a zen master were sitting next to the chief technical officer of Twitter, what would they talk about? That sounds like a hypothetical overheared at a bar in San Francisco. But this weekend I saw the very thing at Soren Gordhamer's Wisdom 2.0 ...

posted 1:43:19pm May. 01, 2010 | read full post »

The Buddha at Work - "All we are is dust in the wind, dude."
"The only true wisdom consists of knowing that you know nothing." - Alex Winter, as Bill S. Preston, Esq. in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"That's us, dude!" - Keanu Reeves, as Ted "Theodore" LoganWhoa! Excellent! I've had ...

posted 2:20:00pm Jan. 28, 2010 | read full post »

Sometimes You Find Enlightenment by Punching People in the Face
This week I'm curating a guest post from Jonathan Mead, a friend who inspires by living life on his own terms and sharing what he can with others.  To quote from Jonathan's own site, Illuminated Mind: "The reason for everything: To create a ...

posted 12:32:23pm Jan. 27, 2010 | read full post »

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