One City


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 revolution based on authentic action. A social movement of people liberating themselves through living on their own terms.”  

While this may sound like a recipe for narcissistic individualism in the hands of the wrong guy, it can also be a pretty accurate description of mindful living when combined with the essence of compassion and an understanding of interdependence. Fortunately Jonathan has based his own life and what he offers to others on a well-grounded mindfulness practice.  Between Illuminated Mind and his free eBook The Zero Hour Workweek, Jonathan offers insights from his own experience that can cut through the fog of your day like a lighthouse beacon. It’s good, authentic lifestuff. – Jerry Kolber


by Jonathan Mead

Could it be possible to find enlightenment by punching people in the
face? How about while sitting on the toilet, or staring at peeling
paint on an old wooden fence?

The formal practice for mind-training begins on the meditation cushion. Nothing can or should (in my opinion) replace that. Just sitting is about as potent of a spiritual practice as it gets.

But then there are those other 23 and half hours in the day. What do you do with those?

In our What are the Sutras? meditation and study classes at IDP-NYC, the free translations of early Suttas by Thanissaro Bhikkhu and others–available on Access to Insight–have been an invaluable resource. The site often provides more than one translation, which is an added bonus.


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 post in a while, and while I do not consider Auden a particularly dharmic writer, I do feel that his poem “Musee des Beaux Arts” deftly touches on a key point about how we might begin working with the suffering of our fellow man: by paying attention to it.

“Musee des Beaux Arts” was inspired by Bruegel’s paintings, specifically his Icarus (below), which Auden would have seen when he visited Brussels in 1940.

by Ellen Scordato

At least, that’s what this article in the American Thinker proposes. In “Tiger, the Buddha, and Me,” writer Robin of Berkeley sets out to prove “Why the Buddha was more Mark Levin than Saul Alinsky.”
She asks, “So who was the Buddha,
anyway? Was he like Alinsky, steamrolling social justice through by any
means necessary? Or was he a conservative, teaching prudence, ethical
behavior, and accepting the world as it is?

After a series of quotes and assertions, Robin concludes the Buddha’s teachings on personal responsibility place him squarely in the modern Conservative camp.

And the comments begin to fly back at her! I’m fascinated by