One City

By Lodro Rinzler

Many people look to Siddhartha Gautama as an example of someone who
attained nirvana, a buddha. Each week in this column we look at what it
might be like if Siddhartha was on his spiritual journey today. How
would he combine Buddhism and dating? How would he handle stress in the
workplace? What would Sid do? is devoted to taking an honest look at what we as meditators face in the modern world.

week I’ll take on a new question and give some advice based on what I
think Sid, a fictional Siddartha, would do. Like us, Sid is not yet a
buddha, he’s just someone struggling to maintain an open heart on a
spiritual path while facing numerous distractions along the way.
Because let’s face it, you and I are Sid.

Hi Sid,
Lately I’ve been feeling really bored
with my life, like I’m kind of just stuck in a rut. I’ve been working at
the same job for a few years, living with the same partner, spending time
with the same people, and doing basically the same thing from week to week.
There’s nothing specifically wrong, but I feel like something is lacking.
Any suggestions?



by Davee Evans

The Kaiser Family Foundation found a huge increase in TV, music, phone, computer, and video game usage among 8-18 year olds compared to just five years ago. Their study was published this month. Also increased is the amount of multi-tasking in that age range, where kids are using two devices at once; for example, texting while watching youtube videos or talking on the phone while watching TV.

I don’t think this is just the kids. As soon as the topic drifts a little in meetings at work, I see people pull out their Blackberries and iPhones. When I come home at night often I find my housemates in front of the TV, watching Family Guy or the Daily Show, but both of them are also typing away on their laptops. I fall pray to this all the time, and soon the rumored Apple tablet and similar devices will make it even easier to have rich content in a decent size wherever I go.

But if this under-18 study is indicative, the whole world is heading toward an even more multi-tasked and media soaked lifestyle.

Dharma is everywhere, if we look for it. This song seems to be about doing things we know are going to cause suffering to us and to others, with a ready excuse – blame it on the alcohol. Drink up!

In the clear light of day, we know a bad idea when we hear it. I’d never blame someone or something else for my bad behavior. Or would I? 

barack-obama-1.jpgby Jerry Kolber
It’s a shame that with such initial popular support for his health insurance reform President Obama is running into such difficulties making it possible for all American’s to be healthy.  While I tend to vote Democrat, I have voted for Republicans several times in the past few years, but on health care it’s clear that their interests lie somewhere other than the welfare of the people they were elected to represent (unless they were only elected by health insurance company owners). I don’t see health as a political issue – I see this as some people in DC using the health of fellow citizens as a pawn in their political game.

While his nuance for the issues is appreciated, it’s time for Obama to take a real stand on the issues that got him elected, and to do it in an unequivocal and gutsy way.  If health insurance reform goes down, I’d like to see it go down fighting. So here’s the speech I’d love to hear.