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Lions Roar : March 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2008 107 DHARMABURGER OF THE ISSUE Buddhists talk a lot about nirvana. For instance, is it at- tainable in this lifetime? That, I don’t know about. But I did recently learn that nirvana is “located in the Highest Water Recharge Area of New York State.” Or so say the makers of Nirvana Natu- ral Spring Water, whose tag line is, simply, “It’s about time.” Yes, really, people: what’s tak- ing you so long to get yourself some Nirvana? (You really should be drinking eight glasses a day, you know!)...OK, so “It’s about time” is a bit lame, but I suppose that it is catchier than what a more accurate description of nirvana would allow. Just imagine: “Nirvana Natural Spring Water. It’s about the ultimate cessation of suffering.” That’s a bit clunky, and certainly overstated. Hmmm. Wait, I’ve got it! How about “Nirvana: Extinguish your thirst”? OUTERWEAR FOR THE INNER REVOLUTION I just had to follow up when a reader recently told me about Dharmagrrl.com, which sells, in addition to T-shirts and hats, a set of Buddhism-inspired women’s underwear. I was dubious, but it turns out these nicely designed (and yes, some- what revealing) underthings are the work of one very committed and tal- ented Buddhist designer named Erica Gagne. As Erica recently told me, she loves “the mix of strong and girly, and I love anything that pushes boundaries. The East Coaster in me loves any- thing that’s in your face.” That, she explains, is how she sees the dharma. “It’s not about creating the perfect sanctuary with incense and candles, where everything is ‘bliss.’ It’s about life, as it is, un- apologetic and intense, in a beautiful way.” As for the afore- mentioned “girlie boy-shorts,” which feature the words “Just Sit” on their posterior? “A very popular item,” she reports. “I think that playfulness has a place in practice. If ‘sitting’ is the issue, what better place to put the reminder?” Q: WHAT WOULD THE BUDDHA WATCH? A: REALITY TV. That, of course, is nothing but a terrible joke, just like most of (so-called) reality TV. Yet viewers of VH1’s I Love New York 2 have been hearing the name of the Awak- ened One quite a lot. On the show, self-proclaimed sex goddess and—ahem—role model “New York” is out to find love among a houseful of camera-hog- ging, would-be suitors, all of whom have been given a nickname by the show’s titular queen. One— real name, Ezra—asked to be known as “Buddha.” New York’s reply? “Why would you want to be named after a little bald fat guy?” (She then conceded that this dude was so “hot” that he could be called what- ever he wanted.) Being so hot, “Buddha” gets plenty of screen time, and that makes for some truly odd sound bites. For example: “Buddha’s a good guy. I can see us takin’ it to the next level . . . way too soon.” And, “I’m sooo into Buddha. There’s nothing bad I can say about him.” Despite this, Buddha was booted from the show for head-butting another housemate. Quoteth New York: “Buddha had to leave, because he got violent and very physical.” Luckily, though, hotness seems to erase most transgressions in New York’s world, and she welcomed Ezra back to the show with all the eloquence she could muster. “Yo, Buddha!” she yelled. Others were not so happy. As competi- tor and resident snitch “Tailor-Made” remarked, “ The thought of Buddha being on a date with New York just makes me sick.” ...Ah, cognitive dissonance: it can be a wonderful thing. Tube-watchers looking for something more dharmic (and reality-based) might have been surprised by NBC’s fictional drama Life, in which Damian Lewis plays detective Charlie Crews, who found solace in Zen during a prison stay. NBC’s mini-site for the show even includes a sur- prisingly well-done “Zen Guide” for viewers who want to explore the practice. commit ented B named recently mixofs anythin The Eas thing th she exp dharma the perf and can ‘bliss.’ It apologetic and i mntind“irl hy would you want to be named guy?” (She then conceded that MAR 78-107.indd 107 MAR 78-107.indd 107 12/19/07 2:43:57 PM 12/19/07 2:43:57 PM