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Lions Roar : July 2008
SHAMBHALA SUN JULY 2008 99 LAST LY, I JUST WA NT TO SAY... When Burma’s Saffron Revolution began, the Internet came alive with blogs and coverage and opinions you might never see in so-called Big Media (though some of those folks did good work, too). Now the Web is buzzing over the situation in Tibet. There are so many new people joining in to spread the word about the justice that Tibet, like Burma, deserves. (Don’t know where to start? Students foraFreeTibet.org has tons of links, and “Tibet Will Be Free” is a blog that follows just about every relevant news item or development.) Sure, there’s spam and gos- sip and all of that online, but the Internet will only prove more and more vital to the dharma world. Just think of it as you’d ide- ally think of anything: as something that, when engaged with right thinking, can foster awareness and compassion. DHAR MA BUR GER OF T HE ISSUE: BIZ A RRO THAI RONALD MCDONALD I shouldn’t love you, Bizarro Ronald, but I do. Sure, some consider you a symbol of mass-produced foods that might as well contain time-released poison. And sure, a recent study found “that clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found them quite frightening and unknowable.” And yet you offer your hands to me in a Buddhist expres- sion of gratefulness and reconciliation, welcom- ing me as a comrade in the dharma world. It’s so surprising. Have you started meditating? You seem a lot more grounded. Truth be told, this photo comes to me by way of a surprising source: Thanissaro Bhikkhu, the American monk who is also known as “Than Geoff.” S o it just may be possible that our frighteningly made-up friend had a life-altering encounter with the Buddha’s teachings. That could only be good. But a word of warning, Mr. McDonald: if I see a commercial for the “Bacon-Cheese Dharma-Burger Combo,” you’ll be hearing from my people. pois stud are u byc them and you mei sion reco ing m the d surprising Have you started medita BUDDHIST HELL: FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY! Feel like you’re stuck on a wheel, going nowhere? Well, why don’t you just go to Hell? Your own personal hellish holiday in the sun awaits at Vietnam’s Suoi Tien, known by some as the “Buddhist Hell Theme Park.” Sure, there are large med- itative Buddha statues and lotus-shaped water fixtures. But there’s so much more to explore. Stroll the park’s lush and colorful grounds with the kids as you contemplate all your unmeritori- ous actions! Frolic in the giant pool while a fearsome leviathan threatens to swallow you and your loved ones— guts, bones, inner tubes, and all! ♦ CHÖ GYAM TRU N GPA’S RAMBO CAMEO OK, only kind of. Actor Jake La Botz, who plays one of Rambo’s mercenary cohorts in the film, is also a fantastic mu- sician who blends authentic blues, rock, country, and gospel. He’s also a meditation practitioner and a tattoo nut, and these two elements of his life came together in the form of a tattoo of Chögyam Trungpa that can be seen on Jake’s right bicep. Since Jake’s Rambo jungle-wear is sleeveless, it turns out that Trungpa Rinpoche got a not-insignificant amount of screen time. Given the plight of the Burmese people—and yes, the film is very much in support of them, in its own weird, hy- perviolent way—it’s nice that so revered a Buddhist teacher was present on location, at least in spirit and in ink. As for La Botz, the actor/musician hopes to film and participate in “a documentary about the myth of the American ‘outsider’ via the worlds of tattoos, blues, and Buddhism.” He has played his music and given meditation instruction all over the country, often using tattoo shops as venues. d. It’s so m see rger BUDDHIS T FUN FOR T y JULY 78-99.indd 99 JULY 78-99.indd 99 4/25/08 12:05:38 PM 4/25/08 12:05:38 PM