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Lions Roar : November 2015
BODHI CHATTER Dharma, pop culture, and good-natured gossip. At the California celebration of his 80th birthday, the Dalai Lama shared the stage with Michael Franti of Spearhead. “His physical looks are quite heavy,” His Holiness said, “but when he plays... Oh!” The Dalai Lama insisted he doesn’t have “all that much interest in music” but appreciates musicians because their work brings “at least for a short moment some kind of excitement and joyfulness. In the lyrics of your songs we see love, and affection.” And of course, what’s inside is what counts in the end: “My first impression of this strange person,” His Holiness joked of Franti as the two laughed together, hands clasped, “is now much changed.” Someone needs to give these two a chat show. • • • Singer Bobby Brown and wife Alicia Ethridge have named their new baby girl Bodhi. They’re not alone: in 2013, assignment of the name peaked for girls and boys alike (if 59 Bodhis per million babies can be considered a “peak”). Reportedly Bobby and Alicia choose the name as some sort of dharmic nod, but one has to wonder how many other parents have had the “Bodhi” concept enter their minds because of The Swayze, specifi- cally the late actor’s portrayal of too-cool surfer Bodhi in 1991’s cult favorite Point Break. • • • What do Mayim Bialik, Judd Apatow, and you have in common? Abundant talent and great senses of humor, yes, but something else too: favorite Buddhist books. You’ll find some of our readers’ picks on page 27, Thich Nhat Hanh and Pema Chödrön among them. Very funny Big Bang Theory actor Bialik and Funny People director Apatow feel likewise. Bialik, speaking to CNBC, called The Pocket Thich Nhat Hanh (edited by our own Melvin McLeod) “a tiny book full of the most brilliant writings. They remind me of the source of serenity that we all have in us and need to learn to harness.” Apatow says that Pema’s The Places That Scare You has a spot on his bed- side table, explaining, “I’m not a religious person, but I appreciate her philosophy. It’s really about being kind, and losing your ego ... I don’t think I have, but it’s always worth trying.” • • • Take a good look at the magazine cover below. Are you offended? No? Well, some people think you should be. This was the June 2015 cover of The Lancet Infectious Diseases. But after an offended reader compared it to the French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s publication of images of the Prophet Muhammad, the medi- cal journal retracted its cover, even though its intention clearly was not to mock, provoke, or even comment on a religion and its role in society. (The story was about malaria in Cam- bodia.) Cultural sensitivity is good, but we hope Buddhists won’t give in to cultural oversensitivity, flying off the handle when someone criticizes Buddhism, or somehow “gets it wrong,” or even appears to be doing one of those things. Because you know where that’ll get us, don’t you? It’ll get us on the cover of Charlie Hebdo. ♦ This Issue’s Dharma-Burger Say hello to the self- appointed “Deli Lama.” You’ll find him, and this cheeky sign, at Izzy’s—The Deli of the Stars!—in Santa Monica, California. (Perhaps this one’s more of a Dharma-Reuben?) MATTHEWH.G.MCLAUGHLIN©EDSTOCK/ISTOCK SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2015 16 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE