Helen Caswell, mother of the late harp luthier and musical spirit Chris Caswell, paints children in a way that brings them to life. Truly I have seen these expressions on the faces of children when they are at their most true.Chris gave his mother a 87th birthday present a few years ago by making a video collage of her work. The music is by the Los Angeles Chamber Singers. This will bring happy tears to your eyes.
Andy Borowitz has hit a home run with this funny and telling satirical piece. He skewers North Korea and the NRA in a single blast. Well done, Andy Borowitz. No wonder dictators and tyrants fear writers and poets most. Read it here.
Singapore and Malaysia Dharma-friends! I'm going to be giving a series of Dharma-talks in English in Singapore from March 9th to 13th, 2013. The venue is the Ta Pei Buddhist Centre on Lavender Street and the time is 7:30 to 9:30 PM. On March 16th there will be a special Interactive Dialogue for Young Adults from 1:30 to 3:30 at the same venue. The hosts of the events are the Buddhist Union. On March 10th at 10:30 AM there will be an opportunity at the Buddhist Union to Take Refuge and receive the Five Precepts. Admission to the lectures is free and for more information, please call the Buddhist Union at 6241 9419.
The topic of my lectures will be "The Exhortation to Express the Resolve For Bodhi," an essay written in the Ching Dynasty by Venerable Master Xing'an. (1685-1733), an enlightened Patriarch of the Pure Land School. This may be the first time this essay has been explained in English in Singapore. I emphasize clarity and simplicity, and relevance in my talks, so my wish is that listeners will feel that they have grasped the essentials of the author's intent in writing this powerful and moving work. My teacher in religion, the later Venerable Master Hsuan Hua valued this essay highly and encouraged all his disciples to study it. All are welcome!
Most popular SuperBowl adverstisement for 2013 went to Dodge Ram Pickups "God Made A Farmer" with narration by my childhood super-ego, Paul Harvey. A moving video, with great use of still photography, and pretty hard to find fault with as a work of art. Until, that is, you consider it in the context of the reality of farming in the 21st century in the United States. We have gone from 90% of the population on the land two centuries ago to 1% (yes, that's one percent) of the population growing our crops these days. And the lack of Hispanics in the photos, hello?
So the good folks at Funny or Die put together an alternative verson of the ad, emphasizing truth over as they call it, "shameless heartland pandering. " Plus, it's hilarious.