- Reverend Samuel Rodriguez: Described as the leading voice in the Hispanic Evangelical Christian movement, Rodriguez spent an hour on KQED Forum weighing in on immigration reform and gay marriage. I still don’t get his opposition to gay marriage (I’m thinking purely in terms of the separation of church and state), but at least unlike other evangelical leaders, he isn’t homophobic.
- At Home In Our Bodies (an interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn):
… You change your relationship to the pain by opening up to it and paying attention to it. You “put out the welcome mat.” Not because you’re masochistic, but because the pain is there. So you need to understand the nature of the experience and the possibilities for, as the doctors might put it, “learning to live with it,” or, as the Buddhists might put it, “liberation from the suffering.” If you distinguish between pain and suffering, change is possible. As the saying goes, “Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.”
- $12M film on Paramahansa Yogananda in development: Two factions mired in a series of lawsuits hope that a film about their teacher leads to reconciliation. (For more on their longstanding battle, check this 1999 SF Weekly profile of Donald Walters — a.k.a.Swami Kriyananda.)
Los Angeles Auto Show co-owner Lisa Kaz and filmmaker Jonathan Yudis have their work cut out for them as producers of a proposed $12-million movie about the life of Indian mystic Paramahansa Yogananda, who introduced America to yoga in the 1920s.
Kaz attends Ananda Worldwide and Yudis the Self-Realization Fellowship, California-based religious organizations that have long been at odds, although they share the same meditation techniques and spiritual master: Yogananda.
“Since our master was all about harmony and compassion, it’s a shame that there is still so much bitterness between Ananda and the fellowship,” Kaz said. “I’m hoping that my work with Jonathan will help get Yogananda’s message out to as many people as possible, that’s the bottom line.
“But I also hope that, by example, we can help bridge the gap between our organizations in a way that could lead to reconciliation,” she said.
… Kaz, 47, and Yudis, 38, teamed up in February to create a cinematic portrait of Yogananda based on a script by Kriyananda called “The Wayshower.” They expect the project, which is scheduled to start filming next year, to be funded by investors including members of both Ananda and the fellowship willing to overlook their leaders’ political warfare.
The two crossed paths when Yudis answered a call on Facebook for professional assistance with the project.
“We’re a terrific team: I’m a businesswoman and Jonathan is a trained filmmaker,” said Kaz, who has formed a production company to spearhead the film.
- Needs, wants, and Buddhist Economics:
Now as an adult, I’ve adopted a Buddhist economic heritage characterized by modesty and restraint. It’s an economy that distinguishes between “need” and “want.” The needs of any one person, household, or township are finite, while wants are without limit. Wants reside in the mind, a product of thought, while needs are of the body, consisting of such reasonable necessities as food, clothing, shelter, and medicine. A simple analogy makes the distinction more tangible: wanting to eat is eating when you feel like eating; needing to eat is eating when you’re hungry. It’s a distinction upon which the survival of earth’s delicately balanced ecosystem relies.