Tuesday, 26 February 2008

New Feature

I've just installed "Snap-Shots" for this site, just hover your mouse over any link to see how it works, try it on the Favourite Sites list........ enjoy.
(Sorry about the advertising links, it's the "price" of getting a freebie.)

Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.

Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

The 2008 Blogisattva Awards

Here's a look at some of the other Buddhist Blogs on the web.

The Blogisattva Organization is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2008 Blogisattva Awards honoring English-language Buddhism blogging during calendar year 2007. This is the third annual iteration of the awards which are given wholly for merit, and not as a measure of blogs’ popularity.

This year, ten accomplished buddhobloggers participated in the gathering of candidates and the voting that determined this year’s nominations and/or will participate in the voting that determines the winners, to be announced on February 24.

There are 26 categories of awards with an aggregate 132 nominations, making for a bounty of worthy honorees.

The prime purpose of the awards is to introduce Buddhists -- and others with a nascent interest in Buddhism -- to some of the great many excellent, varied Buddhism blogs that are out there, as close as a click away.

The 2008 nominees are:

Justin Whitaker's American Buddhist in England, with his American Buddhist Perspective, is nominated for Blog of the Year, Best Philosopy or Psychology Blog and four post awards. Also, Justin is a contributor to Progressive Buddhism which is up for two nominations.

Danny Fisher's Danny Fisher is a nominee for Blog of the Year, Best Kind and Compassionate Blog, Best Single Photo and three blog post awards. Danny, himself, is up for The Wordsmithing Award.

Konchog Norbu's Dreaming of Danzan Ravjaa is nominated for Blog of the Year, Svaha! It is also up for Best Kind and Compassionate Blog, three post awards and Best Photo.

William Harryman's Integral Options Cafe is up for ten awards this year, including Blog of the Year, Svaha! Bill's blog was a big winner last year.

One foot in front of the other, blogged by Michael, is a nominee for Blog of the Year, and in eight other categories. Michael is also nominated for The Wordsmithing Prize.

Blog of the year, Svaha!; 5 nominees; [blog; blogger]:
Best Post of the Year; 5 nominees; ["post"; blog; blogger]:
Best Achievement in Skilled Writing (The Wordsmithing Award); 5 nominees; [blogger, blog(s)]:
Best New Blog, 2007; 5 nominees; [blog, blogger(s)]:
Best Achievement Blogging on Buddhist Practice or Dharma; 5 nominees; [blog; blogger(s)]:
Best Buddhist Practice or Dharma Post; 10 nominees; ["post"; blog; blogger]:
Best Achievement Blogging in the First Person [as a diarist; writing of events in one's life; offering thoughts; or by venturing out into the world, gonzo style]; 5 nominees; [blog, blogger]:
Best "Life" Blog Post [Best Achievement Blogging in the First Person (as a diarist; writing of events in one's life; or offering personal thoughts)]; 10 nominees; ["post"; blog; blogger]:
Best Achievement Blogging on Matters Philosophical or Psychological; 3 nominees; [blog, blogger]:
Best Philosophy or Psychology Post; 5 nominees; ["post"; blog; blogger]:
Best Achievement Blogging on Matters Scientific; 3 nominees; [blog; blogger]:
Best Science Blog Post; 5 nominees; ["post"; blog; blogger]:
Best Achievement in Kind and Compassionate Blogging; 5 nominees; [blog, blogger]:
Best Kind and Compassionate Blog Post; 5 nominees; ["post"; blog; blogger]:
Best Achievement Blogging Opinion Pieces or about Political Issues; 5 nominees; [blog, blogger(s)]:
Best Opinion or Political Blog Post; 5 nominees; ["post"; blog; blogger]:
Best Engage-the-World Blog Post; 5 nominees; ["post"; blog; blogger]:
Best Achievement in Clean, Straightforward, Unaffected Design; 5 nominees; [blog, blogger]:
Best Achievement in Wonderful, Remarkable, Elegant Design; 5 nominees; [blog; blogger]:
Best Achievement in Creation or Use of Graphics in a Blog [awarded for use within posts for overall effect] ; 5 nominees; [blog, blogger(s)]:
Best Single Photograph, taken by blogger or an associate, used in a post; 5 nominees; [Photo link; description; "post"; blog; blogger]:
  • Photo link; "A Western pilgrim sitting among the small stupas and votives at the Mahabodhi Mahavihara."; "India Post #23"; Danny Fisher; Danny Fisher
  • Photo link; "One of the things you learn from meditating is how your own mind is like a meadow."; "Foggy meadow";Hoarded Ordinaries; Lorianne DiSabato
  • Photo link; "...the proceedings marking the first anniversary of the consecration of Khamariin Khiid’s sacred Shambhala site..."; "Special Delivery"; Dreaming of Danzan Ravjaa; Konchog Norbu
  • Photo link; "Tompkins Square / East Village / Manhattan"; "Untitled [Jan 15, 07]"; One foot in front of the other; Michael
  • Photo link; "Peg attains perfect stillness and silence..." From the post "The teaching of emptiness by Zen master Peg"; Ordinary Mind Zen - Austin; Peg Syversen
Best Achievement with Use of Quotations in a Blog; 3 nominees; [blog; blogger]:
Best Achievement in Wide Range of Topic Interests Blogging; 5 nominees; [blog, blogger]:
Best Niche Blog, Unusual-Function Blog, Blog Service, or a Serial within a Blog; 3 nominees; [blog, blogger(s)]:
  • Buddhist Military Sangha; Lt. Jeanette Shin et al
  • Dharma-Burgers [2 & 2a]; Rod Meade Sperry; [Dharma-Burgers was moved rather recently, its blogging programming taken out from under it. But the posts can still be seen at the links given [2 & 2a] as part of theworsthorse.net ezine where Dharma-Burgers resides.]
  • Gratitude; Serial within a blog; Integral Options Cafe; William Harryman
Best Multi-Part Blog Post ; 5 nominees; [post series; blog; blogger]:
Best Achievement with Humor in a Blog Post ; 5 nominees; ["post"; blog; blogger]:

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Download player for talks

I've recently put some talks onto the RESOURCES page, unfortunately they require "Realplayer" in order to be run. If you don't have this loaded on your PC, don't worry there is now a link, Download Realplayer , under the STUDY TOOLS column.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

In the Quiet Land

In the Quiet Land, no one can tell if there's someone who's listening for secrets they can sell.
The informers are paid in the blood of the land and no one dares speak what the tyrants won't stand.
In the quiet land of Burma, no one laughs and no one thinks out loud.
In the quiet land of Burma, you can hear it in the silence of the crowd
In the Quiet Land, no one can say when the soldiers are coming to carry them away.
The Chinese want a road; the French want the oil; the Thais take the timber; and SLORC takes the spoils...
In the Quiet Land....
In the Quiet Land, no one can hear what is silenced by murder and covered up with fear.
But, despite what is forced, freedom's a sound that liars can't fake and no shouting can drown.
Aung San Suu Kyi, In the Quiet Land

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Where We All Came From

The other day it occurred to me that the West Wight Sangha has now been running for just on a year and that now would be a good time to explain who and what we are and where we came from. Following on from that it also seemed like a good idea to contact other Buddhists on the Island and ask them to contribute similar pieces about their groups. So this will be the first of an occasional series.

For a number of years I have been attending the Newport Buddhist group run by Dave Downer and at the beginning of 2007 was contacted by him to see if I would give a lift to someone from Freshwater who would also like to attend the group. This is how I met Theresa. After a while we both started to think that we could get together here in the West Wight to meditate and not trek into Newport necessarily every week, thus the West Wight Sangha was formed... all two of us!

Shortly after this I was contacted by Palaka (he was Andrew then, but it's a bit like decimal money - forget what used to be and always use the new) who introduced yet another member, Linda. So now we were three and thus it was for a while with Palaka also coming along until he went to Spain, which he'll be telling you about in his contribution to this Island Buddhist series. Things have moved on and more people have joined, and some have left, to the point where we now have a small but viable group.

We have always been non-denominational, those from all schools of Buddhism, or none, are all welcome. I don't think that it would be at all viable for such a small group to "nail it's colours to the mast" and opt for just one thread of the Dharma. We usually sit for 30 minutes and have no prescribed form of practice though if someone is new to meditation the instruction is in 'Mindfulness of Breathing', Anapanasati, with a foundation in silent present-moment awareness. Our Dharma study is primarily of the words of the Buddha himself i.e. from the Pali Cannon and, as is the nature of these things, we chat about things, the World, and all in general Buddhisty terms over tea and bickies (what is the thing with Buddhists and tea?).

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Daizan's Book

You may recall that in a previous post Daizan spoke of producing a book about his walk. The other day I received the draft of his first chapter (that's the one with us in!!). Daizan said that he would hopefully be sending me further chapters as they are written........... and you can read them HERE.