It’s been a long time…

Worst Horse or Dead Horse?

It’s been quite some time since I updated this thing… Not sure where it will go next, or if. But for the moment at least, it’s not dead… We shall see.

One very loud “Ocean of Wisdom”

A genre known as “tech-death” might not be an obvious choice for presenting Buddhist-influenced ideas by way of music, but today, via MetalSucks.net, comes an item about, and a sample track from, yet another Buddhism-and-metal hybrid. The album, from stalwart band Gorguts, is called Colored Sands (referring to the main ingredient of a sand mandala) and features a track called “Ocean of Wisdom” — a translation of the Dalai Lama’s title. And, as MetalSucks tells us: “the first half of the album is about something both beautiful and spiritual: the selection of the new Dali Lama. It’s actually the album’s second half that deals with more typical death metal fare (specifically, the Chinese oppression of Tibet). That’s why the album cover features hands that are both praying and bound.”

Want to hear “Ocean of Wisdom” for yourself? Turn your speakers up — or down, perhaps, if you’re at work — and head over to MetalSucks.

Franz Ferdinand to issue “Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action” (Updated)

Hmmm. The new Franz Ferdinand LP seems to makes reference to three factors of the Buddha’s Eightfold Path. It’s titled Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action; these could be seen to correspond with “Right View,” “Right Speech,” and “Right Conduct.”

You can hear the lead single, “Right Action,” here. If there’s an actual dharmic connection in the lyrics, I’m not hearing it. Maybe if their next album is called Right Resolve, Right Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration, then we’ll be on to something.

Update: there’s now a video but other than a flash of a bandmember in lotus position, it’s just a fun little ditty made watchable. See it here.

Meet Boxi, Japan’s new, clergy-led rock band

There’s plenty of Buddhism-and-music talk here on the Horse. Now, add Japanese band Boxi to the list of dharma-music adventurers. (Though it should be noted that the band’s founder is the pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Tokyo Church.)

As Boxi bandmember Reverend Yoshinobu Fujioka says, “It’s just a stereotype that monks have to be quiet all the time. They look calm, but they also have energy. We monks have to pay attention to our dynamic instincts, because they are just different forms of Zen meditation.”

Check out the BBC’s video/story on Boxi here.

Thanks to Konchog Norbu for the heads-up.

Amanda Palmer talks meditation, Zen… and “mindful stripping”?

Amanda Palmer performing in 2008. Photo by Mykal Burns!

In a new piece for The Quietus, Amanda Palmer — she of the “Cabaret Punk” act Dresden Dolls, and more recently a solo artist — talks about mindfulness meditation and also one of her favorite books, Only Don’t Know, the first collection of letters between Korean Zen master Sung Sahn and some of his students: “I’ve probably bought that book a dozen times and gifted it to people who were in need. I don’t give them [a copy of] How To Understand The Music Business; I give them the Seung Sahn letters. [...] These are kids in the sixties and seventies. The problems are all the same. It takes no intellectual stretch to read these letters that these kids wrote to their Zen teacher, or a teacher they saw at a talk. And he writes back these beautiful, considered, really great, no-bullshit answers about what’s important.” (more…)

Hey, M.I.A.’s new single looks like a mandala

Yes, it does. And I think it’s safe to say that’s clearly intentional. But that’s not reason enough to check it out. 

The fact that it’s M.I.A. is reason enough. And, it’s streaming for free, so what the heck.

Goodbye, The Goodwin Games…. We hardly knew ye

Photo via flickr user TheeErin.

Have you heard of this show, The Goodwin Games? It’s currently on the air, having come on as a mid-season replacement on FOX. But, apparently, its finale will air next month.

Too bad. Okay, I’ve only watched one episode (“Hamletta”), having just stumbled upon the show the other day. I’m not saying The Goodwin Games is brilliant — how could I, especially after just one episode? But it does seem to be, at least, *good.* Sometimes, that’s refreshing in itself. Also refreshing: the main characters — one sister and two brothers, previously estranged but reunited after their father’s death — all seem to share positive values. They’re multidimensional. They love each other and say so. And: one of the Goodwin brothers, Jimmy, is a Buddhist.

Yes, this character is fond of quoting the Buddha, make no mistake about it. (more…)

Reputable news source breaks huge Dalai Lama story

According to a large-circulation media outlet of some repute, the Dalai Lama has retired and taken up a new residence: the infamous Playboy mansion.

In fact, says the report, “Hugh Hefner has named the Dalai Lama the new Leader of Playboy, which the spiritual leader has embraced.”

Shocking, no? Read all about this surprising revelation by way of the very reputable news source’s website, here.

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