Crazy Wisdom: Tibetan Buddhist Heaven

December 6, 2011 by

As I watched, and attempted to appreciate Crazy Wisdom, a documentary about Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, the legendary bad boy of American Tibetan Buddhism, now being screened at the Rubin Museum, I discovered that I was meditating about my own Tibetan Buddhist retreat several years ago. Although I have never met Trungpa, I did experience a brief flash of enlightenment, when I meditated with Trungpa’s adherents on a three-day retreat in upstate New York.

Hollywood on the Campaign Trail

December 6, 2011 by

George Clooney’s new political drama, The Ides of March, tells an old story in a predictable, unrealistic fashion. The film portrays American electioneering as far worse than corrupt—here it’s downright moral pestilence. Thankfully, the reality of campaign work is brighter and more entertaining. That is why so many young people seek it out.

A Passage to Kabul

December 6, 2011 by

A recent reading of E. M. Forster’s novel, A Passage to India, prompted me to reflect on the West’s drawn out engagement in Afghanistan. The centerpiece of this prescient narrative is an incident in an ancient cave in Northwestern India between an Indian doctor and an English woman during the heyday of the British Raj.

China-Africa Relations: The Big Picture

December 6, 2011 by

China has four hard interests in Africa’s fifty-four countries. I exclude from this list interests often cited by Beijing such as support for economic development and political stability in Africa. These are goals or objectives of Chinese policy, but they do not constitute China’s interests any more than they are interests of the United States.

Testing Seoul’s Green Energy Abroad

December 6, 2011 by

In what is widely considered as Seoul’s next step in becoming a heavy weight in the world of alternative energy technology, South Korean state owned energy giant, Korean Electric Power Company (KEPCO) will develop a massive offshore wind farm project on the southwest coast of the country. The network of wind turbines will boast a 2.5-gigawatt yield and when completed by 2016, it will be the largest of its kind.