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A Sensitivity to Things > absurd

Reluctant Popstar

A visit to the barber in Turkey: flaming swabs, cut-throat razors and a little too much gel. “Please sir, you sit down.” My new best friend motions to something resembling a cabinet covered with a bed-sheet, and impersonating a couch. “Yes, you sit there.” I am in a Turkish laundromat, without a single washing appliance […]

Beijing says “Too much tricky” to Chinglish

New stadiums, airports and trains—Beijing is fabricating Great Wall sized for this year’s Olympic games—but one part of the construction is several bricks short of full height: the signage. The hundreds of thousands of visitors—half a million expected in the Chinese capital officially—will find little relief in language from the countless signs erected on their […]

On a Roll

He’s been in the New York Times, the L.A. Times, the BBC and The Guardian, the pop star your Mum used to like now an internet phenomenon in the papers your Mum likes to read. Rick Astley, baby-faced British two-hit wonder from 1988 still baby-faced and viewed 15,000,000 times on YouTube—somebody’s got to be “taking […]

Dog on Zen

Meet Conan, a male chihuahua from Naha, Japan, who’s renounced more traditional doggy pursuits for Dogen—a formative style of Zen from the 13th century that equates meditation and enlightenment as one and the same—chasing after the ever-spinning shiny wheel of rebirth before he’s even taken human birth. Buddhist priest Joei Yoshikuni (pictured) of the Jigenin […]

Rollercoaster monks

It seems meditation isn’t the only way to get up into the air, although one can’t rule out that these Buddhist monks aren’t actually—heavily disguised as fun park patrons—practicing their asanas: “The postures that a Buddhist deity assumes in a sculpture or painting are known as asanas.” —Mudras in Buddhism, Rev. Jnana, Zen Dharma Teacher […]

Experience Mocha

A surreal visit to a Chinese coffee shop, made less believable by a brochure gained… “Experience Mocha!” it commands, and obeisance is mine, weak-willed and supine in the face of advertorial imperative, a surrendered slave to caffeine’s seductive call, writ large as headline on front-of-counter brochure. So experience I do, like there was ever a […]

Conan O’Brien vs Stephen Colbert vs Jon Stewart

[kml_flashembed movie="http://widgets.nbc.com/o/4727a250e66f9723/47a81ada79dd6ba1" width="384" height="316" wmode="transparent I normally try to be inspiring on this site. I write about topics like ‘meditation,’ ‘meditation and me,’ and sometimes ‘meditation and the rest of the world.’ I guess I like meditation—I've been doing it for near fifteen years now—and I assume that it likes me. But as a chap […]