Had to chance to catch a lecture by my friend, Rev. Heng Sure, at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo here in LA last weekend. Reverend Sure is one of the first Buddhist monks born and ordained in the United States, and is now Senior monk of the City of 10,000 Buddhas and the director of the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery. This guy is the real deal, and it’s always a pleasure to hear him speak.
Rev. Sure’s lecture was entitled, “Use It Up! Wear It Out! Make It Do! Or Do Without! The Joys and Lessons of Simplicity.” It was an excellent overview about over-consumerism and our fundamental attachment, as a society, to a materialistic lifestyle that is clearly unsustainable. This is a timely topic, and I believe there will continue to be more and more books and lectures about simplifying our lifestyles and redefining what truly brings us joy. In fact, the reverend posted a helpful list of resources on his blog about this subject. (See list of links below.)
If you get a chance to catch a talk by Rev. Sure, don’t miss it. I really dig his use of different mediums – namely multimedia, music, and humor – and the warmth and ease with which he delivers his message. He talks about issues that are profoundly serious, but conveys solutions in ways that are easily-digestible by most anyone.
He’s also a singer/songwriter/guitarist who performs “American Buddhist Folk Music.” Very interesting and authentic stuff.
News From True Cultivators
Also recommended; a great read called News From True Cultivators, which the reverend co-authored.
Back in the 70’s, a very young Heng Sure decided to put his proverbial money where his mouth was and make an unprecedented statement for world peace. Starting off from Los Angeles, Heng Sure embarked on a pilgrimage where he would take three complete steps forward, then go into a full bow; a nose-to-the-ground kneeling prostration. He would then stand up and repeat. Three steps, full bow. Three steps, full bow. He did this for two-and-a-half years, covering a total of 800 miles up the west coast along the winding Highway 101! He also maintained his vow of silence the entire time (which was part of a six-year vow). Accompanied by a fellow monk named Heng Ch’au who looked after things along the way, the two slept in their car at night, ate wild greens and food that had been donated, and wrote letters to their teacher (Master Hsuan Hua) in the Bay Area, describing the good, bad and ugly that they encountered along the way. This book is a collection of those writings. Awesome stuff.
Rev. Sure’s blog: http://paramita.typepad.com (Look for the 10-18-09 entry for above-mentioned resources.) And be sure to subscribe.
Rev Sure’s music: http://www.dharmaradio.org/paramita/index.htm
PS. FYI – For those of you who have been checking out excerpts from my upcoming release, A Season in the Warrior Utopia, you might want to scope out the following two excerpts, as they offer deeper insight into our need to live more in consideration of the “macro” as we make more conscious choices.
Dr. Zeus and the Global Reckoning: http://www.bobbyrock.com/day31
Dr. Zeus and the Enviroconomy of Life on Planet Earth: http://www.bobbyrock.com/day48