GOD ONLINE: Exploring media spirituality

Web sites, TV, films, books and the search for meaning.

Buddha belly laughs

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Continuing our weeklong trek through religious humor sites, we hoist a prayer flag for . . .

A Lighter Side of Buddhism

Who would laugh at Buddhism? Plenty of people, it seems. Enough to fill several Web pages.

Part of Writings on Buddhism — at 13 years one of the oldest Buddhist Web sites — A Lighter Side has jokes as cryptic as a koan, going far beyond the usual “What did the Buddhist say to the hot dog vendor?” (although that one is here, too).

Example: A young Buddhist wonders how to cross a river. He sees a sage on the opposite bank and calls: “Oh wise one, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river”? The sage calls back: “My son, you are on the other side.”

Many of the jokes are charmingly self-deprecating, as with the Theravada computer virus that can’t infect “female” machines. Some are long stories — one takes 24 paragraphs to set up the punchline. Who knew that Buddhist and Irish jokesters would have something in common?

And some items make you wonder if they’re really joking. One recommends downloading a Tibetan mantra — Om Mani Padme Hum, or “The Jewel in the Lotus of the Heart” — in effect, turning your computer’s spinning hard drive into a prayer wheel.

The most mind-bending joke may be this one-liner: “A Zen master once said to me, ‘Do the opposite of whatever I tell you.’ So I didn’t.”


Written by Jim Davis

August 15, 2008 at 3:24 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I think Zen can be contrasted with the modern culture of presumption. You might enjoy the short Zen tale I just posted at http://deligentia.wordpress.com/2009/11/10/empty-your-cup/



    November 11, 2009 at 2:42 pm

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