Episode 36 :: Buddhism and ZOMBIES!

| October 29, 2010 | 2 Comments

Jan Ford

Picture if you will a forest monastery, in a large meditation hall. It’s silent and peaceful, as the moon rises over a lovely night. And you hear… the cracking of a twig, outside. Followed by a low moaning, that’s joined by more and more voices. Suddenly the windows are being broken in, and zombie hordes charge in, intent on devouring your brains.

What do you do? Running’s good, at least until you run out of energy. Do you cave in the zombie’s head with a cudgel? Double tap to the forehead? If you do that, are you in violation of the precept against taking life, because, well, zombies are already dead? Join us today as we talk about those issues, movies we like, and how Buddhism still lets you defend yourself in the event of the Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Pumpkin Spice Latte.

:: Discuss this episode ::

Jan Ford teaches Sociology, Anthropology and Tai Chi Ch’uan at Santa Barbara City College and was a member of the Executive Board of the SBCC Instructors Association for the last few years. He has also taught at the University of Washington, Cal-State, Los Angeles and Antioch University.

He is celebrating his 51st year as a martial arts practitioner. He specializes in Chinese Arts, particularly Hung Ga Kuen, and now Tai Chi, but has also taught GoJu Ryu Karate, Thai Boxing and various grappling arts. Jan was well known as a fighting and kata competitor in the California tournament circuit for many years, and, at one time was ranked at the top of both classifications.

For many years he earned his living as the owner of Ford’s Martial Arts in Santa Barbara, but has also owned a bar, published a martial arts magazine, a community newspaper and was a community organizer. He also was a VD investigator for the US Public Health Service and drove a taxi.

Dana Nourie

Dana started her exploration of Buddhism in 2004 when she crushed her foot and a friend recommended Googling mindfulness. It may have been her friend’s way of telling her to watch what the hell she’s doing, but it brought up her discovery of Buddhism.

From there she took a course locally in Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism, but became disenchanted with the rituals, prayers, and what seemed like very religious nonsense, and quit the course. She then explored Zen and Theravada Buddhism, and took a short course on the English translation of the Pali Canon. It was at this time she discovered the Skeptical Buddhist group in Second Life, the way they scrutinized the teachings, and based much of their attitude on Stephan Batchelor’s book Buddhism Without Beliefs.

She ended up dropping from the local sanghas as they are all based on a specific tradition, and instead Dana has stuck with the core teachings and a critical mind.

Dana does not label herself a Buddhist, though she does practice Buddha’s teachings and associates with Secular Buddhists. She feels that Buddhism should not be connected to any cultural or religious ties per say, and doesn’t care for the way some cultures have introduced superstitions and rituals, some stuff that is very “unbuddhist”.

 

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Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

Comments (2)

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  1. Jennifer Hawkins Jennifer Hawkins says:

    I know this is random, but the Borg were highly influenced by the Cybermen (from Doctor Who). While I can see the correlations with zombies, the Cybermen were really more about a society letting technology (specifically) replace whatever it is that makes them human.

  2. Ted Meissner Ted Meissner says:

    Random, but you’ve just jumped up a level on the Awesome Scale.

    You have a good point, and I’m not well versed in Cybermen lore (Lor — hahahahahahaha), but it would seem the zombie-esque groups have a common theme of surrendering individuality and self determination over to the hive, or a shared lack of personal cognition.

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