The minister at my temple in Hawaii, Taiheiji, has read my Buddhism Examiner articles and requested permission to reprint some in the monthly newsletter. Though it's not the same as being requested by TIME magazine or something, at the same time, it is JUST that cool to me. Because of that temple and that community I was able to endure a 15-month long separation from my husband while he was deployed to Iraq, as well as the stress of being in school above full-time (so I could graduate before we moved again), and being isolated, not just from family but from the continental US. It's an island, you can't exactly cross state-lines haha.
Naturally, I said I'd be happy to grant them reprint permission, so I'll get to see some of my writing starting in the August newsletter (^^)v
Today, as I wrote an assignment for school, I used my own tendency toward stereotyping as an example. Many are not brave enough to do so, but stereotypes are human nature. They allow us to classify and understand information faster, though perhaps not at maximum efficiency since they can be misleading. I mentioned how, by recognizing stereotypes that influence my behaviors toward certain people initially I was able to overcome that bias that was making the relationships, in general, slightly more difficult.
Then I was searching for topics for my two Examiner articles for today. The Challenge is almost over so those publications will no doubt slow a bit, but it was nice having the motivation to write more each day. I published one on a local natural food store with a deli and seating and all.... not that interesting to people not in the area haha. But I wanted to publish one in the Buddhism Examiner section and so I decided to use this story, which may be only a story, but never the less, an interesting way to present a lesson that was along similar lines to the lesson I had previously learned that I was explaining in my assignment.
I received information that today, July 28th, is National Milk Chocolate Day. And also that Friday, July 30th, is National Cheesecake Day. I decided to write two articles for my Fairfax County Vegetarian Examiner position on these two "National Celebrations" and those articles follow:
The trouble with the Examiner articles is they are supposed to be kept short. Hopefully this one won't get flagged! It's the skimmed down, bare-basic version of the beginning of Prince Siddhartha's journey to becoming the Buddha.
*This is another photo used courtesy of my friend, Mike :-)
The other article tells a story of one man's journey to meet with the Buddha in hopes that the Buddha would help him solve his problems. The man had a misconception of who and what the Buddha actually was, and about Buddhism as a means of improving one's life in the sense of eliminating suffering.
The Heart Sutra can take some getting used to because of the old-school names and words in it, even in translations, but it is a valuable Buddhist sutra chanted during nearly every service at my temple in Hawaii, Taiheiji.
In Buddhism, parables have long been used as a means of demonstrating the Teachings, in a memorable and safe way of getting the points across. I have presented two stories so far, and plan to present many. I'd like to include as many short Buddhism articles as possible so that I can share what I have learned, and what I continue learning, while keeping the articles easy, quick reads for a general audience. If I pique anyone's interest, feel free to contact me with Buddhism-related questions, and if I do not have an answer I can get one from my Minister. That goes for my other articles as well, I'm always open to answer questions or providing more information ♥
I wrote today about becoming Buddhist. I feel this is a good "next step" in the Buddhism Examiner articles since I have covered the initial Four Noble Truths, Eightfold Path, and Five Precepts, though I plan to go back and touch on the core Teachings more in depth in the future.
So we're reviewing each others assignments today and supposed to comment on them and I'm reading this woman's paper on the Insanity Plea. Then I get to part of her paper discussing civil commitment of criminals, locking them up in mental hospitals instead of charging them and sending them to prisons or locking them up in mental hospitals after serving their sentences in prison to keep them off the streets.
As I read, I realized what I was reading sounded REALLY familiar. I had written that! I started to get mad because I had posted my assignment in the discussion earlier than she had, but when I went back and reviewed my assignment, it wasn't the same. So why was it so familiar?
I read on a little further and realized she cited me in her paper!! She had taken the information from one of my Suite101 articles on the topic and then cited me haha. Her citation was incorrect, not in APA style, but I gave her some pointers on fixing it next time and told her that I thought it was funny when I read that part of her paper and realized it was mine, then saw she had cited my article. Kinda cool after that :-)
For my Buddhism Examiner position I published an article on the Five Precepts today. I have been approaching the initial Buddhism Examiner position by writing about core beliefs of Buddhism and plan to take the articles in multiple directions as I progress. I then wrote a similar article, but longer and a bit more involved, for Suite101, trying to expand on the topic a bit as it's one of my favorites.
I am currently the only Japan Expert at Experts123 but figured I would post a link to my articles there as well. I try to post at least one article a week on a Japan-related topic, but change it up so it's not all culture or all language-learning. I am open to suggestions or requests for future Japan articles if anyone has any, as well.
As mentioned, I have recently acquired a second Examiner post and now I write as the local Fairfax County Vegetarian Examiner as well as the national Buddhism Examiner. I have decided to begin the Buddhism Examiner articles at the most reasonable beginning: The Buddha's Teachings. As I present the Teachings, I will then later re-approach them with parables sharing different ways the Teachings may be applied to daily life, thought, oneself, and so forth.
The Vegetarian Examiner post is only meant to be localized to this area and so I will likely resign that position when I move in a couple of years, but I do try to provide information that could be helpful to others as well. I will attach a few links below:
I always wanted to be a writer, since I was in second grade and won an award for a story I wrote. I never thought I'd actually have the chance, though. Writing is a tough business to crack into and I didn't study writing I studied (and study) Psychology and Japanese. I am grateful to my husband for providing support and encouragement while I work on building my writing platform and get through this graduate degree program. When I graduate next Spring, I will devote a large amount of time (currently spent on schoolwork) to writing and hopefully have a first manuscript draft completed by Christmas!
I write for several sites, including Suite101 and Break Studios and a list of my published articles, so far, with links (for as many as possible) can be found at my personal website: Princess Soy Milk - Publications.
With school, finding time for my own free writing can be difficult, but I am working on a novel as well. I hope to be able to finish it within the year (Summer 2011-ish) following graduation from my graduate program in Forensic Psychology.