Listen: How an architect designs sacred space

Urban Adamah activities - 1050 Parker, Berkeley, CA

Architecture has the power to transform. A building can make us feel joy, or sadness, powerful or weak. Nowhere is this more true than in a church, a chapel, synagogue, Buddhist temple, or a mosque. For centuries, religion has sparked the design of some of the world’s most beautiful buildings. But what is that process? What built elements make a space sacred? These were some of KALW's Angela Johnston's questions for … [Listen Now...]

Listen: Preserving ancient Coptic heritage in the East Bay


Jan. 8, 2014–While the majority of the world’s Christians celebrate Christmas on December 25th, a number of Orthodox sects follow an older-than-Gregorian calendar. They celebrate every year on January 7th. One of the smaller Orthodox groups is Copts. They are the original Christians of Egypt and Sudan.  In the past decade, there’s been an influx of Copts fleeing discrimination and violence back home. Just as they’re a … [Listen Now...]

Listen: How the Buddha helped clean up a neighborhood

Photo by Tom Levy

Nov. 6, 2014–Living in a multi-cultural city yields all sorts of surprises. On a corner in Oakland just east of Lake Merritt, a small Buddha has helped bring neighbors together. I didn’t know what to think the first time I saw the makeshift Vietnamese shrine. At the time, a few potted plants and flowers brightened up the corner. A piece of scrap metal protected the statue’s head. I had just moved to the … [Listen Now...]

Listen: Learning from the dying at the Zen Hospice Project


Nov. 6, 2014–Tracy Grubbs grew up fascinated, curious and also afraid of death. Her curiosity, plus her interest in Buddhism led her to volunteer at the Zen Hospice Project, a San Francisco center for the dying supported by the Buddhist community. Grubbs spoke with her colleague Lisa Messano.       When I heard there was something like the Zen Hospice Project and they would train you to be with … [Listen Now...]

Listen: A good attitude until the end

Frank Hatch

October 7, 2014–Frank Hatch lived with HIV for more than 20 years, only to be diagnosed with late-stage prostate cancer in 2010. For comfort and guidance, he turned to his Buddhism practice. And then, with encouragement from his nephew Jason Friend, he decided to do something he never thought he could: a 16-day rafting trip in the Grand Canyon. The two discuss Frank's determination to live life to the … [Listen Now...]