A guest post by Robertson Work Anyone who is awake today is aware of the many dangers and possibilities facing our country and world in this make-or-break year and decade. Here are some of my reflections and advice for you sensitive and responsive ones, taken from my new book, A Compassionate Civilization: The Urgency of Sustainable Development and Mindful Activism. “After I had been a UNDP staff member for many years, people would sometimes ask me if I had just… Read more

That is the start of the recent Reuters investigative story, released late last week. Two of the journalists involved spent months in prison for their work, a testament to the cost of seeking out truth in this still quite brutal military dictatorship (with its veneer of democratic rule). “At least two were hacked to death by Buddhist villagers” according to the Reuters story, which “draws for the first time on interviews with Buddhist villagers who confessed to torching Rohingya homes,… Read more

His Holiness the Dalai Lama turned to twitter on Friday to restate a message which has become central to him in recent years: we must act. The full tweet reads: Although I am a Buddhist monk, I am skeptical that prayers alone will achieve world peace. We need instead to be enthusiastic and self-confident in taking action. — Dalai Lama (@DalaiLama) February 9, 2018 This is not to say that mental training is useless. His other tweets (and much of… Read more

“Taiwanese computer and technology firm Acer is set to launch a new smart product: Buddhist prayer beads that automatically count the number of times a mantra is recited and transfer merits to a social media platform,” reported the Hong Kong Economic Journal last week. The original article in Chinese is here (no press release from Acer itself could be found). Acer has reportedly received “tens of thousands” of pre-orders for the beads, which look identical to traditional beads (or malas)… Read more

It can be difficult to keep up on the news coming out of Burma (Myanmar). Like the situation in Syria, the length and scale of the human disaster can become too large to fathom. In such cases, it can be easy to feel helpless. And, as the Zen teacher Brad Warner rightly noted recently, not every Buddhist has to speak out – about this or any particular issue. However, as with all moral crises, there will be those who feel called… Read more

These four residential programs (Living the Practice at Dharma Realm Buddhist University; Guan Yin Sessions at City of Ten Thousand Buddhas; Woodenfish Humanistic Buddhist Monastic Life Program in China; and Fo Guang Buddhist Monastic Retreat in Taiwan) are helpful for undergraduates or graduate students particularly interested in Asian studies, China, Buddhism, or religion, but are open to any adult, don’t even have to be a student! No Chinese-language experience required. Applications are now open for all four of these! Summary… Read more

Very few people are trained in both (Western) philosophy and Buddhist studies these days. Those trained in philosophy are typically taught that Philosophy is only a Western activity – and by Western they mean Euro-American (plus Canada and Australia, but definitely leaving out non-White sources). Those trained in Buddhist studies are typically taught as philologists, anthropologists, and/or scholars of religion. And, for various reasons, these folks tend also to see philosophy as just a Euro-American undertaking. Over the years, a… Read more

Below is a mini-interview with Maia Duerr, author of the book, Work that Matters: Create a Livelihood That Reflects Your Core Intention (Parallax Press, 2017). For the full interview see “Maia Duerr: Zen, Life, and Livelihood” (Buddhadoor Global) and find her book at Work that Matters (Parallax). One of the sections that really stood out to me in the book, as I’ve moved through a series of labels myself was, “One of the obstacles to realizing Liberation-Based Livelihood is that we tend to… Read more

One thing that brings me constant delight and fascination is finding modern adaptations of ancient Buddhist wisdom and practice. Something that is often lost in modern forms of Buddhism is sutta (or sutra) chanting. It can seem too ritualistic (something often rejected by modern Buddhists), and suttas are often rendered in technical vocabularies or dated English that makes reading stunted, halting, and distant. So when the heart of the Buddha’s teaching can be translated into modern idiom in an attractive way,… Read more

I rarely follow podcasts, series, or youtube channels, but I have become fairly hooked on my friend Doug Smith’s YouTube channel called Doug’s Secular Dharma. Doug and I have co-written an article and a book chapter and I look forward to working more with him and possibly joining him on some of his future videos. Until then, I thought I’d share some of the more recent ones that I’ve especially enjoyed: What did the Buddha Say about Prayer?  This is… Read more

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