Every year for the last three years I’ve joined the Woodenfish Humanistic Buddhist Monastic Life Program as an instructor (I was a student on it in Taiwan in 2010 and a similar one in China in 2009). The program brings 80-100 students, average age around 24, to a monastery in China, supported by about 10 staff and 3 or 4 academic instructors. Our job as academic instructors is to provide approximately a full semester’s worth of material in around 14… Read more

Below is a mini-interview with Katie Loncke of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship who I had the honor of interviewing for BuddhistDoor Global. Have a look at the full interview, Tough Choices, Deep Joys: Engaged Buddhism with Katie Loncke of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship. JW: The BPF has been around since 1978 (Happy 40th anniversary of BPF, btw!). Do you feel like it is recognized and respected as a 40 year old institution in American Buddhism? How do you see BPF fitting… Read more

My friend Carissa Véliz from the University of Oxford has a great review up today on the Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews site (a wonderful resource for philosophers, East, West and otherwise). It looks at Krista K. Thomason’s new book , Naked: The Dark Side of Shame and Moral Life, and offers fresh insights into philosophical thought about shame. Shame is a fraught topic in ordinary discourse: associated with crushing feelings of self-doubt or hate (and harm) and of often-excessive public flogging… Read more

The Chronicle of Higher Education today reports on the many thousands of academics and academic leaders who are speaking out against the current ‘zero tolerance’ policy leading to thousands of children separated from families and living in newly-constructed tent cities. These academics join Catholics, United Methodists, and Buddhists (covered at Buddhistdoor Global) in condemning the current actions. It is increasingly clear that people of conscience from across the world are speaking out against this. Lion’s Roar magazine deputy editor Andrea Miller… Read more

(Updated: there are 1250 signatures as of 6pm Pacific Time; all four living former First Ladies condemn the current President’s policy, 2/3 of Americans also oppose the current policy, and there seems to be a fair amount of lying going on by the White House about the policy and its history) As reported on Rev. James Ford’s blog and Lion’s Roar, Zen teachers and others from across America have together signed a petition to “unreservedly condemn” the recent policy of… Read more

Back in the early days of blogging (this blog began in 2004), the bloglist was an integral part of connecting with fellow writers and following their work. A growing list meant a growing network of fellow-minded travelers. For me this included academics, travelers, friends, photographers, and philosophers. From 2011 or so through the last couple years, the blogging world has shifted. Or perhaps I have shifted alone and away from much of the “Buddhist blogosphere” as this amorphous space was… Read more

That is a mouthful. Let me unpack it a bit. When I first became interested in Buddhism around 20 years ago, “mindfulness” was still just one part of a larger path. Buddhism was cool; the Dalai Lama seemed limitlessly happy. Meditation was okay; something that Buddhists obviously did to make themselves so happy. But there was little or nothing advertised as “mindful,” either at local Buddhist groups or elsewhere. Today everything is advertised as “mindful,” from cashews to dating websites,… Read more

Zen teacher Barry Magid offered the following observation yesterday. It is a rich passage, a condensation of many trends growing and potentials available in Western Buddhism today: There has been a sea change in Western Buddhism that we are only beginning to acknowledge and come to terms with, a sea change comparable to a Protestant Reformation within traditional Buddhism. As with the Reformation , Western Buddhism has increasingly made daily life the locus of spirituality and practice, has moved away… Read more

Last week Andrea Winn, creator of Project Sunshine, was interviewed on Canadian Broadcasting Radio on the topic of “Allegations of sexual abuse in Shambhala Community.” Joshua Silberstein, Chair of the Kalapa Council, which is the leadership group for Shambhala Buddhism, responded. Silberstein gave the concrete number of 14 allegations and investigations by the Care and Conduct committee of Shambhala International since 2002. This leads one to wonder if it might be helpful for the records of those proceedings to be… Read more

Tomorrow, May 15, Palestinians and supporters around the world will mark Nakba Day, commemorating the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people in the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. From the UK’s Independent paper, we read: The convergence of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day with these contemporary developments is an opportunity to consider its significance in the past, present and future. The Nakba was the systematic expulsion of Palestinians and destruction of their communities. Over a period… Read more

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