Well, I’ve made it. We’ve made it. We’re at Patheos now and I suppose that calls for something a bit special in terms of a first post.
So I’ll take a moment now and tell you some of my hopes for where I would like this little corner of the blogosphere to go in the next six months, year, and beyond.
- I hope it keeps its personal feel. My blogging began as a way to track my travels and muse about topics I was studying or simply interested in. It was actually weird when strangers started commenting on my posts, and weirder yet when I’d meet someone in person that knew about my blog. I’ll continue with my odd tangents about politics (also), health, ecology, and whatever else comes up.
- I hope it becomes more representative of American/Western Buddhism. For one, most American Buddhists aren’t male, or white, or academics. I can’t hope to ever present anything like the American Buddhist Perspective, but I can try to shed light on more than my own little corner of the world. If I’m going to be critical of racism in the media and elsewhere, I’m going to need to also walk the walk here. The post, “What Marginalization?” and many others by Arun at Angry Asian Buddhist have played a large part in inspiring this.
- I hope it plays a role in building a community here on Patheos – not just amongst Buddhist bloggers and commenters, but across the spectrum of beliefs. We’re all humans, we all face many of the same challenges, questions, and obstacles in life. Let’s help each other out. After all, according to a recent NY Times article, just like peanut butter (see bottom of the post) and distance running, “altruism and generosity can be hedonistic pleasures.” Big Buddha-Thumbs Up. And finally -
- I hope it serves as a helpful bridge between scholars and other Buddhists. I find myself disappointed when I read posts like “Buddhist Anti-Intellectualism“, which claims, “American Buddhists are adamant that any [intellectual work] be labeled “clinging to views” or “ego.””* And on the other hand the post, “Buddhist Ethics for Buddhists” about the recent Buddhist Ethics conference at Columbia University, and many of the comments following it displayed open frustration and perhaps even antagonism toward academia. Why? In my experience, American (and/or simply “Western”) Buddhists are highly intellectual, and contributions made by academics (be they “Buddhist” or non) are invaluable to Buddhist traditions. There are exceptions to both of those, and those exceptions can be exceptionally frustrating, but lets not let our frustrations cloud our experience so that we cannot see the rest of reality for what it is.
Wild Fox Zen (Dosho Port)
Monkey Mind (James Ford)
*the full sentence was, “In the last couple thousand years, there has been enormous intellectual work in many different schools of Buddhism, but American Buddhists are adamant that any such efforts be labeled “clinging to views” or “ego.””