Dalai Lama biography: “Man of Peace” is nearing its crowdfunding goal

(still from above video)

With just under a month to go, the illustrated graphic novel of the Dalai Lama's life is now less than $3000 short of its crowdfunding goal of $25,000.In his latest update on the progress of this biography of the Dalai Lama, Robert Thurman announces that they are just 2-3 months away from completion, needing to color and polish the last set of pages. Then the book will be sent to the printer for its first edition, with the goal that it is out before the coming Losar (Tibetan New Year), … [Read more...]

Top 5 Reasons to Study Buddhism

SOAS Library Buddhism Books

As college classes start up this time of year, many people will find themselves debating the merits of this course versus that one, this major versus that. As I'm now going on 15 years as a student of religion and philosophy I might be a bit biased, but for what it's worth, I still think these two topics (and in particular Buddhism) are the best thing you can study in college. In fact, in this age of adult education programs and online courses, it's something that you should study even if your c … [Read more...]

Life shifts and karmic momentum


Or, "On submitting a PhD thesis, and going back to school."This week I saw, probably on twitter, an image of a man around thirty wearing a backpack and a sign hanging from his neck reading "Starting 19th Grade." The caption said, "what grad school feels like."No doubt that image captures how a lot of people are feeling this time of year, aged 5-35. As for me, I've just submitted my Ph.D. thesis, something about comparing early Buddhist and Kantian ethics, leaving me in a sort of … [Read more...]

Celebrating same-sex marriage in Buddhism


Today I am thrilled to join millions across the country in celebration of the Supreme Court's decision to legalize same-sex marriage across all 50 states. In honor of the decision, along with joining the facebook "Celebrate Pride" campaign with this blog's facebook profile pic, I thought I would repost one of the blog's most popular entries. Please enjoy, comment, take pride, etc, and remember that there is still much work to be done. ~ The first place I generally turn whenever I come across a … [Read more...]

Buddhism and Modernity: Conversations at the Edge, all three panels [Video]

Today the Mangalam Research Center posted video of a post-conference seminar following the June 3-7 Mindfulness & Compassion conference at San Francisco State University. The topic, "Buddhism and Modernity: Conversations at the Edge," drew a variety of responses from top academics in Buddhist studies and philosophy, psychologists, practitioners, and others. Below are the videos with brief notes and impressions. Panel 1: Buddhist Philosophy and the perennial concerns of Western p … [Read more...]

The philosopher Kant might have been skeptical of modern Mindfulness

Kant and the Buddha

One of the great joys of doing philosophy is drawing the great minds of the past into contemporary conversations. As we do this we attempt to step outside ourselves, in a sense, to broaden our perspective. As a student of the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), I have also been amazed by the ways in which his ideas have been brought into contemporary conversations over the past 200 years. Kant Scholarship Scholarship on Kant has taken an exciting turn over the last decade or … [Read more...]

Phenomenology as a doorway into Indian Philosophy

India, Mughal Art. Photo by Nathan Hughes Hamilton (flickr C.C.)

The Journal of the British Society of Phenomenology has announced a selection of free articles from past issues.Included, along with heavyweights of the Western phenomenological tradition such as Nancy, Lyotard, Gadamer, Sartre, Warnock, Heidegger and Husserl, is J.N. Mohanty's “Phenomenology and Indian Philosophy: The Concept of Rationality”, Vol. 19, No. 3, 1988, pp. 269-281. (direct link here)In the paper Mohanty shows the struggles we face in understanding non-Western philosophies. Th … [Read more...]

All Good Intentions: But does Sam Harris have what it takes to be Buddhist?

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A guest post by Marek Sullivan:The recent email scuffle between linguistics professor and political commentator Noam Chomsky, and atheist neuroscientist Sam Harris has brought to light the severity of Harris’s emphasis on intention as the ultimate moral parameter in questions of military ethics. According to Harris, “Ethically speaking, intention is (nearly) the whole story.” This is how he can claim that Bill Clinton and Osama Bin Laden live “in a different moral universe entirely,” or elsew … [Read more...]