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?

flickr CC https://www.flickr.com/photos/dennisredfield/4553054788/in/photolist-7WkAyC-7Whjsi-8Q3Qoa-9CWL98-7Rnixa-9wLiJe-9CZGFw-9wLhFn-9wPeCA-9wLi4x-9wPhWL-9wPham-9wLhaZ-4b4jNJ-8rBQWn-rtWZ7M-eH3ZnE-4aZiYa-ATVSC-buSpvy-rAeuoe-rAe9TU-9wPeWh-bHM9BF-bHMak6-diH1pt-eH3Zj1-eH3Zry-qDxXUT-qDxYVk-riKoR1-ry3FTh-rAezbm-rAeuP4-qDkDDu-rh1MC4-8rBQUT-7R2r1x-riQRxu-9R1vhf-9R1r37-9UoK6F-qPcuQ-diGXSU-diGZuw-diGWEH-auALgk-buSqa1-buSnsN-9gV233andhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/127466868@N05/15211359780/in/photolist-pbbciN-psELDP-psFffk-pqDdCj-psoviX-pbckb6-pbbpW1-psEJoM-pbaHiD-pbbvHm-pbbZD1-psERrz-psoydK-psDEbY-pbaKB6-psoxHr-pbaCwV-psETY8-pqDexf-pqDjf1-psoCbz-psoyxc-psoAFF-pqDfo3-pbb97Y-psD6CG-pbbc2z-pqCUcG-pbbWoJ-psoZra-psoXJn-psp4XV-pbbY8p-pbbXcY-pbbod1-pbbZwN-psD5is-psovbx-pbbbF4-pbbwzw-psoz7t-pqCGXN-psEGNx-pbb9Fc-pbb66M-pbaLfk-pbbZfK-pbaAyM-psDdPf-psozZk

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...]

Buddhist mindfulness, morality, and Protestant presumptions

Achahn Chuen meditation; on a beach near Traverse City, MI (photo by Brian Ambrozy, flickr C.C.)

In case you've been living under a rock, mindfulness is all the rage these days. Since January I have filed away nearly every story on or popular mention of 'mindfulness' that crossed my path. At current, I'm at 43 links and I'm certain it's just a drop in the bucket of what's out there. I have a lawyer in Florida explaining "Mindfulness: What it is and how it helps" a Cosmopolitan article explaining (above a picture of Jennifer Aniston): Jo Usmar, Cosmo's ex-Sex and the Not So Single Girl, has … [Read more...]

An Update from Buddhists working on the ground in Nepal

tarke gyang nepal earthquake destruction

The situation in Nepal is still desperate. Aid and relief efforts have reached Kathmandu, though more is still needed there and many isolated villages still have seen no supplies or medical help. The Government is ill-prepared for such a disaster and is known for corruption. And while the first reaction of many is to turn to international NGOs, specifically those with disaster training and expertise (see the recent post on 5 ways to help victims of the Nepal earthquake; which has now been shared … [Read more...]

David Suzuki, Force of Nature (reposted for Earth Day)

David Suzuki and the Dalai Lama at the Environmental Summit 2013 Portland Oregon (photo by Colleen Benelli flickr C.C.)

In 1.5 of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle observes that there are three types of life thought to be happy: the life of enjoyment, the political life, and the life of contemplation.  The life of enjoyment is a hedonistic life focused on conventional pleasures. The political life is the life of a states- person. It may aim at despotic power, or be lived for the sake of winning public honors, but in its most proper form its aim is the exercise of moral virtue and political and practical wisdom in … [Read more...]

100 Arrested in India in pro-Tibet Rally

Tibet Flag

Today is the 56th anniversary of the March 10, 1959 start of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese occupation.  The history around that day is outlined below, but first, in today's news the Associated Press (via MB and BBC World News) reports that:Indian police have detained about 100 Tibetans who were protesting outside the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi on the anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against China’s rule in Tibet. Protesters interlocked their hands and tried to form a chain aro … [Read more...]