Luke Wilson gives Jimmy Fallon the Shambhala pocket Chögyam Trungpa

Not exactly exuding praise, Wilson tells a story of stumbling across a little self-help shop in Canada, finding the book and ultimately being glad to get it off his hands: "I have had to read it a couple times... when I ran out of Sports Illustrated and stuff like that."Fallon offers us part of the entry, "Smile at Fear" (which, in full, is): When you are frightened by something, you have to relate with fear, explore why you are frightened, and develop some sense of conviction. You can … [Read more...]

Returning, or “5 meditations on the desert”

A little over a week ago, I packed my bags, spent a night in Missoula, MT, picked up 3 (and then 4) fellow travelers, and headed into the wilds of Utah where we met two more friends. I'm not a seasoned backpacker or hiker, having spent usually only a day or two in the "back country" and six days last year hiking 80+ miles of the Wind River National Wilderness Area with two good friends who are much more knowledgeable than I probably ever will be.However, I am a long-time meditator (over 15 … [Read more...]

A glimpse of Buddhism in Obama’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton

You'll see Secretary Clinton walking with President Obama and the abbot of Wat Pho monastery in Bangkok, Thailand at about 55 seconds in. The image is from a 2012 tour of Asia by the President and Secretary of State. As the picture flashes on the screen, President Obama discusses his his and Clinton's "pursuit of diplomacy in capitals around the world."While it would be easy to make too big a deal of it - it is, after all, just one second in a three-minute video - it is still worth remarking … [Read more...]

Slipping Support for Sanders, Buddhists turn to Trump, Stein, and Johnson in latest reader poll

Citing a recent survey of anonymous superdelegates, the AP last night said that Clinton has what is needed to win the Democratic nomination. I've seen the outrage (Glenn Greenwald is always a good read). I've also seen that this has, sort of, happened before. And what next? Former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton and current Sanders supporter, Robert Reich, has some advice.But that is getting ahead of ourselves a bit. First, results from this month's reader (self-selected, online, … [Read more...]

Buddhist Political Preferences Poll Extended to June 5

With just over 200 responses thus far, this month's Buddhist Political Preferences online poll is already shaping up to be quite interesting.Some notes thus far: it seems to be the most equally balanced in the age ranges so far. There is still an overwhelming over-representation of white/Caucasian identified Buddhists as well as males and those identifying as converts and sympathizers as opposed to "cradle" Buddhists (those raised by a Buddhist family). While it's likely that no particular … [Read more...]

Buddhist Political Affiliations and the 2016 US Presidential Race (Reader Poll)

Another end-of-the-month, and another sampling of Buddhist political leanings for the 2016 US Presidential race.This month's poll has been updated with Nichiren as a choice for Buddhist type/school and, for the first time, has only one Republican choice. It has been kindly brought to my attention that results of the poll should be taken with a grain, or lump, of salt. This is not a random sampling, which itself is imperfect for understanding a population, but is an online survey, which … [Read more...]

On Modern Mindfulness, Buddhism, and Social Ethics

There is much about mindfulness being published these days: studies, meta-studies, mega-studies, maha-megha-studies (bad Buddhist studies joke). And then there are the opinion pieces; "We're all doomed. Mindfulness? Humph!"As I mentioned in my introduction to Doug Smith's recent article here, what we are seeing is the growth of a discussion, a dialogue. And as with many early discussions with disparate parties, it can sound a bit "noisy", and sometimes well-meaning people who are quite close … [Read more...]

On Some Criticisms of Modern Mindfulness

A guest post by Doug Smith (originally posted at the Secular Buddhist Association here).Editor's note: As a philosopher working primarily in Buddhist ethics, my attention has been turned in the last 3 years or so to the topic of "mindfulness." This started with an excellent call of warning published by Ron Purser and David Loy (written about here). Mindfulness has continued its journey since then, and as much as it has created an economy of its own--mindfulness teachers, seminars, wisdom 2.0 … [Read more...]