On Kant, Contempt, and our Buddhist path(s) forward

Karen Stohr, associate professor of philosophy at Georgetown University and senior research scholar at Georgetown’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics, wrote a thoughtful piece for the NYTimes this week titled, "Our New Age of Contempt." Her article concludes: Privately expressed contempt may be cathartic. Publicly expressed contempt, however, is perilous. As Kant recognized, it threatens the foundations of our political community by denying the central moral idea on which that community is based — tha … [Read more...]

Buddhist Ethics Today – or can we all be a little more enlightened?

Seth Zuiho Segall has a lengthy and thoughtful piece in the latest Tricycle Magazine, titled, "A More Enlightened Way of Being." The topic is ethics, specifically Buddhist ethics in the contemporary world.Segall's writing is wide-reaching and wonderfully fluid. He mentions Aristotle, Kant, Hume, Kierkegaard, and other luminaries of the West. He also surveys the long history of Buddhism and its developments and encounters with Bon (Tibet), Daoism (China) and Kami worship … [Read more...]

Buddhist Gladness for a Trump Victory

The Bubble Like many inside the liberal bubble, I have had (and continue to have) a tough time with November's election results. Our team lost. Their team won. And by our team, I include the disabled children who now face more bullying, the LGBTQ community who face the possibility of lost rights, Muslims, Native Americans, all people of color, women, and anyone else who now lives in heightened fear of attacks or has faced them already. A fair amount of my dukkha in the last several weeks has … [Read more...]

False: Trump did not say he’d turn to Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh instead of the Pope

Today the website Religiousmind.com published a story claiming that “Trump Says He Will Turn To Dalai Lama and Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh For Spiritual Guidance But Not The Pope." This comes almost exactly two months after their last false news story claiming that the Dalai Lama had compared Trump to Hitler. That story has since been removed from the site, but was also debunked by Snopes.In today's story, the well-known disagreements between Trump and Pope Francis play a role, as Trump su … [Read more...]

The First Nidana – A Christmas Song for Buddhists

Growing up Catholic in the US, I have a certain fondness for Christmas songs - especially loving the voices of Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, and others of a certain bygone era of American music. So when I stumbled across this beautiful Buddhist Christmas song (or a Buddhist song set to a modern Christmas tune), I was hooked. This week I got in touch with the song's creator, Ryan Hunt, for an interview. Please read, enjoy the music below, print/share the … [Read more...]

Spiritual Life takes Courage, and part of that is asking for help

My blogging life has been a bit quiet of late. This is despite the fact that I have some developing ambitions to write more and curate more wonderful writing from friends and strangers around the topics of Buddhism, meditation, and mindfulness. More on that in a moment.If you missed it, my neighbor here in the Patheos Buddhist world and long-time facebook friend - I'm still hoping to get him up to Montana for a sermon at our local Unitarian Universalist fellowship - James Ford recently … [Read more...]

Thich Nhat Hanh travels to Thailand “to be near his homeland”

Thich Nhat Hanh's adoptive home of France is in early winter now and his monastery, Plum Village, is entering its fourth week of a three-month winter retreat. These days the retreats, once led by the 90 year-old Zen master himself, are taught by his senior disciples.It has been nearly a year since Thay (as he's known to disciples) returned to France after treatment in the U.S. for a stroke.According to the monastics at Plum Village, Thich Nhat Hanh has requested to visit Thailand, where … [Read more...]

Finding Forgiveness During Challenging Times

A guest post by Emily J. Hooks Understanding and practicing forgiveness has never been more important than it is today. As tensions around the world rise, we are called to stay ever more vigilant to the energy we put out into the world. The outcome of all action is determined by the source energy behind that action. Ironically, many of us who claim to understand this universal principle are reacting passionately out of fear and expecting to make a positive difference. We know that when we take … [Read more...]