What is Buddhist Medicine?


By Pierce SalgueroRecently, I invited my Facebook friends to submit questions on the topic of Buddhism and medicine. I collated the questions together, and wrote the brief responses below….Is there such a thing as “Buddhist medicine”? Is medicine really something central to Buddhism? How did medicine influence Buddhism? Every Buddhist tradition of which I am aware has something to say about illness, health, and healing. An interest in the mind-body relationship and its relationship to … [Read more...]

Race Matters in Buddhist Communities


Editor's note: This is the second of two posts this week on race in American Buddhist communities. It occurred to me that both of our wonderful authors, Ann and Craig are both white, as am I, and as are most of my readers - at least the ones I've gotten to know over the years. So while I am very happy to see this conversation happening and growing, I want to see the discussion opening up across racial lines as Craig suggests here. I know Ann invited one African American colleague who could not co … [Read more...]

The Dukkha of Racism: Racial Inclusion and Justice in American Convert Buddhism

embody fierce compassion

Editor's note: I'm delighted to host guest-posts dealing with Race in American Buddhist communities. The first, by the above title, is by Dr. Ann Gleig, a researcher working on a variety of issues in contemporary Buddhism including race, gender, psychology and philosophy. Keep an eye out for a second post later this week. On July 1 2015, a website titled “Buddhists for Racial Justice” started circulating across Buddhist social media. It included an open letter that spoke of the deep sadness at t … [Read more...]

Mindfulness: the single most impactful aspect of Buddhism in America

mindful books

In an intriguing recent lecture, scholar of Western Buddhism Jeff Wilson makes the claim that mindfulness is, in fact, Buddhism's largest single impact on North America. The evidence is more than compelling: from books by Congressman Tim Ryan (A Mindful Nation) and Google's "Jolly Good Fellow" Chade-Meng Tan (Search Inside Yourself) - shown meeting President Obama - to news reports in nearly every major media outlet and new movements to get mindfulness practice into schools, medicine, police … [Read more...]

A Christmas Eve health update on Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh - Namovalokita 2013

The monastics at Plum Village have issued a new update today on the health of Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay). They are in the midst of an annual three-month Winter Retreat. Thay is joining the monastics in regular activities, including sitting meditations. Despite noting his "remarkable progress" in June, they write today:  Sadly, at this time, Thay has made only slight improvements and is still unable to speak. He continues to sing with us, and is making more and more recognizable words whenever we s … [Read more...]

5 things we learned (and didn’t) from the Reuters investigation into the Buddhist “Shugden” sect, China, and the Dalai Lama

shugden false dalai lama poster 2015

For students of Tibetan Buddhism the Dorje Shugden issue is a treasure trove: involving a mysterious protector deity, capable of bestowing great wealth and threatening violence to foes, exposing a fault-line within the best known school of Tibetan Buddhism, with the widely-loved Dalai Lama caught in the middle, and now the secretive world of China-Tibet politics seeping in. For adherents to Tibetan Buddhism it exposes deeply held allegiances and the fears or concerns associated with potentially … [Read more...]

The Santa Claus Sutra, Christmas becomes Buddhist (Video)

Santa Hotei

Christmas is less than a week away now, and if Star Wars mania doesn't completely eclipse the popular winter holiday, we'll all be left with the usual yearly questions like "Happy Holiday" or "Merry Christmas"? Or "to tree or not to tree..."Or,"why are all these pagan festivities being practiced by Christians this time of year, anyway?"How about one more question: Could Christmas become a genuine Buddhist holiday?I concluded my university class on Buddhism last week by talking about ways … [Read more...]

Buddha in the Classroom: A little Zen for the Workplace

buddha in the classroom2

Subtitled: “Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers,” this is a book filled with much more than just “Zen” wisdom and it will surely inspire pretty much anyone who reads it. “The Burned-Out Professor.” To be fair, some of my appreciation for the book is purely selfish: the book feels like it was written specifically for me. The author, Donna Quesada, is a philosophy professor in California, a Buddhist, a yoga instructor, a connoisseur of world-wisdom, and a watcher of a good movies. She tells us t … [Read more...]