‘Best Article’: Buddhist Ethics and End-of-Life Care – available for free download

journal of social work in end-of-life and palliative care

I am often asked "why study Buddhist ethics?" Sometimes people are simply curious, others actively oppose the very notion. The curious ones are wonderful to speak with. For you, the curious, I'm happy to share this article, which is free for all to download. The value of studies in Buddhist ethics, including those of my supervisor, Damien Keown, and Peter Harvey among others, becomes clear as one grapples with guidelines for real-world decisions. I'm also chuffed to bits (as they say here - it … [Read more...]

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche speaks on Universal Responsibility at Harvard Divinity School

dzigar_kongtrul_rinpoche

Earlier this month, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche gave a one-day seminar on the topic of Universal Responsibility to students at Harvard Divinity School. From the video page: In this one night seminar given to students at Harvard University's School of Divinity, Kongtrul Rinpoche explains that not all learning is academic. In fact, the best kind of education shapes our hearts just as much as our minds. Self-reflecting upon experience and coming to see that all beings share the same internal life -- … [Read more...]

Buddhism without Superstition: with Owen Flanagan, Julian Baggini, and Tim Lott

Julian Baggini, Owen Flanagan and Tim Lott

"Is it possible to take an ancient comprehensive philosophy like Buddhism, subtract the hocus pocus, and have a worthwhile philosophy for twenty-first-century scientifically informed secular thinkers?" This was the quote, taken from Owen Flanagan's recent book (see below), which served to open a discussion last Wednesday at Bristol's "Festival of Ideas". The event re-raised the age old question, "Buddhism, is it a religion, philosophy, or way of life?" (I wrote a bit about this topic last … [Read more...]

Mindful of your immorality?

Hungry-Ghosts

A contemporary Western Buddhist version of this would probably look something like this: In case you missed it, this is regarding (not that Google in particular is guilty of all of the above): Criticism of Google has, of course, poured in. Katie Loncke of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship writes of Google's bus scheme, which is contributing to rising rents and gentrification: This is not true mindfulness. It’s selective awareness, optimized for pleasure. In other words, … [Read more...]

Buddhism and the Super Bowl: Op-Eds requested

american-worker-salaries

The New York Times Magazine featured a story on Friday asking, Is It Immoral to Watch the Super Bowl? I'm not so sure. Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote after the championship games: I sat down and watched two football games yesterday for the first time in a couple of years. It was sort of like seeing your ex-wife for coffee. For 30 years of my life, Sunday afternoons in the Fall were the best time of the year. But given the NFL's tangled, and frankly indefensible, sense of morality, I left. Tom Brady … [Read more...]

Sexual Harassment in Buddhist Communities: a small victory

say something

Yesterday Tanya over at Full Contact Enlightenment posted a great cartoon aimed at getting people in the cartoon community to speak up about issues around sexual harassment. As Tanya notes, this applies just as well to the Buddhist community (and, I imagine, to countless other communities out there). Last week we saw a small victory in terms of people saying and other people listening. Over at Connections, the author writes an "Open Letter to Noah Levine of Against the Stream" where Ken … [Read more...]

R.I.P. David Kalupahana, a giant in the field of Buddhist Philosophy

250px-Prof_David_J_Kalupahana

The Colombo Page, a Sri Lankan online newspaper, has reported that the great writer and professor of Buddhist philosophy, David J. Kalupahana, passed away January 15 in Honolulu, Hawai'i.* Kalupahana retired in 2000 as professor of philosophy at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, a department internationally recognized for its East-West philosophical focus. He earlier served as the Chairman of the Department of Philosophy. His works on Buddhist Philosophy and Buddhist Ethics were … [Read more...]

Buddhism: religion or philosophy?

buddha with plato and aristotle at the academy

This is the question again, raised by the renowned philosopher Michael McGhee for the UK's Guardian newspaper. The short article is set to be the start of a series on the topic, so we can look forward to further installments in the days to come. Today's article rehearses some of the issues we've seen raised in the news and among bloggers lately, namely the decontextualization of Buddhist practices, rebranded as "mindfulness" and sold to people free of "religion." However, McGhee does want to … [Read more...]


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