“The Story of God” – A Buddhist Perspective on Evil

In this week's episode of "The Story of God" (airing May 1), Morgan Freeman explores the concept of evil. As with previous topics, apocalypse and creation, their is no perfect word for evil in the Asian languages of Buddhism. However, as with those concepts, when we tease them out, exploring their etymological and historical roots, we see that even in English and associated languages, these words can mean much more than we commonly take them to mean.Getting beyond the superficial, we find … [Read more...]

Buddha’s advice on wilderness and living in the present moment in nature

“The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild; and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the world.” - Henry David Thoreau, "Walking" (emphasis added) In this sentiment, Thoreau, who was influenced by the Indian philosophy trickling into the Euro-American mindset of his time, echoes the Buddha's words about life in the forest (Pali arañña). Much scholarly ink has been spilled on Buddhism and the environment. An excellent starting point here … [Read more...]

The Souse Family and Buddhism’s Fifth Precept

A guest post by Daniel D. Woo (© 2016) I once thought that I had very few indelible childhood memories in the first 4 years of my life and that what little I remembered had no impact on my life. Then I remembered learning from infancy three songs:The Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalists) Republic of China (ROC) National Anthem The US Army Aircorp The drinking song “Glorious”The ROC anthem’s translated lyrics are: “San Min Chu-i,Our aim shall be:To found a free land,World pe … [Read more...]

“The Story of God” – A Buddhist Perspective on Creation

This week's episode (airing Sunday the 24th), brings us face to face with the question of creation. As Morgan Freeman muses at the beginning, walking through his own history in Mississippi, "You can't understand me without understanding where I was created.""Every religion has a creation story," he continues.But is that true?The episode doesn't cover my area of specialization, Buddhism, but it does cover Hinduism. And the other religious stories of creation, including those of Islam, … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, George Takei – American Buddhist, Actor, Author, Activist

Today is George Takei's 79th birthday.In honor of the occasion; and perhaps in horor of the latest Trump primary victory, we revisit George Takei's remarks about growing up with Japanese heritage in the xenophobic period around WW II. He is celebrating his birthday at Seattle's Key Arena advocating for "We Day" celebrating youth engaged in volunteer work. Follow him and see video from this morning in Seattle on facebook.(December 10, 2015)Ever since Donald Trump proposed a ban on … [Read more...]

Buddhist Ethics has a good day: on Philosophy, East and West

Almost 3 years ago exactly, 3 AM Magazine interviewed Jay Garfield, one of the best-known Buddhist philosophers in academia today. I wrote about that interview and still look back fondly on the comments and conversations that ensued.So it was with great joy that I saw 3 AM Magazine's latest interview with a Buddhist philosopher: Nicolas Bommarito, who teaches at NYU and the University of Buffalo. It was a great reminder that great thought within the academy is still being devoted to Buddhist … [Read more...]

Mindfulness and Self-Care: Why Should I Care?

A guest post by Edwin Ng with Ron PurserEditor's note: this is the second in a two-part series by Edwin Ng and Ron Purser, part one can be found at the Huffington Post here.Part One considered the current hype surrounding workplace mindfulness against the dubious history of management science. Part Two here considers the use of critical mindfulness in experiments with ethical self-care.Though we are skeptical about celebratory claims, we actually do hope that mindfulness might bec … [Read more...]

As North Carolina backslides on LGBT rights, we revisit our interview with the creators of transbuddhists.org

In spite of the many advances made in recent years in the United States and around the world toward greater awareness and acceptance of the variety of genders and sexual orientations and expressions in the human species, there will always be setbacks. One such setback was seen in North Carolina this week, where the most anti-LGBT law in the U.S. has been passed. A backlash of businesses, politicians, rights groups, individuals, and more have already spoken out. For our part, we'll remind o … [Read more...]


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