Thomas Merton: the Film

thomas merton and the dalai lama

Anyone who knows me or has read this blog for long knows I am a great admirer of Thomas Merton. I remember his name being mentioned to me at a Buddhist retreat some time around 2002 or 3, and then, in a quiet week during my MA in Buddhist Studies, I picked up his Asian Journal where, upon seeing the great Buddha statues at Polonnaruwa, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) he wrote: “Looking at these figures I was suddenly, almost forcibly, jerked clean out of the habitual, halftied vision of things, and an inner … [Read more...]

On the bombing at Bodh Gaya, Buddhism’s holiest site


Though we still don't know who carried out the attacks or why, the basic details seem pretty straight-forward:8 or 9 small explosions took place early this morning in and around the Mahabodhi Temple today at least two foreign monks were injured (one Tibetan and one from Burma/Myanmar) no one was killed one person has been detained by police for questioning Immediate response from the Bauddh Commune International (local Buddhist group) was a peace vigilYou can watch IBN's latest … [Read more...]

Understanding Buddhist Death


My friends and colleagues at the University of Bristol Department of Religion and Theology have launched a project aimed at creating resources for chaplains, teachers and students for understanding the meanings and practices around death in Buddhism.Here is a video introducing the project:   The project creators request your feedback on the project. Click here: "Understanding Buddhist Death" and check out the pages or click on some of the chants or check out our galleries and  flickr pages. … [Read more...]

A short message from Kermit the Frog and the Dalai Lama

kermit the frog dalai lama quote

That is all. If you'd like further reading, try: Kraft, Kenneth. Inner Peace, World Peace: Essays on Buddhism and Non-violence. Albany: State University of New York, 1992. … [Read more...]

Buddhism’s Dalai Lama nods to Secular Ethics

Dalai Lama - meditating before Jesus

While murder, bullying, exploitation and scandal regularly make news, when thousands of children receive their mother’s care and affection every day it isn't reported because we take it for granted. We may be subject to negative emotions, but it’s possible to keep them under control, to cultivate a sense of emotional hygiene, on the basis of human values that are rooted in that affection - what I call secular ethics. - H.H. the Dalai LamaPatheos is currently inviting writers to submit "What D … [Read more...]

Buddhists for Same Sex Marriage!

Buddhists for same sex marriage! England.

(June 5 update: VICTORY! The Peers, as they're called, in the House of Lords voted in support of marriage equality by 390 to 148 votes, a majority of 242.) And a July 17 update: the bill is now LAW with the Queen's approval.Today Britain's House of Lords is set to debate a bill which would grant equality to same-sex marriages. "The legislation being debated would enact marriage equality in England and Wales, allowing Britons the right to marry their same-sex partner. Parliament's other c … [Read more...]

Buddhists, Books, and Technology

Burma - Rangoon 2011 - young monk with a game

The Huffington Post has a good article out today on Buddhism and technology: Om Mani iPadme Hum: Why Buddhists Get Technology.According to Joyce Morgan, the author: Printing is one of humanity's great four inventions (together with paper, gunpowder and the compass).In the West, it helped spread literacy and ushered in the Enlightenment. In the East, seekers after another form of enlightenment were instrumental in its spread. Buddhist monks grasped the value of the rapid reproduction of … [Read more...]

Blogging Buddhist Ethics


One of my new year's resolutions this year was to focus more clearly and fully on my phd work, including here at this blog. 26 days in, and I'm ready to start (procrastination is okay).Where were we? Oh yes, Buddhist Ethics.To put it succinctly, I'm re-evaluating Buddhist ethics and comparing it to Kantian ethics. This is difficult because Buddhist ethics is very difficult to pin down: do we mean sila? Vinaya? Everything suggested as kusala? To simplify things I just work on the Pali Cano … [Read more...]