Unplugging, or “practicing mindfulness in the desert”

I'm off tomorrow for a week off the grid. Or, more truthfully, about 3.5 days of driving and camping with 3.5 days trekking through some of the remoter gullies and gulches of southern Utah with three good friends and three soon-to-be good friends.Mindfulness will be on the menu, though it is a hard thing to avoid when your life is on your back, the sun is hot overhead, and one missed step could mean a sprained ankle (or worse) and hours, if not days, of pain. Once you get the basic … [Read more...]

Buddhism and Health: Illuminating the Spectrum of Therapies

A guest post by Pierce Salguero About two months ago, we began to notice a new presence on the streets of Philadelphia’s Chinatown. A cadre of volunteers in red and gold jackets was hitting the pavement, handing out fliers in English and Chinese to announce the arrival of a new organization called Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door. Their glossy color fliers announce a “practical Buddhist approach to alleviating suffering and making life better.” Through the “effective and systematic” practices of sutra … [Read more...]

Pain and Freedom: A Buddhist’s Meditation Journey

By Daniel D. Woo (© 2016)  Saturday, January 30, I attended an all-day retreat at the Seattle Insight Meditation Center (http://seattleinsight.org/About/Who...) led by two teachers in the Insight Meditation lineages.In addition to several 30 minutes unguided silent sitting meditations, the teachers had the participants practice two self-inquiry walking meditations. The first one required contemplating two questions during 30 minutes of mindful walking:(1) Where is my physical … [Read more...]

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...]

Mindfulness: the single most impactful aspect of Buddhism in America

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...]

World Compassion and Vegan day – via the Jain eLibrary

One of my favorite non-Buddhist religions to teach and to study is Jainism, which is a bit like Buddhist asceticism on steroids. Jains also share a deep respect for non-human animals and generally act on that in compassionate ways that put most other religions to shame. The religion is small, limited mostly to India, though there are Jains all over the world, so they rarely get much press. Yesterday I received the following newsletter from a Jain list I am on and I thought I'd pass it on to you … [Read more...]

16 Guides to a healthy, eco-consious, non-harming 2014 from the Jain eLibrary (Videos)

Members of the Jain Education Committee (www.jainelibrary.org) have suggested the following list as a guide to life, well, mainly eating, in 2014.For those who don't know, Jainism (pronounced Jane-ism or more often Jine-ism or something like Ja-een-ism) is something of a brother-religion to Buddhism, the major founder (or re-founder) being an older contemporary of the Buddha himself. Both religions branched off from Brahmanism (or proto-Hinduism), becoming separate chapters in our … [Read more...]

Two more must-reads on Buddhism and Aaron Alexis/the Navy Yard Shooting

As with any human tragedy of this kind, there are countless angles or perspectives from which to view and discuss the shootings earlier this week. In this post and the next I'll highlight four that I found particularly useful. The first two draw our attention to our religious stereotyping of both Buddhism and Islam:Navy Yard shooting puts Buddhism in spotlight: Column by Stephen Prothero. Prothero is a professor in Boston University's religion department and author of several books on … [Read more...]


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