Can Western Appropriation of Buddhism, Mindfulness, and Yoga be Good?

As Buddhism continues to mature in the Western world, we are currently seeing an explosion of one particular aspect of the religion: mindfulness. As we look at the growth of mindfulness practice today, along with its relationship to various forms of Buddhism in the West and around the world, it is often helpful to look at a similar "Eastern" practice that has taken up roots in the West: yoga.I put "Eastern" in scare quotes because some writing has recently suggested that what we c … [Read more...]

What is Attention? Can Mindfulness Help? See “The Science of Meditation” Summit

I am fortunate enough to have a tiny bit of spare time now to tune in to Shambhala Mountain's wonderful summit on "The Science of Meditation" with presenters ranging from the wonderful Susan Piver to Patheos contributor Rick Hansen and a list of the who's who of meditation, mindfulness, and Buddhism research and practice. If I understand correctly, the videos from every day will be up and available to the public for two full days, so the one below, for instance, will still be available until … [Read more...]

The Dalai Lama’s Doctor – Buddhist advice on Forgiveness

Barry Kerzin is an extraordinary person. A medical doctor, a philosopher, and a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He has been featured on PBS advocating for more compassion in medicine and has given two TED talks, one on happiness and the other on compassion and anger management. Today he writes on forgiveness: At one level, forgiveness means you shouldn’t develop feelings of revenge. Revenge harms the other person. It is a form of violence and usually leads to counter-violence – so the problem never goes … [Read more...]

For the love of running and mindfulness (my ON BEING interview)

When I was 15 or 16 I went to the hospital for a physical. The doctor looked me over - basically healthy, okay. Then he looked at my feet, grimaced a bit, and proclaimed, "you'll never be a runner with these."I took it as gospel truth at the time, but soon after began at least trying to run with my older sister who was a competitive cross-country runner in her high school days. And run I did. My very low arches (not quite flat feet) have caused me some difficulty here and there, but through a … [Read more...]

“Health” in the Buddhism and Science Dialogue

Guest post by Kin Cheung In the current dialogue between Buddhist traditions and the sciences—an engagement dominated by Tibetan and Zen Buddhists on one side and psychologists and neuroscientists on the other—the subject of health is featured prominently. However, despite the shared term, participants aren’t actually talking about the same thing.Early proponents of the Buddhism-science dialogue, like Paul Ekman, Richard Davidson, Matthieu Ricard, and Alan Wallace, have focused on the theme … [Read more...]

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...]