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...]

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...]

Mindfulness, Buddhism, and Philosophy, for the love of language, and the limits of language

One of the highlights of the recent Mindfulness, MOOCs, and Money in Higher Education conference at Naropa University (March 18-21) was a small break-out session led by Carrie Bergman of The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society. We were joined by two Naropa faculty, Susan Burggraf and Cynthia Kneen (who co-founded Naropa and happens to be a classically trained clown), an undergraduate independent scholar from Amherst College named Vivian Mac, and James Rhem, Executive Director of the Nat … [Read more...]

Mindfulness, MOOCs, and Money in Higher Education: or “how to overthrow the system”

Today was our first full day (of only two full days) at the Mindfulness, MOOCs, and Money conference held in Boulder, CO at Naropa University. And, as one should expect after 10 hours of workshops, conversations, and lectures, I am far from being done in terms of digesting the day. That said, some notes:The day began with an "Opening Gathering" where we explored some of the backgrounds and identities that we are bringing to the conference. In general, we were white, cis, and middle-class. … [Read more...]

Mindfulness, MOOCs, and Money in Higher Education

For the next three days I will be in Boulder CO at the Mindfulness, MOOCs, and Money in Higher Education conference hosted by Naropa University. Come say hello if you see me.Tonight we had the opening panel discussion, where a number of the questions facing us over the next few days were raised:What should education be, and how does contemplative thought/study fit in? How can contemplative educators engage in decisions being made in Higher Education? What do we/they have to offer? Ho … [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...]

Meditation Olympics – the winner might surprise you

Capitalizing on the ongoing surge in mindfulness popularity, comedian, actor, and motivational speaker Kyle Cease has produced a witty look into meditation in the contemporary world. Borrowing the last name of my favorite figure skater, Kyle co-comments on an Olympics-styled competition between three meditators:An average Joe, just starting out (rather strangely said to be from Bangladesh) A super-metaphysical gadget-laiden hippyesque woman, and An Asian clad with all of the Western … [Read more...]

“Turn Down for What?” & Buddhism – an intro for the modern world

This is from a while ago, but as I was in India when it came out and Montana for most of the time since, I hope I can be forgiven for missing it. It's a short, pretty accurate introduction to Buddhism that might appeal to, say, college freshmen.I especially appreciated the Buddha's early life as being described in terms of having the ultimate "helicopter parents." Also useful was his use of a tablet gift to demonstrate the pervasive nature of suffering*. Either youdon't get it - and … [Read more...]


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