Settling into Online Meditation with Guideful

Mindfulness: Where We Are There is no escaping it. Mindfulness is everywhere these days. And while it hasn't hit the cultural saturation of meditation and yoga just yet, it is steadily on the rise (as shown in this Google NGRAM viewer, which goes through 2008):Mindfulness, while still lacking a single widely accepted definition, is a quality or skill being sought out more and more in today's fast-paced and heavily distracted world. The founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), … [Read more...]

Mindful education – teaching meditation to kids via Cartoon Network’s “Steven Universe”

"take a moment to think of just... flexibility, love and trust" Steven Universe is a coming-of-age cartoon featuring a boy (Steven) and his friends in a fantasy land of gems, aliens, and humanoids. All but two of the major characters are female, and the show premiered as Cartoon Network's first animated series created solely by a woman.The show's creator, Rebecca Sugar, has said that she intended to "tear down and play with the semiotics of gender in cartoons for children" because she c … [Read more...]

The importance of texts and their authenticity in Buddhism

Teaching, travels, an upcoming conference, and more exciting things are keeping me too busy at the moment to write everything I'd like to be writing at the moment. But a series about teaching Buddhism has been on my mind since the semester started and I'd like to at least start posting little notes, vignettes of a sort.This one is called, "The importance of texts and their authenticity in Buddhism." Texts Texts, as preservers of the word of the Buddha, have always been of profound … [Read more...]

Studying Philosophy or Religion? Two articles you should read and share today

As winter break wraps up and spring semester starts at colleges and universities across the country, more than a few students out there will be reconsidering their choice of majors, or at least dabbling in fun and interesting classes outside their department. While a number of classes may come highly recommended, two courses that really must be taken by any student today are an Introduction to World Religions and an introductory Philosophy course, which come under many names:"World … [Read more...]

Buddhism dominates Western States behind Christianity

Last month the Washington Post published an article* illustrating religion in America today with maps like the one below. If you're interested in the composition of religion in America today, I highly recommend reading it. The data used to created them is from the ASARB, the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies. That site, which provides downloadable data going back to 1952, is also excellent. Those curious about obscure facts and figures will have a field day there. Just … [Read more...]

Happy World Teacher’s Day

It is hard to know where to begin when I think of all of the teachers who have made a positive impact on my life. I can still remember the names of all of my grade-school teachers: Ms. Sharp, Ms. Briggs, Mr. Rodriquez, Ms. Biggs, and Mr. Hanson, along with my music/windsurfing (windsurfing in Montana on a literal pond... not exotic. plus I got an ear infection that took me out for several days) teacher Darcy Schultz (I remember her first name because it was the same as the last name of my grade … [Read more...]

How Reza Aslan made a book about religion a best-seller and what we can learn from it

As an educator in religious studies I was intrigued by Reza Aslan's book Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth when I first heard about it 2 or 3 weeks ago. I listened to a couple interviews (NPR and HuffPo) and thought, "this is interesting enough, but I don't know if a) this is really groundbreaking work, or b) this is sound scholarship."So I asked some scholars closer to the field and received at best lukewarm responses. I'm not an expert, I haven't read the book, and this is a … [Read more...]

Tiptoeing into Ramadan: a Buddhist’s experience of Islam’s holy month

As I mentioned in my last post, this Ramadan I will be joining in The Fasting Project, initiated by Dilshad Ali, the editor for the Muslim Channel here at Patheos and the writer of Muslimah Next Door. I have been paired up with (for support, advice, etc.) Hind Makki of Hindrospectives and she has kindly assembled a handful of informative links and resources to get me started:Last year, I blogged a "Ramadansies" version of my Linksies, with tips on staying healthy and hydrated, FAQs on fa … [Read more...]