Buddha in the Classroom: A little Zen for the Workplace

buddha in the classroom2

Subtitled: “Zen Wisdom to Inspire Teachers,” this is a book filled with much more than just “Zen” wisdom and it will surely inspire pretty much anyone who reads it. “The Burned-Out Professor.” To be fair, some of my appreciation for the book is purely selfish: the book feels like it was written specifically for me. The author, Donna Quesada, is a philosophy professor in California, a Buddhist, a yoga instructor, a connoisseur of world-wisdom, and a watcher of a good movies. She tells us t … [Read more...]

Buddhism and Modernity: Conversations at the Edge, all three panels [Video]

Today the Mangalam Research Center posted video of a post-conference seminar following the June 3-7 Mindfulness & Compassion conference at San Francisco State University. The topic, "Buddhism and Modernity: Conversations at the Edge," drew a variety of responses from top academics in Buddhist studies and philosophy, psychologists, practitioners, and others. Below are the videos with brief notes and impressions. Panel 1: Buddhist Philosophy and the perennial concerns of Western p … [Read more...]

The philosopher Kant might have been skeptical of modern Mindfulness

Kant and the Buddha

One of the great joys of doing philosophy is drawing the great minds of the past into contemporary conversations. As we do this we attempt to step outside ourselves, in a sense, to broaden our perspective. As a student of the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), I have also been amazed by the ways in which his ideas have been brought into contemporary conversations over the past 200 years. Kant Scholarship Scholarship on Kant has taken an exciting turn over the last decade or … [Read more...]

Phenomenology as a doorway into Indian Philosophy

India, Mughal Art. Photo by Nathan Hughes Hamilton (flickr C.C.)

The Journal of the British Society of Phenomenology has announced a selection of free articles from past issues.Included, along with heavyweights of the Western phenomenological tradition such as Nancy, Lyotard, Gadamer, Sartre, Warnock, Heidegger and Husserl, is J.N. Mohanty's “Phenomenology and Indian Philosophy: The Concept of Rationality”, Vol. 19, No. 3, 1988, pp. 269-281. (direct link here)In the paper Mohanty shows the struggles we face in understanding non-Western philosophies. Th … [Read more...]

All Good Intentions: But does Sam Harris have what it takes to be Buddhist?

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A guest post by Marek Sullivan:The recent email scuffle between linguistics professor and political commentator Noam Chomsky, and atheist neuroscientist Sam Harris has brought to light the severity of Harris’s emphasis on intention as the ultimate moral parameter in questions of military ethics. According to Harris, “Ethically speaking, intention is (nearly) the whole story.” This is how he can claim that Bill Clinton and Osama Bin Laden live “in a different moral universe entirely,” or elsew … [Read more...]

Buddhist mindfulness, morality, and Protestant presumptions

Achahn Chuen meditation; on a beach near Traverse City, MI (photo by Brian Ambrozy, flickr C.C.)

In case you've been living under a rock, mindfulness is all the rage these days. Since January I have filed away nearly every story on or popular mention of 'mindfulness' that crossed my path. At current, I'm at 43 links and I'm certain it's just a drop in the bucket of what's out there. I have a lawyer in Florida explaining "Mindfulness: What it is and how it helps" a Cosmopolitan article explaining (above a picture of Jennifer Aniston): Jo Usmar, Cosmo's ex-Sex and the Not So Single Girl, has … [Read more...]

Žižek points us to the dark side of Buddhism, again

Screenshot from Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter ... and Spring

This week The Guardian published a selection of short essays titled, "I watch therefore I am: seven movies that teach us key philosophy lessons." The newspaper deserves great praise for bringing together a wonderful variety of philosophers to draw our attention to the moral and epistemological issues in films. Greats like Julian Baggini, who I had the fortune of seeing with Owen Flanagan and Tim Lott last spring (video), Christine Korsgaard, an exemplary Kant scholar and philosopher in her own r … [Read more...]

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

Religious Studies textbooks

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...]