Thich Nhat Hanh’s remarkable recovery shows that “everything is possible”

Thich Nhat Hanh by Geoff Livingston CC flickr

In their most recent update, the  Monks and Nuns of Plum Village have great news regarding Thich Nhat Hanh's continuing improvement:We are happy to report that Thay’s health has improved greatly since he returned to his Plum Village Hermitage in early April. Every day Thay has been out in nature, enjoying the blossoms, listening to the birds and resting at the foot of a tree. Thay enjoys lying in his hammock next to the running creek, in the fresh cool of the bamboo grove he planted more th … [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...]

Thich Nhat Hanh is home at Plum Village following his November stroke and rehab

Thich Nhat Hanh in Paris, 2006

Following on from a series of ever-improving health updates, Plum Village announced today that Thay has continued to heal, spending time outdoors in recent weeks and this week returning to his hermitage at Plum Village:Thay expressed his clear wish to return home, and arrived on Friday April 3, in time to enjoy the beautiful magnolia blossoms and the first spring leaves as they unfurl. We are all very glad that Thay can come back to his spiritual home, where his devoted team of monastic at … [Read more...]

Book Review: “The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender”

The Way of Tenderness Awakening Through Race, Sexuality and Gender- closeup

THIS IS A BOOK THAT CAN TEACH US ALL.These words grace the back cover of The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality and Gender.And Tanya McGinnity of Full Contact Enlightenment put it equally well when she wrote:"This book by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel is essential reading for all Buddhists. Essential."Both statements are absolutely true.As are the several lines of advanced praise in the book's opening pages, from American Buddhist greats including Jan Willis, author … [Read more...]

“Why am I here?” – a post-event interview with veteran journalist and university teacher, Eileen Flynn


Wrapping up what has been an unexpectedly interview-filled month here at American Buddhist Perspectives, I am pleased to present Eileen Flynn, who co-moderated last week’s interfaith panel on the topic of “why am I here?” Video from the event should be up at on March 1st.  My hope is that between this interview and the earlier one with Rev. Dr. David Zuniga, more people will go see the video and feel encouraged to start conversations like this in their own communities.  So, getting … [Read more...]

UPDATED: Thich Nhat Hanh drinks tea, smiles in rehab

Thich Nhat Hanh by Geoff Livingston CC flickr

UPDATE: As happened back in November, an unofficial update seems to have gone out and made the rounds before Plum Village's official health update for Thay.This time, however, the message is the same: Thich Nhat Hanh continues his progress in the hospital.Second UPDATE: the earlier, unofficial update from, which is listed as an initiative of Plum Village, has been removed. The later official update remains in place at ~ An announcement dated February 3rd an … [Read more...]

“Why am I here?” – an interview with Zen priest and interfaith dialogue participant, Rev. Dr. David Zuniga


Last week I caught wind of an event with a very intriguing title "Why Am I Here? An Austin Interfaith Dialogue" and an even more interesting set of speakers representing Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Zen Buddhism. Very happily, I was able to get in touch with Rev. Dr. David Zuniga, who will represent Zen in the discussion and arranged an interview on the topic.I sat down (via email) over the weekend to discuss the upcoming event:First, thank you for taking the time to do this, David. … [Read more...]

Ethics in American Buddhist Groups: Free Webinars

olive branch buddhist ethics webinar

Starting tomorrow, January 27, An Olive Branch will offer free online seminars "to increase awareness and adoption of ethics statements within Buddhist communities in the U.S."  They continue: The scope of the term “ethics” includes all aspects of ethical behavior such as student-teacher relationships, handling money, and power dynamics. “Buddhist communities” includes all schools and traditions practicing in the U.S.Each webinar will be presented by a prominent teacher, practitioner, or exp … [Read more...]