Your Summer in a Chinese Buddhist Monastery – Woodenfish HBMLP in China

In 2009 I traveled to China to experience Chinese Buddhist monastic life and learn about the practice, philosophy, and history unique to Chan/Zen Buddhism. Back then, it was focused mostly on graduate students in Buddhism or Chinese culture/religion/history but it has since grown in size and scope to look a bit like the program that was then run separately at Fo Guang Shan monastery in southern Taiwan.My experience with the 2009 program was so positive that I applied for and participated in t … [Read more...]

Among the Sangha: An African American Buddhist in the Zendo

Today I am again honored to share another wonderful guest post in our ongoing series of expanding perspectives on race and diversity in American Buddhism. Recent posts include yesterday’s "Crossing the Great Divides in U.S. Buddhism" by Mushim (Patricia) Ikeda, Wednesday's (forthcoming) book excerpt from Lama Choyin Rangdrol, “African American Buddhism…” an interview discussing emerging voices in the Western Buddhist world, the Tibetan Feminist Collective, and two excellent academic pieces that s … [Read more...]

Buddhist Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh returns to Plum Village after US treatment

Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) has returned to his adoptive home monastery in southern France after six month in the United States to receive specialist care after his stroke in November 2014. As written in an update today by the Monks and Nuns of Plum Village: Since the dawn of the New Year, Thay has very clearly communicated to us a wish to return to his hermitage in Plum Village, France. Thay is satisfied with the progress he has made so far, thanks to the phenomenal care and attention of the … [Read more...]

A Christmas Eve health update on Thich Nhat Hanh

The monastics at Plum Village have issued a new update today on the health of Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay). They are in the midst of an annual three-month Winter Retreat. Thay is joining the monastics in regular activities, including sitting meditations. Despite noting his "remarkable progress" in June, they write today:  Sadly, at this time, Thay has made only slight improvements and is still unable to speak. He continues to sing with us, and is making more and more recognizable words whenever we s … [Read more...]

Buddha in the Classroom: A little Zen for the Workplace

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...]

Happy Bodhi Day (Rohatsu)!

Today is the day that Japanese Zen schools celebrate Rohatsu, also known as the Buddha’s enlightenment day (Japanese: Jōdō-e, 成道会). Many Zen Buddhists mark this day often the week leading up to it with diligent practice, as James Ford (from Monkey Mind) did in 2013; and here's his post-Rohatsu sesshin post from that year as well as his post today in which he recounts the awakening of the Buddha thus:So, Gautama decides if there is truth to be known, it must be found in our human body, and it … [Read more...]

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

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

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...]


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