Socrates, Buddha and Kant on Morality

All three of these great philosophers seem to share the same opinion regarding the hierarchy of morality and religion: morality clearly comes first. Religion is merely our attempt to describe it, to teach it, to point to it (as the finger to the moon).Socrates with his interlocutor from the Euthyphro:Soc. Ought we to enquire into the truth of this, Euthyphro, or simply to accept the mere statement on our own authority and that of others? What do you say? Euth. We should enquire; and I believe … [Read more...]

Review of Bodhipaksa’s “Still the Mind”

* Full disclosure: Bodhipaksa was my first meditation teacher, way back in 2000-2002, when he taught at The University of Montana and the Rocky Mountain Buddhist Center. I also worked with him in the early days of and am currently a contributor to the blog there (so yea, I might be a bit biased).Whether it was yesterday or years ago, most us have seen an image of the Buddha, or of someone meditating. These images of peace, calm, and happiness often have the power to stop our mind … [Read more...]

Must. Put. Away…. Camera.

Dani and Marga at breakfast in the small town of Anaconda, MT (Sunday before Memorial day, 2009)Today I went back in to my workplace, where I now only work about 5 hrs a week (down from 25, gasp), and spontaneously burst into song as I entered. My boss commented upon this and my otherwise (somewhat newly) cheerful manner with some happy surprise.Insert Gratitude:I'm very thankful that I have the ability to step away from work that was wearing me out and taking me too much away from my primary … [Read more...]

Basil, lilacs, and sun.Saturday morning I rose early, around 5am, to watch the sunrise from the sun porch at my new place. I'm not much of a morning person, typically, but on days like this I wish I were. Nonetheless I was grateful for the opportunity to pretend to be one, even if only for one day.The crispness and the quiet of the morning is something to be cherished. The calm of the world helps calm the mind - or it allows the mind to see just how chaotic it has become. That was the case for … [Read more...]

Mornings in May: A Rededication to Studies

My friend Margaret recently wrote a lovely poem about enjoying an evening on her balcony on the Mediterranean island of Gozo, Malta. I was reminded both of a sort of stream-of-consciousness quasi-poem I wrote in March and of the richness borne of mindful watching and listening. And I lamented slightly, that this richness which grows deeper with practice has been somewhat missing in my life of late.So the most difficult thing is always to keep your beginner's mind. There isno need to have a … [Read more...]

Two cool resources

I owe the first to Will Harryman of Integral Options Cafe.It is - filled with great up to date and interdisciplinary (i.e. interesting) videos and papers examining Buddhism.The second I owe to my friend Matt, with whom I have been studying Pali and the Metta Sutta for the last 4 months or so.That one is - an incredibly detailed and interactive study of the Metta Sutta. Brilliant. Simply brilliant. As Matt … [Read more...]

The Little Things

Missing London. Next week there is a lecture on religion in the "Old Theatre," of the "Old building," at the London School of Economics. England is Old. There is a certain ineffable charm to that oldness.And then there is Montana. Old too, but in a different way. Geologically. One feels the age of the earth here far more than the age of civilization.The same sun sets and the same moon rises. … [Read more...]

UK Kant Society Meeting in August

Should I go? The program looks incredible: featured will be at least one of my Kant heroes, Onora O'Neill. We'll see. Perhaps by mid-June I'll have a confidently large body of work and can come back to London for my M.Phil upgrade (which basically means presenting a completed chapter and further outlines to my two advisors in London). It's a bit earlier than I had been shooting for, roughly September/October, but it's in the ballpark.Plus it would mean lots of … [Read more...]