What, if anything, is Buddhism?

This title comes from a fascinating somewhat recent paper by UCLA's Jonathan Silk, one of the great Buddhologists of our time. That paper is titled, "What, If Anything, Is Mahāyāna Buddhism? Problems of Definitions and Classifications" (Numen, Vol. 49, No. 4 (2002), pp. 355-405).It brings to light the issue of defining our subject area and the amazing difficulties therein. One of my great pleasures over the last three years has been serving on the committee for an American Academy of R … [Read more...]

Caring for Your Introvert

Many thanks to Miss Vesper for passing this along, re: a recent post of mine. As I mentioned in the post, I'm an introvert, no doubt about it. Reading this article - about me - raised about as many 'wow - so true!' moments as when I first read about Borderline Personality Disorder in regard to a past relationship.Like Borderlines, Introverts are a surprisingly large and misunderstood segment of our society.Reading this article, happily titled "Caring for your Introvert" I couldn't help … [Read more...]

Committment to our tradition, acceptance of others

I am reading the excellent article, "Acceptance of the Other as a Similarly Valid Path and awareness of One’s Self-Culpability: A Deepening Realization of My Religious Identity through Dialogue" by Kenneth K. Tanaka of Musashino University. (Buddhist-Christian Studies, 2005)In it he talks about encountering a Christian scholar at the typically very liberal INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST-CHRISTIAN THEOLOGICAL ENCOUNTER who, after some thought, admitted that her faith meant that she believed that he ( … [Read more...]

Buddhist Audio, Theravada

Dharma Audio, Audio DharmaIn case you didn't know, there is an AMAZING proliferation of dharma-audio on the web these days. An attempt to catalog all of the sites offering hours and hours of wonderful talks, chanting, and discussion, even in just one tradition, is well beyond me at this time.However, I will send you off for a taste with three wonderful websites:Audiodharma.org - This site focuses on the talks of Gil Fronsdal, at the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, CA. It also … [Read more...]

Alone on a Saturday night – the world of a Buddhist academic

It has been all too rare lately that I have been reminded of just how much of a recluse I am at heart. I love being alone.I remember having a conversation years ago with my friend Patia about this and she told me, "your an introvert." Her theory, which I think is correct, was that if you get energy more from being around people, then you're an extrovert. If you get energy more from your alone time, you're an introvert.Of course introverts love being around people at times, and extroverts love … [Read more...]

Cool new Philosophy Radio resource

For those who don't know, I love radio. The same way some odd people love poetry or shoes (kidding, of course). One of my favorite possessions is my (replica) Emerson woodbox single-speaker radio with the big 5 inch diameter analog tuning dial. I haven't owned a TV for about 4 years and the one I had then was strictly for movies.I also worked for 4 years in the radio industry, both commercial and non-profit. For a couple years I co-hosted a relatively political popular talk show, "Mouth off … [Read more...]

Current research update

(Post deleted)This post had a lot to do with a proposal for an AAR presentation at next year's Annual Meeting. The presentations are judged and selected on a blind peer-review basis and, after some thought I decided I should remove the post in the very unlikely chance that one of the reviewers might stumble across my post between now and when the presentations are selected. I do not wish to upset the process by removing the anonymity of my proposal.I'll re-post this and other work related to … [Read more...]

Gratitude Journal

Time again (well past time in fact) for another collection of thoughts on gratitude....Twitter - of all things... I worried it would be too much a repository for people's mundane crap lives (like these silly blogs, hehe), but I'm actually finding good nuggets, links, and more.Still plenty of moments of brevity though, as I read tonight my old meditation teacher note how an item he had just purchased was now just "$1.69, WTF!"Silent space - For three weeks I'll be house-sitting for my friend, … [Read more...]