David Bowie’s fascination with Tibet and Buddhism


With the very sad passing of the great David Bowie, tributes have poured in from around the world. Bowie, as the NYTimes writes, "Transcended Music, Art and Fashion." Among them a number have noted his youthful connections with Buddhism, which was growing in popularity in the England of the 1960s. Of particular interest is an in-depth blog dedicated to the songs of Bowie, aptly named "Pushing Ahead of the Dame: David Bowie, song by song." In one post there, the author, Chris O'Leary, recounts … [Read more...]

What is Buddhist Medicine?


By Pierce SalgueroRecently, I invited my Facebook friends to submit questions on the topic of Buddhism and medicine. I collated the questions together, and wrote the brief responses below….Is there such a thing as “Buddhist medicine”? Is medicine really something central to Buddhism? How did medicine influence Buddhism? Every Buddhist tradition of which I am aware has something to say about illness, health, and healing. An interest in the mind-body relationship and its relationship to … [Read more...]

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

Thich Nhat Hanh -plum village 2016

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...]

Race Matters in Buddhist Communities


Editor's note: This is the second of two posts this week on race in American Buddhist communities. It occurred to me that both of our wonderful authors, Ann and Craig are both white, as am I, and as are most of my readers - at least the ones I've gotten to know over the years. So while I am very happy to see this conversation happening and growing, I want to see the discussion opening up across racial lines as Craig suggests here. I know Ann invited one African American colleague who could not co … [Read more...]

Reddit’s Buddhism page bans support of the New Kadampa Tradition

martin_mills_SOAS lecture 2014

The popular Buddhism section of Reddit, known as the front page of the internet, last week banned all content relating to the New Kadampa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. This, the editors say, is in response to complaints over the quality of the Buddhism section of the site. Specifically addressing the NKT ban, they write:Why is content related to the New Kadampa Tradition now banned? Following recent news confirming conspiracy theories and speculation for years that the NKT is financially … [Read more...]

BREAKING: major earthquake hits India/Burma (Myanmar) region


UPDATE: as of 11pm EST (Jan 3), 6 people are reported to have died in the quake and at least 50 have been injured.Jan 4 update: the latest report is that 13 people have died in Manipur, India and search and rescue operations are ongoing, but these are difficult because communications and infrastructure have been badly damaged or lost in many areas. Still no word on villages across the boarder in Burma/Myanmar. No reports of injuries have come in from nearby Bangladesh or Bhutan … [Read more...]

The Dukkha of Racism: Racial Inclusion and Justice in American Convert Buddhism

embody fierce compassion

Editor's note: I'm delighted to host guest-posts dealing with Race in American Buddhist communities. The first, by the above title, is by Dr. Ann Gleig, a researcher working on a variety of issues in contemporary Buddhism including race, gender, psychology and philosophy. Keep an eye out for a second post later this week. On July 1 2015, a website titled “Buddhists for Racial Justice” started circulating across Buddhist social media. It included an open letter that spoke of the deep sadness at t … [Read more...]

Mindfulness: the single most impactful aspect of Buddhism in America

mindful books

In an intriguing recent lecture, scholar of Western Buddhism Jeff Wilson makes the claim that mindfulness is, in fact, Buddhism's largest single impact on North America. The evidence is more than compelling: from books by Congressman Tim Ryan (A Mindful Nation) and Google's "Jolly Good Fellow" Chade-Meng Tan (Search Inside Yourself) - shown meeting President Obama - to news reports in nearly every major media outlet and new movements to get mindfulness practice into schools, medicine, police … [Read more...]