Buddhist Political Preferences (Reader poll, July-Aug reporting)

Last month I was too busy teaching, traveling, and doing a bit of meditation in China to write a report on the June-July readers survey of political preferences. In fact, I was a bit lax in publicizing the poll as well, which I think played a roll in the marked downturn in responses. With just 107 (self-selected, online, non-randomized) respondents and demographics roughly matching previous months' polls, we'll jump right to the question of which candidate each respondent most … [Read more...]

Major Sites of the Indus Valley (aka Sarasvati or Harappa) Civilization

Any survey of Buddhist history has to cover the great ancient civilization of India: the Indus Valley Civilization. Though little is known of the civilizations today, archaeologists and other scholars continue to unearth artifacts from the civilization and posit ever more extensive theories about the lives of people in the civilizations. The civilization flourished from approx 2600-1900 BCE, with earliest traces dating to 6500-6000 BCE and final developments ending around 1300 BCE.Despite … [Read more...]

Japanese Religion: Buddhism and Shintoism

In this wonderful short documentary, filmmaker Andrew Bush explores the two main religions of Japan: Buddhism and Shintoism. Through interviews with an American Zen Priest, Rick 'Jyozen' Beal, and a Japanese (Tendai) Buddhist Priest, Jokan Ono, Bush helps distinguish some of the overlapping and unique features of the religions in Japan today.The focus of the discussions is more on Buddhism, so to find out more on Shinto, you can watch this short video from the Asian Art Museum:Read more … [Read more...]

July Buddhist Political Affiliations and the 2016 US Presidential Race (Reader Poll)

I am currently in China, living in a Chan Buddhist monastery, just wrapping up a long silent retreat. I hear there have been some interesting things happening in the US political realm. Do tell. With all of my work here I have not had an opportunity to crunch the numbers from last month's (June/July) reader survey, but those results along with the results of this month's poll will be posted in early August.In the meantime, please fill out this month's survey and, as always, please help … [Read more...]

Tibetan Buddhist nuns make history with Geshema Degrees (Doctorates in Buddhist Philosophy)

From the Tibetan Nuns Project: Seattle, WA: Twenty Tibetan Buddhist nuns have just made history, becoming the first Tibetan women to successfully pass all the exams for the Geshema degree, equivalent to a Doctorate in Buddhist philosophy. Exam results were announced by the Department of Religion and Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration. All 20 candidates for the degree passed.Their success fulfills a longstanding wish of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and marks a new chapter in the … [Read more...]

“Health” in the Buddhism and Science Dialogue

Guest post by Kin Cheung In the current dialogue between Buddhist traditions and the sciences—an engagement dominated by Tibetan and Zen Buddhists on one side and psychologists and neuroscientists on the other—the subject of health is featured prominently. However, despite the shared term, participants aren’t actually talking about the same thing.Early proponents of the Buddhism-science dialogue, like Paul Ekman, Richard Davidson, Matthieu Ricard, and Alan Wallace, have focused on the theme … [Read more...]

Buddhist Political Affiliations and the 2016 US Presidential Race (Reader Poll)

It's time once again for another reader survey on US presidential politics. This one is up a bit later than previous months so will stay up until July 5th. Check back shortly after that for results.As always, thanks for filling in the survey and please spread the word via email/facebook/twitter/etc so that as many people see and take the survey as possible. Loading...Curious about the perils of polling in general? Read excerpts from a discussion of problems and promises from last … [Read more...]

Luke Wilson gives Jimmy Fallon the Shambhala pocket Chögyam Trungpa

Not exactly exuding praise, Wilson tells a story of stumbling across a little self-help shop in Canada, finding the book and ultimately being glad to get it off his hands: "I have had to read it a couple times... when I ran out of Sports Illustrated and stuff like that."Fallon offers us part of the entry, "Smile at Fear" (which, in full, is): When you are frightened by something, you have to relate with fear, explore why you are frightened, and develop some sense of conviction. You can … [Read more...]


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