Buddhist Political Preferences Poll Extended to June 5

With just over 200 responses thus far, this month's Buddhist Political Preferences online poll is already shaping up to be quite interesting.Some notes thus far: it seems to be the most equally balanced in the age ranges so far. There is still an overwhelming over-representation of white/Caucasian identified Buddhists as well as males and those identifying as converts and sympathizers as opposed to "cradle" Buddhists (those raised by a Buddhist family). While it's likely that no particular … [Read more...]

Zen Buddhist teacher Dogen: “The Greatest Philosopher You’ve Never Heard Of”

Writing for NPR today, Adam Frank introduces us to Eihei Dōgen. Dōgen was a thirteenth century Japanese Buddhist thinker and founder of Sōtō Zen. And Frank is an astrophysicist teaching at the University of Rochester. Why would a 21st century astrophysicist be praising a long-dead Japanese guy as a "philosopher"?As Frank writes, "it doesn't do much good imagining that Europe cornered the market on creative thinking about being human." He, like me, my friend Amod Lele, and a lot of other fol … [Read more...]

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

Another end-of-the-month, and another sampling of Buddhist political leanings for the 2016 US Presidential race.This month's poll has been updated with Nichiren as a choice for Buddhist type/school and, for the first time, has only one Republican choice. It has been kindly brought to my attention that results of the poll should be taken with a grain, or lump, of salt. This is not a random sampling, which itself is imperfect for understanding a population, but is an online survey, which … [Read more...]

The Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness: 8 Helpful Tips

A guest post from Janet Miller You don’t have to be a Buddhist (or a hippy) to practice mindfulness, and you don’t have to spend hours sitting on the floor in meditation. Practicing mindfulness is simply bringing awareness to yourself and your existence. By practicing mindfulness in your life, you can feel more focused, less stressed, and more happy. Here are eight ways to introduce mindfulness into your life.1. Mindful BreathingThe breath is a common object of meditation, and a grea … [Read more...]

On Modern Mindfulness, Buddhism, and Social Ethics

There is much about mindfulness being published these days: studies, meta-studies, mega-studies, maha-megha-studies (bad Buddhist studies joke). And then there are the opinion pieces; "We're all doomed. Mindfulness? Humph!"As I mentioned in my introduction to Doug Smith's recent article here, what we are seeing is the growth of a discussion, a dialogue. And as with many early discussions with disparate parties, it can sound a bit "noisy", and sometimes well-meaning people who are quite close … [Read more...]

On Some Criticisms of Modern Mindfulness

A guest post by Doug Smith (originally posted at the Secular Buddhist Association here).Editor's note: As a philosopher working primarily in Buddhist ethics, my attention has been turned in the last 3 years or so to the topic of "mindfulness." This started with an excellent call of warning published by Ron Purser and David Loy (written about here). Mindfulness has continued its journey since then, and as much as it has created an economy of its own--mindfulness teachers, seminars, wisdom 2.0 … [Read more...]

Getting Buddhist Philosophy (and other non-Western thought) into the academy

Last Wednesday, Jay Garfield (who I wrote about in 2013) and Bryan Van Norden published an op-ed in the NYTimes calling for the renaming of university "Philosophy" departments to something like "Western or Anglo-American philosophy departments" so long as they refuse or fail to incorporate philosophy from outside of the Western world (or even a particularly circumscribed section of the Western world). They write: Given the importance of non-European traditions in both the history of world … [Read more...]

Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche gives Morgan Freeman the Buddhist “shortcut” teachings for happiness

We need to care, love and respect each other, that's the source of happiness. ~Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche.Read my full review of the "Story of God" episode on miracles here. … [Read more...]


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