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...]

In latest self-selected survey, Buddhists still love Bernie Sanders, favor Hillary Clinton even less than 3 months ago

Bernie Sanders still lags behind Hillary Clinton in pledged delegates (1415 to 1705 according to google; 1420 for Sanders according to FiveThirtyEight). With less than 1000 delegates to go in the coming primaries, most pundits are calling the contest for Clinton. And while Buddhists don't vote as a block or constitute a large population in coming state elections, it is worth watching continued developments in Buddhist presidential preference.Buddhist influence in the elections will, for … [Read more...]

“The Story of God” – Do Buddhists Believe in Miracles?

This is, once again, one of those questions that requires some clarification before an answer can be given. And even then, the answer will come with caveats. First, for Buddhists, the concept of 'miracle' wouldn't involve the intervention of a Creator God. If we were to use the term for Buddhists, we would make clear that what some Buddhists might consider 'miracles' could also be called 'supernormal', as opposed to 'supernatural'.  This is because Buddhist cosmology does not split the natural … [Read more...]

Buddhists talk Trump, George Takei urges Democrats to #VoteBlueNoMatterWho

The Buddhist Peace Fellowship recently hosted a conversation on the phenomenon of Donald Trump and the state of contemporary US Presidential Politics. The conversation features a wide range of topics, from fascism and anti-Trump rallies to solidarity and collective liberation; audio from the conversation can be downloaded here. You can also read their "5 Ways Buddhists Can Counter Trump’s Bigotry" and "Are Trump Protests A Collective Form of Boundary Setting?" by Katie Loncke. It's great to see B … [Read more...]

Buddhism, Politics, and the 2016 US Presidential Race (April/May Poll)

As April comes to a close and the leading candidates from both major parties widen their lead, it's time for yet another poll of Buddhist political leanings. If you've voted before, vote again! This process allows for longitudinal analysis (seeing how preferences change over time) alongside the monthly numbers.As noted last month, a new question seeks to differentiate between "cradle", "convert", and "sympathizer" Buddhists. As Wakoh Shannon Hickey wrote in 2010 (.pdf): If we want to … [Read more...]

“The Story of God” – A Buddhist Perspective on Evil

In this week's episode of "The Story of God" (airing May 1), Morgan Freeman explores the concept of evil. As with previous topics, apocalypse and creation, their is no perfect word for evil in the Asian languages of Buddhism. However, as with those concepts, when we tease them out, exploring their etymological and historical roots, we see that even in English and associated languages, these words can mean much more than we commonly take them to mean.Getting beyond the superficial, we find … [Read more...]


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