Tibetan Refugee Soccer Team denied visas to United States

A Tibetan Women’s Soccer team based in India has been denied visas to the United States, raising concerns about our country’s level of support for Tibetans and others under contested Chinese rule. Cassie Childers, a coach for the team, said that they were told at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi that they “have no good reason to visit the U.S.” The team had been invited to play in Dallas and until recently, the travel would have been business as… Read more

The Nature of Reality: Buddhist Scholar Alan Wallace in dialogue with Physicist Sean Carroll

During my undergraduate studies in philosophy at the University of Montana, I took a ‘capstone’ class on Philosophy of Mind. We started with Descartes, setting out the direction that Western thinkers would take: the problem of mind (immaterial, without spatial relations) and body (material, spatially located) interacting with one another. This is the “mind-body problem” and it vexed Descartes 400 years ago and it vexes those who look deeply into it today. The “problem” is not only in regard to… Read more

Psychologists test the Dalai Lama’s teaching on Compassion, and it works

Anyone in a relationship knows that it feels good to do something nice for your significant other. In fact, in general, it just feels good to give. Theorists have posited a spectrum of reasons why this is so, from the “egoist” position that we only give in hope of receiving back to accounts that suggest that “we” are merely giving to support similar genetic material or to strengthen social bonds. The Dalai Lama’s famous quote (or paraphrase) is that “If… Read more

In the Obituary of a Tibetan Buddhism scholar, some ominous words

The obituary for Elliot Sperling begins as most do, noting the peaks of the man’s life: 66 years of vitality, a MacArthur (genius) Fellowship, and a reshaping of our understanding of Sino-Tibetan relations. Of particular note, the obituary’s author Tenzin Dorjee, writes: Through his seminal writings on Tibet’s relations with China during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, he became arguably the first historian to extensively use both Chinese and Tibetan sources to bring to light the separation and independence… Read more

Buddhist Activism in an age of neo-fascism and “alternative facts”

I sit in a basement cafe in downtown Seattle. I worry a bit about finances here, or class sign-ups there. But I’m okay. And odds are, so are you. Who is next? We’re in the midst of something, though, that could change all of that. There is a range of wise view on just how quickly that will happen and how severely, from the oft-quoted “we’re screwed” to the increasingly pollyannish “wait and see.” Already, if you’re one of estimated… Read more

“Korematsu! We stand up for what is right!”

Fred Korematsu is an American hero worth celebrating. And California is doing just that today, with their seventh annual Fred Korematsu Day. Google, too, is getting in on the action with their “doodle” honoring him, surrounded by cherry blossoms and the bars of the American flag. Fred was a Japanese American minding his own business on a day in late may, 1942. His family, along with tens of thousands of other Japanese Americans had already been rounded up for internment… Read more

On Kant, Contempt, and our Buddhist path(s) forward

Karen Stohr, associate professor of philosophy at Georgetown University and senior research scholar at Georgetown’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics, wrote a thoughtful piece for the NYTimes this week titled, “Our New Age of Contempt.” Her article concludes: Privately expressed contempt may be cathartic. Publicly expressed contempt, however, is perilous. As Kant recognized, it threatens the foundations of our political community by denying the central moral idea on which that community is based — that everyone has a right to basic… Read more

Trump has already led me to the Bible: 7 Passages near to my Heart

Many of my Christian friends over the last few months have assured me that part of their reason for supporting Donald Trump for the presidency has been his grasp of Christian values. “God will be back in America,” they tell me. I’m still not entirely sure what that means. “Did He leave?” Is He in Canada? That’s where I hear a lot of people are thinking about moving to, so maybe God’s already up there? Just waiting? But today I’ve… Read more

We Cannot Report a Lie: Has NPR been Gaslighted by Trump?

If you’ve never had to look up “gaslighting” in the dictionary, consider yourself lucky. I have – twice now – been so thoroughly deceived and subtly manipulated that I began to question my own grasp on reality – my own memories, my own emotional balance and response in a relationship. Each time it took months to regain my confidence and reclaim the truth that these people were manipulative, narcissistic, and deceitful (i.e. lying). Having that realization, and being able to… Read more

Women’s March on Montana in Photos (UPDATED)

I have seen the future. And the future is WOMEN. Today, women and allies from across the state (and no doubt beyond) descended on Helena for a sister-march in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. It was one of hundreds of marches around the world, gathering an estimated 2.5 million people globally. Facebook ‘registrants’ were up to around 5400 at the time of the march and organizers estimated 10,000 were actually there. Further details on that as they become available…. Read more

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