An End of Academic Critique: Mindfulness and a Philosophy of Humility

Teetering on the edge of academia, I watch eagerly as each new hiring cycle rises and falls. This year marks the first season that my PhD, the longest single endeavor of my life, is finally done. My parents and many of their generation assured me throughout that once that diploma was in hand, the doors to milk and honey would be opened.Or at least an entry level job with benefits.But they were living in the past. I, along with countless friends and colleagues in academia, watched the … [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 … [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 a … [Read more...]

King’s College London – Buddhist Studies Research Seminars

King’s College London Buddhist Studies Research Seminars (2016-17) Room VWB 3.01 at 5.00pm Theology and Religious Studies Virginia Woolf Building 22 Kingsway, London WC2B 6NR Friday 14 Oct 2016Tristram Riley-Smith (University of Cambridge)Buddhist God-Makers and their Gods: An Anthropology of ArtAbstract Tristram Riley-Smith is Director of Research in Politics & International Studies, and Associate Fellow at the Centre for Science & Policy, at Cambridge. He studied Soc … [Read more...]

“Our Buddhist University and the Role of Intellectualism in our Studies” a Call for Papers

The Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Universities (IABS), based in Bangkok, has issued a call for papers today examining the role of intellectualism in Buddhist studies. The key questions posed for the upcoming edition of the journal are: In your Buddhist University or Buddhist Studies Program, what is the role of intellectualism within your program? How is intellectualism promoted or prohibited? Some professors promote critical thinking skills within their studies, some … [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...]

Mindfulness and Self-Care: Why Should I Care?

A guest post by Edwin Ng with Ron PurserEditor's note: this is the second in a two-part series by Edwin Ng and Ron Purser, part one can be found at the Huffington Post here.Part One considered the current hype surrounding workplace mindfulness against the dubious history of management science. Part Two here considers the use of critical mindfulness in experiments with ethical self-care.Though we are skeptical about celebratory claims, we actually do hope that mindfulness might bec … [Read more...]

Mindfulness, MOOCs, and Money in Higher Education

For the next three days I will be in Boulder CO at the Mindfulness, MOOCs, and Money in Higher Education conference hosted by Naropa University. Come say hello if you see me.Tonight we had the opening panel discussion, where a number of the questions facing us over the next few days were raised:What should education be, and how does contemplative thought/study fit in? How can contemplative educators engage in decisions being made in Higher Education? What do we/they have to offer? Ho … [Read more...]