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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Letting identity arise unimpeded: Buddhism confronting racism

A guest post by Lama Justin von Bujdoss (Repa Dorje Odzer)On April 22nd the 2nd Race and Buddhism Conference will be held at Harvard Divinity School. This is a unique gathering of academics, dharma teachers and activists meeting to explore how engaged responses to the problems of racism within the dharma world can be developed, as well as how dharma can be a response to heal the pain and suffering that racism creates in a more general sense. On a personal level, this much needed conference … [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...]


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