In Japanese “Most Handsome Monk Contest”, a female meditation teacher wins

Yesterday an organization in Japan held its second annual "Most Handsome Monk Contest" in Tokyo. One participant chopped through 10 cement blocks as part of the talent round. Another monk, a DJ, presented a mock radio program for the audience. But Koyu Osawa, the first ever female participant, won over the audience by leading them through a short meditation practice.In her post-victory interview, Osawa said "I want to connect with people who have never tried it before, or have always wanted … [Read more...]

Mindfulness – not just a technique!

A guest post by Ravi Pradhan In the West, mindfulness is often presented as just a technique, and widely claimed to be secularized by Western experts.Where and how did such a perspective emerge? How is this different from the claims in the Eastern Wisdom traditions which have a long proven track record in mindfulness meditation – beyond just being a technique?You have to go back to 16-17 century Europe where Copernicus and Galileo were up against the all-powerful and all-knowing C … [Read more...]

Tourists: Buddha Tattoos are Taboo; as are See-Through dresses at Buddhist holy sites

It seems like only last month that another tourist was deported from Myanmar (Burma) for publicly showing off his Buddha tattoo. Oh wait, it was.The Washington Post reported that Cesar Hernandez of Spain was there with his wife when people began noticing his seated Buddha tattoo covering much of his calf. Buddhist monks kindly informed him that the tattoo was inappropriate. The tourists were then detained and deported or, perhaps, asked kindly to leave or be careful.As the Post reports, " … [Read more...]

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...]

“Health” in the Buddhism and Science Dialogue

Guest post by Kin Cheung In the current dialogue between Buddhist traditions and the sciences—an engagement dominated by Tibetan and Zen Buddhists on one side and psychologists and neuroscientists on the other—the subject of health is featured prominently. However, despite the shared term, participants aren’t actually talking about the same thing.Early proponents of the Buddhism-science dialogue, like Paul Ekman, Richard Davidson, Matthieu Ricard, and Alan Wallace, have focused on the theme … [Read more...]

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

It's time once again for another reader survey on US presidential politics. This one is up a bit later than previous months so will stay up until July 5th. Check back shortly after that for results.As always, thanks for filling in the survey and please spread the word via email/facebook/twitter/etc so that as many people see and take the survey as possible. Loading...Curious about the perils of polling in general? Read excerpts from a discussion of problems and promises from last … [Read more...]

A glimpse of Buddhism in Obama’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton

You'll see Secretary Clinton walking with President Obama and the abbot of Wat Pho monastery in Bangkok, Thailand at about 55 seconds in. The image is from a 2012 tour of Asia by the President and Secretary of State. As the picture flashes on the screen, President Obama discusses his his and Clinton's "pursuit of diplomacy in capitals around the world."While it would be easy to make too big a deal of it - it is, after all, just one second in a three-minute video - it is still worth remarking … [Read more...]

Slipping Support for Sanders, Buddhists turn to Trump, Stein, and Johnson in latest reader poll

Citing a recent survey of anonymous superdelegates, the AP last night said that Clinton has what is needed to win the Democratic nomination. I've seen the outrage (Glenn Greenwald is always a good read). I've also seen that this has, sort of, happened before. And what next? Former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton and current Sanders supporter, Robert Reich, has some advice.But that is getting ahead of ourselves a bit. First, results from this month's reader (self-selected, online, … [Read more...]


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