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

Another end-of-the-month, and another sampling of Buddhist political leanings for the 2016 US Presidential race.This month's poll has been updated with Nichiren as a choice for Buddhist type/school and, for the first time, has only one Republican choice. It has been kindly brought to my attention that results of the poll should be taken with a grain, or lump, of salt. This is not a random sampling, which itself is imperfect for understanding a population, but is an online survey, which … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Buddha’s advice on wilderness and living in the present moment in nature

“The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild; and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the world.” - Henry David Thoreau, "Walking" (emphasis added) In this sentiment, Thoreau, who was influenced by the Indian philosophy trickling into the Euro-American mindset of his time, echoes the Buddha's words about life in the forest (Pali arañña). Much scholarly ink has been spilled on Buddhism and the environment. An excellent starting point here … [Read more...]

The Souse Family and Buddhism’s Fifth Precept

A guest post by Daniel D. Woo (© 2016) I once thought that I had very few indelible childhood memories in the first 4 years of my life and that what little I remembered had no impact on my life. Then I remembered learning from infancy three songs:The Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalists) Republic of China (ROC) National Anthem The US Army Aircorp The drinking song “Glorious”The ROC anthem’s translated lyrics are: “San Min Chu-i,Our aim shall be:To found a free land,World pe … [Read more...]

Buddhist Ethics has a good day: on Philosophy, East and West

Almost 3 years ago exactly, 3 AM Magazine interviewed Jay Garfield, one of the best-known Buddhist philosophers in academia today. I wrote about that interview and still look back fondly on the comments and conversations that ensued.So it was with great joy that I saw 3 AM Magazine's latest interview with a Buddhist philosopher: Nicolas Bommarito, who teaches at NYU and the University of Buffalo. It was a great reminder that great thought within the academy is still being devoted to Buddhist … [Read more...]


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