Thich Nhat Hanh on an autumn leaf: life, death, continuation

three leaves

Thich Nhat Hanh is revered as one of Buddhism's greatest living masters: a poet, a translator, a peace activist, and most importantly to most: a teacher of profound depth and meaning to tens of thousands of followers around the world. It has been over a month since our last health update, and given the trajectory over the last 11 month, it seems that cautious optimism is still warranted.Yet, even as his health continues to improve, his followers have been faced with the question of … [Read more...]

Žižek points us to the dark side of Buddhism, again

Screenshot from Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter ... and Spring

This week The Guardian published a selection of short essays titled, "I watch therefore I am: seven movies that teach us key philosophy lessons." The newspaper deserves great praise for bringing together a wonderful variety of philosophers to draw our attention to the moral and epistemological issues in films. Greats like Julian Baggini, who I had the fortune of seeing with Owen Flanagan and Tim Lott last spring (video), Christine Korsgaard, an exemplary Kant scholar and philosopher in her own r … [Read more...]

Book Review: “The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality, and Gender”

The Way of Tenderness Awakening Through Race, Sexuality and Gender- closeup

THIS IS A BOOK THAT CAN TEACH US ALL.These words grace the back cover of The Way of Tenderness: Awakening Through Race, Sexuality and Gender.And Tanya McGinnity of Full Contact Enlightenment put it equally well when she wrote:"This book by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel is essential reading for all Buddhists. Essential."Both statements are absolutely true.As are the several lines of advanced praise in the book's opening pages, from American Buddhist greats including Jan Willis, author … [Read more...]

“Why am I here?” – a post-event interview with veteran journalist and university teacher, Eileen Flynn


Wrapping up what has been an unexpectedly interview-filled month here at American Buddhist Perspectives, I am pleased to present Eileen Flynn, who co-moderated last week’s interfaith panel on the topic of “why am I here?” Video from the event should be up at on March 1st.  My hope is that between this interview and the earlier one with Rev. Dr. David Zuniga, more people will go see the video and feel encouraged to start conversations like this in their own communities.  So, getting … [Read more...]

“Why am I here?” – an interview with Zen priest and interfaith dialogue participant, Rev. Dr. David Zuniga


Last week I caught wind of an event with a very intriguing title "Why Am I Here? An Austin Interfaith Dialogue" and an even more interesting set of speakers representing Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Zen Buddhism. Very happily, I was able to get in touch with Rev. Dr. David Zuniga, who will represent Zen in the discussion and arranged an interview on the topic.I sat down (via email) over the weekend to discuss the upcoming event:First, thank you for taking the time to do this, David. … [Read more...]

Ethics in American Buddhist Groups: Free Webinars

olive branch buddhist ethics webinar

Starting tomorrow, January 27, An Olive Branch will offer free online seminars "to increase awareness and adoption of ethics statements within Buddhist communities in the U.S."  They continue: The scope of the term “ethics” includes all aspects of ethical behavior such as student-teacher relationships, handling money, and power dynamics. “Buddhist communities” includes all schools and traditions practicing in the U.S.Each webinar will be presented by a prominent teacher, practitioner, or exp … [Read more...]

Thich Nhat Hanh is in hospital and “full recovery may be possible”

Thich Nhat Hanh in Paris, 2006

See updates at bottom - or, for those who won't make it that far, Plum Village has posted a second official update including the following:In the early morning, Saturday, November 15, Thầy opened his eyes for the first time since his cerebral hemorrhage, to look at his attendants for a brief moment. He was very conscious and attentive to what was happening around him, lifting his left hand to touch the attendant next to him. Since then, he has also opened his eyes several times and his gest … [Read more...]

Still Breathing Meditation Center seeks support

still breathing meditation center

Based in East Oakland, CA, this center could use your support. They are hoping to raise $20,000 by April 30th and are already 1/4 of the way there.Check out the video above or click here to find out more about the community, the teacher Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, and the space itself. … [Read more...]