On Quitting Things (Including This Blog)

"The main thing I have done in the way of news since I last wrote was to quit the university... It's a relief. I get disillusioned at a pace just short of geological, but I finally saw undeniably that, aside from my 'reputation,' the university had no use for me, and that, aside from the library and two or three people, I had no use for it. It and I are going in perfectly opposite directions -- which means we're bound to meet again, doesn't it?" -- Wendell Berry in a letter to Gary Snyder, dated … [Read more...]

Who Are My Heroes of 2014? Maybe You…

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Heroes of 2014. Read other perspectives here. Here is the prompt we had to work with: “December will see an array of blockbuster movies to entertain during the holidays. Two of these, Exodus: Gods and Kings (releasing 12 December) and Unbroken (releasing 25 December), draw on big stories—one ancient and world-shaping, the other contemporary and deeply personal. The tag line for Unbroken is ‘Survival. Resilience. Redemption.’—a l … [Read more...]

A Roundabout Defense of the “Mandala Form” for the Buddhist Peace Fellowship’s National Gathering

That's the title of my latest post for the Buddhist Peace Fellowship's Turning Wheel Media, as well as one of my recent talks for the recent Eco-Dharma Conference & Retreat at the Wonderwell Mounatin Refuge in Springfield, NH.Here's a snippet: Those participating in the environmental movement — and, by extension, the Eco-Dharma movement — have a problem to address. This problem finds its roots, I think, in exactly the things that [Katie Loncke and Dawn Haney] and the BPF raise with this … [Read more...]

No. 8 (in Absentia)

Over at Tricycle's blog, the mighty Buddhist-feminist scholar Dr. Rita Gross has what I believe the kids call an epic takedown of the latest Patheos Public Square on "Expanding Leadership Opportunities for Buddhist Women". Do give the whole piece a read. Specifically, Dr. Gross calls out the framing of the discussion in terms of the "risks and benefits" of opening leadership up further to Buddhist women (what risks?), as well as the fact that the panel was made up of seven men (and no women at … [Read more...]

Don’t Miss Justin Whitaker’s New Interview with the Creators of transbuddhists.org

My friend and colleague in Patheos blogging, Justin Whitaker, has a new interview with the creators of transbuddhists.org over at his blog American Buddhist Perspective. Do make sure you take a look at it.Here's a snippet: Who counts as “trans*” and why is it important for Buddhists today to understand the term?We use trans* (“trans” or “trans-star”) as an umbrella term to describe anyone who’s had an experience of their internal understanding of their gender not matching the gender they … [Read more...]

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi’s Message for Buddhist Global Relief’s 2014 Walks to Feed the Hungry [UPDATED]

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi has recorded a new video message to launch Buddhist Global Relief's 2014 Walks to Feed the Hungry. You can watch it below.The walks are described by Buddhist Global Relief in this way: The Walks to Feed the Hungry are walks at locations around the world. These events are designed to raise money for programs that combat hunger and improve livelihoods, to raise awareness of the problem of hunger in the modern world and to strengthen the community that addresses these … [Read more...]

A New Investigative Report on Wat Phra Dhammakaya for The Bangkok Post

Journalist Nattha Thepbamrung has a new investigative report on Thailand's Wat Dhammakaya, the hugely successful but also controversial Buddhist organization, at the Spectrum section of the Bangkok Post this week. Since it came out with its esoteric teachings on Buddhism in 1970, the secretive Dhammakaya temple and its adherents have been rumoured to be involved in illegal actions which are at odds with the traditional monkhood.Its critics say it is little more than a commercial venture, … [Read more...]

A Group of Exiled Tibetan Monks Stood in Solidarity with Protesters in Ferguson [TWICE UPDATED]

[SECOND UPDATE: Joshua Eaton has a great article about the monks and their participation for Tricycle's blog today. Don't miss it. - 8/21/14][UPDATE: The Huffington Post has more on this story today. - 8/19/14]A tip-of-the-hat to the Buddhist Peace Fellowship for this one, which came to their attention via Rohin Guha, an editor at The Aerogram: There’s no denying that what’s been unfolding in the Missouri community of Ferguson has rattled people across the U.S. and the rest of the world. … [Read more...]