Archives for April 2014

A Dharma Talk for a Departed Mentor: Roger Dorris (1947-2013)

Dr. Roger Dorris, Naropa University core faculty member; a former board member of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship; and "one of the great practitioners of engaged Buddhism" (according to the Upaya Zen Center) passed away this past November 9th, 2013.Roger, as his obituary noted, "worked extensively with marginalized populations including the homeless, those incarcerated, the HIV community and those suffering from addiction." He put these experiences, as well as his academic work (an MA from Na … [Read more...]

Watch the Video of My Buddhist Geeks “Practice and Life” Hangout

I had the pleasure of being the guest teacher for a recent Buddhist Geeks "Practice and Life" Google+ Hangout, hosted by the wonderful Daniel Thorson. You can now watch the video online here, or below.Buddhist Geeks described the event this way: Danny Fisher joins an episode of Practice and Life to discuss ecodharma, social justice, and how to find progressive Buddhist communities. I sure enjoyed the Hangout, and so appreciated the opportunity. Thank you, Buddhist Geeks! Thank you, Daniel! … [Read more...]

Be Sure to Watch Religion & Ethics Newsweekly‘s Report on Buddhist Violence in Burma

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on PBS had a truly outstanding report this past week on the violence by Buddhist mobs in Burma against the Rohingya Muslim minority there. I've been posting and working a lot on this issue, and, whether you've been tracking this story or not, there's a lot here for you; it makes for both an excellent introduction to the situation, and a powerful record of what some of us already know. In short, don't miss this -- this is the kind of journalism that anyone and … [Read more...]

Thai Media Releases Previously Withheld Interview with Monk Who Says, “Gay People Can Make Good Monks Too”

LGBT Weekly has the story: A Thai Buddhist monk who is gay and a former cross-dresser has gone on public television to say there is nothing wrong with gay people becoming Buddhist monks, causing much controversy in Thailand where Buddhism is the primary religion and has special status, reports“I am who I am, and I’m not going to pretend just to fit in,”  Venerable Tanaisawan George Chandha-dhammo, 28, told Woody Talk, the popular MCOT talk show. “Gay people can make good mon … [Read more...]

Don’t Miss Inquiring Mind‘s Special, Spring 2014 Issue on “War and Peace”

Inquiring Mind, the thirty-year-old biannual that is one of the longest-standing publications for Dharma practitioners in North America, has a new issue out devoted entirely to "War and Peace". The special issue also brings in a guest co-editor: Hozan Alan Senauke, founder of the Clear View Project, one of the founders of Think Sangha, vice-abbot of the Berkeley Zen Center, former executive director of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, and author of the brand new book Heirs To Ambedkar: The Rebirth … [Read more...]

Tricycle‘s Max Zahn Responds to Arthur Brooks’ Wily New York Times Op-Ed about the Dalai Lama

I had a lot of thoughts about Arthur Brooks' recent op-ed in the pages of the New York Times about His Holiness the Dalai Lama's recent visit to his free market think-tank the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Fortunately, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review's editorial assistant Max Zahn had some too, and composed his more eloquently and helpfully than I would have been able to do with mine. It's an awesome piece.Here's a snippet: By reducing Washington politics to a series of petty conflicts … [Read more...]

Ajahn Sujato: “I Think We’re Doomed”

Ajahn Sujato -- the founding abbot of Santi Forest Monastery, resident of Bodhinyana Monastery, Sutta Central content creator, and popular blogger -- has a new Earth Day post at his site that is noteworthy for its tone of discouragement about humanity's lack of action on climate change. He writes: The plain reality is that all of the activism that has been done for decades is a complete failure. No matter how many solar panels we put up, or how efficient our light bulbs become, the carbon in t … [Read more...]

An Exchange of Letters Between B.R. Ambedkar and W.E.B. Du Bois

Tides, the online magazine of the South Asian American Digital Archive, in honor of Dalit History Month 2014, has posted an exchange of letters between the Dalit Buddhist leader and author of India's Constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, and W.E.B. Du Bois, the mighty African-American civil rights leader, scholar, and educator. You can see them here.Article author Manan Desai explains: In 1913, B.R. Ambedkar arrived in New York City from Bombay at the age of twenty-two, on a scholarship to … [Read more...]