Kenan Malik’s New York Times Op-Ed “Myanmar’s Buddhist Bigots”

Last week, Kenan Malik wrote a blistering op-ed for the New York Times about how the anti-Muslim violence perpetrated by Buddhists in Myanmar should burst idealized notions about Buddhism. "Myanmar's Buddhist Bigots" is not easy reading, but it is necessary reading. Do take a look.I think Malik's thesis is quite right, but it should also be noted that Buddhist scholars and practitioners (and scholar-practitioners) are and have been trying to help remove rose-colored glasses.Thomas Tweed, … [Read more...]

Sri Lankan Monks Occupy Religious Ministry Building in Colombo

This via Al Jazeera English: Protesters led by Buddhist monks from the right-wing Ravana Balaya group have occupied the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo.The Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist group protested on Wednesday against the creation of a new religious police unit, which was created in April this year in the wake of rising number of religious conflicts in recent years.The general secretary of the group, Iththakande Saddhatissa Thero, … [Read more...]

Watch the Entire 1st Annual Symposium for New Scholar-Practitioners in Buddhist Chaplaincy Online

  Over at Dharma Cowgirl, Monica Sanford -- former student and current pal -- blogs about the recent symposium she put together at University of the West this past semester. In addition, she has video of the entire event (courtesy of student photographer Jascha Ephraim and Glenn Dunki-Jacobs in UWest's Extended Studies Department). She writes: Last semester I conducted a research study with interview subjects from among the UWest chaplaincy student and alumni cohort, with a promise to present … [Read more...]

David McMahan and Tricycle‘s Linda Heuman Talk Buddhism and Science on This Week’s Interfaith Voices Podcast

A big hat-tip to Tricycle: The Buddhist Review for this one: Buddhist scholar David McMahan and Tricycle contributing editor Linda Heuman are guests on the newest episode of Interfaith Voices, the nation’s leading public radio show on religion and spirituality, to speak about the longstanding dialogue between Buddhism and science. You can listen to the episode -- which explores both both the "roots [of Buddhism's relationship with science], and its potential problems for modern Buddhism" -- her … [Read more...]

“The Rise of Buddhist Feminism?”

A new piece by Hanna Hindstrom appeared in The Diplomat this week, telling the story of "a few Thai women [who] are defying conservative Buddhist tradition to reinstate an ancient order." Here are a couple of key snippets:  The Sangha insists that the Bhikkhuni lineage cannot be revived, because new ordination ceremonies require at least five other Bhikkunis to complete – and this community of women vanished centuries ago. A Sri Lankan campaign to resuscitate the practice using female monks fro … [Read more...]

My Video in Praise of California Bookstore Day

I'm a little late -- the actual event was on May 3rd -- but I've produced a little video to sing the praises of California Bookstore Day. You can watch it at the end of this post.What is California Bookstore Day? Oh, I'm so glad you asked... California Bookstore Day is a statewide party on May 3, 2014 as big and varied as the state itself.  It’s more than 90 stores in more than 80 zip codes putting their bells on and throwing out the welcome mat. Think Record Store Day, but for book ne … [Read more...]

Watch the Full Video of UC-Berkeley’s “Buddhism, Mind, and Cognitive Science” Conference

UC-Berkeley recently hosted a conference on "Buddhism, Mind, and Cognitive Science," relevant to many conversations about Buddhism (including some that we look at here at this blog), and you can now see video of the entire event online for free. This from the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities website: This conference is dedicated to the exploration of the methodological underpinnings of the current encounter between Buddhism and cognitive science. Recently this encounter has been … [Read more...]


There have been some trenchant critiques of this social media campaign -- hat-tip to the great Mushim Patricia Ikeda for pointing that piece out -- but, given that it was, in fact, begun by a Nigerian activist (and not well-meaning-but-possibly-misguided Westerners), I'd like to show support by participating. In addition, as Nick Kristof pointed out today, "Ultimately, the greatest threat to extremism isn’t a drone overhead but a girl with a book." He continues -- and you'll want to read this wit … [Read more...]