Rejecting Scientistic and Post-Religious Buddhism

Two thought-provoking posts appeared in the Buddhist blogosphere this week. First, my friend Shastri Ethan Nichtern writes about "Buddhism in a Post-Religious Society" for his blog, saying, "I firmly believe that Buddhist meditation, philosophy and psychology should not be viewed as religious practices." Second, over at Tricycle's Awake in the World blog, Lama Jampa Thaye offers the provocative piece "We Are Not Kind Machines: A Radical Rejection of Scientific Buddhism", in which he writes that … [Read more...]

One Earth Sangha Requests Teachings and Leadership on Climate Change from the Insight Meditation Community

As you may have heard, President Obama today unveiled his second-term plan to address climate change. His speech envisioned three obligations for America: "cutting carbon pollution in America, leading international efforts to cut global emissions, and preparing the U.S. for the costly impacts of climate change." You can read the full transcript here, and watch it online here.Al Gore hailed the speech as "the best address on climate by any president ever." Indeed, it creates an important and … [Read more...]

INTERVIEW: Amy Hollingsworth, Author of Letters from the Closet: Ten Years of Correspondence That Changed My Life

Amy Hollingsworth is the author of the newly-released book Letters from the Closet: Ten Years of Correspondence That Changed My Life, which is described by its publisher -- Howard Books -- in this way: Timely and relevant, this is a love story of the most contemporary kind. It’s a rare and beautiful glimpse into an intimate, but platonic, relationship between a gay English teacher and his young female protégée—each seeking connection and acceptance.Now the student-turned-author looks back at … [Read more...]

This is Time Magazine‘s Cover in Every Country in the World This Week…Except the United States

Sure, Time Magazine's cover isn't always the same in the U.S. as it is in the rest of the world, especially when it comes to news about Asia (which we don't follow very closely here). It's a shame for a number of reasons, not the least of which being what I heard recently from Rohingya Muslims in diaspora: that Buddhist Americans might be able to help the current situation in Burma. We need this news on our magazine covers and in our faces here in the U.S.Of course, we also need to make sure … [Read more...]

SPECIAL REPORT: A Buddhist Minister’s Experience of the Myanmar Muslims Genocide Awareness Convention

Two weekends ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Myanmar Muslims Genocide Awareness Convention in Culver City, CA. I went because I felt it was important to put my presence where my mouth was: as I've indicated here at this blog, the situation in Burma has been incredibly distressing to me, and rather than simply talk about it, I want to be more involved in helping in any small way that I can to get it resolved.I've certainly tried to be involved, at least from my desk. My friend Joshua … [Read more...]

The Racist, Islamophobic Movement in the Burmese Sangha — Now with Sexism and Misogyny! [UPDATED]

The Irrawaddy breaks the news that a convention of Buddhist monks in Burma (including the odious U Wirathu of the "969 Movement") has called for the restricting of Buddhist-Muslim interfaith marriages in the land, similar in many ways to policies in Singapore and Malaysia. There aren't any real surprises here, but the thick layer of sexism and misogyny in this particular story is worth noting: A copy of the law proposed by the monks would require any Buddhist woman seeking to marry a Muslim man … [Read more...]

Fifty Years Ago This Week…

For more, I recommend Robyn Pennacchia's piece over at deathandtaxes (hat-tip to Emma Varvaloucas at Tricycle for pointing it out), and Time Magazine's interview from last year with photographer Malcom Browne. … [Read more...]

Watch Voice of America’s Fire in the Land of Snow: A Documentary on Self-Immolations in Tibet In Its Entirety Online

This via Voice of America: An hour-long documentary that explores the causes behind the 118 self-immolations known to have taken place in Tibet since 2009. Combining smuggled videos, first-hand accounts and interviews with experts, scholars, and officials, this film provides an in-depth and comprehensive look at the recent history of Tibet and the powerful forces that lie at the heart of one of the largest waves of political self-immolations in history. Watch Fire in the Land of Snow: A … [Read more...]