This past week, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi – the leader of Burma’s parliamentary minority party the National League for Democracy, iconic Engaged Buddhist leader, and Nobel Peace laureate – broke her long and much-criticized political silence over the violence between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in the western part of her country, encouraging the government to take action to stabilize the region. She also added within the last day or so that the unrest is “an international tragedy.” It’s… Read more

Among the family, friends, students, colleagues, and others in my life who have served our country are both of my grandfathers: Daniel Warner (left, in a portrait in his Army uniform) and the late Clarkson S. Fisher (right, pictured in the U.S. Signal Corps. in New Guinea circa 1943). I’m thinking of them both today, trying to comprehend just how they and their fellows did what they did at such a young age with so much at stake. It’s stunning… Read more

I know I’m biased, but trust me: Steven Spielberg’s new film Lincoln is a masterpiece of the first order — the director’s career-best film in my view. I was fortunate to attend an early screening here in Los Angeles yesterday, and I think it’s hands-down the best film ever made about the US of A — what we are, what we aren’t, what we could be. It’s a most important artistic mulling over of our country, its processes, and the… Read more

First of all, vote. Even if you’re just going to write-in Mr. T and R2D2. There are people who died so that all of us could have the right to vote, so you should do it if for no other reason than that. (Though there are lots of good reasons to do it, especially this time around.) If you can’t find your polling place, this humorous and helpful website will guide your way. Additionally, make sure you bone up on… Read more

In response to Hurricane Sandy, I’m just going to go ahead and post this press release from the American Red Cross in full: The American Red Cross is responding across multiple states as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast. The large and powerful storm could affect as many as 60 million people in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, and the Red Cross has workers and relief supplies in place to provide help to people in the path of Sandy…. Read more

At the end of August, I traveled just up north from my home in Los Angeles to Burlingame (outside San Francisco), where I was trained over a few days as a Climate Leader by Former Vice President Al Gore and others in the Climate Reality Leadership Corps. You might ask why I, as a Buddhist minister and ivory tower theologian, chose to devote so much time to learning from ex-politicians, climatologists, tech wizards, professional storytellers, and others. Well, look no further than the night before… Read more

I wanted to make sure to share with you all here that I’ve got a chapter in Wisdom Publications’ The Arts of Contemplative Care: Pioneering Voices in Buddhist Chaplaincy and Pastoral Work, which is edited by Harvard Divinity School profs Cheryl A. Giles and Willa B. Miller. There have been and will be events on both coasts to promote the book, and I’m pleased to tell you that I will be at the Arts of Contemplative Care Book Event at San… Read more

Following up on the recent post about my fundraising campaign for Buddhist Global Relief, I’m exceptionally pleased to report that I was able to generate 104% of my fundraising goal!! Unfortunately, I’m a little under the weather and had to bow out of participating in the walk itself. I was sorry not to have been there to walk with quite a few of my friends, but I’m sure I’ll have another chance again in the future. The money raised will… Read more

Last week, I posted about my recent Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly Online interview with my friend Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi — the well-known and prodigious translator of Pali Buddhist texts into English, and founder of Buddhist Global Relief, the visionary, Buddhist-inspired humanitarian organization that contributes to relief and justice efforts worldwide. For that interview, we discussed BGR’s 2012 Walk to Feed the Hungry fundraising events. I went on to mention in the post that Bhante had emailed BGR supporters to say that donations had only gotten halfway to the goal as… Read more

Please check out my latest with my friend Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi — the well-known and prodigious translator of Pali Buddhist texts into English, and founder of Buddhist Global Relief, the visionary, Buddhist-inspired humanitarian organization that contributes to relief and justice efforts worldwide — over at Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly Online. In it, we discuss BGR’s 2012 Walk to Feed the Hungry fundraising events. Read the full interview here. The interview feels somewhat important following the email Bhante sent out this… Read more

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