March 11, 2020

I shared this briefly on a friend’s social media and it was suggested I make it more widely available. So, here goes (with edits and footnotes). I’m in Hong Kong. Here, the medical establishment demanded swift action from the government. It was amazing to watch. They even went on strike when the gov’t dragged their feet. In the end, even though we have a long border with China and used to have tons of people coming and going, everything stopped (almost),… Read more

January 4, 2020

In a video that should be seen by university students and professors across the country, Chapman University students shed light on the continuing allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct within the Shambhala Buddhist community. For over two years, allegations of abuse have been made, several coming from individuals intimately familiar with the organization’s leadership. As noted in the video, there are still a number of criminal investigations related to Shambhala. The organization has a long history of abusive practices, dating… Read more

October 12, 2019

As I’ve watched the Hong Kong protests from my home on peaceful Lamma Island over the past four months, I’ve looked for the religious undertones and motivations driving and uniting the region’s protesters. Early on, “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord” became an unofficial anthem of protesters, in part because adding a religious reason for a gathering (or protest) technically exempts it from certain police regulations. But Christian leaders in Hong Kong have also been active supporters of the protests, in… Read more

August 31, 2019

Hong Kong, once a bustling financial hub and port city on the southern coast of China, has become a global hotspot for 2019s battles for democracy, freedom, and equality. I first came here just over one year ago, then as a visiting instructor in Buddhist Studies for the region’s flagship university, the University of Hong Kong. I returned in the spring to join Buddhistdoor Global (BDG), an online magazine devoted to a progressive approach to contemporary Buddhist study and practice…. Read more

August 28, 2019

He was a Tibetan man who found his way into a decent education. He used his power and influence to learn some things about Buddhism and gain a following. He used his position as a Buddhist teacher to subject students to “serious physical, sexual and emotional abuse.” (see below) Read more about his life on Buddhistdoor here. And about his abuse here (and below): There are varying degrees of closeness to Sogyal Lakar, with the closest relationships regularly referred to… Read more

August 18, 2019

As a student of philosophy I was deeply enamored with discussions around semantics, or meaning (or conceptual designation). And as I moved to history, I have grown in awe regarding the shifts that occur in and around meanings, particularly those tied to religiously and politically significant terms. So I was delighted when I heard the example of the Christmas tree in a recent podcast* used in the discussion of the religious place of things. Where does the Christmas tree belong in our imagination… Read more

August 13, 2019

These are just some notes, as I commute home from Tsuen Wan, in the New Territories, toward Lamma Island where I live in Hong Kong. I’ve struggled to write here about the recent protests for a number of reasons. Time being the foremost. I’m trained to be firstly very reflective on what I want to say (as a philosopher), so just blurting out my thoughts is not ideal. I also want to check and cite my sources and verify every… Read more

August 4, 2019

Most Christians will know the Parable of the Mustard Seed, wherein Jesus describes the Kingdom of God as like a mustard seed in that it is tiny but grows into a great tree. Buddhism, too, has its Parable of the Mustard Seed, but here the story is quite different. Kisa Gotami In the Buddhist story a young woman -Kisa Gotami- follows a rather fairy-tale like path from birth in a poor family to a marriage to the only son of a… Read more

August 1, 2019

Watch below as Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi addresses the UN on the climate crisis. According to scientists, we have only a matter of years to prevent widespread ecological collapse, and every day new reports suggest that the window of opportunity might be even smaller than anticipated. As Bhikkhu Bodhi points out, much of this gets little attention by mainstream media, “A symptom of how we can seal from ourselves, the real perils that lie just before us.” Indeed, delusion, often self-delusion,… Read more

June 11, 2019

Those who know me know that my first love in terms of Buddhism is philosophy. That led me in the (dharma) door, so to speak, where I learned meditation, which has kept me hooked for the last 19 years–even in times when my formal meditation practice takes a hiatus–and eventually dovetailed, or rather looped back, to ethics. Along the way I have always deeply appreciated keen, clear minds with the ability to understand topics, live them (essential in Buddhism, imho), and… Read more

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