June 22, 2021

This year we mark Pride Month with a re-run of an article first published in 2015. Enjoy. Along the way, a wonderful collection of works by trans, genderqueer, and nonbinary practitioners of Buddhism has been published: Transcending: Trans Buddhist Voices (North Atlantic Books 2019). Today I am delighted to introduce readers to La Sarmiento, a long time Vipassana meditator and teacher who will be co-leading a retreat at the Garrison Institute called “Embodying Presence in Our Lives: A Mindfulness Meditation Weekend... Read more

January 14, 2021

Four years ago, just after the inauguration of Donald Trump, I noticed a peculiar thing: the press had become unable to report his lies as lies. At the risk of mistakenly psychologizing an organization such as NPR, or a sector such as the entire US media, or a nation, I saw then that all of these were falling into a dangerous relationship with Trump and, more worrying, with truth itself. To all those on the outside of a relationship with Trump,... Read more

November 11, 2020

2020 has been an incredible year in more ways than many of us can begin to describe. I began the year with a newborn daughter living in a village house on an island 30 minutes from central Hong Kong. Then COVID came along. Then, just to keep it interesting, my wife got a great job back in our college town (Missoula MT) and we packed up in the middle of the pandemic and moved ourselves, our daughter, and our cat.... Read more

August 30, 2020

For some twenty years now, the metta sutta and metta-bhavana (cultivation of loving-kindness) have been at or near the heart of my practice. Competing practices, such as seeking the very particular truth of matters near and far, large and small; as well as seeking out social justice, rights, and recognition for those ignored and diminished in today’s society, sometimes pull me away from metta in a given moment. A case in point could be a lively debate on the meaning of a... Read more

July 19, 2020

It’s mid-July, nearly 6 months since the coronavirus outbreak began taking over front-page news around the world. And we’re a month or so from a major shift in human populations as schools and universities (possibly) reopen with in-person classes: with K-12 schools drawing kids out of homes to mix with other kids and colleges and universities drawing students from across cities, states, and even potentially foreign countries. I’m seeing a number of colleagues and friends bemoan the current state of... Read more

July 5, 2020

I am thrilled to be taking part in this online conference, taking place from July 24-26. I will be drawing from research I have done over the last year and a half on Buddhist economics, drawing from my backgrounds both as a comparative scholar of Buddhist and Western ethics and as an engaged community member and citizen, active in protests and demonstrations as well as community organizing for twenty years. With gratitude to Ayya Yeshe for making it all happen... Read more

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

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