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

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

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