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

June 7, 2019

A guest post by Pierce Salguero Lately, the topic of diversity in American Buddhism has been much discussed in the pages of leading online Buddhist publications, including Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, and others. Critics have pointed out that mainstream English-language media has unduly focused on Caucasians in their coverage of American Buddhism, all too often forgetting or glossing over the significant contributions of people of color. Articles with titles such as “We’re Not Who You Think We Are” and “We’ve Been… Read more

May 27, 2019

Nearly every week I encounter the idea that Buddhism should somehow be kept ‘pure’ and separate from our ordinary, mundane lives. For many, it seems, Buddhism must exist in an ethereal realm apart from the mess and muck of relationships, jobs, politics, the environment, etc, etc. Generally this seems to come from people who have lived comfortable lives of privilege. Buddhism for them is a little additional pillow of comfort.  Part of this is likely due to the romanticization of… Read more

May 8, 2019

Greetings from Hong Kong! I am still around – though busier than ever (with very mixed feelings about that). I’m working full time now at Buddhistdoor Global, which has been fantastic. You can find regular writings from me in the news there and–less frequently–in the features section. And while I work “in the city” I live on an island about 30 minutes away (by ferry, which is where I am now, en route home after the day’s work). I am also… Read more

March 10, 2019

In 2009 I traveled to China to experience Chinese Buddhist monastic life and learn about the practice, philosophy, and history unique to Chan/Zen Buddhism. Back then, it was focused mostly on graduate students in Buddhism or Chinese culture/religion/history but it has since grown in size and scope to look a bit like the program that was then run separately at Fo Guang Shan monastery in southern Taiwan. My experience with the 2009 program was so positive that I applied for and participated in… Read more

February 27, 2019

Some time in the winter of 2017, Gary Gach reached out to a number of friends and colleagues about reviewing his -then in rough draft- forthcoming book. By mid-spring I replied that I would be very grateful to receive an advanced copy. And by June I was actually sitting down to read it over. As I told Gach by email early into my reading of the draft, “It’s direct, fluid, and wise; a beautiful mix of story-telling and dharma pushing.”… Read more

February 19, 2019

I am sometimes happily reminded that Buddhism in the West or the world isn’t just quiet private practices punctuated by occasional scandals. It’s worth being cognizant of the idea, propagated by evolutionary psychologists, that we need about five good interactions with something or someone for every bad one. The idea is that we are hard-wired to over-react to negative stimuli because that is what we’ve needed in order to survive. So just one bad interaction with a person after one… Read more

February 17, 2019

A thirty-five page letter was issued yesterday by six of the closest attendants of Mipham Mukpo (Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche) detailing their experiences of verbal, physical and sexual abuse in vivid detail. Recollections include female students being “pushed to rationalize [sex] as a generous offering to their revered teacher”, stories of Mukpo hitting his attendants and forcibly biting people, students crying in a circle in their underwear, a culture of fear, and this is just the first of the six stories…. Read more

February 13, 2019

Or “Looking for Love (advice) in all the Wrong Places”* I once had the occasion to oversee a study on the topic of “Buddhism and Love.” The question, pondered my student, was “what is the ideal Buddhist romantic relationship?” At hand we had: books written by and for contemporary Westerners about Buddhist practice tons of historical material and scholarly works, and actual Buddhists from various backgrounds to talk with about the subject. The contemporary books had plenty of relatively good, if not platitudinous,… Read more

February 11, 2019

In “Life in Red – A Journey from Sydney Suburbs to Nagpur Slums” Tibetan Buddhist nun (or Bhikkhuni in Pali), Ayya Yeshe speaks of her journey into Tibetan Buddhism, her disillusionment with what she describes as “internalized patriarchy, [not] just our bad karma [as nuns or females]”, and her move to India, where she found it easier than Australia to live as a monastic. In a beautifully filmed video, Yeshe offers us an insider’s view of what a woman might… Read more

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