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

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




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