May 29, 2014

  Over at Dharma Cowgirl, Monica Sanford — former student and current pal — blogs about the recent symposium she put together at University of the West this past semester. In addition, she has video of the entire event (courtesy of student photographer Jascha Ephraim and Glenn Dunki-Jacobs in UWest’s Extended Studies Department). She writes: Last semester I conducted a research study with interview subjects from among the UWest chaplaincy student and alumni cohort, with a promise to present the results... Read more

May 21, 2014

A big hat-tip to Tricycle: The Buddhist Review for this one: Buddhist scholar David McMahan and Tricycle contributing editor Linda Heuman are guests on the newest episode of Interfaith Voices, the nation’s leading public radio show on religion and spirituality, to speak about the longstanding dialogue between Buddhism and science. You can listen to the episode — which explores both both the “roots [of Buddhism’s relationship with science], and its potential problems for modern Buddhism” — here. Read more

May 20, 2014

A new piece by Hanna Hindstrom appeared in The Diplomat this week, telling the story of “a few Thai women [who] are defying conservative Buddhist tradition to reinstate an ancient order.” Here are a couple of key snippets:  The Sangha insists that the Bhikkhuni lineage cannot be revived, because new ordination ceremonies require at least five other Bhikkunis to complete – and this community of women vanished centuries ago. A Sri Lankan campaign to resuscitate the practice using female monks from... Read more

May 17, 2014

I’m a little late — the actual event was on May 3rd — but I’ve produced a little video to sing the praises of California Bookstore Day. You can watch it at the end of this post. What is California Bookstore Day? Oh, I’m so glad you asked… California Bookstore Day is a statewide party on May 3, 2014 as big and varied as the state itself.  It’s more than 90 stores in more than 80 zip codes putting their... Read more

May 15, 2014

UC-Berkeley recently hosted a conference on “Buddhism, Mind, and Cognitive Science,” relevant to many conversations about Buddhism (including some that we look at here at this blog), and you can now see video of the entire event online for free. This from the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities website: This conference is dedicated to the exploration of the methodological underpinnings of the current encounter between Buddhism and cognitive science. Recently this encounter has been criticized for failing to... Read more

May 8, 2014

There have been some trenchant critiques of this social media campaign — hat-tip to the great Mushim Patricia Ikeda for pointing that piece out — but, given that it was, in fact, begun by a Nigerian activist (and not well-meaning-but-possibly-misguided Westerners), I’d like to show support by participating. In addition, as Nick Kristof pointed out today, “Ultimately, the greatest threat to extremism isn’t a drone overhead but a girl with a book.” He continues — and you’ll want to read this with Mother’s... Read more

May 8, 2014

UCLA’s Center for South Asian Studies will be hosting an upcoming colloquium with Dr. Juliane Schober of Arizona State University entitled “Buddhist Interventions in Myanmar: A Genealogy of ‘Political’ Monks”. Here’s what the announcement says: This lecture explores the seeming contradictions between Burmese monks demonstrating for democracy and advocating loving kindness in 2007 and more recent reports of Buddhist agitation against Muslim minorities and communal violence perpetrated against Rohingya communities. In the course of tracing the political discourse of monks... Read more

May 5, 2014

I’m very pleased to join many blogging colleagues in wishing our site a very happy birthday: today, Patheos turns 5 years old! This from the website today: Since launching in 2009, Patheos has grown to be the largest independent religion and spirituality website. Many of the site’s faith channels have become the largest online space for that community, so that Patheos now contains the largest Catholic website, the largest Atheist website, and the largest Progressive Christian website – all at... Read more

May 4, 2014

While it’s not exactly new news, it was news to me: several friends on social media (including Joan Halifax Roshi) shared the following this week: the short documentary The Buddha’s Forgotten Nuns is now available to watch (for $3.99) on Vimeo On Demand. The film is described this way: Wiriya was raised a Buddhist, but like many women who wish to advance in their practice, she came up against walls of sexism within the traditional Theravada order. Is Buddhism a... Read more

May 3, 2014

The Religion News Service’s reporters Anuradha Sharma and Vishal Arora have done a report on “the growing influence of Theravada Buddhist nationalists in Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand,” and Tricycle: The Buddhist Review has posted the article in full on their blog. Here’s a snippet: To many Americans, Buddhism is about attaining enlightenment, maybe even nirvana, through such peaceful methods as meditation and yoga. But in some parts of Asia, a more assertive, strident, and militant Buddhism is emerging. In... Read more

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