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Thich Nhat Hanh, Secular Buddhist

| November 20, 2014 | 2 Comments
Thich Nhat Hanh, Secular Buddhist

Those of us who gathered for Social Circle last Friday evening spent a fair amount of time talking about Thich Nhat Hanh, whose recent hospitalization made headlines after rumors of his death had circulated online. The way the Internet lit up with expressions of concern and well wishes for the Vietnamese Zen monk, known to […]

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Learn Comedy From The Buddha

| November 15, 2014 | 4 Comments
Learn Comedy From The Buddha

So the Buddha walks out from under the bodhi tree and turns out to be a comedian. No seriously, give me some respect here. I’ve been reading lots of the oldest stories we have about the Buddha in his day, and have been surprised to realize that some of the stories he tells, and some […]

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Mindful America: A Review

| November 5, 2014 | 3 Comments
Mindful America: A Review

I was by turns excited, puzzled and exasperated as I read Jeff Wilson’s Mindful America: The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist Meditation and American Culture.  This first attempt at an academic look at the rise of the mindfulness movement is a fascinating, provocative and often entertaining read,  but its cultural studies methodology can be questionable and […]

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Practice Circle: Finding Your Benefactors

| October 23, 2014 | 3 Comments
Practice Circle: Finding Your Benefactors

For the last several months, the mindfulness group I practice with has been learning a set of meditation practices adapted by John Makransky from Tibetan dzogchen and mahamudra methods.  Although these techniques have much in common with the mindfulness practices adapted from Theravada Buddhism, such as vipassana and loving kindness meditation, there are some differences in emphasis […]

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Practice Circle Turns Two!

| October 9, 2014 | 8 Comments
Practice Circle Turns Two!

The Sunday evening of October 15, 2012 marked the first gathering of the SBA Practice Circle. When we get together this Sunday at 8 PM CST, it will be our 47th meeting, a number that shocks me when I see it written down. In a lot of ways, every Practice Circle session still feels like […]

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Waking Up: A Review

| September 22, 2014 | 53 Comments
Waking Up: A Review

I still remember my excitement on encountering, in Sam Harris’ first book, The End of Faith, the suggestion that it would be possible to enjoy many of the benefits which people had traditionally sought from religion without the need to embrace religion itself.  Buddhist meditiation was one of the practices Harris mentioned as a specific example of wisdom that […]

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Practice Circle: Mindfulness of Sound

| September 10, 2014 | 4 Comments
Practice Circle: Mindfulness of Sound

Stop what you’re doing right now, and just listen. Were you surprised by all you heard? Before you stopped to listen, you may have been completely unaware of all of the sounds going on. As soon as you directed your attention to them, there they were, loud and soft, far and near, pleasant, unpleasant and […]

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