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Idle Chatter About Kings: Political Speech

| September 27, 2016 | 9 Comments
Idle Chatter About Kings: Political Speech

With the first debate last night, we’re in the thick of political season in the US, a once every four year cycle of presidential agita that dominates the news for months. It’s natural to bemoan the foolishness of it all, to wax satirical or cynical on the state of the nation, but the inconvenient truth […]

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Secular Buddhism’s Roots in South Asia

| September 13, 2016 | 2 Comments
Secular Buddhism’s Roots in South Asia

A recent article notes a raft of modern innovations taking place at Longquan Monastery in China, including a robot that answers visitors’ questions. These modernizations make the teaching more accessible to laypeople, and are part of a growing movement that “preaches connectivity instead of seclusion and … practical advice over deep philosophy.” Similar modernizations take […]

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Taking a Second Look at Radical Dharma Through the Lens of Social Class

| September 9, 2016 | 12 Comments
Taking a Second Look at Radical Dharma Through the Lens of Social Class

Mark Knickelbine’s positive appraisal of the recently-published book, Radical Dharma: Talking, Race, Love and Liberation, highlights the authors’ emotional honesty and integrity in navigating the relationship between Buddhism and radical activism in the context of pervasive systems of oppression which mark American society.  I had a similarly positive reaction to that aspect of the book, […]

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A Forgotten Key to Mindfulness

| August 31, 2016 | 14 Comments
A Forgotten Key to Mindfulness

Days grow shorter. The small ruby-throated hummingbird that visited our feeder for sugar-water several times a day through August has decamped, beginning the first leg of his journey down to Mexico. Overhead the Canada geese flock in great ‘V’s, calling out to each other as they wing south. The sugar maple at the bottom of […]

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Radical Dharma: A Review

| August 3, 2016 | 32 Comments
Radical Dharma: A Review

America’s racial sickness has become especially vivid in recent months. Whether it’s the execution of unarmed black people by police, retaliatory violence against police, the disruptive resistance of the Black Lives Matter movement, or the appearance of an openly racist demagogue as the presidential nominee of a major party, anyone who may have supposed that […]

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Explaining Marxian Engaged Buddhism

| July 27, 2016 | 32 Comments
Explaining Marxian Engaged Buddhism

There are Buddhists in the world. Some are politically engaged, and some of them are Marxists. Regardless of whether a Buddhist is politically engaged or not, they remain committed to the dhamma. That dhamma offers a comprehensive and coherent ontological, epistemological and ethical philosophy that is to be embodied in the daily lives of its […]

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Changes at the SBA

| July 27, 2016 | 1 Comment
Changes at the SBA

The Secular Buddhist Association has grown a great deal from its humble beginnings. In May of 2009, the podcast The Secular Buddhist was first made available, with an interview format about engaging with the tradition in something of an admittedly fringe perspective. Secular Buddhism was not a term commonly heard at the time, and there […]

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