Episode 16 :: Jim Eubanks :: Center for Pragmatic Buddhism

Jim Eubanks, DC, MS, CSCS

Finding practical applications for our Buddhist practice is one of the hallmarks of our modern cultural movement. Today we speak with the Director of Buddhist Studies from the Center for Pragmatic Buddhism, Sensei Jim Eubanks.

Abbot, Order of Pragmatic Buddhists (OPB)

President and Director of Buddhist Studies, Center for Pragmatic Buddhism (CPB)

Jim Eubanks Sensei was the final socially-engaged monastic student of the late Ven. Shi Shen Long, Ryugen Fisher Sensei, and is a personal student of David E. Shaner Sensei, a practitioner and scholar of Zen Buddhism, chief instructor of the Eastern Ki Federation (EKF) and principle of CONNECT Consulting, LLC. Jim studied Hinduism, Early Buddhism, Daoism, and Chan and Zen Buddhism formally with his root teacher, Ryugen Sensei, for three years prior to his untimely passing, learning the practical skills necessary to continue his teacher’s pragmatic approach to American Chan Buddhism (the precursor to Pragmatic Buddhism). Jim graduated with a BA in pre-medical studies and philosophy, specializing in comparative & Asian studies at Furman University in Greenville, SC. He performed thesis work under the direction of David E. Shaner, PhD. Jim has trained in traditional Chinese and Japanese martial and meditative arts for the past 12 years and has instructed others since 2003 at Furman University and Washington University in St. Louis. Currently, he is chief consultant to the mixed martial arts (MMA) program at the Elite Physiology Institute (EPI) in St. Louis, MO.

Eubanks Sensei received a Bachelor of Science (BS) in life science from Logan University in St. Louis, MO, and graduated with a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) from Logan College of Chiropractic in Spring 2009. He completed a Master of Science (MS) in sports science and rehabilitation and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He has worked with athletes of all ages and skill level, from youth to professionals and utilized Nike’s SPARQ training program at Velocity Sports Performance in St. Louis, MO. Following in the footsteps of his teacher, Dr. David Shaner, Dr. Eubanks’ interest in health and human performance led to his founding of the Bodymind Studies Institute, LLC (BSI). As director and performance coach at BSI, he is developing an evidence-based organization for the education, training, and scientific research of topics related to the emerging field of bodymind studies. His immediate work at BSI involves the application of mindfulness meditation for human performance; this interest is a continuation of thesis work he did in graduate school evaluating the neural correlates of meditation using functional imaging.

Dr. Eubanks is a licensed chiropractic physician and Associate at Priester Chiropractic Clinic in Charlotte, NC, a regional leader in conservative (non-surgical) treatment of the spine, joints and muscles.

Center for Pragmatic Buddhism

“The Center for Pragmatic Buddhism (CPB) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with chapters in Charlotte, NC (headquarters), St. Louis, MO, and a meditation center in Annapolis, MD. Our work is a synthesis of early Nikayan, Chan and Zen Buddhism, and the American Pragmatist tradition, in what we call Pragmatic Buddhism.”

“We utilize traditional Buddhist training methods that resonate with persons living in Western society. CPB practice includes training in nonjudgmental awareness (zazen), mindful breathing, and other mindfulness-based practices. The Pragmatic Buddhist approach uses contemporary language to explain Buddhism’s relevance to contemporary life. In addition to regular sitting and meditation practices, CPB teachers give weekly dharma talks. We engage in group discussions following the talks in an open forum atmosphere, where participants discuss their thoughts and ideas of issues pertaining to practice, philosophy, and everyday life.”

“A primary goal of CPB is to simplify the most meaningful training methods so that open-minded persons can participate in the cultivation of mindfulness, personal development and share this through socially engaged Buddhism. CPB promotes a social agenda of cooperative, productive and sustainable human flourishing.”

“If there is something that sounds methaphysical or that can’t be well defined, we politely as we can challenge the thinker on that, and try to get them to appreciate the fact that even though it might be someone that we respect and be very old and have been written on a scroll or something, doesn’t mean that it’s particularly relevant and meaningful to what our life is like today. And we need to be okay with that.” — Jim Eubanks

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