Episode 55 :: Sam Trumbore :: Interfaith Dialogues

Sam Trumbore

Sam Trumbore speaks with us about chess, secular spirituality, and the value of having interfaith dialogues.

You ever find yourself talking with someone, and think you’re just never going to find any common ground? We have taboo subjects where this comes up quite a lot, religion and politics. How many of us avoid talking about these at family get togethers, or with our friends, or sometimes even those of our own tradition?

Buddhism in the West is hindered by confusion, misunderstanding, and cultural hurdles that can impede people finding benefit from the practice. Those of us who’ve been curious about it have tried it out, and experienced for ourselves the many ways in which Buddhism enhances our lives, and our interactions with others. Secular Buddhists are an even more odd kettle of fish, because many of us incline towards a form of practice that is very different from any that has gone before. Even those with whom we are in complete alignment in our practice, may be completely bewildered by this.

How can we as people find common ground, to allow us all to flourish? I would suggest meaningful dialogue would be a good start.

Sam Trumbore is a long time vipassana meditator, has an engineering degree from Berkeley, is an avid chess player, and currently serves on the board of the Unitarian Universalist Buddhist Fellowship.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice Rhubarb Oolong.

:: Discuss this episode ::



“I believe in the power of stories to shape the meanings of our lives. I don’t need to resolve the factual accuracy of the story for it to still speak to me. When I go to an historical play by Shakespeare, I don’t fuss over whether he got his facts straight. When I read the Illiad, I’m not concerned with Homer’s retelling of mythic history. Anything we receive through oral tradition has been enhanced to make it a better story. Any miraculous content in the stories operate to magnify the drama rather than undermine the meaning the stories convey. Great stories survive over many generations because of the seeds of truth they carry between the lines. Our task is to find those seeds, plant them in our hearts and encourage them to grow.” — Sam Trumbore


Books & CD’s


Web Links


Music for This Episode

Shakuhachi Meditations

Shakuhachi Meditations

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez’s CD, Shakuhachi Meditations. The tracks used in this episode are:

  • Chaniwa