Wendy Cadge’s 2005 book Heartwood: The First Generation of Theravada Buddhism in America is a fascinating look at the way this form of Buddhism is adapting to contemporary American life. Although the book stems from her PhD dissertation it is readable, filled with descriptions of practitioners and their approaches. Cadge spent several years doing…

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Article originally posted on Medium – I Suffer by Dan Hanly I feel like I’ve always been a spiritual person. I use the word spiritual here, and not religious — in-fact, I’ve had a vehement dislike of religious trappings for as long as I can remember. I am and have always been an atheist — averse to the belief…

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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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Buy at Amazon or Audible Buy directly at Metta Center for Nonviolence       You know those little games people like to post as their Facebook statuses? Well, last week, this one led me to “The Nonviolence Handbook… with a chainsaw.” Apparently, things either got out of control quickly or The Nonviolence Handbook is very…

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Ron Lindsay’s recent blog post “On the Pursuit of Meditation: Buddha vs. Faust” begins as a mild critique of Sam Harris’s recent book Waking Up, and then segues into a skeptical review of meditation. Lindsay is President of the secularist/skeptic Center for Inquiry.* Although I dealt with many relevant topics at some length in my review of…

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All of the discussion on this website can be said to revolve around a single question: What is Secular Buddhism? How is it secular, and how is it Buddhist? What can we take from the traditional texts and practices, and what ought we leave behind? How does the dharma fit in with our knowledge from…

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I would like to have more time to respond to Bhikkhu Bodhi’s recent piece on Secular Buddhism over at Secular Buddhism New Zealand, “Facing the Great Divide”, as well as to Stephen Batchelor’s lengthy response in the comments. Unfortunately time is short so I will be necessarily brief. Bhikkhu Bodhi Bodhi’s essay is something of an…

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My grandmother grew up in the era of the horse and buggy, but lived to see a man set foot on the Moon. When I was a kid growing up in New York we had rotary dial telephones. Personal computers were just being introduced, with green phosphorescent screens and weird command-line interfaces. The first office Xerox…

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One criticism of ‘New Atheist’ books has been that they lack sophistication, that they attack only the most extreme forms of theistic belief without touching its more nuanced, liberal forms. So it comes as a welcome development to read Philip Kitcher’s new book, which takes a more nuanced look at religious belief and practice. As…

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Sam Harris’s new book Waking Up has a lot to recommend it. Harris is a gifted writer, always clear and engaging, who never seems to talk down to the reader. This is not an easy task when dealing with abstruse topics. Harris picks out salient examples and tells interesting stories that continually bring his points to…

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