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In 2009 I traveled to China to experience Chinese Buddhist monastic life and learn about the practice, philosophy, and history unique to Chan/Zen Buddhism. Back then, it was focused mostly on graduate students in Buddhism or Chinese culture/religion/history but it has since grown in size and scope to look a bit like the program that was then […]
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Some time in the winter of 2017, Gary Gach reached out to a number of friends and colleagues about reviewing his -then in rough draft- forthcoming book. By mid-spring I replied that I would be very grateful to receive an advanced copy. And by June I was actually sitting down to read it over. As […]
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I am sometimes happily reminded that Buddhism in the West or the world isn’t just quiet private practices punctuated by occasional scandals. It’s worth being cognizant of the idea, propagated by evolutionary psychologists, that we need about five good interactions with something or someone for every bad one. The idea is that we are hard-wired […]
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A thirty-five page letter was issued yesterday by six of the closest attendants of Mipham Mukpo (Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche) detailing their experiences of verbal, physical and sexual abuse in vivid detail. Recollections include female students being “pushed to rationalize [sex] as a generous offering to their revered teacher”, stories of Mukpo hitting his attendants and […]
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Or “Looking for Love (advice) in all the Wrong Places”* I once had the occasion to oversee a study on the topic of “Buddhism and Love.” The question, pondered my student, was “what is the ideal Buddhist romantic relationship?” At hand we had: books written by and for contemporary Westerners about Buddhist practice tons of historical material and […]
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In “Life in Red – A Journey from Sydney Suburbs to Nagpur Slums” Tibetan Buddhist nun (or Bhikkhuni in Pali), Ayya Yeshe speaks of her journey into Tibetan Buddhism, her disillusionment with what she describes as “internalized patriarchy, [not] just our bad karma [as nuns or females]”, and her move to India, where she found […]
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An online petition asking for local Shambhala Buddhism centers to be split from the inner circle of followers of Osel Mukpo (a.k.a Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche) has been created. It is directed to the Shambhala Interim Board, Shambhala International, Osel Mukpo, Local Shambhala Centers, Local Leadership, and the Shambhala Press Team. They cite the recently released […]
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Can we “Marie Kondo” our Facebook feed? Last month, my wife and I sat down to watch some of the Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. We made it about 60% through an episode before giving up. The premise, based on the practice of KonMari, is great, but the reality show format became a bit much. […]
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A person who claims to know the inner workings of the current Shambhala leadership, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and his advisory board or “Kalapa Council” has opened up an ongoing AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the reddit site devoted to discussion of Shambhala Buddhism, saying, in part, “I know his teachings as well or better than […]
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Those who follow this space might have noticed a steady decline in posts in 2018. Part of this is due to very positive developments in my personal life (getting engaged and getting married), and a larger part has been due to the abundance of work I have taken on. In fact, I started the year […]
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