I think I’ve shown that the kammatic-nibbanic distinction should matter to the historian, textual scholar, or anthropologist trying to figure out what Buddhism has meant in other times and places. Contra Damien Keown, it is a helpful ideal type to Continue reading Naturalized kammatic Buddhism
How helpful is Melford Spiro’s kammatic/nibbanic distinction in describing Buddhism? It can be tempting to line it up too closely with other dichotomies – to say that kammatic Buddhism is practised by householders and nibbanic Buddhism by monks, for example. Damien Continue reading Does the kammatic/nibbanic distinction fit the facts?
Last winter my wife and I made a wonderful trip to Sri Lanka. Before I say anything about the trip’s philosophical implications, I just want to note that you should go there if you have the money and time to Continue reading Kammatic and nibbanic Buddhism
Weterners who have studied Buddhist philosophy and ethics, even when we have done so at length, are often thrown for a loop when we read the Mahāvaṃsa. This text – one of the most historically oriented texts in premodern South Continue reading A Buddhism very different than the one we think we know
Damien Keown’s The Nature of Buddhist Ethics closes by arguing for parallels between Buddhist and Aristotelian ethics. He claims that “there are many formal parallels between the ideal of human perfection conceived by the Buddha and that envisaged by Aristotle” Continue reading Aristotelian vs. Buddhist eudaimonia
Maria Heim just published a short book on Buddhist ethics, which starts with the problem of the non-existence of ethics in South Asian philosophy in general and in Buddhist philosophy in particular. She then moves to moral reflections within the Continue reading Maria Heim on Buddhist Ethics
The mainstreaming of mindfulness meditation continues at a rapid clip. According to the Center for Disease Control, in the years 2012 to 2017 the percentage of adults meditating in the United States more than tripled, to 17%. The American market Continue reading In defence of McMindfulness
It’s been a long time in the making, but my article on disengaged Buddhism is finally published. It’s at the free online Journal of Buddhist Ethics, so you can go read it for yourself. I’ll say a bit here about Continue reading Disengaged Buddhism article is published
As mindfulness meditation practices become ever more popular and widespread, their claim to be a “non-sectarian technique” takes on progressively greater importance, just as it does with yoga. By claiming their practices to be secular techniques, teachers not only can Continue reading Is mindfulness meditation a problem for Christians?
The term mindfulness is ubiquitous in English-language discussions of Buddhism – and beyond, in secular meditation techniques. When I first encountered Buddhism in Thailand, the English word “mindfulness” was central to my understanding of the tradition. My journals in 1997 described Continue reading On mindfulness