Why is Evan Thompson not a Buddhist? (1)

Recently Evan Thompson released a book with the provocative title Why I Am Not A Buddhist. The book is an interesting constructive exploration that draws heavily on Thompson’s long background in the mind sciences as well as a deep engagement Continue reading Why is Evan Thompson not a Buddhist? (1)

The theology of Vaikuṇṭha: Why should you want to be in heaven?

We all know so many clever jokes about how hell should be preferred “because of the good company” and about how boring should heaven be. Let me take the chance to focus on the Śrīvaiṣṇava heaven, i.e., Vaikuṇṭha, and see Continue reading The theology of Vaikuṇṭha: Why should you want to be in heaven?

Could Upaniṣadic sentences be interpreted as prescriptions? A debate within Maṇḍana’s Vidhiviveka

Within the Vidhiviveka, a Prābhākara-inclined Mīmāṃsaka debates with a Vedāntin about the meaning of Upaniṣadic sentences on the self. The Prābhākara insists that all sentences should be injunctive in character, and that Upaniṣadic sentences should also be interpreted in this Continue reading Could Upaniṣadic sentences be interpreted as prescriptions? A debate within Maṇḍana’s Vidhiviveka

McMindfulness and Engaged Buddhism: the twin innovations

Ron Purser’s critique of McMindfulness is in line with William Edelglass’s critique of the “happiness turn” in Western Buddhism. Purser and Edelglass are both right to note that something new, less traditional, is going on in modern mindfulness. For there Continue reading McMindfulness and Engaged Buddhism: the twin innovations

In defence of McMindfulness

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

Is mindfulness meditation a problem for Christians?

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?

Why is bhakti different than the other human purposes? Vīrarāghavācārya on Pūrva Mīmāṃsā Sūtra 1.1.2

Vīrarāghavācārya was a 20th c. Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedāntin whose editorial and commentarial contribution to his school will remain impressive for many generations to come. Personally, I am particularly pleased by his attempts to think along the tradition in a creative way. Continue reading Why is bhakti different than the other human purposes? Vīrarāghavācārya on Pūrva Mīmāṃsā Sūtra 1.1.2

The importance of being Thich Quang Duc

In the Śikṣā Samuccaya‘s chapter on patient endurance, Śāntideva urges aspiring bodhisattvas to attain a meditative state (samādhi) called the Sarvadharmasukhākrānta, which Charles Goodman translates as “Everything is Covered with Happiness.” Śāntideva makes truly extraordinary claims about what is possible Continue reading The importance of being Thich Quang Duc

Emotions in Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta philosophy: Distance and closeness

The main thing which stroke me when I started working on the theory of emotions in Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta is that emotions can be useful and are not to be avoided. In other words, unlike some Sāṅkhya-Yoga philosophers, the Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta Continue reading Emotions in Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta philosophy: Distance and closeness