Summary study of Karmayoga

When teaching my World Philosophy course, I try to highlight the ways that Daoist notions of wu-wei, Stoic (and in particular, Epictetus’) notion of living in accordance with nature, and the Gītā’s idea of karmayoga are three ways to approach Continue reading Summary study of Karmayoga

Classical and nondual mindfulness

Ron Purser’s critique of modern mindfulness is thoroughgoing, and extends beyond chastising its skepticism of political engagement. Purser also criticizes modern mindfulness on other grounds, grounds that I think are considerably closer to the views of classical (early) Buddhist texts. Continue reading Classical and nondual mindfulness

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)

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?

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

Buddhaghosa on seeing things as they are (1)

Earlier this year I examined the classic Pali Milindapañhā dialogue and its claim that while one can speak of oneself as a “convention” (vohāra), ultimately (paramattha) a person is not found. I referred in passing to the Visuddhimagga (Path of Continue reading Buddhaghosa on seeing things as they are (1)