I’ve recently come to identify an area of experience which I am here naming “interreligious angst.” It first came up last year, when I had my first experience of it, and since has recurred with increasing frequency, such that I am now able to observe a pattern of certain elements involved. What happens is that, [...]
I’ve been rejoicing to witness our US presidential election campaign narrative turning to economics, thanks to a contender with a background in the private equity business (or, vulture capitalism, as it is known to some). At the same time, I continue to feel great anguish that poverty and our nation’s and earth’s most impoverished have [...]
I tend to think of Buddhist practice as a way of cultivating a mind so stable that such storms leave it unscathed, and I often judge myself harshly when I fail to live up to that standard—when the storm breaks through my mental roof, leaking in toxic emotions, and I’m too exhausted, or cynical, or just plain lazy to apply the Buddha’s teachings. Suffering and delusion are always my suffering and delusion. They are always personal, always private, and always necessitate a private remedy. What I often forget, though, is just how much social, political, and economic structures really do affect our ability to practice the dharma.
With the recent controversy over a compromise to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, with congress threatening to de-fund everything from AmeriCorps to NPR, and with fiscal battles raging at the state level, government spending and revenue has become surprisingly hot-button issues. What’s even more surprising is how much classical Buddhist thinkers have had to say about taxes and fiscal policy. Now is a perfect time to survey some of their thoughts on these topics. Rather than serving as a liability, these thinkers’ cultural, political, and historical distance from us can give us some much-needed perspective on our own time and place.
Two years ago I started Dana Wiki, an online, collaborative handbook to help American Buddhist congregations get more involved in community service. This past week, I re-launched the site with new hosting, an improved design, and a shiny new URL—www.danawiki.org. What’s more, I recently did an interview about Dana Wiki and American Buddhist in general [...]