Upcoming talks

Looking forward to this event in Groningen:

Colloquium on Asian religions | Buddhism and Fetish

When: Mo 27-10-2014
Start: 16:00
End: 17:30
Where: Oude Boteringestraat 38, Groningen


Upcoming events, Fall 2014

Thursday, November 13, 1 p.m.
Workshop: “Desire-Cessation Theories of Happiness”
Featured speakers: Bernard Reginster, Brown University; Susan Sauve Meyer, University of Pennsylvania; David Webster, University of Gloucestershire
Corliss Brackett seminar room, 45 Prospect Street

Friday, November 14, 4-6 p.m.
David Webster, University of Gloucestershire
Public Lecture: “Fruits of the Pointless Life: Buddhist Thought in an Atheistic Future”
Crystal Room, Alumnae Hall (194 Meeting Street)
Reception to follow on site.

Anger, and its risks

I’ve just had a piece go up at http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/04/anger-bad-for-health-has-uses 

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 19.51.57

From early comments maybe I should have been clearer that my goal was, by the end of the short piece, to distinguish between types of anger. The Buddhist typology I spoke of is clearly not about anger – but the way things like Abhidhamma texts examine cittas such as chanda – and declare them ethically variable..

Oh – and for anti-anger Buddhism , the Pali Canon looks safe – but Wrathful Deities?

Meditation, Meditation, Meditation

The people at Tricycle put this on their Facebook page this week..


On his page, Dan Fisher featured the image with the phrase:

How “the Mindfulness Movement Uses Buddhism to Prop Up the White-Supremacist-Capitalist-Cishet Patriarchy” – a phrase he borrows from Josh Eaton. I think there is a seed (grain?) of truth here. Like many others, I’m heartened and moved by accounts of Mindfulness being used to help those with anxiety, (MBSR, etc!) : But – there’s just something about the co-opting of it by various groups, its repackaging and reselling and that makes me more than a little uncomfortable. I think I’ll try and disentangle my thoughts on this later in the year..

Dispirited interview with Tricycle Magazine

tricDispirited interview with Tricycle Magazine

I know I am overdue to post about the SBNR issues with studies and mental health – and that’ll appear..

But till then – here’s an interview (entitled ‘The Dangers of Spirituality”) that I did with the Buddhist magazine Tricycle’s website:


Meanwhile, at American Buddhist Perspective..

More interesting stuff from Justin, on models of thought in Buddhism:

I am often asked “why ‘impose’ Western models of thought on Buddhism?” as if discussing the nature of Buddhist philosophy or ethics is some sort of new colonialist/imperialist activity. The fact is, the Buddha used countless models, analogies, and illustrative examples in his teachings. READ MORE

When I have more energy, I think there is much to be said on how Buddhism engages models of teaching… Till then, I’ll make do with a quote from the Mahaparinibbana Sutta;

I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back.