Texts from the wise?

koanFor more of these, you’ll need to go to my tumblr at http://dispirited-dave.tumblr.com/

 

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“Can atheists be spiritual? Sam Harris reignites long-running debate”

Over at the Religion News Service, Chris Stedman has been exploring whether atheists can be spiritual..

The article is at: http://chrisstedman.religionnews.com/2014/01/30/can-atheists-spiritual-sam-harris-reignites-long-running-debate/  – and I am delighted to be quoted. Of course, atheists can enjoy sunsets, marvel at our place in the cosmos, reflect deeply on ethics and our interconnectedness – but I argue that we can do this as part of what it is to be human, without the loaded, ambiguous and problematic label of ‘spirituality’. Sure, we can be ‘deep’ – but are we so anxious to show it that we need to resort to so muddled a term?

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Meditation, Meditation, Meditation

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

timecovers

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..

Should a Buddhist Monastic hold Political Views: An Example from the Māgandiya-sutta

Important issue..

Paul Fuller: Buddhist Studies

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In 1963 Thich Nhat Hanh coined the term Engaged Buddhism.  This type of Buddhism asks certain question, for example, should the layman simply acquire merit and seek a better rebirth? Should the monk simply be a field of merit? Should not the layperson also meditate? Should the monastic also be involved in the world, even in politics?

History

Buddhism addresses the problem of ‘suffering’ (dukkha). In the past the origins of dukkha are twofold: ‘craving’, characterised as greed hatred and delusion and ‘ignorance’, characterised as ignorance of the way things are (that there is suffering and that things are dependently originated). In this understanding there is nothing wrong with the world but with the way in which we perceive things. We perceive the world with greed, hatred and delusion. Social structures are, in a way, part of the problem: they enforce craving and ignorance.

Engaged Buddhism analyses social…

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