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Barbara O'Brien

Buddhism June 2012 Archive


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Dharma, an Indefinable Word

Thursday June 28, 2012
I've been writing an article on the meaning and usage of the word dharma. It's an essential word that we all use, but we don't always define it. And what ... Read More

Shaping the Container

Wednesday June 27, 2012
Most of the people fired up to "westernize" Buddhism (or "naturalize" it, which amounts to the same thing) argue about changing the philosophical foundations and teachings. Basically, they want to ... Read More

The "Crazy Cloud" Fog of Zen

Tuesday June 26, 2012
We talked recently about the "crazy wisdom" traditions in Buddhism. At Patheos, Justin Whitaker has a post touching on crazy wisdom called "Eccentric Buddhist Masters" that I want to address ... Read More

Buddhism and Violence

Thursday June 21, 2012
Violence between Rohingya Muslims and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in western Burma  has resulted in 62 deaths so far, a government official says. Mobs from both groups have attacked, beaten, and ... Read More


Wednesday June 20, 2012
I just want to toss something out for discussion -- Zen teacher James Ford is commenting on another post that includes a quote from a Tricycle article. In the quote, ... Read More

Rites of Passage

Tuesday June 19, 2012
While cleaning out a closet I found the certificate I received to become an "official" student of Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, New York. Dated March 13, 1988 (which ... Read More

How Not to Solve Problems With Dharma

Thursday June 14, 2012
There's a World Conference of Buddhism going on in South Korea right now, and the 17 member Chinese delegation has walked out, packed their bags, and gone home. Why? Because ... Read More

Going to Extremes

Wednesday June 13, 2012
Definition of extreme --  existing in a high degree; going to great or exaggerated lengths; radical; exceeding the ordinary, usual, or expected In a sense, Buddhism is extreme. Realizing the ephemeral ... Read More

National Media Asks If Diamond Mountain Is a Cult

Saturday June 9, 2012
If you missed last night's Nightline on ABC television, you can watch the segment on Ian Thorson's death online. The word "cult" crops up frequently. ABC News stops short of ... Read More

Right Speech vs. Misbehaving Monastics

Wednesday June 6, 2012
Often when I write a blog post critical of a misbehaving monk or teacher, someone objects on the grounds of Right Speech. The historical Buddha taught that Right Speech has ... Read More

Diamond Mountain Story in New York Times

Wednesday June 6, 2012
Finally, a major news outlet has taken note of the death of Ian Thorson this past April. New York Times reporter Fernanda Santos reveals little we haven't already been told, ... Read More

Western Philosophical Chauvinism

Tuesday June 5, 2012
My introduction to Asian spiritual traditions came from a Unitarian minister who had spent some time at the San Francisco Zen Center when the late Shunryu Suzuki Roshi was there. ... Read More

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