The oldest Buddhist monument was discovered in 2021 in the ancient Pakistani city of Barikot in the Swat Valley. Stefano Bettera discusses how this finding is part of an ever growing body of evidence that the development of Buddhism has been profoundly shaped by its encounter with various cultures.
Bernat Font argues that the renunciant attitude underlying the noble truths and some meditation practices has to be examined with care and fully acknowledged; we may need to look beyond the early texts into how later Buddhisms addressed desire and embodiment, or into more contemporary perspectives. The richness of these teachings is vast: there are many ways to sit and celebrate.
SBN interviewed David Edwards, the co-editor of the UK-based media watch site Media Lens and author of several books. David discussed his critique of corporate media bias and how political activists can make a real difference by focusing on being, not just on doing; on learning to truly live and feel, rather than solely on external change.
Despite its increasing popularity, there is much we do not know about how people practice meditation, including the optimal amount or ‘dose’ associated with particular outcomes. Consider joining a study to help researchers learn more about the impact of meditation.
SBN Contributor Bernat Font is starting a monthly study group in September. The group will review and explore basic notions and doctrines of the dharma; in this sense, it will be a sort of ‘Buddhist literacy’ class.
Bernat Font provides a summary and review of Evan Thompson’s recent book, ‘Why I am not a Buddhist’. While criticizing key concepts in ‘Buddhist modernism’, Thompson asserts that, at its best, Buddhism can challenge our excessive confidence that science explains what the world really is like while offering a radical critique to our narcissistic concern with the self.
Whether we like it or not, to reduce Buddhism to a detached and repetitive liturgical religiosity, means to keep our heads turned towards the past and also means losing the potential for a sensitive engagement with tradition. A vibrant and living spirituality must be known, lived, and experienced in our bodies, our practices, and our way of being.
This unconventional glossary provides us with grounded, experienced-based definitions of qualities, attitudes, skills, and concepts which are relevant to all meditators.
I met Sonam Tsering at a performance of traditional Tibetan music and dance in Dharamsala. With tan skin and hair tied up in a knot at the top of his head, his samurai looks don’t give any clue to his story. He jokes constantly, exuding ease and directness while showing off a broad and shiny smile; but when a friend of his makes a reference to Buddhist philosophy, he startled me with a confident discourse that is not easy to find in the average Tibetan.