Dr. Ira Helderman is a licensed psychotherapist in addition to being a professor of religious studies. His book, Prescribing the Dharma: Psychotherapists, Buddhist Traditions, and Defining Religion, examines the diverse ways therapists incorporate, obscure, or transform Buddhist practices in therapy. In this interview, Dr. Helderman shares his nuanced views on religion and psychotherapy, self-disclosure, ethics, … Continue reading “There is No Exit From Values”: Ira Helderman on the Ethics of Mindfulness
Institute of Buddhist Studies student and Jodo Shin priest Landon Yamaoka reflects on engaging with the Black Lives Matter movement. For context on the history of Jodo Shin ethics as it relates to political movements, read Dr. Takashi Miyaji’s article here. This summer the Buddhist Churches of America’s Ministers Association put out a statement in … Continue reading Why Jodo Shin Buddhists Should Support BLM
Institute of Buddhist Studies professor Rev. Takashi Miyaji explains the historical context of ethics in Jodo Shin, and how this relates to current racial justice movements. Read Rev. Landon Yamaoka’s companion article on Black Lives Matter here. Living in a western society and growing up in America, I often believed—or perhaps I was conditioned to … Continue reading What are Jodo Shin Ethics?
Duncan Ryuken Williams is a professor Buddhist Studies and the Director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. He is also the author of American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War, an ordained Soto Zen priest, and a co-chair of Tsuru for Solidarity, an activist … Continue reading Duncan Williams on the Pendulum of American History
Dr. Stephanie Balkwill is a professor of Buddhist Studies at the University of Winnipeg. Her scholarship focuses on the social, literary, and political lives of Buddhist women. She is currently co-authoring a book entitled Buddhism and Statecraft in East Asia. Question: Many people argue that Buddhists should not engage in politics. Is Buddhism apolitical? Answer: … Continue reading Is Buddhism Apolitical?
Below, three Zen priests and teachers, Taigen Daniel Leighton, James Ishmael Ford, and Gesshin Greenwood give their individual interpretation of the line “Turning away and touching are both wrong, for it is like a massive fire.” These words are from Hokyo Zanmai (Precious Mirror Samadhi), a sutra chanted every other day in Zen monasteries throughout … Continue reading Three Zen Priests on the Precious Mirror Samadhi
Buddhism considers anger to be one of the “three poisons” that keep us trapped in an endless cycle of samsara. But anger also serves an evolutionary function, and working with anger skillfully (without denying our humanity and woundedness) is incredibly challenging. In the past few weeks, after the murder of George Floyd, our country has … Continue reading Lama Rod on “Love and Rage”
By Chenxing Han When my husband and I left Bangkok on March 5, we didn’t expect our short trip back to the Bay Area to become an indefinite stay, courtesy of covid-19. Fortunately—with the help of an international moving company and a Bangkok-based friend who had warned us to stay safe from the coronavirus and … Continue reading Recollecting Pratyekabuddhas: Reflections on Buddhism, Art, and Place
Akiko Rogers is student at the Institute of Buddhist Studies and an ordained Jodo Shin minister. Gesshin Greenwood is an ordained Zen priest and the chaplaincy program coordinator at IBS. They sat down together to discuss “other power,” American culture, and similarities and differences between Jodo Shinshu and Soto Zen. Gesshin: I wanted to do … Continue reading What is “Other Power?”
Amy Paris Langenberg is a specialist in South Asian Buddhism and her work focuses on gender, power, and the body. She is the author of Birth in Buddhism: The Suffering Fetus and Female Freedom and teaches at Eckard College. We are pleased to have her contribution to the Ten Thousand Thing’s “Ask a Scholar” feature. Q: … Continue reading What Does Buddhism Say About Abortion?