Wednesday, 7 January 2015

The false promise of Mindfulness

A lot of what comes out of the rapidly growing "mindfulness industry" concerns using meditation as a palliative to soothe the stresses of existence in a contemporary capitalist environment.

 This article provides an insightful critique of this approach. Here is a snippet:

  "Mindfulness as taught by the Buddha is not merely a pacification of stress but one important aspect of a deep engagement with suffering that has a revolutionary nature, distinct from but in some ways complementary to that of the social revolution. Appreciating mindfulness for its revolutionary potential is not simply respectful of the Buddha’s teaching, it may be the only thing mindfulness is actually good for."

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Gentrifying the dharma: How the 1 percent is hijacking mindfulness

This article is well worth a read.

Zizeh is definitely onto something,  I think , with his critique of "Western Buddhism":

 “It enables you to fully participate in the frantic pace of the capitalist game, while sustaining the perception that you are not really in it; that you are well aware of how worthless this spectacle is; and that what really matters to you is the peace of the inner Self to which you know you can always withdraw.”

Friday, 7 December 2012

Tricycle article on the Dalai Lama and Marx

The popular Buddhist magazine Tricycle has an interesting and informative  on-line article on the Dalai Lama's relationship with Marxism.

The article also has some critical comments, following Zizek, on the potential for Western Buddism to foster an apthetic attitude towards suffering and injutice.

Well worth a read.

Friday, 8 June 2012

For whom the Bell Tolles

In my view, Eckhart Tolle has some useful things to say regarding present moment awareness and so forth. However, when he ventures into the "Consciousness is evolving" realm things get troubling.

The troubling aspects are insightfully described by "David the Blade" at the Guruphiliac blog:

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Nietzsche, Buddha, Marx

For all his vanity, grandiosity and offensiveness,  in my view Fiedrich Nietzsche had some profound insights. It may seem incongruous at first glance to suggest common threads between his philosophy, that of his compatriot Karl Marx, and the work of the Buddha.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Ambedkar: Buddha or Karl Marx

A classic article on the Buddha and  Marx was penned by the inspiring Indian political leader, jurist  and writer B.R. Ambedkar.  The essay was in draft form at the time of Ambedkar's death.

Ambedkar's death happened a few months after his conversion to Buddhism,  in which he also converted 500,000 of his supporters from the Dalit ("untouchable") caste. The revival of Buddhism in contemporary India through the Dalit Buddhist movement owes much to this event.

Friday, 4 May 2012

The point is not to interpret the world....

Here are some excerpts from the Pothapadda Sutta from the Pali Canon and Marx's Theses on Feurerbach, which both highlight the primacy of practice over theory and speculation.

Certainly, one is focussed on the inner world and the other on the outer, but essentially the concerns are the same.