A Buddhist Response To The Boston Tragedy: No Such Thing As “Inherent Evil”

| Tags: , , , , , ,
On a day of insanity and horror, one of the most heartwarming things for me was reading this passage in comedian Patton Oswalt's Facebook post about the Boston Marathon tragedy, which went viral on the social network: (more…)

New Podcast Available

| Tags: , , , , ,
Here is a new free podcast on the interdependence Project website. It's a recording of a talk I gave about the practice of forgiveness on last September 11th in Seattle at the NalandaWest Center. hope you enjoy. I'm going to try to update my website daily, so please check that the daily updates. If you are in NY, hope to see you tonight at the Shambhala Center for the Weekly Dharma Gathering, or Thursday night for the beginning of the Shambhala curriculum course.

First Photo of The Sakyong’s New Daughter: Are Women the Future of Buddhism?

| Tags: , , , , , , ,
The wife of my teacher Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, Khandro Tseyang (also known as the Sakyong Wangmo) just gave birth to their 2nd daughter, Jetsun Yudra. Here is the first public photo of the couple with their new daughter. So this is a pretty wonderful day for them and anyone involved in the Shambhala community. May all be basically awesome for them, and may Jetsun Yudra feel welcome and at home on Earth. (more…)

New Talks by Ethan on the Shambhala Podcast

| Tags: , , , , ,
Hey friends, my latest free recorded podcast talk from a few months back, "What is Enlightened Society?" was just posted on the podcast of Shambhala NYC. A few other talks are also available at the main link. For a more in-depth online study experience, I am looking forward to teaching a six week course with two Buddhist psychologists in a few weeks, "Spiritual Awakening NOT Spiritual Bypassing" at the Interdependence Project. Should be a really awesome course, with a really great group. Glad we can make this stuff available online, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to find sangha in person. Enjoy! (Follow Ethan on Twitter and Facebook)

Message to The Shambhala New York Community (As Well As The NY-area Interdependence Project Community, and Everyone Else)

| Tags: , , , ,
Photo from Instagram of Empire State Building Lit During Blackout  (power in Manhattan is expected back Friday Night or Saturday - other places may not be so lucky) Dearest Friends, Greetings from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the lights are on and many Manhattan refugees are gathering for showers, coffee, and cellphone charging. It feels like this is such a crucial time for us to connect however we can as a sangha. If there is any message I take from these incredible days, it is a powerful reminder that we are ALL in this together - this sangha, this city, this region, this planet. Over the past 72 hours I've connected with so many dear friends in this community  - via phone, text, email, Facebook and Twitter. These connections take on new meaning at a time like this - imbued with a vividness, a warmheartedness, a true human connection that we strive to uncover

Radical Buddhism and the Paradox of Acceptance

| Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
(originally on The Huffington Post 8/20/10) Critical theorist Slavoj Zizek has an interestingly harsh critique of Western Buddhism and the meditation tools it employs. Framing his critique in Marxist terms, he argues that Buddhism is the perfect spiritual tradition to be co-opted by our self-absorbed, destructive, and consumeristic society. For him, Buddhism represents the perfect ideology for passive acquiescence to the world as it is, a panacea of inner peace that fits neatly into an advertising culture where, by now, "be present" could just as well be the slogan of a credit card company as an instruction from a meditation teacher. Zizek writes, "[Western Buddhism allows us 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 how worthless the spectacle is -- what really matters to you is the peace of the inner self to