Short to medium length pieces of writing originally published in a periodical (journal, newspaper, magazine, etc). For papers published in non-periodic collections, see papers.

The world went from a situation where most of humanity had no need of money at all to one where today most of humanity struggles to survive on extremely small amounts of money. The graph casts this as a decline in poverty, but in reality what was going on was a process of dispossession

‘I smiled at the guards standing at my cell,’ he writes. ‘Being thrown in the Hole was worth the pleasure of seeing them still alive.’

the vinaya is nearly as central to the Buddhist religion as the shari’a is to Islam. If we were to rank religions in order of legalism, Theravada would come at the legalistic end of the scale, near to Islam and far from, for example, Taoism.

how to interpret Buddhist Sanskrit texts in such a way as to avoid unnecessary bastardization of the English language, while still performing the scholarly task of making available the meaning of such texts to the scholarly community

If you can intentionally kill out of compassion, then fine, go ahead. But are you sure? Are you sure that what you think are friendliness and compassion are really friendliness and compassion? Are you sure that some subtle aversion and delusion have not surfaced in the mind?

To approach what, for the want of a better term, we call the mythic portions of the Nikayas with the attitude that such categories as “mythic symbol” and “literally true” are absolutely opposed is to adopt an attitude that is out of time and place. It seems to me that in some measure we must allow both a literal and a psychological interpretation. Both are there in the texts.

On separating out early from later Buddhism and why it matters.

simultaneously donning a tolerant posture while claiming the overriding-ness of one’s religion was in fact a distinct phenomenon from what could be called “synthesis,” and has in actuality characterized many syncretistic endeavors in Chinese history.

One thing we can be certain of is that capitalism will end.

madness itself is not a role that can be played any old how. In every generation are quite firm rules about how you should behave when you are crazy.

the vast majority of Americans (97 percent) are forfeiting the chance to enhance their well-being by practicing real generosity with their money.

A period of disorientation or depression is a small price to pay for more accurate knowledge.

the most truthful way of regarding illness — and the healthiest way of being ill — is one most purified of, most resistant to, metaphoric thinking

In Theravāda monasteries, nuns, even those who have been ordained for decades, typically sit on a mat on the floor, while monks, even those who have just been ordained, sit on a raised platform above them. The seating arrangement of nuns below or behind the monks is symbolic of [their] subordinate position

the common interpretation of the jhānas as absorption-concentration attainments [is] incompatible with the teachings of the Pāli Nikāyas. […] one attains the jhānas, not by one-pointed concentration and absorption into a meditation object, but by releasing and letting go of the foothold of the unwholesome mind […] the entrance into the first jhāna is the actualization and embodiment of insight practice.

The tale is best understood in the light of the need of the early Buddhist tradition to demarcate its position in the ancient Indian context vis-à-vis ascetic practices and ideology.

Handicapped and at-risk Vietnamese youths share their appreciation and enthusiasm for a mindfulness meditation course.

In which the hacker tourist ventures forth across the wide and wondrous meatspace of three continents, acquainting himself with the customs and dialects of previously unknown and unchronicled folk … and other material pertaining to the business and technology of Undersea Fiber-Optic Cables, as well as an account of the laying of the longest wire on Earth

In general, we humans are a self-interpreting species for whom the practice of recollecting and redescribing ourselves is a crucial necessity. For us the reconstruction of identity is a continuous process wherein the past is selectively crafted into a history. It is a creative and self-constitutive exercise. We come to know each other and ourselves not by exchanging resumes (mere inventories of events), but by telling our stories. And our stories change as we do; they reflect what actually happened and what we think is worth remembering, they reflect who we were, who we are, and who we would like to become.

this similarity is neither accidental, nor caused by the Buddha’s inability to free himself from the mental paradigms of his culture. I would rather argue that he formulated Pratityasamutpada as a polemic against Vedic thought.

In this essay, Judith Shklar (not a Buddhist) ponders the implications of placing cruelty first (as the Buddha did). She shows how this position stands at odds with both Christian piety and neoliberal apathy and carves out a more realistic humanism than either extreme.

…recognize that this view is not scientific discovery: it is ideology.

Placing the Pali discourses and their counterparts in the Chinese Āgamas side by side often brings to light an impressive degree of agreement, even down to rather minor details. This close agreement testifies to the emphasis on verbatim recall in the oral transmission of the early discourses. In this respect the early Buddhist oral tradition forms a class of its own in the ambit of oral literature

An oral history of the antiquities smuggling which brought ancient Cambodian art to the Western world.

someone is a sequence of choices, and the question is: Will my next choice be conscious, and will my ability to make it be unfettered?