What is Buddhist Medicine?
with Dr. Pierce Salguero
Offered May 21, 2023
Dr. Pierce Salguero is a scholar specializing in the history of Buddhist medicine. He is the author of Buddhish: A Guide to the 20 Most Important Buddhist Ideas for the Curious & Skeptical and A Global History of Buddhism & Medicine, among many other books. He has a Ph.D. in the History of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (2010), and teaches Buddhism, Asian medicine, and history at Penn State University’s Abington College near Philadelphia.
In this freely offered event, Dr. Pierce Salguero explores the multifaceted tradition of “Buddhist medicine.” The Buddhist tradition defines itself as a collection of philosophical and practical solutions to ameliorate suffering. Illness is among the chief forms of suffering, and Buddhist traditions worldwide have sought to address this central human problem for millennia. This talk explores the multifaceted tradition of “Buddhist medicine.” It introduces a range of Buddhist ideas, practices, and other cultural and social formations that Buddhists across the world have utilized in seeking health and preventing disease. This body of healing knowledge emerged via centuries of interplay, borrowing, and translation between Asian cultures in the premodern period and is now practiced all over the world in diverse and locally-specific ways.
Black, Baptist, and Buddhist: A Conversation with Jan Willis
Offered May 15, 2023
Jan Willis and BCBS Director of Studies William Edelglass explore Jan's life and Buddhist engagement, drawing particularly on her memoir, Dreaming Me: Black, Baptist, and Buddhist, as well as her more recent collection, Dharma Matters: Women, Race, and Tantra. This program is freely offered.
When Jan Willis was offered a scholarship to attend Cornell, a cross was burned on her family’s lawn in Alabama. Raised as a Baptist in the Jim Crow South, engaged in the Civil Rights movement, she has devoted her life to understanding the roots of hatred and violence and exploring possibilities for peace. In the late 1960s, this exploration led Willis to study with Tibetan exile teachers in Nepal and a Ph.D. in Indic and Buddhist Studies at Columbia University. Over the next half-century, she established herself as one of the leading scholars in Buddhist Studies, publishing work on a wide range of themes: Buddhist philosophy, Buddhist meditation, women in Buddhism, biography and hagiography, Buddhism and race, and the ways in which work in philosophy and the social sciences can complement classical and contemporary Buddhist thought.
The Map of Wisdom: Joseph Goldstein on the Core Buddhist Teachings
Offered April 23, 2023
There are a number of core Buddhist teachings that we encounter in the early discourses. How do the ideas of impermanence, dependent arising, non-self, the Four Noble Truths, karma, compassion, and other essential teachings relate to each other? How do these core Buddhist insights complement meditation practice and support progress on the Path?
This online conversation between BCBS co-founder Joseph Goldstein and BCBS Director of Studies William Edelglass is based on two talks Joseph gave last summer that explore the essential insights of the Buddha in the early discourses and how they relate to each other. Joseph grounds his presentation, in the first talk, on the fundamental teaching that everything changes and how this insight illumines reality and informs the Four Noble Truths of suffering and its ending. In the second talk, Joseph continues his exploration, showing how the insights discussed in his first talk are directly connected to Buddhist teachings on dependent arising, karma, ethics, and compassion.
Grief, Translation, and the Wonder of Friendship:
A Book Launch Conversation on 'one long listening' by Chenxing Han
Offered April 11, 2023
How do we grieve our losses? How can we care for our spirits? How is it that 不知最亲切: not knowing is most intimate? one long listening: a memoir of grief, friendship, and spiritual care dances with these questions as it weaves together letters to a dying friend, bedside chaplaincy visits, and memories of a migratory childhood. In this book launch conversation, Chenxing Han, author of one long listening and Be the Refuge, is joined by Dr. Paula Arai, Eshinni and Kakushinni Professor of Women and Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies and author of numerous books, including Painting Enlightenment and The Little Book of Zen Healing.
Chaplains serve as translators between anguish and recovery, silence and speech, the broken and the whole. The training of Buddhist chaplains is still an emerging field, and the ethics of spiritual care in a multilingual, multicultural world remain ripe with questions. Guided by Buddhist teachings on spiritual friendship (kalyāṇamittatā), Chenxing and Paula invite us into an intimate evening of conversation, storytelling, and companionship with the unknown.
This event was co-sponsored with the Institute of Buddhist Studies.
Wild Mind, Wild Earth: Zen Wisdom and Poetry in a Time of Ecological Crisis
Offered Dec. 4, 2022
David Hinton’s work explores how the wisdom, poetry, and practice of Chinese Buddhism invite us to recognize the kinship of mind and nature, a relationship that must be reanimated if we are to address the intersecting ecological crises of our time. How classical Chinese Buddhism, especially Chan, and contemporary environmental thought flow together at this critical juncture in human history is at the heart of Hinton’s new book, Wild Mind, Wild Earth: Our Place in the Sixth Extinction. David will be joined in conversation by Buddhist scholar and environmental philosopher William Edelglass, Director of Studies at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.
Yom Kippur for Buddhists: A Survive-and-Thrive Guide
Offered Oct. 2, 2022
For practicing and non-practicing Jews (and allies) alike, Yom Kippur presents an invitation and a challenge. On the one hand, it is very widely observed -- often with family -- and invites a kind of introspection familiar to lovers of the Dharma. On the other hand, Yom Kippur can be profoundly alienating in its approach to ethical refinement, its theistic liturgy, and its contemporary cultural trappings. In this session, Jay Michaelson explores some Dharmic practices, texts, and wisdom for making the most of this "retreat of retreats" (Shabbat Shabbaton).
Dreaming Ourselves Into Existence: Dukkha, Non-Self, and Waking Up
Offered Sept 4, 2022
Joseph Goldstein and William Edelglass discuss the three characteristics of impermanence, dukkha, and non-self which helps us lay down the burden of craving and grasping, softening the heart, and leading to a sense of liberation that comes with relinquishing clinging to a self. This discussion is based on Joseph’s essay, “Dreaming Ourselves Into Existence” (available here), and his dharma talk, “Dukkha and Non-Self” (available here).
Dukkha Without Tanha: Integrating Buddhist Insights and Neuropsychology
Offered August 21, 2022
Rick Hanson and William Edelglass offer this conversation informed by Rick’s recent book, Neurodharma: New Science, Ancient Wisdom, and Seven Practices of the Highest Happiness, particularly focused on the selection published in the BCBS Insight Journal on why life is not inherently suffering.
“Oh Freedom!”: Buddhist, Christian, and African-American Liberation
Offered August 7, 2022
African American social protest songs, Buddhist traditions, and Christian mysticism all offer a path and express a longing for liberation. In this recorded event, Kaira Jewel Lingo and Melanie Harris explore engaged Buddhism, African American social protest songs, and Christian mysticism, as well as the importance of contemplative mindfulness practices that support us in touching freedom, coming home to ourselves, and deepening ancestral rootedness.
Exploring Dharma Practice and Right Action in an Age of Climate Change
Offered June 5, 2022
Thanissara and William Edelglass explore "Right Action" for these times that the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) calls "Nothing less than a Red Alert for humanity." In a IPCC report from April 2022, UN Secretary-General António Guterres states, "It's now or never!" What does this context mean for us as Dharma practitioners?
The Transformative Power of Ritual and Ceremony in Buddhist Practice
Offered April 3, 2022
Zenju Earthlyn Manuel and Paula Arai discuss the shamanistic dimensions of Buddhist practice, exploring the healing and transformative power of ritual and ceremony based on Zenju Osho’s recent book, The Shamanic Bones of Zen: Revealing the Ancestral Spirit and Mystical Heart of a Sacred Tradition.
Exploring Nibbana: A Conversation with Joseph Goldstein
Offered January 9, 2022
Joseph Goldstein and William Edelglass, BCBS Director of Studies, explore approaches to Nibbana as discussed in Joseph's recent article in Insight Journal, "Reflections on Nibbana".
Visceral Enlightenment: Somatic Practice as a Dharma Path
Offered December 18, 2021
Emptiness and Form: Fiction and the Dharma
Offered December 12, 2021
Ruth Ozeki, Zen Buddhist priest and novelist, and professor Francisca Cho, one of the most prominent contemporary scholars on Buddhism and literature, explore emptiness and form, and the many ways that reading and writing literature can teach the dharma. Ruth's most recent novel, The Book of Form and Emptiness, was published by Viking in September 2021.
A Wild Love for the World:
Joanna Macy on Grief, Gratitude, and Belonging
Offered May 22, 2021
Joanna Macy, author, teacher, and scholar of Buddhism, systems thinking, and deep ecology is joined by Stephanie Kaza, author of Green Buddhism and professor emerita of environmental studies, in an exploration of the state of the world, our grief and gratitude, and our deep belonging to the living Earth. This conversation includes their timely insights for the challenges facing us today: climate chaos, pandemic, economic collapse, racial injustice, and the undermining of democracy. Topics are drawn from Joanna’s new book, A Wild Love for the World: Joanna Macy and the Work of Our Time (Shambhala, 2020), as well as the 30th anniversary updated edition of World as Lover, World as Self.
Buddhism, Race, and American Belonging:
An Asian American View
Offered March 21, 2021
Duncan Ryūken Williams and Chenxing Han draw from their recent books American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War and Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists to investigate the Asian American Buddhist experience. These groundbreaking books form the basis for a timely conversation on buried histories, trailblazing contributions, race and identity, belonging and refuge.
The Deepest Peace:
Contemplations From a Season of Stillness
Offered January 17, 2021
Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, ordained Zen Buddhist priest, and Kaishin Unique Holland, Zen practitioner and educator, offer meditation, reading, and conversation on Sensei’s latest publication, The Deepest Peace: Contemplations From a Season of Stillness.
A Solstice Eve Sound Meditation
Offered Dec 20, 2020
Laurie Anderson has been practicing Buddhist meditation and investigating the nature of sound for more than forty-five years. This freely offered sound meditation explores some of what we might be learning about sound, communication, and empathy in the covid era. We were happy to present this program in collaboration with the Insight Meditation Society (IMS).
Mindfully Confronting Racism:
Buddhism and the Inner Work of Racial Justice
Rhonda Magee &
Offered Dec 12, 2020
In this practice and inquiry session, freely offered in support of BCBS, Rhonda Myozen Magee and Bhikkhu Anālayo explore how mindfulness can increase our capacity to address racism and other socially-constructed oppressions and vulnerabilities in our times.
A Conversation with Joseph Goldstein and Dawn Scott
Offered Nov 23, 2020
In this event BCBS co-founder Joseph Goldstein, BCBS teacher Dawn Scott, and BCBS Director of Studies William Edelglass explore how Buddhadharma is transmitted and transformed by a new generation. How do we remain grounded in the liberating wisdom and practices of the traditions we have inherited even as we directly address the turbulence and urgency of our times, and share these teachings with an ever-growing and changing community of practitioners?