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The Imperfect Buddha podcast explores the world of contemporary Western Buddhism mixing in banter with analysis, no holds barred discussion, and guest interviews. We shun Ted style talks in favour of in-depth discussion and interviews that have room to breathe. The podcast has a host site which features articles and essays on contemporary Western Buddhism, as well as show notes for each episode. Follow the link to find out more: http://imperfectbuddha.com The podcast is sponsored by O'Connel ...
 
Chicago, May 4, 1886. In the Haymarket region of the city, a peaceful Labor Day demonstration suddenly turns into a riot. The police intervene to maintain peace, but they soon use violence to quell the mob and a bomb is thrown, resulting in death and injuries to scores of people. In the widely publicized trial that followed, eight anarchists were condemned to death or life imprisonment, convicted of conspiracy, though none of them had actually thrown the bomb. A young Russian immigrant, Emma ...
 
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Down the country path we stroll for another practice episode, this time with our regular guest Glenn Wallis. We go through the personal questions I've been posing to all the guests this season, but we also make time to talk about the non-buddhism practice group, Incite events, and Glenn's new book An Anarchist Manifesto.The episode has a written pr…
 
And so it goes on. This is our second episode in the new practice series. In the meantime, I had something of an allergic reaction to social media, and the internet more broadly. Despite a pretty disciplined relationship with digital life, I had something akin to an epiphany mid-January and realised that in my own way I had got caught up in maintai…
 
Asian and Buddhist and living in America: Does any of that matter? Those focussed in on practice and not much else regarding Buddhism might proclaim a resounding no. Others, all too aware of the tendency of western practitioners to ignore culture, and Buddhism beyond the meditation cushion might instead bellow forth with a resounding yes! Whatever …
 
Happy New Year to one and all and welcome to this new season (proper) of the Imperfect Buddha Podcast. Focussed on practice, this season engages Buddhist teachers, long-term practitioners, and creative innovators engaged in the practising life. Interspersed with regular interviews, this practice focussed season finally gets the podcast off of the c…
 
Santiago Zabala was once described as a most ignorant philosopher by the American philosopher Brian Leiter: An interesting take that one will need to interpret for themselves in listening to this conversation on fake news, the role of interpretation, freedom, and being at large. Santiago is not at all ignorant, of course, and might be better unders…
 
This episode involves a conversation with the Tibetologist Sam van Schaik. Sam wrote his original PHd thesis on Dzogchen and the work of Jigme Lingpa and has been involved in the International Dunhuang Project at the British Library, where he currently works, and also teaches at the SOAS University in London. He also happened to write one of my fav…
 
In an attempt to make more sense of non-Philosophy, and therefore non-Buddhism, I interview Irish philosopher and academic John O Maoilearca, the author of All Thoughts Are Equal, an exceptionally accessible introduction to the work of that pesky French philosopher Francois Laruelle, who we’ve been name dropping on the podcast for quite some time.L…
 
"How do animals think? What does it mean to be at large? What is Buddhist Magic or even Tibetan Zen? These are questions posed by the three guests to follow in a rather lovely triad of interviews and conversations for the Imperfect Buddha Podcast; each one unique and diverse, each with a European guest, each tackling a topic that has long intereste…
 
Rethinking Practice at the Great Feast @INCITE SeminarsSaturday, July 25th, 10am-2pm EST / 4-8pm Europe /3pm-7pm UK. Online via Zoom.Come and join us on the 25th at Incite Seminars for an original workshop on Buddhism at the Great Feast for Incite Seminars. Pay what you can and dive into this experimental event online through Zoom. Description belo…
 
Ok, I went and did something a little bit different. I spoke directly to the time we live in. It may work. It may not. This is the first in a short series of audio articles. You can read the text version if you prefer over at the Imperfect Buddha site. It steers a path towards the practising life through the tumultuous times we inhabit...in stages.…
 
A new episode is here. The lingering challenge of conspiracies, fake news, and the emergence of information silos means that we as a global society are being confronted with a major challenge to our relationship to information, to facts, and to the epistemological challenges we have always been burdened with regarding knowledge and the act of knowi…
 
“In a society that has no future, the present gains exponentially in importance.”In the time of Corona, what are we to do with happiness? Today’s guest is an expert on the subject and the well-being industry. Dr Ashley Frawley studies the relationship between the ideology of self-care, technologies of the self and wider social policy and practice. …
 
The Practising Life in many ways starts when there is a crisis. Our capacity to walk the talk, make our practice more than a mere means for survival, or for managing the banality of our existence is tested. Buddhism has many resources for facing crisis, but there is another tradition that is just as good, if not better; Stoicism. And some of its pr…
 
This Turn takes us deep, deep down into the deep dark world of ideology to show why it's such a fundamental concept for understanding ourselves and the world, and the entanglement between the two, in an articulation of the concept of interdependence that rarely gets explored by Buddhists or spiritual folks alike. Three Europeans will help us on our…
 
Podcast meets Podcast. Adam Robbert from the Sideview boards the Imperfect Buddha to discuss the work of Pierre Hardot, author of Philosophy as a Way of Life, along with a long list of our shared favourite topics. We get into the nitty-gritty of the practising life, contemplation, reflection, embodied consciousness and martial arts, the path ahead,…
 
Off we go with our first long-form interview/conversation for 2020, and it’s with returning guest Daniel Ingram! Are you ready for more? It seems that many of you are. Back in 2019 when Daniel was visiting here in Trieste, we discussed a range of material we might cover on the podcast and one topic that repeatedly came up for Mr Ingram was his take…
 
This is our fourth foray into the land of Buddhism, Cults and Cult-like behaviours across mainstream Buddhist groups. Let’s be honest, this topic is always perversely interesting. If you missed out on our past episodes covering these topics, there are links and short intros below to those past episodes, which were a lot of fun. For our latest journ…
 
In a time of environmental meltdown, political and economic crisis, what should we do? What role can practice play? How are we to envision our place in the world, as protagonists in the destruction of our home, and mere bit part players in global conflict? Can we make a difference, or should we retreat to our personal spaces and meditate and be don…
 
Our year long-series on practice continues and we stray further into the world of politics and economics with this episode's guest. Economics is a form of human practice of course, and not a solid, eternal fixed inevitability. Like politics, it's a topic often resisted by spiritual and religious folks. In a democracy, we would all do well to educat…
 
Professor of philosophy, religion and integral ecology, at San Francisco University, Sam Mickey is our guest in this episode. We tackle many a topic but return throughout to the theme of the Great Feast, and embodiment, in facing existential threat, and environmental decay. We tackle the theme of justice too. Many of the themes connect to titles of…
 
It took a long time to get this one done and I hope it was worth it. Please note that the creative extras took up very little of that time, rather, it was finding a way to talk about big issues as a living practice beyond partisan politics and ideological capture. This podcast episode tackles politics as living culture and suggests that complexity …
 
It's been another busy period but finally it's time for Cleo Kearn's interview to be released into the world before I head off on holiday. Ritual and Resistance is the title of our conversation as we tackle ritual, religion, Buddhism, resistance and change. We discuss the following topics in the first half; Continental Philosophy, Anthropology and …
 
Are we all going down it too? Daniel Ingram returns to the podcast for a third and final conversation and what a rich one it was. I believe it is well worth your time. After reading some Trash Theory, Daniel accepted Glenn Wallis’s challenge to read his book and after exploring the infamous SNB heuristic, based on the work of the rascally Frenchman…
 
You’ve had the initial goods and as promised here’s the second helping of Mr Daniel Ingram. This conversation gets right to the point and tackles, in a rather condensed and humble manner, a work of collective, creative production over at the Speculative non-Buddhism site called Trash Theory; an exploration of practice beyond decision, beyond enchan…
 
After the creative wonders of the Critical Turn #1, we have the magical appearance of Daniel Ingram in two conversations covering a great deal of ground. Our first conversation covers a wide range of topics from practice to waking up, from generation-X to cynicism. The second covers a series of posts from the Speculative non-Buddhism site called Tr…
 
Critical turn #1On a deep dark night in a deep dark wood, something strange happened over at the Imperfect Buddha podcast. Was it a moment of folly? Was it a moment of genuine madness? It remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure is that a critical turn took place and in good company too. For in that deep dark wood there was a gathering and a f…
 
This is the second instalment of my wide-ranging conversation with Ken McLeod and Hokai Sobol. It features an extended introduction that is, in part, a response to feedback from episode 50, and I invite our more critically leaning listeners to gift feedback on what is an ongoing experiment in crafting conversations that will increasingly respond to…
 
This is a quick introduction to help you on your way through the new season of the Imperfect Buddha Podcast. After a year of traipsing the globe with academics in an outrageous attempt to address the anti-intellectualism rife across Buddhism, and spirituality more generally, we have landed with both feet on the ground in the terrain of practice. Th…
 
We have come to the end of our series engaging with academics from the world of Buddhist studies and other relevant disciplines and what better way to complete it than with an interview with Donald S. Lopez Jr. Donald is the Arthur E. Link distinguished professor of Buddhist and Tibetan studies at Michigan University and the well-known author of ma…
 
We reach our penultimate episode in this series with Buddhist academics. Richard K. Payne is former Dean of the Institute of Buddhist Studies and Yehan Numata Professor of Japanese Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies at Berkley. Richard also trained as a Shingon Priest, and provides interesting insight into Buddhism at his blog, C…
 
Here we are, the last in our three-part series on Buddhist Modernism, post-Modernism, and what comes after. We hope you've enjoyed it and found it educational and are ready for the final run. Professor Ann Gleig joins the podcast from sunny Florida for a discussion of her brand new book 'American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity'. Our discussion c…
 
In this second part of the series on Buddhist modernism, Buddhist post-modernism, and what comes next, I interview David L. McMahan, who is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin & Marshall College in the US. David is the well-known author of The Makings of Buddhist Modernism, which had a serious impact on more learned, thin…
 
Date: Saturday, February 23, 9am-1pm, at Culture Works in PhiladelphiaCost: Pay what you can, upwards to $90.For more than a decade, movement-based scholar AK Thompson has worked with Benjamin to weigh in on the key debates of our crisis-filled era. From engagements with pop culture’s latent promise to critiques of the cherished certainties that gu…
 
“All Buddhism is Cultural Buddhism.” Scott Mitchell is the Rev. Yoshitaka Tamai Professor of Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley and the author of "Buddhism in America: Global Religion, Local Context"(2016). His research interests include Buddhism in Western contexts, Buddhist modernity, Pure Land Buddhism…
 
Does western philosophy lack imagination when thinking about rebirth and reincarnation? What would Wittgenstein say? This episode features Dr Mickel Burley, a philosopher of religion from Leeds university in the UK. He wrote a fascinating book called Rebirth and the Stream of Life, which inspired me to have him on. He’s a big fan of Ludwig Wittgens…
 
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