This blog appeared on TheConversation.com. What is a bodhisattva? A scholar of Buddhism explains…. Read more…
[VIDEO] Interview About Global History of Buddhism & Medicine
A conversation with Frances Garrett and graduate students at the University of Toronto about A Global History of Buddhism & Medicine, on the podcast Buddhist Studies Foonotes.
[VIDEO] Integrating Scholarship and Practice
A conversation with Sabine Wilms and her Imperial Tutor Tea Time Talks about integrating scholarship and the practice of Buddhism and Asian medicine. https://imperialtutor.kartra.com/videopage/ScholarshipandPractice
Teaching College as a Spiritual Practice
What if our teaching was our sacred mission, our soulwork, our spiritual practice? What would we do differently? What would change?
[REPOST] There is much more to mindfulness than the popular media hype
This blog appeared on TheConversation.com. Mindfulness is seemingly everywhere these days. A Google search I conducted in January 2022 for the term “mindfulness” resulted in almost 3 billion hits. The practice is now routinely offered in workplaces, schools, psychologists’ offices
A Pedagogy of the Soul
Our students are living under an unimaginable burden of trauma. But, how much are we taking these factors into account in the classroom? And what would really showing up for our students demand from us?
In defense of a little romanticism… or, how Mr Miyagi inspired me to become a professor
We must make a fateful choice. Will we hide our hearts behind our lecture notes and bury our heads in our theoretical postulates? Or, will we risk helping our students get a little bit drunk on romantic talk of magic, wholeness, and transformation?
[VIDEO] Navigating Different Medical Paradigms
A wide-ranging conversation between Pierce Salguero and Beth Gram of the Chinese Medicine Education Cooperative. Topics covered include the influence of Buddhism on Chinese medicine, medical pluralism in China, parallels between medieval China and today, cultural translation vs appropriation, differences
[VIDEO] Buddhist Responses to COVID-19
A brief lecture on Buddhist responses to the pandemic.
The Humanities are an Endless Fractal
The humanities will make many important contributions to the world, for sure, but there will be no arrival at a final destination, no resolution into a final perspective. But yet, to be a humanist is to be entranced by the analysis of those endless details, to be thrilled by uncovering successive layers of analysis.
[VIDEO] Conversation about meta-approaches to Asian medicine
A two-part discussion with Sabine Wilms’s Imperial Tutor Tea Time Talks group, recorded in summer and fall 2020. These talks respond directly to the blogs in the Meta-Approaches to Asian Medicine Series.
A Polyperspectival Asian Medicine Practice
My last three posts have dealt with meta-level epistemic questions in the study of Asian medicine. It is now time to focus in on how these big-picture concerns play out in day-to-day decision making in the clinic. This post explores
A Metamorphic Approach to Asian Medicine
Imagine you are some kind of super-intelligent alien located on a planet way out in the furthest reaches of the galaxy. You are looking out through a high-powered telescope, and have found this little planet called Earth. Your civilization’s advanced
[REPOST] Buddhist Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Historical Perspective
This blog appeared on BuddhistdoorGlobal.net. With the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, in late 2019, and its subsequent development into a global pandemic, Buddhist organizations have sprung into action around the world. Their responses have been diverse, reflecting
A Metadisciplinary Approach to Asian Medicine
Interdisciplinarity has failed as a model for collaboration in the study of Asian medicine. Here, I propose the new model of “metadisciplinarity” as a means of bringing people together in more productive and more generative ways. In my last post,
A Metamodern Approach to Asian Medicine
The traditional Asian medicine community has a communication problem. We know it all too well. Lawrence Cohen identified it decades ago when he wrote about the Third International Congress of Traditional Asian Medicine (ICTAM) in Bombay in 1990. He observed
Demolishers and Fabricators: A Post-Postmodern Fable
Demolishers seek to break down Systems. We turn our tools on all Ideologies, all Worldviews, and any other Big Ideas we are told we should conform to. We rip out the rugs of certainty, destabilize the comfortable, and reveal contingency
Some Ugly Truths I Wish I Knew Before Going into a PhD Program…. and 8 Tips for Surviving Them
Graduate school was for me, as I am sure it is for many, intellectually thrilling. It was a wonderful time of self-discovery and deep learning. I would do it all over again in a second. However, I also have to
Pedagogical Transparency & the Master Learning Objectives Grid
Having clear and explicit ideas about what exactly we want students to get out of our classes, and how our classes fit into their overall educational and personal development, is the paramount first step to building a course that is meaningful for students and faculty alike.
Let’s Put More Humanity Into the Humanities! (A Manifesto)
It’s a false dichotomy that more kindness means less rigor. Empowered, healthy scholars who were mentoring and supporting each other as a collective would likely be much more rigorous than a collection of competitive individualists who are at each others’ throats.
Deconstruction is no longer enough… what else do we have in our toolbox?
We need to make clear that humanistic scholarship has an entire toolkit that we can employ in the classroom for the benefit of the widest number of students. Some of those are critical tools, but there are also vital tools for empowerment, empathy, and meaning-making.
The world outside our lecture hall is on fire… but what are we professors doing about it?
Now, more than ever, how we approach our scholarship is inherently and inescapably a political matter. Shall we choose to bury our heads in the sand, or to use whatever platform we have to try to address the conflagration outside the window?
[REPOST] Curing Illness with Meditation in Sixth Century China
This blog was published on BuddhistDoor Though he lived in the sixth century, Zhiyi (538–597) has a lot to teach the modern practitioner of meditation, whether Buddhist or secular. He is best known as the founding patriarch of the Tiantai
What to Teach & How to Teach It
I have a true passion for teaching, and it is my strong belief that the humanities are indispensable in providing undergraduates important tools to understand the world and to actively engage in society. While the ideas I’ve outlined here represent
[REPOST] A Roundup of Critical Perspectives on Meditation
This blog was published in Patheos. I am not a scholar of Buddhist meditation. My own research has only touched on meditation insofar as it was claimed to have therapeutic benefits in a handful of texts in premodern Asia. But,
[REPOST] Buddhist Medicine
This blog was published in the Penn Museum Blog and the Penn Press Log. Knowledge about healing and disease has held a central place within Buddhist thought since the earliest times. Taken collectively, Buddhist perspectives on health, disease, healers, patients, therapies,
[REPOST] What is Buddhist Medicine?
This blog was published at Patheos.com. Recently, I invited my Facebook friends to submit questions on the topic of Buddhism and medicine. I collated the questions together, and wrote the brief responses below…. Is there such a thing as “Buddhist medicine”?
[REPOST] Is Yoga Cultural Appropriation?
This post appeared on Patheos.com While I am not a historian of yoga per se, my academic research focuses on the crosscultural exchange of Buddhist ideas about health globally, and I specifically focus a great amount of attention on the many acts
Team-Taught Course on Visualization Integrates Medieval Chinese Buddhism and STEAM
“LA 497: Visualization” was a team-taught course in Spring 2015 that was designed to encourage collaboration and integration. This class was funded by a Penn State University Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence grant. Using a fifth-century Chinese Buddhist text on visualization meditation
Dynasties & Dragons: A Role-Playing Game for Developing Term Papers
A Jesuit, a eunuch, and a courtesan walk into a classroom…. No, it’s not the opening of a tasteless joke. It’s just another episode of Dynasties & Dragons. Now in its fourth year of implementation, “the other D&D” has evolved
[REPOST] Translating Meditation in Popular American Media
This blog appeared on Patheos.com TIME magazine’s 2 Feb 2014 cover announces the arrival of the “Mindful Revolution.” The publication joins a flurry of recent examples confirming that a shift is taking place in the representation of meditation in American popular media. The
A Beginner’s Guide to the Academic Study of Chinese Buddhist Texts
Preliminary Readings The Encyclopedia of Buddhism has an entry-level essay on the Buddhist canon by (see Vol. 1, pp. 111–5). The Encyclopedia of Religion (2nd Edition) has two articles that serve as useful starting points. Under “Buddhist Books and Texts” in Vol.
A Beginner’s Guide to the Academic Study of History of Chinese Medicine
Here are some resources for getting started in the study of Chinese medical history. This page will be updated on a periodic basis, so feel free to suggest any additions via email or Facebook. The date above reflects the last time this page
Abstracts of Buddhist Medical Sources in Pāli
In this blog, I provide short abstracts of important Buddhist medical sources in Pāli. Note that I have only included texts, chapters, or sections that are primarily about medicine or nursing. There are many Buddhist texts that include isolated or
iPad-Enabled Hybrid Community-Engaged Course in Global History of Medicine
In Spring 2013, I taught HIST 497C Global History of Medicine, a weekly hybrid class that met both online and at various sites in the Philadelphia area. These meetings had two purposes: to learn about the history of medicine, and
The Grading “Scorecard”: A Tool for Teaching a Bimodal Student Body
Every semester, I teach an introductory-level course on Asian history or religious studies with enrollments of 25–30 students per section (no TAs). The students who take these courses tend to be non-majors who are trying to fulfill a humanities and
The Essentials of Practicing Śamatha and Vipaśyanā, Chapter 9: Treating Illness [Chinese text]
Zhiyi’s shorter treatise on śamatha and vipaśyanā (Xiao zhiguan 小止觀) exists today in several printed and manuscript versions, the most readily accessible of which appears in Taishō Tripiṭaka no. 1915. Based on extensive comparison of the extant versions, however, the Japanese scholar Sekiguchi Shindai has