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Discourse

Incremental Backups

Because the more people coming up with silly Dhamma T-shirts, the better. :) (link)

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Discourse Scholarship

Conditionality (Idappaccayatā) vs Dependent Origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda): Part 2, Conversations with Leigh Brasington

Edit: If you want to start with Part 1, that’s here. The meditation teacher Leigh Brasington wrote a book on Dependent Origination which he self published and made available for Dāna on his website. He kindly (and enthusiastically!) read my previous post on DO and Conditionality. With his permission, here’s an image we cobbled together: A few […]

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Discourse Meta

What About “Postmodern Dhamma”?

After I left military service in 2014, I moved to Paris and studied Philosophy for two years. The most important course I took during that time was “Modern Critical Theory” where a long-limbed, curly-cue of a Frenchman introduced me to Postmodernism and Critical Theory. In that course I read Western thinkers touching into the same concepts […]

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Discourse Scholarship

Now Get On With It.

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The Why, What, and How of the Independent PhD: Part 1.1, Why? Independent vs Institutional PhDs

In Part 1 we talked about motivation for starting an Independent PhD. But why an Independent PhD rather than a classic, Institutional PhD? I describe my Independent PhD as “Four-ish years of study, practice, and discourse that culminates in a book no-one will read.” But the beauty of an Independent PhD is that it doesn’t have to be four […]

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Discourse

The Blind People and the Elephant, Alternate Ending

You probably know the Indian parable of the Blind People and the Elephant (Ud 6.4), where a group of folks who are blind-since-birth are brought together ’round an elephant. I propose a different ending. What if, instead, the blind people figure it out by working together?

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Discourse Practice Scholarship

Transcendent vs Imminent Nibbāna. Is this a thing? And how does it impact practice? (Part 1)

Part 1 – Are there two Nibbānas?

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Discourse Practice Scholarship

On Anurodha, “Liking”

In your day-to-day, off-the-cushion experience, what part of the 12-link Dependent Origination cycle (12-nidanas) do you notice most readily? I ask because I think it may be the case that many of us spend our days “liking” stuff or “disliking” stuff. But liking/disliking is not in the 12-nidanas. When I first began learning about Dependent Origination I was surprised to […]

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DharmaPhD Discourse

Fake Metta

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DharmaPhD Discourse Meta

The Why, What, and How of the Independent PhD: Part 1, Why?

Greetings, Friendlies! The writing challenge continues; taking a quick zoom out and spending a few sessions writing about the Independent PhD as the container for this Dharma PhD gig. I don’t know if y’all are interested in this material; maybe anything that is not a sutta spreadsheet is anathema? Let me know if that’s the […]

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Discourse Practice Teaching

Is Pain Vedanā? (And Why Does It Matter?)

(TL;DR: No. Pain is not Vedanā.)

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Discourse Scholarship

¿Is Vedanā Interoception?

Is vedanā interoception? Or is interoception vedanā? In a 2018 talk on Vedanā (link) @MartineBatchelor referred to @LisaFeldmanBarrett’s book, How Emotions Are Made. She described interoception and asked, “…the question is, is she talking about the same thing [as] me?” [4:29] Here’s my take: In HEAM, Barrett says: “Simple pleasant and unpleasant feelings come from […]

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Discourse Practice

The Most Important Precept?

Earlier this week I was chatting with a friend and the Five Precepts came up. (Because that’s the kind of Dharma Dorks we are…) They said the Fourth Precept, “I undertake the training-precept to abstain from false speech”, is the most important. Because, they said, if you behave according to all the other precepts, you’ll […]

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Discourse Scholarship

Study Retreat – The Practice of Human Flourishing

Greetings! For those of you with the fortitude to get to The Netherlands in March, Bodhi College will be hosting a retreat at ITC Naarden titled “The Practice of Human Flourishing“. It will be co-taught by Stephen Batchelor and our man John Peacock. The description on the Bodhi College website: This retreat will focus on […]

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Discourse Practice Scholarship

Dharma PhD (the podcast) Episode 8

Greetings, Friendlies! Episode 8 is ready for you. Jeff helps me with my CPP homework on MN26, the Ariyapariyesanā Sutta. It’s not a deep dive like in this post; instead we talk about what it might look like to apply the theme of the sutta in daily life. As always, send us a line; we’d […]

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Discourse Scholarship

Dharma PhD (the podcast) Episode 7

Greetings, Friendlies! Episode 7 is ready to go. I’m super excited about this one because two things: Thing one, this is the _final_ in Peacock’s series Buddhism Before the Theravada. Can you believe it? The end of an era. Thing two, I’m excited because we are finally starting to talk about taṇhā, upādāna, and models […]

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Discourse

Dharma PhD on Somebody Else’s Podcast

Greetings, Friendlies! I was recently interviewed by the extraordinary and delightful Ruriko Watanabe on her podcast, “自灯明法灯明 Be the light for yourself, let the Dharma be your light“. Ruriko is working to introduce Secular Dharma (Secular Buddhism?) into mainstream Japanese culture. She is currently interviewing participants from Stephen Batchelor’s 2021 12-week course “After Buddhism and […]

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Discourse Scholarship

Leigh Brasington’s New Book on Dependent Origination (Paṭiccasamuppāda)

Greetings, Friendlies! Super fun news. Leigh Brasington, a meditation teacher best known for teaching jhānas, released a new book over the weekend. If you don’t already know him, Leigh is quite a character. Rather than going through the trouble of releasing through a publisher, he decided to self-publish and the ebook is available for dāna. […]

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Discourse Practice Scholarship

Dharma PhD (the podcast) Episode 6

Greetings, Friendlies. :) As promised, a new episode of Dharma PhD (the podcast) posted today. Nominally Episode 6 continues our discussion of John Peacock’s series “Buddhism Before the Theravada, Part 5”, but this episode was all over the map. So I took the liberty of diverging in this episode. We are still talking about Paṭiccasamuppāda […]

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Discourse Scholarship

Parsing Paṭiccasamuppāda (Dependent Origination)

Intro Preparing for Dharma PhD (the podcast) Episode 6 I started in to my dictation software, “Today we’ll be talking about Paṭiccasamuppāda, sometimes translated ‘Dependent Origination’. Paṭiccasamuppāda is…” Pause. “Wait. What is Paṭiccasamupāda?” This is why it takes so long to produce a podcast episode. Wikipedia says Paṭiccasamupāda “is a key doctrine in Buddhism … […]

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Discourse Meta

A Talent for Speaking Differently

In Stephen Batchelor’s Buddhism Without Beliefs, the penultimate chapter, “Imagination”, begins with a quote by Richard Rorty: “[A] talent for speaking differently, rather than for arguing well, is the chief instrument of cultural change.” This is what Dharma PhD is all about, learning how to speak differently.

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Discourse Scholarship

Fight or Fall Away? Two Views on Habit Change.

Comparing Charles Duhigg’s and Judson Brewer’s positions on the Habit Loop and Habit Change.

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Discourse Scholarship

Stephen Batchelor’s Upcoming Series: After Buddhism and Beyond

I’ll be attending Stephen Batchelor’s upcoming seminar series, hosted by Bodhi College, “After Buddhism and Beyond”. It is a twelve-part series, run in two semesters from February through the end of June. My understanding is that the series will consist of 3-hour course blocks of seminar, provided via Zoom. According to the series website, “Each […]

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Discourse Scholarship

Dharma PhD (the podcast) Episode 5

Dharma PhD podcast Episode 5, hit the airwaves this morning. Yay! Come and have a listen while Co-host and I talk about John Peacock’s “Buddhism Before the Theravada, Part 4”. We talk about how, in Buddhist traditions (and maybe our own psychological traditions?) human experience is playing out on a backdrop of misunderstanding how our […]

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Discourse Teaching

The 5Rs for Buddha Bites

Bhante Vimalaramsi at Dhamma Sukha teaches a technique he calls “The 6Rs” for focusing attention during meditation. I’ve found it super useful for meditation, but also for daily life. I made a little modification, now it’s only 5Rs, and I talked about it in Episode 38 of Buddha Bites: When I first started working with […]

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Discourse Meta Scholarship Teaching

Talking about Vedanā (aka Hedonic Tone)

I’m in the midst of producing several Buddha Bites podcast episodes on Vedanā (aka Hedonic Tone). It’s been challenging; following are some deets about the process. As I wrote back in March, a 2019 retreat led by Akincano Weber and Dr. Judson Brewer hooked me on the implications of Vedanā. When I talk about Dharma […]

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Discourse Teaching

Buddha Bites has a YouTube Channel!

We’re very much in experimentation phase here at DharmaPhD. To produce EP3 of Dharma PhDthe podcast, I used an audio editing program designed for podcasters called Descript. If you have three minutes and would like to smile, I cannot help but recommend their ad video. It’s delightful. But. The real thing to announce is that, […]

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Discourse Scholarship

Commentary on John Peacock’s Buddhism Before the Theravada Part 1

This post accompanies a podcast episode and a transcript of Peacock’s talk. I’d love to hear what you think. Happy reading! It is a lovely July morning. BooBear kisses me farewell and I, grinagog, board the Greyhound bus which is to spend the day ferrying me from Baltimore, MD to New York State. I trot […]

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Discourse

Quit Your Cliticizing

No, ladies and gentlemen et. al. That is not a typo. Today my dharma-vocab was upgraded. Thanks to the inimitable Anu Garg at A.Word.A.Day, I now know the verb “cliticize”, which means “To attach or become attached”. From one practitioner to another I beg you: Quit Your Cliticizing.

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DharmaPhD Discourse

The Independent PhD, and Why You Should Start One

I am writing this post in July, 2020, amidst a confusion of half-arsed quarantining efforts in the US. The edifice of US formal education is showing its cracks. For many, self-directed education is not only a viable option, it is the best possible option. Particularly for adult learners, and particularly for those adult learners for […]