Articles posted in 2012
January 2012Introducing Happiness
My book on happiness has just been published by Icon books.
Articles posted in 2011
December 2011Gautama Buddha: Interview with Vishvapani Blomfield
Myth and history in the biography of the Buddha…
August 2011Pick and Mix
Western Buddhists and the spiritually sweet-toothed.
July 2011The Trouble with Happiness
Happiness, politics, and focussing on the good bits.
February 2011A World Made of Stories?
“The universe is made of stories, not atoms”: discuss…
Articles posted in 2010
December 2010The Myth of Re-enchantment
Enchantment, disenchantment and the mind’s spinning of stories.Advertising-free Zone
Some thoughts on advertising, the internet, and breakfast cereal.
A few notes on Ernst Bloch’s “The Principle of Hope”The Godly, the Godless, and the question of ethics
Thoughts on the Pope’s visit to the UK.
August 2010Judgement and Experience
Testing judgements against the fine-grain of experience.Having more than one name
A few fragmentary thoughts on names.Out of sight of land
Does travel broaden the mind?
July 2010Scriptural protection?
A quick and easy method for dealing with fake monks.Buddhist? Buddhish? Non-Buddhist?
I’m almost five years old!Part Time Vegetarian
tofu and flesh – matter and anti-matter?Mortification of the flesh, with some thoughts on Buddhist logic and the consumption of cake
Cake, Empress Dowagers and a visit to the Temple of Longevity.
June 2010On the Move
I’m off to China!Mindfulness of Coffee
How to carry a full cup of coffee without spillage…
May 2010A Strange Cocktail
A recipe for concocting Western Buddhism.On the dangers of being too philosophical...
On the closure of Middlesex philosophy department.
April 2010A Hedge of Roses: thoughts on ethics and aesthetics
Emmanuel Levinas’s Nine Talmudic Readings, and the pleasures of coffee.Throwing Away the Ladder
The New Scientist and the ladder of consciousness.
March 2010Ethical Friskiness
When ethical philosophy meets caffeine…
January 2010Something is happening here, but you don't know what it is...
Bob Dylan and the cognitive unconscious.A Viable Way
Wisdom from the bestselling book “How to Marry a Western Woman”…Meditating and Knowing
The limits of the mind, and meditation.
Articles posted in 2009
December 2009The Storm Before the Calm
Computer meltdown…The Dramatic and the Bland
Poets and monks!Curfew!
How to find time to read more books.
November 2009Ethics is like navigation... stories are like the sea.
Thoughts on storytelling and ethics.Sidling up to Things
Thinking about obliqueness…
October 2009On (Not) Debating the Existence of God
God, godlessness and the good life.Questions we cannot go through
Heidegger, meditation and questioning.
September 2009Thinking About Free Will
Decisions, decisions, decisions…Mind in the Balance?
A review of B. Alan Wallace’s new book.Altruism, selfishness and purity
Can there ever be such a thing as pure altruism?
August 2009The Weaving and the Unweaving
Telling stories about telling stories.Without authority...
Blogs, mainstream media and the idea of authority.Wouldn't it be a lovely headline?
Finding heaven in a MacDonald’s hamburger? Even William Blake might struggle…Things Worth Knowing
The stuff we know (or claim to know) and a few thoughts on ethics.Settling
The books are sorted, the cat is asleep on his beanbag, and I’m back to my meditation cushions.
July 2009Saltwater Buddha
A review of Jaimal Yogis’s “Saltwater Buddha”.No One Wins?
Philosophical discussion, and those monsters lurking underneath our chairs.The Invisibility of Goodness
Maybe we’re not doing that badly after all…
Thought’s on Anthony Appiah’s Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers.Clamour, and the Love of the World
Religion, science and the clamour of the world.Kluginess
Thought’s on Gary Marcus’s book “Kluge”
May 2009The Wisdom of the Ancients?
Golden ages, and the magnificence of the past.Knot
Interpretation, and what makes a classic?Get Real...
Some thoughts on tragic storytelling.Scholars and Meditators
Meditation, scholarship and the mind’s many functions.
April 2009Loopiness, and not Taking Oneself too Seriously
Am I a strange loop?Unnatural Practices
Ah, those sexy beasts!The Demon-Haunted World
Why those pesky demons are going away any time soon.Mountains? What Mountains?
Tintin, meditation and the mountains of the mind…
March 2009Slip Slidin' Away
Thoughts on experienceWhat's It All About?
Something about something…Written on the Water
Thoughts on the the clamorousness of the traditions of Buddhism.
February 2009A Short Note on Errancy
Wayward education.A Problem with Bandwidth
A few late-night thoughts on consciousnessDarwin's Dharma?
Darwin the crypto-Buddhist?Darwin Day
Darwin’s 200th birthday – time to don your false beard and get partying.The Madhyamaka Bus?
Let’s hit the road on the Buddhist bus.Not
Thoughts on the Heart Sutra.
January 2009Blogging Philosophy Part II: Hanging Out with the Peasants
Blogging, the Gutenberg parenthesis, and how to establish the colour of a bear.Blogging Philosophy Part I: Amateurs
The paradox of the professional philosopher.Mistrust, Indebtedness and Hospitality
Hospitality by the Indus!On Advertising
“There are a lot of things in this world / You are going to have no use for…” Tom Waits.Shocking Revelations, Radical Changes and Dramatic Events
Drama, the news, and the latest shocking revelations.Fluidity and Thought
The snagging of thoughts
Articles posted in 2008
Mysteriousness, mysticism and the sciences.The Fine Grain
A few thoughts on attention, judgement and the fine grain of things…Slippery truths
Toughts on Mark Siderits’s Empty Persons.Rebirth? No. Rebecoming? Yes.
The incoherence of rebirth
Thoughts on meditation and virtuosity.Car Crash Journalism
Art, the Daily Mail, and the culture of the car.Risk
On the pleasures of bad Health and Safety induction films.Zen, Brains and Making Friends With Your Own Head
It’s a complicated business having a brain.One Man Bands
Girls Aloud and Buddhism. No, really…
October 2008Texts, Bones and Early Buddhists
Life and literature in accounts of early Buddhism.Dragons and Levitating Monks
On the elusiveness of the miraculous.An Afternoon in Gateshead, or The Idol in the Desert
Religion and financial crisisMichael Frayn on Uncertainty and Motivation
Uncertainty in Copenhagen.The Transitive Theory of Weirdness
Johnny Wilkinson and quantum physics
September 2008Literature and Laughter
Why Momus was banished from Olympus.The Poetry of Death
Japanese Death poemsThe Sciences, the Humanities and the Human Imagination
Thoughts on consilience and the unity of knowledge.Is this it?
Surely there must be more to life…?Lies in Which not Everything is False
Stories – they are nothing but a pack of lies.Lightness of Touch
Governing oneself the way one cooks a small fish.
August 2008On Gods and Nations
Thoughts on A.C. Grayling and David Miliband.Neuroethics
Concerning my review of Glannon’s “Defining Right and Wrong in Brain Science”.Speaking With Inanimate Things
The curious tale of a bronze bull and its many secret worshippers.John Ruskin and the Penguin
Penguins – a cure for the wrathful.Finding Peace in the Eye of the Storm
One must cultivate one’s garden.
July 2008Death, at Intervals
Another book worth reading…Some Books I Love
Three of my favourite books – Comet in Moominland, Lucretius and Calvino’s Invisible Cities.Writing Tools
Continuing to write, amid the chaos…
June 2008Animal Pleasures
Do animals experience pleasure? And if so, what are the implications of this?Ethics and the Public Understanding of Science
Some thoughts on ethics, public understanding, and scientific research.Karma, Retribution and the Actress
Thoughts on Sharon Stone and the Chinese earthquake.
May 2008Meditation and Technique
Ajahn Sujato and meditation techniques.Noble Silence?
Silences, both noble and ignoble (and a Buddhist joke!)The Ocean of Existence
On life out of sight of dry land.
April 2008Strokes of Insight?
Jill Bolte Taylor, neuroplasticity and turning off those anger circuits.Without Illumination
The fog of philosophyOn Desire
Link to online review of William B. Irvine’s On DesireUnconscious Decision Making
More research into free will.Free Will and Ethics
Do we need free will to make us good?The Pragmatic Buddhist
Some reading matter!
March 2008Putting Shantideva to the Test
Happiness and ethics – a simple experiment.Just War
Five years in Iraq, and the crassness of Prince Harry’s headgear.Kindness and Philosophy
Where are our philosophies of kindness?Knowledge, Freedom and Limitation
The pleasures of not knowing.
February 2008The Hard Truths of Science?
Rebelling robots, gene machines, and the utter, hideous meaninglessness of everything.Vain, Deluded, Pigheaded, Secretive, Bigoted...
That’s the trouble with the mind – it has a mind of it’s own.Meditation as Unphenomenology
Meditation, cartography and the territory of the mind.
January 2008The View from the Chariot
The Buddha: bad psychologist?Philosophy and Practice
Stoicism, Foucault and philosophy as a practical pursuit.A Secular Age
A review of Charles Taylor’s monumental book A Secular AgeStudying Happiness
The metta bhavana, and meditation on happiness.Meditation as Natural History
Meditation, natural history, and medieval books of beasts.
Articles posted in 2007
December 2007Buddhists in Bars with Balloons
Who’s that over there making balloon sculptures? It must be a Buddhist monk.Worldly Transcendence
Do we need God if we are to be happy?Mattering
More thoughts on materialismThe Middle Way?
A snippet of overheard conversation.Clarity and Confusion
Analytic philosophy, continental philosophy and mollusc-based diets.
Religion, politics and Tony Blair.More on the Transhumanist Debate
More on Marvin Minsky, Transhumanism and the New Scientist.Real Magic
Where is the real magic?Stumped by Consciousness
I admit it: I’m utterly flummoxed!Human things with human voice...
Wallace Stevens, Martha Nussbaum and philosophy.
October 2007The Sutras of Abu Ghraib
Aidan Delgado on Buddhism, ethics and the war in Iraq.A Little Light Reading
A handy resource for consciousness studies….Ethics of the In-Between
Ethics between absolutes, and the Hello Peace project.Transhumanism, Journalism and Ethics
More on ethics and transhumanism.Marvin Minsky's Dreams of Immortality
Transhumanism and the salvation of the world.Happiness
According to recent reports, children in the UK suffer from “pervasive anxiety”.A few brief thoughts on reductionism
Numskulls, reductionism and the human mind.Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma
The root of the three root poisons.
September 2007Numskulls, Dumskulls and the Evolution of the Mind
Out of the dumb came forth… the slightly less dumb.Religion, Violence and Dualism
Is the problem religion, or is it something more subtle?Informed Ignorance, Spinoza and Science
Spionza, ignorance, understanding – all that, and I’m still two hundred miles from the nearest decent cappuccino.
August 2007Doing Nothing
Hanging around, doing nothing.The Lure of the Cloister?
Where are the secular cloisters?Our Ancestors
Thoughts from the Bulgarian national history museum.Meditation in Schools?
Should meditation be taught in schools?Thinking Out Loud
Blogging as a practice.
July 2007My New Brain
A note on the pleasures of having a new brain.O, Unhappy Philosopher!
Why so glum, you philosophers?Not seeing the trees for the wood...
Attention, meditation and some tasty chocolate muffins.
Countering mistrust with trust.Knowledge, Wisdom and Ignorance
There is no such thing as esoteric wisdom.The Worst Type of Buddhist
Damn those ignorant Buddhists…Ouch!
Reflections upon pain.Open Source Religion
Religion goes Open Source
May 2007What Attention Lays Bare
Husserl, meditation and the quest for certainty.Violence and the Mind's Climate
Does media violence unbalance the mind’s delicate climate?Mindfulness and the Breath
Eight ways of looking at the breath…Murals Found in Mustang, Nepal
Archaeology? Boring? Never!Meditation and Intimacy
Meditation and reflection on the Mahamudra.
April 2007This mind, this mind...
The mind’s chaos…Groundlessness, not Relativism
Thinking ethics without grounds…The Inferno of the Living
Catholicism, Calvino and life in the inferno.Liking Your Neighbours
Must we like people to love them? Can we dislike them also?
March 2007Lift Off!
Of book launches and demons.Miscommunication
The Buddha’s first, failed teaching.Uncertain Times?
We are living in uncertain times, but is this sufficient justification for renewing Trident?Are You Buddhish?
Buddhish. Adjective: Not quite Buddhist; Spuriously or falsely claiming to be Buddhist;Oi! Are You Looking at My Triangle?
Attachment to triangles.The Path to Earthly Riches
Temple loyalty cards for kids.
February 2007Self Evident Experience?
What’s going on… and what we think is going on…Emotional Weather Report
Caught up in bad weather?A Little Knowledge...
Knowledge, ignorance and scepticism.
January 2007Insulting the Buddha
Sri Lanka’s draconian new legislation.Human Practices
Things lost – and gained – in translation.No Faster Than a Camel Can Walk
Trains, camels and other alternative means of transport.The Mind's Drama
Unpredictability, impermanence, and the insubstantiality of the mind’s dramas.Elephants
Elephants and monks in Sydney zoo.Nepal's Buddha Boy Takes up the Sword
Ram Bomjon, Nepal’s “Buddha Boy”, once again…People are Natural Disasters Too
Earthquake, fire, flood… and our fellow human beings.A Grammar of Hypothesis
Thoughts on scepticism and knowledge.
Articles posted in 2006
December 2006A Global Christmas?
Santa training academies in Vietnam? Elephants dressed as Santa in Thailand? Confucius with reindeer?Religious Offences
Religion, offence and public life.Reconciliation
Making friends with the world again…Interfaith Dialogue
Religion, identity and dialogue and why I am not a Buddhist.The Woal of It
Hiedegger, Riddley Walker, and how to make friends with your own head.The Problem of Life
Solving and dissolving the problems of life.
Thoughts on the affirmation of life.Doing the Right Thing
We want to do the right thing. But what is the right thing to do?Dennett's Modest Proposal
Dan Dennett, religion and science.Lest We Forget
Thoughts on Armistice day.The Wind That Blows Through Me
Reflections on an evening meditation.In Praise of Emmanuel Levinas
The 100th anniversary of the philosopher of ethics and responsibility, Emmanuel Levinas.
October 2006Nothing but...?
The world is enough…Buddhist Conversions
Caste, untouchability and conversion in India.The Meaning of the Meaning of Life
Life has no meaning; but that doesn’t mean it is meaningless…On Holy Books
Richard Dawkins on ethics and religious texts.Turning off the Lights
The sad loss of the night sky…Mindfulness and the Enigma of Life
There’s more to mindfulness than washing the dishes very slowly…
Thoughts on book reviews…Lose Weight: Convert to Buddhism
Forget that diet – change your religion instead!What is This Thing?
The myth of authenticity.What do Buddhists Look Like?
This post includes a handy field-guide for identifying Buddhists…Awakening to Awakening
Slippery metaphors and debased coinage…Cutting off Our Heads
Thinking, feeling and Buddhist practice.More on Life Without Free Will
Freedom from free will and fredom from disturbance.Life Without Free Will
The lights are on, but there’s nobody at home…
August 2006Dramatic Enchantments
On being a drama queen…History as Natural History
From the social contract to the natural contract.The Demon, Impermanence
Computer failure at thinkBuddha.orgDifference
The wisdom of difference and the wisdom of sameness…East is East and West is West
Thinking between Levinas and Shantideva, East and West.Philosophical Cross Currents Shiny Buddha
Sri Lankan Buddha images have bene recently reported to be emanating golden light…Unpacking the Self
Thoughts on selfhood and its absence.
July 2006Purity? What purity?
On the virtues of being mixed-up!Tangled Branches
Thoughts on the so-called “vandalism” of the Bodhi Tree.On Moral Evolutionism
Are we better than we used to be? Are we worse? Thoughts on morality and history.A Shortcut to Nirvana?
Research from the frontline of the discipline that is becoming known as neurotheology…In the Cool of the Evening
Evening meditation.The Rhetoric of Necessity
A thought on Thought for the Day.Dalai the Cat - Photo Exclusive
Whatever happened to Dalai Lama, the Buddhist moggy?Today at Noon
Two minutes of silence.The Sheer Astonishing Remarkableness of it All
In praise of David Attenborough.
June 2006Reflections on Sociality and Solitude
Thoughts on solitude and friendship.Buddhism for Pets
Inspire your dog with readings from the Dhammapada… No, really…Football and Renunciation
Do football and Buddhism mix?Mental Discontents
Can we eradicate mental discontent?Baboon
Feeling like a grumpy old baboon?Messianic Hopes
We don’t need another messiah!
The boy reporter and the Dalai Lama.Idleness
The virtues of laziness.Buddhists in Bikinis
Looking for something to wear on the beach this summer?Muddling Through
Gary Snyder, attentiveness and knowledgeTorture
Is it ever right to torture? The problem with ticking bombs.Politics
The relationship between Buddhism and politicsThe Pope's Astronomer
An evening with the Vatican’s full-time star-gazer!
Wallace Stevens, Rebecca Solnit, Korean Zen, walking and meditation.The Strange Case of Dalai the Cat
A mysterious feline with golden whiskers, spotted on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh.What is This?
Thoughts on meditative inquiry.Western Buddhism and Other Capitalist Avatars
Žižek and Western Buddhism.
March 2006On Cultural Conditions
Cultural conditions, separate selves, and the oddness of the English…Conditions...
On conditionality and the four noble truths…The Irrepressible Monkey and the Gorillaz!
Gorillaz promote monkey magic…The Twilight of Atheism or the End of Faith?
Are we witnessing the end of faith… or the twilight of atheism?Carrying Forth, Carrying Away...
Dōgen, death and the ten thousand things.
February 2006Martial Thoughts
Our warrior culture.Easy Does It...
What if ethics was easy?Turnips
Meditate like a turnip…Who Knows?
Another post from thinkBuddha… But who is doing the posting? And who is doing the reading?
January 2006Wild Geese
Imperfect Buddhists…The Game of Life
A Buddhist board game…Final Thoughts
On planning your own funeral…Composing our Lives
Reflections on blogging from Woodmoor VillagePathfinding
What does it mean to tread the Buddhist path? Where is the path to be found?
Articles posted in 2005
December 2005Buddhism and Philosophy Part IV - Practices of Attention
Philosophy, language and the practice of attention.Buddhism and Philosophy Part III - Practices of Wisdom and Love
Philosophy: the love of wisdom… or the wisdom of love???Buddhism and Philosophy Part II - Practices of Freedom
Philosophy and Buddhism as practices of freedom.Buddhism and Philosophy Part I
What has philosophy got to do with Buddhism? Practice, that is what!
November 2005The Machineries of Anxiety
Does our 24-hour news society merely fuel anxiety? But don’t we also have a responsibility to know what is happening in the world to which we are so intimately connected?On Going Without Food.
Ram Bomjon, the Buddha and the virtues of a good, hearty breakfast.Ram Bomjon - the New Buddha?
Is the fifteen year old Nepalese boy, Ram Bomjon, the new Buddha, or is there more afoot?Open Investigation
More on the Dalai Lama and Brain Science.Me, me, me, me, meme...
Review of Susan Blackmore’s “The Meme Machine”This Material Frame...
More on materialism!Peace
Is it true that non-violence cannot deal with the crises in the present-day world?Fixing It.
The world is beyond fixing, and perfection forever out of reach. Why should such a thought be liberating?A Retreat Haiku
A short retreat haiku
October 2005A Handful of Simsapa Leaves
How much do we need to know for the liberation of heart and mind?Buddhist Soldiers?
The MoD has just appointed an army chaplain? But should Buddhists be involved in the business of warfare?Does Religion Need Defending?
Is the proposed new offence of Incitement to Religious Hatred helpful?The Dull Monk in the Third Row Theory of the Evolution of Buddhist Doctrine
Are we too pious in our reading of Buddhist texts?The Dancing Buddhist Bear
A Buddhist dancing bear? Surely that’s cruel?Buddhism and Science
Why Buddhism needs science.The Trouble With Ethics
Is the trouble with ethics that there is simply too much of it?Holding Back
Ethics begins in holding back…
September 2005Blogging as Practice
Is blogging just an idle pursuit, or is it a form of practice? Thoughts from Seneca to Basho on the value of writing journals.Tigers, Mushrooms, Money and Monks
A fashion for tiger-skin in Tibet is threatening to hasten the extinction of the Indian tiger.Mystic India?
Is the film Mystic India an inspiring tale of a spiritual land? Or is there something more disturbing going on?A Dog Called Hippopotamus
Do dogs meditate? And who would call a dog by the name ‘hippo’?Good Grief
What place does grief have within Buddhism?Re:awakenings
What is this Enlightenment business all about anyway?Moral Luck
How much of ethics is down to pure luck?Disillusionment Dharma (Part II)
Is Buddhism the cause of disillusionment? And what are the rewards of this disenchantment?Disillusionment Dharma (Part I)
Reflections on disillusionment and Buddhism.
Kathleen Jamie’s book Findings – a hymn to the virtues of attentiveness.Eating, Sleeping and Shitting.
Shantideva – the saint who ate too much…Unwholesome Imaginings.
Buddhism, and the invention of hell.Hurrah for Materialism! (Part II)
What is materialism? And why is it considered such a terrible thing?Hurrah for Materialism! (Part 1)
Can a Buddhist be a materialist?Music in the Sky: Book Review
An account of the early life of the 17th Karmapa, and a collection of his teachings…The Ronin
The bloody story of a freelance samurai.Blue Poppies: Book Review
A novel in which a Scottish radio operator leads an entire Tibetan village into exile.The Life of Shabkar: The autobiography of a Tibetan Yogin
The anarchic autobiography of a Tibetan yogin.The Dalai Lama and Brain Science
Scientists protest against Dalai Lama’s invitation to a conference on neuroscience. Is such a protest justified?For All My Walking: Review
Free-form haiku from the cantankerous wandering poet, Taneda Santoka.The Buddha and the Sahibs: Review
Charles Allen goes in pursuit of the British orientalistsCan Yogis Fly?
Can yogis fly? And how are we to deal with accounts from Buddhist biographies of the past that detail ‘miraculous’ events.
July 2005Longing for Certainty: Meditation Book Review
Bhikkhu Nyanasobhano’s poetic reflections on meditation.Zen and Philosophy: Book Review
A review of Michiko Yusa’s impressive book on the life of Nishida Kitaro.Buddhism Without Buddhism?
From Buddhism without Beliefs to Buddhism without Buddhism…
Today's Most Popular
Gautama Buddha: Interview with Vishvapani Blomfield: Wednesday December 7, 2011
Myth and history in the biography of the Buddha…
A World Made of Stories?: Wednesday February 16, 2011
“The universe is made of stories, not atoms”: discuss…
Pick and Mix: Friday August 26, 2011
Western Buddhists and the spiritually sweet-toothed.
Real Magic: Monday November 19, 2007
Where is the real magic?
Wouldn't it be a lovely headline?: Saturday August 15, 2009
Finding heaven in a MacDonald’s hamburger? Even William Blake might struggle…
Saltwater Buddha: Tuesday July 14, 2009
A review of Jaimal Yogis’s “Saltwater Buddha”.
Dennett's Modest Proposal: Tuesday November 14, 2006
Dan Dennett, religion and science.
Idleness: Sunday May 21, 2006
The virtues of laziness.
Vain, Deluded, Pigheaded, Secretive, Bigoted...: Thursday February 14, 2008
That’s the trouble with the mind – it has a mind of it’s own.
Blogging Philosophy Part I: Amateurs: Tuesday January 27, 2009
The paradox of the professional philosopher.
Zen, Brains and Making Friends With Your Own Head: 10 Nov, 2008
It’s a complicated business having a brain.
Lies in Which not Everything is False: 10 Sep, 2008
Stories – they are nothing but a pack of lies.
The Sutras of Abu Ghraib: 30 Oct, 2007
Aidan Delgado on Buddhism, ethics and the war in Iraq.
Baboon: 06 Jun, 2006
Feeling like a grumpy old baboon?
Meditation as Unphenomenology: 07 Feb, 2008
Meditation, cartography and the territory of the mind.