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social justice

Mindfulness the Google Way: well-intentioned saffron-washing?

For the last few years there’s been a growing uproar in San Francisco rooted in dismay and anger over ballooning rents, historically high eviction rates, and other markers of the intense gentrification that has been happening for 15 years or so — if I choose the tech boom of the 90s as a convenient recent historical marker. The recent acceleration …

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Interview with Keith Hennessy about “Turbulence”

Keith Hennessy, interviewed by Sean Feit on 3/7/13 for UCD PFS newsletter. (A shortened version of this conversation is in our 2013 department newsletter. Here is the full conversation with minimal edits.) Sean Feit: What do you consider the main conceptual frame for Turbulence? Keith Hennessy: I try to stay away from any kind of central frame. I wanted it …

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Sila, śūnyatā, sex, Sasaki

Yet another venerable American spiritual community is reeling with evidence of the sexual misconduct of its beloved teacher, perpetrated over decades, with many many victims and a culture of silence that is finally being challenged. This is getting really old! This time it’s hitting close to home for me, and as I begin to write this post, my heart is …

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Buddhist not-self meets poststructuralist subjectivity

Sadly, at a time when so much sophisticated cultural criticism by hip intellectuals from diverse locations extols a vision of cultural hybridity, border crossing, subjectivity constructed out of plurality, the vast majority of folks in this society still believe in a notion of identity that is rooted in a sense of essential traits and characteristics that are fixed and static. …

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State of the Union, 2012

As I write these words, on the train coming home from school (Davis), the president is giving his State of the Union address. Since I can’t watch or listen to him speak, I’ll offer my own version. I’m sure this is exactly what he’s saying: Our union is in a dire state. Nothing new. But what does “union” mean, anyway? …

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Occupy, karma, results?

Wednesday tens of thousands of people gathered peacefully for the first General Strike in Oakland in 65 years, filled the streets, and shut down the port. People around the world noticed, and many stood in solidarity with the Occupy movement here. Signs appeared in Tahrir Square in Cairo supporting Occupy Oakland! I wasn’t at the port yesterday, but heard the …

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