Another mode of convalescence (in certain situations even more to my liking) is sounding out idols. There are more idols than realities in the world: that is my “evil eye” on this world; that is also my “evil ear.” Finally to pose questions with a hammer, and sometimes to hear as a reply that famous hollow sound that can only come from bloated entrails — what a delight for one who has ears even behind his ears, for me, an old psychologist and pied piper before whom just that which would remain silent must finally speak out.
—Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, or Philosophizing with a Hammer
Since founding Speculative Non-Buddhism in 2011, I have been fortunate to be joined by others in writing posts for the blog. I hope that even more will contribute in the future. It will take some time for you to become familiar with the nature of the work we are doing here. But once you do, I hope you will consider writing something for us. Bear in mind that we are not looking for agreement or conformity. Speculative Non-Buddhism is, in the first and last instance, a critical practice, a practical criticism. And it aims to be creative, productive of something new. It is, in a very real sense something done. So, think of yourself as a craftsman using the non-buddhism tools. If you have an idea for an essay, please contact me at email@example.com.
In order of appearance, here’s who has labored in the workshop so far:
Glenn Wallis holds a Ph.D. in Buddhist studies from Harvard University. He is the author of A Critique of Western Buddhism: Ruins of the Buddhist Real and several other books and articles on Buddhism. For more information, visit: www.glennwallis.com.
Tom Pepper is an overeducated and underemployed member of the precariat class. He lives in the suburbs of Connecticut with his wife and daughters. Tom has a Ph.D. in English from Stony Brook University, and sometimes teaches British Literature and Rhetoric and Composition at local colleges. He is the author of The Faithful Buddhist and writes unpublishable fiction in his abundant spare time. He is contemplating writing a book on ideology theory, which he will likely begin when he gets fired from another part-time teaching position. He blogs at The Faithful Buddhist. Tom can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should Buddhism Be Therapy?
On Buddhist Anti-Intellectualism
Samsara as the Realm of Ideology
Running from Zombie Buddhas
Nagarjuna, Hume, and the God Particle
Practicing in Delusion
On Reading Hegel as a Corrective for Meditative Malpractice
Buddhism as the Opiate of the (downwardly-mobile) Middle Class: The Case of Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Traumatized by Toast
An Attempt at Something Novelistic
No Thought, No Problem
“This is a rich disagreement!”
Reality and Retreat
Nirvana and Depression
Writing With Pencils and Eating Brownies: What Can Enlightened Brains Do?
Doing Something with Non-Buddhism
Metzinger’s Atman and Capitalist Ideology
How Would the Buddha Vote?
What Kind of Buddhist are You?
Atman, Aporia, and Atomism: A Review of B. Alan Wallace’s Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic
Matthias Steingass is a musician, speculator, and writer who lives in Switzerland and Germany. He blogs at: Der Unbuddhist. Matthias can be reached at: email@example.com.
Meditation and Control
No More Meditation!
Aggressive Buddhist Appeasement
I’ve Done It
Adbusters and Sogyal Rinpoche. Really?
Are Buddhists Stupid?
Adam S. Miller is a professor of philosophy at Collin College in McKinney, Texas. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Villanova University, as well as a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Brigham Young University. His areas of specialization include contemporary French philosophy and philosophy of religion. He is the author of Badiou, Marion, and St Paul: Immanent Grace (Continuum, 2008), Rube Goldberg Machines: Essays in Mormon Theology (Kofford, 2012), and Speculative Grace: An Experiment with Bruno Latour in Object-Oriented Theology(Fordham University Press, forthcoming), the editor of An Experiment on the Word (Salt Press, 2011), and he currently serves as the director of the Mormon Theology Seminar. He contributes to the blogs The Church and Postmodern Culture and Times and Seasons.
Sitting, Full of Shit
“A Sickness Unto Death”
Shyam Dodge is a Harvard educated former monk. Raised in an ashram, he has been practicing and teaching meditation, Asian philosophy, and yoga for over 20 years. His books include a memoir, a collection of teaching stories, and a forthcoming war narrative of Hawaii. Shyam is an active critic and contributor to the understanding of contemporary Buddhism and yoga in North America. In addition to his work as a scholar and critic, he is a fiction writer, satirist, and pop culture essayist. Shyam’s blog is here. He co-founded and writes at Yoga Brains. You can also learn more in this interview. POST: Thich Nhat Hanh’s Imaginary Soul.
Richard K. Payne is Dean and Yehan Numata Professor of Japanese Buddhist Studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, in Berkeley, California. He is also founder of the blog “Critical Reflections on Buddhist Thought: Contemporary and Classical.” Payne is the author or co-editor of numerous books and articles on Buddhism, including, most recently, Discourse and Ideology in Medieval Japanese Buddhism (London: Routledge, 2006), and Approaching the Land of Bliss: Religious Praxis in the Cult of Amitabha (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2004). (Additional publications here.) Richard Payne is also the editor of the highly regarded journal Pacific World – Journal of the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Visit the journal’s site here. You can find further information at Payne’s faculty website. POST: Putting Nothing in Boxes and Selling It.
Patricia Ivan is a social worker, psychotherapist and couple/family therapist working in private practice in Montreal, Canada. She holds a social work degree from McGill University, a Master’s and DEA in philosophy from the Sorbonne in Paris, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Ottawa. She blogs at Reflections and Contractions. Patricia can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
POST: Tweet Your Own Horn: Censorship Western Buddhist Style.
Craig Neely has a BA in Religion, MS in Counseling Psychology and an MS in Accounting and Finance. He is also an ABD in counseling psychology. His past work has been in college teaching, college counseling, addiction counseling and elementary education. He’s currently a stay-at-home dad with his two boys. He has experience in Zen, Nichiren and Tibetan Buddhism. Craig’s main avocation is writing and playing music. His current project is Gates & Neely, an acoustic duo specializing in “futility rock.” For some rough demos check out: http://gates-and-neely.bandcamp.com. POST: Practicing in Delusion
Alan Seltzer holds a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and taught high school English for twenty-five years. He has been practicing meditation for the last five years. POST: More Walls: Contemplations of Samuel Beckett and Herman Melville.
April Michelle Dean has her BS in Nursing and a Masters of Applied Meditation Studies. She has worked in the fields of surgery and labor and delivery as a nurse. She is also a veteran of the USAF, who served on active duty, and as a reservist. April has been meditating for 10 years. She has instructed meditation at Penn State Abington, for staff, and Intercommunity Action Center, for adults in the Philadelphia living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. April is a member of the Speakers Bureau at RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). Currently, she is co-instructing meditation at Beaumont at Bryn Mawr, a retirement community. She is also a contributor at Gravity Network (www.gravity-network.org) a community of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. She is also a writer currently posting poetry to her blog www.sometimesihatemycat.com. Her current area of interest is the intersection between meditation and creativity, as well as the use of meditation in the management of PTSD, and its practical application in the recovery from childhood trauma. POST: Meditation: An Intimate Act.
James M. Cochran is a doctoral student in the Religion and Literature Ph.D. program in Baylor’s English department. He teaches in the first-year writing program at Baylor, and his research centers broadly on twentieth-century and contemporary American literature, religion, and culture. He can be found online at Academia.edu or on Twitter. POST: Review of Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism.
Matthew Joseph O’Connell is founder of the blog Post-traditional Buddhism and co-founder, along with Stuart Baldwin, of the SoundCloud podcast Imperfect Buddha (“going where other Buddhist podcasts fear to tread”). Twitter. Facebook.
Realizing Awakened Consciousness: Interviews with Buddhist Teachers;
Buddhism, Mindfulness, Neoliberalism.
Jonathan Earle is a recent graduate of Marlboro College in Vermont, and a non-novice. You can reach him at: email@example.com. POST: Only Don’t Know! Reflections on a Thoughtless Life.
Adam Greenfield is the founder and managing director of Urbanscale in New York City. He is a prominent and passionate advocate for the human-centered design of technological systems. Adam’s most recent book is Radical Technologies (Verso, 2017). Adam is also the author of Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing (2006) and Urban Computing and its Discontents (2007, with Mark Shepard). POST: Juxtapose Our Solitude, Form Into Community.
Shaun Bartone holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of New Brunswick. His areas of expertise are systems theory, networks, and ecological sociology. Shaun has been practicing Buddhist meditation and yoga for ten years. He is also a multi-instrumental musician and composer. Shaun is the coordinator of Queer Dharma Circle at Bird Hill Farm in Ware, MA, a multi-lineage dharma program for queer and trans people. Shaun blogs at Engage! Critical Dharma for Thinking People. POSTS: Buddhist Futures: the Black Hole of Post-Capitalism Revised; Declaring a Buddhist Spring 2020.
Chaim Wigder is a science and philosophy student based in Boston and New York. He enjoys obscure sub-genres of metal music, humorous t-shirts, and talking about himself in the third person. Wigder blogs at The Failed Buddhist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. POSTS:
Reality As It’s Not; .
Well…Are You Just Going To Sit There?
The Buddhist Conspiracy Against the Human Person;
Killing the (x-)buddha(ist subject): A Review of Glenn Wallis’ A Critique of Western Buddhism;
..and yet! Drowning in Trash;
Pragmatic Dharma and Unexamined “Ends”.
Brandon Lamson is a poet and Zen student who teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Houston. He co-founded the Houston and Pittsburgh Dharma Punx, and currently facilitates the Houston Dharma Collective, a peer led group interested in meditation and social justice. His book of poems Starship Tahiti was published by the University of Massachusetts Press, and his previous articles have appeared in Buddhadharma Quarterly and Tricycle Magazine. He has a Ph.D in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston. POST: Trauma, Power, and the Use of the Kyosaku in American Zen
Matthias Mauderer is a man who does not want to tell much about himself. He tries his best to make it through life, always having had problems to determine exactly who he is respectively to see a meaning in such a determination. He simply is who he is, holds down a job as social pedagogue, loves making and hearing music, is fond of thinking about everything else and spends as much time as possible with his family.
POST: The Arena Under the Dome; Styles of Thinking
Tom Burdge is a final year philosophy undergraduate and Laidlaw scholar at the University of St Andrews, in Scotland. Tom is particularly interested in philosophy of nonsense and Buddhist philosophy. He is the host of the Buddhist Philosophy Podcast, which you can find at www.buddhistphilosophy.co.uk/listen. POST: Meaning in Gibberish: In Defence of Deep Bullshit
Henry Blanke is a Soto Zen Buddhist and Marxian socialist. He had a nearly 30 year career as a Bataille inspired academic librarian and now counsels those struggling with substance abuse. He has written on Herbert Marcuse, the politics of information and most recently on the possible intersections between Zen practice and socialism. He lives in New York City and fancies himself a bohemian cosmopolite, a flaneur and a passionate jazz lover, poet, and home cook. POST: A Thought Experiment for X-Buddhists
Jim Lavranos has many experiences and interests, with degrees in humanities (philosophy and psychology) and science (clinical prosthetics) including postgraduate work in bioethics, an ongoing career in allied health management, prosthetics research and international aid work, a passion for film acting and music as well as a penchant for experimenting with different spiritual practices (Buddhism and Shamanism). Jim resides in Australia. POST: The Spell of Faith