Usually recorded talks and lectures, you’ll find any video or audio recording here.

Every other rights struggle that we have seen—disability rights, gay rights, women’s rights—all come from the efforts of the black civil rights struggles. […] It is black people who have been the perfectors of democracy.

… even consciousness is shared, to a large degree, with a lot of other creatures, so death stops seeming like the enemy and starts seeming like one of the most ingenious kinds of design for keeping evolution circulating and keeping the experiment running and recombining. And to go from the terror [of death] into that sense that the experiment is sacred, not this one outcome of the experiment, is to immediately transform the way that you think even about very fundamental social, economic, and cultural things.

Textual fundamentalism requires texts.

A sober analysis of the militant history—and future—of extra-planetary geopolitics.

A documentary series about monks in China sincerely practicing dhutaṅga.

The relationship between Cambodians and Angkor still persists as a place of ancestors, worship, and religious rituals. We believe that Angkor is the most sacred place in Cambodia.

A beautiful music video about the passing of time.

It’s holding a little, obsidian shard of the experience of being human. And because it’s gone into print, other people can read it and they can laugh with me at all our hope and uselessness

These classic recordings give a thorough and dense overview of current, orthodox Theravada doctrine.

Many people have this paradigm of seeing it all as natural, but…

I am writing to you
from deep in the bad days,
hoping you will hear me
wherever you are

There isn’t “knowledge” as we’re used to thinking about it: figuring out, given observations and experiences in the world, what is “true” and once you come to “knowledge” you get to keep it for life. I now appreciate that everything is beliefs, is just a best guess.

While sipping coffee in my mother’s Toyota, we hear the birdcall of two teenage boys in the parking lot…

On how Buddhist narratives of pregnancy deconstruct the traditional feminine and open a space for female renunciation.

I had this sureal sense of vertigo where I felt like I was constantly teetering over the edge of something that I didn’t understand. The entire town was built on top of bombs.

Bhikkhu Bodhi encourages us, in this age of globalization, to recognize our shared Buddhist heritage and to bridge the gaps between the Buddhist schools which time and physical distance have created.

Each year, the local community celebrates the day that Khru Bah Neua Chai Kositto became a monk.

The term enviromentalism does not appear in the sutras, but everywhere in the sutras you can see things related to environmntalism.

… if you’re present, but not too present—available, but not intrusive—if you can create an environment for somebody where you’re available and interested, then this stuff will come up when it’s ready.

A word for the centrality of medicine in the spread and practice of Buddhism.

Yeah, we’re locked up in ideas
We like to label everything
Well, I’m just gonna do here
What I gotta do here
‘Cause I gotta keep myself free

… a call to a hotline of sorts, though one I’d never heard about before and was surprised to learn existed…

A cautionary tale about how hard it is to rise from the bottom to the top–and why the American school system, despite its best efforts, continues to leave an extraordinary amount of talent on the table.

… slender citrine lip onto which I place, gently, this first handful of hair

Five classic lectures by Faraday on the physics of a candle, restaged by the “Engineering Guy” YouTube Channel.

It turns out however that I was deeply
Mistaken about the end of the world…

An excerpt from an interview on Chinese Pure Land making the point that while we tend to think of Mahayana Devotionalism as a separate sect, historically it was seen rather as an optional practice available to all Buddhists.

Cindy: not her real name. I met her
in prison, and people in prison I give
the fake names. I taught her Shakespeare…

In this video, we’re going to look at some prominent climate deniers, what they have to say, why what they say is clearly wrong, [and] why they seem to believe it anyway

A short documentary about the building of Chithurst Monastery and, in particular, Ajahn Chah’s visit to the rural, English community.

A talk giving a comprehensive overview of Buddhist practice, based on MN 2 (the Sabbāsava Sutta).

No one asks how the tape worm benefits the host. What if consciousness is like that? What if it’s the cognitive equivalent of ‘junk’ DNA?

All these problems with information have always been a problem for human beings. Then you get the internet, which is the informational equivalent of giant cities and now it’s an existential crisis. So we’ll have to develop the generational equivalent of both sanitation at the platform level and best practices as individuals—the “washing your hands” of misinformation. Both things will have to happen

The story of how an environmental NGO became complicit in illegal logging in Cambodia.

How government and market forces are reshaping traditional life in the Lao highlands.

That tree doesn’t need to be more than the tree. A tree just needs to be a tree. But our society always asks us to be more, right? Can’t we just be a human? Can we just be who we are?

Ajahn Brahm gives a talk on how to achieve harmony in real life, where we all-too-often meet difficult people.

May the dead    be ever-evidenced
        May their clandestine names
bellow from the mouth…

A short introduction to the Dhammapada, from Gil Fronsdal’s 2008 translation, read by the author.

An online karaoke version of the most popular chants of the Thai Forest Tradition in Pāli and English.

I don’t expect everyone to give up all of these things, but there’s no other way.

A lonely temple, nestled in the mountains of central Taiwan, says goodnight.

At two a.m., without enough spirits
spilling into my liver to know
to keep my mouth shut, my youngest
learned of years I spent inside a box

Are there such things as “evil beings” in Buddhism?

Chess experts don’t have better memory in general, but they have better memory specifically for chess positions that could occur in a real game. The implication is what makes the chess master special, is that they have seen lots and lots of chess games. And over that time, their brains have learned patterns.

How Abel-Rémusat’s “poaching” of Asian scholarship facilitated the creation of Western “Buddhist Studies” as a discipline and how his Relation des Royaumes Bouddhiques was in turn coopted by Himalayan Buddhists fighting in the collapse of the Qing says a lot about the production of academic knowledge.

Where will stops, there is freedom.

They are not new, these most ancient of divinities.
Our clamor woke them from the subdivided soil.
They rise to rule us

The story of four pioneering Thai and American Bhikkhunis.

A Mennonite minister demonstrates how to balance austerity with compassion.

Someone yelled, ‘That dog gonna end up in a pot of rice!’

An overview of the Buddhist life and path, and what it really means to “go forth” into freedom.

We manifest our humanity, we are most fully human, in learning.

Chatbots fool us more often than we think… especially when they replicate our very worst habits.

The not-so-public parks of Los Angeles, CA.

In Buddhism it’s all about what you do: you can’t just wait for good things to come. We put much more emphasis on doing good than on getting something good.

People usually think that happiness comes from chasing after the senses. Ven Hong Ci gives a passionate argument against this default way of being in the world, and encourages us to guard our senses if we want real happiness.

… today’s rich are far less materialistic, but a far greater threat to equality

Ven Hong Ci eloquently invites us to get off the treadmill of pursuing sense pleasures, and to live fully in the present moment.

A talk delivered at the Bodhi Tree in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka on the importance of symbols in Buddhism.

Bill Porter revisits the hermits of the Zhongnan Mountains 25 years after his first trip.

These prices are fake. And in being fake, they are warping our whole system: our relationship to the environment, to animals, and to ourselves.

The beautiful story of a young Zanskari monk returning home.

The Buddhist convent known as Hokkeji, founded in the eighth century in the old capitol of Nara, fell into decline and was all but forgotten for centuries before reemerging in the Kamakura period (1185-1333) as an important pilgrimage site and as the location of a reestablished monastic order for women.

We do have something that is very unique about us as animals. And that’s that we can build alliances with any other species […] to build loving, supportive, safe relationships to save us from the difficulties of life

What kind of creatures are we? And how should we relate to each-other?

I wanted to take it home, but in order to do so I’d have to carry the globe.

Don’t think of this as “cosmic.” It’s not. It’s practical.

Ideas are what make you a person, a human. And that’s what Humanism must be. It has to be political and self-critical.

A blur in the periphery,
like the mind if the mind
were airborne, a buzz…

This is the kind of inquiry one has to make for oneself. We call that, “biting into the mango.”

… in the past two decades, as the Chinese economy has grown by leaps and bounds, the People’s Republic of China has begun to play an increasingly assertive role in mainland and maritime Southeast Asia

A treatise on love in all its forms, a fairy tale coming-of-age story, and also one of the best musicals of all time.

Quantum nondeterminism and relativity haven’t yet been fully unified into a single theory of everything, but taken together they do say quite a lot about the nature of time and the relationship between consciousness and material reality.

… the majority of its residents have to extract groundwater to survive. And it’s causing the city to sink.

The 500-year history of world maps in Buddhist Japan and what these maps tell us about the Japanese, Buddhist identity.

Woke feeling nauseous—my wife’s soft breathing
beside me. Outside the immense Sierra dark and silence,
a sky still glittering with a strew of stars


We’re living in a time-travel golden age. But why? What happened to time?

The body is like a robot. The mind is the one who directs and tells the robot what to do. So, whatever happens to the body, the mind should stay clear.

What should have been a difficult few months turned into 30 years of bloodshed and mayhem in Northern Ireland.

… in this state of not knowing, curiosity and engagement with the world arises. And that engagement, that curiosity is intimate and very, very alive.

There’s a huge amount of it that’s positive! I’m not so surprised that there are negative attitudes towards women depicted in early Buddhist literature, because this is an ancient civilization with traditional values. So, the negativity doesn’t surprise me. But all the positivity does.

To contend seriously with the problem, you first have to let it in. And when I say “let it in” I mean “drag it towards you, press it down and sit with it.” Sit with it past the point of discomfort and pain and dispair until you can observe it without blinking, until its weight is just another thing about about you. In a way, “letting in” is too passive. What I’m talking about is fitting a hyperobject into your heart without it breaking.

But one day your body’s gonna say, “No, I can no longer do it.” Your body becomes old, sick or incapacitated. You cannot do anything. Then, people may think about killing themselves, right? But if you have peace from meditation, then you don’t need the body. Whatever happens to the body doesn’t bother you. You can still have peace and happiness directly. You don’t need a medium like the body and the things that the body consumes to make it happy. All you need is mindfulness to calm your mind, to stop your mind.

But it’s not easy. Mindfulness doesn’t come easily but it’s not impossible. You just have to concentrate on your effort to be mindful

… what is the essential part of our voices, and what isn’t?

A community of American Chinese Buddhists honors their past master by replicating one of his signature feats.

In 1911, a Native American man, the only member of his community to survive a genocide, encountered the new Anthropology department at the University of California, Berkeley.

I raise a finger to a point in the night…

It’s an anthropological fact that masculinity is a bit fragile in that it has to be constructed. Every society has worked on constructing roles and rites-of-passage for men that attach them to their communities. [But] this [nurturing, pro-social] behavior—being learned—is rather fragile, and can disappear quite quickly under circumstances that no longer teach it effectively.

How mindfulness took over the board room, and how the board room took over mindfulness.

A short documentary about Wat Pah Pong featuring rare footage of Ajahn Chah himself.

An engaging lecture at Spirit Rock on using text critical methods and personal practice to narrow in on an understanding of early Buddhist meditation practices.

When we think about spiritual formation, I think it’s done best when it’s amplified through a community.

Ajahn Brahm discusses the Buddha’s qualities and tells some stories from his time as a monk in Thailand.

The brain is not a computer. It never was. Its failures are particular to its own nature, and it has to be understood on its own terms.

Phil kept all this to himself, though there was another person who noticed there was something different about the new guy…

The word “suffering” just means everything that can make you unhappy, that stops you from being a peaceful and happy and content person. When we really look at it, that comes down to just about everything! Everything we come into contact with has the potential to cause us suffering.

What is the “otherwise” of modernism in Mongolia and Inner-Asia?

Their design ideas were radically different but the reaction was the same: people hated it.

One of the toughest interviews I’ve ever had.

my uncle
rose at dawn
and stepped outside—to find
his paddocks gone

On holding ontologies loosely more as communication tools than as arbiters of reality.

Look at the body with wisdom and realize this. If your house is flooded or burnt to the ground, whatever the threat to it, let it concern only the house. If there’s a flood, don’t let it flood your mind. If there’s a fire, don’t let it burn your heart. Let it be merely the house which is outside of you that is flooded or burned. Now is the time to allow the mind to let go of its attachments.

you could be walking through a fig orchard
when suddenly the wind cools and for a moment
you get a whiff of salt

They were very disoriented, obviously, after flipping. They got out of their seat belts and out of the car and, because I had skidded, my head was bleeding profusely…

Human horrors
are not inevitable. Some people stop
themselves, before they cross moral divides.

A lot more subtle stuff changed during that election too: stuff that’s been forgotten because now it’s everywhere.

To the person with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. This reflects the way in which, when that hammer comes into that circuit of mind, body, and world, it transforms how the world appears to us or what it makes us see the world as.

Everything’s been said
But one last thing about the desert,
And it’s awful: …

… in order to understand the truth of any situation, you have to start from the position that every person is equally valuable, and that what they have to say must be heard. And whether that is in a clique where somebody is being shunned and blamed for everything, or whether that’s an entire class of people whose experiences are not taken into account, it’s the same formula from the bottom to the top: let everyone speak and let everyone be heard.

When the doctor suggested surgery
and a brace for all my youngest years,
my parents scrambled…

and then there are times
that both sides seek to disown
to cut my cords
let me fall…

Khunu Lama (1895–1977) was a master scholar and strict renunciant who was also a teacher to many of the twentieth century’s most famous masters, including His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In this interview about his life, Annabelle Pitkin reflects on the tension between solitude and connection in the lives of Tibetan, Buddhist monastics.

She hides in the room she painted for herself,
tuning, listening…

An excellent walk-through of the classical Indian philosophies of language: from the Sanskrit grammars of Panini and Patanjali, to Brahmanical realism, Buddhist skepticism, and Jain agnosticism.

To understand Buddhism, one must understand the tension between the knowledge of impermanence and the love of the Dharma. This sense of loss has defined Buddhism from the Buddha’s Parinirvana through to the present day.

A young teacher is assigned to Bhutan’s most remote school.

I would frequently see adults recount something a child had said that was particularly provocative or deep by describing it as “adorable.” “How cute they are.” Even well-meaning adults just kind of dismiss children’s larger questions and ideas.

How deeply understanding the dependent origination of the chicken nugget helps us understand the entire modern world and how it got the way it is.

What can one possibly say about [this painting]? One can only sit in front of it, gazing at it in silent wonder.

… poets do not [normally] get this kind of attention

Let me make the songs for the people,
Songs for the old and young;
Songs to stir like a battle-cry
Wherever they are sung.

Back in the 1930s, Alan Lomax traveled the country recording obscure musicians of all stripes for the Library of Congress. Lomax believed that the culture of poor Americans was important, and worthy of saving. And it was these same beliefs that led to an investigation by the FBI.

Because he’s neutral. I mean if we threw Christ up there, he is controversial. Everybody has got a deal about him. But Buddha, nobody seems to be that perturbed about a Buddha.

From the inside out, I can know exactly where I am at any time and so, even when I’m falling short, I still have confidence because I know where I am. I’m not lost because the Dharma can find me.

On the pyre the fire burns bright
Setting alight this searing pain
With only my fate to blame
For the fierce flame that brands me.

To have rejected strategy; to sit, instead, with one’s bafflement

The text jumps inside me to help me out.

So, when you’re studying Buddhism, what are you studying?
I know the answer. I’m studying me.
I’m studying me.

I have arrived, I am home
In the here, in the now
I am solid, I am free
In the ultimate, I dwell

Swaddled and sleeved in water,
I dive to the rocky bottom and rise

I found him on the porch that morning…

An introduction to carnism and a discussion about the importance of mindfulness in living ethically.

There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”

We waste our whole lives neglecting our minds. And this is really what our purpose is in being human: it’s to develop our minds.

Each year, Ma collects more and more superstitions

We have brains in order to get along with each other […] Trauma destroys the capacity to imagine

A mysterious letter shocked Britain in 2014, alleging an Islamist plot to take over one city’s general schools. But who wrote it?

If we don’t freeze to death in the winter and don’t die of hunger on the other days, that’s good enough.

The temples were a signal that the previous people who came to Delphi had gotten the truth.

There’s always something we can do to progress towards Awakening. And it’s something that has benefits all along the way.

You will never let go of the things you love. So you don’t have to worry.

This is thousands and thousands of times more important than my own life.

Don’t try to be someone else

Twentieth-century Americans imagined “the East” through a particular perception of what Eastern “spirituality” was and how one could access it: namely through the figure of the “Oriental Monk” which they encountered frequently in the movies and TV shows of that period.

A Nepalese nun talks about why she became a nun and how her love for her mother drives her prodigious charity work.

… emotions are not biologically hardwired into our brains but are constructed by our minds

The truth is
money is in war, not poetry…

In that structure of feeling well, we had started taking acid…

An excellent condensation of what we know about the history of the Pāli Language.

Bhikkhu Bodhi shares with the Abhayagiri community his favorite section of the Dhammapada: verses 110–115.

Ajahn Brahm tells us all the secrets of life: from how to find a partner to getting what you really want.

An incredible music video, perfectly capturing the world-weary feeling of saṃvega.

Set aside all the social norms we have, the expectations we have about who animals are or what is appropriate to do for animals and just ask: What would you do—what do you think the right thing to do is—if you saw an animal suffering?

… you have this young brain that has a lot of what neuroscientists call “plasticity”. It can change really easily, essentially. But it’s not very good at putting on its jacket and getting to preschool

An explanation of the fundamental asymmetry between matrilineal and patrilineal societies which gave rise to the patriarchy along with an examination of the forces pushing back against it.

Bhante Yuttadhammo lists the five benefits from practicing meditation.

A heartfelt and spellbinding talk on meditation practice and expectations.

[Hunter-gatherers] considered themselves affluent and enjoyed a degree of affluence as a result of that. Yet we seem to be trapped in this cycle of ever pursuing more and greater growth, greater wealth, greater anything. It seems that our aspirations now grow endlessly.

Embossed tattoos like small notes on sheet music.
Dots and lines, strands and strings

One thought arising, it is hell;
One thought reversed, it is heaven.