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The Imperfect Buddha podcast has been addressing anti-intellectualism and ideological capture in western Buddhism and spirituality more broadly since its inception. It provides a space for dynamic conversations designed to bring out what is so often hidden and so often despised by critics and intellectuals engaging with contemporary forms of practice. Matthew O’Connell hosts the Imperfect Buddha podcast and writes at The Imperfect Buddha site. Email: imperfectbuddha@outlook.com. Twitter: @im ...
 
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show series
 
What does it mean to be a hundred? Perhaps Fredric Nietzsche would know. He’s in part the star of the show. Along with regular guest Glenn Wallis. We look at the ideal reader, the ideal thinker, and perhaps the ideal practitioner. We discuss his work in progress, Nietzsche NOW! A book that wonders what Nietzsche would have to say about Wokeism. We …
 
Peter Fenner, Ph.D, is an adapter and teacher of non-duality, and an author. His two books, Radiant Mind: Awakening Unconditioned Awareness (Sounds True, 2007) and Natural Awakening: An Advanced Guide for Sharing Nondual Awareness (Sumeru Press, 2015), draw on a dialectical method adapted from his monastic training with the Gelugpa School of Tibeta…
 
The Think Pieces continue. This month, it is a look back at a piece on being Buddhist and identity. The text version can be found below. Themes picked up on in this episode include: Identity in an age of identity politics Playing identity politics, or not The discomfort of committing to the Buddhist identity True me versus contextual me The therape…
 
In this episode, Pierce Salguero comes on to discuss two of his books: Buddhish, A Guide to the 20 Most Important Buddhist Ideas for the Curious and Skeptical (Beacon Press, 2022) and A Global History of Buddhism and Medicine (Columbia UP, 2022). Pierce is a transdisciplinary scholar of health humanities, fascinated by historical and contemporary i…
 
And so it continues. The fifth and final installment in this series on doubt continues to explore an enlightened vision of practice in the 21st century. It explores the call to practice, honesty, doubt’s place and epistemic humility. It also looks at how to practice with doubt through suggestions for meditation practices and contemplative explorati…
 
Welcome to the new season of the Imperfect Buddha Podcast. After a well-earned and challenging summer filled with drought, war, political strife and ridiculous heat, we’re back in the saddle and raring to go with some intellectual stimulation aimed at the practicing life. Four episodes are lined up with Buddhist scholars, philosophers and practitio…
 
In an historic event, the second Buddha himself Nagarjuna returns from the dead to team up with Jacques Derrida, non-Buddha, perhaps, to take on emptiness. They clash with identity politics. Bump into Jordan Peterson and the misses, and go for a coffee with John Gray. What you say? All of that in a single episode! Yes, dear listener. All of that in…
 
The fourth installment in this series on doubt continues to explore an enlightened vision of practice in the 21st century. It explores the call to practice, honesty, doubt’s place and epistemic humility. Text version here. Matthew O'Connell is a life coach and the host of the The Imperfect Buddha podcast. You can find The Imperfect Buddha on Facebo…
 
Welcome to this Great feast conversation. Philosophy Professor at Seattle University, Soto Zen Priest, Sangha leader, and Dharma teacher, Jason M. Wirth is the author of Nietzsche and other Buddhas: Philosophy after Comparative Philosophy (Indiana UP, 2019), Engaging Dogen’s Zen and Mountains, and Rivers, and the Great Earth, both from 2017. In a r…
 
Today I talk with Peter Salmon, author of An Event, Perhaps; an intellectual biography of Jacques Derrida. Our conversation was rich: We tackle Derrida and Buddhism, Derrida and the culture wars, Derrida and practice. Foucault gets a mention, as does Heidegger, as does spiritual enlightenment, mindfulness and spirituality. Our conversation was inco…
 
In the third part of this series on Doubt, we head off to the Great Feast. Come along and dine with the Buddha, your favourite philosophers, and any other great mind you have a penchant for. You won’t regret it. Matthew O'Connell is a life coach and the host of the The Imperfect Buddha podcast. You can find The Imperfect Buddha on Facebook and Twit…
 
“Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.” Voltaire You know too much, yet understand too little. And it’s the same for me, and everyone you and I happen to know. And, so it begins. What follows are a series of posts and audio-casts that respond to this living human condition, bringing together practice materials from…
 
In this episode, returning guest Daniel Ingram comes on to discuss a range of fascinating questions concerning practice. We explore coming through the pandemic, the impact of long-term relationships on practice, first Buddhist books, hardcore Dharma practice, how life might have been different without practice, suffering and karma and Daniel’s new …
 
Stef Aupers is professor of media culture in the Institute for Media Studies at the University of KU Leuven in the Netherlands. As a cultural sociologist, he studies the role of cultural meaning in the production, textual representation and consumption of media. Stef has published widely in international journals on the topics of religion, modern m…
 
“Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.” Voltaire You know too much, yet understand too little. And it’s the same for me, and everyone you and I happen to know. And, so it begins. What follows are a series of posts and audio-casts that respond to this living human condition, bringing together practice materials from…
 
In the practising life, choices must be made. Those choices occur at all levels from big picture views of the world, a whole life, and society, to the everyday choice of how to be in the world, how to act, and what to commit to. In this three part series on Secular Buddhism, we find figures who have made a specific choice to stick with Buddhism and…
 
Take a trip to the Great Feast in this first in a series of posts on the practising life. Non-Buddhism meets post-traditional slants on practice, whilst tackling complexity, doubt, and ecological thought. Practise questions and suggestions are woven throughout as a response to all you who desire practical things and have asked for them. This might …
 
Today I speak to Stephen Batchelor, figurehead for Secular Buddhism, well known author, and Scot. I present the lovely man some of the critique aimed at his work in the book Secularizing Buddhism, and from my previous interview with Richard K. Payne. We also discuss some of his intellectual influences, touch on phenomenology, Gianni Vattimo, and wh…
 
The Imperfect Buddha Podcast is moving on to new terrain and a new home over at the New Books Network, a location for intelligent conversations. Here's the link:https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/academic-partners/the-imperfect-buddha Past episodes will remain here at Soundcloud for the next six months. You can also listen to all episodes at the …
 
From immanent Buddhism to cruel optimism, from secular subjectivity to the unconscious material running through your personal practice, today's episode features a returning guest in the figure of Richard K. Payne who is here to discuss his latest work and the contributions made by many great authors thinking deeply and critically about contemporary…
 
From immanent Buddhism to cruel optimism, from secular subjectivity to the unconscious material running through your personal practice, today's episode features a returning guest in the figure of Richard K. Payne who is here to discuss his latest work and the contributions made by many great authors thinking deeply and critically about contemporary…
 
Something like a provocation, something of an introduction; this audio-cast presents a recent piece of work over at the Imperfect Buddha site on non-practice for all those interested in how to apply the non- to the practising life. Built on Complex world, Complex Practice and prior to a series on applied practice, this is the audio version of an el…
 
Something like a provocation, something of an introduction; this audio-cast presents a recent piece of work over at the Imperfect Buddha site on non-practice for all those interested in how to apply the non- to the practising life. Built on Complex world, Complex Practice and prior to a series on applied practice, this is the audio version of an el…
 
Tina Rassmussen is one of our first meditation teachers on in a long while. Well, being a practice based series, this was inevitable. Tina was co-author of a book on jhana states and concentration that I have had on my shelf for a long time. Concentration is not the topic of our conversation, however. Here are some of the themes we explored;• Compa…
 
Tina Rassmussen is one of our first meditation teachers on in a long while. Well, being a practice based series, this was inevitable. Tina was co-author of a book on jhana states and concentration that I have had on my shelf for a long time. Concentration is not the topic of our conversation, however. Here are some of the themes we explored; • Comp…
 
Who will think on Buddhism? Who has the chops to do so? What does it mean to place Buddhism in a configuration of contemplation alongside other thought and one’s personal experience of living a life in some way intimate with Buddhism as practice, as culture, as being and becoming? Although this season of the podcast is practice focussed, this does …
 
Down the country path we stroll for another practice episode, this time with our regular guest Glenn Wallis. We go through the personal questions I've been posing to all the guests this season, but we also make time to talk about the non-buddhism practice group, Incite events, and Glenn's new book An Anarchist Manifesto. The episode has a written p…
 
And so it goes on. This is our second episode in the new practice series. In the meantime, I had something of an allergic reaction to social media, and the internet more broadly. Despite a pretty disciplined relationship with digital life, I had something akin to an epiphany mid-January and realised that in my own way I had got caught up in maintai…
 
Asian and Buddhist and living in America: Does any of that matter? Those focussed in on practice and not much else regarding Buddhism might proclaim a resounding no. Others, all too aware of the tendency of western practitioners to ignore culture, and Buddhism beyond the meditation cushion might instead bellow forth with a resounding yes! Whatever …
 
Happy New Year to one and all and welcome to this new season (proper) of the Imperfect Buddha Podcast. Focussed on practice, this season engages Buddhist teachers, long-term practitioners, and creative innovators engaged in the practising life. Interspersed with regular interviews, this practice focussed season finally gets the podcast off of the c…
 
Santiago Zabala was once described as a most ignorant philosopher by the American philosopher Brian Leiter: An interesting take that one will need to interpret for themselves in listening to this conversation on fake news, the role of interpretation, freedom, and being at large. Santiago is not at all ignorant, of course, and might be better unders…
 
This episode involves a conversation with the Tibetologist Sam van Schaik. Sam wrote his original PHd thesis on Dzogchen and the work of Jigme Lingpa and has been involved in the International Dunhuang Project at the British Library, where he currently works, and also teaches at the SOAS University in London. He also happened to write one of my fav…
 
In an attempt to make more sense of non-Philosophy, and therefore non-Buddhism, I interview Irish philosopher and academic John O Maoilearca, the author of All Thoughts Are Equal, an exceptionally accessible introduction to the work of that pesky French philosopher Francois Laruelle, who we’ve been name dropping on the podcast for quite some time. …
 
"How do animals think? What does it mean to be at large? What is Buddhist Magic or even Tibetan Zen? These are questions posed by the three guests to follow in a rather lovely triad of interviews and conversations for the Imperfect Buddha Podcast; each one unique and diverse, each with a European guest, each tackling a topic that has long intereste…
 
Rethinking Practice at the Great Feast @INCITE Seminars Saturday, July 25th, 10am-2pm EST / 4-8pm Europe /3pm-7pm UK. Online via Zoom. Come and join us on the 25th at Incite Seminars for an original workshop on Buddhism at the Great Feast for Incite Seminars. Pay what you can and dive into this experimental event online through Zoom. Description be…
 
Ok, I went and did something a little bit different. I spoke directly to the time we live in. It may work. It may not. This is the first in a short series of audio articles. You can read the text version if you prefer over at the Imperfect Buddha site. It steers a path towards the practising life through the tumultuous times we inhabit...in stages.…
 
A new episode is here. The lingering challenge of conspiracies, fake news, and the emergence of information silos means that we as a global society are being confronted with a major challenge to our relationship to information, to facts, and to the epistemological challenges we have always been burdened with regarding knowledge and the act of knowi…
 
“In a society that has no future, the present gains exponentially in importance.” In the time of Corona, what are we to do with happiness? Today’s guest is an expert on the subject and the well-being industry. Dr Ashley Frawley studies the relationship between the ideology of self-care, technologies of the self and wider social policy and practice.…
 
The Practising Life in many ways starts when there is a crisis. Our capacity to walk the talk, make our practice more than a mere means for survival, or for managing the banality of our existence is tested. Buddhism has many resources for facing crisis, but there is another tradition that is just as good, if not better; Stoicism. And some of its pr…
 
This Turn takes us deep, deep down into the deep dark world of ideology to show why it's such a fundamental concept for understanding ourselves and the world, and the entanglement between the two, in an articulation of the concept of interdependence that rarely gets explored by Buddhists or spiritual folks alike. Three Europeans will help us on our…
 
Podcast meets Podcast. Adam Robbert from the Sideview boards the Imperfect Buddha to discuss the work of Pierre Hardot, author of Philosophy as a Way of Life, along with a long list of our shared favourite topics. We get into the nitty-gritty of the practising life, contemplation, reflection, embodied consciousness and martial arts, the path ahead,…
 
Off we go with our first long-form interview/conversation for 2020, and it’s with returning guest Daniel Ingram! Are you ready for more? It seems that many of you are. Back in 2019 when Daniel was visiting here in Trieste, we discussed a range of material we might cover on the podcast and one topic that repeatedly came up for Mr Ingram was his take…
 
What's coming up in 2020 in the coming months? Find out by listening to this tidy little introduction and update on the podcast. Music provided by Funki Poricini. Matthew O'Connell is a life coach and the host of the The Imperfect Buddha podcast. You can find The Imperfect Buddha on Facebook and Twitter (@imperfectbuddha). Learn more about your ad …
 
This is our fourth foray into the land of Buddhism, Cults and Cult-like behaviours across mainstream Buddhist groups. Let’s be honest, this topic is always perversely interesting. If you missed out on our past episodes covering these topics, there are links and short intros below to those past episodes, which were a lot of fun. For our latest journ…
 
In a time of environmental meltdown, political and economic crisis, what should we do? What role can practice play? How are we to envision our place in the world, as protagonists in the destruction of our home, and mere bit part players in global conflict? Can we make a difference, or should we retreat to our personal spaces and meditate and be don…
 
Our year long-series on practice continues and we stray further into the world of politics and economics with this episode's guest. Economics is a form of human practice of course, and not a solid, eternal fixed inevitability. Like politics, it's a topic often resisted by spiritual and religious folks. In a democracy, we would all do well to educat…
 
Professor of philosophy, religion and integral ecology, at San Francisco University, Sam Mickey is our guest in this episode. We tackle many a topic but return throughout to the theme of the Great Feast, and embodiment, in facing existential threat, and environmental decay. We tackle the theme of justice too. Many of the themes connect to titles of…
 
It took a long time to get this one done and I hope it was worth it. Please note that the creative extras took up very little of that time, rather, it was finding a way to talk about big issues as a living practice beyond partisan politics and ideological capture. This podcast episode tackles politics as living culture and suggests that complexity …
 
It's been another busy period but finally it's time for Cleo Kearn's interview to be released into the world before I head off on holiday. Ritual and Resistance is the title of our conversation as we tackle ritual, religion, Buddhism, resistance and change. We discuss the following topics in the first half; Continental Philosophy, Anthropology and …
 
Are we all going down it too? Daniel Ingram returns to the podcast for a third and final conversation and what a rich one it was. I believe it is well worth your time. After reading some Trash Theory, Daniel accepted Glenn Wallis’s challenge to read his book and after exploring the infamous SNB heuristic, based on the work of the rascally Frenchman…
 
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