Author Archives: Tom Cummings

About Tom Cummings

A life-long news and current events junkie, an occasional political activist and volunteer, and for the past five years a practitioner of daily meditation and a student of Buddhist philosophy, I write this blog to explore what I see as the inherent tensions and contradictions between practicing mindfulness - so rooted in the Buddhist virtues of compassion, generosity, and non-attachment to self - and being an engaged citizen in today's world - where the very opposite traits are all too often the ones that prevail.

What Now? (part 2)

In my last post, written in the week immediately following Donald Trump’s inauguration as president, I suggested two practices that might be of value during the troubling times to come – be more continuously mindful, and become more effectively engaged.  For the past … Continue reading

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What now?

In my last post, I argued that candidate Donald Trump was unfit to be president of the United States for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which were his manifest shortcomings in two of the most essential Buddhist … Continue reading

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An anniversary post, and a political plea

Today, the Engaged Mindfulness blog turns five years old.  In preparation for  this fifth-anniversary milestone, I recently scrolled back to my first post, “The Paradox of ‘Engaged Mindfulness’”, published on October 18th, 2011.  As I re-read it, I was struck by two … Continue reading

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Book Review: After Buddhism, by Stephen Batchelor

With his latest book, After Buddhism, renowned scholar Stephen Batchelor continues to expand his vision for a “secular Buddhism”, a project he began nearly twenty years ago in his 1997 book Buddhism Without Beliefs. In that groundbreaking book, he sounded … Continue reading

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2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it … Continue reading

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In praise of “slow thinking”

A while ago, I wrote a post reflecting on Daniel Kahneman’s extraordinary book Thinking Fast and Slow.  And just a few days ago, my friend and teacher James Flaherty, the founder of New Ventures West, published his own comments on this book in the … Continue reading

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Book Review: Confession of a Buddhist Atheist, by Stephen Batchelor

This self-styled “confession” by Stephen Batchelor succeeds brilliantly in three distinct literary genres. First and foremost, it’s an articulate and passionate exposition of Buddhism from this gifted, world-renowned scholar and teacher. Second, it’s a poignant memoir of a lifetime’s journey … Continue reading

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