I hold a Ph.D. in Buddhist studies from Harvard University's Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies. My training was mainly philological, concentrating on Sanskrit, Pali, and Tibetan Buddhist literature. For a long time, I have been concerned with how to make classical Buddhist literature, philosophy, and practice relevant to contemporary life. So, much of my work stems from that concern.
I have written books and articles on various aspects of Buddhism. Some of this work is intended for the public, some is more specialized. I have also practiced for many years in several Buddhist traditions, including Vipassana, Dzogchen, and mainly Soto Zen. At various periods in my life, I have led meditation groups and offered retreats.
My recent work is best summed up in the title for a book I am currently writing for Bloomsbury: A Critique of Western Buddhism: Ruins of the Buddhist Real. My critique draws from François Laruelle's non-philosophy and Peter Sloterdijk's anthropotechnic. The blog I founded in 2011, Speculative Non-Buddhism, contains many essays, by me and others, that reflect this critical direction.
Since the early 1990s, I have taught in the religion departments of several universities, including the University of Georgia (where I received tenure), Brown University, Bowdoin College, and the Rhode Island School of Design.
Incite Seminars: register now for "You must change your life: Rilke's Poetics of Immanence," with Ulrich Baer. Saturday, June, 23, 10am-3pm, at the Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.