Blog: Speculative Non-Buddhism

In 2011, I founded the blog Speculative Non-Buddhism. The blog is closely related to my recent critical work. Many of the themes that have become elements of that work were first developed on the blog. SNB has had the good fortune of featuring work by Tom Pepper, Matthias Steingass, Adam S. Miller, Shyam Dodge, Richard Payne, Patricia Ivan, April Resnick, Alan Seltzer, and Craig Neely.


The blog has had nearly half a million views. It has also has nearly 900 subscribers and has stimulated over 800 comments. Some of these comments are substantial pieces of writing themselves. The blog has been discussed in scholarly works, such as Jay Michaelson, Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment (Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2014); Marcus Boon, Eric Cazdyn, and Timothy Morton, Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015); the Swedish anthology, Mindfulness: Tradition, tolkning och tillämpning (“Mindfulness: Tradition, Interpretation, and Application”); in the online work of Richard Payne (Dean, Institute of Buddhist Studies, Berkeley); Scott A. Mitchell, Buddhism in America: Global Religion, Local Contexts (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016); and in the recent collection of essays by Ronald E. Purser, David Forbes. Adam Burke, Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement (Basel: Springer Publishing, 2016).

Buddhism in America

Global Religion, Local Contexts

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Buddhism in America

Global Religion, Local Contexts

- See more at:


In keeping with the nature of critique, the blog is as controversial as it is influential. Here is an intelligent assessment by blogger Richard Blumberg:


Glenn Wallis's Speculative Non-Buddhism site is, to my mind, the most strikingly original, penetrating, and provocative writing about Buddhism on the web. I suspect that very many of the people who participate in this Community will find his stuff either impenetrable or irritating, or both, and some will just hate it and feel that Wallis has them under attack.


But his analysis of x-buddhism rewards the effort it takes to understand it and leads, I think, to a productive re-examination of how the Buddha's teachings remain relevant to our lives and how to most productively cultivate the Buddha's path to construct those lives as good ones. (X-buddhism: for 'x', substitute "zen", "tibetan", "nichiren", "pure land", "secular", "thich nhat hahn", etc. You get the idea.) He is especially concerned about how x-buddhism, through its emphasis on lineage, distinctive meditative techniques, the teachings of particular individuals, and a pervasive desire to "fit in" - to show that Buddhism is compatible with modern science, modern philosophy, modern culture - all lead to vitiating the radically anti-establishment, anti-authoritarian, anti-dogmatic implications of the Buddha's message.


I hope you will visit the blog and see for yourself!

Quick Links


Winter 2018

Sign up now for "Varieties of Buddhist Healing," with Pierce Salguero; and "The Art of Philosophy: Peter Sloterdijk on the Practice of Wisdom," with me.


My new book , A Critique of Western Buddhism: Ruins of the Buddhist Real, can be pre-ordered at Bloomsbury Academic. More info here, too.


New seminars scheduled at Incite Seminars. First up is Akilesh Ayyar, "How to Find What isn't Lost," January 20th.


Fall 2017

"This is a rich disagreement!" Conversation with Tom Pepper at Speculative Non-Buddhism.


I moved the Incite Seminars page to Please have a look!


Summer 2017

Starting enrollment for two public courses: "Alienation and Its Antidotes: A Workshop with Anthony Paul Smith on the Thought of François Laruelle."


"Meditation: Self and Society" Monday mornings

September 25-October 16. 

Information on Incite Seminars. 


Tom Pepper at Speculative Non-Buddhism: "No Thought, No Problem."


Spring 2017

Starting enrollment for public course "Buddhism in the Age of Trump." Begins Tuesday, June 13. Information on Incite Seminars page. Make thinking great again!


New post at Speculative Non-Buddhism by Jonathan Earle: "Only Don’t Know! Reflections on a Thoughtless Life"


"Criticism Matters: A Response to Rick Repetti," my contribution to the new book Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement (Basel: Springer Publishing, 2016) at Speculative Non-Buddhism.


Fall 2016

Ruin records He-Ho and Fiat Lux are being re-released with bonus tracks! Read about it at Earsplit. You can also pre-order directly from Southern Lord.


New essay by Tom Pepper, "Writing With Pencils and Eating Brownies: What Can Enlightened Brains Do?," at the SNB blog.


Spring 2016

I recently did two interviews with Matthew O'Connell at the Imperfect Buddha podcast.


A thoughtful discussion of the Speculative Non-Buddhism project at the Imperfect Buddha podcast. Link at SNB.


Summer 2016

* Several new posts at Lines of Flight.

* Cruel Theory | Sublime Practice is now available on Amazon US and Amazon UK. Read an informed review at the Journal of Buddhist Ethics.


* New interview with my Ruin band mate Cordy Swope at Seymour Magazine.


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