“kick ass dharma” = dharma free of dogma, cultural baggage, metaphysical hubris, institutionalized nonsense, and idiot compassion.
I first heard of B. Alan Wallace years ago in an Integral Naked interview. I immediately liked him due to his intellectual sharpness and his deep knowledge in Buddhist scholarship and hardcore practice. It’s rare to see someone who has the passion and the proficiency on both Eastern introspective practice and Western scientific discipline. But more importantly, Wallace is not the stereotypical armchair philosopher and scholar. He is courageous in talking the talk and backing it up with action — a true hybrid dharma teacher.
There are many things I admire about Wallace. Let me count the ways…
1) He’s a hardcore dharma practitioner, well-versed in both Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist tradition. A prolific author, translator, and researcher whose primary interest is to integrate Buddhism with Western science and create a discipline called, Contemplative Science. (Also check out the audio of his lectures at Santa Barbara Institute.)
2) He’s the Co-principal investigator and Contemplative Director of the Shamatha Project, “a longitudinal, scientific study of the effects of three months-long training in attentional and emotional balance”, in collaboration with a team of cognitive scientists. Listen to his interviews on Buddhist Geeks wherein he discussed the overview of the Shamatha Project.
3) Another of his long-term visionary project is called, Phuket Mind Training Academy. See this video of B. Alan Wallace discussing the Phuket Mind Training Academy. (This reminds me of Professor Xavier’s School for the Gifted Youngsters.)
4) He blends humor, science, and dharma in retreat settings. Listen to his recent retreat at Upaya Dharma Podcast – “Science Meets Meditation”.
5) He is not intimidated by other intellectual heavyweights. See B. Allan Wallace debate/dialogue with John Searle on Consciousness.
For those who are not familiar with B. Alan Wallace, here’s a sample of his passionate, compassionate, and beautiful mind.
B. Alan Wallace @ Google Techtalks – Toward the First Revolution in the Mind Sciences.
For me, B. Alan Wallace is an excellent example of an intellectual samurai. I consider myself fortunate to have encountered his teachings and apply it to my practice. He’s my kind of kick ass dharma teacher.