Sam Littlefair

Sam Littlefair

Sam Littlefair is the former editor of He has also written for The Coast, Mindful, and Atlantic Books Today. Find him on Twitter, @samlfair, and Facebook, @samlfair.

Recent Articles

Wall of books with door.

How to Read and Study Buddhist Teachings

There is such a wealth of Buddhist books and teachings to consume. Where do you start? Here are some tips on how to tackle your reading list.

Sleeping, Dreaming, and Waking Up

The name “Buddha,” means “one who is awake.” Sam Littlefair shares three Buddhist teachings on sleeping, dreaming and – finally – awakening.

Photo of shoes by Jessica May Rita Kohut.

The Case for Rebirth

Sam Littlefair discusses ideas of rebirth in Buddhist and academic contexts.

¿Qué es el sufrimiento?

La palabra pali dukkha es traducida al inglés [y al español] comúnmente como “sufrimiento”. El dukkha se presenta en un abanico de emociones; de la felicidad a la desesperanza.

Suffering, Lion's Roar, Buddhism, Noble Truth, Buddha

Nine Buddhist Teachers Explain Suffering

Nine teachers explain what suffering is, how we feel it, and why it isn't a condemnation — it's a joyous opportunity.

Why Evan Thompson Isn’t a Buddhist

A conversation with scholar Evan Thompson about his new book "Why I Am Not A Buddhist" and why Western Buddhism could use more non-Buddhist friends.

Bushfires threaten Buddhist communities in Australia

Sunntaram Forest Monastery, Santi Forest Monastery, and Vejjasala Retreat Center are all currently evacuated. No injuries or major destruction have been reported.

Dalai Lama suggests ending Tibetan reincarnation system

The Dalai Lama said that the Tibetan Buddhist system of recognizing reincarnate Buddhist teachers “may have had its day.”

Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh awarded Luxembourg Peace Prize

Famed Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh was awarded the prize for “Outstanding Inner Peace.”

Bernie Glassman.

Bernie Glassman, pioneer of American Zen, dies at 79

The Zen master, spaceship engineer, social entrepreneur, interfaith activist, and clown devoted his life to “penetrating mysteries” and immersing himself in the unknown.

The Scorpion Gesture bridges past and the future at the Rubin Museum

The interactive exhibition, based on the Buddhist figures Padmasambhava and Maitreya, takes traditional Buddhist imagery in radical new directions.

Thangka painting of Milarepa.

The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa: A New Translation

Tibetan translator Christopher Stagg died in a car accident on October 1, 2018. In tribute, we are republishing this excerpt from his recent translation of The Hundred Thousands Songs of Milarepa, which was featured in the Winter 2017 issue of Buddhadharma.

The front of a Victorian house.

San Francisco’s famed Zen hospice closes doors while seeking funding

The Zen Hospice Project guesthouse opened in 1990, during the height of the AIDS epidemic.

Buddha in the sun.

Reincarnation: What do modern research and traditional Buddhist teachings say?

In the current issue of Lion's Roar magazine, we look at academic research on reincarnation at the University of Virginia. How does that research compare to the Buddhist views? We break it down.

Do You Only Live Once? The Evidence for Rebirth

What happens after you die? That used to be just a religious question, but science is starting to weigh in. Sam Littlefair looks at the evidence that you’ve lived before.

Candle burning in the dark.

Two Practices for Times of Tragedy

Tibetan Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön and Zen teacher Bernie Glassman offer three-step meditations to help work with tragedy.

Aaron Lee.

Aaron Lee, the “Angry Asian Buddhist,” has died, age 34

Aaron Lee died on Saturday, October 21, at age 34, after fighting cancer for more than a year. Aaron was known to many for his blog, Angry Asian Buddhist, where he wrote anonymously under the pen name “Arunlikhati.” On Angry Asian Buddhist, Aaron called out the under-representation of Asian Buddhists in American Buddhist media. By…

Timothy Morton.

Groundbreaking Scholar Timothy Morton Wants Philosophers to Face Their “Buddhaphobia”

Philosopher Timothy Morton is injecting Buddhism into Western philosophy in a way that’s never before been done.

Alfred Bloom, scholar of Shin Buddhism, dies at 91

There will be a service for Bloom on Saturday, September 2.

Dalai Lama denounces ethical misconduct by Buddhist teachers

The Dalai Lama said that when a teacher commits ethical misconduct and disregards Buddhist ethics, students should make the misconduct public.

How Would a Buddhist Monk Solve the Classic “Trolley Problem”?

Facing the dilemma of letting five people die or killing one instead, what is "right action"?

Meditator holding an iPhone.

15 Buddhist Apps to Help Recognize You Don’t Really Need a Buddhist iPhone App

Sam Littlefair learns why there are so few Buddhist apps and how — even if they're not totally necessary — they might help you on your spiritual journey.

These Beautiful Photos Chronicle a Search for Light and Enlightenment

David Gabriel Fischer's ongoing photo journal gives viewers a glimpse into a mind and world defined by Zen.

Buddhist researchers seek to reveal link between heart, mind

Researchers at Hong Kong’s Center of Buddhist Studies have published findings that point to a connection between the heart and the mind.

ecodharma retreat center.

Land purchased for “Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center” in Colorado wilderness

Next month, a group of Buddhist teachers will purchase 180 acres of rural Colorado land to start "Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center."

Do Buddhists pray? What for?

We're not praying for something. We're not praying to anyone. Why would Buddhists pray?

Justin Simien.

“Dear White People” creator Justin Simien talks Buddhism, finding empathy for trolls

One element of Justin Simien’s identity isn’t obvious in his new Netflix hit: Buddhism. But it’s there.

Screenshot from Occidentali's Karma.

Watch: The “Buddhist pop song” that took sixth at Eurovision

Italian pop artist Francesco Gabbani sings about Buddha, nirvana, and mantras in his critically-acclaimed indictment of Western consumerism.

A Buddhist’s Guide to Weddings and Marriage

All marriages end — either in death or divorce. From a Buddhist perspective, that just makes each day of a marriage even more special. Here is a collection of Buddhist advice on finding profound joy within marital bliss.

Meditator in virtual reality.

New research explores benefits of Buddhist practice in virtual reality

Buddhist teacher Andrew Holocek says virtual reality could be an opportunity to investigate the mind — or it could be "super samsara."

Angry Asian Buddhist.

Why isn’t the “Angry Asian Buddhist” angry?

As his cancer goes from bad to worse, the anonymous blogger known as the "Angry Asian Buddhist" strives to accept the absurdity of life.