An Imperfect Overview

Congratulations on finding your way to our humble website, its podcast and associated goodies. You can search the menu options above or scroll through the most recent blog posts and updates at the writing page, which mixes blog posts, and brand new podcast episodes.

If you are ready to get critical and creative, and enter a whole new world, step into a paradigm shift even, and a revolution in thought and practice regarding the practicing life in the 20th century, then this is the place for you.

Why the Imperfect Buddha? Imperfection is our human condition and there is no going beyond it. The work here understands this and avoids the pitfalls and fantasies associated with notions of perfect enlightenment, pure tradition, unstained realization, and fully realized teachers. If nothing is complete, then how could any of these have ever existed. If the Buddha was human, then he must have been imperfect too, and how about God (whether you believe there is one, or many)? There’s a line of exploration to explore if you are new to such matters.

What’s left? Changing, evolving life and matter in transmutation; decaying, dying forms, and a history of birth and death, creation and dissolution. This includes traditions, practices, theories and beliefs that are forever in flux. The podcast and writings seek to keep all this in mind, so that we may remember our humanity and its fragility in the middle of it all, so that we might never lose sight of it, whatever our goals might be, whatever our dreams might be seeding in this world for the short time that we spend in it.

The podcast mixes interviews with experimental material and think pieces that bring listeners to the Great Feast, an imaginary realm where all human knowledge gathers and to which we are all invited. You can find out more about that by listening to the Political Turn. Our selection of guests ranges from world renowned academics involved with Buddhism or related topics, to humble folks like you and I trying to figure of what practice might be, what a path could look like in the 21st century with what we now know about the human condition and the state of the world; a level of knowledge our forbears did not have access to. We have Buddhist teachers on who are outside mainstream Buddhist traditions, or lesser known, young academics exploring fascinating topics that have a direct bearing on the world of practice.

Whoever comes on, the objective is to go deep, far and wide in our discussions to places unknown.

The writing features experimental texts emerging from a non-traditional approach, incorporating tools from non-Buddhism, and drawing on the Great Feast and its many resources. Articles and posts tend to include knowledge from the world of philosophy, religious studies, sociology and contemporary culture, as well as reflection on the deeply personal and transformational nature of practice.

The site and podcast are now primarily the work of Matthew O’Connell, who runs O’Connell Coaching offering coaching and counseling to Buddhists, ex-Buddhists, spiritual types, non believers, atheists, intellectuals, and curious folks just looking to kick start the practicing life or overcome a rut in the road. Find out more on the coaching page if you need a hand for wherever you are, or wish to engage with any of the topics raised in on the podcast or in the writing. The approach is flexible and collaborative, and can be a one-off session, a short-term cycle of sessions, or evolve into a longer-term mentoring style relationship. I operate a sliding scale to make coaching accessible to anyone: Get in touch if you are curious.

The podcast welcomes guest suggestions, topic recommendations and co-hosts. You don’t need to be an expert. If you have something to say about any of this, get in touch via Twitter, Facebook or email us at: