Over the past couple of weeks (read: since I turned in the dissertation and as a way to distract myself from thinking about it too much) I have been diligently redesigning the Institute of Buddhist Studies website. The old site was a mess. I did what I could with the original files, but never knew how much latitude I had with the design, layout, content, blah blah blah. But it turns out that I had considerably more latitude than I had expected. So, here it is. The IBS Website version 3.0!
You might be wondering why I’m promoting this small achievement on my blog. It’s not just that I’m proud myself and felt like tooting my own horn (toot). More importantly it’s because I want to promote the IBS. Certainly I have a fondness for the Institute since it’s where I started my academic career (as well as my affinity for Jodo Shinshu). But in the past year or so that I’ve been working for the IBS I’ve come to learn more about what it is we have to offer Buddhism in America. I really do feel that we’re doing something rather unique in the world of Buddhist studies. Unlike Buddhist studies departments in places like UC Berkeley, we’re not completely secular. The faculty and staff are all pretty much committed Buddhists. And part of our purpose is the training and education of Buddhist ministers. But we’re not just a sectarian school (like Naropa, for example, which is all about sitting around in mediation, no offense, of course). We straddle that divide between the secular and religious study of Buddhism. Which, as anyone who reads my blog should know, is pretty near and dear to my heart.
So, that said, this entry is all about (1) hey look at me! I finished a project! and (2) hey look at the IBS! they’re pretty cool!