About me

My name is Amod Lele. (Pronunciation: “uh-MODE” or “ah-MODE,” like a mode of transportation; “LAY-lay.”) I am gender-fluid, and go by the name Sandhya (“SUND-ya”, like “Sunday” with the last two letters reversed) when presenting female. I grew up in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. When it comes to “religious” background I’m something of a mutt: my mother was raised a Christian and became a Buddhist, while my father was raised a Hindu and became a Marxist. For most of my life I’ve moved around various points in the middle between these; but what’s allowed me to draw connections between them is philosophy, rational thought about the big questions. More recently – in 2014-15, well after starting this blog – I have come to call myself a Buddhist, though I remain heavily influenced by the other traditions and more besides.

I began reading Western philosophy in high school, but my real philosophical awakening came on a trip to Thailand in 1997, coming to learn more and more about Buddhism. I found myself wishing for many things, getting them in turn, and still not being happy. I eventually realized it was all about the Second Noble Truth: suffering comes from craving. The problem wasn’t with whether or not I got what I wanted. The problem was with me. Philosophy was no longer just about abstractions or even social issues; it spoke directly to me. If you’re interested in more details of this story, I’ve discussed them in two posts on the blog. I have many autobiographical posts that will tell you more about my philosophical life.

In the following decade I did a PhD from the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University, studying cross-cultural philosophy with a focus on the Buddhist thinker Śāntideva. I started the blog in 2009 while working as a visiting assistant professor at Stonehill College, looking to blogs as a new kind of venue for exploring philosophical questions. Since then I have left the faculty job market for a variety of reasons, some of which I have discussed or alluded to in these posts, and have never regretted the decision. I have found blogging a far more congenial environment for the kinds of questions that inspire me. So I am also one of the cofounders and moderators of the Indian Philosophy Blog.

I am now a visiting researcher at the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia, and occasionally a lecturer in the Philosophy Department. Those are my official academic positions, but they’re not what pays the bills. For a living, in late 2011 I began a full-time job as an educational technologist at Boston University; in 2017 I was promoted and now lead a team of educational technologists. This blog is not part of any of these jobs – I do it for free and I expect I always will – but the two are closely related. I view the blog, along with my refereed publications, as my avocation; it allows me to express and share the scholarly ideas that are my life’s passion, in a way that emerging information technologies make far more effective. And my job involves helping others to do the same – to teach them new technologies that express the learning they are passionate about.

You can also contact me by email; I welcome it. My email address is Amod Lele, with a dot between the first and last name, at gmail dot com; I’ve spelled out this way to avoid automated spam.

10 thoughts on “About me”

  1. Hello Amod,
    I just came across your blog from its posting on The Indian Philosophy Blog. My first reaction is WOW, I love this blog. Sorry, I was truly excited.

    I am of like mind and therefore you blog is one that I only thought about but only recently began to manifest it. A few years ago, I recently retired–mainly for medical reasons–from teaching philosophy and humanities courses at Roanoke College in Salem, VA. I spent the last twenty years as an adjunct at many, many colleges and universities in both New York and Virginia. I was not very productive as a scholar, but I loved teaching and conducted many private and organizational classes over many years. Now, only recently, I got slightly productive with a blog (https://genekelly.blogspot.com) but my devotion to it has been spotty. But I certainly do enjoy doing it and also Twittering, for lack of a better word.

    I have read little of your blog, but coming across it was a “benediction” of sorts. I just love what you’re up to.

    Well, enough for now. I must say I am very grateful for your efforts and I will no doubt be enjoying it, barring death, for quite some time. Thank you,


    Gene Kelly

  2. You should be ashamed of yourself … you do not post my comments but post absolutely ridiculous material from “bill.” I will not comment on your blog anymore … and that should please you. Best wishes, Patrick

    • Patrick, my approving your most recent comments was merely delayed because I hadn’t seen them yet. They are posted now. It is of course your choice whether or not to post, but please don’t make that choice based on the false assumption that I was holding back your posts because of their content.

  3. Beautiful and clear. Currently studying withStephen Bachelor and a international group.Your blog touches many of the issues , we are discussing as we embark on seeing Budddhist concepts ina manner that has meaning to those of us who are searching for what is a flourishing and ethical life of care for ourselves and others . We acknowledge that suffering is not just a mental phenomena but also at times a life experience of war, fires, floods, hurricanes,domination, etc.

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