Facebuddha: Transcendence in the Age of Social Networks

A journey through the wilds of relationships, from a rooftop in Hanoi to a village in India, from the streets of San Francisco and Japan to the blue Wall of Facebook, culminating in transformative spiritual experience.
Facebuddha will make you smile, laugh
and think differently about the world we share. 


We are who happens to us, and what we make of the happening. Who do we become when we relate online? What happens to our minds and hearts? Ravi Chandra is a psychiatrist and Buddhist who values conversation, relationship and their ultimate goals: love and the feeling of society. And he thinks we are in danger.

Online, we seek belonging, self-expression and meaning, essential to our humanity. Social media can be a curio for the exploration of the self. Social networks might be an empowering means to address our social ills. But the online world has traps for our habitually and unconsciously self-centered egos, cause of so much of our suffering in life. Our transcendent spirits are challenged and even imperiled by the realms we enter through our screens.

Chandra writes, “Social media is not just a medium. It is a new religion. The Tweet is our Call to Prayers. We thumb our Phones like Rosaries. Food Porn is our Communion and our Offering to the Cloud. The Status Update is our Sermon on the Mount. The Selfie our personal Anointment and Beatification. Facebook Messenger is our Messiah. The Apple Store is our modern Cathedral, our Silicon Sanctuary. New Emoji are released to the fanfare of a new Pope.” Where is this religion taking us?

Thoughtful, humorous, engaging and enlightening, Facebuddha will be a conversation starter for years to come.

Facebuddha is a rich memoir of relationships, online and off, and an exploration of the psychology of social networks through a Buddhist lens.


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(Cover image:  Hollywood Buddha, courtesy of the artist, Tenzing Rigdol.)

About Facebuddha, Advance Praise and Press

We have a Find my iPhone app – but we need to find our “I.” Who am I, and who do I become when I engage on social media? How do I come to myself and my highest, most transcendent possibilities? How do I cultivate wisdom, compassion and love in this shrinking world that threatens to tear itself apart?

Facebuddha: Transcendence in the Age of Social Networks is a rich modern memoir of relationship online and off, a state-of-the-art exploration of psychological research about social media, and an engaging introduction to Buddhism.

What happens to the heart and mind as we engage online?  In these politically charged and divided times, how can we connect?  Social media offers many inspiring and heady possibilities, as well as dangers.  Chandra explores our transformed social terrain thoughtfully and with humor, as he leads the reader on a spiritual quest for transcendence.


“I heartily recommend Facebuddha, a wonderfully written, exciting and at times elegiac and rhapsodic presentation of the potentials and difficulties of connecting in relationship – especially in our modern age of technology and as seen through a Buddhist lens.  Ravi Chandra is a wonderful storyteller, a psychiatrist, a Buddhist student and teacher, an Asian American, and an able, eloquent writer with the capacity and personal experience to address all the contemporary issues this book brings together.  I think Facebuddha will be inspiring to many, many people.”
Sylvia Boorstein, Ph.D., Buddhist teacher and author
Co-founder, Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Facebuddha is both personal journey and social commentary, a good-hearted meander across cultural, artistic and occupational worlds that explores a deep concern for our modern dilemmas with the perspective of a devoted Buddhist.”
Jack Kornfield, Ph.D., Buddhist teacher and author
Co-founder Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Facebuddha is magnificent, a breathtakingly personal work that combines memoir, media commentary, Buddhist practicum and depth psychology. Like Martin Luther’s theses, these chapters are nailed on the door of the Cathedral of Technology asking us to look beyond our screens by way of reforming contemporary indulgences. As we do so our world moves beneath the surface sheen and towards the interior. Ravi Chandra’s effervescent prose locates compassion, in his own soul and in the soul of humanity, in real world relationships endangered by modernity. ”
F.B. Steele, M.D., psychiatrist and teacher
Former Executive Director, C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco

“A very personal, often funny, warmly intelligent, thoughtful and heartfelt journey to transcendence!”  – Tamlyn Tomita, actor

“An exhortation to cultivate genuine love, kindness, and compassion.” – Deann Borshay Liem, director and producer

“Thought-provoking, engagingly written, and enriched by memoir and haiku-like stories and vignettes.” – Francis Lu, M.D.

“Poetic and poignant! Ravi Chandra portrays the importance of truly relating to people.” – Louise Nayer, author of Burned: A Memoir

“Facebuddha is an invitation to depth and personal growth.” – Stephen Gong, Executive Director, CAAM


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Review, Clinical Psychiatry News: ‘Facebuddha’ analyzes psychology of social media through a Buddhist lens

Hyphen Magazine: “Psychiatrist Ravi Chandra Explores Social Media Culture through a Buddhist Lens in Facebuddha”

8Asians interview with John Lin

Greater Good Science Center, UC Berkeley: “How to use social media wisely and mindfully” January, 2018

Psychology Today cover story Nov/Dec 2017 – “The Comparison Trap”

The Pacific Heart podcast on Stitcher, Soundcloud and iTunes.

About the Author

Ravi Chandra, M.D., is a psychiatrist and writer in San Francisco.  He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.  Facebuddha is his nonfiction debut.  He blogs regularly for Psychology Today (The Pacific Heart) and for the Center for Asian American Media (Memoirs of a Superfan).  His ebook on Asian American Anger is available for free download.  He was published in the award-winning anthology of South Asian American Poetry, Indivisible, and his first book of poetry, a fox peeks out, won Honorable Mention at the San Francisco Book Festival.  Details and more writing at www.RaviChandraMD.com. The Pacific Heart podcast is available on Stitcher, Soundcloud and iTunes.

Photo by Bob Hsiang



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99 cent Holiday Sale! Plus reviews, podcasts and other thoughts

Happy Holidays! I’ve just lowered the price of the Facebuddha ebook to 99 cents on all platforms. The sale price will be good until January 17th! Please share with all your networks! I’m trying to generate buzz and hopefully some more reviews on Amazon and/or Goodreads! I just got my first 5 star review on Amazon – from …

Martin Luther + Facebook = Facebuddha

Text of event on October 31, 2017: (Video on YouTube and Facebook) 500 years ago today, Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church, protesting the corruption of papal indulgences, and thus birthing the Protestant reformation. Today, I’m posting my book, Facebuddha: Transcendence in the Age of Social Networks, …

10/10/17 – Facebuddha meets the world!

Facebuddha launched officially on October 10th, 2017. I purposely chose Thelonious Monk’s birthday – for reasons that will become apparent when you get to the end of my book! Life is jazz – help me improvise and create buzz! “The only instruction is kindness.” Ravi Chandra celebrates the publication of Facebuddha: Transcendence in the Age of Social …