Dharma Bites

In Thailand there is a law against impersonating monks. But designer Montri Toemsombat featured pop stars and models in suspiciously monklike robes for a fashion spread in a popular women's magazine. Authorities were outraged. The Department of Religious Affairs is investigating.

Shatoosh shawls are being policed. It takes at least three chiru, or Tibetan antelopes, to make one shawl. The chiru are endangered, so the shawls are illegal—but that hasn't deterred the fashion elite who pay between $1,000 and $15,000 per wrap. The World Wildlife Fund and International Campaign for Tibet have organized to protect the antelopes and stop the poaching.

Why is the Chinese government interested in the Panchen Lama? This is the question asked in a new film, Tibet's Stolen Child, produced by Garthwait & Griffin Films in conjunction with the International Campaign for Tibet. Narrated by Patrick Stewart, the film features appearances by the Rev. Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and Elie Wiesel. The whereabouts of the boy recognized as the Panchen Lama in 1995 are still unknown.

A dietary supplement called “Zen” is being recalled because it contains the illegal party drug BD, which made hundreds of Los Angeles partygoers sick several years ago. BD's side effects include coma, vomiting, seizures, and, like some Zen practice, difficulty breathing. It is also sold as an industrial solvent.

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