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June 04, 2008

Tha Dalai Lama Condemns Veneration of Shugden

His Holiness's office put out a statement concluding: [The Dalai Lama] has stated that, as someone in a leadership position, it is his responsibility to speak out against the damaging consequences of this kind of spirit worship. Whether or not his advice is heeded, His Holiness has stated, is a matter for the individual. However, since he personally feels strongly about the negativity of this practice, he has requested that those who continue to propitiate Dolgyal, do not attend his formal religious teachings which traditionally require the establishment of a teacher-disciple relationship. Meanwhile the Olympic torch is due to arrive in Lhasa in just over two weeks. More »
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June 03, 2008

Buddhist Chaplains and a Hip-Hop Duo

Danny Fisher speaks with Joan Halifax Roshi about Buddhist chaplaincy and many other things. And music from hip-hop duo Shambhala on The Worst Horse. More »
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June 03, 2008

Who's in the Junta?

Jacob Leibenluft investigates. More »
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June 02, 2008

Buddhist Closeness

This story has been kicking around for a while -- call it extreme Buddhist closeness, a couple that's never more than fifteen feet away from one another. And today this variation on the theme. More »
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June 02, 2008

Burmese Still Lack Aid

A month after the storm, hundred of thousands of Burmese still have received no aid. Moe than 69,000 people have died in the earthquake in China's Sichuan province, and because many of the survivors did not have insurance (or the right kind of insurance) they're finding themselves out in the cold. And more on incense being bad for your lungs. More »
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May 31, 2008

Monks Succeed Where Junta Fails

The junta has proved itself paranoid and incompetent in dealing with the cyclone, so the monks are taking over. Amazing what a little compassion can do. More »
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May 30, 2008

China talks peace with Taiwan

China invites Taiwan to the table and talks peace. [Kuomintang* Chairman] Wu in turn said the Chinese and Taiwanese should make sure that their people never take up arms against each other again, in comments that also touched on this month's devastating earthquake in China's southwest. "We cannot guarantee there won't be any natural disasters any more on both sides of the strait, but through our mutual efforts, we can ensure there is no war," he said. Is China opening up, or appeasing the west, or both? * Taiwan's ruling party. More »
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May 29, 2008

Death and Cookies

Aging, illness, and death are inevitable. Many Buddhists deal with this truth by meditating and contemplating such concepts as emptiness, impermanence, and interconnectedness. Another way people often handle thoughts of these pillars of suffering? Delicious cookies. In a study published in New Scientist , participants with low self-esteem who were assigned to ponder their own deaths ate more cookies (thoughts of death had little impact on those with high self-esteem). Ruminations of mortality also inclined them to spend more money. "When you indulge in shopping or eating, it helps you forget yourself," notes Dirk "Captain Obvious" Smeesters of Erasmus University in Rotterdam. More »
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May 29, 2008

What Would Buddha Do?

More about politics than dharma, but still. From Huffington Post. (Hat tip: WoodMoor Village Zendo.) More »
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May 29, 2008

Nepal becomes a republic

In case you missed it, Nepal's king is now history. Mikel Dunham's blog has great info on this and everything Nepal, and more. More »
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May 29, 2008

Karmapa at Naropa

Danny Fisher has the video. (Also see the Karmapa Visit blog.) More »
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May 29, 2008

Burma lets in aid workers; cyclone a "window of opportunity" for dialogue with junta

Burma has finally approved visas for aid workers waiting to get into the country. 2.5 million people are estimated to be in need of aid. The U.S. Navy is apparently still waiting, though the junta's being a little leery fo the U.S. military shouldn't surprise or offend anyone. Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the U.N.'s former special rapporteur with Burma, says that the cyclone has opened a "window of opportunity" for dialogue with the junta, though terrible obstacles still remain and he describes the junta as paranoid. More »
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May 29, 2008

Public Enemy of All Mankind

Actress Sharon Stone, whose controversial comments on the China Quake being karmic payback for repression in Tibet (mentioned in a comment by tiny thinker on this post) has been dropped from ads in China by Dior at China's request. China's label for Stone: "public enemy of all mankind." Where's Michelle Malkin when you need her? Speaking of strident overreactions, China has been crying terror about the Olympics for some time. The New York Times's Nicholas Kristof went to western China to check it out. More »
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May 28, 2008

After the Quake, Fingers Point at Beijing

An estimated 10,000 children died in the earthquake in Sichuan province in China, and aftershocks are still echoing through the region. In one school with 900 children near the epicenter, only 13 students emerged alive. Parents have become angry at the shoddy construction used in China's school and in the government's reaction in general. And now rivers that have been dammed by debris from the quake and turned into growing lakes threaten many more people. The Burmese government and their media is softening their stance toward allowing aid donors into affected areas. More »
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May 27, 2008

Adelle Lutz from Burma 2

Mae Sot is a bustling border town a 7- hour bus ride out of Bangkok. As Dharamsala is to the Tibetans in India, so likewise is Mae Sot the center, or even hotbed, of Burmese-in-exile in Thailand. Besides massive refugee camps, there are many migrant workers plus legal and illegal Burmese everywhere. There may be more Burmese than Thai here. It certainly feels that way.  Many of the heads of the democracy movement are based in Mae Sot as well as ethnic rebel leaders. Today, the air is abuzz with thoughts and hopes that Aung Sang Suu Kyi could be released from house arrest. More »
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May 27, 2008

Adelle Lutz Reports from Burma

I came to Thailand to volunteer in the Cyclone Nargis relief work. In the few days that I have been in Bangkok, the numbers of Burmese at risk in the aftermath of the disaster has more than doubled. The day before yesterday, UN stats were at 1.2 million. Yesterday noon, 2.5 million at the high end and by dinnertime Johns Hopkins (The Center for Refugee and Disaster Response & The Center for Public Health and Human Rights) was reporting 3.2 million in jeopardy. At press briefings we are reminded that new information keeps coming out and to bear in mind that "the situation is fluid". How macabre and cruel. Yes, fluid is the defining word. More »
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May 27, 2008

Burma, 27/05/2008

The renewal of Aung San Suu Kyi's captivity has gotten worldwide attention. Photos of the ongoing tragedy by James Whitlow Delano. Two PDFs: a Burma Update featuring Ram Dass, Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield, and Joseph Goldstein, and a press release from Freedom Now. More »
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May 27, 2008

Asia's Natural Disasters

China deals with the repurcussions of the terrible earthquake. New-formed lakes threaten to flood some 150,000 people in Sichuan province. And the kleptocratic junta in Burma allows aid to squeak in to the provinces. More »
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May 21, 2008

Daniel A. Bell on "China's Class Divide"

An op-ed by Daniel A. Bell in today's New York Times seeks to dispel myths about young students in China--and addresses the government's moral obligation to help those in need: A few days later, I was due to lecture on John Rawls’s theory of justice. By then, the huge toll of the earthquake had become apparent and the national mood had turned grim. Before the class, four students came to my office, raising doubts about the relevance of the “abstract” theories I was teaching and urging me to use more concrete examples. So I tried hard to think of an example that the students could grapple with. Finally I came up with a good one (or so I thought). According to Rawls, the state should give first consideration to the worst-off members of the community. But which “community” matters? Do the state’s obligations extend outside national boundaries? More »
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May 20, 2008

One Answer to Carbon Woes: Blowin' in the Wind

An article in Salon points out, "For under 2 cents a day per household, Americans could get 300 gigawatts of wind by 2030. That would: Reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by 25 percent in 2030. Reduce natural gas use by 11 percent. Reduce cumulative water consumption associated with electricity generation by 4 trillion gallons by 2030. Support roughly 500,000 jobs in the U.S." All we need is an administration that will let it happen. More »