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February 29, 2008

Beijing's stranglehold over Tibet: The Railway and the Panchen Lama

The International Campaign for Tibet says the railway to Lhasa is hurting Tibet. Not surprisingly, China disagrees. Beijing hopes to bring together politics and religion by appointing its handpicked Panchen Lama to a high government post. The Panchen Lama is second only to the Dalai Lama in importance in the dominant Gelugpa order of Tibetan Buddhism. The Panchen Lama recognized by the Dalai Lama and most Tibetan Buddhists has been held by the Chinese authorities since the early 1990's. The Panchen Lama chosen by Beijing is the one the world sees and who now seems destined to get into politics. More »
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February 28, 2008

Diacritic or diacritical marks; Zen Zone

A great post on those pesky diacritic marks that trip up so many of us over at the Level 8th Buddhist. These things always slow me down when I'm trying to write Pema Chödrön. A small o with the umlaut is & # 246 ; Also, be sure to visit the Zen Zone ("pleasure island") if you go to Disney World. It's a mecca of massage. Thanks to Zen Filter for this one. More »
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February 28, 2008

1 in 100 American Adults Are Behind Bars

Terrible news: For the first time in the nation’s history, more than one in 100 American adults is behind bars, according to a new report. Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars. Incarceration rates are even higher for some groups. One in 36 Hispanic adults is behind bars, based on Justice Department figures for 2006. More »
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February 28, 2008

Monks vs. Monkeys in Bodh Gaya

 Seems the monkeys in Bodh Gaya are attarcted to the sweet offerings left by pilgrims. But the hordes of arboreal primates are more damaging to the tree, say its attendants, than the Tamil Tigers' attack on the site in 1985, left many dead, but didn't hurt the tree. Guards ring bells, burst crackers or flash torch lights to scare off the invading primates, but Buddhism won't allow the use of violence to deter the monkeys. More »
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February 28, 2008

Rapping Monk in Japan

There's crazy stuff going on in Buddhism in Japan. Here's a rapping monk, Shaka Munibutsu, with some rhymes to slap you out of samsara and guaranteed to decrease your dukkha. He's on a mission to bring the dharma to young folks. Hope he's on YouTube soon! More »
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February 28, 2008

Thaksin's Back; Gambari on Burma; Sri Lankan Violence

Thaksin's back in Thailand! The ousted PM returned home Thursday. He's promised to stay out of politics but many doubt this claim, calling it a "political game." Nicholas Kristof discusses the other genocide in the Sudan in a region far poorer than Darfur. "Burmese Democracy": The San Francisco Chronicle joins the chorus decrying Burma's faux democracy in this editorial. The U.N.'s envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, wants a "credible and inclusive" roadmap to democracy. Gambari is in Tokyo, sipping sake and chatting with the Japanese about ramping up their aid to Burma. More »
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February 27, 2008

Falun Gong in Wellington and Tum-mo Everywhere

Falun Gong defies the government... the city council of Wellington, New Zealand, that is. Tum-mo and your mind/body: In a monastery in northern India, Tibetan monks sat quietly in a room, deep in meditation. Although the room was a chilly 39˚ F, the men - using a yoga technique known as Tum-mo - were scarcely clothed, but seemed unaffected by the cold. Nearby, other monks soaked large sheets in freezing cold water and placed them on the shoulders of the meditators. Within an hour, the sheets were dry. Scientists who have studied the monks - some of whom were capable of raising the temperature of their fingers and toes by 17˚ F - have yet to determine how the meditative process was able to generate so much heat. More »
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February 26, 2008

Global Seed Vault

The global seed vault opens (or closes?) in Norway. (So Titan A.E.!) I wish I lived in Norway. LONGYEARBYEN, Norway, February 26, 2008 (ENS) - The Svalbard Global Seed Vault opened today on a remote island in the Arctic Circle, receiving the first shipments of what will be a collection of 100 million seeds from more than 100 countries. Unique varieties of the African and Asian food staples maize, rice, wheat, cowpea, and sorghum as well as European and South American varieties of eggplant, lettuce, barley, and potato are the first deposits in the icy vault. More »
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February 26, 2008

From the Blogs

There's so much great stuff to be found out there on the Buddhist blogs. Here's just a tiny taste: Anyone planning to be in New Haven, Connecticut on April 11th should check out Danny Fisher's lecture, "What Does a Buddhist Chaplain Do? More »
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February 26, 2008

Thaksin to return to Thailand; Monlam Chenmo

Deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is expected back in Thailand February 28th. After President Bush imposed fresh sanctions on Burma's business interests, The Irrawaddy says Burma's Asian neighbors, who are bigger trading partners than the U.S., need to do the same. Reuters on Monlam Chenmo, Tibet's Great Prayer Festival. More on Monlam from Phayul.com. More »
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February 26, 2008

Gandhi

We've received a lot of comments about Gandhi, who appears in our current issue, on our Who Are We? page. We've moved all these comments over here to open up the discussion. - Philip Ryan, Web Editor More »
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February 26, 2008

Krishnamurti, Chogyam Trungpa, and Fleet Maull

A series of YouTubes, courtesy of Hokai. Krishnamurti speaks with Chogyam Trungpa (5 videos) Fleet Maull on Integral Peacemaker Training More »
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February 25, 2008

Tibetan Olympics; More from the Pew Report

More sanctions on Burmese businesses from the U.S. Disillusioned with the Beijing Olympics? Try the Tibetan Olympics! The games will take place in Dharamsala from may 15th to 25th. The torch relay is currently in Taiwan, with Miss Tibet on hand to watch. The New York Times looked at the Pew Report and found that 25% of American adults have changed from the religion of their birth to another religion or no religion. More »
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February 25, 2008

Pew Forum on Religion in the U.S.

The Pew Forum survey of religion in the U.S. has arrived. The U.S. is said to be 0.7% Buddhist. More to follow on this. More »
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February 25, 2008

Blogisattva Award Winners 2008

Just in time for the Oscars, this year's Blogisattva Award winners have been announced! Congratulations to all the winners, including Tricycle's own Jeff Wilson, whose "Addressing Comments from the Meditation Thread" won Best Post of the Year! More »
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February 24, 2008

Washington Post on Burma

The Washington Post joins the chorus of voices condemning Burma's false progress. More »
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February 23, 2008

Which Religion Will "Win"?

Alan Wolfe writes about worldwide religious market share in the March issue of The Atlantic: Hindus and Buddhists together make up 20 percent of the world’s people, and high birthrates in the countries in which they are dominant suggest that this proportion will grow. There's not much more on Buddhism, but there is an interesting graphic plotting countries relative to wealth (the x-axis) and religiosity (y). As usual, much of the preoccupation of the article is with the rapid growth of Islam and the United States' atypical religiosity compared to western Europe. Does secularism grow as wealth increases? It doesn't seem to in this country, anyway. More »
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February 23, 2008

Buddhism in Vietnam and England; Buddhist Center in Kashmir

Buddhism has had rocky times in communist Vietnam, but now the state-sanctioned church is flexing its muscles at the expense of Catholics. But it's very different in London, where Cambodian Buddhists use a two-bedroom flat as their temple and community center. They now have no place to gather, after a recent fire. In India, the government set up a Buddhist center in Kashmir and cited the religion's influence on Mahatma Gandhi, and value as an antidote to the extremism that plagues the region. And in gratuitous celebrity news, Orlando Bloom's squeeze Miranda Kerr discusses the couple's mutual love of Buddhism. More »
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February 23, 2008

Beijing vs. the Tibetan language

The Tibetan language is said to be under siege by deliberate Chinese policy: The Chinese government is neglecting and actively undermining the Tibetan language as part of continuing efforts to dilute the region's unique culture, a human rights group said on Thursday. Schools are forcing Tibetan children to learn China's national language, Mandarin, at a younger and younger age and are failing to support use of Tibetan in official fields, the Free Tibet Campaign said in a new report. "China's insistence on Chinese language in Tibetan schools has failed a generation of Tibetans who now lag behind the rest of China in terms of basic literacy," the group's Matt Whitticase said in an emailed statement. Beijing hits back. More »
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February 22, 2008

On Being and Not Being a Buddhist

Woodmoor Village points us to this post on the Washington Post's On Faith section. I am not a Buddhist. I've never told anyone that I am a Buddhist and have in fact denied the title on more than one occasion. Even though I have been circling around the stupa for the last ten years, I have never made any formal or official commitment to the Buddha sāsana. I've never sown a rakusu or received a "dharma name." I am, as of this moment, a freelance wanderer through the six realms of samsara. More »