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November 05, 2007

Burma needs PR help, among other things

David Steinberg, described as being something of a PR consultant to the Burmese government, visited recently and spoke with government officials. He told them they were losing what little legitimacy they have in international eyes, but acknowledge later that his visit seemed to have little effect, much like everything else the world is doing on Burma. More »
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November 02, 2007

U.N. Official Ordered out of Myanmar

Charles Petrie, the top-ranking U.N. official in Myanmar (at least until special envoy Gambari arrives Saturday) was ordered out of the country by the ruling junta. Why? he wrote a letter criticizing the "deteriorating humanitarian situation" in the country, thus "acting beyond his capacity" according to the junta. [The letter] concluded with a reference to the mass protests that were brutally suppressed. “The concerns of the people have been clearly expressed through the recent peaceful demonstrations, and it is beholden on all to listen,” the statement said. On Oct. More »
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November 01, 2007

Just When You Thought it was Safe to Forget about Burma

More on the protests in Pakokku here. Not a lot of information yet. Boycott Burmese blood rubies. Who buys rubies anyway? A nice CS Monitor article on the fragile state of Asia's 'petrol politics' (fuel prices, lest we forget, touched off the Burmese protests in the first place.) And more on Burma's child soldier problem, the worst in the world and getting worse. - Philip Ryan, Web Editor More »
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October 31, 2007

Holy $&^% (and Meditation U.)

Don't look now but the monks are on the march again in northern Myanmar: "We are continuing our protest from last month as we have not yet achieved any of the demands we asked for," the monk told Democratic Voice of Burma. "Our demands are for lower commodity prices, national reconciliation and immediate release of (opposition leader) Aung San Suu Kyi and all the political prisoners," said the monk, who was not identified by name. He said they had little time to organize so the march was small but "there will be more organized and bigger protests soon." More »
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October 30, 2007

Khun Sa cashes ticket. And more!

A great post on mindful consumerism (and the dangers of digg) at Zen Housewife (featuring Kerouac from Dharma Bums: "work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume..." And Barry Graham aka the Urban Monk invites us all to the Phoenix Buddhist Festival on Saturday, November 3rd. BURMA: A fascinating article, "Tell a Joke, and You Disappear," courtesy of the Worst Horse. And speaking of Burma (where jokers disappear in the dark of night) one of the world's most wanted men, Khun Sa, (a notorious warlord / drug dealer dubbed the "Prince of Death" by Washington, which was frantically hunting him in the U.S. More »
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October 29, 2007

Bits and Pieces

Is that a lama behind the camera? More movies from Bhutan. Will sanctions on Burma be enough? asks Mike Nizza. Prime Minister Steven Harper of Canada met with the Dalai Lama and got China all worked up. A technical overview of the internet shutdown in Burma. Opinion from the Bangkok Post: The status quo in Burma cannot continue. More »
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October 29, 2007

Christians fight City Hall in Indiana

There was a great photo of a mural with both Buddha and Jesus hung in Bloomington City Hall in the news last week -- Now it's disappeared. Such is the impermanence of the web. Anyway, it -- along with several other murals set up in Bloomington, Indiana's City hall to welcome the Dalai Lama -- got some of Indiana's Christians hot under the collar. More »
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October 29, 2007

Bamiyan Buddhas Back?

Op-Ed columnist Roger Cohen of the New York Times looks into the rebuilding of the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Tricycle took a quick look at this story over a year ago. Don't forget, Buddhas are still being destroyed in central Asia -- In fact, Buddhas being dynamited serve as a kind of barometer of Islamist power in a particular region. - Philip Ryan, Web Editor More »
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October 29, 2007

One Monk Emerges

Ashin Kovida, a Burmese monk described as one of the main organizers of the protests, escapes to Thailand and is interviewed. More »
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October 26, 2007

Gil Fronsdal on Tricycle Q & A

Trot on over to the Tricycle Q & A if  you'd like the chance to have your question on the dharma or anything else answered by Gil Fronsdal, the guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Center in Redwood City, California. Fronsdal has a Ph. D. in Buddhist Studies from Stanford, and many of his audio teachings are available online, such as those on the Zencast blog. The Tricycle Q & A software was developed by a group called Zooleo, run by our friend Soren Gordhamer, founder of the Lineage Project. They have many other interesting summits going on around the web, so please take a look! More »
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October 26, 2007

Einstein's Quotes on Buddhism

6.23 Confucius said, "When a cornered vessel no longer has any corners, should it be called a cornered vessel? Should it?" - The Analects, quoted in Wing-Tsit Chan's Source Book in Chinese Philosophy, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1963 The Confucian school, like many other schools of Chinese philosophy, had a theory about names and actuality, commonly called the "rectification of names." The Confucians held that the rectification of names was an ethical project, not merely a metaphysical or logical concern, because all things must be fit into their proper scheme in the universe. But you don't have to be a Confucian to want to set the record straight on Buddhism and the quotes about it attributed to various luminaries and used to promote (or defend?) the dharma. To wit: There are two similar versions of a prominent Einstein quote on Buddhism floating around the web, reproducing themselves in viral fashion. They are: More »
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October 26, 2007

Burma, China, Mongolia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand

Danny Fisher has a good round-up of the sad / hopeful goings-on in Burma. And Tricycle's own Jeff Wilson gives us a statement on Burma from the Buddhist Churches of America. U.N. Envoy to Burma Ibrahim Gambari says the talks between opposition leader Aung Sann Suu Kyi and the Rangoon regime make him hopeful, but "much more is needed" to bring about real results. And meanwhile Burmese government forces are back out on the street in force and surrounding "holy sites" in order to forestall more action by Burma's monks. More »
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October 25, 2007

Aung San Suu Kyi meets with Government Official

Click pic (AFP-Getty images) to read. More »
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October 24, 2007

Unrepresented Peoples

Great piece about some guys on a mission to meet the Dalai Lama. A blogger in San Diego reports on the fires there. BURMA: Normalcy / Normality in Burma from the Penguin Blog. Plus, the Burmese regime agrees to an earlier visit by U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari. Australia imposes new sanctions on Myanmar. Is the willingness of the junta to deal more openly with the U.N. More »
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October 23, 2007

Books: Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind

Earlier this year Wisdom Publications released Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint by Maura Soshin O'Halloran. This extraordinary young woman (sadly numbered among those forever young, since she was robbed of the chance to grow older) was a world-traveller who became a very serious student of Zen in Japan in the early 1980s. The book is a collection of Maura's journals and letters, mainly chronicling her stay in Japan, and is a rare and valuable window into the world of intensive Zen training as experienced by a Western woman. More »
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October 23, 2007

Bush v. Burma

U.N. special envoy Ibrahim Gambari says he is encouraged by India's stance on Burma. Few details were provided, so we should take it this means India is willing to do "something." More »
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October 22, 2007

Following up on the Dalai Lama's visit

Two of our favorite sites, The Worst House and Dreaming of Danzana Ravjaa, point us to two ha-ha's on the DL's visit with Dubya: one from Slate and the other a Letterman Top Ten list. Some blowback on the visit: Chinese authorities drop the hammer on celebrations -- or rather, attempted celebrations -- over the DL's visit stateside. More »
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October 22, 2007

Bloomberg, Burma

Yet another piece on the Dalai Lama's visit to New York from the Times, but with some interesting bits: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg invited him to a Gracie Mansion breakfast last Friday with 20 or so New York Buddhists. The event was not listed on Mr. Bloomberg’s public schedule. Leaving it off was not a political statement, a mayoral spokesman said. Mr. Bloomberg routinely has groups over for breakfast in private. Besides, the spokesman said, the mayor wanted the Dalai Lama’s appearance to be a surprise to the other guests. More »
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October 21, 2007

Hope for Burma

Three trends that will keep Burma on the world's radar: diplomatic pressure from the West and China, increasing interconnectedness due to globalization, and the internet, particularly petitions by groups such as MoveOn.org. Don't give up hope on hitting the Burmese generals where it hurts, says Tom Malinowski of the Washington Post. Try smart, targeted sanctions, among other things. And a postcard from Burma: "Please tell others what you have seen here." - Philip Ryan, Web Editor More »
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October 20, 2007

Burma news, 10/20/07

Life is superficially returning to normal in Burma (the Rangoon curfew is lifted) but fear is not far beneath the surface. The White House orders sanctions on Burma, which means freezing the U.S.-held assets for some members of the junta and tightening the restrictions on exporting/importing certain products to/from Burma. Does that include oil? Now Congress needs to follow this up. And Panties for Peace: as a sign of protest, women are sending panties to the junta: The group, Lanna Action for Burma, says the country's superstitious generals, especially junta leader Gen. More »