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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 »
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October 19, 2007

More sanctions, more arrests

President Bush is threatening more sanctions for Myanmar for continuing to defy international will and failing to "stop their vicious persecution." He also called on India and China, Burma's most powerful neighbors, to do more. This last part seems like the way to go. You can try and isolate countries like North Korea and Cuba, and the people end up starving while the government grows rich. Burma was pretty much a closed country anyway. But how about the president calls David J. O'Reilly, CEO of Chevron, and tells him to stop doing business in Myanmar? Well, human rights are human rights, but dammit, we need that oil. Take a look at how many dictatorships are propped up by oil money. More »
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October 18, 2007

Bush and the DL

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October 17, 2007

Liberation Prison Project

We get a tremendous amount of mail from prisoners here at Tricycle, and we do our best to send them something in reply to their letters. Beth Phelan of the Vajrayana Institute in Sydney, Australia (guiding light behind the tremendous Happiness & Its Causes conferences) visited us today and, talking about last year's conference, mentioned the dynamic Buddhist nun the Venerable Robina Courtin and the incredible work she does on the Liberation Prison Project, which works with Buddhists in prisons around the world. The U.S. has a prison problem. More »
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October 17, 2007

500 Still Held by Junta (maybe)

The Burmese government is saying it detained nearly 3,000 people during the protests. Around 500 are probably still in custody. China, Burma's most prominent supporter, says it agrees with UN envoy Gambari's mission, which is to get the southeast Asian nations (and probably India, if China's for it) to call Myanmar to account. Also Japan, which gave Myanmar 26.1 million dollars or so last year, is withholding that money now. (By comparison, Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees earned about 22 million dollars last year.) In Washington, DC yesterday, the Dalai Lama voiced his support for the Burmese monks. He also said his successor might be chosen by an unorthodox method. More »
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October 16, 2007

HHDL on the NYT homepage

Click pic to read. More »
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October 16, 2007

Vipassana Forum and Awakening 101

There's a new site out called the Vipassana Meditation Forum, run by the Irreverent Buddhist. Looks like it's getting a lot of action after only a few days alone, which is great. Also came across the site Awakening 101, a self-guided tour of the Dharma. It included the cool pic below, from the Illustrated History of Buddhism. More »
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October 16, 2007

HHDL in NYC

This weekend, Tricycle's hometown of New York City was lucky (or big and rich) enough to host His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. In lieu of his usual barnstorming, His Holiness gave three full days of teachings at a Manhattan landmark, Radio City Music Hall, home of the Rockettes (yes, they're alive and... kicking). Did they welcome him to town with a saffron kick-line? Sadly, no, but Radio City made for a magnificent venue, the huge arched ceiling lit a subtle orange. (Here's a photo from flickr that gives you an idea, despite the biblical scene.) More »
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October 16, 2007

"There must be no justice or good people in the world"

No, that headline is not some disillusioned do-gooder decrying the world's lack of action on the Burma situation, but rather a petulant Chinese official mad at the US for dealing with the Dalai Lama. Big Red's hopping mad over the DL's visit to Washington, DC, where he'll trade pleasantries with the Prez for the third time. He'll also visit Capital Hill and be honored by the US Congress with the Congressional Gold medal. “Such a person who basely splits his motherland and doesn’t even love his motherland has been welcomed by some countries and has even been receiving this or that award,” Tibet’s Communist Party boss, Zhang Qingli, told reporters during the [Communist Party] congress. “We are furious,” Mr. Zhang said. More »
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October 15, 2007

Lopez on the term "aryan"

Donald S. Lopez Jr.'s article on the term "aryan" from the Winter 2006 issue of Tricycle is available here. Buddhist extremists gang up on Catholics in Sri Lanka. Those Sri Lankan Buddhists aren't playing, either. Many monks have been militarized by the long, brutal civil war with Tamil rebels in the north. Buddhist movie plot #427: Tiny Jodo Shu church represented by a spunky little law firm fights the big mother church in Japan, which is of course backed by a huge faceless corporate Firm. Buddhist Relics do Edmonton. A photo would have been nice but maybe is verboten. More »
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October 15, 2007

Who Said What on Burma

Danny Fisher points us to the Buddhist Peace Fellowship's collection of statements on Burma, and also what Buddhist leaders Thich Nhat Hanh and Jack Kornfield said recently. And for all the coffee fiends out there pouring their hard-earned money into the crowded coffers of Starbucks, Urban Monk shows the way to CoffeeTao, a blog on coffee and the politics thereof. Peter of the Buddha Diaries spoke with Thanissaro Bhikkhu recently on pacifism and whether it was ever ok f More »
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October 15, 2007

Burma and Boycotts

Big Buddhist week in New York last week: Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama were in town (see the Worst Horse tracking Gawker Stalker as HH rolls through the Village), and the Tricycle office had a little gathering attended by many fine readers from the area plus Sharon Salzberg and Lama Surya Das. British PM Gordon Brown is working to put pressure on Burma. He will press for tough sanctions in the UK and the EU and asks those countries that trade most with Burma to cut ties. More »
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October 11, 2007

Islamists Deface Another Buddha

Literally defaced. Great. More of this here The Zennist discusses the term "aryan" in its Buddhist context. And no, he doesn't discuss the swastika. UPDATE: Donald Lopez discussed the term "aryan" in Tricycle's Winter 2006 issue. We'll put this article online later so everyone can read it. More »
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October 11, 2007

Blood, Robes, and Tears

TIME has a piece on the Burmese protests from which comes the title of this post. When in our recent past have Buddhist monks other than the Dalai Lama been so prominent in the American consciousness? Maybe not since Vietnam. Apparently Mandalay didn't suffer the same treatment the rest of the country did. Read about it in "Buddha's Peace Prevailed." ASEAN issues a statement condemning violence to Buddhist monks in Burma. From the article by George Yao, foreign minister of Singapore: When Western countries cheered us for speaking out, it worried us. Strident calls to bring down the regime showed a lack of understanding of the problem. More »
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October 11, 2007

Does China Have Religion?

Slavoj Zizek, author of The Parallax View, writes on "How China Got Religion" in the New York Times. He discusses Communism avowed atheism as it relates to Falun Gong, the ukase regulating reincarnation, Burmese monks, and the commodification of Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism: In recent years, the Chinese have changed their strategy in Tibet: in addition to military coercion, they increasingly rely on ethnic and economic colonization. Lhasa is transforming into a Chinese version of the capitalist Wild West, with karaoke bars and Disney-like Buddhist theme parks. The Dalai Lama spoke at Ithaca College. More »
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October 10, 2007

Germans Love Buddhism. Christopher Hitchens Hates It.

Interesting article on how hard Cubans must work in order to blog. They have to pretend to be foreign and sneak into the big hotels that have unfiltered -- or at least more open than elsewhere on the island -- internet pipelines to the rest of the world. (The blog mentioned, in Spanish of course, is here.) This is a small part of what our fellow humans living under totalitarianism must do to have their voices heard. Be thankful for your political freedom and don't take it for granted! More »