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August 07, 2008

Realpolitik from the Dalai Lama?

Nicholas Kristof: For the first time, the Dalai Lama is willing to state that he can accept the socialist system in Tibet under Communist Party rule. This is something that Beijing has always demanded, and, after long discussion, the Dalai Lama has agreed to do so. “The main thing is to preserve our culture, to preserve the character of Tibet,” the Dalai Lama told me. “That is what is most important, not politics.” The ball is now in China's court, indeed. But if the Olympics don't make them soften, what will? More »
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August 05, 2008

China seeks "absolute security" in Tibet for Olympics

A UN envoy, Tomas Ojea Quintana, is visiting the Irrawaddy delta in Burma to check on the conditions there. He also met with senior members of the State Sangha Organization but no details of the discussions were released. Meanwhile as expected China is intensifying its crackdown on Tibet as the Olympics loom closer. More »
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August 05, 2008

Professor Nimbus and the Mick

Michael Sloan's creation, Professor Nimbus, has a full count on Mickey Mantle. What kind of pitch do you think he'll throw next? More »
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August 05, 2008

Driver distracted by bee killed two girls

I was on the train to work last week when I looked over to see a girl reading a local newspaper. The article she was studying was headed, ‘Lorry driver “distracted by bee” killed two girls’. Intrigued by this, before stepping off the train I picked up the now discarded copy. According to the trucker’s story, he had become distracted by a bee in his cab and so had veered off course, ploughing into oncoming cars, and killing two young women. In the words of the judge, who presided over a trial for dangerous driving, ‘It is something that might happen to anyone’. The trucker was convicted of dangerous driving and sentenced to four years in prison. Yet his true sentence is life: he will have to live with the knowledge that his actions, no matter how unintended, resulted in the cutting short of two young lives. More »
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August 04, 2008

Meditation and Your Immune System; Erik Davis; Dukkha

The latest on meditation from research at UCLA: It may help your immune system. Danny Fisher interviews Cambodia scholar Erik Davis. And Wisdom Quarterly on Dukkha: Five Painful Facts. More »
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August 04, 2008

Nepal and China; 21awake

Mikel Dunham has a good piece on Nepal's brutal protest crackdowns, not suprisingly done at the request of China. And check out the cool new blog 21awake, with its awesome opening image of a security camera. The more security cameras we have, the safer we'll all feel. More »
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August 04, 2008

More on China's lack of press freedom; Salzberg; Solzhenitsyn

More on China's anxious mix of almost-freedom (for foreigners) and increased repression (for its own citizens.) A German rights-group criticizes the IOC for its role in the press restrictions. Sharon Salzberg has a new blog post at Huffington Post. And the literary giant Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has died. From his Times obituary: He wrote that while an ordinary man was obliged “not to participate in lies,” artists had greater responsibilities. “It is within the power of writers and artists to do much more: to defeat the lie!” More »
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August 02, 2008

IOC intervenes to allow unfettered internet access for reporters

Just don't let any Chinese citizens near those censorship-free zones! Repressive governments always fear their citizens, and with good reason. More »
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July 31, 2008

China Reiterates Pledge to Limit Internet Access During Games

China is angry that President Bush met with Chinese dissidents at the White House and accuses the U.S. of politicizing the Olympic Games. China reiterated they would limit internet access during the Games as well: The Chinese authorities also remained resolute about their decision to maintain a firewall on the Internet and limit access for journalists covering the Olympics. More »
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July 30, 2008

Wendy Johnson

Tricycle's longtime contributor Wendy Johnson continues to pop up right and left. An article in Voice of America profiles her work at Green Gulch, while Wendy herself will be reading from her new book, Gardening at the Dragon's Gate, at East West bookstore in Manhattan tonight at 7:45 pm (78 Fifth Ave., between 13th and 14th Sts). More »
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July 30, 2008

India and Terror

Terror attacks are becoming routine in India. Do they need a Department of Homeland Security? More »
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July 30, 2008

UN suckered by junta; ASEAN wakes up; Bush continues to hassle junta

The UN has a great reputation for being careful with its money. Hope this doesn't tarnish it: The UN has admitted losing about $10m (£5m) to the Burmese regime while delivering emergency aid to the country in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis because of a distorted official exchange rate. The UN's senior humanitarian aid official said it had suffered the "significant" loss because the junta enforced an artificial exchange rate that was at least 15 per cent lower than the genuine rate. More »
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July 30, 2008

Monks in Korea Stick up for Disgraced Scientist

But why? South Korea's Buddhist monks have urged the government to allow disgraced scientist Hwang Woo-suk to continue his stem cell research. "It is deplorable that research by Hwang Woo-suk and his team is suppressed unreasonably," the monks said in a resolution. "The government should approve the research in order to save a greater soul." The resolution came ahead of the Health Ministry's decision Saturday over whether to approve Hwang's request to restart his work. Hwang, once considered a national hero, has been on trial for alleged fraud and violation of bioethics laws after his team was found in January 2006 to have fabricated results to claim success in his study. More »
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July 30, 2008

Meditating Monks Ignore Earthquake

An earthquake rocked L.A. yesterday, fortunately causing little damage. It managed to scare the usually unflappable Judge Judy, but a group of monks meditating at a Thai temple were unfazed. A meditator was also shown to have special insight in problem-solving according to the New Yorker. Hat tip: the good folks at Thanissaro Bhikkhu's Metta Forest Forest Monastery. And it seems someone is saying meditation can slow HIV. Most of this article is behind a free registration link. More »
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July 30, 2008

Colorado = Little Tibet

The Dalai Lama, touring the U.S., apparently feels very at home in Aspen, Colorado. It reminded him of the Tibetan home he fled as a child, he told the crowd. “Very beautiful,” he said. “Mountains all over the place.” More here on how Colorado become such a dharma hotspot. More »
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July 29, 2008

New book from Joan Halifax

Joan Halifax's Being with Dying: Cultivating Compassion and Fearlessness in the Presence of Death is now available in hardcover. Joan's Spring 2008 article for Tricycle, "The Lucky Dark," addressed the topic of how best to prepare a gentle and meaningful death for our loved ones and for ourselves. It's available for free here. More »
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July 29, 2008

Answers to your questions on Burma

Gail Seneca of the Foundation for the People of Burma answers reader questions on Burma. More »
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July 29, 2008

Buddha Warriors on CNN

Thanks to the Worst Horse for this one: “Go inside the world of Buddhism with Christiane Amanpour. In the fight for freedom and democracy, their weapon is peace. They are ‘Buddha’s Warriors,’ Saturday & Sunday, 8 p.m. ET.” Broadcast schedule here. On at 11PM and then again at 2 AM. Set your TiVos. More »
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July 29, 2008

Early Buddhist Manuscripts at the Met in NYC

Looks cool: This installation of thirty palm-leaf folios will feature some of the earliest surviving Indian illuminated manuscripts dating from the tenth to the thirteenth century. It will center on one remarkable Mahayanist Buddhist text, the Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra ("Perfection of Wisdom"), illustrated through the Museum’s rare holdings of eastern Indian and Nepalese illuminated palm-leaf manuscripts, book-covers, initiation cards, thankas, and sculptures. More »
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July 29, 2008

Extraordinary Imperfection

‘I don’t believe in religion.’ So goes the response to my reluctant confession that I teach about religion for a living (obviously a religious nut). Yet, when I drop in that I teach about Buddhism, the tone changes. ‘But Buddhism’s not really a religion is it? More a way of life?’ While in some ways it comes as a relief that my cherished spiritual principles are not dismissed as so much garbage, if not positively harmful, it puzzles me that Buddhism should escape the wrath of the anti-religious zealot. Is it so anodyne as to cause no one offence? Are Buddhists so accommodating that they bend whichever way the wind blows? Or is it simply that the general perception of Buddhism is so rose-tinted and exoticized that it cheerfully resists the all-too-mundane reality? There is no doubt that in general Buddhism has a very positive press in the Western media. More »