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February 05, 2009

Master Sheng Yen's last teaching

Our thanks to Guogu (Dr. Jimmy Yu of Florida State University) for sharing Master Sheng Yen's death poem: Busy with nothing, growing old. Within emptiness, weeping, laughing. Intrinsically, there is no "I." Life and death, thus cast aside. More »
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February 04, 2009

What is Mindfulness?

A very good post over at One City where gzza compares two views of mindfulness, one from Thanissaro Bhikkhu and one from Henepola Gunaratana: In “Mindfulness Defined” (available free here), Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes: “The Buddha discovered that the way you attend to things is determined by what you see as important—the questions you bring to the practice, the problems you want the practice to solve. No act of attention is ever bare. If there were no problems in life you could open yourself up choicelessly to whatever came along. But the fact is there is a big problem smack dab in the middle of everything you do: the suffering that comes from acting in ignorance. This is why the Buddha doesn’t tell you to view each moment with a beginner’s eyes. More »
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February 04, 2009

Dalai Lama resting after hospital visit

The Dalai Lama is doing well and resting after being released from the hospital where he was treated for what is variously described as a slipped disc, pinched nerve, and arm pain. An aide says doctors described his condition as "nothing serious." He is expected to travel to Germany and Italy (but not the Vatican) this week. More »
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February 03, 2009

Master Sheng Yen Passes Away

Chan Master Sheng Yen has passed away in Taiwan. He was 79. He appeared in the last two issues of Tricycle: The Wanderer, from the Winter 2008 issue Rich Generosity, from the Spring 2009 issue. More on Dharma Drum Mountain. More »
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February 02, 2009

Tibetan New Year cancellations; London arrests

Students for a Free Tibet reports that Tibetan exile groups worldwide will cancel celebrations for Tibetan New Year, or Losar, which falls this year on February 25th, in homage to the 200+ Tibetans killed in last year's demonstrations against the Chinese government. Meanwhile, several protestors were arrested in London today after hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the Chinese embassy to protest a visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. More »
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February 01, 2009

The Trouble with Tulkus

Michael Powell in the New York Times looks at the problematic issue of the Dalai Lama's reincarnation: There is little linear about lama succession in Tibet. And now, as the 14th Dalai Lama journeys into his 74th year, the question of how to pick his successor has come to preoccupy both him and his followers, as Tibet stands at an ever more precarious political pass. More »
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January 28, 2009

Two Bits

Why do Buddhist Pray to Idols? and a post on A Buddhist Catholic Blog with links to Reggie Ray talks. More »
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January 28, 2009

Power Abused, Giant Buddha Used

Thanks to Konchog and his nose for news: On one occasion, Dr. Novello purchased a heavy statue of Buddha during a shopping excursion in Troy, N.Y., then required a Health Department security guard to move it into her apartment, and then a few days later move it to another spot in her home because she didn’t like how it looked, according to the report, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times. More »
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January 27, 2009

Online Meditation Timer

You can download one for your iPod too, thanks to Treeleaf Zendo. (And Barbara for the tip.) More »
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January 26, 2009

New Year pictures, Dalai Lama's Olympic woes

Images of the New Year here. The Dalai Lama cancels a visit to the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Idaho, apparently under pressure from a certain government, and is uninvited to the Winter Olympics for the same reason. More »
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January 26, 2009

3D Sex and Zen

Ummmmm... Ordinarily the use and abuse of Zen as a marketing term doesn't bother me too much, but this one really seems beyond the pale. (Danny Fisher and the Buddhist Blog and The Worst Horse -- who is on top of this latest one -- and a few others have done good work documenting this.) "3D Sex and Zen"? It's a Hong Kong-made film said to be an update of the popular "Sex and Zen". More »
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January 26, 2009

Year of the Ox

And a bull market. UPDATE: I'm told it's a bear market. More »
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January 24, 2009

Please Vote for Me

I saw a very sweet and moving documentary last night called Please Vote for Me. It takes place in Wuhan in central China where a third grade class is being allowed to vote for their hall monitor for the first time -- Previously the teachers chose them. There are three candidates, the incumbent Luo Lei (appointed by the teacher for the past two years), the confident and well-coached Cheng Cheng (at left below), and the dark horse Xaiofei (in the center below). Luo Lei's parents are both police officers. Cheng Cheng is raised by his mother and stepfather, while Xiaofei's single mother, an employee of the school, struggles to offer her daughter the coaching and encouragement the boys are receiving. All are of course only children. It's very moving to see these kids, all around 8 years old, deal with the brutal realities of what is essentially a popularity contest. More »
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January 23, 2009

Dalai Lama to fund 'Neuroscience of Compassion'

Frequent Tricycle contributor Allan Hunt Badiner points us to this article on the Dalai Lama's latest: The Dalai Lama is teaming up with Stanford University and a multi-millionaire professor to launch a new research centre dedicated to compassion and altruism. "His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, provided $150,000 in seed money for the center -- the largest sum he has ever given for a scientific venture -- and has agreed to return to Stanford for a future visit," reads a Stanford press release. ... It seems the centre's goals involve not only investigating how the brain deals with compassion and altruism, but also leveraging those findings to improve people's lives. More »
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January 23, 2009

Dharmacore on Treeleaf Zendo, Danny Fisher on the Dalai Lama

Dharmacore discusses the online jukai of Treeleaf Zendo, and the irrepressible Danny Fisher reports on the Dalai Lama: His Holiness will step down if Tibet is granted autonomy. More »
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January 22, 2009

Beautiful Buddha Statues from China plus other stuff

Some beautiful photos of Chinese Buddhas from a Herald-Trib piece on an exhibition in Singapore. The one at right is said to be from the Northern Qi Dynasty (550-77 CE). "Serenity in Stone: The Qingzhou Discovery," an exhibition of 35 sculptures now at the Peranakan Museum in Singapore, highlights the rapid stylistic change in representing the Buddha that took place over a 50-year period when the Northern Wei dynasty (386-534) disintegrated and gave rise to the Eastern Wei dynasty (534-550) and Northern Qi dynasty (550-577). More »
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January 22, 2009

Zazen, Tea, Go

A nice post on zazen mudras by Kyoshin, from whose blog the image at right is stolen. If you have some time to burn (or boil?), don't miss this tea ceremony post on the Half-Dipper. And while youre at it, learn to play Go along with Al Billings. Better yet, if you're a experience Go player, drop by and give him some advice. More »
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January 22, 2009

Now THIS is the change we were waiting for

Shutting down Guantanamo and other black sites: President Obama is expected to sign executive orders Thursday directing the Central Intelligence Agency to shut what remains of its network of secret prisons and ordering the closing of the Guantánamo detention camp within a year, government officials said. More »
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January 22, 2009

Inauguration kata

Word has it that Richard Blum (husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein), who served as an escort to the country's new first lady during Tuesday's ceremony, added a Tibetan flair to the proceedings. In a Tuesday afternoon email to a high-ranking Tibetan diplomat, Blum wrote: I had a kata at my house that His Holiness had given me. I offered it to President Obama before the ceremony. I said that I could get it delivered to him later. He said, no, that he was going to take it and have it with him; in fact, it was in his pocket when he was sworn-in. More »
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January 22, 2009

From the latest New Yorker

Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine couldn't figure out what the New Yorker cartoon meant? (I typed the caption in below because it wasn't reading well in my crummy scan job.) "Well, all I can say, sir, is that it's a darn good thing for Barton, Franklin, Battersby, Klempstein & Pierce that you decided not to become a Zen monk!" [© Gahan Wilson, from the Jan. 26, 2009 New Yorker] More »