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March 05, 2008

Mandalay Monks Say No to Draft Constitution

Burmese monks strike back at the junta's proposed constitution. Buddhist monks in Mandalay in upper Burma on Monday launched a harshly worded poster campaign urging a “Vote No” against the government’s referendum on a draft constitution, said sources close to the campaign. Meanwhile, the All Burma Monks Alliance earlier issued a hard-hitting statement ridiculing the referendum, the election and the regime. Teams of volunteers have put up anti-regime posters in Amarapura Township in Mandalay, a monk who asked not to be identified told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday. “The posters say the current situation is more important than ‘a fire on your head,’” he said. “If your head is on fire, only you will die. If you endorse the constitution, the next generation will also die.” More »
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March 05, 2008

Burmese Monks, Thai Monks, Bhutanese Politicians

Burmese monks taking refuge in Thailand wait, and hope for the best. More on the Thai monks networking online, including some -- to cynical Western ears -- fairly mild quotes: One user who called himself "Monk Chat" sent a message to a woman that said "(I) miss you," reported Thai Rath, Thailand's top-selling newspaper. Bhutan prepares to join the wonderful world of participatory democracy, with all that that implies (including a primary season that may last right up to the convention!) More »
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March 05, 2008

H-Buddhism Pwns the Pew Study; Paris plays with our affections

Another great post by Danny Fisher on The Buddhist Scholars Information Network (H-Buddhism)'s take on the Pew Study. Check it out, it's a great piece of work, and points out some major failings of the study as it relates to Buddhists. Please read some of the Samadhi Sutta in l33tspeak on the Level 8th Buddhist. This is the best synthesis of Buddhism and the web in a long time! And The Worst Horse points out that the rumors of Paris Hilton being spotted with a Buddhist monk were greatly exaggerated (deliberately.) More »
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March 04, 2008

Harness

[Author’s note: I have written this in celebration of the inner animal spirit shared by humans and non-humans alike. It is a spirit that shouldn’t and perhaps can’t be subdued. It might be what Zen Master Chao-chou had in mind when upon being questioned as to how one might rid oneself of passion, he replied “Why get rid of it!”] She was always a potential runaway. You needed to keep that in mind. If you didn’t she could bolt and be gone before you could do anything to stop her. She was a big horse. She could hit a full gallop in the space of a few yards, the bit in her teeth, her neck stretched taut, nostrils flared, her powerful legs pumping her forward without direction or intent. Once started, nothing but her own exhaustion ever stopped her. At times I could smell a runaway coming, feel the heat of it in the palms of my hands as though they were held over a flame. I would take up the reins, drawing in the slack ever so lightly, and tell her “Whoa now, Smokey. Easy now. More »
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March 04, 2008

Strange Happenings at Sera Monastery

The Dorje Shugden controversy goes on. Were monks devoted to Dorje Shugden discriminated against at Sera Monastery in India? More »
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March 04, 2008

Buddha Wild

Buddha Wild - The Monk in a Hut, directed by Anna Wilding, will screen at Tibet House on March 19th. The film is up for a major award in India. More »
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March 04, 2008

Meaty Issues

Our Winter '07 article, Gifts That Keep on Giving, has attracted some attention for its praise of Heifer International, a charitable foundation dedicated to providing international communities in need with livestock. Some livestock are used to help with farming and transportation, while others provide families with food and an opportunity to earn money through their milk, eggs, cheese, wool, and -- yes -- meat. In our Spring '08 issue, we published a letter from reader Kate Lawrence, who wrote, For Buddhists, a donation through Heifer violates the First Precept about not killing. These animals and their offspring will be killed, and killed specifically at the request of the donor. Do we really want to celebrate the holidays by sending animals to slaughter? Even if the donated animal is kept for milk or egg production, there is still killing involved: the female animals’ unwanted male siblings have most likely been slaughtered sooner rather than later. More »
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March 04, 2008

China trying to crack U.S. computer network?

This story seems quite inflammatory. Cyberwars are already happening, so this would mean declaration of cyberwar by China (in the year of their Olympic triumph) if true. But remember it's all according to a Pentagon annual report. And to put it as mildly as possible, opinions vary on the trustworthiness of reports from Bush's Pentagon. More »
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March 04, 2008

WNYC's Gift to Bhutan

Andrea Bernstein of WNYC spent a week in Bhutan, training local reporters to cover the nation's first-ever election on March 24th. Bernstein blogged her interesting and amusing experiences here. Hmmm, some gift. Welcome to the wonderful world of political journalism, Bhutan! A free and disinterested press is very important, of course. But there's little enough of that on these shores when it comes to covering the current U.S. campaign. More »
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March 04, 2008

Panchen Lama Too Young for Politics, Burmese and Sri Lankan News

China has apparently changed its mind and now says Beijing's Panchen Lama is too young for politics. The Dalai Lama's choice for Panchen Lama remains hidden somewhere, probably under arrest. having undergone years of "re-education." U.N> special envoy Ibrahim Gambari heads back to Burma. Will he diplomatically express his dissatisfaction with Burma's "roadmap to democracy?" India, the world's largest democracy, is tightening ties with Burma. They are neighbors after all. Can India use its considerable leverage to ameliorate the situation? Time will tell, but first the money has to start flowing. Imagine your next-door neighbor beats up his wife. But he sells you lots of things you want very cheaply and lets you park your RV in his driveway. More »
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March 03, 2008

Frank Olinsky's blog

Tricycle contributing editor Frank Olinsky has had a hand in many cool designs over the years including the original Tricycle logo and the timeless MTV logo, and now he has his own blog. The excellent picture here is taken from there and is called "Dogs Waiting for Their Humans." Don't you love it? You can find it supersized on Frank's blog, alongside many other cool pictures, logos, and designs. More »
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March 03, 2008

Stephen Malkmus

Ok, we were prepared to poo-poo one mention of Stephen Malkmus being a fan of Tricycle, maybe even two. But three? No, we can no longer stay silent! Besides, Pavement rocked. Here he is in index, Rolling Stone, and the Toronto Globe and Mail (purchase required for this last one.) A sharp=eyed reader in Toronto spotted the mention and wrote us a very thoughtful letter, for which we thank him. More »
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March 03, 2008

Is Certainty Possible?

A very interesting Salon article on the possibility that knowledge (or the feeling of knowing) is biologically based rather than the result of thinking. So should we always say "I believe" rather than "I know"? This one will get the epistemologists and everyone else up in arms. The writer is Robert Burton, author of On Being Certain. More »
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March 03, 2008

Virtual Break

The Times wonders how we can take a time out: “Even many corporate leaders now believe you need time to hear the voice of the new inside,” said Anne Dilenschneider, a spirituality consultant in Montara, Calif., a coastal town 17 miles south of San Francisco. “And this time need not be a day, or even a specific period, activity or lack of one. It doesn’t necessarily mean a Zen sit, just some time of solitude.” Even without a Zen sit (enough to scare me away from anything) or a phrase like “the voice of the new,” I found that the secular Sabbath was not all that easy to maintain. Something as simple as turning off the electronics is easy, but try to make a habit of it. A "Zen sit" sounds like a prescription drug. More »
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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 »