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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 »
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July 25, 2008

Ariyaratne to speak in Michigan

Danny Fisher tells us that Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, one of the titans of contemporary Buddhism and champion of nonviolence, will be speaking at Eastern Michigan University this September 21st. Over the years, in the face of violence and intimidation, Dr. Ariyaratne has made a brave journey seeking peace in war-torn Sri Lanka and across the globe. See Sarvodaya USA for more information. More »
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July 23, 2008

Beijing to allow Olympic protests? (Not really.)

China has decided to allow protesters at the Olympics (but not really.) Beijing will permit public protests inside three designated city parks during next month’s Olympic Games, but demonstrators must first obtain permits from local police and also abide by Chinese laws that usually make it nearly impossible to legally picket over politically charged issues, the authorities announced Wednesday. The arrangement marks a break from normal practice in China’s authoritarian political system and seems loosely modeled on the protest zones created at previous Olympic Games and at many recent international political gatherings that attract large numbers of protesters. So the parks are nowhere near the Games, permits are given out or withheld on the whim of the government, and it's against the law to picket over issues that would bother the governme More »
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July 23, 2008

Young Buddhists' Retreat

More info at the Zen Peacemakers site. Click pic for larger image. More »
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July 23, 2008

Break out the Hanky

It's a list of the most spiritually affecting Buddhist movies. More »
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July 22, 2008

Race for Tibet

Help Make the 2008 Beijing games a catalyst for change in Tibet! More »
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July 22, 2008

Editorial Assistant Position Available

Do you like Tricycle? Maybe so much you'd like to work here? Now's your chance. A full-time editorial assistant position for the print magazine is now available. The job description and details on how to apply are after the jump. More »
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July 22, 2008

PB&J will save the planet — which bedbugs hate

Ezra Klein on the wisdom and all-around goodness of eating less meat. I hadn't thought of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich being a "plant-based lunch" before: Each time you have a plant-based lunch like a PB&J you'll reduce your carbon footprint by the equivalent of 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over an average animal-based lunch like a hamburger, a tuna sandwich, grilled cheese, or chicken nuggets. For dinner you save 2.8 pounds and for breakfast 2.0 pounds of emissions. Those 2.5 pounds of emissions at lunch are about forty percent of the greenhouse gas emissions you'd save driving around for the day in a hybrid instead of a standard sedan. PB&J three meals a day? More »
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July 21, 2008

ASEAN and the Junta; Dollars and Nargis

The Burmese junta has signed the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) charter but the body expressed its "deep disappointment" with the junta nonetheless. ASEAN has been spectacularly ineffective in accomplishing anything vis a vis the junta. Burma's profusion of oil, lumber, and gemsmake confronting the junta costly, especially for nations that don't have the luxury the U.S. has -- borrowing more money from China to cover any shortfalls. Nargis is said to have caused $4 billion in damage, and will cost $1 billion will be needed over the next three years to aid survivors. More »
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July 21, 2008

Where are the poets of yesteryear?

The great religious figures are not philosophers, they're not historians, they're not institutional leaders in any sense. They are people who inspire the imagination and therefore deserve the word "poet." In Salon, religious studies scholar James Carse argues that religion does not necessitate belief -- but that poetry is necessary to religion. His new book is The Religious Case Against Belief. More »
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July 21, 2008

Democracy in Nepal, Activists in Burma

Mikel Dunham has an excellent and heartening post on Nepal and it's newborn democracy. You really can't beat Mikel's blog for news on Nepal. And the estimable Danny Fisher has an update (from the Washington Post) about the new generation of activists in Burma. More »