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December 01, 2008

Sharon Salzberg, Slumdog Millionaire & Mother India

Last night I had the pleasure of taking Sharon Salzberg to see Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire. It's an odd mix of poverty, cruelty, deprivation and high-stakes game-show  drama that culminates in Bollywood-style celebration. Go figure, but it worked. We were both pretty exhilarated—and winded—by the end of it. Over dinner the conversation drifted back to India, where Sharon spent her formative Buddhist years, a place she still considers her spiritual home. I've just received an email from Sharon tipping me off to her latest on the Huffington Post—her thoughts on India and the recent tragedy in Mumbai. You can read "Mother India" here. More »
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December 01, 2008

Tibet House Auction Hosted by Petra Nemcova

Tonight, December 1st. Can you tell me about the Tibet House Benefit Auction and how you got involved in that? This is my second time hosting the event; I hosted it last year as well. It’s an auction at Christie’s, and a lot of the items are very adventurous—for example a trip to Bhutan, but done in a very special way. There’s also a $20,000 shopping spree at Donna Karan. I’m hosting it with Robert Thurman, who is a professor of Tibetan Studies at Columbia University and the president of Tibet House. One of the items up for bid is dinner with Robert and his daughter Uma. And what exactly does Tibet House do? They’re trying to preserve the cultural treasures of Tibetan heritage. The people of Tibet have been struggling for some time now; I haven’t been to Tibet, but I’ve been on the edge of it—in Nepal—and the culture has been close to my heart for many years. They’ve always had such a peaceful approach to life, especially when you consider the violence they’ve been stricken with. And unfortunately it’s a culture that’s been endangered, so I’d like to help to try and preserve it by bringing more awareness to it. More »
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December 01, 2008

World AIDS Day

Fight the stigma. More »
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December 01, 2008

The Dalai Lama speaks out

On celibacy. He is currently visiting Nigeria. More »
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November 28, 2008

Mumbai Attacks

More than 100 dead with scattered fighting still ongoing. With all the daunting challenges the world community faces, we don't need terrorism to keep pushing tiself to the front of the list. It's interesting as well to note that, throughout the recent political season, blogs were much more on the ball than the oft-vilified "mainstream media", but in times like this, considering Mumbai and the world financial crisis, when actual reporting is required, the political blogs that were buzzing all fall and summer were very quiet. So don't nail the old media's coffin shut quite yet. More »
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November 27, 2008

More Bad News: Burma and Tibet. But, Miss Tibet!

The Reverend Danny Fisher has the news: Thaung Htun responds to the Guardian's hit piece condemning Aung San Suu Kyi's "failure to react" to the recent crises in Burma. The foreign minister of the Netherlands speaks out against Burma's recent rash of prison sentences, and More »
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November 26, 2008

Wow.

Check this out. More »
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November 25, 2008

50 for Tibet

Support 50 for Tibet! They're climbing the highest point in each of the fifty states in the summer of 2009. 21awake has a great find: Evelyn Glennie on how to listen. More »
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November 25, 2008

Is the west selling out Tibet? Burma and Tibet briefly compared

Robert Barnett asks in the Times, Did Britain just sell out Tibet? Gordon Brown asked the Chinese to contribute more money to the IMF in exchange for increased influence: Now there is speculation that a trade-off for this arrangement involved a major shift in the British position on Tibet, whose leading representatives in exile this weekend called on their leader, the Dalai Lama, to stop sending envoys to Beijing — bringing the faltering talks between China and the exiles to a standstill. The exiles’ decision followed an announcement on Oct. 29 by David Miliband, the British foreign secretary, that after almost a century of recognizing Tibet as an autonomous entity, Britain had changed its mind. Mr. Miliband said that Britain had decided to recognize Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China. More »
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November 25, 2008

Protests continue in Thailand, Thais grow weary

From the New York Times, more chaos in Thailand. More »
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November 24, 2008

Buddha Skull Relic; Consider the Turkey

Konchog of DODR pointed this one out. More »
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November 24, 2008

More Grotesque Miscarriages of Justice in Burma

It's getting a bit repetitive talking about arrests in Burma but the world needs to keep condemning the junta for human rights violations such as this outrage: A regional human rights body has condemned the Burmese military rulers for arbitrarily sentencing two lawyers, who were acting as defence counsels for political activists and called for their immediate release. Could there be a more grotesque mockery of due process than jailing defense lawyers? More »
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November 24, 2008

Dalai Lama may appoint regent to succeed him

It seems the Dalai Lama may appoint a regent to succeed him: The Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, is considering appointing a regent to lead the Tibetan movement after his death until his reincarnation is old enough to take over. The idea was discussed this week at an unprecedented meeting of 600 Tibetan exiles in Dharamsala, the northern Indian town where the Dalai Lama set up his government in exile after fleeing Tibet in 1959. It is the latest proposal intended to ensure a smooth succession after the death of the Dalai Lama, who is 73 and has been suffering recently from ill health. More »
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November 20, 2008

Architecture for Tibet

John Ullman, president of the nonprofit Architecture for Tibet, recently got in touch with Tricycle about his organization’s efforts to construct an academic center in Tawang, Northeast India. The academic center will be built as an addition to the Majushree Orphanage, which lies close to the Tibetan border and is home to 108 children, many of whom are a part of the diaspora. Solar India Solutions will engineer and install a geothermal heating system—the first green technology in the region—providing much-needed warmth in this mountainous locale. Architecture for Tibet needs funding and support to execute its extraordinary vision. Check out the group's website and this press release: More »
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November 20, 2008

Dharma on No Dollars a Day; Peter Matthiessen

These uneasy times and a plunging Dow Jones (and longer -- or is it shorter -- skirts?) made me think back to a special section Tricycle put out way back in 1996 called Money: The Mirror of Mind. Why is money the mirror of mind? José Reissig writes in A Visible Illusion: The Truth About Money: As things stand now, whenever money enters the picture, whenever a transaction is mediated by it, our obstinacy in seeing it as separate tends to prevail: instead of a link we find disconnection. The web develops a gap. More »
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November 20, 2008

Dalai Lama Manga

Thanks to the incredibly talented and prolific Frank Olinsky for sending over this cool link -- the Dalai Lama, plus Aung San Suu Kyi and other luminaries, in manga! More »
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November 19, 2008

Recycling takes a hit

You've seen a great example of recycling at work with the Buddhist temple made from beer bottles (pic above.) But it seems that with the world economic downturn, piles of paper and other goods that China used to buy are piling up in the U.S. and Europe. That's an unexpected result of the recession -- and isn't it depressing that it seems to be cheaper to kill trees than recycle paper? Until it's cheaper, what hope does it have? More »
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November 19, 2008

UN condemns Burma's arbitrary "justice system"

According to the BBC, a UN group that includes human rights experts condemns the recent "trials" by Burma's courts. More »
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November 19, 2008

Big Mind

Dennis Genpo Merzel discusses Big Mind in the latest Tricycle. [Image: Buddha del Sol, Chris Cosnowski, 2005, oil on panel, 18 x 15 inches. © Chris Cosnowski, courtesy of the artist and Lyons Wier Ortt Gallery, NYC, in private collection] More »
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November 19, 2008

Sangha Appears Naturally in Daily Life

Sangha is a Sanskrit word that in its narrowest sense has as its referent the community of those who follow the Buddha’s teaching. As limited as this application of the term might be, the community of Buddhist followers nonetheless consists of a vast network of sangha within sangha arranged like concentric rings of mutual inclusion. The Chico Zen Sangha, for example, which I once founded and teach is a sangha in its own right. But it is as well a sangha within the larger sangha of both Soto and Rinzai Zen, having established formal affiliation with both traditions. But the Zen tradition itself is in turn a sangha within the larger sangha of the whole Buddhist community. Whether it be Tibetan, Theravada, Insight Meditation, Pure Land, or whatever, the community of those who follow the Buddha’s teaching constitutes one vast world-wide sangha. But it doesn’t end there, for it is taught that Buddha nature pervades the whole universe, a concept descriptive of a virtually limitless sangha comprised of the intimate and intricate interweaving of all beings into one seamless whole. This being so, what is there to exclude? What stone, what drifting feather, what clot of earth or sky, what soiled and drunken soul sleeping in the doorway of the convenience store, what cranky or cheerful clerk at the checkout stand, what mother, father, child, what family rich or poor, hungry or full, what being of any sort, anywhere, at any time, is not sangha? More »