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April 02, 2008

The High Cost of Justice

When I was in my early twenties, I suffered such a painful falling out with my parents that the estrangement lasted for nearly three years. During that time the three of us spoke not one word to each other. I was accused of an act of which I was innocent. My mother, swayed by circumstances that suggested otherwise, remained convinced of guilt. I’d returned from my two years military duty in Germany with the intention of making the family farm my life’s work. I’d temporarily moved into the bedroom that my brother, Rowland , and I once shared, planning to move into a place of my own as soon as Shirley Rice and I, to whom I was engaged, were married. Though the date was set for June 10th and we were already into the month of May, it was clear that Father was not pleased with the prospect of having a grown son living back home, however temporarily. More »
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April 02, 2008

Beijing Stokes Terror Fears, Calls Protesting Monks "the scum of Buddhism"

Beijing claims the "Dalai clique" is planning Olympic attacks. The Chinese leadership must be feeling a little nervous with protests having spread to the Muslim northwest of the country. With so many foreign journalists around they can hardly fake the attacks, as some claim they did in Lhasa. They want things to be smooth, but are hedging their bets in case they aren't, and will use the West's favorite buzzword: terrorism. In fact, it's surprising the Dalai Lama hasn't been labeled a terrorist or equated with Osama Bin Laden. Oh, wait. More »
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April 02, 2008

Xinjiang

More on the second front of protests in western China: Muslims in Xinjiang. More »
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April 02, 2008

Richard Gere on Tibet

Danny Fisher points out that Beliefnet has an interview with Richard Gere and other information on Tibet. Not only is he dreamy, he's smart and principled. And Richard Gere's not bad either. More »
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April 02, 2008

Meditation and reducing depression; MBCT

Scientists in Britain study meditation and its effects on the brain. (The government funds this?) The popular Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is discussed. MBCT is recommended for people who are not currently depressed, but who have had three or more bouts of depression in their lives. Trials suggest that the course reduces the likelihood of another attack of depression by over 50%. The National Health Service pays for MBCT. More »
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April 02, 2008

China fears suicide bombers; Amnesty lambasts China

China has been talking about suicide bombings in Tibet for a while now, perhaps in order to capture the Western obsession with terrorism, but so far nothing like this seems to have happened. It is true that the Tibet protests have spread unrest to other minorities, including western China's considerable Muslim population. More »
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April 02, 2008

India weighs its relationships with China, Tibet, and Burma

Tibet is a ticklish subject for India: India enjoys a trading relationship with China expected to be worth $40 billion this year. At the same time, it hosts the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, his exile government and his followers. Authorities in Beijing have accused the Dalai Lama of fomenting the recent Tibet protests. "It is a difficult position for India," said Kanwal Sibal, a former Indian foreign secretary. "We gave asylum to the Dalai Lama and his followers on the condition that they would not conduct political activities on Indian soil. More »
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April 01, 2008

Change Blindness

Interesting article in the New York Times today about how we often fail to notice change, even when it's right in front of our eyes. Would meditators do better on the test given in the article than non-meditators? What do we choose to pay attention to? How much attention do we pay to the world around us? For most of us, the answer is Not much, the article concludes. Plus: the Dalai Lama's blog. Satire alert. More »
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April 01, 2008

Philip Whalen and the Bhutanese Bob Dylans

Danny Fisher points us to the Nation's review of The Collected Poems of Philip Whalen. And from the Worst Horse: "a small platoon of Bhutanese Bob Dylans". Ok, sure. More »
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April 01, 2008

Torch Begins its Journey -- Two Torches, Actually

The Olympic torch begins its journey in Beijing and will soon be split into two flames. One will be sent to Lhasa for the Everest trip, and the other is going to Almaty, Kazakhstan to begin a five-continent tour including San Francisco. More »
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April 01, 2008

Obama and Pelosi Push Bush on Tibet

The International Campaign for Tibet reports that Obama is pressing Bush to get teh UN to investigate Tibet. Bush loves the UN about as much as China does. And Pelosi calls on Bush to boycott the opening cermonies. More »
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March 31, 2008

British intelligence says the riots were staged by Chinese agents

Heard a lot about this one: British intelligence says Chinese soldiers dressed as monks were involved in — no, make that started — the Lhasa rioting. This finding would confirm the Dalai Lama's assertion that the violence was staged. While this does not seem far-fetched, considering what Beijing is capable of, we should take all government intelligence with a shaker of salt, since we know it is ruthlessly used to achieve often very questionable political ends, and we have been given no proof. The whole idea seems a little whimsical, but so many of us want to believe it, since it confirms what we tend to believe about Tibetan monks and Tibetans more generally that they are not capable of the violence we have seen. That is to say, it makes an attractive narrative a little too neat. More »
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March 31, 2008

Santi Asoke eco-village; Dith Pran passes

A writer for Energy Bulletin visits the Santi Asoke eco-village in Thailand. An interesting post on Buddhism and Science from Vincent Horn coming from a discussion with B. Alan Wallace on Buddhist Geeks. And killing fields photographer Dith Pran has passed away at the age of 65. More »
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March 31, 2008

Flame arrives in Beijing; China watches domestic opinion

The Olympic torch arrived in Tiananmen Square to be greeted by "smiling Tibetans" in national costume rather than protesters. You can be assured the city was in lockdown. China feels that domestic opinion is more important than international opinion in weighing tis Tibet policy. Surely Americans at least can understand this attitude. China seeks India's "understanding and support" for its Tibet policy. More »
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March 30, 2008

Protests follow the torch

More protests (from pro-Tibet groups as well as Falun Gong members) as the Olympic flame is handed over to the organizers of Beijing 2008 in Athens. More »
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March 29, 2008

WSJ on Tibet

Picked up a Wall Street Journal this weekend and noticed their coverage of Tibet was quite thorough. Here's a link to some of it. The Western media seems to be coming around more to describing the Tibet protests as riots where innocent Hans and Tibetans were injured or killed. But if China wonders why it is getting such bad press and such close attention to its internal affairs, it's the Olympics, dummy. More »
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March 29, 2008

Bullets in the Alms Bowl

Digital Dharma (by way of Danny Fisher) has a report by Burma's government in exile on the 2007 Saffron Revolution. More »
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March 29, 2008

Meditation leads to Compassion

Does meditation make you more compassionate? Or does being compassionate make you meditate more? MSNBC: Neuroscience may explain the Dalai Lama: Many wonder how the Dalai Lama can retain his kindness and magnanimity, even as his homeland is torn apart by violence. New neuroscience research may help explain the exiled Tibetan leader's unremitting compassion for all people. And China is complaining about biased news coverage? Please. More »
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March 29, 2008

China's PR engine (vs. Tibet's)

Continuing its PR campaign, China says it will compensate civilian victims of the Tibetan violence. Some have charged China is inciting race hatred by indicting the Tibetans all across the media. Things really are creeping closer to 1936. After the blogs attack, CNN has to clarify how it is covering the Tibet crisis. Doubtless most of the Western media has a slightly starry-eyed view of the Dalai Lama and Tibet, and furthermore a prejudice against communist China. The Dalai Lama is not perfect, and Tibet was no paradise before the 1950s. More »
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March 28, 2008

Monasteries Closed

We've been hearing rumors to this effect for a while now -- monks are locked in monasteries in Tibet. No supplies going in, nothing coming out. The monks are now said to be facing "patriotic re-education." A peaceful protest turned into a riot, and China couldn't handle it. Maybe the world will actually get a message through to China on this: If you want to host the world in your country this summer, you will be scrutinized. More »