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February 03, 2008

Sri Lanka Suicide Bombing; Severe Weather in China Continues

At least 11 dead and 92 wounded in a sucide bombing in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Tamil Tigers pioneered the suicide bomb. This one was a woman. Millions still struggling to get home to celebrate the New Year in China. Unusually severe winter weather including ice and snow has handicapped the huge country and perhaps exposed the fragility of its infrastructure. But a five-year plan will fix that. LIVE-BLOGGING THE SUPER BOWL: Seems like some casual racism directed at Asians in the Super Bowl ads. I think it was a Bud Lite ad and that one advertising free sales leads with the pandas. (Salesgenie?) More »
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January 30, 2008

If you're in NYC on February 2nd...

... this sounds like it's worth checking out. Saturday, February 2, 10am-5pm Making Waves and Riding the Currents: A Day of Meditation, Dialogue, and Conversation With Sharon Salzberg and Charlie Halpern New York Insight Meditation Center 28 West 27th Street, 10th floor New York, New York 10001 Phone: 212-213-4802 www.nyimc.org This day is about working for a more just, compassionate, and sustainable world, while cultivating the wisdom that supports and deepens this work. Everyone who is trying to bring about needed social and institutional change is also challenged by trying to maintain balance, compassion and hope. Charlie Halpern, is one of America's most distinguished public interest advocates and social innovators. More »
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January 30, 2008

Books: The Inheritance of Loss

Having worked at Tricycle for over four years, I almost expect writings about Himalayan people to be filled with expeditions for bliss, cavernous and splendid tales of vibrant Buddhist teachings in stark, majestic landscapes, and simple wisdoms that have been frozen on the rooftop of the world. But the motley crew that we discover in the foothills of Mount Kanchenjunga in Kiran Desai’s acclaimed novel The Inheritance of Loss, only has the dharma as a distant neighbor and seems to be a powerless product of—rather than an exception to—the modern conditions of Nationalism, Orientalism, and Globalization. More »
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January 29, 2008

Seven Years for Burma Protestors, Tibet Virus, and Cyrus and Ida

The leaders of Burma's pro-democracy protests may face seven years in jail. The EU wants newly democratic Thailand's help with the Burma crisis. This summer Thailand will take over the presidency of ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. And the Burmese army offensive against rebel ethnic groups worsens the humanitarian situation in eastern Burma. Bush voices support for democracy in Burma, and a bunch of other countries. More »
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January 28, 2008

Eat less beef

10 Questions for the Dalai Lama -- a Rambo-less movie trailer. And here's a depression-prevention technique inspired by the Dalai Lama. A day in the life of a Zen monk, thanks to Sujatin. An article on the environmental horrors of the beef industry, in the U.S. and around the world: To put the energy-using demand of meat production into easy-to-understand terms, Gidon Eshel, a geophysicist at the Bard Center, and Pamela A. More »
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January 27, 2008

Arrests continue in Burma; China prepares for Olympics

Amnesty International says the Burmese junta has arrested 96 pro-democracy activists since November, when it told U.N. representative Ibrahim Gambari it would stop. At least 1,850 activists are currently being detained, including 700 who were arrested after the protests. . More »
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January 24, 2008

More politics: the Dalai Lama as Marxist Monk

The Dalai Lama said, "I am a Marxist monk," and spawned a discussion on socialism, Marxism, Leninism, Maoism, and Stalinism on E-Sangha (login required). The quote from the Buddhist Channel: At a gathering at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A), [the DL] said: “I am a Marxist monk, a Buddhist Marxist. I belong to the Marxist camp, because unlike capitalism, Marxism is more ethical. Marxism, as an ideology, takes care of the welfare of its employees and believes in distribution of wealth among the people of the state.” Communist China, the DL says, has a high degree of exploitation among its workers. More »
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January 24, 2008

Aung San Suu Kyi gets medal from Congress... when? American politics. Wii meditate.

Get on the horn or mouse and let your Congressperson know you want Aung San Suu Kyi to receive the Congressonal Gold Medal tout de suite. A lot of other countries have recognized her... but that doesn't usually convince Americans. Congress voted on December 17th to recognize her, but so far has made no plans for the ceremony. Speaking of American politics, many candidates have dropped out of the Presidential race after a few contests in states with few voters. So why aren't all the primaries held on one day? Could it be that this would leave the media with less to pontificate and prognosticate over? They're having a field day with Obama and Clinton taking swings at each other. . . More »
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January 24, 2008

Burma Arrests a Poet, Another Teacher Killed in Thailand, and China Supports the Darfur Genocide

The Burmese junta has arrested a poet for an insult to General Than Shwe. The phrase "General Than Shwe is crazy with power" was hidden in the first word of every line the way Lewis Carroll hid the names of his young female friends in his poems. There's a word for this but it escapes me. "The junta is sensitive," says the article. More »
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January 24, 2008

A Talking Cat and Kentucky Zen and the Passing of a Roshi

Do you feel like asking a cat a question? I mean one that will actually be answered. Well, there's a cool cat who'll do just that discovered by The Buddha is My DJ. More »
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January 24, 2008

Five Favorite Dharma Books

"[G. K.] Chesterton was once asked what books he would most like to have with him if he were stranded on a desert island. 'Thomas's Guide to Practical Shipbuilding,' he replied." Oops, the Tricycle Blog's been tagged (a while ago, actually -- sorry!) Here goes: 1. Chan Insights and Oversights by Bernard Faure. Haven't even opened this one but I've stared at the spine on my bookshelf for years. One of these days... 2. The Mind Like Fire Unbound by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. This book not only contains great poetry but does an excellent job explaining a lot of deep metaphors that otherwise would be lost in translation. 3. The Faith to Doubt, by Stephen Batchelor. "It is most uncanny that we are able to ask questions; for to question means to acknowledge that we do not know something. More »
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January 23, 2008

Ishikoro

Sarah Boxer has a piece on blogs in the New York Review of Books. I couldn't find it online, but I done learnt me a new word from it: ishikoro, (ishi - stone, koro - an affectionate diminutive) meaning pebble, referring to a disused or neglected blog (of which, the article suggests, there may be 85 million in the world, or more.) Picture a pebble thrown into a huge placid pond that sinks with nary a ripple, or a pebble packed in with 84,999,999 other pebbles on a path leading somewhere, between two rows of tall shady trees. This might be what it looks like in Japanese (if not, blame Alta Vista. Some computers / browsers probably won't be able to render the Japanese characters either): 小石 UPDATE: This NYRB article is now online. More »
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January 23, 2008

Burma's Woeful Healthcare, Bhutan's 100,000 Refugees

400 children die every day in Burma from preventable diseases. The only country in Asia that ranks worse in terms of infant mortality is Afghanistan. In 2000 the World Health organization ranked Burma as having the second-worst healthcare system in the world after Sierra Leone. China, Burma's only friend, encourages the junta to let U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari back into the country, but also tells the world to back off: Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said China wanted to see stability, democracy and development in the country also known as Burma. However, Jiang urged the international community to be "objective when viewing the Myanmar situation ... More »
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January 22, 2008

Non-Attachment

We like to publish Buddhist cartoons when we get the chance. Buddhism can be funny and we published a book, Buddha Laughing, to prove it! Here's one that's not in the book from longtime contributor P.B. Law: "The beauty of it is that as long as I'm not attached to my things, I don't have to give any of them up." More »
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January 22, 2008

From Burma to Buxton to Bhutan

Things are going "downhill on all fronts" in Burma, says U.S. More »
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January 21, 2008

Al Qaeda in Thailand

The inevitable, vague connection: The Muslim insurgents in southern Thailand are in fact no other than -- dunh dunh dunh! -- AL QAEDA! Well, who can blame the Thai government official who uncovered this shocking news? If you told Uncle Sam that the leak in your kitchen faucet was caused by evildoers, they might write you a check for four hundred million dollars to fix it. More »
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January 19, 2008

The Quiet Heroes of Tibet

Pankaj Mishra writes a very interesting piece in the New York Review of Books, "The Quiet Heroes of Tibet," about a Han Chinese man married to a Tibetan woman, living together in Beijing and both writing about Tibet, primarily the effects of the railroad and the new air links (with more coming all the time.) Unfortunately the article is behind a paywall and costs $3 to read in full. The issue is out on the newsstands now and is dated January 17th, 2008. More »
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January 17, 2008

Books: Never Turn Away by Rigdzin Shikpo

Rigdzin Shikpo, a student of Shambhala-founder Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, has been practicing Buddhism since the 1950s. An heir to Trungpa’s lineage but independent of the Shambhala community, his book Never Turn Away: The Buddhist Path Beyond Hope and Fear (Wisdom Publications, 2007, $14.95 paper, 192 pp.) is an inspired look at the relationship between meditation and everyday life. More »
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January 17, 2008

Science is messy

This will make Scientologists happy: Prozac and Paxil may not work as well as we're led to believe. Scientists are now saying we're "some momentary fluctuation in a field of matter and energy out in space... Your memories and the world you think you see around you are illusions." Is this a problem? And is cloned beef, or lab-grown beef, that bad, given that much of the world continues to eat cows? More »
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January 16, 2008

Book Review: Haiku Haven

For northern city-dwellers, the grey months of January and February can feel like a kind of apocalyptic-aftermath, but duller: dirty slush on the subway steps and reality television. When seasonal melancholy threatens, it’s best to turn to poetry, which makes ennui seem more bearable—or, at the very least, more important. The most premium of all poetic medicines may be the haiku, being formally required to address time and loss, as well as beautiful enough to make up for the indignity of damp socks. Turning the pages of Haiku Master Buson, you feel can feel your commonplace Seasonal Affective Disorder being transformed into something unique and delicate, more along the lines of With the soundlessness of winter rain on mosses, vanished days are remembered More »