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September 25, 2007

The Buddhism Bomb

There's so much on these Burma protests and I can't add much new information or insight, so here are some links: Buddhists fear ‘white head’ monks will give junta excuse for violence - 'White head' is slang for new monks whose newly shaven heads are still white, or more specifically, undercover policemen posing as monks. Bush Announces Tighter Sanctions on Myanmar - Cheney had to point it out on the map and tell W it's "not far from China." British PM Calls for Harder EU Stance on Burma and the best headline of all, from the LA Times: The Buddhism Bomb (which could blow More »
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September 23, 2007

Protest!

More protests in Burma. Photo from Reuters, story from the paper of record. More »
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September 21, 2007

Burma Heats Up

Things are really happening in Burma. More »
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September 20, 2007

"Dharma Family Values" by Clark Strand, and Progressive Buddhism

It seems like Clark Strand's piece "Dharma Family Values" in the latest Tricycle has struck a chord. It was written about (and Strand was interviewed) in Religionwriter.com and this was noticed in On Faith, an online conversation on -- you guessed it -- faith put out by Newsweek and the Washington Post. Strand's piece was also noticed by a blogger from the Courier-Journal out of Louisville, and the blog Thoughts Chase Thoughts. More »
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September 19, 2007

Healing Rage, Ask the Next President, and Breathing Space

Ruth King, author of the excellent new book Healing Rage, will be speaking at the New York Insight Meditation Center this Friday, September 28 (7–9:30pm, fee: $20) and Saturday, September 29 (10am–5pm, $40.) Register online for the Friday or Saturday session. More »
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September 18, 2007

Today in Internet History...

ICANN took over the internet in 1998. ICANN is responsible for accrediting domain name registrars. Monks protesting in the western Burmese city of Sittwe were tear-gassed by the military junta. A note on the Nashville Change Your Mind Day. Zen and the art of handling a divorce -- but not Zen with a capital Z. More »
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September 17, 2007

Ayn Rand, Austrian Students, and the Vatican

Did you know that Ayn Rand was Buddhist? (Or that Alan Greenspan was an Objectivist? Yeesh.) Rand’s idea of “the virtue of selfishness,” Ms. Moore said, “is a harsh phrase for the Buddhist idea that you have to take care of yourself.” Ms. Moore is "Darla Moore, vice president of the private investment firm Rainwater Inc." People keep buying Ayn Rand's books and, according to this article, she keeps winning the hearts and minds of CEO's and corporate climbers to this day. More »
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September 14, 2007

Change Your Mind Day 2007 and more on Burma

Tricycle's virtual Change Your Mind Day 2007 is tomorrow, September 15th, 2007. Check it out for some audio and video teachings from Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara, Genpo Roshi, the Dalai Lama, Tara Brach, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Lama Surya Das, Thubten Chodron, Jack Kornfield, and Pema Chodron. As reports come in from other Change Your Mind Day events held around the country, including some held as far back as June, we'll post them on tricycle.com. And here's more on the crackdown on Burma's National League for Democracy in the wake of the ongoing protests against the ruling military junta from the Washington Post. More »
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September 13, 2007

Burmese Monks Demand Apology from Junta

Monks in Burma are continuing to stir the pot. Now they're demanding an apology from the junta running the country for continued violence during the democratic protests, and demanding the release of political prisoners, including the most famous, Aung San Suu Kyi. The junta generally treads lightly around the monks in this very Buddhist country (despite violence against demonstrating monks last week, which lead to the monks' taking hostages for a day,) but have cut off phone service in their opposition's headquarters. More »
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September 12, 2007

Good company

Did you know there are only three countries in the world that have not officially adopted the metric system? They are (drumroll) the United States, Liberia, and Myanmar. I don't know what Liberia's excuse is. More on Myanmar later. (Britain and Ireland and probably many other countries are part-time metric users.) I love the odd globes on that first link. The one on this page represents our fearless Leader's view of the world, by the way. (Just don't go quizzing him on the state capitals! More »
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September 12, 2007

The Camden 28

Just saw a great documentary on PBS, The Camden 28, about activism, Vietnam, and the draft, all against the sad backdrop of Camden, New Jersey, where some of the worst race riots in American history took place in the summer of 1971. (Also interesting stuff about the Catholic Left.) More »
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September 11, 2007

Monasteries Under Surveillance, Freedom from Fear

The military junta in Myanmar is keeping Buddhist monasteries under surveillance because monks have been rippin' it up right under the dictatorship's noses over the past few weeks. And it seems the letter from Hollywood glitterati to the U.N. Sec-Gen has yielded fruit: At U.N. headquarters in New York, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stepped up his pressure on Myanmar's military leaders, saying he was committed to working toward the "full democratization" of the country. More »
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September 10, 2007

Four Legs Good

Painter Gregg Chadwick -- see his painting "The Sound of Bells" (40" x 30" oil on linen 2005) at right -- has a show at the Arts Club of Washington (DC) running until September 29th. Press release here. Chadwick is a friend of our friend The Worst Horse. Of course the Horse found him first -- they have the jump on most of the rest of us, having four legs and all. More »
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September 10, 2007

Fragments of News

Here's a post on Buddhism and Psychology found accidentally on Digg. (Brains of meditators were compared with typical brains and interesting things were found, etc.) And here's a German theologian talking about why Germans like Buddhism more than they like Christianity: Buddhism, in the West, is perceived as being free from dogmas, as a religion without many rules. It is a religion that's turned to the inside and that emphasizes meditation. More »
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September 08, 2007

Magic Kingdom

The Atlantic Monthly has a web-only slideshow of photos from Bhutan. These pictures accompany an article that seems to be only available to subscribers. The pictures are very cool and beautiful, but the whenever a country and culture is presented as so exotic, as such a spectacle, it gets a little condescending and weird. But this is interesting to people like me and probably you who have never been to Bhutan, and of course most of us will never get all the way to the valley of the Blue Moon. People with the time and money can go and gawk if they want, and bore us with their photos and stories when they get back. More »
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September 07, 2007

L.A. Buddha Project

Long-Bin Chen has a way cool exhibit of "Reading Sculptures" -- sculptures made out of old reading material -- at the Frank Pictures Gallery in Santa Monica. Not exactly sure what went into the Buddha head at right. And check out this Long-Bin Chen sculpture from 2005 made out of Manhattan phone books. If you're in the southeast U.S., look for "Mystical Images of Tibet" in Myrtle Beach. Check out this cool blog on Tantric deities -- with many pretty pictures! More »
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September 07, 2007

Burmese Monks Fight the Power

Buddhist monks are seriously involved in the protests in Burma. They recently went as far as holding twenty hostages, at least 15 of whom were "mainly local and security officials" for a day. Plus Monks vs. the Military, and Buddhist Monks trash a (local militia leader's) shop. Staying Southeast Asia, more on the proposal to make Buddhism the state religion of Thailand. More »
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September 07, 2007

It Was, Then It Wasn't

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now at that time the Blessed One sat reflecting on the various evil, unskillful qualities that had been abandoned [in him] and on the various skillful qualities that had gone to the culmination of their development. Then as he realized the various evil, unskillful qualities that had been abandoned [in him] and the various skillful qualities that had gone to the culmination of their development, he on that occasion exclaimed: Before, it was, then it wasn't. Before, it wasn't, then it was. It wasn't, won't be & now isn't to be found. [Udana (Exclamations) VI.3, from Handful of Leaves 4, An Anthology from the Khuddaka Nikaya, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, © 2003] More »
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September 06, 2007

Gore and the Buddhist Monastery

Read the Vanity Fair article "Going After Gore" today to be reminded of the whole fundraising debacle the Veep had involving Buddhists. This Washington Post article from 1999 (by the fair and balanced Ceci Connolly) gleefully pictures Gore "grubbing for dollars inside a monastery." These days Hillary Clinton has fundraising scandals of her own, but the one with Gore and the Buddhists (the exotic religion carries the whiff of foreign money and therefore corruption that raises American hackles) had particularly long legs. It didn't lose him the election, but what a different world we'd live in if he'd won. More »
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September 05, 2007

Change Your Mind Day 2007 and the Village Zendo

A fun day today as (Tricycle Associate Publisher) Allison Steinberg and I trooped over to Village Zendo here in Manhattan to film Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara for Change Your Mind Day 2007. That's her over to the right. Thanks for your help, roshi! Village Zendo is housed in a very beautiful space on lower Broadway, but the sangha's tenancy there is unfortunately threatened by steadily rising commercial real estate prices. More »