• How many candles on the Buddha's birthday cake? Paid Member

    ... Or how many lamps in the Buddha's birthday tree? Either way, yesterday’s post about Vesak got me wondering: when was the Buddha born? As it turns out, there is a long scholarly discussion on the date of the Buddha’s birth (is anybody surprised?). The traditional date given in most Southeast Asian countries is 624 BCE. Scholars in the West and Asia have long rejected this date and, until recently, have placed the date somewhere between 567-563 BCE. These days, however, and increasing number of scholars place the date of the Buddha’s birth later—some even arguing that it could be up to one hundred years later than previously believed (463 BCE). More »
  • Traveling Jade Buddha Paid Member

    The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace is an intrepid traveler. The 10-foot (13-1/2 feet on its alabaster throne) 4-ton statue is now sitting pretty in Worcester, Massachusetts (above), in the parking lot of the Linh Son Temple, formerly a single-family home. When its tour of the North America, Europe and Asia is complete, the statue will make it's home at the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion, in Bendigo, Australia. It's official website reads: The purpose of exhibiting the Jade Buddha around the world is for everyone, irrespective of their religion, to take a moment to reflect upon peace; peace for the world; peace in their relationships; peace for their families and friends; peace at work; peace in their mind. More »
  • The benefits of mindfulness meditation... but what is it? Paid Member

    A recent article in UCLA's Daily Bruin reiterates a common theme that is repeated daily in news reports around the world: Meditation is good for reducing stress, and therefore is good for your health: Breathe in. Hold. Release. Repeat. Do you feel calmer? Some students have turned to meditation as a useful way to help study for finals and focus their attention.... Researchers at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging found that daily meditation helped certain areas of the brain to grow denser. Researchers studied 22 test subjects who had been meditating on a daily basis for at least five years and compared their MRI scans to those of a control group who do not meditate. More »
  • Watch: 3D Kalachakra Mandala Paid Member

    Our recent popular Sand Mandala video post reminded me that I've been meaning to look for this great 3D CGI Kalachakra Mandala video that I saw several years ago.  Sure enough, it took about 90 seconds to track down on youtube. More »
  • The International Buddhist Flag Paid Member

    Yesterday marked the 125th anniversary of the creation of the Buddhist International Flag, which was designed by the Colombo Committee in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Members of the committee, including the Ven. Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera and Don Carolis Hewavitharana, both pioneers of the Buddhist revival movement in Sri Lanka, wanted to choose a design that represented the unity and underlying faith of the international Buddhist community. More »
  • Oxherding in the Korea Times Paid Member

    Things have been tense on the Korean Peninsula lately, with crowds in Seoul today calling for revenge against the north for the sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean naval vessel. But readers of the Korean Times awoke this morning to the 10 Oxherding Pictures, the classic Zen (in Korean, Soen) series that depicts the practitioner's progress toward enlightenment—a nice antidote to the recent hostilities, or a least a welcome if momentary reprieve. More »