China

  • Thousands of Tibetan students protest China's plan to use only Mandarin in Tibetan schools Paid Member

    Thousands of Tibetan students in western China are protesting against a proposed plan to eliminate or curb the use of Tibetan in schools. The plan advocates switching to Mandarin, China's official language. Via the New York Times: The protests are among the largest in Tibetan areas since the March 2008 uprising that began in Lhasa and spread across the Tibetan plateau. But unlike those protests, these have been peaceful and have involved mostly students. A protest against the proposed policies was also held in Beijing on Friday afternoon, drawing hundreds of Tibetan students at a prominent university that specializes in teaching ethnic minorities, according to witness reports and photographs. More »
  • A Day for Bodhidharma Paid Member

    You can learn a lot of things perusing the Treeleaf Zendo message boards, including that today is Bodhidharma Day. What do we do on Bodhidharma Day? We sit, in order to honor the Zen ancestor who brought Zen from India to China. Bodhidharma is usually presented a bad-tempered barbarian who sat facing a wall meditating for nine years. In order to always stay awake, he cut off his eyelids, and tea plants sprang from them where they landed. Yum! Here are some Bodhidharma Day recipes. If you're in China, you could visit the recently unearthed Bodhidharma Stupa. More »
  • Massive Rally in Support of Karmapa to Take Place Sunday Paid Member

    When Ogyen Trinley Dorje, one of the two lamas recognized as the 17th Karmapa, escaped from the Chinese in 2000 he was granted asylum in India.  However, due to pressure from the Chinese government, the Indian government quickly put him under close watch and put heavy restrictions on his ability to travel.  This week, as the Karmapa is giving teachings in Dharamsala, a huge rally in Sikkim is being organized by his supporters to put pressure on the Indian government to lift these travel restrictions so that he can return to his home monastery Rumtek, which is in Sikkim.  For more information on the rally, please visit www.karmapatorumtek.org More »
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    Chinese Honor Student Chooses Monasticism over MIT Paid Member

    A "mathematics genius" in China has decided to become a Buddhist monk instead of accepting a full ride to MIT. examiner.com has the story: Liu Zhiyu received a diploma this past summer from the School of Mathematical Sciences at PKU and than applied for and was offered a full scholarship to MIT. However, just the last minute as his parents were ready to send him off to the states to study at MIT Liu changed his mind. Liu decided instead to head for Longquan Temple in Beijing's Haidian district to prepare to become a Buddhist monk. It has been reported that Liu's father, who teaches physics at the high school that Liu attended in his hometown of Wuhan, Hubei province, told the Beijing Times the family was strongly opposed to Liu's choice. Liu's father said he felt desperate and his wife had become ill because of their son's decision. More »
  • How much is that Buddha worth? Paid Member

    The spiraling price of gold has placed a whole new value on Taoist and Buddhist statuary in Taiwan. Gold, selling at $300 an ounce in 2002, is now pushing $1,300 an ounce. Temples are finding themselves in possession of golden Buddhas whose market values have significantly improved their fortunes. While many Taiwanese are building security systems to safeguard their treasures, not so the Nantien Temple in Ilan, in northeastern Taiwan, which built a 588-lb sea goddess (Matsu) in the mid 1990s. Canadian Business (CB) Online reports: "One would have difficulty hoisting the heavy statue even with a crane," said temple official Chen Cheng-nan. So far, I haven't heard of a temple that wants to sell. I just hope you can't borrow against the statues. More »
  • Waiting out the Dalai Lama may be China's big mistake Paid Member

    Waiting out the Dalai Lama may be a big mistake for China. Dealing with him now may be easier than what may follow in his wake. Lodi Gyari, the Dalai Lama's representative in Washington, writes this in the South China Morning Post, quoted yesterday in a blog post by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof: More »