China

  • Buddha Buzz: Mobs, Politics, and...Lemurs Paid Member

    Buddhist monks were all over the international news this week, and most of it was not good. Last weekend thousands of Sri Lankans, led by Buddhist monks, stormed a mosque in Dambulla, Sri Lanka, destroying furniture and exposing themselves. The day before, the mosque had been firebombed by an unknown person. Sri Lankan officials have now promised to demolish and relocate the mosque, which the monks alleged had been built illegally on sacred Buddhist ground. Mosque board members responded that the mosque had been there for 50 years—30 years before the area was declared a Buddhist sacred zone. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Anxious Buddhists and Hard Partyin' Monks Mystery Solved Paid Member

    Today is an anxious day. Yes, I know it's 4/20, and enthusiastic potheads everywhere will be bong-hitting, joint-lighting, and baked-goods-eating their way to a non-anxious existence. But it's also Hitler's birthday, the anniversary of Columbine, and supposedly, the day that Kony 2012 supporters will take to the streets (remember the Kony video?). More »
  • Buddha Buzz: The Cult's Ian Astbury and Some Hard Partyin' Monks Paid Member

    It's Friday the thirteenth (paraskevidekatriaphobics, beware) and what better way to celebrate than with an interview with "smash-and-grab Buddhist" Ian Astbury, veteran grunger and bandmember of The Cult? As the interview begins on the Huffington Post, "It might be argued that the visceral whack of The Cult's brand of heavy, dharma-conscious rock is just the kind of Zen stick a sleepy pop culture needs administered to its backside." I missed the fan cult of The Cult back in the 80s, so I can't really throw in my opinion on this. But we don't have to take the interviewer at his word: we have YouTube! Here's The Cult performing "She Sells Sanctuary" and perhaps whacking you with their dharma-conscious Zen music stick:   More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Excessive Consumerism, the Templeton Prize, and Everything In Between Paid Member

    Being the writer of Buddha Buzz blog posts certainly has its advantages. For one, I get to spend my time reading and writing about subjects that are important to me. But the main advantage by far is that during the time I spend scouring the Internet each week for Buddhist-related news, I'm often (or so I like to think) one of the first people to be alerted when something really, really awesome—and Buddhist—goes on sale. Like this $28.5 million yacht. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Rude Buddhas and Undertaker Bodhisattvas Paid Member

    First off, some follow-up on past Buddha Buzz items: Remember the three Tibetan hunger strikers in New York? They were paid a visit by "Tibet's best friend" (the words of Tsewang Rigzin, president of the NYC Tibetan Youth Congress, not mine), actor Richard Gere last week. And this Tuesday, U.N. Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic, invited Rigzin to his offices, where the two discussed the hunger strikers' requests, the Huffington Post reports. Looks like they are making some progress! More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Big Business Buddhism Paid Member

    China has finally broken its silence about the recent Tibetan immolations, releasing several official statements. But considering that these statements are by and large depressing—one made by a Communist Party secretary in the Miami Herald was that "public complaints about cultural repression do not exist. On the contrary, Tibetan culture is flourishing"—it seems like a better idea to ignore all of these "official" statements and instead enjoy this interesting interview with Ran Yunfei on the New York Review of Books blog. Yunfei is a Chinese intellectual and popular Tweeter who was released from house arrest last month after running afoul of the Chinese government. More »