Dalai Lama

  • President of Russia's only Buddhist republic to step down, may have to call on extraterrestrials for help Paid Member

    According to the Moscow Times, Kalmykia President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is ready to step down. The colorful leader of the Russian Federation's only Buddhist republic appeared in a post here earlier this year, when chess great Anatoly Karpov made it known that he'd like Ilyumzhinov’s position as president of the International Chess Federation when the latter's mandate expires this month. Ilyumzhinov is happy to step down from the presidency of the republic, or at least he's happy to humor President Medvedev, whose policy of rotating regional leadership he cites as his reason for calling it quits. More »
  • Religious disharmony in India, in spite of what you may have heard Paid Member

    It must have been music to Indian ears to hear the Dalai Lama suggest earlier this month that China learn nonviolence and religious harmony from India. But it was just so much noise to others. India, after all, has been witness to some of the most extreme religious and inter-caste violence in the post-war period. We read this from Andrew Suttaford over at the Secular Right: More »
  • Gender equality gets a black eye, Jeff Bridges & the Dalai Lama Paid Member

    Amanda Brown at The Anti-Room isn't too happy with the Dalai Lama's follow-up to his own comment that his next incarnation could very well be female. I'd heard the first comment but not the second she cites (I'm usually better at staying on top of these things but have been quite slow on this one). Here's Amanda: Buddhism has long been held as being the acceptable religion by many left leaning liberals, who would also count themselves in favour of gender equality. It is therefore a bit depressing to note the Dalai Lama’s recent comments about the possibility of a woman succeeding him. He begins well enough. More »
  • The Biggest Book in the World Paid Member

    If you spent your summer rifling through cheap paperbacks and you're ready for something more substantial here's a recommendation: the biggest book in the world. Measuring 5 x 7 feet and weighing 133 pounds, The Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom is officially recognized as the largest book in the world by Guinness World Records. Created by Michael Hawley and composed of gigantic photographs of Bhutan, the book is printed only on demand and it takes a roll of paper longer than a football field, more than a gallon of ink, and 24 hours of press time to produce a single copy. More »
  • The Pursuit of Happiness Project Paid Member

    This October, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist leaders will gather in Atlanta, Georgia to participate in Emory University's Pursuit of Happiness Project. Hosted by Emory's Center for the Study of Law and Religion, the conference marks the fifth year of a project in which 18 senior fellows studied the traditional teachings of happiness versus scientific understanding of what happiness is. From the Pursuit of Happiness website: More »
  • The Monk's Tale: A Paris Review interview Paid Member

    Earlier this year, William Dalrymple of the The Paris Review interviewed Tibetan monk Tashi Passang: INTERVIEWER Can one be both a monk and a resistance fighter? TASHI PASSANG Once you have been a monk, it is very difficult to kill a man. But sometimes it can be your duty to do so. I knew that if I stayed in a monastery under the Chinese there was no point in being a monk. They wouldn’t let me practice my religion. So, to protect the ways of the Lord Buddha, the Buddhist dharma, I decided to fight. INTERVIEWER Isn’t nonviolence an essential aspect of being a monk? PASSANG Yes, nonviolence is the essence of the dharma. This is especially true for a monk. The most important thing is to love each and every sentient being. More »