Dalai Lama

  • How many Americans know the Dalai Lama's religion? Fewer than half. Paid Member

    As you probably know, the Dalai Lama is visiting Washington, D.C., this week. And if you know that, I assume that you can probably also correctly name the Dalai Lama's religion. Well, if you're American, that puts you in the minority. The Pew Forum's U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey found that fewer than half (47%) of Americans know the Dalai Lama is Buddhist. Note that atheists/agnostics (74%) and Jews (74%) were much more adept than other groups at correctly identifying the Dalai Lama's faith. Fewer people (36%) identify Buddhism as the religion that aims at nirvana, the state of being free from suffering. More »
  • Making tantric practice available to the masses: The Kalachakra for World Peace 2011 Paid Member

    The Dalai Lama has been in Washington, D.C. this week participating in the Kalachakra for World Peace, a ritual empowerment event that prepares practitioners to engage in the highest tantric meditations. While the practice of tantra is traditionally reserved for religious specialists, in recent years the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan teachers have been holding Kalachakra initiation ceremonies for large groups in the West, with all-levels of practitioners attending. The Kalachakra for World Peace 2011 initiation began on July 6, the Dalai Lama's 76th birthday, and will end on July 16. More »
  • Robert Thurman on the Dalai Lama's Retirement: An Interview Paid Member

    Robert Thurman is the Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Studies in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, and co-founder and President of Tibet House US. A personal friend of the Dalai Lama for over 40 years, his latest book is Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth as the Solution for China, Tibet and the World. Recently we were able to chat about the Dalai Lama's retirement, the future of Tibet, his relationship with HHDL, and the importance of putting practice into action. This interview was conducted over email, as Thurman is currently "inbetween things" while traveling in Bhutan. He will be teaching at InsightLA on April 30. —Sam Mowe More »
  • Sangye Gyatso and China's Long Memory Paid Member

    A week ago, Professor Robert Barnett wrote for the New York Review of Books, explaining some history to those curious why China is so sensitive to news of the 14th Dalai Lama's planned retirement—news that recently upset many Tibetans. He traces the cause back to the Fifth Dalai Lama, the first to hold temporal power, bestowed, as is well known, by the Mongol Khan (who, I think, was a follower of the Sakya school, not the Gelugs.) In the Fifth Dalai Lama's declining years, the new and ambitious Qing Dynasty claimed sovereignty over Tibet (and many other areas thousands of miles from their capital of Shenyang and later Beijing.) More »
  • The 100 most spiritually influential People? Guess who's #1... Paid Member

    No, it's not the Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Hanh—they come in second and fourth, respectively—according to the Watkins Review's "100 Spiritual Power List," which appeared earlier this month. The review is put out by Watkins Books, the century-old London book store specializing in esoterica. Their selection criteria? There are several factors that were taken into account when compiling the list. Listed below are the main three: 1) The person has to be alive 2) The person has to have made a unique and spiritual contribution on a global scale 3) The person is frequently googled, appears in Nielsen Data, and highlighted in throughout the blogosphere It’s interesting to think about the amount of times that a person is googled; in a sense, being googled is a form of digital voting, and illustrates just how often someone is being sought outMore »
  • Pico Iyer on Tibet's Quiet Revolution Paid Member

    Pico Iyer writes on the Dalai Lama and Tibet's "quiet revolution" in a blogpost for the New York Review of Books: More »