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    Burma, International Bad Boy, and the Dalai Lama Rocks Italy Paid Member

    The world (plus Laura Bush, whatever planet she's on) is running out of patience with Myanmar's generals, says U.N sec-gen Ban Ki Moon. It seems Burma's leaders (as well as a certain U.S. president) don't much care what the U.N. says: U.N. special envoy Ibrahim Gambari has been awaiting permission from the Burmese government to visit Burma to continue efforts to broker negotiations between the military leadership and the opposition. Gambari has been in Burma twice since the violent September crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators. The U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva also condemned Burma again. More »
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    Eat Local? Paid Member

    Despite Europe's interest in eating local foods to reduce food miles, "Europeans are eating — and importing — more food from outside the E.U. than ever before," according to DotEarth, a New York Times blog. In May the Times of London reported: Scottish prawns are being hand-shelled in China, Atlantic haddock caught off Scotland is being prepared in Poland and Welsh cockles are being sent to Holland to be put in jars before going on sale in Britain. Eating local is simply not possible in a world of 6.7 billion people (and counting) says Andrew Revkin, who writes the blog. So what to do? Find alternative, less-polluting fuel sources. More »
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    Compassionate Gift-Giving and Dharma Combat Paid Member

    Joan Duncan Oliver wrote a piece for Tricycle about compassionate gift-giving that might help with some tricky decisions this holiday season. Singapore - City - Zen links to an amazing article on alternet.org, Dress for Excess: The Cost of Our Clothing Addiction. (S-C-Z often has great environmental links.) Here's some brief passages from the Alternet article: The numbers are astonishing. Apparel is easily the second-biggest consumer sector after food. We're spending $282 billion on new clothes annually, up from $162 billion in 1992, based on U.S. Census figures. . . More »
  • Effortless (almost) farming Paid Member

    FUKUOKA - A Japanese agro-philosopher developed a farming practice called "Natural Farming", in response to modern organic agricultural methods that degrade soil. He encourages "no till" methods of grain cultivation, and the idea of letting nature do the farming work for you. He wrote an important book called One Straw Revolution, and introduced the idea of "seed balls", self propagating balls of clay containing hundreds of seeds, to the world: The Natural Way of Farming by Masanobu Fukuoka. Check out: www.seedballs.com I would be very interested in hearing some practical experience with this method. More »
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    Cultivation of Flowers and Vegetables the Mahayana Way Paid Member

    It was just the other night that I heard about some ethical way of growing things in your garden without "having to" leave casualties in one's wake. Have any of your heard something called "Mahayana Cultivation" by Fukuoka? More »
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    A "Buddhist Thing" Paid Member

    Recently, the folks at Tricycle asked me to begin writing a blog on this website since there was no other Westerner directly representing the Tibetan branch of Buddhism. Now I wonder what I got myself into. I thought about this opportunity and feel that a blog opens up many possibilities for exchange. Here is an opener. All levels of the Buddha’s teachings emphasize respect for the living – not just human life but animals and even insects. But refraining from needlessly snuffing harmless creatures out of existence is not necessarily a “Buddhist thing." Isn't it also the First Commandment? My non-Buddhist mother taught my siblings and me be kind to animals. Early childhood memories include a story, told with abject horror, of a local farmer who put newborn kittens into a sack an smacked them against the wall. More »