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    Weekend Buddhists Paid Member

    Templestay Korea, an organization that first invited visitors to experience Korean Buddhist temple life during the 2002 World Cup Tournament, was hosting over 50,000 would-be Buddhists by 2005, according to the New York Times. The brainchild of Korea’s largest Buddhist order—the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism—the program invites international guests to live the life of a monk for several days. Offerings vary to suit visitors’ tastes, and can include brief walking meditation retreats, sitting meditation, and calligraphy. More »
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    West Eats Meat Paid Member

    What is undoubtedly one of the premiere websites on Buddhism and vegetarianism launched this week. is named after the Tibetan yogi Shabkar Tsodruk Rangdrol (1781-1851), who adopted vegetarianism far before it was an advisable practice in high-altitude, low-crop Tibet. His teachings on the subject are collected in Food of Bodhisattvas: Buddhist Teachings on Abstaining from Meat from Shambhala Publications. One of the first questions Western Buddhists seem to get (upon "outing") is "are you a vegetarian?", often accompanied by a smirk of varying degrees of smugness. Whatever the stereotype is here in the West, vegetarianism is by no means the norm in the Asian Buddhist world--no Buddhist lay population has ever been primarily vegetarian, and the monastic orders of a number of countries do indeed eat meat. More »
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    Lives and insights of the early masters in the Dzogchen lineage Paid Member

    I would like to take this opportunity to intruduce Wellsprings of the Great Perfection, a book on the early Dzogchen masters and their poetry. It's a labor of love I've been working on over the last twelve years. Here are some excerpts: Throughout history great individuals have appeared to inspire others. They formulate their insights to help others transform their lives, and find meaning and happiness, even liberation and enlightenment. The philosophy and stories of these great ones, passed down by the first recipients, often have such a force and strength that thousands of years later, their lives and values continue to be sources of inspiration. The present recipient—always at the end of a long line, like at the water tap from a pipe originating at a mountain spring—must hear of the origin of the teaching and its teacher, to know and have trust in its authenticity, before turning on the water and drinking. More »
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    On the Bookshelf Paid Member

    Sam Harris, bestselling author of The End of Faith and telegenic darling of the Godless set, has recently come out with a new title—Letter to a Christian Nation. For those who've been waiting for someone to debunk the miraculous or tell us that Leviticus could use an update, it's a real treat. After all, it's been a long six years. More »
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    Chinese Border Guards: "We Killed in Self-Defense." Paid Member

    *update* Now there's video of the killing taken by a Romanian climber, first shown on Romanian TV, available on Youtube in English. the galling Chinese acknowledgement of the shooting, via the Australian paper The Age the climbers' accounts of the shooting, from Andrew Merz, Associate Editor More »
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    Shooting Follow-Up Paid Member

    A friend who works at Human Rights in China sent me their press release about the shooting I mentioned in my last post, including the links below. The seventeen-year-old Tibetan nun killed was named Kelsang Namtso, from Nagchu prefecture in central Tibet. More »