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    Buddhists at War Paid Member

    Danny Fisher reminds us of Hiroshima, sixty-two years (and now two days) ago. What is there to say but to wish for peace and hope that all of us may be free from suffering? Speaking of Buddhist chaplains, check out this and this. And, here's a review of a book by a Buddhist at Abu Ghraib. Tricycle ran an interview with another Buddhist at Abu Ghraib in our summer issue. [Unfortunately, the interview is behind a paywall. More »
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    Custodians of our Shared Heritage Paid Member

    The Asian Classics Input Project is working hard to locate, catalog, digitally preserve, and rapidly disseminate Tibetan and Sanskrit manuscripts. Here's a pdf describing their work. The website is cool, too. They have a lot of stuff from the Bhagavad Gita and Rig Veda in addition to loads of Buddhist material for those of us with a scholarly bent. Climate change may be changing the course of rivers in Tibet and reducing their flow, according to the China Daily (a government-controlled newspaper.) So the government of China is marginally more aware to the reality of human-caused climate change than the U.S. government. More »
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    Buddhism Caught up in India-China Rhetoric, and Boom Goes the Baht Paid Member

    More on China and India's tug-of-war over Buddhism here. I don't know why I find China's rhetoric on this issue interesting / amusing. Am I alone on this? The article says China is trying to project a Buddhist-friendly image because of Tibet: "Having destroyed Tibetan Buddhism and put in its place a state-sanctioned version of Buddhism, Beijing is making grand gestures to shore up its Buddhist credentials. It wants to soften its image for East and Southeast Asia but, more importantly, Tibet," said the official. "Hence Beijing's bonding with Buddhism." More »
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    Meditation in the Classroom; Angry Buddhas (and Buddhists) Paid Member

    Buddhism hits the mainstream this week, with the New York Times running an extensive piece about mindfulness as it is now being taught in public schools--mostly on the West Coast, unsurprisingly enough, although one program has taken root in Lancaster, PA. Asked to define mindfulness, one Oakland fifth grader replied: "Not hitting someone in the mouth." We couldn't have put it better ourselves. When embarking on multimillion dollar construction projects in Hong Kong, be careful--apparently, the Buddha has become incensed over the placement of a nearby cable car route, which, feng shui consultants warned, would disturb the tranquility of the infamous Big Buddha statue and the nearby Po Lime monastery. Thankfully, the car on which he vented his anger, tossing it 13 stories to the ground, was empty, so no precepts were broken. More »
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    Clouds over Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites Paid Member

    According to NewsPost India, Nepali Maoist are supposed to be enforcing an "indefinite shutdown" of Kapilavastu, the city where the Buddha's father, King Suddhodana, reigned. (That would be "indefinite" in terms of length of time, presumably.) I'm not sure if this includes Lumbini or other Buddhist sites in Nepal, or if there is a Kapilavastu town that is identical with the archaeological site. I don't suppose a ruin would be much worth occupying under normal circumstances, unless it had extraordinary political significance. This article mentions that you can still see "ramparts" of Suddhodana's palace which, to put it politely, strains one's credulity. (I haven't see the word "credulous" in print lately. More »
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    No to State Buddhism, Yes to Kashmiri Buddhism Paid Member

    The Thai political system, already confusing and chaotic in the aftermath of the 2006 military coup, took a dramatic turn Monday when the Constitution Drafting Committee rejected a proposal by Thai Buddhist monks to make Buddhism the official state religion. About 95% of Thais are at least nominally Buddhist, but Squadron Leader (!) Prasong Soonsiri nonetheless declared that "As for the issue of Buddhism as the state religion, Buddhism, which is the religion of the majority of Thai people, as well as (all) other religions, must be protected and promoted equally." Thailand has never established an official state religion in its 500+ year history as an independent political identity. More »