Politics

  • Buddha Buzz: Excessive Consumerism, the Templeton Prize, and Everything In Between Paid Member

    Being the writer of Buddha Buzz blog posts certainly has its advantages. For one, I get to spend my time reading and writing about subjects that are important to me. But the main advantage by far is that during the time I spend scouring the Internet each week for Buddhist-related news, I'm often (or so I like to think) one of the first people to be alerted when something really, really awesome—and Buddhist—goes on sale. Like this $28.5 million yacht. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Rude Buddhas and Undertaker Bodhisattvas Paid Member

    First off, some follow-up on past Buddha Buzz items: Remember the three Tibetan hunger strikers in New York? They were paid a visit by "Tibet's best friend" (the words of Tsewang Rigzin, president of the NYC Tibetan Youth Congress, not mine), actor Richard Gere last week. And this Tuesday, U.N. Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic, invited Rigzin to his offices, where the two discussed the hunger strikers' requests, the Huffington Post reports. Looks like they are making some progress! More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Big Business Buddhism Paid Member

    China has finally broken its silence about the recent Tibetan immolations, releasing several official statements. But considering that these statements are by and large depressing—one made by a Communist Party secretary in the Miami Herald was that "public complaints about cultural repression do not exist. On the contrary, Tibetan culture is flourishing"—it seems like a better idea to ignore all of these "official" statements and instead enjoy this interesting interview with Ran Yunfei on the New York Review of Books blog. Yunfei is a Chinese intellectual and popular Tweeter who was released from house arrest last month after running afoul of the Chinese government. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: A Blond Dalai Lama? Paid Member

    Does anyone remember when Hungary withdrew official recognition for all religious organizations in the country except 14? Well, good news. They've added 18 more, 5 Buddhist groups among them. Of course, that still leaves over two hundred religious sects that aren't recognized, but at least Hungary is acknowledging that Buddhism (and Islam, and Jehovah's witnesses, apparently) exists within its borders. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Buddhist History in Danger Paid Member

    Sad news from the Maldives this week, an islands-nation that lies southwest of India. The Maldives, though now strictly Islamic, was Buddhist until the 12th century. In recent political turmoil, during which the first democratically elected president in the country's history resigned (he says he was forced to), six men entered the National Museum and smashed almost 30 Buddhist statues, some of which were over 1,500 years old. A New York Times article reports on the loss:   More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Burma, Uganda, and a Rare Genetic Mutation Unleashed Paid Member

    A few weeks ago on the Tricycle blog we featured the guest post Burma in 2012: A Political Report Card, by Deborah Weinberg. The post spoke of freedom, hope, and progressiveness, but Weinberg expressed enough skepticism of Burma's government to end with the line, "We’ll find out in the coming months if the progress is real and a genuine road to freedom."  It was cheering, then, to read this piece of news from yesterday: Monastic Council Restores Status of Released Monks. From the article: The official body that governs Buddhist monastic affairs in Burma has restored the status of three monks who were released from prison last month after serving more than four years behind bars for their involvement in the 2007 Saffron Revolution. More »