Politics

  • Urgency in Burma Paid Member

    Our friend Allan Badiner sends along the following, a guest blogpost from a campaigner for the US Campaign for Burma named Patrick Cook-Deegan.   Each day for the past seven years, Burma’s imprisoned Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi started her morning by practicing meditation alone in her dilapidated house in Rangoon. But last month, Suu Kyi’s schedule changed markedly when she was freed from house arrest after seven and a half continuous years of detention. As she walked out to the gate of her home, she smiled at the thousands of followers who had flocked to her house to show their support. As she addressed them, she promised to continue Burma’s “non-violent revolution.”For Free Burma campaigners like myself, it brought tears to our eyes to see “The Lady” back where she belongs: amidst the people of Burma. Usually even the roads to reach her house are blocked by soldiers—I witnessed that first-hand this past summer in Rangoon. In fact, this is the first time I have seen Suu Kyi free since becoming a part of the Burma solidarity movement four years ago.I first got involved in Burma after going on a solo bicycle trip 1,000 miles through the country in the summer of 2006. During my month long trip, I was frequently followed by Burma’s military police, and I played the good tourist most of the time to prevent endangering the locals around me. But there were times I could slip away from my followers and find Burmese people who were willing to tell me about their lives. Often I ended up at monasteries talking with monks. Many of Burma’s younger monks are politically active and eager to talk to foreigners. In Mandalay, I spent a few days befriending one young monk named U Zwingar. We were about the same age—21—and we shared many of the same values. I had just completed my first 10-day mediation sit and I was interested in learning more about Buddhism. And we were both interested in politics. More »
  • The Dalai Lama wants to step down from his political role but keep his religious one Paid Member

    The Tibetan parliament-in-exile next meets in March in Dharamsala, and the Dalai Lama is expected to announce his desire to resign from his political duties as head of the Tibetan government while retaining his religious ones at that time. (In religious terms, the Dalai Lama is not the highest-ranking lama in Tibetan Buddhism, nor is he even the head of the Gelugpa school of which he is a part. That responsibility falls to the Ganden Tripa.) More »
  • Buddhists in the House Paid Member

    Did you know that Hawaii's membership in the House of Representatives in 2011 will be 100% Buddhist? There are two House members from the Aloha State: Democrat Mazie Hirono and newly elected Colleen Hanabusa, also a Democrat and currently president of Hawaii's Senate. Hanabusa defeated Republican Charles Djou to win the seat representing the 1st district, which covers urban Honolulu, while Hirono represents the 2nd district, which covers suburban Honolulu and the rest of the islands. Both are of Japanese heritage and Wikipedia names both women as Shin Buddhists. More »
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    100+ Western Buddhist teachers sign letter to President Obama Paid Member

      Over 100 Western Buddhist teachers have joined together and signed a letter to President Obama "imploring [him] to repudiate the results" of the upcoming "sham" elections in Burma. The letter reads: More »
  • Thousands of Tibetan students protest China's plan to use only Mandarin in Tibetan schools Paid Member

    Thousands of Tibetan students in western China are protesting against a proposed plan to eliminate or curb the use of Tibetan in schools. The plan advocates switching to Mandarin, China's official language. Via the New York Times: The protests are among the largest in Tibetan areas since the March 2008 uprising that began in Lhasa and spread across the Tibetan plateau. But unlike those protests, these have been peaceful and have involved mostly students. A protest against the proposed policies was also held in Beijing on Friday afternoon, drawing hundreds of Tibetan students at a prominent university that specializes in teaching ethnic minorities, according to witness reports and photographs. More »
  • Buddhist History for Buddhist Practitioners Part 2: History and Authority Paid Member

    At the Tricycle Community, we're hosting a discussion on Andrew Cooper's Tricycle article "History and Authority." (This was the working title of the article that was published as "What the Buddha Taught?") We've posted quite a few controversial articles in our day, and this one really hits a lot of key points to make the serious practitioner think about his or her tradition. Cooper writes that though we tend to think of religions being eternal and unchanging, the opposite is true: More »