Politics

  • Buddha Buzz: Chinese Policing Tibetan Areas Suffer from PTSD Paid Member

    France24 reporter Cyril Payen recently brought new interviews and images out of Tibet that reveal a dire human rights situation resembling “an Orwellian world of surveillance.” Nicholas Bequelin with Human Rights Watch contends that "the situation in Tibet is as bad as it's ever been," adding that "Chinese police forces are now running what could be called a major counter-insurgency operation in Lhasa." The problem, says Bequelin, is that there is no real insurgency in Tibet. And with the visible increase of surveillance, the emergence of one is unlikely. More »
  • Consider the Source: Why did Zen monks live in caves? Paid Member

    While Zen monks did live in caves in part to find refuge from the elements, there’s more to the story than just avoiding thunderstorms—they were also hiding out from the government. Ancient Chinese kings were loath to let too many “home-leavers” skip out on paying taxes, serving in the army, growing food, or having children—the activities needed for a country to survive and for kings to live in style. The king viewed monks who claimed exemption from these activities just because they wanted to practice meditation as deadbeats or brigands. Monks who were caught were defrocked or worse. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Marijuana-filled Buddhas, HHDL speak out on Burma, and some good ol' Buddhist Americana Paid Member

    Earlier this week US Customs and Border Protection officials seized nearly 600 lbs of pot inside a shipment of Buddha statues and other religious figurines. Officials at the El Paso US-Mexico crossing discovered the narcotics—and an alternate explanation for the Buddha's contented grin—with the help of an irreverent, drug-sniffing dog. No arrests have been made. More »
  • Buddha Buzz: Sex Tape and the Sangha Paid Member

    In Lowell, Massachusetts, a sex-tape scandal involves neither unscrupulous celebrities nor hapless victims of disgruntled exes, but a Buddhist temple, a monk, and a community organizer with some shady finances. The city's Cambodian community has been rocked by the recording of prominent community leader Maya Men having sex with a monk—in a temple. Both Men and the monk, Ven. Nhem Kimteng, were part of an executive committee responsible for fundraising and overseeing the construction of a new $10 million temple, thus involving the area's sizable Cambodian community, which settled in Lowell in the 1970s following the Khmer Rouge-led genocide in Cambodia. The committee was already mired in controversy with accusations of suspicious finances and a lack of transparency. More »
  • Treasury of Lives: Gendun Chopel Paid Member

    Biography and autobiography in Tibet are important sources for both education and inspiration. Tibetans have kept such meticulous records of their teachers that thousands of names are known and discussed in a wide range of biographical material. All these names, all these lives—it can be a little overwhelming. The authors involved in the Treasury of Lives are currently mining the primary sources to provide English-language biographies of every known religious teacher from Tibet and the Himalaya, all of which are organized for easy searching and browsing. Every Tuesday on the Tricycle blog, we will highlight and reflect on important, interesting, eccentric, surprising and beautiful stories found within this rich literary tradition. Gendun Chopel More »
  • Buddha Buzz: The Mindful Lifestyle Movement and "Insta-Karma" Paid Member

    Over at Maclean's Anne Kingston surveys the world of corporate mindfulness and the Buddhist reaction. "What has gripped Western attention," writes Kingston, "is mindfulness's ability to improve performance—of Olympic athletes, parents, and even nations, as promised in U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan’s 2012 bestseller, Mindful Nation." Mindfulness: the panacea to all our personal and societal ills. Tech entrepreneurs, corporations (benevolent and evil), publishers (Buddhist and non-Buddhist), and life-coaches of all stripes have been quick to capitalize on the "mindful" vogue. More »