Buddhism

  • Buddhist chess king hosts extraterrestrials Paid Member

    Chess is compulsory at schools in Kalmykia, the Russian Federation's only Buddhist republic. The republic's millionaire chess fanatic president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov (pictured here in 2006 with World Juniors Champion Zaven Andriasian), is also president of the the World Chess Federation, the most prestigious organization of its kind. But maybe not for much longer: chess great Anatoly Karpov wants Ilyumzhinov's position when the latter's mandate expires in September. According to Stuart Williams writing for AFP, both are now engaged in "a struggle which has become a bitter test of guile and stamina reminiscent of famous battles on the board." But the charismatic Ilyumzhinov may be able to call on extraterrestrial support: More »
  • Whose Buddhism is best? Paid Member

    It depends on who you ask. Each school has taken time to assert its superiority by virtue of its "authenticity." In the last issue, Tricycle editor-at-large Andrew Cooper took a historical look at such claims: Traditionally in Buddhism, for a school or doctrine to be regarded as authentic, it must be traceable back to the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. Most often this has been done through scripture: schools or movements based themselves on particular texts said to be the Buddha’s teachings. This was seldom only a matter of establishing legitimacy; it was usually tied as well to sectarian polemics about superiority. More »
  • Extraordinary Imperfection Paid Member

    ‘I don’t believe in religion.’ So goes the response to my reluctant confession that I teach about religion for a living (obviously a religious nut). Yet, when I drop in that I teach about Buddhism, the tone changes. ‘But Buddhism’s not really a religion is it? More a way of life?’ While in some ways it comes as a relief that my cherished spiritual principles are not dismissed as so much garbage, if not positively harmful, it puzzles me that Buddhism should escape the wrath of the anti-religious zealot. Is it so anodyne as to cause no one offence? Are Buddhists so accommodating that they bend whichever way the wind blows? Or is it simply that the general perception of Buddhism is so rose-tinted and exoticized that it cheerfully resists the all-too-mundane reality? There is no doubt that in general Buddhism has a very positive press in the Western media. More »
  • Rudd and Hu; Buddhism and Gender Paid Member

    Buddhism and gender, from the Lehigh University newspaper. Plus, an account of Tibetan Buddhism from the Chinese media and the story of a Tibetan refugee in Salt Lake City. Hu Jintao and Kevin Rudd of Australia are having an interesting back and forth over the Tibet issue: President Hu Jintao made a terrific speech at the opening of the Boao Forum on Hainan island that Rudd attended. More »
  • The Buddhist Cellphone Paid Member

    Not sure why it's gold-plated, exactly. And it's available only in China. The best religious cell phone in the world is made for Buddhists. This highly modified and rare Nokia N70 is currently available only in China. Like other religious cell phones, the Buddhist phone has Buddhist ring tones, software and other trappings. What sets this phone apart from the pack is the sheer beauty and detail of the customization. More »
  • Japanese temple backs out of route Paid Member

    Thanks to Marcus for pointing this one out: A Japanese Buddhist temple has removed itself from the torch's route. Japan and China continue to disagree over whether Tibet is an international issue or just a domestic issue of China's. Edward Gomez notes the rhetoric is running high: China stoked the nationalist fires and is now trying to temper its citizens call for boycotts of products from countries where the torch relay has run into trouble. More »