• What's What in a Wat: Thai Buddhist Temples Paid Member

    I've never been to Thailand, but I've been to a few wats [Thai Buddhist temple]. Whether In Bodh Gaya, Lumbini, or LA—all places with Buddhist temples from all over the world—I've been especially taken by the elaborate, colorful structures that represent Thailand (actually the Thai temple in Lumbini is completely white in honor of the Buddha's birth, but it's equally impressive). However, the spiritual nourishment I've drawn from these places has nothing to do with my (in)ability to read them—I knew nothing about the function of a luk nimit (sacred stone ball), for example—but was simply a gift of their beauty. More »
  • Dinosaurs in Thailand Paid Member

    On Monday the Science section of the New York Times published "Old Bones Yield a New Age of Dinosaurs in Thailand," an article that reveals Thailand’s rich prehistoric past. According to the Times, Thailand was “teeming” with dinosaurs starting around 200 million years ago. Now, during periods of heavy rain, giant dinosaur bones wash ashore in the remote region of Baan Na Kum. For many years, residents were unsure of what to do with the ancient bones. So where did the prehistoric bones end up? Some were kept in local Buddhist temples: For years, farmers did not know what they were or what to do with them. The superstitious buried them. Others brought them to Buddhist temples, where monks collected them alongside artifacts and other curios. More »
  • Termite "Buddha" draws thousands Paid Member

    Thousands of Vietnamese have flocked to a rubber farm in the southern Binh Duong province of Vietnam to see the work of a group of very unusual sculptors---termites. The insects have created a nest that vaguely resembles the Buddha sitting in meditation posture. Via 'Police and local authorities asked them to leave but others keep coming,' Vo Van Cuong, of the Rubber Company of Ben Cat, said. He said thousands of people from southern Binh Duong province and neighbouring areas had rushed to the forest site. The 40cm tall nest resembles Buddha sitting in meditation, Dantri International news website reported. More »
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    More Sad News from southern Thailand Paid Member

    A Buddhist family was targeted in the village of Narathiwat. With all the chaos in Bangkok, it's no wonder figuring out the mess in southern Thailand doesn't top the national agenda. More »
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    Buddhists Protest Christian Government Bias in Korea Paid Member

    Protesters call on the government to resign in Bangkok. They call the current leader, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, a puppet of former P.M. Thaksin Shinawatra. There's more displeasure with the government in Korea, where Buddhists accuse President Lee Myung-bak of Christian bias. Mr. More »
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    China Reiterates Pledge to Limit Internet Access During Games Paid Member

    China is angry that President Bush met with Chinese dissidents at the White House and accuses the U.S. of politicizing the Olympic Games. China reiterated they would limit internet access during the Games as well: The Chinese authorities also remained resolute about their decision to maintain a firewall on the Internet and limit access for journalists covering the Olympics. More »