• Thailand Unveils Design of Funeral Pyre for Thai King Symbolizing Mount Meru

    Thailand Unveils Design of Funeral Pyre for Thai King Symbolizing Mount Meru

    The Thai government yesterday unveiled its design for a royal funeral pyre for the king of Thailand, who passed away in October, symbolizing Mount Meru (also known as Mount Sumeru—the prefix “su” meaning excellent or wonderful), the allegorical center of the universe in Buddhist, as well as Hindu and Jain, cosmology. Construction of the pyre, which is based on designs used since the beginning of the Rattanakosin era in 1782, is scheduled to begin on 10 January and is expected to be completed by September next year.
  • Japan Seeks World Heritage Status for Country’s Oldest Buddhist Pilgrimage Route

    Japan Seeks World Heritage Status for Country’s Oldest Buddhist Pilgrimage Route

    Japan’s Shikoku region is petitioning to have a centuries-old Buddhist pilgrimage trail that includes 88 temples listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The governments of Shikoku’s four prefectures and 58 municipalities have petitioned Japan’s Cultural Affairs Agency in their application, describing the sacred trek as “our nation’s typical form of pilgrimage.” (The Japan News)
  • Buddhist Monk Inspires Hollywood Stars

    Buddhist Monk Inspires Hollywood Stars

    Venerable Gelong Thubten, a Buddhist monk of the Tibetan tradition and a mindfulness teacher based in the United Kingdom, has been actively involved in teaching mindfulness meditation at businesses, schools, and prisons for years. However, his latest students are somewhat more glamorous, including top Hollywood stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton, and other cast members of the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster Doctor Strange, which hit theaters in October.
  • 7th Century Buddha Image in Pakistan Restored Nine Years After Islamist Desecration

    7th Century Buddha Image in Pakistan Restored Nine Years After Islamist Desecration

    A beautiful Buddha image carved into a rock face at Jehanabad in a valley of Pakistan’s Swat District has been restored, nine years after being defaced by the Taliban in 2007. The restoration project was jointly conducted by Pakistan’s provincial government of Kyaber Pakhtunkhwa and the Italian Archaeological Mission. On 7 November, the team of archaeologists had finally restored the statue to an approximation of its original form.
  • Meeting with the Press before Returning to Japan

    Meeting with the Press before Returning to Japan

    Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 23 November 2016 – Before leaving for the airport this morning, His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with about 50 members of the media at his guest house. He told them he was happy with the way his ninth visit to Mongolia had gone, and that he considered it to have been a meaningful success.
  • Kathmandu’s Boudhanath Stupa Formally Reopens After Reconstruction

    Kathmandu’s Boudhanath Stupa Formally Reopens After Reconstruction

    In a moving demonstration of the resilience and resourcefulness of the people of Nepal, the Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu was formally reopened to the public on Tuesday, some 18 months after the country was devastated by a massive earthquake and a series of deadly aftershocks that killed nearly 9,000 people and displaced millions with the destruction of homes and businesses—damage that extended to hundreds of historic monasteries, temples, and monuments.
  • Thich Nhat Hanh Joins Plum Village Sangha to Open Annual Winter Retreat

    Thich Nhat Hanh Joins Plum Village Sangha to Open Annual Winter Retreat

    The renowned Zen Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh (known affectionately as Thay), joined his Plum Village community on Tuesday for the beginning of the sangha’s annual 90-day winter retreat. Plum Village expressed its happiness that Thay, who turned 90 last month, was strong enough to join the community for the opening ceremony after an extended period of ill health: “After missing two years of Winter Retreat in a row, the sangha is delighted that Thay’s health is now strong enough for him to offer his all-embracing compassionate, fearless presence to the whole community at this key moment of the year.” (Plum Village)
  • Buddhistdoor View: Rooting Out the Rot—Removing Corruption and Complacency in the Sangha

    Buddhistdoor View: Rooting Out the Rot—Removing Corruption and Complacency in the Sangha

    Institutional corruption has been a hot topic in the news of late. The seismic election of brash political outsider and controversial tycoon Donald Trump as the next president of the United States was due in large part to public revulsion at the perceived corruption within all echelons of the US political establishment. Both of the main parties have been castigated for losing touch with the American people and for looking out only for their own interests and those of their corporate lobbyists. Trump has been perhaps most divisive US presidential candidate in history, but even though his candidacy espoused many alarming, misguided, and dangerous values, to many voters he also represented the possibility of radical change that would shake up the brittle and complacent state of American politics.
  • Reconstruction of Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu Nears Completion

    Reconstruction of Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu Nears Completion

    Restoration work on Kathmandu’s iconic Boudhanath Stupa, which was among numerous historic heritage sites in Nepal to suffer serious damage during the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in April 2015, is entering its final stages. With the newly repainted eyes of the Buddha returned to their rightful place, their watchful gaze restored, the stupa is expected to reopen to the public later this month, an occasion that will be marked with a special Buddhist ceremony.
  • Do Animals Grieve?

    Do Animals Grieve?

    When a dolphin mother carries the body of her dead offspring for days, is she in mourning? When elephants hold a vigil over a deceased family member, are they also grieving? We’re all familiar with the pain and anguish of losing a loved one, but do animals share the same experience? Science has long frowned on anthropomorphizing animals, attributing human feelings and emotions to account for their behavior, however a growing body of evidence suggests that many animals do share the capacity to feel grief and sorrow, mourning the loss of loved ones as keenly as humans.
» Buddhism in VietNam
Celebrating Buddha's birthday in Vietnam
HA NOI (VNS)— The Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha (VBS) held a grand ceremony at the Ha Noi-based Quan Su Pagoda yesterday to celebrate Lord Buddha's 2557th birthday.
» Media
Secret Tibetan Book of the Dead | History Channel Documentary
Bardo Thodol: The Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State, it is often referred to in the West by the more casual title, Tibetan Book of the Dead, a name which draws a parallel with the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, another funerary text. The Tibetan text describes, and is intended to guide one through, the experiences that the consciousness has after death, during the interval between death and the next rebirth. This interval is known in Tibetan as the bardo. The text also includes chapters on the signs of death, and rituals to undertake when death is closing in, or has taken place. It is the most internationally famous and widespread work of Tibetan Nyingma literature. According to Tibetan tradition, the Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State was composed in the 8th century by Padmasambhava, written down by his primary student, Yeshe Tsogyal, buried in the Gampo hills in central Tibet and subsequently discovered by a Tibetan terton, Karma Lingpa, in the 14th century.[7][8] There were variants of the book among different sects.[9] The Tibetan Book of the Dead was first published in 1927 by Oxford University Press. Dr. Walter Y. Evans-Wentz chose this title because of the parallels he found with the Egyptian Book of the Dead.[10] The Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State is recited by Tibetan Buddhist lamas over a dying or recently deceased person, or sometimes over an effigy of the deceased. The name means literally "liberation through hearing in the intermediate state".
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