|07/12/2018 10:09 (GMT+7)|
Welcome to final installment of the Lily Pad Sutra, exploring my many years cultivating meditation practice alongside location-independence — a combination I call lily padding. True to my Mettamorphosis pen name, this column will metta-morphose into a new format in January. Before welcoming 2019, however, I wanted to satisfy the curiosity of regular readers about what happened after September’s cliff hanger — Diving (Back) Into the Pool of Life— describing cultivating equanimity with no change for a change.
|16/11/2018 18:09 (GMT+7)|
The Sun has barely opened its eye on this October morning in Myanmar, but already there’s a buzz of activity at the School for the Needy Blind as the bus pulls up into the compound. With a giggle, 15-year-old Phyo deftly dabs a light shade of pink onto her lips. She is determined to look her best for this special day. Tapping her cane along the way, she finds the steps of the bus and mounts confidently. For Phyo, and many of her excited classmates on board, this is their first International White Cane Day march in Mandalay.
|07/09/2018 17:38 (GMT+7)|
In contrast to the common belief that religion in general is antagonistic toward women, Buddhism has in many ways been women’s ally in supporting their rights and honoring them by promoting the equality of all human beings. This might be quite a difficult narrative to sell for a number of reasons, yet by looking at the early history and fundamental philosophy of Buddhism, we’ll come to understand this to be true. From its start in the Indian subcontinent, Buddhism emerged as not only a new form of spirituality, as part of the sramana movement that challenged the established religions and their clerics, but also as a spiritual and social movement bringing more equality and eradicating customs that no longer serve the wellbeing of the general populace.
|05/09/2018 11:49 (GMT+7)|
All children, regardless of race or nationality, when given equal opportunity and a conducive environment, learn fast and enjoy learning—especially when the lessons are practical and include audio and visual stimuli. By emphasizing the practicality of a lesson, the children can see the relevance of the teachings to real life and embrace what they learn.
|21/08/2018 09:41 (GMT+7)|
I am a humble Buddhist nun from Bhutan. As a young girl, it was my dream to become a nun and I am happy that my strong past karma took me to the place I wished to be and allowed me to realize this dream. I grew up as the only girl among five siblings and, at the age of 14, I left home to become a nun. Fortunately, my family supported my dream and they have continued to do so to the present day.
|16/07/2018 17:05 (GMT+7)|
While the world scrambles to offset the increasingly extreme effects of anthropogenic climate change on weather patterns, food production, ecosystems, and animal populations, the Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan last year became the first and only carbon-negative country on the planet. A living example and model that there are better, more workable approaches to economic development and sustainability, Bhutan did something every country has the power to do: it stopped destroying its environment and started protecting it.
|07/07/2018 16:21 (GMT+7)|
This Lily Pad Sutra column explores my years of combining meditation practice with location-independence, what I call lily-padding.May’s article described my own metta-morphosis whereby my meditation practice went purely metta, both as an act of self-compassion and to support my fellow meditators. And earlier columns explored the extraordinary people and animals I’ve met jumping from lily pad to lily pad. What I haven’t yet shared here is the story of the remarkable trees that lined my path.Yes, trees.
|19/06/2018 11:41 (GMT+7)|
Prince Siddhartha left the cloistered world of his palace home to wander in search of truth. His father had striven to shield him from the four aspects of suffering (Skt: duhkha), namely, birth, illness, aging, and death, that form the basis of the First Noble Truth of Buddhism.
|11/06/2018 12:29 (GMT+7)|
Buddhist women—lay and monastic alike—make up half of the Fourfold Sangha. Naturally, they too should benefit from equal access to all Buddhist institutions, but the painful truth is that this ideal has not always been realized throughout history, and even today women continue to be underrepresented and denied rights and respect.
|07/06/2018 14:33 (GMT+7)|
With a new law coming into effect later this month, Buddhist Temples across Japan will be able to rent out their spare rooms to tourists, opening up opportunities for temple stays across the country and allowing them to tap into Japan’s tourism boom.
|17/05/2018 16:59 (GMT+7)|
Rather than being a far-fetched ideal, the implementation of Buddhist ethics in the business world is increasingly becoming a reality in our interconnected global society. Bhutan’s concept of the Gross National Happiness, for example, has received much publicity for providing alternative ways of thinking about and measuring economic progress and growth.
|06/05/2018 21:41 (GMT+7)|
Twelve years ago, as part of Core of Culture’s dance research and documentation of ritual dances in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, we brought with us Mike Borre, a 45-year-old American man, to meet six traditional healers over the course of a month. Several of these healers used dance, or were connected with ancient dance lineages. More generally, there is a movement continuum between dance, martial arts, meditation, massage, sound, and healing—whether a two-man Ayruvedic massage rippling non-stop from wrist to ankle, or the conferring of power from a reincarnated master of an ancient lineage of visionary dances, movement is a means of transformation. Healing processes use movement as a gateway to other dimensions of the self where change can occur.
|02/05/2018 16:03 (GMT+7)|
The Buddha’s First Noble Truth is hard to argue with no matter what your religious beliefs are. It states that life is full of suffering. It is certainly hard to escape the poverty, violence, war, starvation, health crises, and ecological disasters occurring in the world today. Everyone—the poor, the rich, the left, the right, the sick, and the healthy—faces some level of day-to-day stress and strain. Living is commonly understood to be a struggle, a battle that must be fought in a slow onward march toward old age and death.
|11/04/2018 12:22 (GMT+7)|
Buddhism and astrology might seem to be unrelated fields. Buddhism affords a set of teachings intended to liberate us from cycles of rebirths, while astrology concerns itself with how human activities are affected by the planets. However, astrology appears in Buddhist texts and practices throughout history. Jeffrey Kotyk is one of the few scholars who specializes in this subject. His doctoral thesis at Leiden University in the Netherlands was on “Buddhist Astrology and Astral Magic in the Tang Dynasty” (funded by the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and the BDK Canada Fellowship). Originally from Canada, Kotyk completed his MA in Buddhist studies at Komazawa University in Japan. Presently, he is a visiting researcher at the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities (Friedrich-Alexander-Universität) in Germany. In this interview, he elucidates the connections between the two equally fascinating worlds of Buddhism and astrology.
|27/03/2018 15:34 (GMT+7)|
In the Buddhist tradition, dakinis are worshiped as female emanations of wisdom that hold the key to the esoteric knowledge of Vajrayana Buddhism and reveal the path to complete freedom. They inspire and assist practitioners on the spiritual path and manifest in different forms beyond time and space. In Tibetan they are referred to as khandroma, which means “she who walks in space,” referring to the fundamental wisdom of emptiness, which is considered a female principle.
|20/02/2018 19:10 (GMT+7)|
Buddhists across the globe have gathered to mark the Lunar New Year in recent days, from Hong Kong to Houston, and Sydney to Singapore, festivities and Buddhist rituals were observed and shared across Chinese, Korean, Tibetan, and Vietnamese communities, and more.
|10/02/2018 18:47 (GMT+7)|
“I’m not a cancer survivor,” is one of the first things Johanne Lauktien feels compelled to tell me, because she teaches remedial yoga for cancer patients and survivors. This often emotionally challenging career has been her calling for the past few years, during which she went on a multifaceted spiritual journey and emerged a changed person. Her Instagram account, as well as her Facebook page, reveal a holistic health instructor passionate about engaging with life fully.
|08/02/2018 16:11 (GMT+7)|
HONG KONG—The Civil Affairs Bureau of Taichung City in western Taiwan has launched a “Card of a Fulfilled Life” as part of an initiative to promote environmentally friendly funerals and to encourage funeral autonomy—enabling people to express funerary preferences that may differ from traditional expectations.
|07/02/2018 11:02 (GMT+7)|
Chop the greens super-fine to achieve the prettiest color. Use whatever looks best in the market (spinach and chard are brightest when it comes to color), or you can use bagged baby spinach. You only need 1/2 cup of chopped greens, but you could use twice that amount.
|06/02/2018 20:23 (GMT+7)|
Gorgeous glazed shiitake mushrooms and tender green bok choy sparked with ginger, sesame and hot pepper work beautifully against more staid flavors, so consider serving them next to a traditional roast chicken or turkey. They also are delicious draped over a pile of rice.