Reviving a Vietnamese Family Tradition – The Trantien Foundation
15/09/2017 17:09 (GMT+7)
In a remote village in Hue, central Vietnam, Ha Len’s parents only wish was for their daughter to have surgery for her cleft palate so that she could look like the other children. But it is something they could never afford. And even if Ha Len received the surgery, they knew that she might not live long anyway—by some cruel twist of fate, in addition to a completely cleft lip and palate, Ha Len was born with a congenital malformation of the heart known as Tetralogy of Fallot that left her heart with four anatomical abnormalities that hindered the normal flow of blood to the lungs, resulting in a blue tint to the skin and lips. Although a palliative shunting procedure was performed when she was very young, Ha Len still had “blue lips,” but because of the severity of her conditions, even charity surgical teams from Europe and the United States had declined to attempt a permanent surgical correction of her heart.
Refuge Recovery Groups in the US Use Mindfulness and Meditation to Fight Addiction
13/09/2017 09:25 (GMT+7)
While many people have expressed concerns about fighting addiction with medication and counseling, Noah Levine, “a tattooed, gold-toothed, punk-loving Buddhist from Santa Cruz” and counterculture Buddhist teacher, has introduced an alternative approach to combating addiction that draws on the Buddhist practices of mindfulness and meditation. His approach, called Refuge Recovery, is gaining ground in the United States (and in other countries), with centers across the nation, albeit in a strictly non-theistic form. (Valley News)

Walk with Me – Insight on Managing Sustainability from Buddhist Teachings
11/09/2017 15:27 (GMT+7)
When it comes to drawing inspiration from the Buddhist teachings for management practices, one monastic scholar half-jokingly argued that every entrepreneur should learn from the Buddha. Why? Because there is no corporation in history that can compete with the 2,500-year tenure of the Buddha, with the same global presence and branches on every continent. The teachings, vision, and mission of the Buddha have been passed on from generation to generation, and many practitioners (successors of the Buddha) have had to overcome unbearable hardships and challenges to continue this legacy, especially when they venture out into new grounds. The Buddhist teachings attempt to adapt themselves to local circumstances and lifestyles, without losing sight of the core principles and values. It offers a very inspiring localised and customized solution by which the Buddha’s legacy is adjusted to meet human needs.
Buddhism-inspired Primary School in Thailand is Made Entirely from Earth and Bamboo
08/09/2017 12:00 (GMT+7)
Panyaden International School in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, is constructed entirely out of earth and bamboo. The inspiration behind the school's buildings is drawn from nature, and the earth-and-bamboo structures are designed with a profound respect for nature and the Buddhist values that also inform the curriculum of the school.

Using the Everyday to Reflect on the Profound
05/09/2017 11:53 (GMT+7)
I have recently been preoccupied with the notion of identity. I confess, however, that my reflections were not inspired by a sutra or a commentary by a Chan patriarch. Instead, as a writer for Buddhistdoor Global, I had left some thoughts about two Hong Kong films on our Tea House blog,* that unwittingly reveal something about the unreality of identity, through the radically different scripted personalities of the protagonist, who features in both films. The story goes that actor Tony Leung noticed that the personality of Chow Mo-wan, the main character, had changed so radically between films that it was hard to recognize that he was playing the same person. In response, he asked director Wong Kar-wai if he could grow a mustache so he could concentrate on the role of what he felt was a different character altogether.
Journeying Across Shikoku: The Shikoku Pilgrimage
28/08/2017 12:33 (GMT+7)
Japan is the land of the rising sun and hopelessly polite people. On the surface, it appears to be a secular country, but if one looks closely one finds the citizens to be surprisingly spiritual. This spirituality is influenced by both Buddhism—brought to the court of Emperor Kinmei by a Korean mission (c. 552)—and Shintoism, the indigenous religion of Japan.

Perception and Reaction – Embracing Hard Truths
14/08/2017 11:36 (GMT+7)
It’s often interesting to watch one’s own ego in action. I recently had a discussion with a couple of friends on life’s purpose and the value we place on the things we hope to accomplish.
Building Bridges: Researching the Efficacy of Religious Buddhist Practice at the University of Hong Kong
09/08/2017 12:08 (GMT+7)
Recent years have seen a steady increase in scientific research into Buddhist beliefs and practices, in particular, research on mindfulness, which was pioneered more than 30 year ago, continues to attract mainstream attention. The large majority of this research, however, is conducted by Western researchers or Western Buddhists at universities in the West, and one starts to wonder whether the pursuit of finding scientific evidence for Buddhism’s religious claims is in fact a Western pursuit. It certainly ties in with the often-discussed observation of Tibetan masters who have taught in the West, that Western Buddhist are very good with knowledge, with trying to understand the teachings, but are somewhat lacking in the area of practice.

Sowing the Seeds of Metta to Dissolve Fears of the Unknown
07/08/2017 11:32 (GMT+7)
Last month, I introduced the overall concept of lily padding as a combination of location-independence and letting the Dharma take the lead. During my seven years of jumping from lily pad to lily pad, I have found that it is during house-sitting that the Dharma has the most to teach.  The first article in this series* described how tonglen breathing can help to dissolve the collective fears that surface when strangers hand over their home and pets to me. But what happens once the door closes and I become the keeper of a new temple-of-sorts?
Wisdom is Light: An Interview with Venerable Master Miaojiang
06/08/2017 15:42 (GMT+7)
My previous article focused on the Great Sage Monastery of Bamboo Grove on Mount Wutai and its abbot, Venerable Master Miaojiang, director of the Buddhist Association of Shanxi Province and deputy director of the Buddhist Association of China. I had an opportunity to sit down with Venerable Miaojiang for an in-depth interview in which he not only shared his views on the Buddhist Association of China, Mount Wutai, and Manjusri’s wisdom, but also revealed much of his personal experience, his childhood, and the masters that helped shape who he is today.

From Buddhist Monk to Merrill Lynch Chairman, the story of Michael Dobbs-Higginson
05/08/2017 11:10 (GMT+7)
Michael Dobbs-Higginson, ordained as a lay Buddhist monk in Japan at age 22 and erstwhile Merrill Lynch chairman, shares his unique life story in his new memoir A Raindrop in the Ocean: The Life of a Global Adventurer. The most fundamental period of his life was his stay at a Buddhist monastery on a mountain in Japan, where he battled hardship to find untapped reserves of resilience that would last him a lifetime.
Climate Change in the Himalayas Signals Drought for the “Highest Village in the World”
03/08/2017 18:42 (GMT+7)
Lying at an elevation of 4,587 meters, the Himalayan village of Komik in India’s mountainous far north is no doubt justified in laying claim to be the world’s highest village accessible by a motorable road. Yet, isolated as it is, even this remote settlement is not immune to the growing impact of climate change, which is having a profound effect on the village’s way of life and, on a larger scale, the fragile ecosystems of the Himalayas, sometimes known as the world’s “third pole.”

Buddhist Temples Made from Recycled Glass Bottles
02/08/2017 11:01 (GMT+7)
Two Buddhist temples, Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew in Thailand and Wat Charok Padang in Malaysia, are constructed completely out of glass bottles and due to their unique aesthetic characteristics, have become popular tourist destinations as well as unique examples of recycling waste. 
The Cambodian School that was Built from Garbage
01/08/2017 15:55 (GMT+7)
When it seems that the entire world is steadily being buried beneath a growing mountain of refuse, one resourceful man in Buddhist-majority Cambodia has taken matters into his own hands, building an entire school out of discarded waste materials. 

The Daily Practice of a Modern Chinese Buddhist Nun: Becoming a Nun and the Practice of Amitabha Recitation
28/07/2017 11:21 (GMT+7)
I did not have an opportunity to learn about Buddhism until 1993, during my second year of graduate school in the United States. I remember that on the last day of our finals for that year, I told myself that I needed to make a decision on how I was going to continue my graduate studies. I felt mistreated by my advisor and I didn’t think I could go through it to finish my graduate studies. I therefore had a choice: change advisor or quit school.
Seamless Stitches: From Emptiness, Springs Form – Helene Rein's Crafted Works
14/06/2017 11:09 (GMT+7)
A long-time Vajrayana Buddhist practitioner, Helene Rein moves seamlessly between contemplation and immersion in the natural environment of tactile crafts. As a child growing up in Norway, Helene created homemade gifts, such as embroidery, cross-stitched pillows, lavender sachets, and wall-hangings. Her mother embroidered all the flowers and designs on her bunad, a traditional Norwegian costume. She attended the Waldorf High School in Stavanger which helped deepen her experience of making things by hand. Helene’s Buddhist meditation teacher Lama Padma Drimed Norbu, also likes making things. Helene says he exemplifies making practical items that are pleasing and functional as a practice, and they both enjoy arranging beautiful objects in unusual ways, from small offerings to large retreat spaces.

Dutch Entrepreneur Plans Radical Clean-up of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
22/05/2017 15:49 (GMT+7)
The notorious Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an ugly reminder of humanity’s willful neglect of the natural environment, is big. Really big. Estimates of its extent range from the size of Texas to greater than the entire continental United States. Yet a resourceful entrepreneur from the Netherlands, 22-year-old Boyan Slat, is confident that he can halve the amount of plastic waste floating in the Pacific in as little five years using an innovative modular system that is poised to launch sooner than expected.
New Buddhist Shrine in Hebei Emphasizes Harmony Between Humanity and Nature
21/05/2017 19:12 (GMT+7)
A newly built Buddhist shrine in the city of Tangshan in China’s Hebei Province uses modern architecture and a combination of concrete and natural materials to merge the building with its surroundings. Built inside a hill and hardly visible from the outside, the shrine evokes a sense of calm and serenity.

Tibetan Buddhist Monk Offers Drug-free Medical Treatment in Northern India
17/05/2017 15:47 (GMT+7)
Yeshi Dhonden, a Tibetan monk who earned renown after working for some 20 years as personal physician to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, today continues draws visitors from the Tibetan diaspora and all over the world seeking alternative treatments for a variety of health conditions ranging from back pain to cancer and degenerative diseases. “If the sick come to me, I will take care of them,” says Dhonden from his private clinic in McLeod Ganj, a suburb of Dharamsala in the far northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. (France 24)
New “Ecodharma” Retreat Center to Open in Colorado in June
17/05/2017 15:34 (GMT+7)
HELENA, Montana—The well-known Buddhist author and teacher David Loy made the following announcement last week: “I'm pleased to inform everyone that the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center (RMERC) will be officially purchased early next month, and that retreats will begin later that month.” 

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