Latest Well-being Trend Sees Urbanites Seek to Reconnect with Nature
12/06/2016 15:09 (GMT+7)
The benefits of spending time in the Great Outdoors are no secret. Throughout history, great teachers, thinkers, and poets have extolled the virtues and benefits of communing with nature and maintaining a connection with the natural world. Aiming to combat the information and stress overload that all too often accompanies contemporary urban life, a new well-being movement known as “forest bathing” has become one of the fastest-growing health trends in many cities around the world.
Buddhist Monks Working to Tackle Deforestation in Cambodia
23/07/2016 09:27 (GMT+7)
Deforestation remains a major threat to Cambodia’s forests, but a group of Cambodian Buddhist monks from the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice is battling to save these forests by lobbying lawmakers to protect them and by publicly exposing illegal logging.

Moscow’s State Museum of Oriental Art Exhibiting Biggest Buddhist Art Collection in Russia
05/08/2016 15:55 (GMT+7)
The State Museum of Oriental Art (SMOA) in the heart of Moscow is exhibiting Russia’s biggest collection of Buddhist and Asian art, boasting a diverse collection from the Republic of Buryatia in the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, India, Iran, Mongolia, and Tibet. Visitors can view a unique range of artifacts and art that includes paintings, sculptures, and antiquities from the Middle Ages, such as weapons, jewellery, household items, and textiles.
“There Is Also Joy”—Mindfulness-based Dementia Care
30/12/2016 10:45 (GMT+7)
Imagine a difficult situation that many of us experience: an aging parent is beginning to forget things, to have difficulty speaking, to struggle physically, and is diagnosed with dementia. As they lose the capacity to function independently, their family begins to make decisions for them, to respond to emergencies, and to support them financially. While helping aging parents is often seen as a filial duty, dementia brings other, more tangled aspects to the relationship. For family members, the stressful role of caregiving can often lead to depression, guilt, and anxiety, diminishing the quality of life and the care that is being provided to the beloved parent.

Buddhistdoor View: Reflecting on 2016
31/12/2016 11:48 (GMT+7)
What a year it’s been—brimming with economic and political upheavals that historians will be debating furiously for decades to come! Many joke (with a hint of grim sincerity) that the world might have lost its moorings because of the string of deaths of beloved household names that punctuated 2016, from David Bowie to Muhammad Ali to Prince. There is also a growing awareness of the increasingly critical decline of the planet’s ecological health, which can only mean bad news for humanity. We are all living on borrowed time unless we take radical measures to slow such destructive trends as ocean acidification, the melting of the polar icecaps and Himalayan glaciers, and the rapidly accelerating extinction of species (at least 10,000 each year, by conservative estimates!).
The New Year Is Now
01/01/2017 11:36 (GMT+7)
The turning of the year is a natural time to pause and reflect on our lives, be it for the lunar or the Gregorian calendar. Many people prepare by cleaning or making resolutions. Some are excited about a new job or a new child, while others are living without food or shelter. But one thing holds true for everyone: none of us knows what the New Year will actually bring. The Buddha’s teaching on impermanence may seem redundant here, but I think this is the perfect time to examine it it more closely.

Where Peace Is a Living Presence: The Stupa Peace Parks of Kunzang Palyul Choling
06/01/2017 17:47 (GMT+7)
Kunzang Palyul Odsal Changchub Choling (usually shortened to Kunzang Palyul Choling or KPC), a Tibetan Buddhist center in the United States, has created two stupa peace parks—one near Washington, DC, the other in Sedona, Arizona—to provide places of pilgrimage where people of all spiritual traditions can visit, pray, and meditate to find peace and benefit for themselves and others.
Korean Nun Publishes New Book on Buddhist Cuisine to Heal Mind and Body
09/01/2017 05:24 (GMT+7)
Korean Buddhist nun Venerable Seon Jae, best known for popularizing the cuisine of Korean Buddhist temples, has released a new book titled What Do You Eat for Living? During a press briefing about the book in Seoul, in late December, Ven. Seon Jae spoke about temple food and the Buddhist culinary culture.

Drink Warm Lemon Water In The Morning For A Year
21/01/2017 07:33 (GMT+7)
Adding lemon to water not only quenches thirst better than any other beverage, but it also nourishes our body with vitamins, minerals and trace elements which we absolutely need. Lemon with water can be considered the best natural energy booster. When we wake up in the morning, our bodily tissues are dehydrated and are in need of water to push out toxins and rejuvenate the cells. In other words, this homemade “lemonade” helps eliminate internal toxins, regulating proper kidney and digestive tract functions by forcing them to work as smoothly as possible.
San Diego State University’s Buddhist Fraternity Growing Rapidly in US
23/01/2017 11:15 (GMT+7)
A Buddhist co-ed fraternity at San Diego State University (SDSU) in California, which is considered to the nation’s first, is developing quickly and getting national attention from different schools. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Delta Beta Tau, which was founded in 2015, is going to open another chapter at the University of California, San Diego or UC San Diego next year. Moreover, the Dharma Bums Buddhist Temple in downtown San Diego, which helped to form the fraternity itself, is expanding and hopes to move into an empty 1920s-era Swedenborgian Church in University Heights.

The Ugly Face of Life Release
25/01/2017 17:55 (GMT+7)
The Buddhist practice of life release (sometimes known as mercy release)—the act of saving the life of an animal that was destined for slaughter and returning it to the wild—is practiced by monastics and lay Buddhists in almost all schools of Buddhism, and is commonly viewed as an ideal way to earn spiritual merit and, through a small act of compassion, to make the world just a little bit better. However, as with many good intentions, when not practiced mindfully and with skill, it can result in far more harm than good.
Buddhistdoor View: The Case for Rebuilding the Bamiyan Buddhas to Their Original Glory
28/01/2017 15:17 (GMT+7)
After a long and difficult journey across the precipices and through the blizzards of the Tian Shan mountain ranges, Xuanzang (fl. c. 602–64) finally reached the town of Bamiyan in modern-day Afghanistan. His celebrated pilgrimage to India was one of astonishing tenacity, aided by the protection of bodhisattvas from the forces of nature, and on this leg of his journey Xuanzang arrived in a valley separating the Hindu Kush from its western extension, the Koh-i-baba. The residents of Bamiyan, according to the Chinese monk, wore furs and rough woolen clothes, and made a living growing spring wheat, flowers, and fruit, and herding cows, horses, and sheep. The people had coarse, uncultivated manners, but Xuanzang admired their simple and sincere religious faith, which they expressed by carving two colossal Buddha images into the rocky northeastern hill overlooking their settlements (a third reclining Buddha recorded in Xuanzang’s journal has yet to be found).

Study Renews Debate on Risks to Gulf Stream from Climate Change
29/01/2017 11:32 (GMT+7)
In a new study published earlier this month in the journal Science Advances, climate researchers re-examine the likelihood that the swift and powerful Gulf Stream system of currents in the Atlantic Ocean—otherwise known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)—could be affected or even collapse under the cumulative impact of climate change, leading temperatures in the northern hemisphere to drop by as much as 7°C.
Animal Lovers Knitting Winter Jumbo Jackets for Abused Elephants in Mathura, India
30/01/2017 11:27 (GMT+7)
In Mathura, India, kind-hearted villagers and animal lovers are weaving colorful sweaters (calling them jumbo jackets) for elephants at the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre, a project of Wildlife SOS 30 miles north of Agra city. As temperatures in north India drop dramatically during this month, the garments will keep warm the rescued elephants, which suffer from blindness, disabilities, or other conditions caused by their abusers’ appalling treatment.

Dharma In The Digital Age: Susan Piver
02/02/2017 21:34 (GMT+7)
“It’s not a thrill a minute. You’re not seeing auras and jumping into other dimensions,” says Susan Piver. “Meditation is not a life hack. . . . It’s a way to see clearly.”
Myanmar Buddhist Recognizes the Right of All Children to Receive an Education
04/02/2017 12:49 (GMT+7)
In Myanmar’s strife-torn Rakhine State, where ethnic and religious tensions continue to simmer and segregate the Buddhist and Muslim communities, at least one ethnic Rakhine Buddhist, a 46-year-old school teacher, is willing to bridge this tragic divide that has been defined by violence and bloodshed. Since 2014, Maung Than Shwe has been the headmaster of the Basic Education High School (BEHS) in Thet Kay Pyin village, which is attended by children from one of the state’s biggest internment camps for displaced Muslims.

Self-reflection in Kashmir
07/02/2017 17:26 (GMT+7)
The world is beset by what are often called “intractable problems.” Agitation and response seem to run in circles of escalating violence, with little apparent creativity in the attempts to resolve these issues. Perhaps it is time to take a moment to pause, to self-reflect on what it would take to change a discussion, to offer a way forward that is not merely a self-righteous rehash of the past? While I was working in the Vale of Kashmir in the summer 2016 with a 700-year-old tradition of satirical performers known as Bhand Pather, whose plays are based on Sufi poetry and social observation, these simmering tensions took a turn for the worse. Eight Indian soldiers were murdered on a bus when militants ambushed an official convoy. Several days later, Burhan Wani, a popular young militant leader, was killed in a gun battle with security personnel, unleashing years of pent-up frustration among the populations of villages in Kashmir as well as the Indian security forces. In this ongoing cycle of violence and retribution, Kashmir is, regrettably, not so unique in the world, but perhaps the world has forgotten the suffering of Kashmir?
Pristine Mountain Ecosystems Under Threat from Climate Change, Study Shows
13/02/2017 23:59 (GMT+7)
A new study from an international team of researchers indicates that climate change poses a direct threat to fragile mountain habitats, affecting both glaciers and the proliferation of high-altitude species. The international study, which examined seven of the world’s major mountain regions, which are warming twice as fast as the global average, found that higher temperatures are speeding up microbial activity, and leading to fundamental changes that could displace some plant life and dramatically alter the habitat of others.

Anam Thubten Rinpoche On Non-attachment, Being a Buddhist Gypsy, and Impermanence
14/02/2017 10:55 (GMT+7)
I truly enjoy my conversations with the quiet, authoritative Anam Thubten Rinpoche, and I was glad to learn last year that he likes coming to Hong Kong to teach. This patient and soft-spoken Nyingma master has a devoted, urbanite, and educated following in the cosmopolitan enclave. “I really enjoy being in Hong Kong and I feel that I’m learning how to teach in Hong Kong and understand more about the culture and people. The people have been wonderful, and the learning experience for me overall and sharing the Dharma has been a source of joy. The people who come to my teachings have been very sincere and intelligent, and I feel that these people really have the capacity to understand the depth of Buddhism,” he told me when we met in December.
The Fiction of the Self: Ruth Ozeki
24/02/2017 15:20 (GMT+7)
“Ultimately, all the creative arts are testaments to the foundational truths of Buddhist principles,” says Canadian-American writer Ruth Ozeki. Whether tracing the themes of interdependence and non-attachment, crafting characters who are Zen Buddhist nuns, or using her meditation practice as a springboard for new work, Ozeki has become a uniquely Buddhist voice in modern fiction.

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