Sacred Lotus Flowers in Thailand Blossom for the First Time in a Decade
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For the first time in 10 years, a wetland nature reserve in Thailand has exploded into a sea of color as tens of thousands of sacred lotus flowers spread across its surface have blossomed into a spectacular expanse of pink and green.
Religious Leaders Urge G7 Environment Ministers to Protect the Planet
19/06/2017 17:20 (GMT+7)
In a joint statement, released on 9 June at an interfaith dialogue held in Bologna, Italy, religious leaders representing Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim communities called on the G7 environment ministers to protect our planet. As part of their call to action, they agreed to work together to overcome conflicts for the common goal of protecting the environment and the planet we call our home.  

Buddhistdoor View: Opportunity and Encouragement in the Midst of Trump’s Climate Change Skepticism
18/06/2017 22:43 (GMT+7)
Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the 2016 Paris climate accord was not particularly surprising. The gesture, made to prove a point to his right-wing base and other countries, is disappointing and reflects poorly on Trump, especially so since he was a signatory to an open letter in The New York Times in 2009 urging his predecessor Barack Obama to pass legislation restricting greenhouse-gas emissions! Many in the US, including multinational corporations that discouraged withdrawal from the accord, are understandably disheartened by his odd reasons for abdicating American responsibility.* Other countries, such as China, France, and Germany, have voiced disappointment at Trump’s environmental shortsightedness.
The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies Awards 26 Scholars and Institutions
16/06/2017 11:27 (GMT+7)
(15 June 2017 – Hong Kong) The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation announced today the selection of 26 scholars and institutions for grants under The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies, an award scheme open to applications worldwide.

Buddhist Monastery in Bangladesh Serves Iftar to Muslims During Ramadan
13/06/2017 21:08 (GMT+7)
Despite long-standing tensions between Buddhist and Muslim communities in many parts of Bangladesh, Dharmarajika Monastery, a Buddhist temple in the capital Dhaka, has since 2013 been serving iftar—the evening meal with which Muslims break their fast during Ramadan—to underpriviliged Muslims in the local community.
Tears and Unity at Multi-faith Vigil for Victims of London Terror Attack
12/06/2017 10:52 (GMT+7)
LONDON—A riverside vigil in the British capital on Monday to honor the victims of the London Bridge terror attack stood as a moving testament to unity and a powerful statement of the diversity embraced by Britian’s open society. Buddhist monks stood alongside Muslim clerics, Jewish and Christian leaders, and representatives of communities from all segments of London society to remember those who lost their lives just two days earlier.

Nuns in the Tibetan Tradition: Latest Developments and Future Prospects
06/06/2017 13:18 (GMT+7)
The issue of women’s empowerment in Tibetan Buddhism, especially for nuns, has been tenaciously resisted and debated about for almost 50 years. At the center the debate, we can find two closely intertwined issues: access for women to the highest level of Buddhist education—the geshema degree—and the restoration of full monastic ordination—gelongma or bhikshuni ordination.
Happiness, Expectations, and Learning to be Losers: An Interview with Ajahn Brahm
05/06/2017 10:29 (GMT+7)
Buddhistdoor Global recently had an opportunity to sit down for an interview with Ajahn Brahm, abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery near the Australian city of Perth, and spiritual director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. Born in London in 1951, Ajahn Brahm completed a degree in Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University. After graduation, he taught at a high school for a year, before travelling to Thailand to ordain as a theravada monk under Ajahn Chah. Now a monastic of more than 40 years’ experience, Ajahn Brahm has written several bestsellers on mindfulness and meditation, and has given talks at the United Nations as well as the headquarters of Google and Facebook. In March, Ajahn Brahm was in Hong Kong to give a series of talks on “How to Live Happily Every Day.” With the subject of his presentation in mind, our conversation soon turned to the topic of happiness.

Mindfulness Continues to Rise in the West, but not Without Critics
02/06/2017 11:30 (GMT+7)
SEATTLE, Washington—Mindfulness, a practice derived from Buddhism that is sweeping across North America, is becoming increasingly mainstream in much of the Western world, receiving widespread attention in the media and among people from all walks of life. Yet, while its efficacy is widely recognized, not all those working in this field are comfortable with some expressions of mindfulness in the growing movement to secularize the practice.
Humanistic Buddhism in Australia and Beyond: An Interview with Venerable Dr. Juewei
01/06/2017 10:18 (GMT+7)
As an active member of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist order, Venerable Dr. Juewei (覺瑋) is a lecturer of Applied Buddhist Studies and the director of the Humanistic Buddhism Centre at Nan Tien Institute (NTI) in Australia—the only institute of higher education in Australasia that bases its educational philosophy on Buddhist values and wisdom. In addition to Buddhist Studies, Ven. Dr. Juewei obtained postgraduate degrees ranging from Computer Science, Business Administration, to Future Studies. With her diverse academic and professional background, she has been effectively employing technology and social media to spread the Dharma. In this interview, Ven. Dr. Juewei shares her inspiring thoughts and adventures with loving-kindness.

14th Century Scripture Discovered Inside Korean Buddha Statue
31/05/2017 14:26 (GMT+7)
A Goryeo-era Buddhist scripture believed to date to the 14th century has been discovered concealed within the head of a Buddha statue at a Buddhist temple in Korea. The Research Institute of Buddhist Cultural Heritage said the ancient document was found when the statue underwent a 3D computer tomography (CT) scan.
Buddhist Monks Praise “Hospitality, Love, and Respect” from People of Pakistan During Vesak Observation
27/05/2017 17:27 (GMT+7)
A Buddhist delegation from Sri Lanka visiting Pakistan this week praised the generosity and peaceful hospitality of the Pakistan people during an official visit to mark the Buddhist holiday of Vesak.

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.

Buddhistdoor View: The Voice of Dharma in Corporate Social Responsibility
19/05/2017 20:24 (GMT+7)
Throughout its 2,500-year history, Buddhism has engaged with its wider social and cultural environments. In its earliest days, it was tied to mercantile forces and traders traveling across Asia: businessmen would seek wealth, while the monks traveling with them sought followers. Temples would be built near or in the heart of bustling trade hubs and trade ports. From Indonesia to Central Asia, when business was thriving, temples prospered; and when cities lost their commercial advantages or prosperity, monasteries nearby struggled.  
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.” 
Western Buddhist Monks Find Spiritual Joy in the Sri Lankan Wilds
14/05/2017 16:04 (GMT+7)
Sri Lanka has long attracted Buddhist monastics and scholars from around the world with its rich Buddhist heritage and resources. While the nation’s monastic centers and universities are renowned hubs of Buddhist education, the island’s forest hermitages are also high on the list of attractions for those seeking to practice and study Buddhism. Recently, two Western monks have taken to social media to express the spiritual joy of living in the beautiful wild hills of the island’s Central Province. 

Air Pollution Levels Threaten Birthplace of the Buddha
12/05/2017 09:33 (GMT+7)
Scientists and government officials have warned that Lumbini, the birthplace of the Buddha, is under serious threat from air pollution. Data for January indicates that the Buddhist pilgrimage site in the Rupandehi District of Nepal had the highest concentration of fine particulate matter in the country for that month, which has been attributed to rapid industrialization in areas surrounding the sacred site.
Student Leader from Bangladesh Buddhist Community Allegedly Tortured to Death by Security Forces
09/05/2017 09:05 (GMT+7)
The recent death of a student leader from Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) has drawn widespread condemnation from across the country. According to local media reports, 20-year-old Romel Chakma was arrested on 5 April by army personnel and subsequently died on 19 April while in police custody at a hospital in the port city of Chittagong. News of Chakma’s arrest and subsequent death emerged two weeks after the incident, following numerous reports on social media. Protestors allege that Chakma, who was visually impaired, was tortured to death by the army and his body subsequently burned to destroy the evidence, although the army refutes these allegations.

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