|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.
|20/02/2017 14:45 (GMT+7)|
The influential Tibetan teacher and respected author Kyabje Gelek Rinpoche, a tulku in the Gelugpa school of Vajrayan Buddhism has died. A notice on his Facebook page advised that Gelek Rinpoche had passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
|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.
|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.
|10/02/2017 09:41 (GMT+7)|
Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn has appointed Venerable Somdet Phra Maha Muneewonga as the new supreme patriarch, filling the top spot in the Southeast Asian kingdom’s monastic sangha for the first time since the previous office holder passed away in October 2013. A formal appointment ceremony presided over by the king will be held on 12 February at Bankok’s Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
|09/02/2017 14:20 (GMT+7)|
Cities and Kings: Ancient Treasures from Myanmar is the latest in a series of special exhibitions on Southeast Asia curated by the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) in Singapore. The collection of works traces some 2,000 years of cultural development seen through the art and architecture of emergent cities in Myanmar—an appropriate theme as the two countries celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations. Some 60 artifacts from museums in Myanmar as well as from the ACM and a private collection are also documented in a catalogue, accompanied by essays from the museum’s curators as well as scholars from Myanmar and overseas.*
|06/02/2017 18:12 (GMT+7)|
Professor Elliot Sperling, one of the world’s foremost scholars of Tibetan history and Sino-Tibetan relations, and a prominent advocate for human rights, has died at the age of 66 at his home in Jackson Heights, New York City. Memorial services were held on Saturday evening at Tibet House in New York and in Dharamsala, Northern India on Sunday to commemorate his life and achievements.
|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.
|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.”
|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.
|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.
|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).
|24/01/2017 12:10 (GMT+7)|
Historians believe that a Buddhist statue kept at a small, 400-year-old Buddhist temple in the former Japanese capital of Kyoto may in fact be a priceless historical artifact that is some 1,000 years older than previously thought.
|20/01/2017 10:51 (GMT+7)|
Chinese archaeologists say a submerged Buddha statue that was revealed during maintenance work at a reservoir in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi could prove to be more than 600 years old. The ancient Buddhist carving emerged late last year when renovation of a hydropower gate at Hongmen Reservoir near the city of Fuzhou caused the water level to drop by more than 10 meters.
|18/01/2017 20:08 (GMT+7)|
Pristine Pure Land teacher Master Jingzong (b. 1966) once wrote about why he would not want to be born anywhere else except in China: “For all its faults, China would still be the place where I would choose to be reborn in my next life, if I were free to decide . . . there is one overriding justification: the people in this country have extraordinarily profound karmic connections with Amitabha Buddha. By reciting the name of the Buddha, countless sentient beings in China were reborn in the Pure Land in the past. This will continue to be the case now and in the future,” he wrote. “As for me, since I admire Amitabha-reciters, my affection extends to the country with deep-rooted karmic intimacy with Amitabha and its culture.” (Master Jingzong Facebook)
|11/01/2017 18:57 (GMT+7)|
BODH GAYA, India—The 34th Kalachakra Initiation by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which runs from 3–14 January, has transformed the streets of Bodh Gaya in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. The usually quiet and dusty town in which Shakyamuni Buddha attained enlightenment, dotted with shrines and temples representing all Buddhist traditions, has become a heavily guarded river of humanity. People of all ages, ethnicities, and nationalities, monastics and lay Buddhists alike, walk with open hearts alongside an array of mendicants seeking alms, under the watchful gaze of pickets of armed police, toward the Kalachakra site, enclosed in a vast tent, where the almost two-week-long ceremony is being held.
|07/01/2017 11:33 (GMT+7)|
While navigating my Dharmic path, I have had the great fortune to receive profound guidance from Chagdud Khadro, a renowned Vajrayana Buddhist teacher who also happens to be a Western woman. On more than one occasion, I have asked her, “What do you think would be a useful teaching for my children?” She has consistently replied, “The Four Powers of purification.” Recently, Khadro reminded me once again of the importance of applying these Four Powers and the value in teaching this Buddhist practice to children. When I enquired further, she explained: “I think it is important to teach children the Four Powers of purification, not only to help them to become more aware of their harmful actions, but also because they need to know that they can purify their negative actions. Otherwise there is a danger that they may self-identify as ‘bad’ when they have merely been wrong.”
|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.
|02/01/2017 11:14 (GMT+7)|
The beginning of the holiday season and the end of the school year means there are kids at home all day. It means dealing with moments of boredom and mayhem, and having friends over to play. Recently, the sangha children were playing water tag around the house, running happy and wild in the sun, and there was a special feeling of camaraderie between them. There had been no teasing or conflict all afternoon, just a steady stream of snacks and fun.
|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!).