In Japanese “Most Handsome Monk Contest”, a female meditation teacher wins

Yesterday an organization in Japan held its second annual "Most Handsome Monk Contest" in Tokyo. One participant chopped through 10 cement blocks as part of the talent round. Another monk, a DJ, presented a mock radio program for the audience. But Koyu Osawa, the first ever female participant, won over the audience by leading them through a short meditation practice.In her post-victory interview, Osawa said "I want to connect with people who have never tried it before, or have always wanted … [Read more...]

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche on the “outdated” Tulku system in Tibetan Buddhism

In a long (4000+ word) post on facebook yesterday, the Buddhist teacher and filmmaker, well known for his wit and sense of humor, speaks about the need for reform in the system of reincarnated teachers in Tibetan Buddhism known as tulkus.Titled "Time for radical change in how we raise our tulkus," the document has eight sections. Excerpted here are those sections with key points and quotations.The document itself was prompted by the choice of Jamgon Kongtrul Rinpoche to leave his role as … [Read more...]

The Dalai Lama’s Doctor – Buddhist advice on Forgiveness

Barry Kerzin is an extraordinary person. A medical doctor, a philosopher, and a Tibetan Buddhist monk. He has been featured on PBS advocating for more compassion in medicine and has given two TED talks, one on happiness and the other on compassion and anger management. Today he writes on forgiveness: At one level, forgiveness means you shouldn’t develop feelings of revenge. Revenge harms the other person. It is a form of violence and usually leads to counter-violence – so the problem never goes … [Read more...]

Mindfulness – not just a technique!

A guest post by Ravi Pradhan In the West, mindfulness is often presented as just a technique, and widely claimed to be secularized by Western experts.Where and how did such a perspective emerge? How is this different from the claims in the Eastern Wisdom traditions which have a long proven track record in mindfulness meditation – beyond just being a technique?You have to go back to 16-17 century Europe where Copernicus and Galileo were up against the all-powerful and all-knowing C … [Read more...]

For the love of running and mindfulness (my ON BEING interview)

When I was 15 or 16 I went to the hospital for a physical. The doctor looked me over - basically healthy, okay. Then he looked at my feet, grimaced a bit, and proclaimed, "you'll never be a runner with these."I took it as gospel truth at the time, but soon after began at least trying to run with my older sister who was a competitive cross-country runner in her high school days. And run I did. My very low arches (not quite flat feet) have caused me some difficulty here and there, but through a … [Read more...]

Tourists: Buddha Tattoos are Taboo; as are See-Through dresses at Buddhist holy sites

It seems like only last month that another tourist was deported from Myanmar (Burma) for publicly showing off his Buddha tattoo. Oh wait, it was.The Washington Post reported that Cesar Hernandez of Spain was there with his wife when people began noticing his seated Buddha tattoo covering much of his calf. Buddhist monks kindly informed him that the tattoo was inappropriate. The tourists were then detained and deported or, perhaps, asked kindly to leave or be careful.As the Post reports, " … [Read more...]

Tibetan Nun commits suicide as China destroys vast Buddhist religious city

This is Larung Gar a year ago. It is a vast monastic complex in eastern Tibet (in China's Sichuan Province) housing as many as 40,000 Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns (10,000 being a more likely number). Recently, it has come under scrutiny by the Chinese government and demolitions have recently begun, threatening up to half of the monastics living there.The town has grown rapidly, from just a handful of disciples of the Tibetan teacher from the Nyingma tradition, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, in … [Read more...]

7 characteristics of Flow States & how Mindfulness brings us there

George Mumford, a mindfulness teacher and author of the book, The Mindful Athlete, offers an "anatomy of the Zone" as observed in the words of top athletes talking about their performance.The Zone, or Flow, has been described in cultures around the world, but has a special connection to the Buddhist practice of mindfulness. Flow states can, and do, happen to us all of time, from playing music to sports or just a great conversation with friends or colleagues. But with mindfulness practice, … [Read more...]


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