The Dalai Lama clarifies his response to the Paris attacks: I believe in praying, but we need non-violence, humanistic values, and harmony

Tenzin Gyatso - 14th Dalai Lama by Christopher Michel (C.C. flickr)

In an interview with the German media outlet DW yesterday, the Dalai Lama clarified his earlier comments on violence and the Paris attacks.  When asked about those attacks, he suggested that the violence we see today is a spillover of the violent 20th century, but: If we emphasize more on non-violence and harmony, we can herald a new beginning. Unless we make serious attempts to achieve peace, we will continue to see a replay of the mayhem humanity experienced in the 20th century. He … [Read more...]

The Dalai Lama responds to the Paris attacks

Dalai lama (2012) by Christopher Michel

As reported in the Hindustan Times, the Dalai Lama's response to the recent attacks in Paris was concise and to the point: Violence is a reaction by short-sighted, out-of-control people. At 81, I believe it cannot be resolved through prayers or government help. We have to begin the change at individual level and then move on to neighbourhood and society.The Dalai Lama, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, has long advocated non-violence in conflicts across the world, including in his … [Read more...]

The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah takes us to Myanmar (Burma)

trevor noah myanmar burma

In case you missed it, this week Burma hosted a truly historic election in which Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won enough seats to choose the next President. Aung San Suu Kyi is herself currently banned from becoming the President by the constitution recently redrafted by the ruling military government, but she has vowed to take up a position, "above the President." Suu Kyi has been criticized for her failure to speak up for the oppressed Muslim minority … [Read more...]

Shantideva: Buddhism and the delight of solitude


I've just completed teaching the Bodhicaryāvatāra (Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life) for the third time in my academic life, which probably makes this the 6th or 7th time I've been through the text. Some of it is finally, maybe, starting to sink in.Vesna and Alan Wallace, whose translation I borrow from below, tell us that it, "has been the most widely read, cited, and practiced text in the whole of the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist tradition" and that it is widely cited in the works of the cu … [Read more...]

Australia’s Next Top Guru (Parody)

australias top guru

The English-speaking world loves their gurus and Eastern mysterious wisdom and enlightenment and all that stuff. And while (I hope I'm not being too optimistic in saying) we're collectively growing out of our most infantile--and destructive--phase of interacting and mingling with "the East", there is still a long way to go. Colonialism's dual projections of "dark evil" and "mysterious goodness" continue to play out in popular culture. But both rely on obscured vision of the place(s) and people … [Read more...]

(UPDATED) Learn the ancient Buddhist language of Pali – online with Oxford scholar Richard Gombrich

Gombrich Pali Oxford

UPDATE: 11/24, The autumn course is underway. Here are upcoming courses:Winter – 8 spots left. You can still registerCourse: Jan 2 – 24, 2016This session is US time zone friendly, but anybody in the world is welcome to attend. If your time zone is not listed there are many good online tools to convert, we have found this one to be useful. Please be mindful of daylight savings time.Pacific time: Sat-Sun 6:00-9:15am and 10:15am-1:30pm, Tue-Wed-T … [Read more...]

Buddhist lama, Mingyur Rinpoche, emerges from multi-year solitary retreat

Mingyur Rinpoche-lazy meditation

News out today from Tergar Learning Community: As you know, Mingyur Rinpoche was on an extended solitary retreat in the Himalayas for the last four years. In the tradition of the great meditation masters of times past, he spent his time wandering freely with no fixed plan or agenda, meditating in caves and hermitages in remote places.In his absence the Tergar Meditation Community continued to thrive with Tergar lamas and instructors holding meditation workshops and retreats around the … [Read more...]

Robert Thurman talks “Buddhist Ethics” at Google

bob thurman on Buddhist ethics

In an entertaining and thoughtful talk, Columbia University's Robert Thurman discussed Buddhist ethics at Google late last week. The talk is excellent for both situating Buddhist ethics in the context of the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path as well as engaging with aspects of Western philosophy and current ways of thinking. The talk revolves around a visual aid, The 10-fold Path of Skillful and unskillful evolutionary (karmic) action*:Kill Save … [Read more...]