Trans*Buddhism, an interview with the creators of transbuddhists.org

trans-Buddhist QandA

I am honored this month to share an interview with the creators of transbuddhists.org and a guide to trans*competence (links below). Please read on and visit their website to find out more about how you can make Buddhism more inclusive.Who counts as "trans*" and why is it important for Buddhists today to understand the term?We use trans* ("trans" or "trans-star") as an umbrella term to describe anyone who's had an experience of their internal understanding of their gender not matching the … [Read more...]

Contentious Tibetan Buddhist deity worship discussed in London panel

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In what may have been a first-of-its-kind event, representatives of the International Shugden Community joined academics, a Geluk Buddhist monk, and a former member of the New Kadampa Tradition to discuss the history and current status of Dorje Shugden. Shugden, in short, is a 'protector deity' historically associated with the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism. His supposed power has led to great devotion by a number of esteemed Buddhist teachers, foremost among them Pabongkha Rinpoche, whose … [Read more...]

Vegetarianism and Animals in Early Indian Buddhism

wheel of life - small

In this presentation, University of Toronto graduate student Sean M. Smith discusses the relationship between humans and other animals in the psychological and cosmological teachings of early Buddhism.I knew I would like the talk after the first 30 seconds, when he said: As a philosopher I am not interested in contingent historical details. I'm interested in truth, and I think Buddhist Philosophy, and especially Buddhist Philosophy in its early Indian guise - sometimes called the Theravadin … [Read more...]

Buddhist abbot Ajahn Brahm says that it is ‘Unacceptable’ that religion has been so cruel to LGBTIQs

ajahn-brahm lgbtiq

Before a large audience in Singapore in June, the outspoken Theravadin Buddhist monk cited the Buddha's call for compassion toward all sentient beings as a starting point for a Buddhist position on the LGBTIQ community. He said he was very proud to be able to perform a gay marriage in Norway. He continued:"There is nothing in the sutras, in the teachings of the Buddha, which discriminates against anybody no matter what race, religion, or sexual orientation. I do ask all Buddhists to please sh … [Read more...]

For May Day: A Pacifist Anarchist Catholic Saint

Happy May Day, fellow workers.Since I already have had a very long day myself, mostly spent on buses to/from/in London, I'll simply re-post, with minor modifications, a favorite blog from last year, one which I later found out was even re-posted at Disinfo.org. And just so you don't think I've forgotten Buddhism completely in this post, please may I introduce (if you don't know him already) Tenzin Tsundue (here is a 2013 HuffPo interview with Tsundue), and of course we cannot ever overlook t … [Read more...]

LSE Conference on the Decades of State-sponsored Destruction of Myanmar’s Rohingya – live tweets and video (UPDATED)

maung zarni LSE 2014

Perhaps the greatest human rights tragedy of our time is unfolding now in Burma (Myanmar). A number of conferences have been convened over the last couple years to discuss various aspects of the violence there and today we are lucky enough to have global access to one of these conferences, held at the London School of Economics.While academic writers such as myself, Danny Fisher, Paul Fuller and others have consistently written about events in Burma and discussions around them, wide-spread … [Read more...]

Ethnocentric Buddhism continued…

Rohingya and supporters protest in front of the White House in May, 2013. photo via

Coming just off the heals of the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the Rwandan genocide, we are called ever more clearly to understand conflicts in the world that might lead to such horrors. What is happening in Burma today eerily reflects the ethnic divides and hateful rhetoric that precipitated the murder of over 800,000 Rwandans (primarily ethnic Tutsis) in 1994.In addition to attacks in recent years, this January, mobs of (ethnic Rakhine) Buddhists massacred Rohingya Muslims in the … [Read more...]

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche speaks on Universal Responsibility at Harvard Divinity School

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Earlier this month, Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche gave a one-day seminar on the topic of Universal Responsibility to students at Harvard Divinity School. From the video page: In this one night seminar given to students at Harvard University's School of Divinity, Kongtrul Rinpoche explains that not all learning is academic. In fact, the best kind of education shapes our hearts just as much as our minds. Self-reflecting upon experience and coming to see that all beings share the same internal life -- … [Read more...]


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