Happy Saga Dawa Duchen – Tibetan Buddhism’s holiest day

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Saga Dawa is the fourth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, this year falling between May 29 and June 27. It is the holiest time of the year for Tibetan Buddhists.  The middle of the month, the full moon day, is the most important. On that day the fruits of one's karma (actions) are said to increase one billion (1,000,000,000) times or more. It is the day that Tibetan Buddhists celebrate the birth, awakening, and death of the Buddha.That day, known as Saga Dawa Duchen, is today, Friday, … [Read more...]

The Shugden Cult, Dalai Lama Protests, Race, and Genocide

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Last month, when the Dalai Lama was in Oslo on the 25th anniversary of his Nobel Peace Prize, he and supporters were confronted with crowds of protesters calling him, among other things, a False Dalai Lama and a persecutor of worshippers of Dorje (or Dolgyal) Shugden, a protector deity associated with the Dalai Lama's Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism.In gathering background on the situation, we looked at two prominent scholars of Tibetan Buddhism, Georges Dreyfus and Robert Thurman (who uses … [Read more...]

That all-too-human urge to understand the heart of things

the jains

As I discussed in a recent post at the Indian Philosophy Blog, there is quite often a divide in approaches taken to the study of religion between what we might broadly call the 'philosophers' and the 'historians'. Philosophers, and I count myself as one of these most days, seek out the meaning of texts, seeing them as doorways into distant lands and into the minds of great thinkers, past and present. We often have to construct meanings through fragmentary and at times conflicting evidence: at o … [Read more...]

More Nazi Buddha space junk

abc_nazi buddha from space

Last month Nicholas Kristof provided a timely test of our religious literacy. It started out: Noah of Arc and his wife, Joan, build a boat to survive a great flood. Moses climbs Mount Cyanide and receives 10 enumerated commandments; for all the differences among religious denominations, the Ten Commandments are a common bedrock that Jews, Catholics and Protestants agree on...After two or three paragraphs, Kristof tells us that there are about 20 mistakes. He uses the test to explain the … [Read more...]

New Kadampa / Shugden followers protest Dalai Lama’s Nobel Peace Prize

Dorje Shugden (aka Dolgyal Shugden)

Last week the Dalai Lama made a three-day visit to Oslo, Norway, where he received the Nobel Peace Prize 25 years ago for his ongoing nonviolent stance toward China, which took over Tibet between 1951 and 1959. And while thousands of well-wishers turned out to greet the Dalai Lama, a small band of protesters were also on hand, asking for the prize to be revoked.The protesters were, by and large, members of the New Kadampa Tradition, a break-away group from the Dalai Lama's Geluk tradition. … [Read more...]

‘Best Article’: Buddhist Ethics and End-of-Life Care – available for free download

journal of social work in end-of-life and palliative care

I am often asked "why study Buddhist ethics?" Sometimes people are simply curious, others actively oppose the very notion. The curious ones are wonderful to speak with. For you, the curious, I'm happy to share this article, which is free for all to download. The value of studies in Buddhist ethics, including those of my supervisor, Damien Keown, and Peter Harvey among others, becomes clear as one grapples with guidelines for real-world decisions. I'm also chuffed to bits (as they say here - it … [Read more...]

Dhammananda Bhikkhuni and Thailand’s “secret” Buddhist Nuns

ven molini and ven dhamma vijaya with the author in bodh gaya 2010

Danny Fisher has already shared this short documentary looking inside Thailand's only all-female monastery but I came across it again today and found it worth re-sharing. As Danny notes from the website Dharma Documentaries: This is a short but informative and positive look at the current state of bhikkhunis in Thailand with interviews with people on both sides of the debate.The documentary is made as part of the Secret Tribes series which is fronted by Malaysian presenter Ezra Zaid... The … [Read more...]

Happy 5th Birthday, Patheos! #Patheos5Yrs

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Happy Fifth Anniversary, Patheos.To Kristi and Deborah, and Jamie and Leo and Cathie, and David and everyone else in Denver and around the world:Thank You.Thank you for building this platform, for infusing it with scholarly foundations, and for bringing on board such an amazing group of writers.And thank you for inviting me to join back in 2011; which I suppose means I’ve been along for the ride for a little over half of the Patheos Journey.I have been doing this blog thing s … [Read more...]


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