100 Arrested in India in pro-Tibet Rally

Tibet Flag

Today is the 56th anniversary of the March 10, 1959 start of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese occupation.  The history around that day is outlined below, but first, in today's news the Associated Press (via MB and BBC World News) reports that:Indian police have detained about 100 Tibetans who were protesting outside the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi on the anniversary of a failed 1959 uprising against China’s rule in Tibet. Protesters interlocked their hands and tried to form a chain aro … [Read more...]

Jay Michaelson is right, don’t get your hopes up for Tibet

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

The mere sight of the Dalai Lama smiling brings joy to many of us. Knowing that his smile - and perhaps some sort of influence - is in the same room, and just yards away from, President Barack Obama can doubtless bring a sense of hope for the world. And if not the world, at least the Dalai Lama's beleaguered homeland of Tibet.But as Jay Michaelson writes for Salon, "don't get your hopes up, Tibet." In his insightful essay, subtitled: "Why Obama's Meeting With The Dalai Lama Is An Empty … [Read more...]

President Obama warmly welcomes the Dalai Lama in Washington [Video]

President Obama bows to Dalai Lama

In the first public meeting of the two world leaders,* President Obama took a moment in his speech to praise the Dalai Lama: I want to offer a special welcome to a good friend, His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, who is a powerful example of what it means to practice compassion and to inspire us to speak up for the freedom and dignity of all human beings. I've been pleased to welcome him to the White House on many occasions, and we are grateful we are able -- that he is able to join us at this … [Read more...]

Dalai Lama likely to have first public appearance with President Obama next week

The Dalai Lama with Italian politician Marco Pannella (2007)

TIME reports today that H.H. the Dalai Lama will appear for the first time in public with President Barack Obama at the Feb. 5 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. The breakfast, organized by the Christian Fellowship Foundation, is expected to bring 3000 people of various religions together "in the spirit of Jesus". According to TIME:The Dalai Lama will attend this year’s National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 5, marking the first time that the Tibetan leader will appear in public at an ev … [Read more...]

Does the “arc of the moral universe” bend toward justice?

Ryan Bell interviews Michael Shermer on the Moral Arc

As we pause on this day to reflect on the life and vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. it's easy to throw our hands up and admit defeat. Black men and boys are being killed by their neighbors and police with impunity, Muslims in the West face increasing scrutiny and bigotry, governments continue to ignore the wrongs of their nations past - and present - toward indigenous peoples, the latest boom in the economy seems to be just numbers on a screen for most Americans as 95% of recent income … [Read more...]

The Dalai Lama, snubbed by Pope and world leaders, may speak at Glastonbury Festival in June

Tenzin Gyatso - 14th Dalai Lama, photo by Christopher Michel Flickr C.C.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, once hailed as a "multimedia phenomenon and ascetic Buddhist superstar" by the New York Times, has had a tough year. After meeting nine heads of state in 2001 and eleven in 2002, the Dalai Lama met with just one by the middle of 2014: President Barack Obama. In an article discussing the event, Shannon Tiezzi of The Diplomat, described Obama as rather bravely walking a "tightrope" in the meeting, where he had to make it clear that he regarded the Dalai Lama as a reli … [Read more...]

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

Dorje_Shugden_book_cover

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...]

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...]


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