Reddit’s Buddhism page bans support of the New Kadampa Tradition

martin_mills_SOAS lecture 2014

The popular Buddhism section of Reddit, known as the front page of the internet, last week banned all content relating to the New Kadampa Tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. This, the editors say, is in response to complaints over the quality of the Buddhism section of the site. Specifically addressing the NKT ban, they write:Why is content related to the New Kadampa Tradition now banned? Following recent news confirming conspiracy theories and speculation for years that the NKT is financially … [Read more...]

5 things we learned (and didn’t) from the Reuters investigation into the Buddhist “Shugden” sect, China, and the Dalai Lama

shugden false dalai lama poster 2015

For students of Tibetan Buddhism the Dorje Shugden issue is a treasure trove: involving a mysterious protector deity, capable of bestowing great wealth and threatening violence to foes, exposing a fault-line within the best known school of Tibetan Buddhism, with the widely-loved Dalai Lama caught in the middle, and now the secretive world of China-Tibet politics seeping in. For adherents to Tibetan Buddhism it exposes deeply held allegiances and the fears or concerns associated with potentially … [Read more...]

(Updated) Buddhist George Takei offers a history lesson showing the horror of Trump’s anti-Muslim remarks

george takei 2

Ever since Donald Trump proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States earlier this week, the internet has been in shock and up in arms, asking, "how do we respond to such bigotry?" Others have asked, "should we respond at all? Doesn't that just feed into Trump's 'shock-jock' persona?"Trump is a rogue. And in an era when many politicians have eroded the American faith in their own elected officials, he has garnered a loyal following who seem unshaken even by this latest bout of … [Read more...]

From Paris to San Bernardino, the message should be clear: Prayer is not enough

prayer not enough

The New York Daily News nailed it today.GNight all. Just hoping there's not another mass shooting before I wake up in the morning. — JustJanis (@jsavite) December 3, 2015 As did the Dalai Lama two weeks ago after the Paris attacks:We cannot solve this problem only through prayers. I am a Buddhist and I believe in praying. But humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. God would say, solve it yourself because you … [Read more...]

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...]

Gun Violence and the Paradox of our Time

dalai lama paradox

This is a slightly edited version of a reflection I was asked to give at today's Big Sky Unitarian Universalist fellowship. The given topic was the poem, often attributed to the Dalai Lama, called The Paradox of our Time (or Age). An original, lengthier text by that title is by Bob Moorehead (on the false attribution to the Dalai Lama read here). The Paradox of our Time When I was first invited to offer a reflection on this poem I read it and thought about the importance of … [Read more...]