Encountering the 16th Karmapa and living Buddhism in the West today [UPDATED with contributors]

16th karmapa book

Shang Shung Publications, an Italian publisher founded around the teachings of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and of other greats from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, has a new book out called The Miraculous 16th Karmapa: Incredible Encounters with the Black Crown Buddha (Amazon/Shang Shung).I was kindly offered not only an advance copy of the book to read, but also an opportunity to send a couple questions to some of the contributors to this memorable volume. I picked four contributors, all rather r … [Read more...]

The Future of Tibet, a re-post in honor of Tibetan Uprising Day

tibet-amdo-2013

The Tibetan Center in Kingston, New York, held a discussion last year of the six decades of human rights abuses in Tibet under Chinese occupation, the recent rise in protests (especially self-immolations), and the possibilities concerning the future of Tibet.The Future of Tibet Saturday, February 23, 2-4 pmBertelsmann Campus Center, Bard College In 2012, there was an intensification of protests and a sharp increase in the number of self-immolations by Tibetans, a response to the … [Read more...]

Prof. Robert Thurman on Tibetan Buddhism & Michael Roach’s “cult” – Dateline NBC

michael roach and anna schecter

Last fall I found out that someone at NBC was trying to get in touch with me about the Geshe Michael Roach story (links to all of the background are below). It turns out that NBC NY producer Anna Schecter was piecing together a story for Dateline and had come across some of my writing here on Patheos.She and I spoke for some time. I told her about my background, how I was sort of a student of GMR in the early '00s and traveled with friends from the UK to Ireland when he and (then 'Lama') … [Read more...]

Tibetan Sky Burial (photos) UPDATED: Propaganda vs Scholarship

In 2012 I found and shared some images of a then-recent Tibetan Sky Burial (original post is here). Over the years I have received a fair amount of feedback on the post, mostly of the "wow" and "thank you for sharing" nature. However, one commenter, using the handle @Tibetans at twitter, has repeatedly asked that I remove the post. In his/her own words, a recent tweet reads: "@Buddhistethics Again please stop promoting Chinese propaganda against Tibetan in occupied #Tibet, be human. #Buddhism … [Read more...]

Tibetan Prayer Flags mark the “World’s Scariest Bridge”

Titlis cliff walk

BBC News reported today from the "World's Scariest Bridge", otherwise known as the Titlis Cliff Walk in Switzerland. The suspension bridge, Europe's highest, has been open for over a year, but this is the first video I've seen with the newly added Tibetan Prayer flags. Perhaps they have a calming effect on some visitors who are not so interested in "a high-adrenaline kind of new adventure " as a spokeswoman described it.Have a look:Tibetan prayer flags are believed to date back to … [Read more...]

Moves to block China from the UN Human Rights Council

Keep China off UN Human Rights Council

“All victims of human rights abuses should be able to look to the Human Rights Council as a forum and a springboard for action.”- Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, 12 March 2007, Opening of the 4th Human Rights Council Session"Lack of access to justice, the official impunity, the possibility of arbitrary detention...." These are not statements about a country you would expect to be joining the world's highest Human Rights body. The country in question is, of course, China, which was de … [Read more...]

“AKONG a remarkable life” – an interview by Lisa Tully

Akong Rinpoche

Many of you may have heard about the recent and tragic death of the Tibetan master Akong Tulku Rinpoche. He set up many Dharma centres around the world where people could learn and practice the principles of Buddhism. In London, a group of filmmakers are in the process of making a documentary about him. They are Chico Dall'Inha, Jörg Wagner and Gerry McCulloch.This project actually began over two years ago and now due to his untimely death is more imperative than ever before. His life was … [Read more...]

Help save Lama Rinzin, a Tibetan Buddhist seeking asylum in the UK

lama rinzin2000

(UPDATED, nearing 2000 signatures as of 8/8/13) Save Lama Rinzin!From Avaaz (also updated): Lama Rinzin is a Tibetan monk, and highly skilled Thankga painter (Buddhist artist), who is seeking assylum in the UK. He fled from Tibet into Nepal, following the 2008 protests in Lhasa, and if he is deported he is likely to face imprisonment, torture or death.Lama Rinzin was sent to Sheffield, UK, by the Home Office and by chance ended up doors away from the Sheffield Buddhist Centre. He has … [Read more...]


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