2 More Tibetan Nuns commit suicide as China destroys vast Buddhist religious city

Phayul news service reports that two more Tibetan nuns have taken their lives due to the destruction of the city of Larung Gar in eastern Tibet (Western China). Authorities there claim that the expanse of new structures is a fire hazard and that the rapid growth of the city has not been officially permitted. I wrote this last month: This is Larung Gar a year ago. It is a vast monastic complex in eastern Tibet (in China’s Sichuan Province) housing as many as 40,000 Tibetan Buddhist monks and nu … [Read more...]

China gives Tibetans a search engine, immediately censors the Dalai Lama

After over 3 years of work, China has debuted its first ever Tibetan-language search engine: yongzin.com (which means "teacher" in Tibetan). The front page sports the bright blue, red, green, and yellow that are well-known to Google users, but the search results are very much a reflection of China's, and not Google's, priorities. According to the Wall Street Journal: A quick image search for the Dalai Lama, for example, requires sifting through pages of results before locating any of the man … [Read more...]

Tibetan Nun commits suicide as China destroys vast Buddhist religious city

This is Larung Gar a year ago. It is a vast monastic complex in eastern Tibet (in China's Sichuan Province) housing as many as 40,000 Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns (10,000 being a more likely number). Recently, it has come under scrutiny by the Chinese government and demolitions have recently begun, threatening up to half of the monastics living there.The town has grown rapidly, from just a handful of disciples of the Tibetan teacher from the Nyingma tradition, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, in … [Read more...]

Your Summer in a Chinese Buddhist Monastery – Woodenfish HBMLP in China

In 2009 I traveled to China to experience Chinese Buddhist monastic life and learn about the practice, philosophy, and history unique to Chan/Zen Buddhism. Back then, it was focused mostly on graduate students in Buddhism or Chinese culture/religion/history but it has since grown in size and scope to look a bit like the program that was then run separately at Fo Guang Shan monastery in southern Taiwan.My experience with the 2009 program was so positive that I applied for and participated in t … [Read more...]

Tibetans for Trump and other unintended consequences

Tenzin Pelkyi, a writer, law student, and editor at tibetanfeministcollective.org (and recent interviewee at this blog) has an intriguing article up today at medium.com examining some of the idiosyncrasies and unintended consequences of US-China-Tibet politics. In it she examines two allegedly Tibetan men holding up a sign reading "Tibetans for Trump. Kick China in the Balls for us, Donald #MakeAmericaGreatAgain."As odd as it may seem for card carrying liberals and others who are simply … [Read more...]

In power grab from the Dalai Lama, China announces list of “verified living Buddhas” for Tibetan Buddhism

In what can only be described as an odd, if not cynical, move by the self-avowed atheist government of China, a new list of "verified living Buddhas" or tulkus, reincarnated Buddhist masters, has been published in Chinese and Tibetan languages at http://hf.tibet.cn/. The purported role of the site is to inform citizens about the "real" high lamas and teachers, complete with ID numbers and monastery listings. The site, known as Rinpocheonline, is said to list 870 authentic Rinpoche's (an … [Read more...]

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

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...]

100 Arrested in India in pro-Tibet Rally

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...]