Dalai Lama: There is no “Muslim Terrorist” or “Buddhist Terrorist”

Addressing the European Parliament last week, the Dalai Lama said: "Buddhist terrorist, Muslim terrorist. That wording is wrong." "Any person," the Dalai Lama continued, "who wants to indulge in violence is no longer a genuine Buddhist or a genuine Muslim."The Dalai Lama, who is teaching on ethics beyond religion at the moment in Strasbourg, has been making this point for some time already.He continued by saying that all religions teach, "love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, … [Read more...]

Buddhist monastery serves meals to fasting Muslims in Ramadan

Agence France-Presse reported today that Dharmarajika, a Buddhist monastery in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, is serving food to Muslims this Ramadan, "in a rare example of social harmony between the religions in the South Asian nation."The monastery, they report, "has become a hit on social media since it started distributing daily food packs for Muslims who break their fast during the Islamic month at sunset, known as Iftar." The abbot of the monastery, Suddhananda Mahathero, speaking … [Read more...]

Understanding Buddhist-Muslim relations in Burma (Myanmar)

This post is part of the Interfaith Ramadan: Shared Vision of Inclusion & Co-Existence series, cross-posted there at Interfaith Ramadan here. As our series host Sara Ager writes: Ramadan is a time when Muslim communities traditionally come together – to fast, to pray, to reflect, and to encourage one another. In that spirit, the Interfaith Ramadan blog series aims to extend that sense of community to people of all faiths and none. The series provides an inclusive platform where people from a … [Read more...]

“Some wish for peace, I make it happen” – a guest post by Bhikkhu Subhuti on Bringing Buddhists and Muslims together in Burma/Myanmar

I just got back from inviting 2 Muslims to serve at the head of the meal line for Tomorrow's lunch at Pa-Auk. Everyone thought I was crazy and that the Muslims would kill me or at least shout at me as soon as I entered the compound. Instead they sat us down and offered us apples, and fruit juice with a happy and warm welcoming smiles.  I explained my story to him through a translator, my trusty senior friend Venerable Pannygavesaka, who is game for almost any crazy wholesome idea I have. You … [Read more...]

The Future or Death of Religion: an Interfaith Discussion

February 25, 1pm PST.Mark your calendars.I will be speaking with three amazing representatives of different religions, hosted by Mark W. Gura, on the topic of the future of religion. Here is the official blurb:An Interfaith Discussion About The Future Or Death Of Religion Hosted By Mark W. Gura With the turn of the new year and recent depictions of religion in the media, many are asking where religion is heading in 2014. The Rise of the Nones, the recent Pew Study on Religious … [Read more...]

The Onion satirizes Buddhism: “Extremist Cell Vows to Unleash Tranquility On West”

You can read the full story for yourself at The Onion.But after settling in for what I thought would be a light-hearted parody on Buddhism's ever-so-peaceful image in the West, I began to feel a bit uneasy. The article is clever enough (although the mish-mash of Buddhist traditions leaves much to be desired) but the parody instead is on the Western image of Islamic terrorism (principally that of al-Qaeda).It may just be that I recently finished a grueling up-and-down week of teaching … [Read more...]

India, Pakistan, & a commercial to make you cry with joy

I'm a sucker for nostalgia, and growing ever more nostalgic for India myself (I can't believe it's been 3 years!). But nothing could have prepared me for this:When I was just 21 or 22, a friend lent me Cracking India, a story of the partition as experienced in Lahore. Later I watched Deepa Mehta's film adaptation of the book, Earth (1998), and watched it again, and again (full movie available here). … [Read more...]

Two more must-reads on Buddhism and Aaron Alexis/the Navy Yard Shooting

As with any human tragedy of this kind, there are countless angles or perspectives from which to view and discuss the shootings earlier this week. In this post and the next I'll highlight four that I found particularly useful. The first two draw our attention to our religious stereotyping of both Buddhism and Islam:Navy Yard shooting puts Buddhism in spotlight: Column by Stephen Prothero. Prothero is a professor in Boston University's religion department and author of several books on … [Read more...]