Shantideva: Buddhism and the delight of solitude


I've just completed teaching the Bodhicaryāvatāra (Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life) for the third time in my academic life, which probably makes this the 6th or 7th time I've been through the text. Some of it is finally, maybe, starting to sink in.Vesna and Alan Wallace, whose translation I borrow from below, tell us that it, "has been the most widely read, cited, and practiced text in the whole of the Indo-Tibetan Buddhist tradition" and that it is widely cited in the works of the cu … [Read more...]

Dalai Lama leaves Mayo Clinic in good health and good spirits [Video] (UPDATED)


The Rochester Minnesota based Post Bulletin reported today that the Dalai Lama has been released from his stay at the Mayo Clinic, where he had been admitted last week after a routine check-up. He was greeted there by dozens of traditionally dressed Tibetans, who were invited to come to him for blessings.The Dalai Lama canceled a series of October appearances in the United States on advice from his U.S. doctors. No specific issues have been named, the 80 year-old religious leader has simply b … [Read more...]

Dalai Lama in hot water over “sexist” comments – again

Dalai lama bbc interview sept 2015

In May the Dalai Lama told the UK’s Sunday Times that he might come back as a “mischievous blonde woman” adding that “then her face must be very attractive” or “nobody pay much attention.”That didn't seem to upset too many people, but a fellow Patheos blogger picked it up, calling the Dalai Lama sexist, and I followed up with some context, opening the incident up for conversation with readers.I also inserted a (non-scientific) poll asking readers if they felt his comments were outrageous … [Read more...]

UK Tibetan Community issues a statement on Shugden

shugden false dalai lama poster 2015

Partially in response to increasingly vocal protests by Shudgen practitioners, the Tibetan Community UK has issued a statement on what they call the "Cult of Dolgyal Shugden." You can read more about members of this group, who are currently protesting the Dalai Lama in Australia here and via links below. STATEMENT CONCERNING THE CULT OF DOLGYAL SHUGDEN (Issued by Tibetan Community in Britain on 12 June 2015)Since early 2014, a sectarian group, the International Shugden Community (ISC), … [Read more...]

The Karmapa is coming to America


His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, head of the 900 year-old Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, will begin his 3rd US tour beginning in less than two weeks. His first stop will be at Stanford University on March 17th, where he will talk about "Caring Connections: Compassion, Technology and the Environment." This talk is sold out according to the tour website, but openings may become available and there is a notification list you can join at March 24 … [Read more...]

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche talks about Homosexuality and Buddhism

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche - Bodhgaya 2014

In this short video the Buddhist teacher and filmmaker, well known for his wit and sense of humor, speaks about the place of Homosexuality in Buddhism.Here is a partial transcript:Just um, this interesting question of sexual orientation, like gays and lesbians, what to do with, you know, how does this sort of fit with Bhutanese sort of Buddhist world? And I would like to speak [about] this a little bit. In Buddhism, as Shantideva said (in Tibetan): wisdom is the most important [ … [Read more...]

Double Dalai Lama or none: Buddhist leader contemplates ending reincarnations


This week the Dalai Lama is grabbing international headlines and as usual, Stephen Colbert's commentary is a great one to start with: on point, historically accurate, and highly entertaining. Colbert has it right that a major worry is that when the current Dalai Lama passes away, China will likely appoint its own successor, in effect leading to a secular, communist state endorsing the Tibetan Buddhist belief not only in rebirth, but in the specific 'tulku' system whereby individuals of … [Read more...]

Contentious Tibetan Buddhist deity worship discussed in London panel


In what may have been a first-of-its-kind event, representatives of the International Shugden Community joined academics, a Geluk Buddhist monk, and a former member of the New Kadampa Tradition to discuss the history and current status of Dorje Shugden. Shugden, in short, is a 'protector deity' historically associated with the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhism. His supposed power has led to great devotion by a number of esteemed Buddhist teachers, foremost among them Pabongkha Rinpoche, whose … [Read more...]