Sulak Sivaraksa and Joanna Macy to Headline the 2014 Buddhist Peace Fellowship National Gathering

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This coming August 29th-31st, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship will host its first national Gathering since 2006, bring practitioners together for "meeting face to face to deepen our practice in social justice and spiritual awakening." The featured keynote speakers will be Sulak Sivaraksa and Joanna Macy -- very exciting news indeed! The event, which will be held at the East Bay Meditation Center, will include the following: Hands-on training in nonviolent direct action Dharma practice … [Read more...]

The World Wildlife Fund’s Dekila Chungyalpa and “The Greening of Buddhism” in Spirituality & Health

Dekila Chungyalpa

Spirituality & Health has a terrific piece on Dekila Chungyalpa, who is the Director of the World Wildlife Fund's Sacred Earth Program, which "works with religious leaders and faith communities who best articulate ethical and spiritual ideals around the sacred value of Earth and its diversity, and are committed to protecting it." She's also a Buddhist in the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, who, after a meeting with His Holiness the 17th Karmapa, Orgyen Trinley Dorje, was moved to … [Read more...]

CNN on Aung San Suu Kyi’s Silence Regarding the Rohingya: “Has ‘The Lady’ Lost Her Voice?”

"Myanmar's National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi pictured at a polling station in 2012." Image via CNN.

CNN has a substantial feature online about Aung San Suu Kyi and the Rohingya in Burma. In it, the news agency wonders, "Has 'The Lady' lost her voice?" Here's a snippet: [Human Rights Watch] executive director Kenneth Roth was withering in a recent report: "The world was apparently mistaken to assume that as a revered victim of rights abuse she would also be a principled defender of rights." Aung Zaw, editor of Myanmar news magazine The Irrawaddy, said that while she remained popular among … [Read more...]

A New Interview with Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi for Spirituality & Health

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Our friend Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi is interviewed in the latest issue of Spirituality & Health. It's short, but good. Here's a snippet: You started an organization to fight world hunger, you write about the devastating consequences of climate change, and you marched with the Occupy Wall Street movement. When did you decide that, in addition to your spiritual work as a Buddhist monk and translator of ancient texts, you needed to be an activist? Before I became a monk, back in the late 1960s I … [Read more...]

Reuters Journalists Win Pulitzer Prize for Reporting on the Persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Burma

"Thousands of Rohingya eagerly wait for a delegation from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to enter an internally displaced people camp in Rakhine state." Photo by Miguel Candela for Al Jazeera

I just wanted to take a moment to offer belated congratulations to Reuters journalists Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall, whose coverage of the Rohingyas was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting earlier this week. I've used their work in my own blogging about the Rohingya in the past, including this post and this one. Buddhadharma: The Practitioner's Quarterly Online has more about the prize, Mr. Szep and Mr. Marshall's work, and the situation. Do take a … [Read more...]

The New York Times Editorial Board on the Human Rights of Tibetans in Nepal

Image via Human Rights Watch.

This past week, the New York Times editorial board opined on Human Rights Watch's damning report on "how far Nepal has gone in capitulating to Chinese pressure in cracking down on Tibetan residents and refugees." Among other things, the editors write: Nepal has long been a way station for Tibetans fleeing China. Many continue on to India, where the Dalai Lama lives and where they can obtain refugee status. Still, some 20,000 Tibetans live in Nepal. Most were born there, yet the government of … [Read more...]

NEWS: Chinese Government Denies Entry Visa to Sulak Sivaraksa

Sulak Sivaraksa

Sulak Sivaraksa is one of Thailand’s preeminent social activist and one of the titans of the modern engaged Buddhist movement. He founded and currently directs Thailand’s Sathirakoses-Nagapradeepa Foundation, and also serves on the advisory board of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists. In addition to all his work as an activist, organizer, and social critic in Thailand, he has also served as chair of the UN’s Asian Cultural Forum on Development and has been a visiting … [Read more...]

“Ethnocentric Buddhism?”

"Buddhist monks protest near Shwedagon Pagoda against the opening of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation offices in Burma in October 2012." Image via Reuters.

Buddhologist Paul Fuller (who blogs here) has a new piece at the Democratic Voice of Burma that argues for a new term when discussing ethnic conflicts led by Buddhist monastics within countries like Burma, Thailand, and Sri Lanka: "ethnocentric Buddhism." He advances this term to be used in place of "Buddhist terror" or "Buddhist extremism," which have been used (most famously in Time Magazine) to describe phenomena such as the Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force) in Sri Lanka and Wirathu's 969 … [Read more...]

David R. Loy Asks, “What Would the Buddha Do?”

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And what he comes up with makes for absolutely essential reading. Here's a snippet: Interdependence is not merely an insight to be cultivated on our cushions. A suffering world calls upon us to realize interdependence--to make it real--in the ways we actually live. If Buddhists do not want to do this or cannot find ways to do this, then Buddhism is not the spiritual path that the world needs today. Read the rest at the Huffington Post here. Loy is a professor, writer, and Zen teacher. … [Read more...]

Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche Teaches on Universal Responsibility at Harvard Divinity School

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Rinpoche's organization, Mangala Shri Bhuti, has generously posted the entire teaching on their YouTube channel. You can watch the whole thing below. Rinpoche is, of course, the founder and guiding teacher of Mangala Shri Bhuti, current teacher of Pema Chödrön, and author of books such as It's Up to You: The Practice of Self-Reflection on the Buddhist Path. Here's the description of the teaching: In this one night seminar given to students at Harvard University's School of Divinity, … [Read more...]