Archives for May 2014

NEWS: Ajahn Brahm’s Call for Gender Equality in Buddhism Blocked from the 2014 UN Day of Vesak [UPDATED TWICE]

This from the Federation of Australian Buddhist Councils (FABC): Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women is No. 3 on the list of eight declared United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goals, and is strongly supported by the FABC.One of Australia's senior monks, Ajahn Brahm, was invited to deliver a speech on Gender Equality at the UN Day of Vesak Convention in Vietnam in May 2014. Unfortunately, Ajahn Brahm was prevented from delivering his speech by a ban imposed by conference … [Read more...]


This via Climate Reality: This June 21st, the longest day of the year, a coalition of groups will come together in a National Day of Action to show support for switching to clean energy, fighting climate change, and the power of bringing solar power to communities all across the country.2014 has been a breakout year for solar. Solar equipment costs continue to come down and installations continue to grow. More solar energy generation has been installed in the U.S. in the last 18 months than … [Read more...]

Watch Gary Snyder and Wendell Berry in Conversation at the 2014 Festival of Faiths

Oh, you're in for a treat...There's an amazing new book out entitled Distant Neighbors: The Selected Letters of Wendell Berry & Gary Snyder, and, as if that isn't exciting enough, Snyder (Buddhist Beat poet and environmentalist) and Berry (Christian poet and organic farmer) are "on the road" at various events to promote it. Most recently, they were in conversation as part of the 2014 Festival of Faiths: Sacred Earth Sacred Self in Louisville, KY. Their discussion, moderated by Jack Sh … [Read more...]

Kenan Malik’s New York Times Op-Ed “Myanmar’s Buddhist Bigots”

Last week, Kenan Malik wrote a blistering op-ed for the New York Times about how the anti-Muslim violence perpetrated by Buddhists in Myanmar should burst idealized notions about Buddhism. "Myanmar's Buddhist Bigots" is not easy reading, but it is necessary reading. Do take a look.I think Malik's thesis is quite right, but it should also be noted that Buddhist scholars and practitioners (and scholar-practitioners) are and have been trying to help remove rose-colored glasses.Thomas Tweed, … [Read more...]

Sri Lankan Monks Occupy Religious Ministry Building in Colombo

This via Al Jazeera English: Protesters led by Buddhist monks from the right-wing Ravana Balaya group have occupied the Ministry of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo.The Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist group protested on Wednesday against the creation of a new religious police unit, which was created in April this year in the wake of rising number of religious conflicts in recent years.The general secretary of the group, Iththakande Saddhatissa Thero, … [Read more...]

Watch the Entire 1st Annual Symposium for New Scholar-Practitioners in Buddhist Chaplaincy Online

  Over at Dharma Cowgirl, Monica Sanford -- former student and current pal -- blogs about the recent symposium she put together at University of the West this past semester. In addition, she has video of the entire event (courtesy of student photographer Jascha Ephraim and Glenn Dunki-Jacobs in UWest's Extended Studies Department). She writes: Last semester I conducted a research study with interview subjects from among the UWest chaplaincy student and alumni cohort, with a promise to present … [Read more...]

David McMahan and Tricycle‘s Linda Heuman Talk Buddhism and Science on This Week’s Interfaith Voices Podcast

A big hat-tip to Tricycle: The Buddhist Review for this one: Buddhist scholar David McMahan and Tricycle contributing editor Linda Heuman are guests on the newest episode of Interfaith Voices, the nation’s leading public radio show on religion and spirituality, to speak about the longstanding dialogue between Buddhism and science. You can listen to the episode -- which explores both both the "roots [of Buddhism's relationship with science], and its potential problems for modern Buddhism" -- her … [Read more...]

“The Rise of Buddhist Feminism?”

A new piece by Hanna Hindstrom appeared in The Diplomat this week, telling the story of "a few Thai women [who] are defying conservative Buddhist tradition to reinstate an ancient order." Here are a couple of key snippets:  The Sangha insists that the Bhikkhuni lineage cannot be revived, because new ordination ceremonies require at least five other Bhikkunis to complete – and this community of women vanished centuries ago. A Sri Lankan campaign to resuscitate the practice using female monks fro … [Read more...]