Thoughts On Jack Kornfield’s Shambhala Sun Piece About Burma

Jack Kornfield has a new piece about the violence committed by Burmese Buddhists against Muslim Rohingyas in the latest issue of Shambhala Sun. You can read it online here, or download a PDF version of the magazine pages here.This is a snippet from the very beginning: On the surface, upcountry Burma is not very different than it was in 1971, when I first trained there as a monk in the monasteries of Mahasi and Sunlun Sayadaw. The green and dusty landscape is dotted with temples and golden … [Read more...]

New York Times Op-Doc Shows Buddhist Monks Helping Cambodia’s Imperiled Chong People

If you're going to watch one thing today, watch this.At the New York Times' website, award-winning filmmaker Kalyanee Mam describes her short film "A Threat to Cambodia's Sacred Forests," the latest op-doc for the paper, this way:In southwest Cambodia, at the foot of the Cardamom Mountains, is a single dirt road that meanders through the heart of the pristine Areng valley. Ten miles down this road, villagers have set up an encampment to stop a hydroelectric dam project that they fear wi … [Read more...]

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The Violence in Gaza is “Unthinkable”

Over at Tricycle: The Buddhist Review's blog, the awesome Max Zahn writes about His Holiness the Dalai Lama's reaction to the ongoing violence in Gaza.On Tuesday, His Holiness the Dalai Lama called the violence “unthinkable,” criticizing religious actors on both sides: "All major religious traditions—Islam, Christianity, Hindu, of course, Jainism and Buddhism, all major religious traditions—teach us the practice of compassion, love, forgiveness, tolerance. So then, for a person who believes … [Read more...]

Ajahn Brahm: “Unacceptable” That Religion Has Been So Cruel to LGBTI People

Ajahn Brahm is in the "Buddhist news" again! This via Gay Star News: Ajahn Brahm, Abbott of the Bodhinyana Buddhist Monastery in Serpentine, Western Australia, and Spiritual Patron of the Buddhist Fellowship in Singapore has urged followers to show respect, compassion and fairness to LGBTI people...He told the audience, 'Buddhism teaches us to have compassion for all sentient beings. Aren't gay people sentient beings? They should be respected like everybody else. There is a principal of … [Read more...]

CNN on “The Rise of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist Ultra-Nationalists” [UPDATED]

CNN's Tim Hume has a new piece today about "the rise of Sri Lanka's Buddhist ultra-nationalists," and the man at the center of conversations about the subject: He is Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, the Buddhist holy man who is the general secretary and public face of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS, also known as Buddhist Power Force).The ultra-nationalist Sinhalese Buddhist organization has emerged as a troubling presence on the Sri Lankan political landscape in recent years, and is blamed by many for … [Read more...]

Reverend Christina Yanko Officiates Buddhist Weddings at World Pride Toronto 2014

This from Sumeru Books:Reverend Christina Yanko from the Toronto Buddhist Church was one of the officiants at the mass wedding which took place at World Pride in Toronto recently. I asked her for a bit of info about it and here’s what she told me... “First there was a big mass ceremony. Each of the officiants were asked to perform a blessing from their religious tradition. We don’t really believe we have any authority to bless people since we ourselves are not perfect, so I simply chanted Sa … [Read more...]

The Phnom Penh Post on Cambodia’s “Saffron Revolution”

Hat-tip to Dr. Paul Fuller for this one: The Phnom Penh Post has a new piece about Cambodian Buddhist monks participating in protests this week, and puts them into larger perspective as well.Here's a snippet: In demonstrations at Freedom Park in central Phnom Penh this week, Buddhist monks have been ever present. They have been at the forefront of calls to remove the barbed-wire barriers and open the area again to freedom of expression and opposition to the government.They have also … [Read more...]

Fake Twitter Accounts Spread Pro-Chinese Propaganda as the Central Tibetan Administration Unveils New Middle Way Awareness Campaign

This via Shambhala Sun Space: “Tom Hugo seems to be well-versed in Chinese, and he evidently cares deeply about the Tibetan people,” writes Andrew Jacobs in his excellent piece from Monday’s New York Times. “There’s only one problem with Tom Hugo’s Twitter account.” You’ve probably already guessed what it is.As Jacobs goes on to explain, “Tom Hugo” is just one of a sea of people who are enthusing about all things Tibetan — when they shouldn’t be. Read the full story here.Tuesday update, … [Read more...]