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 in a certain faith, why do you involve [sic]… 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 compassion and fairness for… 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… 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… 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… 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…. Read more

Antwi Akom on “Eco-Buddhism & Mindfulness: Building a Climate Justice Movement”

Here’s a nice find from YouTube: San Francisco State University Assistant Professor of Africana Studies Antwi Akom addresses the Mill Valley Public Library on “Eco-Buddhism & Mindfulness: Building a Climate Justice Movement”. The talk is described this way: Through a lecture and slide presentation, Dr. Akom will illustrate how we can bring forth an environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling world by considering climate change on local levels. Dr. Akom will discuss what local people are doing to reverse… Read more

Sign the Petition Calling for United Nations Day of Vesak to Invite Ajahn Brahm to Present His Banned Gender Equality Paper in 2015

As I previously reported, a paper by Ajahn Brahm calling for gender equality in Buddhism was blocked from the 2014 UN Day of Vesak. Our friend Justin Whitaker at American Buddhist Perspective points us to this petition about the matter: We, the undersigned, are astounded and deeply disappointed by the banning of Ajahn Brahm’s paper on gender equality at the 2014 United Nations Day of Vesak (UNDV) conference in Vietnam. The paper was clearly aligned with the UN’s Millennium Development Goal… Read more

J. Baird Callicott on “Judeo-Christianity, Zen Buddhism, and Environmental Ethics”

Noted environmental philosopher J. Baird Callicott spoke recently at his alma mater, Rhodes College, on the subject “Judeo-Christianity, Zen Buddhism, and Environmental Ethics”. The institution’s YouTube channel describes the talk this way. American philosopher J. Baird Callicott describes the development of secular environmental ethics and comparative religious environmentalism, two approaches to environmental ethics that continue to define how we think about a sustainable world. Check it out below! As a side note, Callicott is one of the great scholars of… Read more

Bhikkhu Bodhi, Roshi Bernie Glassman, Venerable Pannavati, and Others to Speak on “Creating a Compassionate World”

Several prominent engaged Buddhist leaders and others will be offering a retreat/intensive at the Garrison Institute that is right up your alley if you’re a fan of this blog. Contemplative practice ultimately takes us off the pillow, out of our temples and into the world—people become our “forest.” Join us for a weekend retreat/intensive with six leading contemplative activists offering hope against hunger, hatred, homelessness, war, racism and human trafficking: Bhikkhu Bodhi, Roshi Bernie Glassman, Father John Dear, Venerable Pannavati, Bhikkhu Pannadipa, and Venerable Ani Drubgyudma…. Read more

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