1. Teenage Monks Being Mad Disrespectful of Monkhood Stuff Right Now

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    By Hamilton Nolan, August 15, 2012

     

    WSJ. Photo: AP

     

    This “millennial” generation of youngsters these days—is there any respected institution which they cannot ruin merely by being themselves? It seems not. For thousands of years, Buddhist monks have had a good thing going: they sit. They chant. They chill. And now? “Me-first” teenage monks these days are using the internet to destroy everything, as usual.

    The WSJ reports on the latest disturbing and, dare we say, sacrilegious pastime that teens on planet Earth have conceived: desecrating the sanctity of Buddhist temples for a few meager virtual “likes.”

    Some [teenage boys] find their life’s vocation during the few weeks they spend in the monastery, and they become full-time monks.

    Others post videos of themselves on YouTube, as they play air guitar to hard-rock tracks like Yngwie Malmsteen’s “Iron Clad,” or recite religious chants to thumping hip-hop beats.

    Hey guys, hey fellas, let me rap with you for a few seconds here: it ain’t about that. It’s about Buddha. Dig? I’m putting this “on the level” of street slang so you overstand me here. Fellas? Fellas. Let’s get it together here, hey? Okay. Let’s bring it in now. “Buddha team” on three, fellas.

    The article notes that after the grown-up monks finish civilizing teenagers, they plan to urge foreign tourists not to get “inked up with Buddhist tattoos.” Good luck!

    Source: http://gawker.com/

  2. Buddhist mother’s self-immolation death sparks growing concern for Tibetans in China

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    By Lys Anzia, WNN, August 9, 2012

     

    At 12:40pm Tibet local time on November 3, 2011, a Buddhist nun in Tibet stands in the street after she has set herself on fire. Her name is Palden Choetso, who was 35-years-old at the time. After setting herself ablaze she died from her injuries. She set herself on fire on the Chume Bridge in the centre of Tawu in the Kandze Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province in Eastern Tibet. Palden Choetso was from Geden Choeling Nunnery in Tawu and had been a nun for 15 years. This image is from a video that was smuggled out of the Sichuan Province region in November 2011.

     

    (WNN) Kanlho region, EASTERN TIBET, CHINA: Under increasing incidences of self-immolation over the last year with what advocates have called a “a widening area of Tibet,” a 26 year old mother named Dolkar Kyi set herself on fire Tuesday outside the Tso city Monastery in Kanlho, Eastern Tibet in what advocates say is a strong act of protest against China’s policy in the Tibetan region. She later died from injuries related to setting herself on fire.

    Human rights advocates say her protest was a statement made to call attention to current restrictions in China’s Gannan Tibetan autonomous prefecture region centered on what Kyi herself called limits to “freedom in Tibet” and religious rights, reported advocacy group FreeTibet.org on Tuesday.

    In contrast and direct conflict with the FreeTibet.org news release, China’s State-owned Xinhua news said on Tuesday that Drung Gertso is actually the name of the woman who set herself on fire on Tuesday as she was suffering under what Chinese authorities called “intermittant mental disease.” They also said Gertso was suicidal due to family and marriage problems.

    The volley between Chinese reporting agencies and Free Tibet advocates has caused what human rights advocates call an extreme blind eye by the government of China to acknowledge or recognize the desperation of protest with self-immolation under the critical needs for religious freedom in the region. In contrast, Chinese based philosopher Ms. Hua Zi, a researcher at the China Tibetology Publishing House, has called the self-immolation deaths “separatist” activities.

    Regardless of the political context, self immolation deaths are continuing at an increased pace for Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns in the region.

    “By playing up the Tibet issue in the international community and smearing China’s ethnic policy, they intended to create excuses for the so-called ‘independence of Tibet,’” said Ms. Hua Zi in a November 2011 interview with Xinhua news.

    “Officials have refused to address the underlying repressive policies against Tibetans’ religion, culture, and language that have likely contributed to this unprecedented tragedy,” outlined U.S. Congressional Chairman Christopher Smith of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China in February 2012. “Instead, they reportedly have fired on Tibetan protestors, tightened security even further, and closed off Tibetan areas to the outside world,” continued Chairman Smith. “Vice President Xi should protect the freedom of religion and spiritual belief of all those in China, whether they be Buddhists, Muslims, Protestants, Catholics, or Falun Gong practitioners.”

    In June 2012 this year, travel agencies were forced to turn away foreign travelers who wished to visit the Tibetan region after officials in Beijing banned all foreigners entrance to the region.

    1989 Nobel Peace Laureate and present human rights advocate Tenzin Gyatso, who is also known as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, was given responsibility as the then ‘Head of State’ of Tibet at the age of 15 in 1950. In 1959, as the conflict between the Tibet and Chinese policy in the region increased to dangerous levels, the Dalai Lama escaped and entered India along with 80,000 plus refugees. Many of them relocated with the Dalai Lama to the town of Dharamsala, considered today by many to be the seat of the Tibetan ‘Government-in-exile.’

    Attempting to stay clear of the volatile international politics surrounding the issue, the Dalai Lama has continued to speak of his wishes for peace in the region while outlining the ‘hardship’ for native Tibetans who are now losing their culture through increasing fear and military presence.

    “Instead of addressing the genuine grievances of the Tibetan people, the Chinese authorities have responded to the self-immolations by increasing restrictions, torturing members of the self-immolators’ family or their acquaintances and taking several into custody without any judicial process,” said Bhuchung K. Tsering, Vice President for Special Programs for International Campaign for Tibet in Washington, D.C.

    during a July 25, 2012 hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs. “These stringent restrictions will only increase the sense of injustice and discrimination felt by Tibetans. As long as Tibetans continue to be denied the opportunity to live a life of equality, respect and dignity, it is clear that they will undertake actions to convey their feelings.” he continued.

    Today the Dalai Lama no longer considers himself to be the political leader of the Tibetan people. “In 2001, the Tibetan people elected the Kalon Tripa, the political leader, directly for the first time. Since then, I have been in semi-retirement, no longer involving myself in the day-to-day administration, but able to dedicate more time to general human welfare,” He said in a March 2011 formal statement during the Fourteenth Assembly of the Tibetan’s Peoples Deputies, known today as the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile in Dharamsala.

    “I believe the demonstrations and protests taking place in Tibet reflect reaction to repression. Further repressive measures will not lead to unity and stability,” outlined the Dalai Lama in a separate formal statement made in 2008.

  3. The passing of Tibetan Buddhist master Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche

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    Tibetan Buddhist master, Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche

    The Tibetan Buddhist master and onetime abbot of Thrangu Monastery, Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche, died suddenly this morning in Melbourne, Australia, site of the Kagyu E-vam Buddhist Institute which he founded.
    .
    Family and students were by his side as he passed, apparently of a heart attack. He was 57.

    Though such an event was unexpected, Rinpoche’s travel and activity had been restricted in recent years due to health concerns. He was expected to arrive in North America soon, for his first visit here in some time.

    The following statement about Rinpoche’s passing has been issued by Felicity Lodro and Kal Kingi of the E-Vam Institute — of which Rinpoche was Director:

    “Dear Friends and Members of Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche’s centres,

    It is with deep regret that we inform the Karma Kagyu tradition, the Nyingma tradition and all other schools of Tibetan Buddhism as well as the wider Buddhist community that our treasured and beloved Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche IX passed into parinirvana at 12.10 am on 24 July 2012, being the Fourth Day of the Sixth Month of the Tibetan calendar in the Year of the Dragon. We are deeply shocked and saddened at the loss of such an extraordinary teacher at such a young age. Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche remained lucid to the end and we were both honoured to be present with Rinpoche at the time of his gentle and dignified passing.

    Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche was devoted to maintaining the essence and purity of Buddhism. Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche was not only a remarkable and outstanding scholar of the teachings of Buddhism but his ability to communicate the teachings ensured that the essence of the teachings penetrated the hearts and minds of thousands of students of the Dharma throughout the world. We deeply and earnestly pray for the quick rebirth of Traleg Rinpoche. We feel blessed beyond belief to be a part of Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche’s activities throughout the West.

    In accordance with the Tibetan tradition evening pujas at E-Vam Buddhist Institute, Carlton North, will commence on Wednesday 25 July from 8pm and all subsequent evenings for 49 days. A tribute ceremony will be held at Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche’s Maitripa Centre, Healesville, at a date to be confirmed.

    With Profound Sadness,
    Yours Sincerely in the Dharma,
    Felicity Lodro and Kal Kingi”

    This morning, Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche offered this message for students and friends of Karma Triyana Dharmachakra:

    “Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche passed away on the auspicious day of Chokhor Duchen, the observance of Lord Buddha’s first teaching. We at KTD are saddened by his sudden passing, and are praying for his swift return.

    As for practices to be done at this time, close disciples may perform the “taking of the four empowerments” through visualization in the guru yoga practice; other students may recite the 6-syllable and 100-syllable Vajrasattva mantras. All should pray for his swift return.

    Here at KTD, starting tonight, we will dedicate the daily Chenrezig puja for Traleg Rinpoche, and, on the day in August when he was to have spoken here (Saturday August 4), we will offer a special Karma Pakshi tsok feast puja from 1 to 5 pm, followed by the Mahakala protector puja, and make extensive offerings.

    We especially invite all the dharma students to attend this commemorative puja and offer prayers with us in honor of Traleg Rinpoche.

    We will keep you apprised of any further developments. Our thoughts and prayers are with Traleg Rinpoche, his family, and his many students and friends around the world.

    With prayers and warm wishes,
    Your Dharma Family at KTD”

    Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche’s work has appeared in the Buddhadharma and Shambhala Sun magazines numerous times; here’s a selection.

     

    Source: http://shambhalasun.com


Live & Die for Buddhism

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Maha Ghosananda

Maha Ghosananda

Supreme Patriarch of Cambodian Buddhism (5/23/1913 - 3/12/07). Forever in my heart...

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Of the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities and must be accepted and faced with equanimity. Others, however, are of our own making, created by misunderstanding, and can be corrected...

Major Differences

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Major Differences in Buddhism: There is no almighty God in Buddhism. There is no one to hand out rewards or punishments on a supposedly Judgement Day ...read more

My Reflection

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This site is a tribute to Buddhism. Buddhism has given me a tremendous inspiration to be who and where I am today. Although I came to America at a very young age, however, I never once forget who I am and where I came from. One thing I know for sure is I was born as a Buddhist, live as a Buddhist and will leave this earth as a Buddhist. I do not believe in superstition. I only believe in karma.

A Handful of Leaves

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Tipitaka: The pali canon (Readings in Theravada Buddhism). A vast body of literature in English translation the texts add up to several thousand printed pages. Most -- but not all -- of the Canon has already been published in English over the years. Although only a small fraction of these texts are available here at Access to Insight, this collection can nonetheless be a very good place to start.

Just the way it is

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor... read more