1. How to accept it

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    We don’t become monks or nuns to eat well, sleep well, and be very comfortable, but to know suffering:
    1. how to accept it…
    2. how to get rid of it…
    3. how not to cause it.

    Compiled & Edited by Dhamma Garden
    Transcribed to the Internet by
    Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

    Source: http://www.dharmaweb.org

  2. Suu Kyi wants gov’t apology for violent crackdown

    Comment

    By YADANA HTUN, Associated Press
    November 30, 2012

     

    In this photo taken Thursday, Nov 29, 2012, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi , in green, listens to a injured Buddhist monks who suffered burn injuries when security forces cracked down protesters in a hospital in Monywa, northwestern Myanmar. Opposition leader Suu Kyi is urging a negotiated resolution to protests over a military-backed copper mine in northwestern Myanmar after the government’s biggest crackdown on demonstrators since reformist President Thein Sein took office last year. (AP Photo)

    MONYWA, Myanmar (AP) — Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday said authorities must apologize for a violent crackdown on monks and other foes of a mine in northwest Myanmar, but she also stuck to the government’s view that the country must follow through on its commitment to build the project.

    Speaking Friday morning to a crowd of more than 10,000 in the northwestern town of Monywa, the Nobel Peace laureate said people had the right to ask why authorities cracked down so harshly on the nonviolent protesters who had occupied the nearby Letpadaung copper mine for 11 days. It was the government’s biggest crackdown on demonstrations since reformist President Thein Sein took office last year.

    Police used water cannons, tear gas and smoke bombs to break up the protest early Thursday. Weapons that protesters described as flare guns caused severe burns to protesters and set shelters ablaze. A nurse at a Monywa hospital said 27 monks and one other person were admitted there to be treated for burns.

    “I want to ask, ‘What was their purpose of doing this?’ Frankly, there’s no need to act like this,” Suu Kyi said. People in the crowd shouted back: “Right!”

    “I’m not saying this to agitate people,” she continued. “I never persuade people by agitating. I explain to people so that they can decide by thinking.”

    Associated Press/Gemunu Amarasinghe – Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi reaches for supporters as she leaves after a public meeting close to Letpadaung mine in Monywa, northwestern Myanmar, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Suu Kyi is urging a negotiated resolution to protests over a military-backed copper mine in northwestern Myanmar after the government’s biggest crackdown on demonstrators since reformist President Thein Sein took office last year. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

    In remarks to reporters Friday, Suu Kyi said the authorities “need to apologize to the monks.”

    Yet she has taken a soft line on the broader conflict over the expanding mine, which protesters say is damaging the environment and forcing villagers to move without adequate compensation.

    She noted that many people asked her to help stop the project at once, but said she did not know details of the original contract and a parliamentary investigating committee had yet to do its work.

    She went on to suggest that Myanmar should honor the contracts establishing the project, especially since they involved a neighboring country. The mine is a joint venture between a military-controlled holding company and a Chinese mining company.

    She said that even in some cases where the people’s interest was not taken into account, the agreement should be followed “so that the country’s image will not be hurt.”

    Senior government officials have said the protesters’ demands to stop operating the mine risk scaring off foreign investment in Myanmar’s long-neglected economy.

    Now serving in parliament after years as a political prisoner of the long-ruling junta, Suu Kyi received a hero’s welcome in Monywa. Her visit had been scheduled before the crackdown, and she has said she will try to negotiate a solution to the conflict over the mine.
    On Thursday she met mining company officials, activists and injured protesters, and she met security officials Friday.

    The crackdown is a big blot on the government’s efforts to woo popular support, especially because many of the targets were monks, who are admired for their social activism as much as they are revered for their spiritual beliefs in deeply religious Myanmar.

    The previous military government infamously cracked down violently on monks who were leading the 2007 pro-democracy protests that came to be known as the “Saffron Revolution,” from the color of their robes.

    Monks in Myanmar’s two biggest cities, Yangon and Mandalay, staged small nonviolent protests Friday.

    The Upper Myanmar Monks organization in Mandalay issued a statement calling on the government to formally apologize for the action within five days, to provide sufficient health care for those who were injured and to release seven monks they say were detained.

    U Withuta, a prominent activist monk who is a member of the group, said more than 40 monks were hurt, some seriously and at risk of losing their eyesight. He said he was lightly burned on the thigh.

    “We wanted to forget what happened in 2007 and proceed forward, but what happened yesterday was like opening an old wound,” Withuta said. He said it was premature to say what the monks would do if their demands were not met.

    Citizen activism has increased since the elected government took over last year. Street demonstrations have been legalized, and are generally tolerated, though detentions have occurred in sensitive cases.

    Political and economic liberalization under Thein Sein has won praise from Western governments, which have eased sanctions imposed on the previous military government because of its poor record on human and civil rights.

    The Letpadaung mine is a joint venture between China’s Wanbao Mining Copper Ltd. and the military-owned Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. Many in Myanmar remain suspicious of the military and see China as an aggressive and exploitive investor that helped support its rule.

    In Yangon, more than 30 monks who staged a peaceful protest at downtown Sule pagoda, were joined by nearly 100 people who chanted prayers in front of the office of the army’s holding company.

    “May all be free from harm, may all be peaceful and may the Letpadaung mountains be green,” they chanted in the Friday dusk.

  3. Burma cracks down on mine protest

    Comment

    Associated Press, November 30, 2012

     

    Crackdown … this Buddhist monk suffered burn injuries when police fired water cannon and tear-gas at villagers and monks protesting against a Chinese-backed copper mine, in Monywa, northern Myanmar on Thursday. Photo: STR

     

    MONYWA, BURMA: Security forces have used water cannon, tear-gas and smoke bombs to clear protesters from a copper mine in northwestern Burma.

    Villagers and Buddhist monks were injured in the violence, which was the biggest use of force against demonstrators since the reformist government of President Thein Sein took office last year.

    Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who arrived in the area on a scheduled visit, said she would try to negotiate a solution.

    In a statement broadcast on state television, the government initially acknowledged using the riot-control measures but denied using excessive force. In an unusual move, it later retracted the statement without explanation.

    Monks and other protesters had serious burns after the crackdown at the Letpadaung mine near the town of Monywa. Protesters who oppose the mine’s impact on villagers and the environment had occupied the area for 11 days.

    “I didn’t expect to be treated like this, as we were peacefully protesting,” said Aung Myint Htway, a peanut farmer whose face and body were covered with black patches of burnt skin.

    The police action is a public relations and political disaster for Thein Sein’s government, which has been touting its transition to democracy after almost five decades of repressive military rule.

    “This is unacceptable,” said Ottama Thara, a 25-year-old monk who was at the protest. “This kind of violence should not happen under a government that says it is committed to democratic reforms.”

    Police moved early on Thursday to disperse protesters after some heeded earlier warnings to leave.

    “Around 2.30am police announced they would give us five minutes to leave,” Aung Myint Htway said. He said police fired water cannon first and then shot what he and others called flare guns.

    “They fired black balls that exploded into fire sparks. They shot about six times. People ran away and they followed us,” he said, still writhing hours later from pain. “It’s very hot.”

    Photos of the wounded monks showed they had serious burns on parts of their bodies. It was unclear what sort of weapon caused them, or whether the burns were caused by their shelters catching fire from whatever devices police used.

  4. Buddhists really do know secret of happiness

    Comment

    By Mark Henderson, Science Correspondent, Times Online

     

    Buddhists who claim their religion holds the secret of happiness may have been proved right by science: brain scans of the devout have found exceptional activity in the lobes that promote serenity and joy.

    American research has shown that the brain’s “happiness centre” is constantly alive with electrical signals in experienced Buddhists, offering an explanation for their calm and contented demeanour.

    Neuroscientists think the preliminary findings could provide the first proof that religious training can change the way the brain responds to certain environmental triggers.

    The University of Wisconsin-Madison study team scanned the brains of people who had been practising Buddhists for several years, looking particularly at areas important for emotion, mood and temperament. They found that the left side — the “happiness centre” — was consistently highly active in Buddhists.

    “We can now hypothesise with some confidence that those apparently happy, calm Buddhist souls one regularly comes across in places such as Dharamsala (the Dalai Lama’s home) really are happy,” Professor Owen Flanagan of Duke University, North Carolina, writes in New Scientist.

    The positive effects were seen all the time, not only during meditation, which suggests that the Buddhist way of life may affect the way their brains work. Other research has also suggested that Buddhists have lower than usual activity in the part of the brain that processes fear and anxiety. These findings may eventually allow researchers to develop meditation techniques as treatments for depressive illnesses.

    Steve James, founder of the London Buddhist Centre, said the findings offered evidence of what Buddhism can do to improve happiness, and Paul Seto, director of the Buddhist Society, said: “Lots of people are excited about this, but we’ve known it all along. Buddhism hasn’t been waiting for scientific proof. We know it works.”

    “Happy indeed we live, friendly amidst the hostile. Amidst hostile men we dwell free from hatred.
    ~ Dhammapada 197”

    Source: http://www.parami.org

  5. Burma violence: Myanmar president says monks, politicians kindling hate

    Comment

    AFP, August 24, 2012

     

    President Thein Sein says ethnic Rakhine could not accept Muslim Rohingya as fellow citizens. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

     

    YANGON: Buddhist monks, politicians and other ethnic Rakhine figures are kindling hatred towards Muslim Rohingya in an area plagued by sectarian violence, Myanmar’s president has warned in a report seen by AFP Friday.

    In an unvarnished assessment of the role of Buddhists in unrest in Rakhine state, which has left scores dead on both sides and displaced tens of thousands of people, President Thein Sein also said ethnic Rakhine could not accept the Rohingya as fellow citizens.
    Decades of discrimination have left the Rohingya stateless and Myanmar’s government considers their 800,000-strong population as foreigners, while many citizens see them as illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh and view them with hostility.

    “Political parties, some monks and some individuals are increasing the ethnic hatred. They even approach and lobby both the domestic and overseas Rakhine community,” Thein Sein said in a report sent to Myanmar’s union parliament – which combines the upper and lower houses – on August 17.

    “Rakhine people are continuously thinking to terrorise the Bengali Muslims living across the country,” he said, using a term frequently used in Myanmar for Rohingya.

    Thein Sein also said ethnic Rakhine could not envisage sharing their land with people they consider foreigners, echoing comments he made in July calling for camps or deportation of Rohingya.

    “They cannot consider a situation in which the Bengali Muslims can be citizens,” the president said.

    A leading Rakhine political party rejected the findings, saying it had already lodged “an objection” over the report to parliament.

    “We don’t agree with their review… such a review should not be released in this current time…, it can worsen the clashes,” said Aye Maung, chairman of Rakhine Nationalities Development Party.

    Myanmar’s authorities have faced heavy criticism from rights groups after clashes between Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine, which according to government figures left 87 people dead.

    In response the government on August 18 announced a new 27-member investigating commission, including religious leaders, artists and former dissidents, to probe the causes of the violence and suggest ways forward.

    The president’s review also found that the economy of Rakhine state had been decimated by the unrest, while both communities are suffering “mental trauma” after the clashes, which saw neighbours turn on each other and thousands of homes torched.

    New York-based Human Rights Watch has accused Myanmar forces of opening fire on Rohingya during the June outbreak of unrest, as well as committing rape and standing by as rival mobs attacked each other.

  6. S. Korean Buddhist monks fined for gambling

    Comment

    AFP, August 10, 2012

     

    Gambling is illegal for South Koreans, and especially a serious discipline breach for Buddhist monks (AFP/Illustration, Jung Yeon-Je)

     

    SEOUL — A South Korean court said Friday it has fined two Buddhist monks for illegal gambling, after video footage of their high-stakes poker game sparked a scandal in religious circles.
    The Seoul Central District Court Thursday fined the monks from the Jogye Order, the country’s largest Buddhist order, two million won ($1,775) each.

    “The court only ordered fines because they showed remorse for what they had done,” a court spokeswoman told AFP.

    Another monk who filmed the hotel room where the gambling session was held and an engineer who set up the camera were given suspended prison sentences for breaking into the room and damaging it while trying to install the camera.

    Prosecutors launched a probe after footage came to light of eight monks gambling at the hotel in southern Jangseong county in April.

    Gambling is illegal for South Koreans except for a restricted number of venues, and is also a breach of the Buddhist order’s code of discipline.

    The eight monks were also allegedly drinking alcohol and smoking in breach of Buddhist rules. Senior leaders of the Jogye order resigned over the scandal.

    The order, which claims 10 million followers among South Korea’s 50 million people, has been plagued by factional feuds. Dozens of monks were injured when rival factions clashed in 1999.
    Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.


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