Suu Kyi’s 20-year war of wills with Myanmar junta: Profile

November 15, 2010

Aung San Suu Kyi’s patience and fierce determination have been tested repeatedly during a 20-year war of wills against Myanmar’s military rulers.

Those qualities, honed by a daily morning regimen of Buddhist meditation, have helped her in a battle in which she has effectively spent 15 of the last 20 years under house arrest.

Born June 19, 1945, Suu Kyi (pronounced Sue Chee) was only two when her father, Burmese independence hero General Aung San, was murdered by political rivals.

Her mother, Khin Kyi, served in several posts in the newly independent country, including ambassador to India. Suu Kyi grew up abroad, attending Britain’s Oxford University where she received degrees in philosophy and economics in … Read more »

Burma releases pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi

November 13, 2010

The Burmese military authorities have released the pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, from house arrest.

Appearing outside her home in Rangoon, Ms Suu Kyi told thousands of jubilant supporters they had to “work in unison” to achieve their goals.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner has been detained for 15 of the past 21 years. It is not yet clear if any conditions have been placed on her release.

US President Barack Obama welcomed her release as “long overdue”.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Ms Suu Kyi was an “inspiration”, and called on Burma to free all its remaining political prisoners.

Read the rest of this article…

We have a brief biography of Aung … Read more »

Prison meditation courses expand in Burma

Prisoners in Myanmar jails, sometimes accompanied by warders and other prison staff, are studying meditation and Buddhist doctrine as more courses on Dhamma are being offered to inmates.

The first course, in 2008, took place at Insein prison and attracted 50 prisoners and was followed by a second course for younger prisoners.

In 2009, meditation courses were held for the first time at Tharyarwady prison in Bago Division. Four more have been conducted at Tharyarwady since then, while three courses have been held at Mandalay prison.

The instructors are provided by the Dhamma Joti Centre, on behalf of S N Goenka, a leading teacher of Vipassana (insight) meditation. The Vipassana method was preserved in Myanmar … Read more »

Meditation zeitgeist, August 17, 2009

August 17, 2009

ZeitgeistA not-entirely-random selection of blog posts on meditation.

A few days ago, the indefatigable Reverend Danny Fisher attempted to start a viral campaign of people reading the Metta Sutta in response to efforts by Burma’s ruling military junta to keep monastics from chanting it at least one large monastery. He has been pleased with the response so far. The Rev. Danny (did we mention that he’s indefatigable?) also carries a link to a Denver Post story claiming that Buddhism can be a path back to the church for many Americans, but also carries opinions from Christians hostile to other faiths: “It starts with labyrinths,” commented one.

The Tricycle Editors’ Blog reports that the brain activity … Read more »

Monks succeed in cyclone relief as junta falters

Monks Succeed in Cyclone Relief as Junta Falters – NYTimes.com

KUN WAN, Myanmar — They paddle for hours on the stormy river, or carry their sick parents on their backs through the mud and rain, traveling for miles to reach the one source of help they can rely on: Buddhist monks.

At a makeshift clinic in this village near Bogale, an Irrawaddy Delta town 75 miles southwest of Yangon, hundreds of villagers left destitute by Cyclone Nargis arrive each day seeking the assistance they have not received from the government or international aid workers.

Since the cyclone, the Burmese have been growing even closer to the monks while their alienation from the junta grows. This … Read more »