Meditation: the agony and the ecstacy

December 3, 2012

On the same day arrive news stories about two weird, and diametrically opposed, approaches to meditation.

On the one hand we have a man in Maine who has been charged for burning children with cigarettes as part of their meditation training. Adam Maguire was charged with two counts of domestic violence assault, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and violating conditions of release. Actually, this goes well beyond “weird” and into the “warped” category.

The Bangor Daily News reports that the police chief told them Maguire burned the children in their upper back and neck areas “in an attempt to show them pain compliance while meditating.” Apparently this was part of an … Read more »

Pakistan struggles with smuggled Buddhist relics

October 7, 2012

Sebastian Abbot, AP: Lacking the necessary cash and manpower, Pakistan is struggling to stem the flow of millions of dollars in ancient Buddhist artifacts that looters dig up in the country’s northwest and smuggle to collectors around the world.

The black market trade in smuggled antiquities is a global problem that some experts estimate is worth billions of dollars per year. The main targets are poor countries like Pakistan that possess a rich cultural heritage but don’t have the resources to protect it.

The illicit excavations rob Pakistan of an important potential source of tourism revenue, as valuable icons are spirited out of …

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Meditation diet

November 20, 2010

Most Americans got their last glimpse of Bob Ney in 2006 when the powerful Ohio representative resigned his office and left Washington to begin a 30-month term in federal prison in Morgantown, W.Va. A player in the Jack Abramoff scandal, Ney was a disgraced Republican with a drinking problem and an expanding waistline.

Today, he has been reborn as a sober and slimmed-down follower of the Dalai Lama and is studying meditation techniques with Tibetan monks at a Buddhist temple in India.

Ney is spending his days in Dharamsala, trying to master the Tibetan language and eagerly awaiting the return of the Dalai Lama and the chance to hear more of the exiled religious leader’s … Read more »

Lindsay Lohan ‘turns to Buddhism’

July 10, 2010

Lindsay Lohan is reportedly turning to Buddhism to get her through her spell in prison.

The 24-year-old actress was recently sentenced to 90 days in jail for violating the terms of her probation and it is claimed she is taking to the religion to help her get through the ordeal.

A source said to UK newspaper Daily Star: ‘Lindsay’s been fascinated in the Buddhist faith for a while, as several of her inner circle follow the teachings of Buddhism.

‘Lindsay’s devastated about the jail sentence, she has been crying non-stop. She’s been told to seek spiritual guidance and find her inner peace. She’s decided to study the art of meditation so she can stay calm … Read more »

For seven years, monks have had no peace

Vandalism has plagued a Buddhist temple near Rochester, Minnesota, for seven years. Neighbors and police are outraged and baffled.

A chorus of chirping crickets and the smashed shell of a mailbox greet Chhan Aun when he steps out the door of his monk’s residence at the hilltop Buddhist temple southeast of Rochester.

“We are quiet and peaceful; we try to pray for good things, not bad,” he said, wrapped in his orange robe, as a former monk translates his Cambodian words. “We don’t understand why people are doing things like this.”

This month’s busted mailbox is the latest in a seven-year string of vandalism that has jarred the four monks who live on the grassy, … Read more »

Madison abuse victims use meditation as therapy

The cases of child abuse in the Madison area are increasing, and while some of the scars are evident, others aren’t not, officials said. This is the reason a local nonprofit has also been working quietly for almost three decades to help some of the most vulnerable victims heal.

The pain of child abuse can be locked away for years, resurfacing in troubling ways. That was starting to happen to 6-year-old Ian. His mother, Lulu Santiago, said she noticed something was wrong last year.

“He was scared about staying in his room by himself,” said Santiago. “He was just very sad. I asked him many times, ‘Ian, what happened at school?’ and ‘How was school?’ … Read more »

Worcester Buddhist temple wins lawsuit against ex-leader

April 15, 2010

A jury has awarded $300,000 to a Buddhist temple on Dewey Street in a civil lawsuit accusing its former spiritual leader of wrongfully using its assets to buy a Braintree temple, which he later sold for $10 to a corporation he owns.

A Worcester Superior Court jury found Monday that Nam Thai, formerly a monk at the Pho Hien Buddhist Meditation Temple at 96 Dewey St., breached his fiduciary duty to the temple in 2001 when he used $65,000 of the congregation’s money as a down payment for a temple in Braintree called Samanta Bhadras Buddhist Center Inc.

Mr. Thai then secured a mortgage for the Braintree temple in the Worcester temple’s name and, in … Read more »

Spiritual guru completes police questioning, denies allegation

March 18, 2010

Jakarta Post: Spiritual guru Anand Krishna, reported by his former students for allegedly sexually harassing them, completed Monday a nine-hour questioning session with the police, again insisting he was not guilty in the case.

”[During the questioning], I clarified the misleading information the police obtained from their witnesses,” Anand said. “The accusations against me are wrong.”

Investigators from the city police’s women and children protection division began questioning Anand from 9 a.m. until 6:20 p.m.

Anand said the investigators had asked him to answer more than 70 questions, mostly directed to confirm testimonies from six witnesses the police had earlier questioned.

Anand is a well-known spiritualist who runs two schools in Jakarta and Bali … Read more »

Man accused of ‘meditation’ murder

January 27, 2010

A British motivational speaker has been indicted in the US on charges he killed a Las Vegas woman during a meditation session and stuffed her body in a rubbish barrel.

Michael Victor Lane’s court-appointed lawyer, Dan Silverstein, said Lane will plead not guilty on Thursday in a Nevada state court to murder and robbery with a deadly weapon charges filed by a grand jury last Friday. A preliminary hearing was cancelled.

The 37-year-old Lane was held in custody over the killing of 44-year-old Ginger Candela.

Prosecutors allege Lane killed Ms Candela in November and fled to California.

Lane was arrested on December 3 at a motel in Ventura, California. Authorities said he was using Ms … Read more »

Motivational speaker killed meditating woman with frying pan

December 27, 2009

Michael Lane, a British motivational speaker and “spiritual healer” told police he wanted to help 44-year-old Ginger Candela achieve a deeper state of meditation. Then he hit her with a frying pan and killed her, say Las Vegas police.

Lane told investigators that he and Candela were in her bedroom when he compressed her carotid arteries to help her achieve a deeper state of meditation, an arrest report released Monday says.

Police say Lane told them he then decided to kill her, striking her with a frying pan and using an electrical cord to strangle her.

On November 30, police detectives got a missing person report on Candela and went to her home.

The house … Read more »