Kristina Goetz: Before dawn, a Buddhist monk stands beneath a tall pine in a long brown robe the color of Mother Earth. He rings a bronze bell suspended from a low-hanging limb to signal it’s time for walking meditation.
By the light of a crescent moon, monks and nuns in the same brown robes walk slowly, silently. The crunch of gravel and the tap of footsteps on blacktop are the only sounds in the cool air. They focus on two things: breathing and walking. They may silently repeat a simple phrase.
Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I …
Lisa Kosian, Boston Globe: Except for the statues of Buddha at the entrance, the Boston Buddha Vararam Wat in Bedford looks more like a New England home than a religious temple with its roots in Thailand.
The three arches in front are due for some adornment, said Rojana Laplume, a temple member; that is on the “to-do’’ list, along with finishing work on the monks’ living quarters upstairs.
To help with such work, as well as upkeep costs, the small community of Buddhists, predominantly from Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, is reaching out to a wider audience, with its first fund-raising dinner and concert …
Students participating in the class are required to observe disciplines drawn from various monastic traditions, including refraining from using any technology other than electric lighting, quitting coffee and alcohol, avoiding physical contact and prolonged eye contact, and eating only unprocessed foods.
Students also have to follow a dress code, with males wearing black shirts and females wearing white shirts, and males and females have to sit on opposite sides of the classroom.
That’s not all.
… Read more »
No makeup, jewelry or hair products. Laptops are prohibited; notes
Southwest Florida residents have the chance to see something few westerners ever get the opportunity to see — the creation and blessing of a sand mandala by a group of Buddhist monks.
Throughout the week, the group of five Tibetan monks will be at Unity of Naples building the Chenrezig mandala one grain of colored sand at a time.
Once complete, the sand painting will be blessed and ritually dissolved to symbolize the impermanence of life.
“This is the first time I’ve seen this being done live,” said Susanna Tocco, 36, of Naples. “It’s amazing — the precision, the patience. It’s …
Melissa Russo: Some of New York City’s angriest teens are learning the way to a more peaceful path with a little help from the Buddha.
Inside the Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center in Brownsville, the contrast between the street kids in their orange detention suits and the monks in their brown robes could not be more pronounced.
The group of monastics files into the facility, and they’re unlike anything these kids have seen in their neighborhood: soft-spoken, barefoot and bald.
“It was pretty interesting,” said one 15-year-old. “I didn’t think they were real.”
“When I saw them walk through the door, I was …
Tom Heneghan: Rasanath Das, an ex-investment banker turned Hindu monk, was spending recent Sunday afternoons leading Occupy Wall Street protesters in meditation until police cleared their camp at New York’s Zuccotti Park this week.
The 32-year-old monk isn’t sure now where his next session will be. He’ll keep following the protesters to lead meditation, though, convinced they will only roll back the inequality around them if they find equanimity deep inside.
“Anger won’t solve anything,” he told Reuters. “We have to work from the heart … there is so much distrust now.”
Das has been a discreet presence at the protests, leading short sessions …
Venerable Ajahn Cagino, 43, lives in a cave with two snakes and eight bats. The cave is 2km from the nearest village in Mae Hong Son in northern Thailand. Nestled in a deep valley hemmed in by high mountain ranges that border Myanmar, Mae Hong Son is isolated from the outside world and is covered with mist throughout the year.
“I’ve had enough of wandering,” says the Malaysian monk of Thai Forest Tradition, which is a branch of Theravada Buddhism.
For 12 years, Cagino had been walking through the remotest jungles of Thailand, before settling…
See also a slideshow of the exhibition below.
Foreigners are being invited to teach English to Buddhist monks at two temples in Thailand — at a cost of hundreds of dollars.
And staff at one temple claim that many visiting instructors “experienced nirvana temporarily” during meditation sessions.
The temples, Wat Luang Phor Sodh in Ratchaburi and Wat Doi Saket in Chiang Mai, run slightly different programs, but essentially offer the chance to learn about Thai culture while teaching English.
Foreign teachers have to pay for their own lodging, food and other expenses, as well as their airfare to and from Thailand. And though all of the saffron-robed monk students are male, the temples welcome both men and women teachers.
“All English speakers are … Read more »
The University of Redlands will welcome a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery to campus from April 4-8, when they will be constructing a mandala sand painting.
To form an image of a mandala—a Sanskrit word meaning sacred cosmogram—millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks. Of all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite.
The mandala sand painting begins with an opening ceremony, during which the Lamas consecrate the site and call forth the forces of goodness. This is done by chanting, music and mantra recitation … Read more »
In a stretch of suburban Raynham, a community of ascetics is planning what may be the largest Thai Buddhist temple in the hemisphere
A quiet neighborhood along Raynham’s South Street East is slated to have an unlikely addition soon to its mix of modest homes and small businesses: an ornate Thai Buddhist wat, or temple, the likes of which won’t be found anywhere outside of Thailand, according to its principal designing architect.
The temple, to be called Wat Nawamintararachutis, or NMR Center, will celebrate the life of Thailand’s current monarch, who was born in a Cambridge hospital in 1927. Because of the Boston area’s connection to the king, the project has generated great interest both … Read more »