June 11: 50 years ago today, a Buddhist monk named Thich Quang Duc calmly sat down in the middle of a street in South Vietnam in front of the Cambodian Embassy, while a fellow monk poured gasoline over his head. A moment later, he set himself on fire.
He was protesting the systemic religious discrimination against Buddhists by the Roman Catholic regime of dictator Ngo Dinh Diem. Although Catholics were very much a minority in the country, they enjoyed majority status and privileges. Buddhists were not allowed to practice their religion in public, serve in the army, and were routinely discriminated against.[Via Death and Taxes]
Examiner.com: There has been a great deal of sadness among Buddhists over the continued wave of self-immolations by Tibetans protesting repressive Chinese rule. China has blamed these self-immolations on the Dalai Lama whom Beijing claims is a trouble maker. His Holiness the Dalai Lama says this is not true, but that he is concerned about the real reasons behind the self-immolations. On April 12, 2013, the Tibet Sun reported, Tibetans who commit suicide ‘not crazy’: Dalai Lama.
During a visit to Italy this week the Dalai Lama said that Tibetans who have committed suicide in recent weeks were “not crazy” but were taking desperate…
Andrew Jacobs, New York Times: Like many children of Tibetan nomads, Tsering Kyi started school relatively late, at age 10, but by all accounts she made up for lost time by studying with zeal.
“Even when she was out at pasture with her parents’ flock, there was always a book in her hand,” a cousin said.
That passion for learning apparently turned to despair this month when the Maqu County Tibetan Middle School, in Gansu Province near Tibet, switched to Chinese from Tibetan as the language of instruction. The policy shift has incited protests across the high-altitude steppe that is home to five million …
Peter Goodspeed: On Wednesday, Jamyang Palden, a 39-year-old monk, described as “calm, humble and virtuous,” set himself aflame in Drolma Square in the town of Rongwo in the Chinese province of Qinghai, along the border with Tibet.
He prostrated himself three times beside a Buddhist monastery that was founded in 1301, said a silent prayer, then set himself alight, according to the Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet.
In a matter of minutes more than 500 crimson-robed monks and 700 students from nearby schools were swarming over the site of the attempted suicide, chanting prayers for the monk’s soul, shouting political slogans, waving outlawed photographs of the …
BBC News: The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, says he is very worried about the growing number of monks and nuns setting themselves on fire to protest against Chinese rule in Tibet.
He told the BBC he was not encouraging such actions – saying there was no doubt they required courage, but questioning how effective they were.
There have been 11 cases of self-immolation so far this year.
Most have resulted in death – the latest a 35-year-old nun two weeks ago.
The BBC has obtained graphic footage of the moment she set herself alight, prompting horrified cries from onlookers. Later, Chinese security forces flooded …
The following essay is by psychotherapist, Buddhist teacher and Yoga teacher Michael Stone, and is the second of a two-part exploration of suicide, yoga, and Dharma. The essay is excerpted from “Awake in the World: Teachings from Yoga & Buddhism for Living an Engaged Life” by Michael Stone (Shambhala Publications, June 2011)
In ideas of suicide, beliefs become dangerously polarized. In fantasies of suicide, the world becomes “outside” and separate from “me.” The world shrinks to the small action of “me” and “my death.” This is a selfish importance that can only be healed through returning back to a lived body, a network of relations, a life filled with meaning that comes through embodied experience, … Read more »
The following essay is by psychotherapist, Buddhist teacher and Yoga teacher Michael Stone, and is the first of a two-part exploration of suicide, yoga, and Dharma. The essay is excerpted from “Awake in the World: Teachings from Yoga & Buddhism for Living an Engaged Life” by Michael Stone (Shambhala Publications, June 2011)
No one ever lacks a good reason for suicide.
Many of us who have suffered trauma, pain, or existential loneliness have struggled to find stories to make sense of our lives. We might think that we learn how the world works, because we take the time to observe and understand it. But every meditator with a busy mind knows that’s just … Read more »