There’s an unusual connection between Ebola and Buddhism.
Ashoka Mukpo, one of a handful of Americans who have contracted Ebola, was identified soon after his birth as a reincarnated lama, or Tulku.
Mukpo is the son of Diana Mukpo, who married Tibetan lama Chogyam Tungpa in Scotland. Ashoka is not Trungpa’s biological son, but was raised as his child after his mother became pregnant while romantically involved with another of Trungpa’s followers, Dr. Mitchell Levy.
As a child, Ashoka was identified as the reincarnation of Khamyon Rinpoche, and he was enthroned as a tulku in Tibet.
Although Mukpo regards himself as a practicing Buddhist, he decided not to pursue a monastic life, and he works … Read more »
Madeleine Bunting, The Guardian: Buddhism’s popularity over the past half-century in the west has surprised and dismayed in almost equal measure. Alongside the fad for Buddhist statues in garden centres, there has been a much more serious engagement with hundreds of centres opening, many of the most dynamic founded by Tibetan Buddhists. Given that Tibet had limited contact with modernity until the 20th century, it’s been an extraordinary story of cultural export. The vivid colour and spectacle of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, and the warmth and humour of their teachers, have contributed to making Buddhism into a rare religious success in a deepening secularism…
Tia Ghose, LiveScience: The endangered snow leopard has some allies in unexpected places.
The leopards are being protected by hundreds of Buddhist monasteries on the Tibetan plateau, new research suggests.
The scientists, who detailed their study last week in the journal Conservation Biology, found that half of the monasteries are within the snow leopards’ habitat and that monks patrol the wilderness to prevent poachers from killing the rare cats.
“Buddhism has as a basic tenet — the love, respect, and compassion for all living beings,” said study co-author George Schaller, a biologist with the endangered cat conservation group Panthera, in a statement. “This report …
On a freezing Tuesday this week, dozens of special guests from China’s cultural, political and business elites gathered within the blood-red walls of the Forbidden City. They were there for the opening of the newly restored Hall of Rectitude, the center of Tibetan Buddhism during China’s last imperial dynasty, the Qing.
After a fire in 1923, the hall and about a half-dozen surrounding buildings that comprise the Buddhist architectural complex lay in ruin for nearly a century in the northwestern corner of the 8,000-room former imperial palace.
After six years of restoration funded by the Hong Kong-based China Heritage Fund, the Zhong Zheng Dian …
Susan Stabile, OUP Blog: Becoming a Tibetan Buddhist nun is not a typical life choice for a child of an Italian Catholic police officer from Brooklyn, New York. Nevertheless, in February of 1988 I knelt in front of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, as he cut a few locks of my hair (the rest had already been shaved), symbolizing my renunciation of lay life.
I lived in the vows of a Buddhist nun for a year, in the course of spending two years living in Buddhist monasteries in Nepal and India. Including my years of lay practice, I spent twenty years of my …
University of St. Thomas law professor Susan Stabile will present the lecture “Adapting Buddhist Meditation Practices to Christian Spirituality” at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in Quad 264 at Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota.
The lecture is sponsored by the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning and is free and open to the public.
Drawing from her book “Growing in Love and Wisdom: Tibetan Buddhist Sources for Christian Meditation,” published this month by Oxford University Press, Stabile will explore common values that underlie Christianity and Buddhism and how interreligious engagement can offer mutual enrichment for people of both traditions, giving special attention to how Buddhist meditation practices can enrich Christian spirituality.
After the program, Stabile’s … Read more »
The name “Karmapa” means “the one who carries out Buddha-activity,” and for seventeen lifetimes, a karmapa has embodied the teachings of Buddha in tibet. The 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, was born a nomad in Tibet in 1985 and recognized by the Dalai Lama in 1992 as the 17th Karmapa. The young boy was brought to the Tsurphu monastery to live and study for his life as a spiritual teacher and activist.
At age 14, he made a daring flight from Tibet, and now works from a temporary camp in Dharamsala, near his friend the Dalai Lama. (After the Dalai Lama, he’s seen as Tibetan Buddhism’s second-highest-ranking spiritual leader, though the two men lead … Read more »
Michel Martin: if you wanted to predict just who the Dalai Lama might select to lead one of the faith’s most important monasteries, you probably wouldn’t think about a boarding school educated, globe-trotting New York photographer whose grandmother was one of the most celebrated fashionistas of her time, but that’s just who the Dalai Lama did select, saying his, quote, “special duty is to bridge Tibetan tradition and the Western world,” unquote.
Nicholas Vreeland is the new abbot of the Rato Monastery in India and he joins us from there now. Welcome. Thank you so much for joining us.
NICHOLAS VREELAND: Thank you. It’s an honor to be here.
MARTIN: Now, in my … Read more »
Lachlan Thompson, Daily Examiner: It was a weekend to reflect and seek inner peace for the parents and children involved in a two-day workshop with the Gyuto Tibetan Buddhist monks in Yamba at the weekend.
“It was fabulous, especially the final evening where the monks performed their famous chanting,” said event organiser Amanda Brightwell.
The monks closed the two-day workshop with their famous Mantra Magic Chant where they use ancient Tibetan mantras to harmonise and create a soothing, meditation tone.
Other events at the workshop included classes on meditation and dealing with depression as well as symbolic craft activities for children. The monks …
An astonishing series of photographs of a Tibetan “sky burial,” where a corpse is cut up and fed to vultures, with the remains being pounded into dust, has been viewed almost three quarters of a million times in 24 hours.
The images (view here) are very graphic, but as Justin Whitaker says, “As a poignant reminder of the impermanence of this body, they’re worth viewing.”
According to Wikipedia, in Tibet the practice is known as jhator, which means “giving alms to the birds.”
Sky burial is traditional in Tibet, where the ground is too rock for interment to be practical, and where a lack of wood similarly makes cremation unfeasible for people.
This … Read more »