Another Tibetan nun dies by self-immolation in China

November 5, 2011

Andrew Jacobs: A Buddhist nun in southwest Sichuan Province died Thursday after setting herself on fire, becoming the 11th Tibetan to embrace a grisly protest against Chinese rule and at least the sixth to die doing so.

The death of the nun, Qiu Xiang, 35, was reported by Xinhua, the official news agency, and confirmed by exile groups, who gave her Tibetan name as Palden Choetso. She was the second nun in the predominantly Tibetan region to take her own life by self-immolation.

Like two previous cases, the most recent suicide took place in Ganzi Prefecture, known as Kardze in Tibetan, which is the site …

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Tenth Tibetan reported to self-immolate in anti-China protest

October 27, 2011

A Tibetan monk in western China’s Sichuan province set himself on fire on Tuesday to express opposition to China’s Tibet policies, becoming the 10th Tibetan this year to self-immolate as a form of political protest, an outside advocacy group reported.

The group, Free Tibet, based in London, said the self-immolation occurred outside a monastery in Garze, which is known as Kandze in Tibetan, and that the monk’s identity, condition and whereabouts were not known. The group did not explain how it had obtained the information.

Garze is about 100 miles south of Aba, or Ngaba, where eight of the other nine self-immolations have taken …

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Reincarnation: The Movie

October 26, 2011

My Reincarnation, a film about the burden of being told that you’re a reincarnated lama, opens October 28 in New York and Los Angeles,
 before moving nationwide.

My Reincarnation is said to be “an epic, intimate father-son drama wrapped in a spiritual documentary — spanning 20 years and three generations.” It follows renowned reincarnate Tibetan lama Chögyal Namkhai Norbu as he struggles to save his spiritual tradition, and his Italian-born son, Yeshi, who strains against the weight of being recognized as the reincarnation of his father’s uncle.

The film of the latest work by Jennifer Fox, producer of An American Love Story, Learning to Swim, and Flying: Confessions of a Free WomanRead more »

Shared blessings: Arlington center seeks permanent home for revered Buddha

September 30, 2011

Kathleen Burge: The bronze face of the Buddha, always serene, gazes down at recent gifts from the pilgrims who have come to see him: two apples, dried sage, a bouquet of artificial flowers, a $20 bill.

This replica of the most revered Buddhist statue in Tibet, 8 feet tall and 600 pounds, sits inside a stucco rental house in Arlington, behind Johnnie’s Foodmaster.

Although there is no sign outside, Tibetan immigrants find their way to the Bartlett Avenue property to see the only version of the Jowo Rinpoche statue in the United States. Rinpoche is an honorific in Tibetan Buddhism, used for respected teachers.

Buddhists believe…

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Two Tibetan monks set themselves on fire in protest

September 28, 2011

Edward Wong: Two young Tibetan monks set themselves on fire on Monday at an embattled monastery in western China to protest Chinese policies in the area, according to a Tibet advocacy group. The monks were apparently taken to a hospital, and it was unclear what condition they were in on Monday night.

The monastery, Kirti, in a remote area of Sichuan Province, has been the site of at least four recent self-immolations, including the two on Monday.

The latest monks to set themselves on fire were Lobsang Kalsang and Lobsang Konchok, both estimated to be 18 or 19, according to Free Tibet, the advocacy group, which…

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Buddhism with peanut butter (a retreat experience)

September 4, 2011

Shefalee Vasudev (Indian Express):

A seven-day course in silent meditation is buttered bliss.

Are you a morning person?” she asked. The bristles of hair on her shaven head were golden, her skin alabaster and she wore androgynous clothes.

This was at an “Introduction to Buddhism” course at Tushita, a meditation centre in Mcleodganj, Dharamsala. I was taken aback to see a hundred-odd people trooping into the quiet retreat and felt momentarily lost in the crowd dominated by foreigners. Most looked like spiritual shoppers dressed in psychedelic tops, T-shirts and scarves with Om and other spiritual symbols, harem pants, shawls, silver jewellery, braided hair, ear and nose…

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Meditation helps inmates reach ‘natural awareness’

September 3, 2011

Allan Turner (Houston Chronicle): Hung. Or gyen yul gyi nub jang tsam.

Barefooted, eyes closed in reverie, bodies folded into lotus position, the men in white chanted the ancient Seven Line Supplication to Guru Rinpoche, who brought Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century.

As their voices swelled, their leader, Galveston artist Terry Conrad, swayed with the cadence. Pe ma gey sar dong pol la. Yam Tsen chog gi ngo drub nyey

This could have been a scene from a 1960’s love-in, with college-age acolytes – decked out in exotic garb – paying fervid homage to the wisdom of the East. But these men were not students, and…

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Magical moments from the land of high passes

May 19, 2011

LAND OF HIGH PASSES from warmeye on Vimeo.

The majesty of mountains, prayer and devotion- magical moments from the land of high passes- Ladakh.
Leh/Likir | India | March | 2010

Brains of Buddhist monks scanned in meditation study

April 24, 2011

Matt Danzico: In a laboratory tucked away off a noisy New York City street, a soft-spoken neuroscientist has been placing Tibetan Buddhist monks into a car-sized brain scanner to better understand the ancient practice of meditation.

But could this unusual research not only unravel the secrets of leading a harmonious life but also shed light on some of the world’s more mysterious diseases?

Zoran Josipovic, a research scientist and adjunct professor at New York University, says he has been peering into the brains of monks while they meditate in an attempt to understand how their brains reorganise themselves during the exercise.

Since 2008, the researcher has been placing the minds and bodies of prominent Buddhist … Read more »

Tibetan Buddhist monks will construct colorful, sacred mandala

March 25, 2011

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 »