Transcript of interview with Losang Samten

March 1, 2011

Here is a transcript of the interview the [Chico, California] Enterprise-Record did with Losang Samten, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, on Feb. 15.

E-R: How old are you?

S: 57.

E-R: What is a mandala?

S: It is a representation. It is the architecture of a palace which represents many things. A divine palace. From the Buddhist point of view (it shows) the different stages to the path of enlightenment. It is the universe, humanity, all of one individual’s positive qualities and all the things we need to purify from ourselves. There are so many thusands of mandala with different themes.

E-R: How long have you been making mandalas.

S: Over 30 years.

(The reporter conducting … Read more »

‘World’s happiest man’ advocates meditation

February 18, 2011

Dubbed the “world’s happiest man,” best-selling author and master Buddhist teacher Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche was in Korea for the first time last weekend, offering his take on how to be happy.

The Tibetan monk participated in a groundbreaking study of brain activity in 2002, where scientists found that advanced meditation increases mental happiness.

What is happiness to him?

“My idea of happiness is an experience of calm, peace and joy which is non-dependent on outside circumstances,” Rinpoche told The Korea Herald over a vegetarian lunch in Insa-dong, Seoul.

For 35-year-old Rinpoche ― who is to go on a three-year retreat in May ― solitary reflection develops inner happiness, unaffected by the stresses, temptations and complications … Read more »

Film review: Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

February 18, 2011

Unique perspective on controversial Tibetan lama’s life and teachings skews toward the reverential.

Well before American Buddhists and New Age acolytes began flocking to the feet of Tibet’s Dalai Lama, hippies and spiritual seekers were following in the footsteps of Chogyam Trungpa, a Tibetan lama who took up residence in the U.S. during the 1970s.

A provocative account of Trungpa’s global odyssey, Crazy Wisdom offers a perceptive, if one-sided, perspective on Trungpa’s impact on American spirituality and the arts, but is probably too rarified for the uninitiated — film fests, DVD and VOD will provide the best refuge.

Born in Tibet in 1939, Trungpa was identified as a reincarnate lama (“rinpoche”) before he was two … Read more »

Tibetan lama faces scrutiny and suspicion in India

February 8, 2011

His daring escape from Tibet seemed out of a movie. Then only 14, Ogyen Trinley Dorje was one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most revered incarnate lamas, and his journey through the icy passes of the Himalayas was viewed as a major embarrassment for China. The youth arrived in India in early 2000 to a euphoric greeting from Tibetan exiles.

India, though, was less certain about what to do with him. Intelligence agencies, suspicious of his loyalties and skeptical of his miraculous escape, interrogated him and tightly restricted his travel. He remains mostly confined to the mountainside monastery of a Tibetan sect different from his own. And that spurred an idea: He wanted his own monastery. Eventually, … Read more »

Buddha’s not smiling: examining knee-jerk reporting about the Karmapa

February 3, 2011

‘Is the Karmapa a Chinese spy?’ ‘Is the possible successor to the Dalai Lama a Chinese mole?’ ‘Is this another clever ploy of China to take control of the border regions?’ The media have gone berserk with speculations about the Karmapa Lama. Sadly, the coverage has failed to do any groundwork research. This episode not only exposes the way the Indian media works but also jolts the Tibetan faith in Indian democracy and harms India’s long-term interests in Tibet.

The police raid found a few crore (100,000) rupees worth of cash. At most, this may be a case of financial irregularity or non-transparent dealings by the managers of the Karmapa’s monastery for which they should … Read more »

Meditating one’s stress away

February 2, 2011

A handful of people gathered Sunday morning at the Japanese Tea House in Brand Park to meditate in a class that applies Buddhist teachings for overcoming stress and anger.

The group’s teacher, Caroline Green, with the Kadampa Meditation Center in Los Angeles, advised the class in the beginning to improve their back posture.

“Straight, but not tense,” she suggested. “Place your feet flat on the floor, your right-hand palm on your left, your tongue gently touching the back of your teeth.”

All this for the goal of achieving a “relaxed and alert” state of being, in which the class could deeply breathe in and out. As the first breathing meditation advanced, Green requested that the … Read more »

Indian police question Buddhist spiritual leader

January 29, 2011

Dharamsala, India: Police say authorities are investigating the source of a large amount of money found in a northern Indian Buddhist monastery, the headquarters of Tibetan Buddhism’s third most important leader.

D.S. Minhas, director general of police in Himachal Pradesh state, says police and revenue officials are tracking the source of about $777,000 that was found in the Gyuto monastery where the Karmapa lives.

Minhas said Saturday that much of the money was in Chinese yuan. Police have questioned Ugyen Thinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa, about the source of the money.

Indian media have been carrying reports that the Karmapa could be a Chinese agent sent to India to become a leader of Tibetan Buddhists … Read more »

Tibetan monks to take over Museum of Natural History this week for meditation

January 24, 2011

Make your thoughts as extinct as the dinosaurs on the fourth floor.

Twelve Tibetan monks will lead meditation sessions at the Museum of Natural History this week under the Hall of Ocean life’s giant blue whale and under the stars in the planetarium.

The enlightening exhibit – part of the museum’s ongoing show “Brain: the inside story“ – is intended to teach about Tibetan culture and highlight new research which shows the mental and physiological benefits of meditation.

But as places to find the peace and quiet necessary for meditation goes, the museum – let alone the city of New York – is far from ideal, said Khen Rinpoche, the monk leading the classes.

“It … Read more »

Warning issued against new Buddhist center in Israel

January 13, 2011

The anti-missionary organization Yad L’Achim has issued a warning against a new Buddhist center which is set to open in Israel’s Arava region.

According to the warning, an agreement was recently signed by the Central Arava Regional Council and a non-profit organization by the name ‘Wisdom and Intelligence’ which allocates hundreds of acres in the Arava for the establishment of a ‘spiritual university’ based on and operating in accordance with the international principles of Buddhism.

Yad L’Achim says it has been approached by concerned local residents who asked the organization to take action to prevent the center from opening. The organization subsequently looked into ‘Wisdom and Intelligence’ and found that its members are Buddhists.

According … Read more »

Tibetan Buddhism can solve global conflicts: Karmapa

January 5, 2011

The four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism are trying to find common ground to carry forward Lord Buddha’s teachings in way they can be used to resolve geo-political conflicts, says Thrinley Thaye Dorje, the 17th spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism.

‘The awareness that the four schools have to find common ground is getting stronger. It will happen because unity among the Buddhist sects is crucial to world peace,’ 27-year-old Thrinley Dorje told IANS in an interview in Bodh Gaya, the seat of Gautama Buddha’s enlightenment.

‘It can solve conflicts because the teachings of Buddha are based on bringing inner and outer peace,’ he added.

The four schools are the ancient … Read more »