Andrew Lam: New American Media: For a country steeped in Buddhism, Burma is accruing terrible karmic debts.
Alarming news and images of attacks and killings by the Buddhist majority in Rakhine Province against a Muslim minority there have been slowly trickling out onto the Internet and the wider world. Pictures of charred bodies and crying parents have stirred largely unheeded calls for intervention, mostly from Muslim nations.
The attacks have been primarily one-sided, with Muslims generally and Rohingyas specifically the targets and victims,” Benjamin Zawacki, a Bangkok-based researcher for Amnesty International, told The Associated Press. “Some of this is by the security forces’ own hands, some by Rakhine Buddhists with the security forces turning … Read more »
The European Union said on Monday it was satisfied with Myanmar’s “measured” handling of the Muslim-Buddhist violence that engulfed one of its biggest towns at the weekend.
As rival mobs of Muslims and Buddhists torched houses in Sittwe, the biggest town in northwestern Myanmar, police fired into the air and Muslims fled to neighboring Bangladesh.
The fighting was the worst communal violence since a reformist government replaced a junta last year, began to allow political pluralism and vowed to tackle ethnic divisions – moves that helped persuade the United States and European Union to suspend economic sanctions.
Brussels made clear that it did not believe …
Vishvapani Blomfield, the Guardian: Meditation makes you calmer and clearer and encourages empathy and kindness … right? Not if you are Anders Behring Breivik who has told psychiatrists that he used meditation to “numb the full spectrum of human emotion – happiness to sorrow, despair, hopelessness, and fear”. He still practises it behind bars to deaden the impact of his actions.
Breivik uses meditation as a form of mind control – a way to focus the mind and exclude responses that get in his way. You could argue that he is meditating wrongly, but I think his testimony shows that the effect of …
I wonder what kind of “meditation” Anders Breivik — who shot 69 people on an island in Norway last year, as well as killing another eight with a bomb — was doing?
According to this report,
When prosecutors Friday asked Breivik whether he felt empathy for others, the killer said he taught himself to dull all emotions – “from happiness to sorrow, despair, hopelessness, anxiety, fear” through meditation.
It’s possible that Breivik was not doing anything resembling traditional Buddhist meditation, which encourages compassion and non-repression of emotions. I’d be 100 confident that Breivik was not practicing lovingkindness or compassion meditation!
Traditionally, meditation is only one part of the spiritual path, and it’s accompanied with … Read more »
Violence is declining, argues psychologist Steven Pinker. What are we doing right?
Over the past century, violent images from World War II concentration camps, Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur, Iraq, and many other times and places have been seared into our collective consciousness. These images have led to a common belief that technology, centralized nation-states, and modern values have brought about unprecedented violence.
Our seemingly troubled times are routinely contrasted with idyllic images of hunter-gatherer societies, which allegedly lived in a state of harmony with nature and each other. The doctrine of the noble savage—the idea that humans are peaceable by nature and corrupted by modern institutions—pops up frequently in the writing of…
Charles Haviland: A group of Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka led a crowd that demolished a Muslim shrine last week, the BBC has learned.
This incident took place on Saturday in Anuradhapura, an ancient Buddhist city and Unesco world heritage site.
The monk who led the group told the BBC he did it because the shrine was on land that was given to Sinhalese Buddhists 2,000 years ago.
But a prominent Muslim in the area said he was very sad and the sentiment was shared by many Sinhalese too.
A Sri Lankan news website showed photographs…
There are far too few books on meditation for children, and Kerry Lee MacLean’s Moody Cow should be a welcome addition to the book collection of any meditator’s child. But Bodhipaksa has some concerns. Find out why.
“My name is Moody Cow. It used to be Peter, but now it’s Moody Cow. It all started one stupid, rotten day when everything went wrong…”
So begins the story, which introduces us to Peter the calf, his sister Daisy, and his mother. We also get to meet Peter’s grandfather, who plays a pivotal role as the wise old bull of the family. Peter’s father is strangely absent, although we do get to see his car. Fathers do … Read more »
People behind bars are often open to change, as Suvarnaprabha discovers when teaching prisoners to meditate.
There is a series of rituals you learn when you start going into prisons. Of course they aren’t meant to be rituals –- they’re for security, but they end up feeling like rituals, in the same way that some of us automatically bow when we enter a meditation room. You walk up to the door, push the button, turn your back to the door, the door buzzes, and you turn around, open the door and go inside. Every time you go through a door, even on the inside, you do the same thing: you push the button, turn to … Read more »
The archetype of warriorhood, if taken literally, can antithetical to the Buddhist path of peace. Taken as a metaphor for inner change, however, it can represent the inner struggle required in spiritual practice. Guest blogger and philosopher Justin Whitaker explores three types of warrior: outer, inner, and perfected.
I find it difficult to write about warriorhood from a Buddhist perspective. The term for me is heavily laden with negative connotations and often misunderstood by those around me. We may do well to distinguish at the beginning between three kinds of warrior: the outer, the inner, and the perfected. It is the outer warrior that we most often think of when hearing the term and see … Read more »