Monday, September 29, 2014

The Times, They are A’Changin'

Venerable Damchö Diana Finnegan 

His Holiness the Dalai Lama delivering the keynote speech during the Inaugural Ceremony of
"A Meeting of Diverse Spiritual Traditions in India" in New Delhi, India on September 20, 2014.
Photo/Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL

On September 20, 2014, during the first roundtable discussion of a interreligious conference entitled, "A Meeting of Diverse Spiritual Traditions in India - Promoting Human Values and Inter-Religious Harmony," held in Delhi, India, H. H. Dalai Lama spoke in favor of revising a rule stipulating that nuns should sit behind monks, even if the nuns are fully ordained Bhikshunis and the monks are novices. The Meeting of Diverse Spiritual Traditions of India, which was convened by His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself, spanned two days, including plenaries on “Inter-Religious Understanding and Human Values” and on “Environment, Education, and Society.”

Monday, September 15, 2014

Going Home

Anja Tanhane

“Going home is like turning down the volume, so I can hear myself again.”
 Steve Jampijinpa, from the documentary Milpirri, Winds of Change 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Follow Me

Stephanie Mohan




over there.

This empty being

seen whole.

Labelled name and form.

Predisposed by karma.

Not knowing past cause

Suffering now.

Not known, not seen, not here, not there.

Not this, not that.

Monday, August 18, 2014

In Scarred Chinese Tibetan City, Devotion to Sanctity of Life

Andrew Jacobs,
New York Times

A Tibetan woman in Yushu, China, used a spoon and plastic bucket to rescue tiny shrimp stuck in mud along the shore of the Batang River. Credit Gilles Sabrie, New York Times

YUSHU, China — With a set of chopsticks in her hands and a Tibetan prayer spilling from her lips, Gelazomo, a 32-year-old yak herder, hunched over the rocky banks of the river that cuts through this city and hunted for the quarry that she hoped would bring salvation.

Every few minutes, she would tease out a tiny river shrimp that had become stranded in the mud, and then dropping it into a bucket of water. Beside her, dozens of other Tibetans toiled in the noonday sun, among them small children and old people who, from afar, appeared to be panning for gold.

“Buddha has taught us that treating others with love and compassion is the right thing to do, no matter how tiny that life is,” she explained, as the newly revived crustaceans darted through the water of her bucket.

Buddhists are encouraged to demonstrate a reverence for all sentient beings; some believers spurn meat while others buy animals destined for slaughter and then set them free. Here in Yushu, a largely Tibetan city where more than 3,000 people died in an earthquake four years ago, the faithful have been flocking to the Batang River to rescue a minuscule aquatic crustacean that would hardly seem deserving of such attention.

Read More 

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Bhikkhuni Revolution: Religious Feminism in Thai Buddhism

By Tanaporn Pichitsakulchai

Brisbane, June 15th 2014 (Alochonaa): As the vast majority of Thai society is Theravada Buddhist, religion in Thailand is undoubtedly instrumental to Thai identity and daily life. Within the religious sphere, Thai women have traditionally been confined to the roles of lay people and Mae chi (Buddhist nun) in the Thai Buddhist context. Outside of Buddhism, traditionally women are limited by their role as wife and mother. In recent decades there has been an attempt to revive the Bhikkhuni (female monk) ordination within Thai Theravada Buddhism, although vehemently opposed by the Thai Sangha and wider religious community.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Celebrating a Life Well Lived: In Memory of Dhamma Sister Mettapanna Nancy Gil

All conditioned things are impermanent,
arising and passing away;
when this rising and passing also ceases,
this then, is the bliss of perfect peace.

May 24, 2014

Dear Friends,

I haven't written to you for a long time now it seems. For those of you whom I haven't seen recently, I hope the transition of springtime into summer is finding you well, the path unfolding where you are, beautifully, in the way that is just right for you.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Interviewing Buddhist Women: Lama Willa Miller

Harsha Menon

Lama Willa leads a retreat at Wonderwell Mountain Refuge.

Lama Willa Miller is a Tibetan Buddhist lama and scholar living and teaching in New England, USA. She is the founder of the Natural Dharma Fellowship nonprofit and Wonderwell Mountain Refuge, a Buddhist retreat center in Springfield, New Hampshire. Under the direction of her teachers Kalu Rinpoche and Lama Norlha Rinpoche, she completed two three-year intensive retreats and is the author of three books. Harsha Menon sat down to talk with Lama Willa on a cold winter day in January.

Over cups of tea, they discussed the role of women in the Dharma and how this is an auspicious time as a result of emerging opportunities. For example, recently in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition women have, for the first time, been able to study toward the degree of Geshe-ma, a rigorous monastic training, equivalent to a PhD in Buddhist philosophy. This degree was previously only available to Buddhist monks. This, along with a worldwide engagement of initiatives and interests in development for Buddhist women, gives Lama Willa a sense of hope:
My hope is we will look back on this . . . block of fifty years and say that was the time when things changed and truly there became a situation of equal opportunity for women in Buddhism.