When the Supreme Court of the State of California ruled for marriage equality in 2008, we seized the opportunity. Having founded the Japanese American National Museum (I’m still a trustee on the Board there), we wanted to have our wedding there, in the “Democracy Forum” building. It was, after all, democracy that made our formal union possible. And Brad too had embraced Buddhism by now, so it could be a Buddhist wedding. We chose Rev. Briones of the Nishi Hongwanji Temple to be our officiant because he personifies Buddhism’s diversity, being that he’s a Mexican American Buddhist minister.[more inside]
Ghosts of the Tsunami has Richard Lloyd Parry interviewing survivors, priests, people who have seen ghosts, and the possessed in this article about events following the 3.11.11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. From the London Review of Books.
A fascinating story of the first known, Western transsexual, Tibetan Buddhist novice monk: Laurence Michael Dillon (born Laura Maude Dillon, May 1, 1915 - May 15, 1962) was a British physician and the first female-to-male transsexual to undergo phalloplasty. His brother, Sir Robert Dillon, was the eighth Baronet of Lismullen in Ireland. The editor of Debrett's told Time Magazine that Dillon was unquestionably next in line for the baronetcy: The unwanted press attention led Dillon to flee to India, and then to a Tibetan monastery. Girls Will Be Boys, a review of The First Man-Made Man: The Story of Two Sex Changes, One Love Affair, and a Twentieth-Century Medical Revolution, by Pagan Kennedy. Photograph of Michael Dillon as a monk. [more inside]
Contemporary Tibetan artists incorporating traditional themes: Gonkar Gyatso l l Karma Phuntsok l Yungchen Lhamo [scroll down for video] l P. N. Dhumkhang l Losang Gyatso l Angsang [more inside]
Here's a small representation of some of the culture that many Tibetan protesters hope to save from eradication in Tibet: Heart Sutra, by Geshe Kunkhen. [more inside]
Legend has it the people of Nuristan, Kalash and Chitral are descended from deserters who stayed behind after Greek Emperor Alexander the Great’s army passed through the area more than 2,000 years ago, and for centuries they lived in splendid isolation. It was in this region that the first images of the Buddha were created. [more inside]
The Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City, houses paintings by Nicholas Roerich, a Russian artist, who spent most of his life on the Indian-Tibetan border, creating evocative images of night and day in the Himalayan Mountains. (more inside)
Stripping The Gurus. Sex, violence, abuse and enlightenment. Chogyam Trungpa, the Dalai Lama, Zen masters, exposing the reality behind the facade of various spiritual teachers. Geoff Falk also writes about the spiritual beliefs of rock stars.
beacon of bliss Quality images of a deity to help calm outrage or anxious mutterings
Revisionism the Taliban Way Talibans rub off giant Buddhist statues with mortars. The Mullah says it's all written in the Coran, but the Holy book says to respect other religions and the Afghanistan has been at the crossroads of different cultures for centuries, always juxtaposing Islam with Buddhism.
The Taliban want to remove any reminders of the centuries before Islam when Afghanistan was a center of Buddhist learning and pilgrimage.More coverage and pictures.