“I don’t think the Dalai Lama would mind if you saw this through the prism of Monty Python,” said Robert Barnett, director of the modern Tibetan studies program at Columbia University. Zhu Weiqun, a Communist Party official who has long dealt with Tibetan issues, told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday that the Dalai Lama had, essentially, no say over whether he was reincarnated. That was ultimately for the Chinese government to decide, he said, according to a transcript (in Chinese) of his comments on the website of People’s Daily, the party’s main newspaper.
The Dalai Lama says he isn’t tired and wants to go into the mountains to see skiing. What should I do? (Single link Slate article, sweet anecdote that's worth it for the really big question.)
"By figuratively sticking her foot in America’s front door and keeping it wedged there long enough for an anonymous band of war-tossed Mongols to navigate around daunting racial barriers, Countess Tolstoy not only became the architect of the Mongol “invasion” of New Jersey and the country’s first ethnic Mongolian community, she also served as the midwife for the birth of Tibetan Buddhism in America." -- tells the amazing story of how a small band of Kalmyk Mongols (all WWII Wehrmacht veterans) established Tibetan Buddhism in America, as told by David Urubshurow, who was one of them. Featuring Leo Tolstoy's youngest daughter, Cold War CIA and Ivy League intrigues, how the Dalai Lama came to America and why this was only possible under president Carter and more.
Buddhism and Marxism have been called two of the most compelling arguments we have against capitalist exploitation. The Dalai Lama would agree. Once in a discussion about his meeting with Chairman Mao he spoke of his affinity for the ideals of communism, adding with a finger to his temple, "The revolution is inside, in the determination of mind." The Tricycle essay Occupy Buddhism is very well written and perhaps interesting for those who believe another (post-capitalist) world is possible.
The Dalai Lama was prevented from going to South Africa for Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday by visa problems. So they used Google+ to "Hangout" instead.
The Dalai Lama announces his resignation as a political leader. It remains to be seen if the Tibet Parliament will accept.
The Dalai Lama on changing minds only through compassion and respect. He spent several days at Stanford recently, and this session focuses on the neuroscience of compassion. Watch it in full here.
Why Americans Love the Dalai Lama : an insightful piece from CNN preceding his appearance tonight at 9PM EST on Larry King Live. [more inside]
The Dalai Lama's Buddhist Foes contrasts "the tolerance and rationalism that the Dalai Lama represents globally and the theological hardball over mystical principles that he seems to play on his home turf." But the Shugdenpas aren't the Dalai Lama's only Buddhist opponents. Tibetan Buddhism's only female living Buddha, the twelfth Samding Dorje Phagmo, who chose to stay in Tibet when the Dalai Lama fled, has said, "The sins of the Dalai Lama and his followers seriously violate the basic teachings and precepts of Buddhism and seriously damage traditional Tibetan Buddhism's normal order and good reputation." [more inside]
At 14 months, Spanish infant Osel Hita Torres was brought by his parents to Dharamsala, where the Dalai Lama decreed him to be the reincarnation of the recently deceased Lama Yeshe. Torres became Lama Tenzin Osel Rinpoche, and spent most of his life growing up in a gilded cage in the Tibetan exile capital, venerated as a living deity and isolated from the corrupting influences of the world. But then he escaped. [more inside]
Tracking GhostNet: Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network. "A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have concluded. In a report to be issued this weekend, the researchers said that the system was being controlled from computers based almost exclusively in China, but that they could not say conclusively that the Chinese government was involved." [more inside]
West 'uses Tibet to attack China'. Against a background of Chinese authorities denying police had shot a young Tibetan monk who tried to set himself on fire, China has issued Fifty Years of Democratic Reform in Tibet. For a little background: FACTBOX - Historical ties between China and Tibet. [more inside]
Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, just gave a historic six-day teaching of Je Tsong-kha-pa’s Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (the Lam Rim Chen Mo), a vitally important explanation of Buddhism written in 1402 and just recently translated into English by a team organized by Joshua Cutler of New Jersey's Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center. The teaching, attended by about 5000 participants (my estimate), consisted of two two-hour sessions per day, except for a
public talkon Sunday afternoon, at which the Dalai Lama received an honorary doctorate from Lehigh and gave a speech. The speech is available as downloadable audio clips and for viewing online. It is possible that eventually the videos of the teachings themselves will be made available on DVD or for download at lamrim.com.
"Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation" (PDF). A recent article in Trends in Cognitive Sciences on the neuroscience of meditation, focusing on how meditation alters and sharpens the brain's attention systems. The research is being done at the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior (previously), who have also recently published research on the "Regulation of the neural circuitry of emotion by compassion meditation" (PDF), which describes how meditation can cultivate compassion by physically affecting brain regions that play a role in empathy. They shared this research with the Dalai Lama at the recent Seeds of Compassion forum.
China ready to hold talks with the Dalai Lama. With nearly 1,000 jailed in Lhasa, the Dalai Lama has offered to resign. China has blocked the media, and reporters have been taken in for questioning. China is opposed to the US speaker's Dharamsala visit. Meanwhile France raises the idea of boycotting the Olympics opening ceremony. Existing thread arising from Björk's protest.
Traveling a lot this weekend? Long drive, plane or train ride? You can use that transit time to listen to the Dalai Lama talk for more than four hours with neuroscientists and Buddhist scholars on the topic of craving, suffering and choice. Part one. Part two. [iTunes links] If you're stuck at home, you can watch the video. The video link has the full list of participants.
China bans reincarnation without government permission.
(Coming soon: right to exist first requires government permit.)
(Coming soon: right to exist first requires government permit.)
Three small classes of high school students, one in Watsonville, California, one in Jos, Nigeria, and one in Dharamsala, India, are currently collaborating on "Project Happiness". The students are "exchanging their thoughts about what happiness is, and how to behave in ways that promote happiness all around them," drawing on the Dalai Lama's Ethics for the New Millennium (useful 50-page pdf study guide; positive review from Christian Century magazine). In their work creating a curriculum for the book, the students communicate via email, a blog, and videos (an instructor in India describes the project's focus; a "what life is like here" video from India). The podcast section of the official site currently features just one introductory video posted a few weeks ago. The project will culminate in a meeting of all three classes in March 2007 in Dharamsala. A book and a PBS documentary are planned.
Holy Madness! (Flash interface.) The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City has launched a website that allows you to pore over and compare Tibetan Buddhist artwork from their exhibits. Use the "Decode" feature to pick paintings apart and learn about their intricate components.
See also: their ambitious calendar of events.
See also: their ambitious calendar of events.
The Buddha's daughter "There is, religiously speaking, no reason that Renji should attract devotion. Her father's position as an incarnation of the Buddha is not hereditary. Nevertheless, large numbers of Tibetans treat her as an object of reverence in her own right."
Teachings of the Dalai Lama: some are available online alongside texts by other Buddhist monks. INDEX.
The myth of the "friendly and harmless" Dalai Lama exposed. While the Lama's PR machine runs in high gear here in the states only a few voices have come out about the truth behind the oppressive theocracy that was Tibet and how specially sanitized and marketed the Lama is when he crosses the Atlantic. It turns out the Lama isn't very different than any other man in a position of power and has much more in common with the Pope than, say, Deepak Chopra.
The Lukhang Temple, or "Temple of the Serpent Spirits", sits on an island behind the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. On the top floor is a formerly secret chamber (now open to the public) which the Dalai Lamas used to retreat to for periods of deep meditation. The walls of the chamber are covered by a series of stunning wall paintings (Flash) which depict the esoteric practices of Tibet's Tantric tradition, a visual representation of the Tibetan Buddhist path to enlightenment. Although there has been some damage to the temple and paintings, they escaped relatively unscathed from the Cultural Revolution. The current Dalai Lama, who was forced to leave Tibet before he was initiated into the practices depicted in the temple, describes it as one of the hidden jewels of Tibetan civilization. It is also the subject of Ian Baker's book, "The Dalai Lama's Secret Temple".
"It is very necessary to begin the study of science," says His Holiness the Dalai Lama in a speech posted at the Science for Monks site. He says science offers "precise and accurate analysis" of phenomena Buddhists have so far explained only "at a very gross level," like time and atomic structure. Tibetan translations of scientific texts and familiar classroom experiments are part of the plan. Will the "unending positive doubts and constructive curiosities" of modern science deepen or undermine the Buddha's teachings? An army of scientists who've taken a vow of poverty sure would throw an interesting kink into the current debate about corporate science.
Bush to meet with Dalai Lama! This is a big deal to us Buddhists, as well as Tibetan freedom supporters. Wonder what His Holiness will have to say about the death penalty...
Buddhism is a cult!...says Representative Arlon Lindner, a member of the Minnesota Legislature. He's mad that the Dalai Lama is going to speak before that august body.