Over a thousand monks and laymen are revered in Tibetan Buddhism as the incarnations of past teachers who convey enlightenment to their followers from one lifetime to the next. Some of the most respected are known by the honorific "rinpoche." For eight centuries, rinpoches were traditionally identified by other monks and then locked inside monasteries ringed by mountains, far from worldly distractions. Their reincarnation lineages were easily tracked across successive lives. Then the Chinese Red Army invaded Tibet in 1950 and drove the religion's adherents into exile. Now, the younger rinpoches of the Tibetan diaspora are being exposed to all of the twenty-first century’s dazzling temptations. So, even as Tibetan Buddhism is gaining more followers around the world, an increasing number of rinpoches are abandoning their monastic vows. Reincarnation in Exile. [more inside]
The CIA in Tibet l the Cold War in ShangriLa l The CIA's Secret War In Tibet by Kenneth Conboy and James Morrison, the entire book online. [more inside]
A June 2008 photo first published in Time shows various items President Obama carries or has carried in his pockets for good luck. There's more than just a Blackberry in there: you might find an odd Hanuman, a Miraculous Medal, a khata, and much more. [more inside]
As the health of the Dalai Lama seems uncertain, the question remains: will he be reborn this time? and, if so, where?
Two Buddhist teachers live a purportedly celibate life together as they strive for new heights of intimacy. But Tibetan Buddhist leaders and scholars are alarmed; the Dalai Lama refused a birthday offering. His teachings on yoga and business are controversial; so is the matter of his three-year "silent" retreat. More on Geshe Michael Roach. (Wiki.)
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.
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.