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Buddhist Holidays May 5, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Events, General.

I came across a gathering (the Lotus Lantern Parade) in celebration of the Buddha’s birthday yesterday in New York’s Union Square (quite the Buddhist hotspot lately) and it made me think how scattered holidays are in western Buddhism. Maybe westerners don’t want them, having secularized the holidays of their cradle religions. But it seems to play into the worries Clark Strand expressed over the future of the dharma in America. Pardon the crummy cellphone picture.

Earth Day April 17, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Environment, Events.
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(Don’t forget Earth Day next week!)

Philip Glass at the Met April 15, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Art, Events, Korea.
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Philip Glass’s Satyagraha is at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Read his Tricycle interview from our Spring 2008 issue here.

And A Monk Amok is heading to Korea.

Pico Iyer on the Dalai Lama and The Open Road April 9, 2008

Posted by Sarah Todd in Books, Dalai Lama, Events, Tibet.
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Attention Gothamites: This Friday at the New York Public Library, Pico Iyer will engage with Paul Holdengraber in an open conversation about the Dalai Lama’s work and ideas. From the NYPL’s event description:

In his new book, The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai
Pico Iyer gives us the first serious consideration of this worldwide
leader’s work and ideas as a politician, scientist, and philosopher. Having
been engaged in conversation with the Dalai Lama for the last three
decades, Iyer captures the paradoxes of the Dalai Lama’s position: though
he has brought the ideas of Tibet to world attention, Tibet itself is being
remade as a Chinese province; though he was born in one of the remotest,
least developed places on earth, he has become a champion of globalism and
technology. Iyer illuminates the hidden life, the transforming ideas, and
the daily challenges of this global icon.

Event info:

Friday, April 11, 2008
at 7:00 PM
Celeste Bartos Forum
Humanities and Social Sciences Library
5th Avenue and 42nd Street

China still struggling to contain crisis; New York cops beat up protesters March 26, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Dalai Lama, Events, News, Tibet.
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China is still struggling to contain the crisis:

China sought on Wednesday to contain ongoing protests in its ethnic Tibetan regions, as it stepped up detentions in Tibet’s capital Lhasa and vowed tighter control over monasteries.

The western province of Qinghai was the latest area to report anti-government activities, with hundreds of civilians staging a sit-down protest after paramilitary police stopped them from marching, a Beijing-based source who spoke to residents said.

“They were beating up monks, which will only infuriate ordinary people,” the source said of the protest on Tuesday in Qinghai’s Xinghai county.

A resident in the area confirmed the demonstration, saying that paramilitaries dispersed the 200 to 300 protesters after half and hour, that the area was crawling with armed security forces and that workers were kept inside their offices.

China is said to be allowing (escorted) journalists into the country, but not diplomats.

Video of NYPD cops beating up pro-Tibet protesters near the U.N. in New York. It’s pretty clear the U.S. has little tolerance for peaceful demonstrations itself.

Radio Free Asia has great coverage of happenings in Tibet.

Archbishop Tutu speaks up for the Dalai Lama.

And finally, China is reported to be under pressure at the UN. This is great news, but don’t expect much from this. The UN’s toothlessness in these matters was revealed by Burma. The alternative, Bush riding bareback into Beijing on an ICBM, isn’t a possibility either (thankfully) — so what will get results? What will outrage the world enough, and who in the world will stand up to China?

If you want to do something for peace and you’re in the New York area, you can join the Be the Change Walk, courtesy of the Satya Graha Forum, this April 6th. Don’t worry about the NYPD: they’ve got the guns but we’ve got the numbers.

Iternational Buddhist Film Festival March 20, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Art, Events.
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Shoot, missed the International Buddhist Film Festival in San Francisco (2/14 to 3/6) and so missed all the fine offerings there, including the awesomely titled Meditate and Destroy about Noah Levine, by Blue Lotus Films. We won’t forget to mention this year. Ahem!

Tricycle Pilgrimage to India, January 2008 March 7, 2008

Posted by tricycleblog in Events, News.
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The Tricycle pilgrimage to India was an eventful one, with so many sites visited we were all a bit winded by the end of it. This year, our unflappable Indian guide, Shantum Seth, took us down to the stone-temple caves of Ajanta and Ellora–truly spectacular.

Stephen Batchelor and Shantum led mediations and teachings, and most memorable for me–after Ajanta and Ellora–was our visit to Sanchi, in Madhaya Pradesh. Sanchi is the site of some of the most well-preserved stupas and examples of Buddhist architecture. Stone structures spanning centuries are perched high on a hill overlooking the plains below. The great thing about Sanchi is that it spans a period from the third to the twelfth centuries. The earliest structures show no representation of the Buddha at all, in keeping with the tradition’s focus on the teachings, not the man. The appearance in later centuries of Buddha images almost feels like a loss–odd, since we ordinarily find them so comforting.

Which is perhaps an interesting point: I suppose it was inevitable we’d fill the void–in this case an empty throne flanked by deer evoking the Deer Park at Sarnath, where the Buddha first taught–with something. Emptiness is a pretty big challenge.

Take a look at pictures our pilgrims took this year.
Especially notable are those of Craig Morton, from Austin, Texas, whose shots–especially his portraits–best capture the feel and tone of the tour.

Next year’s In the Footsteps of the Buddha pilgrimage is in the planning, so keep an eye peeled for news of it.

-James Shaheen
Editor & Publisher

Buddha Wild March 4, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Art, Events.
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Buddha Wild – The Monk in a Hut, directed by Anna Wilding, will screen at Tibet House on March 19th. The film is up for a major award in India.

Buddha Wild” journeys to and provides an “affectionate glimpse” into the cultural and monastic lives of Thai and Sir Lankan missionary monks living on a remote monastery in the Western world. The film explores the basic tenets of Buddhism, celibacy, politics, the role of women in Asian society and the day to day lives of monks. New Yorkers get their first chance to see this “fascinating” film in a special screening at Tibet House in New York on 19 March 2008. Tickets to the screening can be purchased online at www.tibethouse.org. Anna Wilding will be in attendance for a discussion following the screening. Tibet House was founded by the Dalai Lama and Buddhist scholar Robert Thurman and holds amongst its trustees Philip Glass, Uma Thurman and other notable New York luminaries. Executive Director of Tibet House Ganden Thurman organized the screening.

Makha Bucha Day, Wat Dhammakaya, and the Metta Center February 20, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Dalai Lama, Events, News, Theravada.
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Makha Bucha Day is a major holiday in Thailand and it falls tomorrow, February 21.

According to Buddhist scriptures, nine months after Siddharttha Gautama attained enlightenment, on the full-moon day of the third lunar month, a total of 1,250 disciples of the Buddha from various places spontaneously assembled at Veluvan in Magadha to pay respect to the Buddha. This meeting is considered very significant in Buddhist history because first, it was done without previous appointment and was therefore a miracle, and secondly, all the disciples had been ordained by the Buddha himself and had attained sainthood and become arahants.

Wat Dhammakaya’s website will let you experience Makha Bucha from the comfort of your own home. It helps to speak Thai, though.

Not to confuse anyone, but here’s the website of the Dhammakaya Foundation, a worldwide organization based in Thailand. Check out the pictures of this place, especially the crowd in the meditation space. Now that’s a whole lotta Buddhists.

Meanwhile, in Ithaca, New York, the North American seat of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is being expanded. He must also have somewhere to hang his hats in Atlanta, as he is an honorary professor there.

And here’s the website for the Metta Center for Nonviolence Education, which shares an interest in Gandhi with the Satya Graha Forum.

More on Shinjo Ito in New York February 20, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Art, Events.
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Some more on the Shinjo Ito exhibition now in New York (the start of a world tour, apparently.) Several people I have spoken to have expressed surprise that the art is so recent. Here’s the New York Times and artdaily.org.

[Photo: The “Great Parnirvana” sculpture by Shinjo Ito, depicting Buddha on his deathbed, is prepared for a show of the artist’s works, which opens Thursday in Chelsea. Michael Nagle for The New York Times]