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From the Blogs February 26, 2008

Posted by Philip Ryan in Environment, General, News, Pure Land, Zen.

There’s so much great stuff to be found out there on the Buddhist blogs. Here’s just a tiny taste:

Anyone planning to be in New Haven, Connecticut on April 11th should check out Danny Fisher’s lecture, “What Does a Buddhist Chaplain Do? A Dharma Practitioner’s Reflections on Spiritual Care and Counseling” at the New Haven Shambhala Center.

The Buddhist Geeks continue their conversation with Brad Warner, who as all Hardcore Zen fans know is critical of Genpo Roshi’s Big Mind process.

A great Zen story from Master Seung Sahn (slightly changed) on Marcus’ Journal.

And a wonderful post from last week on The Level 8th Buddhist about the Joys of Devotional Buddhism (including quotes from the Pali Canon, if you like quotes from the Pali Canon.)

Bodhipaksa has a book out on vegetarianism as a Buddhist practice, and you can read sections of it on his blog. Thanks to Going for Refuge for pointing it out.

And for all us internet old-timers, Netscape is finally dead. Thanks to Simra.net for the pointer (and for helping develop Firefox.)

70,000 Child Soldiers in Burma, Five Million Tourists in Tibet December 27, 2007

Posted by Philip Ryan in Burma, Pure Land, Tibet.

Burma leads the world in number of child soldiers. Kids are literally pulled off the street and “drafted”:

While 15-year-old San Lin Aung stood waiting for a train home at Pyinmana railroad station, an army sergeant approached him and asked to see his ID.

The boy couldn’t produce one, so the soldier sent him to an army recruitment unit in Mingalardon, on the outskirts of Rangoon. The officer in charge of the unit refused to enlist him, but another unit in Mandalay accepted him without question.

Two 14 year-olds, Kyaw Min Thu from South Dagon, and a youngster from North Okkalapa, were also forcibly recruited by the army in late April, according to reports.

There may be as many as 70,000 child soldiers (and the number is growing) in Burma, according to a 2002 Human Rights Watch report. Because of this and all the other horrible things happening in Burma, the press there is heavily censored and intimidated, according to Reporters Without Borders.

Meanwhile, across southeast Asia, Pure Land Buddhism was officially recognized by the government of Vietnam. This is not a small thing for a Communist government to do!

And more good news about Tibet (from China’s officially news agency):the economy is growing by leaps and bounds and five million tourists are expected to visit in 2008!

Is this how you feel? December 4, 2007

Posted by Philip Ryan in General, Pure Land.

This cartoon from our friend Roberto Guerra more or less sums it up:


And here’s a short clip of some beautiful chanting from the annual 24 Hour Nembutsu of the Amida Trust, from Pure Land Etchings. Here’s a brief “Theory of Nembutsu” if you’d like to know more. The term roughly means Buddha in Mind, or Mindfulness of the Buddha, and derives, I think, from the Sanskrit Namo Amitabha Buddha. Comments clarifying this would be most welcome!

– Philip Ryan, Web Editor