Nepal: Buddhist monasteries, figures check in on social media

The famed Boudanath Stupa was photographed with a massive crack running down its spire on Saturday immediately after the quake. It has since been rumored to have fallen; these rumors are untrue.

Chaos and confusion loom large in the Kathmandu Valley as the region tries to recover from the destruction, injury, and ever-increasing casualties caused by a massive earthquake on Saturday, April 25. (Click here to learn how you can contribute to relief efforts.) Fortunately, the Internet remained an option for many, and so Buddhist teachers and communities both inside and [...]

How you can help Nepal after the earthquake

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Nepal's Kathmandu Valley and the outlying region have been devastated by a massive earthquake. The last comparable earthquake to hit Nepal was in 1934, registering 8.0 on the Richter scale and killing 10,000. While the death toll is smaller in this case (though it is climbing, having risen from 150 on Saturday the 25th to more than 4,000 on Monday the 27th), the need for help [...]

Catastrophic earthquake strikes Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley

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[Updated April 27, 12:46 pm EST] On Saturday morning, an earthquake of 7.9 magnitude struck Nepal, causing extensive catastrophic damage. Initial reports from the country's Ministry of Home Affairs claimed the death toll to be somewhere around 100-150, but these were updated throughout the day, rising to 1,400. As of Monday afternoon, the death toll has been placed at more than [...]

Vatican: Buddhists, join us in anti-slavery fight

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The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue to Buddhists has issued a message called “Buddhists and Christians, together to counter modern slavery," in recognition of Vesak, which commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and passing of the Siddhartha Guatama, the historical Buddha. According to the Vatican Information Service (VIS; Holy See Press Office), "this year's [...]

Pro-Tibet #ReleasePanchenLama campaign announced

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In a press conference yesterday, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) made an appeal to the international community, hoping to garner support for a new campaign that calls for the release of Tibet's 11th Panchen Lama -- who disappeared in 1995 -- as well as all Tibetan political prisoners. The CTA hopes to mobilize social-media users to create worldwide awareness of the [...]

Talking Buddhism and politics at the White House

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On May 14, Buddhist leaders including the scholar-monk Bhikkhu Bodhi will join together to present the first-ever White House-US Buddhist Leadership Conference. Sessions for the conference will be held at George Washington University, moving then to to the White House—specifically, in the Treaty Room of the Old Executive Office Building, overlooking the West Wing, in the [...]

Zen priest Tim Buckley has died

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Zenshin Thomas "Tim" Buckley, zendo director of Great River Zendo in Bath, Maine, died on April 16. He had received a lung cancer diagnosis the preceding August. Buckley took lay precepts with Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in 1969, became an ordained priest in 2011, and began teaching in 2013. He held a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago, worked as a writer [...]

Tibetan man self-immolates in front of shrine

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Reports say that a Tibetan man died after self-immolating in China's Sichuan province on Thursday. The man, believed to be in his mid-40s, set fire to himself in front of a makeshift altar bearing photos of the Dalai Lama and the 10th Panchen Lama, who died in 1989. VOA Tibet reports that this is the 138th self-immolation since 2008. Radio Free Asia reports that the man, whose [...]

Updated: China turns up the heat on Tibet

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China's Tibet policy has made headlines again this week, after the government accused the Dalai Lama of encouraging self-immolations on Wednesday morning. Last week, in The People's Daily, Chen Quanguo, China's Communist party chief in Tibet, announced plans to more formally assess that Tibetan monasteries are models of harmony, ensuring that monks and nuns remain "patriotic [...]

How did a Buddha statue land in Viking hands?

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Last month, Sweden Post released a stamp that depicts the Buddha sitting in a lotus as part of a series commemorating the Era of Vikings. The illustration is of a small, bronze statuette of the Buddha, which was uncovered by archaeologists in a small Swedish town in 1954. The archaeologists dated the statue to the 5th century, likely coming from Kashmir, Northern [...]