Tibetan father of four dies after self-immolation

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A man in the Tawu county of Tibet has died after setting himself on fire on Wednesday, May 20. According to Radio Free Asia, this is the 140th self-immolation protest in China since 2009. Tenzin Gyatso, 35, was a father a four. The Central Tibetan Administration reports, "The self-immolation is believed to be an expression of protest by Gyatso against a massive deployment of [...]

Shinnyo-en to host largest Memorial Day observance

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This Memorial Day (Monday, May 25), 50,000 people will gather on Ala Moana Beach, in Hawaii, to "create a moment of collective remembrance, harmony, and international friendship." The ceremony is presented by the Buddhist community Shinnyo-en, which you can read about in Andrea Miller's Buddhadharma profile. Monday's event will include special prayers to honor those lost in [...]

How you can help Nepal after the earthquakes (Updated)

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A third earthquake of 6.3 magnitude struck Nepal's Kathmandu Valley and the outlying region on May 16. This, after on April 25's massive quake, which has taken 8,200 lives, and a second earthquake that added to the death toll and the region's ongoing problems there on May 12th. The need for help is of the utmost. Organizations and groups around the world have been mobilizing to [...]

Obama messages Congress on Burma progress, sanctions

Burma MAP

On May 15, US President Barack Obama issued the following "Message -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Burma," and renewed his authority to maintain sanctions on that country. TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES: Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, [...]

White House hosts US Buddhist leaders

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Update – Friday, February 15: The White House-US Buddhist leadership Conference, described here, has now taken place. Click here to read attendee Hozan Alan Senauke's account of it. On Thursday, May 14 — coinciding with Vesak, the celebration of the Buddha's birth, death, and enlightenment — Buddhist leaders including the scholar-monk Bhikkhu Bodhi will join together to [...]

New 7.3 quake strikes Nepal (Updated)

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[Updated at 3:50 pm EST] A new earthquake of 7.3 magnitude has struck Nepal, east of Kathmandu near Mount Everest. This, after a previous quake last month left the region shattered and with 8,000 people dead. According to Al Jazeera, the Nepalese Ministry of Home Affairs says that 45 people have been reported as killed, with 1,129 people being injured. At least 19 buildings in [...]

Gyalwang Drukpa visits Baltimore, upholds LGBT people at White House

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Thursday was a busy day for the Gyalwang Drukpa, head of the Drukpa, or Dragon, Order of Buddhism. As the Baltimore Sun reports, he spent time in West Baltimore "with more than a dozen local ministers and other peace advocates, offering prayers, blessings and words of encouragement in the aftermath of last week's unrest over the death of Freddie Gray. [...] 'We all must work [...]

Watch: How Buddhists are helping after the Earthquake

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Update – Tuesday, May 5, 4:18pm: In the video above, VICE News reporters visit the city of Bhaktapur, where the Nepal Buddhist Federation is providing relief and assistance. This is the fifth in a VICE News series of dispatches from Nepal. The video raises questions about why many communities have yet to receive funds and resources from the government or international [...]

Nepal rescue efforts wane as deaths exceed 7,000

Nepal relief effort earthquake

The earthquake that struck Nepal's Kathmandu Valley on April 25 continues to impact the region as the death toll mounts, having surpassed 7,000 on Sunday. Rescue efforts are winding down—of the 4,000 foreign rescuers to come to the region, only 2,000 remain, according to Nepal Home Ministry spokesperson Laxmi Prasad Dhakal. It's assumed that no remaining survivors are to be [...]

38 nuns progress toward geshema degrees

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This week thirty-eight nuns in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition are undergoing exams toward their geshema degree, the monastic equivalent of a Ph.D in Tibetan Buddhist studies. Until a few years ago, the degree was only bestowed on monks (it’s known as a geshe degree when awarded to men). In 2011, German Kelsang Wangmo, who spent twenty-one years training in India, became the [...]