Updated: Nepal’s catastrophic earthquake; How to help

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[Updated April 27, 8:55 am 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 morning, 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 [...]

Reports of self-immolation emerge from Tibet

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Two reports of self-immolations have emerged from Tibet. Update – Friday, April 17, 11:20am: New facts have emerged that indicate that there were not two self-immolations, as we originally reported, but one self-immolation that was reported differently by two news agencies. Tibet Post International reports that Yeshe Khado set herself on fire near a police station in Draggo [...]

Thich Nhat Hanh returns to Plum Village after stroke, rehab

Thich Nhat Hanh. Photo by Velcrow Ripper.

A new statement from the Monks and Nuns of Plum Village, the community of Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh (who has been recovering from a recent stroke), brings good news in the form of a health update. The statement: We are happy to report that Thay’s health has continued to improve at the specialist stroke rehabilitation clinic in Bordeaux, where he has been steadily recovering [...]