Bhikkhu Bodhi talks “Four Noble Truths of the Climate Crisis” at White House

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In this video from May 14th's gathering of Buddhists at the White House, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, the scholar-monk and founder/director of Buddhist Global Relief, addresses climate change and related issues through a Buddhist lens. He takes time to lay out the what systems and habits threaten the planet, and what behaviors sustain these systems and habits. From there, he next [...]

Sen. Dianne Feinstein marks Dalai Lama’s 80th with resolution

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Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator for California, has introduced a resolution meant to honor His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his 80th birthday this July 6. In addition to wishing him well, the resolution "recognizes the Dalai Lama for a lifelong commitment and outstanding contribution to the promotion of nonviolence, human rights, religious tolerance, environmental [...]

Burmese writer who promoted tolerance jailed for insulting Buddhism

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A Burma court has sentenced Htin Lin Oo — a former official of Aung San Suu Kyi's political party — to two years in jail with hard labour for "insulting Buddhism." Htin Lin Oo was charged on Tuesday for a speech he made last October, in which he promoted religious tolerance and decried Buddhist extremism. offered a translation from one line of the speech: [...]

Obama messages Congress on Burma progress, sanctions

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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, [...]

Buddhists Go to the White House

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The streets of Washington DC were lined with blossoms and greenery, the prospect of promise. One hundred thirty Buddhist teachers, monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen, academics, and organizers met on Thursday May 14 for the first “White House—U.S. Buddhist Leadership Conference,” the subject at hand being “Voices in the Square—Action in the World.” While I am ambivalent about a [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Same-sex marriage: What do Buddhists think?

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Noting that on Tuesday, April 28, "oral arguments will begin on a group of Supreme Court cases that will determine the legality of same-sex marriage nationwide," the Public Religion Research Institute has compiled data from their "Americans Values Atlas" on the subject. Based on 40,000 interviews with people of all sorts of religious persuasions, the Atlas's findings tell us [...]

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 [...]

Shambhala Sun endorses Ted Cruz for President

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The Buddhist magazine Shambhala Sun (part of the Foundation that also publishes this website) has announced its first-ever explicit endorsement of a U.S. presidential candidate: Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Being that Buddhists are usually assumed to be liberals, the magazine’s move might come as a shock to some. In a press statement released late yesterday, the Shambhala Sun’s [...]