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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

The Virtue of Civility

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Attacks ads, Internet trolls, lies and appeals to the worst in people—how do we restore the virtue of civility? A panel, led by Melvin McLeod, on bringing depth, respectfulness and integrity back to our national discourse. Melvin McLeod: How would you assess the state of public discourse in the United States today? Jeffrey Dvorkin: I think that there is a level of health in [...]

Students for a Free Tibet flag important issue

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On January 14th, Students for a Free Tibet launched the #TibetFlagChallenge. The organization is asking people to fly a Tibetan flag, post it to social media, and challenge three more friends to do the same. According to the group’s website, the aim is to “shine a light on the Tibetan flag and the Tibetan people’s struggle for freedom.” The campaign comes in the run-up to [...]

The King We Need

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He was more than just the civil rights leader he is remembered as today. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of America's greatest moral and political philosophers, his life founded on deep, sophisticated and courageous spiritual convictions. Charles R. Johnson looks at King's teachings and examples and why they are important to all Americans. "The great problem facing modern man [...]

Carol Bailey: Taking right speech to Congress

Can a combination of Buddhist principles and divorce mediation techniques soften the rancorous rhetoric in the U.S. Congress? Seattle attorney Carol Bailey believes so. Noticing similarly chasm-creating patterns in the language flying between the political parties as she saw in the conflicted couples she counseled, Bailey set out to produce a how-to manual for lightening up [...]

George W. Bush paints Dalai Lama for “Art of Leadership” exhibit; Dalai Lama sits down with Maria Shriver (Video)

Former US president George W. Bush has debuted a new collection of his own paintings, including one of the Dalai Lama, for an exhibit of his work shown in his presidential library. Bush talked to his daughter about the collection in a segment for NBC's Today, which you can watch here. Only a glimpse of the Dalai Lama portrait (shown in this screengrab, left) is seen, but we [...]

ACLU warns of “religious coercion” in Tennessee bill; Buddhist man in Texas alleges he was fired for refusing to disseminate Bible verses

Not even two weeks have passed since the ACLU obtained a favorable settlement in a Louisiana suit filed on behalf of the parents of a Buddhist sixth-grader harassed by Christian teachers and school administrators for his religious beliefs (see our coverage of the settlement here). Now the civil liberties watchdog is objecting to a Tennessee bill that would allow students in [...]

Settlement reached in favor of Buddhist student bullied at Louisiana school; ACLU lauds outcome of its suit

The ACLU lawsuit filed on behalf of the parents of a Buddhist sixth-grader allegedly bullied for his beliefs by Christian teachers and administrators at Negreet High School in Louisiana has been settled in favor of the parents. According to the AP, the settlement details the ways in which teachers and school officials must refrain from promoting religious beliefs and practices [...]