Category: Buddhism

The Dalai Lama on violence

The Dalai Lama has sent a message of support for Armed Forces Day, which is next Saturday. In it, he writes of his admiration for the military. That is perhaps not so surprising. As he explains, there are many parallels between being a monk and being a soldier – the need for discipline, companionship, and inner strength. But his support will take some of his western admirers by surprise, not least when it comes to his thoughts on non-violence.

Tensions rise as police question monk’s followers

Thich Nhat Hanh Followers of an internationally known Buddhist monk say tensions are rising at a monastery in Vietnam’s Central Highlands after local officials accused them of trying to “sabotage” Vietnam’s communist government.

An angry crowd gathered outside the Bat Nha monastery on Monday and local police conducted late-night searches of the rooms, said Brother Phap Tu, speaking by telephone Tuesday from the compound in Lam Dong province.

AP says the monks and nuns there are followers of Thich Nhat Hanh, an exiled Vietnam-born monk who has sold more than 1 million English-books in the West and is now based at the Plum Village monastery in southern France.

Buddhist Bhutan warns felling trees a threat to happiness

Bhutan Buddhist prayer flags THIMPHU, Bhutan (Reuters) – Bhutan has warned its citizens over cutting down thousands of young trees every year to make prayer flags, a threat to the tiny kingdom’s lush scenery and the government’s duty to bring “Gross National Happiness“.

Himalayan Buddhists put up prayer flags for good luck or to help the dead find the right path to their next life. The more flag poles put up for the departed the better, and Buddhist monks say fresh poles must be used each time.

See: Hi-resolution Smithsonian picture of prayer flags in Bhutan

Buddhist kingdom pushes notion of Gross National Happiness

Bhutan In the tiny Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, high in the Himalayan mountains, under a new Constitution adopted last year, government programs — from agriculture to transportation to foreign trade — must be judged not by the economic benefits they may offer but by the happiness they produce.

Now, the Bhutanese are refining the country’s guiding philosophy into what they see as a new political science, and it has ripened into government policy just when the world may need it

Buddhism roundup: Dalai Lama; Dharma Punx; Buddhism and Psychology

Buddhism • A primer on the Dalai Lama  • Dalai Lama inspires reverent silence, cheers at stadium  • The Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society practices a unique incarnation of Buddhism infused with punk rock’s anti-establishment ethos  • The similarities between ancient Buddhism and modern psyschology: both practices are focused on releasing followers from suffering, and both aim for emotional health. But…

Buddhist group protests, symbolically seals Buddha Bar in Indonesia

Buddha Bar About 200 Buddhist students held a peaceful protest rally outside an outlet of the international franchise Buddha Bar in the Indonesian capital on Thursday, accusing it of defaming their religion.

Avoiding alcohol and other intoxicants is the fifth of the “Five Precepts” that form the basic moral code of Buddhism.

Meanwhile the secretary-general of the Indonesian Pandita Sabha Buddha Dharma Foundation, said sealing off the bar was not the Buddhist way of seeking a solution. “Our way is never to force anything. A dialogue is needed,” he said.

Buddhism sees its role in Japanese culture start to decline

Buddhism When it comes to funerals the Japanese have traditionally been inflexibly Buddhist – so much so that Buddhism in Japan is often called “funeral Buddhism,” a reference to the religion’s former near-monopoly on the elaborate, and lucrative, ceremonies surrounding deaths and memorial services.

But that expression also describes a religion that, by appearing to cater more to the needs of the dead than to those of the living, is losing its standing in Japanese society.