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Archive for the ‘tibet’ tag

Dalai Lama Taps American to Bridge East and West at Tibetan Monastery

Nicholas Vreeland, newly appointed abbot of Rato Monastery in Southern India.

by Kim Lawton
from The Washington Post

The Dalai Lama has given Nicholas Vreeland, director of The Tibet Center in New York, a daunting new assignment. On July 6, Vreeland will be enthroned as the new abbot of Rato Monastery in southern India, one of the most important monasteries in Tibetan Buddhism. He will be the first Westerner to hold such a position.

In making the appointment, the Dalai Lama told Vreeland, “Your special duty (is) to bridge Tibetan tradition and (the) Western world.”

“His Holiness wishes to bring Western ideas into the Tibetan Buddhist monastic system, and that comes from his recognition that it is essential … that there be new air brought into these institutions,” Vreeland told the PBS program “Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.”

Click here to read full article

 

July 1st, 2012 at 10:55 am

Beastie Boys Co-Founder, Buddhism, and Islam

Photo of MCA of the Beastie Boys, who became a Buddhist, as well as a champion of mutual understanding between the US and Muslims. Photo from the Guardian

by Omid Safi
from Religion News Service (RNS)

If you are of a certain age (not gonna say it) and your impression of the Beastie Boys ends with “(You Gotta) Fight for the Right (to Party)”, “Sabotage”, or even “Intergalactic”, you might not have been keeping with the evolution of the Beastie Boys from hip-hop punks in the early 80’s to elder statesmen of the Hip-Hop world, converts to Buddhism, and defenders of the Tibetan cause.    Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, was one of the co-founders of Beastie Boys.

Born to a Catholic dad and a Jewish mother, MCA eventually found his spiritual home after meeting His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the 1990’s.  This is how he expressed his own spiritual yearnings:

The feeling I get from the rinpoches and His Holiness [the Dalai Lama] and Tibetan people in general. The people that I’ve met are really centered in the heart; they’re coming from a real clear, compassionate place. And most of the teachings that I’ve read about almost seem set up to distract the other side of your brain in order to give your heart center a chance to open up. In terms of what I understand, Buddhism is like a manual to achieve enlightenment—there are these five things and these six things within the first thing, and all these little subdivisions. And despite all of that right-brain information, it’s very heart-centered. At least that’s the feeling I get from the Tibetans. Also the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism have been passed down for a long time now. They have that system pretty well figured out.

MCA’s passing away was mourned by none other than His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
Adam had helped us raise awareness on the plight of the Tibetan people by organizing various freedom Tibet concerts and he will be remembered by his holiness and the Tibetan people.

Click here to read the full article

Buddhist Monk Brings Authentic Tibetan Influence to Texas

Lama Lobtsul, the resident lama at Palri Pema Od Ling in Austin, with the Buddhist center’s statue of Guru Rinpoche.

by Michael Hoinski
from the New York Times

Each morning Lama Lobtsul, the lama in residence at the Buddhist center Palri Pema Od Ling in Austin, enters the temple and performs the important task of arranging offerings of water, candles and incense in front of the rare statue of Guru Rinpoche.

This 13-foot-tall, 2,500-pound brass representation of the India Buddhist master who brought Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century radiates like a beacon from behind picture windows overlooking busy 45th Street, across from the Hyde Park Christian Church, in a mostly residential area.

“If you make aspirations in front of the statue,” said Lama Lobtsul via Ila Reitz, his translator, “then it will be of great benefit to you in this life and future lives — just as if you were in front of Guru Rinpoche.”

There is more to the statue than meets the eye. It is filled with medicines, mantra prayers and approximately 1,000 books, including the canonical text and teachings of the Buddha. It is also heavy with flashy adornments, among them a trident with a staff made of three heads representing the three kayas, or expressions of the Buddha. In Guru Rinpoche’s lap sits a blue, white and gold kapala, or skull cup, filled with a nectar that represents spiritual awakening.

Click here to read the full article

May 8th, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Dalai Lama turns 76 in Washington, will meet with congressional leaders

by Ana Sebescen from CNN

Thousands of well-wishers sang “Happy Birthday” Wednesday to the Dalai Lama, who turned 76 at the beginning of an 11-day visit to the capital on which he will meet with top congressional leaders.

So far, the White House has remained silent on a potential meeting between the Tibetan spiritual leader and President Obama

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has invited the Dalai Lama to the Capitol on Thursday to meet with congressional leaders, his office announced Wednesday. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will be among those attending.

Obama met with the Dalai Lama in Washington in February 2010, triggering a rebuke from China, which considers the Dalai Lama the leader of a separatist movement.

“I always say, the best gift to me is to practice compassion,” said the Dalai Lama said Wednesday. He urged the crowd to search for happiness within and promote non-violence, compassion and equality around the world.

The term “Dalai Lama” is a Tibetan Buddhist religious title. Under Buddhist teachings, the title is given to those who are the reincarnations of a lineage of religious teachers. The current Dalai Lama is considered the 14th in this line.

Wednesday’s festivities marked the start of the Dalai Lama’s visit, during which he will confer a special blessing and ancient Buddhist teachings.

“Rich, poor, believer, non-believer – no difference. We are all the same,” the Dalai Lama said…

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Kalon Tripa tells Tibetans inside Tibet not to worry about His Holiness’ retirement

From Tibet.net

DHARAMSALA: Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong said Thursday Tibetans living inside Tibet should not worry about His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s retirement plan, saying “His Holiness had clearly said he would continue to work for the cause of Tibet”.

Kalon Tripa was speaking to a large gathering of over 1,800 Tibetans who have come from Tibet to receive His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings in Sarnath.

Kalon Tripa said His Holiness the Dalai Lama had spoken about taking complete retirement from the administrative work of the Central Tibetan Administration in exile in March this year. The Tibetans living inside Tibet expressed their deep concerns over his remarks, he added.

Click here to read entire article.

[The following links provide more information about His Holiness the Dalai Lama's retirement.]

Tibet.net

Sify.com

Spero News

January 18th, 2011 at 6:00 am

Her Holiness: Is the Time Right for a Female Dalai Lama?

From The Huffington Post

Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, would make the perfect dad. Imagine having to tell the world’s most famous “simple Buddhist monk” that you wrecked the family car. Material items are not important, but you must examine the causes and conditions that gave rise to this accident. Or that you spent all the money in your checking account before the end of the month — again. You will not find happiness through external means. You must look inside to identify the things that lead to happiness. Or that you are devastated by the breakup of your love relationship.Everything is impermanent. This suffering too will pass.

His gentle and often playful manner, his engaging smile and twinkling eyes, his quick wit and simple yet profound remarks inspire a sense of reassurance, acceptance, and peacefulness that the world has come to attribute to this one person, this man.

But what if the next Dalai Lama is a woman? Would she, or even could she, offer the world the same grounding wisdom? Inspire compassion within people of all cultures? Properly navigate Tibet’s troublesome relationship with the Chinese government?

Click here to read the entire article.

November 2nd, 2010 at 12:38 am

The Dalai Lama’s Message to the West

From HuffingtonPost,

The Dalai Lama’s 75th birthday on July 6 marks a bittersweet milestone. The anniversary is cause ftenzin_gyatzo_foto_11or celebration that his message of peace has become so widespread, yet it is also illustrative of his mortal frailty as China’s power grows and the Dalai Lama’s fades.

But there is also a deeper resonance — and controversy — to his preachings: that peace and compassion are more important than prosperity and financial advancement. It is a message, at one time straightforward and prehensile, that now poses a dilemma, particularly to the West, in our troubled times. Practicing what the Dalai Lama preaches, for some, has never been harder.

In September 2006 a murder on a remote mountainside on the Tibet/Nepalese border perfectly illustrated the West’s conflicted response when the moral imperative to speak up for human rights and spiritual freedom comes at the risk of increasing prosperity. Near Choy Oyu, the sixth tallest mountain in the world, a group of Chinese People’s Armed Police opened fire on a group of 74 Tibetan refugees in full view of 100 or so Western climbers.

Among them was 17-year-old Tibetan Kelsang Namtso. Forbidden from becoming a nun by her family in Tibet for fear that it would lead her into trouble with the Chinese authorities, she took her vows in secret. A year later, frustrated that that she could not practice her faith in a working nunnery because of draconian regulations and interference from Communist party officials, she decided the only option she had left to find spiritual fulfillment was to cross the high Himalaya. A chance of a few seconds with the Dalai Lama and the opportunity to practice her faith freely in India was worth a grueling journey beset with danger. Together with her best friend Dolma Palkyi, she set out. After 12 brutal days, just 20 minutes from the border, Kelsang Namtso was shot in the back and killed as Western climbers watched.

Shortly afterwards children, monks and others who couldn’t escape were led through the climbers’ camp at gunpoint, some later to be tortured in a mountaintop military compound.

Some of the Western mountaineers, making considerable amounts of money leading climbing expeditions, urged others in camp not to talk about the murder lest the Chinese retaliate by banning them from climbing in Tibet. In short, the climbers faced the same dilemma that the West faces in that if it wants to economically prosper together with the Middle Kingdom it must, at China’s insistence, turn a blind eye to its human rights abuses. A few climbers broke the adopted code of silence — one Romanian filmed the murder — and the story shortly thereafter became an international incident as the footage contradicted China’s assertion that the soldiers killed in self-defense. It was the first time a human rights murder in Tibet had been captured on film since the Chinese invasion in 1950.

Kelsang’s best friend, Dolma Palkyi, and 43 others made it to India where they met the Dalai Lama.

I too met the Dalai Lama shortly after Kelsang Namtso’s murder and found a profoundly human presence, rather than a lofty god-king. He was above all else direct and simply angry, not only at the murder but also at the West’s apathetic response to China’s brutal treatment of Tibetans. He told me that the West was often consumed with indifference, self-interest and quite simply racism.

“In the sixties, seventies and eighties, we went through incredible suffering,” he explained. “But they [the west] all looked at Russia and not China.” His chest was heaving as he spoke. “Perhaps it is because we are Asian, they don’t care?” he asked me directly. “So you see there is even discrimination in human rights!”

Click here to read the full article.

July 4th, 2010 at 6:00 am

Tibetan Kalon Tripa to Address Parliament

According to TibetanCustom, the Kalon Tripa of Tibet will be addressing the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia.  His stop of Australia is part of a series of addresses he will make, including events in India.

To read the full article, click here.