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We have a big announcement coming tomorrow.

Dalai Lama congratulates Satyarthi and Malala

The Dalai Lama wrote messages of congratulations to both Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi on their jointly awarded Nobel Peace Prize.

To Kailash Satyarthi, 60, who was awarded the prize in recognition of his work as a children’s rights activist in India, the Dalai Lama wrote:

“Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation and someone I consider to be a personal mentor, has been of widespread inspiration across the world, for his dedication to peaceful, non-violent change. I see the award of this prize to you, his follower, as an acknowledgement of him as well.”

His message to Malala Yousafzai, 17, the youngest-ever winner, for her advocacy of education in Pakistan, he wrote the following:

“For someone so young you showed immense courage in the stand you took to defend girls’ right to education. Later, you again showed tremendous strength as you recovered from the injuries inflicted by those who violently disagreed with you. That you have continued, unbowed, to promote the basic right to education earns only admiration.”

The Dalai Lama further expressed his feeling that the decision by the Nobel committee to jointly recognize an Indian man and a Pakistani woman emphasized that only as brothers and sisters, beyond national identities, will we form a more peaceful world.

For more, click here.

 

 

Campaign to raise $500,000 for Ashoka Mukpo’s medical bills

ashokamukpo2An Internet campaign to help pay Ashoka Mukpo’s medical bills is rapidly gaining traction online. Mukpo is the NBC cameraman who contracted Ebola while working in West Africa. See our previous coverage here. At the time of writing – 8:45AM EST – the campaign had raised more than $27,000. Stephanie Federico, the campaign’s creator and a friend of Mukpo, writes that the costs associated with Mukpo’s illness are likely to exceed $500,000. She also writes that Mukpo is expected to make a full recovery.

To read more and donate to the campaign, visit gofundme.com.

Tragic loss following attack outside Berkeley Zen Center

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 3.46.45 PMOur thoughts are with everyone at Berkeley Zen Center as they face the violent loss of Seiu Shinshu Nancy McClellan, the community’s gardener and a longtime member, who was stabbed to death during a carjacking attempt near BZC, following a wedding held at the center. She initially survived and was hospitalized; we are just learning now that she was later taken off life support and has passed away.

Hozan Alan Senauke, vice-abbot of BZC, released this statement:

“This has been a tremendous loss in the Berkeley Zen Center community. After two weeks in the hospital, Nancy McClellan (Seiu Shinshu/Gentle Rain-Deep Resolve) died peacefully early in the morning of 8 October. After chanting by her bedside at her passing, we walked out to find the moon in full eclipse. We are struggling to see what we can learn here even as we deeply mourn Nancy’s death.”

A suspect is being held and is expected to face a murder charge. For more on the story, click here.

 

Tibetan man hospitalized after self-immolation

On September 16 a Tibetan man named Kunchok set himself on fire outside a police station in Tibet to protest Chinese rule in Qinghai Province. He is being treated, but an anonymous source said that Kunchok is unlikely to survive. This is the 133rd Tibetan self-immolation since 2009, and the second this month. Radio Free Asia has more information here.

Also, for more information on Tibetan self-immolations, read Robert Thurman’s 2012 commentary in Buddhadharma, “A Cry for Freedom,” and see some of our previous coverage on self-immolations here.

Ashoka Mukpo diagnosed with Ebola after covering outbreak

Ashoka-300x200Ashoka Mukpo, the son of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s wife, Diana Mukpo, and her second husband, Mitchell Levy (Trungpa’s personal physician), has contracted Ebola. Mukpo has spent years volunteering in West Africa, and returned to Liberia when the outbreak began. He was working as a cameraman for NBC News, covering the epidemic, when he contracted the disease. Mukpo’s parents spoke on Today this morning (see video above). “I think, obviously, he seems scared and worried,” said Levy. “He’s been filming what’s been happening in Liberia for two weeks, and seeing the death and tragedy, and it’s really hit home for him. But his spirits seem better today.”

Read More »

Nobel meeting cancelled after Dalai Lama blocked from attending

Dalai LamaThere will be no Nobel Peace Prize winners in South Africa this month.

The World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, which was supposed to happen in Cape Town, has been cancelled after the South African government refused a visa to the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama has long had trouble traveling, as the Chinese government has worked to restrict his movements. Last month, China pressured the government of South Africa to deny the Dalai Lama a visa for the Nobel meeting. It was the third time South Africa has barred the Dalai Lama from visiting. Read More »

Dalai Lama comments on Chinese president’s acceptance of Buddhism in Chinese culture

DalaiLamaIn a recent talk in India, the Dalai Lama claimed that Chinese President Xi Jinping has made public acknowledgments that Buddhism has a place in Chinese culture and a role to play in its preservation. Various sources with ties to Chinese leadership have made the same claim, stating that Xi feels the Chinese people are obsessed with money and in a moral decline. It is believed that Xi intends to relax suppression of religion in hopes that it will fill a moral void and help stem corruption.

The Dalai Lama commented:

“Preservation of Tibetan Buddhist knowledge, culture and language is of immense value to the Chinese people. President Xi Jinping has publicly said that Buddhism has a role to play in the preservation of Chinese culture. …I think till 30 years ago, or even 15-20 years ago, no other Communist party leader [was seen] showing some respect to or appreciation of Buddha dharma. Preservation of Tibetan culture, Buddhism, Buddhist leadership… should be paid some attention.”

Echoing his own Middle Way Approach, he added, “They [China] must give us genuine freedom for preservation of our culture. In long run this will be of immense help to Chinese Buddhists.”

The Dalai Lama added this was the first time in years that any leader of the Communist Party of China, which rules the country, has openly acknowledged the role of religion in Chinese society.

New school in Eugene, OR, combines Buddhist and secular curriculum

Founding teacher Lama Sonam Tsering leads classes on opening day

Saraha Children’s School in Eugene, OR, along with the other schools in the area, started classes on Sept. 4 and will mirror the public school’s schedule. But the curriculum will be a little different.

In addition to an integrated curriculum of reading, writing, math, science, and social studies, students will also be introduced traditional Buddhist arts such as meditation, and the classroom will incorporate language and practices of compassion, wisdom, and peace.

The school, launched just six months ago by Lama Sonam Tsering, will operate under the direction of the Saraha Nyingma Buddhist Institute, and classes will be held in its facilities.

To learn more about Saraha Children’s School or to offer your assistance, click here.

Public Talk by Dalai Lama in Boston, Nov. 1

10629566_10153151390695830_5142563278735612616_nThe Dalai Lama will be giving a public talk in Boston on Nov. 1, titled “Educating the Heart and Mind.” Click here to purchase tickets.

During his time in Boston, the Dalai Lama will also offer a day-long Buddhist teaching based on Geshe Langri Thangpa’s Eight Verses of Training the Mind (lojong tsikgyema) and confer the Generation of Bodhicitta (semkyi).

For the Dalai Lama’s full North American schedule, including stops in Vancouver, Alabama, and New York City, click here.

 

 

Two days left to support “Thongdrol: Liberation Through Seeing”

Thongdrol: Liberation Through Seeing, a documentary film project by David Cherniack, has only two days and $23,000 to go on its Kickstarter campaign. Click here to contribute.

“Thongdrol” is a Tibetan word that means liberation though seeing. Something is seen that liberates. On a basic level it can be anything that turns the person seeing toward the spiritual path. On an advanced level it can be the instantaneous act of seeing the world through liberated eyes…the nondeluded eyes of the fully awakened.

Thongdrol has the active support and guidance of His Holiness Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa.

Tsewang Dorji crafting new Buddha statue for Palyul Foundation of Canada

Palyul Foundation of Canada, which maintains Orgyan Osal Cho Dzong, a 350-acre tem­ple and retreat facil­ity in Ontario, has commissioned Toronto-based Bhutanese artist Tsewang Dorji to craft a new Buddha image, now in progress. The face, body, and legs are now at a work-intensive polishing stage. According to Dorji, the clay is first smoothed to a very fine finish and then allowed to dry, during which time it develops fine cracks that then must be repaired and repolished, taking many months. The artist will soon be adding the hands and lotus petals. The project is slated for completion in spring 2015.

You can read more about the Palyul Foundation of Canada by clicking here.