Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu seeking volunteer English teachers

anigompaKopan Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, is looking for volunteer English teachers for their young monks. If you are someone with a teaching background, an interest in Buddhism, and about 3 free months to spend in Nepal, you’re asked to get in touch with the monastery using the contact information listed at its website. Kopan Monastery was established in 1974 by Lama Thubten Yeshe and his disciple, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche.

Zen artist Mark T Morse: Depicting the masters

TetsugenBernardGlassman“I’ll keep to any teacher of Zen, alive between 1950 and today,” writes Mark T Morse of his new art project, a series of brush-and-ink portraits of modern dharma teachers, each married with a short teaching/quote by its subject. “My primary goal,” Morse says, “is to visually explore the rich and diverse world of individuals shaping what is presently called Zen, to explore modern Zen lineages via portrait drawings.” Here you see Morse’s rendering of Roshi and Zen Peacemaker Bernie Glassman. (Glassman is also the subject of another art project, the new book A Thousand Arms, which gathers some 230 pages’ worth of images, by the master photographer Peter Cunningham, of Glassman in action throughout his career as a Buddhist and social activist and entrepreneur.)

Morse’s striking work has appeared in the Shambhala Sun — first, illustrating Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara’s “The Work of the Moment” in the March issue, and currently, in the May 2014 issue, illustrating John Tarrant’s “The World Catches Us Every Time.”

You can see more of Morse’s “Masters” series, along with other work, on his website.

Some of the world’s oldest Buddhist manuscripts on display at Cambridge

X-ray of a Buddha kyamuni's statue in bronze (MAA, 1935.346).Tibet. 14th centuryPurchased by Louis C.G. Clarke.Courtesy of the Hamilton Kerr Institute and the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge.

X-ray of a Buddha statue in bronze (MAA, 1935.346), Tibet, 14th century (purchased by Louis C. G. Clarke)

From May 28 to January 17, Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology will house “Buddha’s Word: The Life of Books in Tibet and Beyond,” an exhibition that explores Tibetan texts from historical, anthropological, linguistic, artistic, and scientific angles. Visitors to the Li Ka Shing gallery of the museum will see examples of text used as a ritual object, learn how traditional Tibetan texts are made and analyzed, and trace the path of the Buddha’s words across Asia.

Visit Cambridge News for details. Read More »

News from Australia: Great Stupa progress in Bendigo; new film to document lives of Australia Buddhists

Great Stupa AustraliaVictoria, Australia’s Bendigo Advertiser reports that the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion being built by students of Lama Zopa Rinpoche is “progressing steadily.” This is the year, project managers told them, that they will have secured an occupancy permit for the main temple inside the 164-foot shrine. This is in preparation for the first retreat at the stupa, scheduled for September 25 to October 23, to be led by Lama Zopa. Once completed in 2015, this will be the largest stupa in the Western world.

Elsewhere Down Under, the lives of those who have helped shape Buddhist culture in Australia will be the subject of a new documentary film. Researchers at Deakin University have teamed up with Pozible.com to raise the necessary funds to produce “Buddhist Life Stories of Australia.” Noting that Buddhism is Australia’s second largest religion, with a long history in the nation, the team envisions the film as “the first stage of a larger, long-term research program that will investigate the changing nature of Buddhism, and what it’s like to be a Buddhist, in Australia.” They have put together a promotional video, which you can see after the jump, featuring some of the major figures in contemporary Australian Buddhism. See the page they’ve created for the film here. Read More »

Pema Chodron to deliver Naropa University’s 40th anniversary commencement address; sold-out event will be webcast live

Pema Chodron NaropaNaropa University announced this week that internationally renowned Buddhist teacher and bestselling author Pema Chödrön will deliver the keynote address on “Bravery and Compassion” during its May 10 commencement ceremonies.

“Pema is an influential and insightful teacher to millions of people around the world,” said Naropa president Charles G. Lief in a press release about the event, “and her longtime connection to her root teacher and Naropa founder Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche makes her a wonderful commencement speaker for our 40th Anniversary year.”

Though all the tickets for the Boulder, CO, ceremony have already been distributed, Naropa will provide a free, live webcast of Pema Chödrön’s remarks, which are scheduled to begin at 4:30 pm, MST. Click here to stream the video.

Noh Theater at Zen Mountain Monastery

zoPosted by Zen Mountain Monastery

On Sunday, June 8, at 2:30 pm, the Monastery, located in Mt. Tremper, NY, will host a rare opportunity to experience noh, with a performance of Sumida River. This powerful new English-language version of the classic Sumidagawa will be performed in the traditional Noh style by Richard Emmert and the internationally acclaimed Theatre Nohgaku. Tickets are $22 and can be reserved by calling the Training Office at 845-688-2228 or by emailing Jean Ann at mro@mro.org.

Local artists’ imaginings of Buddha on display at Worcester Boundless Way Zen Center

Buddhas Over WorcesterThose who find themselves in northern Massachusetts might “awaken to something unexpected” with a visit to Buddhas Over Worcester, an outdoor exhibit of original sculpture on display in the gardens of the Boundless Way Zen Center. For the second year in a row, BWZC invited the community to submit works that “imagine that the Buddha could be something important and meaningful in our lives.” The eighteen works selected will be on exhibit now through July 5. Visit here for further details.

Naropa U. honors late professor with Anselm Hollo Graduate Fellowship

Anselm Hollo

Anselm Hollo

Naropa University has announced the creation of the Anselm Hollo Graduate Fellowship, named for the poet, translator, and Naropa professor who died last year. “The fellowship,” they said, “will provide full tuition and a Teaching Assistantship stipend to exceptionally promising writers in Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics,” which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. Hollo’s widow, artist Jane Dalrymple-Hollo, provided the initial bequest for the fellowship, calling Naropa Hollo’s “literary home” and praising its vast archive of creative material.

Read the full announcement about the Anselm Hollo Graduate Fellowship here.

Buddha’s birthday celebrated throughout East Asia and abroad

Part of the cultural performance at the Buddha Birth Day festival in Australia

Part of the cultural performance at the Buddha Birth Day festival in Australia

The birth of the Buddha is being celebrated today in most East Asian countries and wherever those communities are gathered abroad.

One such community in Queensland, Australia, claims to hold the “largest annual Buddhist Birth Day Festival in the world,” in a free event that spanned three days this past weekend.

In South Korea, President Park Geun-hye used the occasion at the Jogye Order’s main temple in Seoul to offer another public apology for the recent ferry disaster that claimed hundreds of lives. Read More »

84000 translation project launches video; donor makes pledge for each Facebook and Twitter share

84000 VideoToday, coinciding with the day the Buddha’s birth is celebrated in many Asian countries, the translation project known as 84000 has released a new, professionally animated promotional video across various social media platforms to deepen awareness of, and support for, its mission. The two-minute video features narration by Russell Brand, and a sponsor has pledged $1 for every Facebook share and Twitter re-tweet (@Translate84000) the video receives within a 24-hour period. The video may be seen, and shared, at 84000’s Facebook page. They emphasize that only shares from their accounts will be valid for the pledged donation.

Khyentse Foundation helped launch 84000 in 2009, bringing together an ever-expanding team to translate for the first time into modern languages the entire Buddhist canon as it is currently preserved in classical Tibetan, and to make the results available for free. 84000 is now an independent organization with the goal of overseeing the translation of all 200,000 pages of the Buddhist scriptures within a century. More info, and access to the completed translations, may be found here.

Buddhist Peace Fellowship to hold first national gathering since 2006

Buddhist Peace Fellowship Gathering logoThe Buddhist Peace Fellowship has announced that registration is now open for the first national conference the organization has held since 2006. The gathering will be held August 29 to 31 at the East Bay Meditation Center, in Oakland, CA. Attendance is limited to 120, and the organizers aim to assemble “a group of people reflecting multiple forms of diversity — geographic, racial, political, gender, age, dharma lineage, and more” to explore the integration of social justice and spiritual awakening.

For more information about applying to attend the Buddhist Peace Fellowship Gathering, click here.

Minnesota Buddhist temple to welcome Jade Buddha for Buddha’s birthday; tour continues across North America through 2014

jade buddhaA Vietnamese Buddhist temple in Minnesota is welcoming a rare visitor for its celebrations of the Buddha’s birthday.

In 2000, the largest gem-quality piece of jade ever unearthed was discovered in northern Canada. The 18-ton boulder was dubbed “Polar Pride” and many years after was on its way to Thailand and an unusual destiny: to be carved into a eight-foot tall statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace, as it is now known, was modeled on the main statue at the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment, in Bodh Gaya, India. The consecrated statue has been on a world tour since 2009, and this year has been displayed in North America, gracing temples in California, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida.

The Tu Vien Tay Phuong Temple in Savage, MN, will host the Jade Buddha from May 1 to 11, with an extensive public opening celebration on Saturday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to a story in the Star Tribune.

The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace will continue its journey across North America throughout 2014. For details, visit the statue’s dedicated site here.

Reporters Without Borders honors jailed Tibetan monk as one of “100 Information Heroes” for World Press Freedom Day

Jigme Gyatso, AKA Golog Jigme. Image via rfa.org.

Jigme Gyatso, AKA Golog Jigme 

A twice-jailed and still missing Tibetan Buddhist monk, Jigme Gyatso, will be among 100 “Information Heroes” honored May 3 by Reporters Without Borders (Paris-based RSF) for World Press Freedom Day. According to a report by Radio Free Asia,

“Jigme Gyatso, a Tibetan Buddhist monk and rights activist…along with now imprisoned Tibetan Dhondup Wangchen, filmed Leaving Fear Behind, a 25-minute documentary that includes interviews with more than 100 Tibetans about their experiences living under Chinese rule.

“After showing the film in a secret screening on the opening day of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, he was arrested, sentenced to seven months’ imprisonment, beaten, and tortured. He was released in October 2008, but seized again in 2012 by authorities, who RSF said are holding him in secret.”

The full list of RSF’s 100 Information Heroes may be seen here.

There is also a website dedicated to Leaving Fear Behind and its imprisoned filmmakers, where you may watch the film in its entirety (click “News”).  Read More »