Karmapa holds press conference in Germany, free commemorative program offered online

Karmapa Euro VisitThe 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, launched his first-ever European visit with a press conference in Frankfurt, Germany. According to a report on the Karmapa’s official website, he addressed the reinstatement of full ordination for nuns in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition (“I have high hopes that this will happen within one or two years”), global climate change (“the most important issue facing the world today”), cultivating compassion as a means to counteract a purely materialist mindset, and the future of Tibet.

The Karmapa will tour only Germany on this initial European visit, which began May 28 and will last through June 9. For those unable to attend the events, the organizers have made a 20-page commemorative program available for free download in English and thirteen other European languages.

First Buddhist temple in South Dakota opened Sunday

Altar inside the Chua Ky Vien Buddhist Meditation Center

Altar inside the Chua Ky Vien Buddhist Meditation Center

South Dakota’s first Buddhist temple formally opened its doors in Sioux Falls this past Sunday. The Chua Ky Vien Buddhist Meditation Center was founded in a converted residential home to serve the Buddhist faithful among Sioux Falls’s growing Vietnamese population. According to KDLT-TV, about 100 people attended the opening ceremony, which included “traditional Vietnamese music and dances, a sermon and a flower offering.” KSFY-TV interviewed the abbot, Thich Minh Dieu, and posted a video story about the new temple.

Inquiring Mind journal seeks new publisher

inquiring mind bodhisattvaThe staff at Inquiring Mind, the 30-year-old semiannual journal of Buddhist thought and trends in the West, have announced the retirement of longtime publisher Alan Novidor, and are seeking his replacement. They describe the job of putting out the Berkeley-based magazine and overseeing its online presence as part-time, part-paid/part-dana, and “potentially a very creative role, with room for revisioning our operations and formats.” The ideal candidate would also be able to raise funds for the donation-supported enterprise. Contact information and details about job responsibilities may be found here.

Sakyadhita Int’l Association of Buddhist Women puts out call for newsletter content, conference proposals

buddhist nunsThe Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women has put out a call for “articles, news, photos, and art by or about Buddhist women around the world” to include in its 2014 newsletter. The deadline for submissions is June 13.

The deadline is also approaching for proposals for workshop ideas, short films, and PowerPoint presentations to feature at Sakyadhita’s 14th International Conference on Buddhist Women. The conference, organized around the theme of “Compassion and Social Justice,” will be held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, from June 23 to 30, 2015. Proposals should be submitted by July 15 of this year.

Guidelines for submissions for both the Sakyadhita newsletter and conference may be found here.

Arawana Hayashi at the Interdependence Project

On Friday, May 30, and Saturday, May 31, IDP in New York City will host a training by Activist and Buddhist teacher Acharya Arawana Hayashi.  This powerful weekend is to support those committed to making a difference through personal and social transformation.  Registration and more information available at this link, or email info@theidproject.org.


Trace Foundation starts 20th anniversary with lectures on Gendun Chopel’s art, Milarepa and “the madman,” sexuality in Tibetan medicine

Trace FoundationThe Trace Foundation — a New York-based organization that “supports the continuity, development, and vitality of Tibetan communities” — will reopen its renovated public library this week and initiate a series of lectures, films, art exhibitions, and concerts reflecting contemporary Tibetan culture to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Three events have been announced:

  • On Thursday, May 22, Donald S. Lopez will discuss Gendun Chopel: Modern Artist, a new book in which his essays accompany the first public printing of the controversial 20th-century lama’s watercolors and pencil sketches.
  • Andrew Quintman will present his latest book, The Yogin and the Madman, on Thursday, May 29, about the unique relationship between Milarepa, Tibet’s most famous yogi saint, and his biographer Tsangnyön Heruka, who called himself “the Madman of Western Tibet.”
  • “Sexuality According to Tibetan Medicine and Buddhism” will be the subject of Dr. Nida Chenaktsang’s lecture on Wednesday, June 11. Dr. Nida currently serves as director of the International Academy for Traditional Tibetan Medicine.

All events will be held at 132 West Perry in Manhattan’s West Village; visit here for further details.

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.