Monthly Archives: August 2008

Armchair Pilgrimage

While $3,000 flight tickets might be keeping some of us from visiting in person, Travelblog’s Stephan and Klaudia document their journey through India, Nepal, Tibet, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia with beautiful photography and engaging prose. The stunningly wide variety of Buddhist influenced stops, from deserts to mountaintops, reflects the diversity of world-wide Buddhism.

Is it Polite to Rub His Belly?

The shutterbug community at Lens Culture have put together The Buddha Project, a compilation of Buddhas found in many places, encompassing, as they put it “found Buddha, sacred Buddha, ancient Buddha, kitschy Buddha, handmade Buddha.”

What do you think Siddhartha would think of the fat-belly prosperity buddha ?

China Deports 28 Members of Students for a Free Tibet for Staging Protests

This just in from Democracy Now: “We speak to John Hocevar, founder of Students for a Free Tibet, and the citizen journalist Noel Hidalgo, both of whom were just deported by China. Hidalgo used his cell phone to film most of the footage of the protests shown across the world.” Listen/Watch/Read here.

Follow the SFT’s blog for more news and analysis from the frontlines of their effort to make Olympic history for Tibet.

How Can I be a Soldier?

The Buddhist Society of Western Australia asks this question in their online discussion area, one of the more lively Buddhist forums I’ve seen in a while. About 100 people are taking on the topic and pointing to helpful teachings, including this one by Ajahn Brahm on “The ethics of murder: How does one interpret the first precept in everyday life? Is being a Buddhist and a soldier mutually exclusive?”

Kwats to You Too!

Who knows who can really walk the walk, but we all try to talk to talk. But are you finding your snappy Zen patter is not generating the intended satori in your listeners? At the New York Observer, Will Heinrich has some dialogue that should guarantee at least one person gets a mind-stopping slap.

Self-Mummified Monks of Japan

A strange story of a strange practice in Japan a few centuries back: Sokushinbutsu monks who mummified themselves through self-deprivation and confinement. Those who took this path were revered for their dedication and aspiration.

Lost in Translation

Gary Gach, our friend and sometime Buddhadharma contributor, and translator of the excellent Korean Buddhist poet Ko Un, has this piece at Paste magazine bemoaning Americans’ loss of interest in foreign literature in translation. It’s at

Shake Hands, World

As the Olympics open in Beijing, is passing on a message of peace through a ‘global handshake‘ that supposedly began with the Dalai Lama in the streets of London, and will end with a major advertising blitz timed with closing cermonies. Avaaz is a “global web movement that aims to connect people across borders to bring people-powered politics to international decision-making.” Sign up and join the 64,000 who’ve already done the email shake.

Kicking up the Buddhist Kitsch

WIRED magazine reviews the Nokia Buddhaphone, a gold-plated mobile phone with snazzy jade buttons and Buddhist symbols.

Dalai Lama offers an Olive Branch

The Dalai Lama recognizes that time is running out for him to reach a settlement with the Chinese, says NYTimes columnist Nicholas Kirstof, and he’s offered a significant olive branch. Kristof outlines what he sees as a path toward settlement that would leave both sides better off.

Welcome to Shambhala SunSpace

Hi. Somehow you’ve found the new Shambhala SunSpace. What you’re looking at is our first exploration of the world of daily online communication. Of course we have a substantial Shambhala Sun website already (, but it’s pretty old school. Here we’re starting to learn about and play with principles like daily content and interactivity, so that eventually we’ll offer you a site where you can link to all kinds of interesting stories, ask questions and express your views, download podcasts and teachings, and connect with the whole community of people who are bringing the dharma into their lives. Basically, all the stuff that makes the web great.

But please be patient. There’s some good stuff here already, but this is just the beginning as we experiment. Nothing is set in stone—not the design, not the features, not the buttons that aren’t working yet, maybe not even the name. But please enjoy what’s here. You’ve happened upon the beginnings of our future.
—Melvin McLeod, Editor-in-Chief

CNN’s “Buddha’s Warriors” is all bark and no Buddhism

The Worst Horse reviews CNN’s investigative feature on Buddhist activists and says CNN focused on oppression in Tibet but did nothing to educate us about Buddhism. Too bad.

Killing The Buddha…Again

A self-described host to unconventional religious writing, Killing the Buddha is a platform for writers and thinkers who reject mainstream religious ideas. Their tag is the old Buddhist motto, “if you meet the Buddha, kill him.”