Monthly Archives: August 2009

Abbot of Surmang Dutsi-til and wife die in storm

The Venerable Rolpa Dorje Rinpoche, one of the abbots of Surmang Dutsi-til monastery in eastern Tibet, and his wife died in the early hours of Thursday (Aug. 20) when their home in the nearby city of Jyekundo collapsed under the weight of torrential rains. Their two young sons survived, although one was slightly injured.

Surmang Dutsi-til monastery is described in great detail in Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s autobiography, Born in Tibet. Trungpa Rinpoche was once was the supreme abbot of the monastery. Read More »

Robert Wright’s “Self, Meditating” in today’s NYTimes

In today’s (Aug 20) New York Times, Robert Wright writes a “Happy Days” blog about his journey while sitting meditation with a group at (presumably) Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA. Find his very touching and funny description of “Self, Meditating” right here.

Wright’s latest book is  The Evolution of God. He is also a senior fellow at the New America Foundation.

And a while back, another Buddhist penned a “Happy Days” blog: Daniel Goleman (author of Emotional Intelligence) discussed the importance of meditation in creating a resilient mind, using Mingyur Rinpoche as an example of what dedicated meditation training can do for a person. Read Sitting Quietly, Doing Something.

Buddhist Geeks launch micropatronage drive

Buddhist Geeks recently launched a micropatronage drive, asking listeners to support Buddhist Geeks podcasters in offering all of their digital content for free.  Not only will micropatrons support the ongoing production of the Buddhist Geeks podcast, which receives in excess of 60,000 individual downloads each month, but they will also be contributing to the possibility of Buddhist Geeks also offering a Digital Magazine and in-person conference entitled BuddhaDharma 2.0.  Within one week of launching the Micropatronage drive, there are already more than 100 micopatrons who have signed up to support these projects.  To learn more about the Buddhist Geeks micropatronage drive go to

Noah Levine’s “Meditate and Destroy” DVD now available; hear more on SunSpace

“Meditate and Destroy,” the documentary about Buddhist Noah Levine’s punk rock, spirituality, and inner rebellion, is now available online at Dharma Punx. Says the publicity, “The film provides an up-close look at how the driving forces in Noah Levine’s life changed from violence, addiction and rebellion to taking on the role of dedicated meditation teacher and community leader.”

Jump over to our SunSpace blog to hear Sun web editor Rod Meade Sperry in conversation with Noah, about his life and the Dharma Punx movement he’s inspired.

Dalai Lama launches school for kids in Ladakh

Breaking News 24/7 reports that the Dalai Lama has launched a school for underprivileged kids from remote and isolated areas of [the] Ladakh region of Tibet. “Built with support from the Dalai Lama’s Charitable Trust and managed by Nalanda Dharma Centre in Leh, the Jamyang School will offer education in both Tibetan Buddhism and modern sciences.” Read the story here.

Buddhist Stories for Awakening, new CD by Joshua Michaell and friends

Sanskrit teacher Joshua Michaell has released the CD ,”Buddhist Stories for Awakening”— recorded last year with “my good friends, the inimitable musical Buddhist monk Rev. Heng Sure, and Gamera-loving guitar pioneer Henry Kaiser.” Read More »

Peter Goldfarb plays Tennessee Williams in New York Fringe Festival

Buddhist Peter Goldfarb stars in a new play about renowned playwright Tennessee Williams that’s featured in the New York International Fringe Festival. Peter plays Williams in HIS GREATNESS — a humorous, touching and all-together remarkable play, say friends.

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Top Russian filmmaker documents the Dalai Lama

From Russia Today: “24 hours in the life of the Dalai Lama: This is not a new reality-TV show but a revealing documentary by one of Russia’s top filmmakers. Sunrise/Sunset: Dalai Lama XIV has just been presented to American audiences in Los Angeles and New York, and could even earn an Oscar nomination. Read More »

FREE NIRVANA! Buddhist Wisdom for Uncertain Times

Free streaming video of recent talk at Book Passage by Gary Gach —  FREE NIRVANA! Buddhism in Uncertain Times — is now available via FORA.Tv

Ancient wisdom traditions have deep resonance in these uncertain times. It’s not that there’s more suffering than ever before but that more people are aware of suffering. Humans are capable of relieving needless suffering, and discovering natural potentials for true happiness and innate goodness. (Have you heard the saying? “Train your mind and change your brain!”) Might you already be a bit Buddhist, and not yet realize it?

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A close look at the work of Dan Siegel

For a review of UCLA mindfulness researcher Dan Siegel’s forthcoming book (publishes December), Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation—and an extensive interview with Siegel—visit Upaya Zen Center website. “Mindsight is a kind of focused attention that allows us to see the internal workings of our own minds,” says the article. “Dr. Siegel offers a rare opportunity to explore the world of ‘mindfulness’ through his personal experience but also through the eyes of a researcher in child development and one who understands the workings of brain circuitry, which makes the reading in-depth as well as life changing.”

Watch and hear the Milarepa Children’s Theater and Chorus

As seen on 92Y Online: “The Milarepa Children’s Theater and Chorus, whose members are children and young adults of Tibetan, Asian and Western descent living in New York City. They offer traditional songs of realization as taught by the great Tibetan yogi and scholar Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche and the Vidyadhara Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. They performed at the 92Y on June 22/09 before an event with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche and Daniel Goleman. Read More »

Prison Dharma Network offers training for facilitators of Path of Freedom program for youth at risk

Starting in September, Sensei Fleet Maull and Kate Crisp of the Prison Dharma Network (PDN) will lead an intensive six (6) week online telecourse (Thursdays, 1.5 hours each) designed to train and certify faciltators to deliver PDN’s Path of Freedom Program in inside prison programs, as well as through the PDN Dharma Mentor program. The Path of Freedom (POF) program is a mindfulness-based, cognitive-behavioral and integral approach to self-transformation, personal development and leadership capacity development for at-risk and incarcerated youth and adults. Read More »

Marc Matheson hosts radio show on Marin Country arts & life

marc mathesonBuddhist Marc Matheson is taking listeners deep into the heart of Marin County with a new radio show.

West Marin is a primarily agricultural region, with a vibrant local culture. Last year, the community started West Marin Review, a journal focusing on the land and the diverse mixture of people in the region. Matheson’s new program on radio station 89.9 FM (now streaming live at “features contributors to West Marin Review and highlights the magic of what influences local folk to create such a variety of great writing —prose and poetry alike—and visual art.” Read his article “Community, Sustainable Agriculture and the Arts in Northern California,” which outlines his connection to the region he now calls home.