Monthly Archives: December 2009

What to get for the American who has everything

gift of‘s long-awaited Top 10 Must-Have Green Things to Buy for Christmas list:

1. Nothing.

Why buy anything? Will more stuff make you happier?

2. You’ve been looking for it all your life and it’s right here. Right here is boring, hard, lonely.

3. But just sit. Do nothing. Keep your eyes soft, open. We’re not shutting out thoughts. We’re not shutting out anything. If you notice yourself thinking, just notice the thought, and return to the present moment.

4. If you can’t find the present moment, rest your attention on the breath. In, pause, out, pause. Or perhaps more realistically; in, thought, pause, thought, out, thought, pause, thought…. Just come back to the breath. Come back to your relaxed, upright sitting posture.

5. Come back to nothing.

6. Come back to yourself. Loneliness is your only friend. Loneliness is good, true, honest, deliciously sad and romantic. Read More »

Groundbreaking three-year retreat draws to a close

The traditional Tibetan temple at Lerab Ling in France

The traditional Tibetan temple at Lerab Ling in France

One of the largest long-term Buddhist retreats to take place in the West has reached its conclusion.

More than 400 people from all over the world took part in the three-year retreat at Lerab Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist centre in southern France. The retreat was led by Sogyal Rinpoche, author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and founder of the Rigpa network of centres and groups. Read More »

CBC Radio interviews Sharon Salzberg of Insight Meditation Society

On a recent broadcast (11/29/09) of CBC Radio’s program Tapestry, host Mary Hynes speaks to Sharon Salzberg, co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. The show leads off with a report on Detective Wendy Leaver, a “special victims” Toronto cop who offers friendship and compassion to convicted rapists and pedophiles through the “Circles of Support and Accountability” program.

Click here to download the podcast.

On the Buddhism Beat: “Buddhists Behaving Badly?”

The Rev. Danny Fisher writes on the SunSpace blog:  “Though the continuing trouble in Burma and some intriguing stories about the archaeology of Buddhism must be read, the theme this week is definitely ‘Buddhists behaving badly’. . .” Read the whole post.

Shambhala and the Buddhist response to climate change

climate warriorsFrom Shambhala News Service

Throughout the past week, the Shambhala Times [the newsletter of the Shambhala organization] has been featuring articles on making a personal and cultural shift in our relationship to the Earth in a theme titled The Buddhist Response to Climate Change.

This theme offers sources of inspiration for signing the Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change. This document will be delivered on December 7th to world leaders at the World Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen, and all Shambhalians are invited to sign if they wish.

Click here to read this week’s theme

Click here to read Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s call for protecting the Earth

See article highlights after the jump. Read More »

Response to recent events, including the expulsion of Ajahn Brahm

From Thanissara ( of the Dharmagiri Hermitage in South Africa

An Update: Recent events within the Forest Sangha of Ajahn Chah — catalyzed by the Bhikkhuni ordinations in Western Australia, the expulsion of Ajahn Brahm from the samvasa (community), the delisting of Wat Bodhinyana and the 5 point legislation imposed on the UK based Siladhara — has generated a concerned response from the international 4-fold sangha to the question of the placement of nuns within Theravada. Read More »

Tibetan nun succumbs to torture over peaceful protest against China

Posted by the National Buddhism Examiner

Dharamsala: A Tibetan nun arrested by the Chinese government for taking part in the peaceful protests in Karze in March 2009 has died in a hospital in Chengdu, capital of China’s Sichuan province, apparently due to severe torture by the prison guards, according to a reliable information received by the Central Tibetan Administration.

Read the full article.

Prison outreach program touches death row inmate; execution next week

This Tuesday, December 8th 2009, Kenny Biros will be executed by lethal injection. After committing a horrific crime for which he was convicted in 1991, he has lived on death row in Ohio. Local Tibetan temple Columbus Karma Thegsum Choling, or KTC as it is known in Columbus, has been working with Kenny to help him come to terms with his crime, his punishment, and his possibilities for the future beyond the death of his body. Read More »

Meditation and discussion at Chicago Buddhist Vihara

Bhanthe Seelaratana writes, “Chicago Buddhist Vihara is a Teravadian Buddhist Center in Chicago, situated a little bit away towards west from the city limits. We conduct insight meditation and Dhamma discussion groups in English. Any one interested can participate on their convenience or can schedule a visit or discussion on their interests of buddhism and meditation.” Read More »

The Shambhala Sun Foundation Auction: Have you joined in?

kelly-auction The 3rd Annual Shambhala Sun Auction is well on its way to reaching its goal of benefiting everyone involved and, like Kelly here in our featured photo, we couldn’t be happier. (Be sure to check out Kelly in the Auction’s Art section.)

After the jump — a peek at some of the Auction’s other great offerings, including new ones from Alice Walker and Thich Nhat Hanh. Read More »