Monthly Archives: April 2012

Wake Up! California tour wraps up at UC Berkeley

The events for the 2012 Wake Up California Tour closed this past week in the Bay Area, with a day of practice at UC Berkeley that drew fifty participants. Wake Up is “a world-wide network of young people practicing the living art of mindfulness” — some of them Buddhist, some of them not. Officially launched in 2008, the Wake Up network was born out of Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh and his Plum Village meditation center in France. Wake Up events will continue after the tour, with activities planned in San Diego, Los Angeles, UC Merced, South Bay, and San Francisco/East Bay area. Find out more about the network and the 2012 tour here:

Boundless Way Zen to open a new location in Greater Boston area

Boundless Way Zen, cofounded by Zen teachers James Ishmael Ford, David Dayan Rynick, and Melissa Myozen Blacker, has announced that it will open a new location, the Greater Boston Zen Center in Cambridge, and that Josh Bartok will be its guiding teacher. It will be the new practice space for the Spring Hill and Ralph Waldo Emerson Zen Sanghas. Located at 288 Norfolk Street on the 2nd floor (in Cambridge), the center will officially open to the public on May 15, 2012.

For more information, please visit, or read this announcement from James Ford’s blog.

Two more self-immolation protests in northeast Tibet on Thursday

The People's Liberation Army in Ngaba

At around 1 PM (CST) on Thursday, two young Tibetan men self-immolated in Zamthang county, Ngaba prefecture in northeastern Tibet. Choephag Kyab and Sonam, both around 20 years old, set themselves afire in protest of Chinese rule in their homeland. The two reportedly died from their injuries, and their bodies were taken away by locals. More than 35 Tibetans have self-immolated since 2009, and the majority of these cases resulted in death.

For past coverage of the self-immolation protests, please follow this link.

(Photo by SFT HQ via Flickr, using a CC-BY license.)

American University in Cairo names first Egyptian Dalai Lama Fellows

The American University in Cairo has selected two Egyptian engineering students as Dalai Lama Fellows for 2012, the first Egyptians ever to be awarded with the fellowships from the San Francisco-based nonprofit. Bassma Taher and Samar Sultan have been awarded $4,500 each for their joint project, Kaab Dayer, which seeks to provide the skills necessary to the poor that will help them to start up their own small business ventures.

The Dalai Lama Fellows is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco — “a unique global program that seeks out and encourages a new generation of emerging leaders to address some of the most persistent global challenges of our day.” For more on this story, visit

3,000 Buddha statues discovered in China (with link to photos)

A recent discovery of nearly 3,000 Buddha statues was unearthed during a dig in Handan, China, the largest archaeological discovery of its kind since the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949. Archaeologists believe the statues are approximately 1500 years old, dating back to the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi dynasties. Made of white marble and limestone, most of the statues found on the dig are broken and in disrepair. Researchers are still puzzling over how so many statues ended up here, though a working theory is that they “may have been rounded up and buried after the fall of the Northern Qi dynasty by later emperors in an attempt to purge the country of Buddhism.” To view photographs of some of what has been unearthed, visit here.

Tsadra Foundation opens Kathmandu office

The Tsadra Foundation has opened a newly renovated office in Kathmandu, Nepal, home to their digital publications and Tibetan publications offices. To celebrate, the Foundation held an open house on March 26 for dinner and conversation. In attendance were a number of venerable ones — lamas, monks and nuns, and friends, as well as scholarship recipients from Rangjung Yeshe Institute and the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics. Read More »

Canada to host Sixth World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet

Photo via Tibet Post International

From April 26 to 29, 2012, participants from 30 countries will attend the 6th World Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet, in Ottawa, Ontario. Some 50 parliamentarians from 30 countries and more than 60 Tibetans will come together in an effort to achieve the following three overarching goals: Read More »

Help for Diane di Prima

di Prima in 2004. Photo by Gloria Graham.

On The Poetry Foundation website, Amber Tamblyn has shared that Michael McClure has reached out to her in order to find help for a fellow poet: feminist icon, Beat poet, Buddhist student, and San Francisco Poet Laureate Diane di Prima, age 78, is in dire need of assistance.

McClure writes that di Prima is “is suffering with several painful and even life-threatening illnesses.” A GiveForward website has been created to raise money for Di Prima’s medical expenses. Click here to pitch in.

A tragic loss here in Halifax (updated)

[April 18 update: click here to view a selection of the tributes to Raymond Taavel that have appeared over the last twenty-four or so hours.]

It is with profound shock and sadness that we must tell you of the tragic loss of Raymond Taavel, our dear friend and co-worker. Raymond was the Assistant Circulation manager for both the Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma. We were blessed to have his presence, expertise, and uncommon warmth in our lives for some twelve years.

Read More »

Buddhist “soldier monks” in Thailand’s southern Muslim provinces

Royal Thai Army Thailand at Wat Benchamabophit Dusitwanaram Ratchaworawihan (2006)

By Adam Tebbe

In Thailand’s southern provinces — some of the poorest areas in all of Thailand — a bloody insurgency, comprising separatist ethnic Malay Muslims, has been under way since early 2004. The violence has involved an almost daily occurrence of bombings and killings; on March 31 alone, coordinated bombings in two provinces claimed the lives of fourteen people and injured hundreds more.

Brendan Brady of Newsweek writes that “since 2004, drive-by shootings, IED bombings, and point-blank assassinations have claimed some 5,000 lives in the country’s three restive southernmost provinces that border Malaysia, making the insurgency one of the world’s deadliest.” Read More »

This weekend on Ajahn Chah on “This Fantastic, Unfolding Experiment”

Join the great Vipassana teacher Ajahn Chah as he roams through some of Buddhism’s most important principles and practices, including the real nature of nirvana, how to practice samadhi, when good desire turns bad, why old people make better meditators, and, above all, the need to “be really careful!”

Click here to read.

April 12 and 13: Live DC events with Sulak Sivaraksa; one livestreamed

Today and tomorrow in Washington DC: Siamese intellectual, social critic, and prominent engaged Buddhist Sulak Sivaraksa will take part in two events, each of them free and open to the public. The 13th’s event will be available live on Ustream. Click through here for details. Read More »

Dalai Lama “Pillars of Peace Hawaii” events to be streamed online

His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be making a three-day visit to Oahu, Hawaii, this weekend, April 14 to 16, to participate in a program hosted by the Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF), marking the start of the HCF’s new initiative titled “Pillars of Peace Hawaii: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha.” The three events in which he will be a participant will be streamed online at the Pillars of Peace Hawaii website.

Click here to read more about the events.

(Photo by abhikrama via Flickr, using a CC-BY license.)