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Archive for the ‘Buddhism’ Category

Zig Zag Zen – The Zen Perspective On Psychedelics

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Zig Zag Zen – Buddhism in America, A High History

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COVID-19 Grants Awarded to 31 Organizations by The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism – PRNewswire

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LOS ANGELES, March 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ --The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism today announced it has committed to 31 grants totaling $200,000 for groups in its grantee network impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants provide operational assistance to ensure continuity during this time of crisis.

Norman Oberstein, Lenz Foundation CEO, states, "Although we had initially planned a national conference in 2021, as the pandemic grew, we decided to move the conference to 2022, and instead make grants in 2021 to help organizations weather the organizational storm of COVID-19. Our grantee organizations with retreat centers or large physical meeting rooms, along with meditation and mindfulness groups--all have suffered losses and face economic challenges. We feel fortunate we can help."

David Macek, Development, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (IBme) states, "The COVID-19 grant from the Lenz Foundation allows us to keep offering meaningful programs for teens. iBme's organizational system and financial model have been extremely challenged, which meant quickly transitioning our signature residential retreats to an online format, adding new offerings, and increasing our focus on teens' families."

At Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center, Johann Robbins, Executive Director, explains, "Almost all of our retreats were cancelled due to COVID-19. Normally our entire operating budget comes from our operating surplus. It is very difficult to ask donors to support both operating losses from COVID and our capital fundraising needs. The grant from the Lenz Foundation is helping to fill the gap."

Roy Remer, Executive Director of the Zen Caregiving Project notes, "Our volunteersnormallyvisit palliative care patients in-person.The organizationhas pivoted toallowvolunteers to connect with patients virtually,at a time when patients feel particularly isolated, andtoensure our volunteers remain engaged via regular online community meetings and retreats. These changes, however, have been against a backdrop of reduced organizational income, ZCP staff reductions in hours, and a very fluid public health context. The Covid-19 grant from the Lenz Foundation helps us bridge this difficult period of transition."

The conference formerly scheduled for 2021, "The Future of American Buddhism," is now planned for June 2-5, 2022 at the Garrison Institute in New York. The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism and Naropa University will stage this leading-edge conference in several phases. From January to May, 2022, online webinars and communities of interest will precede the conference and provide timely, relevant content to the physical gathering in June. Main topics are likely to include: Buddhist responses to: Climate Change, Women's Leadership and Gender Issues, Racism and White Privilege, Tradition and Innovation, Digital Dharma and New Forms of Community, and Socially Engaged Activism.

The Lenz Foundation seeks additional sponsors to help finance the conference by contributing to its funding, and to provide their own grants to conference participants with worthy projects that grow out of this event.

About the Lenz Foundation

Formed in 1998, the Lenz Foundation focuses on grants supporting the emergence of an enlightened American society that reflects the universal Buddhist values of wisdom, compassion, mindfulness, and meditation.

The mission of the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism is to foster the growth and development of an authentic American Buddhism that takes its inspiration from the wisdom traditions of the East but adopts new forms, approaches, and applications that are uniquely suited to contemporary American society and culture.

Based in Los Angeles, California, The Lenz Foundation is a perpetual tax exempt 501 c 3 private foundation. http://www.fredericklenzfoundation.org.

For more information, contact:

Liz Lewinson, Vice President and Treasurer [emailprotected] 310-557-8882

SOURCE The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism

http://www.fredericklenzfoundation.org

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COVID-19 Grants Awarded to 31 Organizations by The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism - PRNewswire

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March 9th, 2021 at 11:48 pm

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A Thai organizations crusade against blaspheming Buddha – The World

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A Thai Buddhist monk carries a statue of Buddha as he waits with others to welcome Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama at the Tsuglagkhang temple in Dharmsala, India, Sept. 7, 2018.

Ashwini Bhatia/AP

Acharawadee Wongsakon, an ascetic Buddhist teacher in snow-white robes, has a pet peeve.

Its the phrase let it go, deployed by people who disrespect Buddha and expect Buddhists to meekly tolerate the insult.

Letting go? That just means letting go of your emotions. It doesnt mean were weak or that we wont stand up for our rights.

Letting go? That just means letting go of your emotions, Acharawadee said. It doesnt mean were weak or that we wont stand up for our rights.

Acharawadee is the driving force behind the Knowing Buddha Organization, a watchdog group based in Thailand. Once a high-flying businesswoman in the jewelry trade, she has since dedicated her life to meditation and claims to have logged 18,000 hours in her lifetime.

Related:Does Thailand have a monkey labor problem?

As the leader of the Knowing Buddha Organization, she oversees volunteers who scour the internet and chase tips, seeking out people who haveused Buddhas image flagrantly.

A prime example: placing statues of Buddhas head on the floor a lowly place or, worse yet, putting Buddha imagery on things that are stepped on, like skateboards or carpets. Buddhas resplendent image, they say, should never come near a persons grubby feet.

Also on the offenders list: bars and hotels using Buddha as a kitschy decoration, especially in ignoble, boozy places such as nightclubs or plastering his face on walls to give off faux spiritual vibes.

Then, there are the Buddha toilet seat covers, sold online. Or the Disney cartoon, Air Buddies, featuring a meditating puppy named Buddha.

Buddha taught goodness, dedicating his life to ending suffering. The same way Jesus did and you treat him this way? Acharawadee said.

If anything touches Mohammed or Jesus, [people know] theyll be in deep trouble. But if they touch Buddhism, the Buddhists hardly have a voice to stop them so, people think they can do anything they want.

If anything touches Mohammed or Jesus, [people know] theyll be in deep trouble, she said. But if they touch Buddhism, the Buddhists hardly have a voice to stop them so, people think they can do anything they want.

Related:Thailand set to legalize LGBTQ unions, a rare step in Asia

There are roughly half a billion Buddhists in the world. Yet, the influence of this religion some would call it a philosophy radiates beyond its base of adherents in Asia. Meditation and mindfulness, en vogue in the West, inadvertently spread a certain Buddhist chic one that is disconnected from mores in the Asian cultures that uphold Buddhism.

These are cultures, Acharawadee says, that recoil at seeing Buddha adjacent to feet or, worse yet, a decorative flower pot made from Buddhas head. Tattoos are also forbidden, she said, because Buddha is a symbol of purity and the human body is dirty especially when humans have sex.

Buddha is just not some superstar.

Buddha is just not some superstar, Acharawadee said.

Just because Buddha is not a deity he was a spiritual leader, alive in modern-day India or Nepal roughly 2,500 years ago does not mean you can use him as a decoration. Show respect. He is the father of our religion.

Related:In Thailand, posting a selfie with a beer is a potential crime

Those who offend the Knowing Buddha Organization are contacted and warned. Many offenders, Acharawadee says, act out of ignorance, not malice.

We ask them to stop, explaining the problem. I must say, about 50% stop what they are doing. The other 50% dont care.

If a transgression takes place outside Thailand, the Knowing Buddha Organization may ask the local Thai Embassy to apply pressure which has sometimes worked.

Among the organizations bigger takedowns was a Paris art exhibit, hosted by the Louis Vuitton Foundation in 2016, which featured a massive Buddha head resting on the ground. Under pressure (which included a letter from Thailands Embassy in France), the head was placed on a pedestal.

But would Buddha himself imparting teachings against pride dwell on transgressions such as this? Or might he, well, let it go?

If someone puts trash in front of your door, Acharawadee said, will you let it go? No, you will remove the trash as best you can, without feeling hatred, always feeling harmony and forgiveness.

Otherwise, she said, using the theory of letting go with everything, we would not have law and order.

Related:Thailand's beauty craze: 'Milking' snails to make facial creams

For those who offend Buddhists inside Thailand, a Buddhist-majority country, the Knowing Buddha Organization advocates a more strict punishment. There are Thai laws against disrespecting religion but they are seldom enforced and Acharawadee has advocated for a strengthening of these codes, even addressing Thailands Senate.

In her view, foreign offenders this could include a tourist with a Buddha tattoo or people posing in bikinis by a Buddha statue just be let off with a warning, possibly a fine if they are recalcitrant.

But if the person is Buddhist, they should go to jail. Maybe for six months. If you go to jail, its not about punishment. Its giving you time and space to really contemplate what you did wrong.

But if the person is Buddhist, they should go to jail, she said. Maybe for six months. If you go to jail, its not about punishment. Its giving you time and space to really contemplate what you did wrong.

Other Buddhist-majority countries enforce anti-blasphemy laws. Sri Lanka deported a British woman over a Buddha tattoo on her arm. In Myanmar, a New Zealander and two citizens were imprisoned over an online flier promoting a bar; the image depicted Buddha wearing headphones.

Such cases have not arisen in Thailand perhaps because the country, deeply reliant on tourism for its economy, cannot risk scaring off travelers. The Knowing Buddha Organization has posted billboards near Bangkoks largest airport, warning incoming tourists that it is wrong to wear Buddhist necklaces or sport Buddha tattoos.

The purpose is just to raise awareness to foreigners, Acharawadee said.

Her advice for anyone already sporting a Buddha tattoo and looking forward to visiting Thailand?

You should erase it, she said. It will be good for you. If they will not, whatever consequence that might come they might have to accept it.

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A Thai organizations crusade against blaspheming Buddha - The World

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To boost Buddhism, UGC plans ambitious database on courses, scholars and research – The Indian Express

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In an ambitious plan to promote India as a global hub for Buddhist heritage and tourism, the University Grants Commission (UGC) plans to create a database pertaining to Pali and Buddhist studies.

In a notification dated February 23, the UGC has sought information about current courses, research, scholars and experts, alumni along with important events, seminars and conferences organised in this field from all universities, research institutions and centres. The UGC has also asked for details on the number of courses offered, number of students pursuing studies at undergraduate, post-graduate level and above at universities.

Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) offers courses in Pali at advanced levels, including research and doctoral studies. Besides, research in Buddhist studies has been offered at Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institute for over four decades now.

The two institutions had recently inked an MoU to jointly roll out a PG diploma in Buddhist Heritage and Tourism from the next academic year.

While many Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Korea and China offer select courses and have plethora of tourism-centered activities, a database with rich information on all available courses and research of this scale also aimed at long term plans, including promoting tourism, is a one-of-its-kind programme.

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To boost Buddhism, UGC plans ambitious database on courses, scholars and research - The Indian Express

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Historic Buddhist temple destroyed in suspected arson attack – The Korea Herald

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According to reports citing local police, the fire at Naejangsa in Jeongeup, North Jeolla Province, was reported Friday at 6:37 p.m., a few minutes after it is believed to have started. A Buddhist monk reportedly called the fire authorities and was apprehended at the scene, apparently under the influence of alcohol.

Though it was reported that the apprehended monk had set the fire after a disagreement with other monks at the temple, quoting local police, other monks at the temple have denied the claim.

The Ven. Dae-u, another Buddhist monk at the temple, said Sunday that no one admitted to having a disagreement with the suspect.

The suspected monk had tea with a monk from another temple at about 4 p.m. He said he was thankful that everyone at Naejangsa has been nice to him. I could not know why he did such a thing only two hours later, the Ven. Dae-u told press.

The suspected arsonist, 53, who joined the temple about three months ago,reportedly confessed to police that he had set fire to the temples main hall, Daeungjeon, as he was upset after a disagreement with other monks. Police suspect the use of flammable materials.

The entire structure of Daeungjeon, the main wooden hall that houses the statue of Buddha, was lost in the fire, resulting in approximately 1.7 billion won ($1.51 million) in damages, according to fire authorities. The fire did not spread to the nearby mountain, Naejangsan.

Even before the scar from the fire nine years ago healed, another fire broke out at Daeungjeon. There were news reports that a monk at the temple set the hall on fire intentionally, said a statement released Saturday by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.

The action of a Buddhist monk intentionally setting Daeungjeon on fire can never be justified. It is an action that goes against the moral principles of Buddhism, the announcement said. We sincerely apologize to the people and to the Buddhist community.

The monk will receive the highest level of disciplinary action allowed under the Jogye Orders rules, the statement said. The Jogye Order also called for a thorough police investigation of the case.

Naejangsa occupies the former site of Yeongeunsa, a temple that was founded in 636 and rebuilt in 1639 after burning down in 1592 during the Imjin War with Japan.

The main hall at the temple burned down again in 1951 during the Korean War and was rebuilt in 1958. But it was again destroyed in 2012 in a fire set off by a short circuit.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)

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Historic Buddhist temple destroyed in suspected arson attack - The Korea Herald

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Local Buddhist temple shares financial impact of the pandemic – Yahoo News

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Axios

Alaska will allow anyone in the state over the age of 16 to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Michael Dunleavy (R) announced Tuesday night, adding the measure is "effective immediately."Why it matters: Alaska is the first state to allow people under 18 to get vaccinated and to remove eligibility requirements.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.Details: "The Pfizer vaccine is available to individuals who are 16 and older, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and Moderna vaccine are available to individuals who are 18 and older," per a statement from the governor's office.This is in line with FDA recommendations.Of note: Alaska last week made the vaccines available to people over 16 with a condition that puts them at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or essential workers not covered by earlier provisions for the health, seniors and care sectors.For the record: "Regions including Kodiak Island, the Petersburg Borough, and the Kusilvak Census Area are nearing or exceeding 90% vaccination rates among seniors," per the governor's office statement."In the Nome Census Area, over 60% of residents age 16 and over have received at least one shot, and roughly 291,000 doses have been administered statewide."Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.

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Local Buddhist temple shares financial impact of the pandemic - Yahoo News

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Fire engulfs old Buddhist temple in southwestern region – The Korea Herald

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Fire at Naejang Tample in South Jeolla Province on Friday (Yonhap)

Firefighters received the initial report of the fire at the temple in the southwestern city of Jeongeup at around 6:30 p.m.

The blaze burned down the wooden Daewungjeon building, while firefighters were trying to stop it from spreading to other structures, the authorities said. No casualties were reported.

The fire was largely under control at 9:10 p.m., but police said the affected building is highly likely to crumble down.

Police later apprehended a suspected arsonist, a 53-year-old monk, at the scene.

According to the initial interrogation, he set fire using inflammable materials, presumably gasoline, under the influence of alcohol. The monk was found to have had a feud with other members of the temple recently.

"It is presumed that (the monk) might have committed the arson in anger over the internal feud," a police officer noted.

First built in 636 during the reign of King Mu of the Baekje Kingdom (18 BC-668 AD), the temple burned down during Japan's invasion of the Korean Peninsula under the Joseon Dynasty from 1597-1598 and again in 1951 during the Korean War (1950-53).

Another fire caused by a short circuit destroyed Daewungjeon in October 2012, along with all its Buddhist statues and paintings inside, before the building was restored in 2015. (Yonhap)

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Fire engulfs old Buddhist temple in southwestern region - The Korea Herald

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How long is ‘now’, the gap between the past and future? (continued) – New Scientist

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29viet01su/Getty Images

Buddhists recommend living in the present moment. How long is this gap between the past and the future?

Andrew Fenn, Venerable Sampasadana (a Buddhist monk) Perth, Western Australia

The whole present moment idea is probably a little inaccurate. There is no sense of the Buddha using it in that form in the earliest texts, except as being mindful. It seems that it may well be a modern inspiration that became pop culture.

A little-known fact about mindfulness is that the ancient Pali word sati (or smrti in sanskrit), from which mindfulness is translated, means memory or recollection. It is about being mindful of what we have been trained in, in order to avoid unnecessary harm, delusion and conflict to oneself and others.

Buddhist practitioners are likewise taught to recollect why we are doing things, to realise there is a clear cause-and-effect going on. This is just a small part of what is called dependent origination in Buddhist lingo, which is the idea that the existence of any given phenomenon is dependent on the existence of other phenomena.

The present moment concept might be a modern idea. There is no sense of the Buddha using it in that form in early texts

Education is very important. We say samma sati, meaning right mindfulness, fully understanding that there is a wrong type of mindfulness. It was always meant to be used in an informed context with other factors, such as right view and right intention, and never on its own where it may easily be harmful.

The practitioner gains a clear realisation that while there is no absolute free will, we do have responsibility for and some agency over our choices, and positive change only starts from the here and now.

The whole living in the moment thing can be a trap since, as any good meditator knows, by the time you have experienced something and it has entered your brain, it has already gone into the past.

Bob McCrossin, Cooroy, Queensland, Australia

In a previous response to this question, Hillary Shaw discussed quantum Buddhists and black hole Buddhists who experience a very small gap between past and future, which is the present moment.

Yet consider the relativistic Buddhist. The laws of relativity state that an object travelling at the speed of light a photon, for example doesnt see time passing at all.

From the time when a photon is created until it hits something, no time at all passes. If created in the big bang, a photon has no past, no present and no future.

From our perspective, however, photons of the cosmic microwave background have existed for the entire age of our universe, more than 13 billion years. How can something that is measurable and therefore exist have experienced no time at all? Since time doesnt exist in photon nirvana, does it actually exist at all?

Jim Bailey Southampton, UK

No one, as far as I know, has shown that time moves in a series of quanta in the way that electromagnetic radiation does, so it follows that there can be no now, and everything is either in the future or in the past.

Time doesnt stand still; it is a continuum. From this, it follows that nothing can be anywhere either, since to be somewhere requires time to stand still while the being is going on.

Everything is moving and time is merely a way of describing the amount of that movement taking place.

Peter Holness, Hertford, UK

This intriguing question delicately balances perception, physics, psychology and perhaps even religion.

A possible answer is that we sail through space-time on a perceptual spike of space-time, which is a pulse with zero or infinitesimal width. The caveat is whether we accept the existence or convenient fiction of time. All we are reasonably sure of is the existence of change.

John Stevens, Bad Mnstereifel, Germany

It isnt just Buddhists who live in the present moment. We all do.

When I am out walking, my eyes will perhaps focus on a patch of sunlight, which I recognise as such after a few milliseconds. The next moment, the squelching of my wellies may trigger a memory that lasts for a second or two. This perception is then, perhaps, replaced by a pang of hunger, which sets me planning a future meal.

All the while, I am in my perceived present, never in the past or the future. My memory of the past is my momentary present, and the future meal is also my momentary present. In that sense, I am only ever in the present.

To answer this question or ask a new one email lastword@newscientist.com.

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Chinese govt should have no role in succession process of Dalai Lama: US – Hindustan Times

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Previous president Donald Trump in December had signed into law a bill which called for establishing a US consulate in Tibet and building an international coalition to ensure that the next Dalai Lama is appointed solely by the Tibetan Buddhist community without China's interference.

PTI, Washington

PUBLISHED ON MAR 10, 2021 08:15 AM IST

It is the policy of the US to take all appropriate measures to hold accountable senior officials of the Chinese government who directly interfere with the identification and installation of the future 15th Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism, successor to the 14th Dalai Lama(AP)

The Chinese government should have no role in the succession process of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, the Biden Administration said on Tuesday.

"We believe that the Chinese government should have no role in the succession process of the Dalai Lama," State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference.

"Beijing's interference in the succession of the Panchen Lama more than 25 years ago, including by 'disappearing' the Panchen Lama as a child and attempting to replace him with a PRC (People's Republic of China) government-chosen successor, it remains an outrageous abuse of religious freedom," Price said.

Previous president Donald Trump in December had signed into law a bill which called for establishing a US consulate in Tibet and building an international coalition to ensure that the next Dalai Lama is appointed solely by the Tibetan Buddhist community without China's interference.

It is the policy of the United States to take all appropriate measures to hold accountable senior officials of the Chinese government or the Chinese Communist Party who directly interfere with the identification and installation of the future 15th Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism, successor to the 14th Dalai Lama, the act said.

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