Sunday, September 30, 2012

Buddhism in the news: September 2012

The following is part of my monthly "Buddhism in the News" series, where I provide links to articles about Buddhism, along with news of prominent Buddhists and everyday laypeople. I welcome you to browse the linked articles below and read what interests you. Enjoy!

1. Nazi-acquired Buddha statue came from space Brought to Europe from Tibet by Nazi archeologists/scientists, this is a Buddhist artifact that was likely carved from ataxite metorites that are believed to have fallen near the Siberian-Mongolian border 10,000-20,000 years ago. Article is from LiveScience via Fox News. For another look at this intriguing artifact, see this article from National Geographic. (One of the comments of this second article aptly points out the mistake of describing the statue as of a 'Buddhist god')
UPDATE: "Space-Buddha" may be a fake. Additional inquiries to the story surrounding this supposedly 1000 year-old artifact have brought the age of the item into question. Archeologists address the possibility that the statue carved from an ataxite meteorite is a western reproduction crafted between 1910 and 1970, mostly to appeal to the Nazi-memorabilia market.  

2. Rioters torch Buddhist temples, homes in Bangladesh Violence erupted in Bangladesh after a Buddhist man posted a photo defaming the Koran on facebook. 25,000 people rioted, set fire to Buddhist temples and homes, and looted businesses. These events mirror the sectarian violence and tensions between Buddhists and Muslims in the Rakhine state of Myanmar. Article is from AFP via The Deccan Chronicle.

3. We need to be 21st century Buddhists: Dalai Lama The Dalai Lama talks about human emotions and intelligence, the growing influence of Buddhism, and suggests that temples and monasteries also become places of learning. Article is from the Times of India.

4. Steven Colbert vs. Buddhism A silly montage of Colbert's rantings and ramblings about Buddhism. (Not exactly accurate- 5000 years after Buddha's death? lol) Video posted on Huffington Post. 

Please share your thoughts about whatever captured your interest in the comments. Also please let me know if I missed something by providing the title of the article. I will google it and include it here, with credit to you! :) Finally, if you are reading this at a later date, please inform me of any dead links, since some newspapers only post articles for a short time before archiving them. Thank you!

May all beings be happy!

Back again (and hopefully 100%)

As you may recall, September was going to be my great Anniversary Celebration, to commemorate  five years on the Buddhist Path. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. On the second of this month I tripped and had a bad fall, busting open my knee. As if that wasn't bad enough, the cut became infected, so I was put on a course of strong antibiotics. Although I was very happy and thankful to be quickly rid of the infection, the antibiotics wore me out! 

The good news is that as far as I can tell, I am recovered, and ready to get back to writing here at BCB! As always, I look forward to your comments and interacting with you. Thanks for bearing with me!

With Metta,

May all beings be happy! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In remembrance

Before I publish my next few posts, I thought it was important to offer some words of remembrance on this day that is significant to so many of us. 

The following is what I feel in my heart as I remember the events, the victims, the heros (many being one in the same), and the resolve and compassion of a nation on 9.11.2001.

As I learned of the planes crashed into buildings
and the many who had perished,
my heart broke for those innocent souls and their families.

As I learned of the bold actions of heros, 
who's last deeds were to save the lives of others,
my heart sobered with reverence for their bravery and compassion.

As I listened to and read the countless stories of those left behind, 
Stories of pain and suffering, but also of courage and hope,
my heart became aware that with love and wisdom, violence and hatred cannot crush us so easily. 

And As I sit here today, alive in this moment
I remember the events, the people, the words, the emotions, 
and my heart feels all these things once again. 

May those who were lost be blessed and remembered, always.  

Though borne from the mud beneath the dark water, Hope is the open lotus, luminous under a clear blue sky.

May all beings be happy!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

As I wrote a few weeks ago, today is the beginning of my month-long celebration of the fifth year anniversary of my first embarking upon the Buddhist path. I am excited about this celebration and hope to embrace it as much as possible. To understand where I'm coming from, I have written for you a short summary of what first inspired me.

In the summer of 2007, I was feeling overwhelmed with work and worry. The familiar feeling of searching for something that would help me feel more at peace with welled up in me once again. I'd had enough of self-help books, the initial enthusiasm they invoked, and the inevitable disappointment of realizing the author's theories and advice did not apply to me. Instead I just wanted to read something that would help me feel more at ease, so on a whim I chose the book 'Open Heart Clear Mind' from Amazon. On a quiet and pleasant August afternoon, I read the whole book while sitting outside in the peaceful downtown parks of my college town. I was amazed by what I read, because most every page echoed what I had believed all my life. 

As they say, the rest is history. (To read more about me and my story, just follow the links). Two years after I began my Buddhist practice, I decided that I would start a blog to reach out to others and discuss Buddhist ideas and spirituality. That was the beginning of ByChanceBuddhism!

In an effort to revisit BCB's original purpose, I have dedicated this month to writing about basic Buddhist concepts. I don't know how many posts I will write, but as always, I hope you enjoy them. I very much look forward to your comments and discussing posts with you!

May all beings be happy!