Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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Getting to know the Dalai Lama

Getting to know the Dalai Lama | Religion | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

The 14th Dalai Lama cuts a familiar figure, with his shorn head, hedgerow-thick eyebrows, tinted eyeglasses, smiling visage and loose-fitting maroon and saffron robes.

“I am just a simple Buddhist monk — no more, nor less,” he has said.

But likening the Dalai Lama to “a simple Buddhist monk” is akin to saying the Pope is just another priest….

…Many of us would recognize him on the street, and yet we know little about him….


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An Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism

UCSB Religious Studies Professor Greg Hillis delivered a lecture on April 8, 2009 at the Unity Church in Santa Barbara. This event was one of many leading up to the April 24 appearance by the Dalai Lama. (voice only)

http://www.kcsb.org/news/an-introduction-to-tibetan-buddhism-by-greg-hillis


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What’s The Real Story On Tibet?

Serf Liberation, Mass Oppression, or Something Else?

In the May issue of In These Times, Stephen Asma takes a decidedly middle path on the situation in Tibet (article not available online), and recommends a cooling of the rhetoric on both sides. He cites problematic “doublespeak” from both China and the Tibetan exiles, influencing how the West has framed the debate: …


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Tibetan Buddhism’s Permanent Home

With hope of return to Tibet diminishing, Dharamsala takes on the trappings of permanency

After 50 years of exile and an uncertain future at best, this Indian hill city of Dharamsala in the North Indian state of Himal Pradesh is increasingly looking like the last stop for the thousands of Tibetans who settled here after their 1959 flight to escape Chinese domination.

Asia Sentinel – Tibetan Buddhism’s Permanent Home


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The Dalai Lama and Me [Excellent Read]

Buddhism: The Dalai Lama and me

It all began — as good stories often do — in a preposterous way. It was late 1971. Hong Kong-born Victor Chan, who now resides on Bowen Island, was chatting with two young Western women in a teahouse just off Kabul’s famous Chicken Street. It was the place every trans-Asian traveller stopped on the so-called Hippie Highway.

Two men sitting nearby invited the three foreigners to an Afghani banquet the following night and they naively accepted. The next evening, somewhere in the foothills of the Hindu Kush, a rifle was produced, rape discussed, and murder threatened, as the three captives rode with their kidnappers into the mountains. Days passed.

Under these circumstances, Chan, then 26, began a clandestine love affair with one of the women. Cheryl Crosby, a student of Buddhism in New York City, confided to him that she was on her way to India to visit the Dalai Lama. She had a letter of introduction.

Chan agreed that if they escaped their captors, he’d join her on her pilgrimage.


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Is tension with Tibet behind China’s move to block video traffic on YouTube?

Is tension with Tibet behind China’s move to block video traffic on YouTube? – SiliconValley.com

China, which has previously shut down video traffic on YouTube’s network without explanation, did so again Tuesday, according to Google.

“We don’t know the reason for the blockage,” said Scott Rubin, a spokesman for Google, which owns the video-sharing site. Rubin said the network in China began slowing Monday and was eventually halted by Tuesday morning. As of 5:30 p.m. Pacific time Tuesday, Google was still working to restore the service.

March marks a year since riots last erupted against Chinese rule in Tibet. Last week, a video purporting to show handcuffed Tibetan prisoners being beaten by Chinese policeman was released by the Tibetan government in exile. The video was posted on YouTube on March 20. It also contained graphic footage of a man who was burned with cigarettes and had a nail driven into his foot after he intervened to try to help a monk who was being beaten….


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Hunt for History of Mongolian Buddhism

“Mongolia is the first Asian Buddhist country to emerge from communist rule but to reestablish their Buddhist traditions they have many obstacles to overcome,” said Hubbard, the Yehan Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies, “not least is the loss of virtually all senior teachers and institutions.”

via Smith College News Office.


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Chinese County in Lockdown After Pro-Tibet Protests – washingtonpost.com

BEIJING, Feb. 18 — The county of Lithang in Sichuan province was under lockdown this week after Tibetan monks, laypeople and nomads clashed with Chinese security forces Sunday and Monday, according to residents.

via Chinese County in Lockdown After Pro-Tibet Protests – washingtonpost.com.


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In China, A Different Brand of Buddhism

China’s Communist Party tightly regulates religious activity, especially the banned Falun Gong sect, but allows wide latitude for many law-abiding Catholics and Protestants who meet in unofficial house churches. Tibetan Buddhists however, are in a different category.

Their spiritual leader is the Dalai Lama, whom Beijing blames for stoking the deadly riots in Lhasa last March. Although he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, the Dalai Lama is routinely described in official state media reports as a wolf in monk’s clothing, an evil and dangerous separatist. In December, China stunned European leaders by canceling a summit on the economic crisis because the E.U. president had planned to meet the Dalai Lama the same week.

For now, most Chinese who practice Tibetan Buddhism are able to worship under the radar because their numbers remain comparatively small and their movement is not organized. Followers meet in private homes to recite sutras and compare knowledge or gather in apartments where wealthy benefactors have set up elaborate shrines. Many appear to be unaware of regulations intended to restrict their worship.

via In China, A Different Brand of Buddhism – washingtonpost.com.