Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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To my Muslim and Jewish Brothers and Sisters, Namasté

Yesterday and today are Rosh Hashanah and Eid ul-Fitr, important holidays for Jewish and Muslim folk respectively.  They are movable holidays, and are celebrated on the same days this year. 

Eid ul-Fitr is the Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity”, while Fiṭr means “to break the fast”  It is celebrated starting on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal. (Celebrated September 30-October 1 in 2008)

Rosh Hashanah is the first of the High Holidays, which are specifically set aside to focus on repentance and conclude with Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah is the start of the civil year in the Hebrew calendar (one of four “new year” observances that define various legal “years” for different purposes). It is the new year for people, animals, and legal contracts. The Mishnah also sets this day aside as the new year for calculating calendar years and sabbatical (shmita) and jubilee (yovel) years. Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of man whereas five days earlier, on 25 of Elul, marks the first day of creation  (Celebrated September 20-October 1, in 2008)

Salaam and Shalom!


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Gelek Rimpoche talks about Buddhism, Tibet, the Olympics and a new vision for the world

Jewel Heart leader Gelek Rimpoche talks about Buddhism, Tibet, the Olympics and a new vision for the world

Q. Some scholars have reported that more young people are turning to Buddhism. Why is that?

A. The young people are attracted to Buddhism because it is interesting to them and useful. Young people find Buddhism to be honest and helpful. …


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An Orthodox rabbi mixes faith and patriotism in Afghanistan

Afghan women in dark-colored head scarves and blue, pleated chadris (full head and body veils) queue up at the gate. Egyptian soldiers usher them in, and as the Afghans move from table to table, American soldiers, semiautomatic rifles slung across their backs, reach into the boxes and hand them sweaters, shoes, baby clothes, notebooks, and toys.

Chaplain Felzenberg rummages through a separate box and extracts woolen caps that one of his daughters knitted – “Bless her heart, he says, “she put them in separate bags but didn’t mark the sizes.” Then he pulls out a loose-fitting top he last saw on his wife. “It’s going to be emotional to give some of this out,” he says, “but hey….”

While his supplies last, he hands clothing from his ultra-Orthodox Jewish home to Muslim Afghan children whose mothers wear the orthodox-Muslim chadri.

Military chaplains: An Orthodox rabbi mixes faith and patriotism in Afghanistan | csmonitor.com


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Buddhist Anger Management Techniques

Anger is one of the most common and destructive delusions, and it afflicts our mind almost every day. To solve the problem of anger we first need to recognize the anger within our mind, acknowledge how it harms both ourself and others, and appreciate the benefits of being patient in the face of difficulties. We then need to apply practical methods in our daily life to reduce our anger and finally to prevent it from arising at all.

Anger Management Techniques


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Kite-flying in Darfur

Minneapolis – For Patrick McGrann, the sky isn’t his limit. It’s his field of play, his diplomatic space. It’s where he performs hand-to-hand acts of kindness and low-budget economic development for street kids in Kenya, rural kids in Burma (Myanmar) and, coming soon, orphans in a Darfur refugee camp.

Amid the sand, winds, and despair of Sudan, Mr. McGrann is poised to launch a unique effort in hope of rehabilitating traumatized children. He’s going to tell these young people of Darfur to … go fly a kite.

A ‘kite runner’ says it’s OK to have fun in Darfur | csmonitor.com


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An Interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Chris Megerian, The Emory Wheel: Your role as Dalai Lama has been very unique from all previous Dalai Lamas in your political nature. I was wondering how you saw the role of the Dalai Lama evolving in future generations.

DL: Future generations? Nobody knows. *laughs*

CM: Do you think it will remains as political a role as it has been recently?

DL: No, no, no. As early as 1969, I publicly made statement to whether the very institution of the Dalai Lama should continue or not for the Tibetan people. Some people, you see, get the impression that the Dalai Lama institution is so important for Tibetan nation or Tibetan Buddhism. It’s wrong. Some occasions the Dalai Lama institution very strong. Some occasions, the Dalai Lama institution, it has ceased. But Tibetan spirituality, Buddhism, Tibetan nation will remain. So for my own case, ’til my death, I am fully committed to promotion of human value and promotion of religious harmony. After me, after my death, my responsibility now finished. *laughter*

So as a Buddhist, I believe, you see, the next sort of rebirth. I don’t know where rebirth comes, whether this planet, or some other planet more peaceful. More happier. *laughs* Next question. …

An Interview with His Holiness the Dalai Lama | The Emory Wheel


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Why Bush risks China’s ire to honor Dalai Lama

Washington – The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists, political irritant to Beijing, is being honored in Washington this week as never before.

It’s not unusual that he will talk with President Bush in the White House residence. After all, he’s visited with Mr. Bush three times.

But on Oct. 18 congressional leaders will present him with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor lawmakers can award. And Bush will attend the ceremony – subtly raising the Dalai Lama’s status in terms of diplomatic protocol.

The importance of the move can be seen by the reaction of Chinese officials, who see Tibet as a renegade province. They’re furious.

Why Bush risks China’s ire to honor Dalai Lama | csmonitor.com


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In Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley, peace and a woman rule

Bamiyan, Afghanistan – There is a check post at the entrance to the Bamiyan Valley – one of the scores of shacks set along the earthen roads of Afghanistan designed to provide some appearance of security or, at least, a quiet place for policemen to sip their green tea.

But this one is different. It’s not merely that the building marks the blessed end to an eight-hour ride over unpaved roads that shake the body like a box of matchsticks. It is that this shack seems to mark the entrance into an Afghanistan of which the world has never dreamed.

Beyond it, flowering fields stretch between stark gray mountainsides like a green carpet interspersed with the gold of wheat ready for harvest.

In an unpretentious governor’s residence sits the only female governor in Afghanistan’s history – appointed to rule over a province where 52 percent of the registered voters are women, 10 percent higher than the national average.

And on a rocky plateau, behind knots of barbed wire, stand international soldiers who say they’ve drawn the long straw in the Afghan war. The area is so safe, they haven’t needed to fire a shot since they arrived in 2003.

In Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley, peace and a woman rule | csmonitor.com


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If Al Gore Wins The Nobel Peace Prize

It is possible that in a few short weeks America wakes up to news from Europe that Al Gore has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

If this occurs, it will be a powerful transforming event in American politics that will bring a surge of patriotism and pride to a nation that has been torn by war, divided by partisanship, trapped in a quagmire and alienated from what Jefferson called the decent opinion of mankind.

Let’s set aside for now the question of whether Al Gore runs for President, which is unlikely though world events can change our politics in a heartbeat.

The more important matter is what happens to our national dialogue and our democracy if indeed the Nobel Prize is awarded to Gore.

From the moment his award is announced through his speech in December accepting the prize, Al Gore will be the most influential living American in defining the terms of our national debate.   If Al Gore Wins The Nobel Peace Prize


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Google plans new undersea cable across Pacific

Asked to comment on its hire of submarine cable
specialists, Google told Communications Day “It should come as no
surprise that Google is looking for qualified people to help secure
additional network capacity. In some parts of the world, these people
will work with submarine cables because there is a lot of ocean out
there.”

Google’s infrastructure ambitions are no secret.
The company has committed substantial expenditure on dark fibre and a
network of data centres across the United States, and also recently
indicated its interest in bidding for new 700MHz spectrum allocations
there.

Google plans new undersea cable across Pacific | CommsDay


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No War, No Warming, Rise Up!

The options before us are crystal clear. Down one road, the one we’re now on, lies a cascading series of oil and water wars, climate disasters and ecological devastation. Down the other lies a turn toward peaceful resolution of conflicts, energy conservation, efficiency and a clean energy revolution, and social and economic justice.

Another world is possible, but for it to come about another US is necessary…

Ted Glick | No War, No Warming, Rise Up!