Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

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Beautiful Trip Through Indochinese Buddhism in Photos and Text

Alan Brigish sends the following:

In my recently published book, Breathing in the Buddha, I show how people, with far less than we manage to find a richness and satisfaction in their lives. And I discovered and explored a shocking truth ─ that the contentment and joy that go along with western ideas of Nirvana seem to exist, in some abundance, in worlds in which most of us would never choose to live.

Breathing in the Buddha is a photographic exploration of Buddhist life in Indochina. Join me in the most amazing trip of my life as I dive, head first, into Burma, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia, accompanied only by my guide, my curiosity and my camera.

The book tells two parallel stories. The first explores with images and extended captions, the daily life of people in four countries of Indochina. The second story is an exploration of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The intent is for the reader to explore Buddhist philosophy in the context of daily existence of people, who, in the most densely populated part of the world, still practice Buddhism.

You can preview the book online at

We  have partnered with three reputable and successful organizations, run by American entrepreneur/ philanthropists that work in rural Asia.  100% of the gross profits from the sale of our books will go to one or more of these organizations.

Alan’s book is indeed gorgeous, and his photography outstanding.  Check it out.

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Vietnam’s dispute with Zen master turns violent

HANOI, Vietnam — Communist Vietnam’s sometimes edgy relationship with religious freedom is being tested in a dispute over a monastery inhabited by disciples of Thich Nhat Hanh, one of the world’s most famous Zen masters.ALeqM5hxU-KnzVurM5g8ezdHHPCP9fIIpA

For four years, the Buddhist monks and nuns at Bat Nha monastery in central Vietnam have been quietly meditating and studying the teachings of the 82-year-old Vietnamese sage who is perhaps the world’s best-known living Buddhist after Tibet’s Dalai Lama.

But lately, they are in a standoff that could test the patience of even the most enlightened.

First, local authorities cut off their power, water and telephones.

Then, a mob descended on their compound with sledgehammers, smashing windows, damaging buildings and threatening occupants….

*Sigh* I wonder if they make gym shoes in Bhutan?

The Associated Press: Vietnam’s dispute with Zen master turns violent

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Followers pay last respects to outlawed Vietnamese Buddhist monk

Members of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam were allowed to enter the Nguyen Thieu Monastery in Tuy Phuoc since Monday morning.

The Most Venerable Thich Huyen Quang had been under house arrest since 2003 after he and his deputy Thich Quang Do, 79, attempted to hold a nationwide congress of the sect’s monks.
Followers pay last respects to outlawed Vietnamese Buddhist monk


UN Vesak celebrations begin in Hanoi

by Manpreet Singh in Hanoi

The much awaited United Nations Day of Vesak celebrations in Vietnam which began today were an amazing spectacle of religious and ritual festivity at Hanoi, with thousands of Buddhists from the world over gathering at the Capital’s National Convention Center to spread Buddha’s message of peace, love and harmony.

Over 600 Buddhist delegations consisting of about 5,000 representatives from 90 countries will meet during the three-day Conference, the biggest ever Buddhist international event in Buddhism’s over 2000 year’s long history in Vietnam. Continue reading


World to Watch Vesak in Vietnam

World to Watch Vesak in Vietnam

by Dr Manpreet Singh

Vietnamese Buddhist master Thich Nhat Tu sits with a group of monks in a temple room at 2am, planning meticulously for the Buddha’s Big Day celebrations­­ – the United Nations Day of Vesak 2008 (UNDV) in Vietnam. He has just arrived from his monastery in Ho Chi Minh City to this hundreds of years’ old Buddhist Temple in Hanoi, for attending the March Second Preparatory meeting of the International Organising Committee (IOC) for UNDV 2008.

This short and bespectacled hard-working master is also the secretary of IOC for the UNDV 2008 – the first-ever and the biggest Buddhist International event to be held in Hanoi from May 14 to 17. Realising the immense importance this international event holds for the Vietnam’s Buddhists, government and the public, master Nhat Tu has been working relentlessly and has come to represent the face of Vietnamese Buddhist preparations for the event.

“It’s a moment of great honour for the Vietnamese people and Buddhists to organise this sacred event of international scale. We all are working against the clock to ensure successful celebrations,” stresses master Nhat Tu, as he keys in on his laptop, rapidly.


Face of Dedication: IOC secretary Ven. Thich Nhat Tu (on microphone) exudes commitment for successful celebrations.

Buddhism has a long history of more than 2000 years in Vietnam.
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