Dalai Lama ‘to retire’ from government-in-exile role

From AFP

The Dalai Lama intends to retire as head of the Tibetan government in exile next year as he looks to reduce his ceremonial role and scale back his workload, his spokesman told AFP Tuesday.
The Tibetan movement in exile, based in the northern Indian hill station of Dharamshala since 1960, directly elected a political leader in 2001 for the first time.

“Since then, His Holiness has always said he has been in a semi-retired state,” spokesman Tenzin Taklha said.

“In recent months, His Holiness has been considering approaching the Tibetan parliament in exile to discuss his eventual retirement.”

Taklha stressed that his “retirement” would be from his ceremonial responsibilities as head of the government, such as signing resolutions, not his role as spiritual leader and figurehead for Tibetans.

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Blogisattva Awards: Nominations are Now Closed!

From the Blogissattva Award website:

It’s been a wonderful last six months since we announced the return of the Blogisattvas. The nominations are now closed for the 2010 Blogisattva awards, many thanks for all those who nominated their favorite Buddhist bloggers. There have been tons of great nominees in all the categories, and I certainly don’t envy the work our wonderful judges will be doing in the next week or so. So much excellence to choose from.

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Hungry Ghosts

First of all, let me say “Happy Halloween” 2010 everyone! With the spirit of the ghastliness and fright of the day, I thought I’d post about something that is pretty scary, the realm of hungry ghosts (pretas in Sanskrit) and just how real that realm is.

There is believed to be six realms of existence, birth and death called the Bhava Chakra or the Wheel Of Life. The hungry ghost realm is the third one, the Preta-gati. It’s pretty damned scary there, not a place I’d wanna hang out.

Imagine a realm inhabited by gruesome creatures, with pin sized mouths and necks barely as wide as a straw, making it impossible to eat and extremely painful to swallow. Their bellies so bloated and distended they drag them around as they move about. How did these creatures come to inhabit such a desolate and depressing place?

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Blogisattva Awards Reminder and an Interview re: The Blogisattvas

First and foremost, in less than a week nominations close for the Blogisattva Awards. Make sure to drop by the website and nominate your favorite blogger.

Recently, I was asked by Emily Breder of the Peace Ground Zero blog and a columnist for the Examiner, to answer some questions regarding the Blogisattvas. You can find the interview HERE! I hope you enjoy it, as much as I enjoyed answering. Thank you Emily for writing this up and helping us promote the Blogisattvas.

The Ingratitude of Man: A Tibetan Folk Tale

The Ingratitude of Man (found at Sacred Texts)

Once upon a time in a far, far away land, in a very high, high land, when the old world was very, very young and animals and men spoke and lived together, such a thing as gratitude was known.

Away in the mountains was a narrow road that passed along the side of a deep chasm. It was a dangerous place to travel, and along this path one night, just at dark, when a man, a crow, a rat and a snake were walking along together, a part of the road gave way and they fell into the depths below. They were not hurt, but much shaken, and they sat there waiting and thinking of their plight, wondering how they could get out, or what they could do to keep from starving, when a traveler coming along reached the broken road and looked down and saw them. They all at one time began to clamor and beg to be helped out, so he threw a long rope down to them and drew them all out one after the other. They all professed great gratitude and said they would never forget him and never forget the help he had given them, and that some time they’d help him. The traveler, in his heart, rather scorned the professions of friendship from the crow, the rat and the snake, and really didn’t believe they could do anything for him, but thought possibly the man might be able to aid him some time.

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Feds sue Walnut over denial of Buddhist worship center

I though this article was interesting, considering all the news there is about the Mosque in NY and in TN. Yes, this goes back to 2008, but I have a feeling this is just more, misunderstood ignorance that is becoming all to typical today in the US. So much for interfaith dialog eh?

From SGV Tribune

The federal government sued Walnut on Monday alleging the city violated the civil rights of a neighborhood Buddhist group by denying the group’s request to build a worship and meditation center.

The complaint by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division claims Walnut discriminated against the Chung Tai Buddhist group in January 2008 by denying the group’s permit to build a 16,000-square-foot worship center on a 2.2-acre lot on Marcon Drive just east of Suzanne Middle School.

Federal law dictates that religious groups must be treated the same as any other building applicant, according to the lawsuit.

“Defendant’s treatment and denial of the Zen Center’s Conditional Use Permit constitutes the imposition or implementation of a land use regulation that treated, and continues to treat, the Zen Center on less than equal terms with a nonreligious assembly or institution, in violation of the (Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act),” wrote federal attorneys in their complaint.

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A quick talk on material dependency

Found this video this morning. It’s short but to the point. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche talks about how our minds are never satisfied with just this, we need to get this other thing to add to this, to make it better.

He uses a great reference to those of us with iPhones, which I unfortunately do not have (or fortunately, if it weren’t for the phone my job gives me I don’t even have a cell phone) but he does and laughs about it. Even an enlightened being has attachments and grasps at material items, but being aware of it is key to conquering it.