Dalai Lama Compares Obama to a Monk

From The Aspen Daily

After the Dalai Lama’s meeting with President Barack Obama on Thursday, the Aspen Institute held an intimate reception for the exiled Tibetan leader in Washington, offering a handful of supporters a rare chance to get close to the him.

At the reception, the Dalai Lama said Obama “reminded him of a monk,” the Aspen Institute said in a message sent by Twitter on Friday morning.

Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama was a low-key event. They met off-camera in the Map Room, rather than the Oval Office. No reporters were present. The White House released only a single official picture and a written description of their meeting. A Christian Science Monitor reporter caught a photo of the Tibetan leader walking past a pile of White House trash on his way to speak with reporters.

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Obama may meet Dalai Lama as Beijing seethes

From Times Of India

Beijing is not going to be amused but the Obama administration has approached Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama for a meeting with the US president when the Buddhist monk visits America between September-end and mid-October.

Highly placed government sources told TOI that the US administration has contacted Dalai Lama’s office for a meeting between the two leaders in what appears to be a considered decision, given China’s intense resentment of any official contact with the Dalai Lama whom it reviles as a “splittist”.

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Is Barack Obama Secretly a Zen Buddhist Master?

From Politics Daily

From the angry fringe right of America, we sometimes hear confused yelling about how Barack Obama is secretly a Kenyan, or a Muslim, or an intellectual, or an elitist, or a talented writer and speaker, or a very successful man with a seemingly happy family life, or a rich and powerful leader, or a thoughtful man or even the important fictional space alien, Mr. Spock — basically, everything that the rapidly aging and increasingly isolated Republican voter is not.

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Will Obama meet with China’s nemesis, Dalai Lama?

From The Associated Press

One of Washington’s most closely watched visits will happen in October, when a frail, 74-year-old Buddhist monk seeks an audience with President Barack Obama.

Obama must make a delicate calculation as he considers a meeting with the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet’s Buddhists, seen by his supporters as a symbol of peace but vilified by China as a “wolf in monk’s robes” who seeks to split Tibet from the rest of China.

Whatever Obama decides about the visit will spark anger.

Meeting with the Dalai Lama, as every president since George H.W. Bush has done, would infuriate China, whose help the United States sees as crucial to global economic recovery efforts and dealing with nuclear standoffs in North Korea and Iran.

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Burmese Monk Talks about Compassion, Obama in Mahachai

From Irrawaddy

About 10,000 Burmese migrant workers living in Mahachai, in Thailand’s Samut Sakhon Province, attended a Buddhist sermon on compassion given by Dr Ashin Nyanissara, a famous Burmese monk, on Monday night, said one of the organizers of the talk.

Dr Ashin Nyanissara, who is better known as Sitagu Sayadaw, is the abbot of the Sitagu International Buddhist Missionary Center in Sagaing and one of Burma’s most respected monks. He has been active in raising funds for relief efforts in the Irrawaddy delta, where over 130,000 people were killed by Cyclone Nagris on May 2-3.

Monday’s talk raised about 400,000 baht (US $11,450) in donations, according to Ashin Wayama Sayadaw, a monk who helped organize the event.

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Obama Had The Dalai Lama’s Scarf In His Pocket During His Swearing In

By way of lotusinthemud we are directed to this article on Beliefnet… pointing out that Buddhism, while not mentioned in the presidents speech, was not forgotten.

Lama Surya Das passed on this fascinating bit. Richard Blum, who is the husband of California Senator Diane Feinstein, also happens to be a major supporter of Buddhism. He was up on the platform during the swearing in.

Beforehand, he told Barack Obama that he had with him a white khata — a silk Tibetan scarf — given him by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Blum described what happened next in a letter to an associate of the Dalai Lama:

“I offered it to President Obama before the ceremony. I said that I could get it delivered to him later. He said, no, that he was going to take it and have it with him; in fact, it was in his pocket when he was sworn-in.”

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Yes We Can, Yes We Did, Yes We Will!

A wise man once said the following words. That same wise man will be inaugurated today as our 44th President of the United States of America. History has been made folks, but it is just the beginning. I believe Barack Obama can continue to make history as he rights many of the wrongs and creates a more positive environment in our political process as well as the lives of those in America and abroad. He’s made some heavy promises, and while I want to say he can get them done, he may not right away. Those changes could be a miracle in the making though, just look at what this man has accomplished already!

Yes We Can (speech from New Hampshire primary and put to music by Will.I.Am

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality.

Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.

Yes we can heal this nation.

Yes we can repair this world.

Yes we can.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change. (We want change.)
We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics…they will only grow louder and more dissonant ……….. We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea: Yes We Can.

America’s first Buddhist president?

From War in Context
By Paul Woodward

Pssst! Did you hear? Obama’s not a secret Muslim — he’s a Buddhist.

No, this isn’t the latest internet rumor, nor is it intended to become one, but if it turned out that our next president had a secret identity, the discovery that he was a Buddhist would merely seem like confirmation of so many tell-tale signs.

A practitioner of the “Middle Way” who mindfully treads the path between extremes; someone who understands that clear-eyed awareness requires an inner stillness, unruffled by turbulent emotions; someone who discerns truth in the complex web of inter-dependent relations; someone who recognizes that individual well being and our collective destiny are inextricably bound together — you don’t need to know much about Buddhism as a doctrine or a religion to see that in the psychological, social, and philosophical outline I just described, there’s a familiar ring. It sounds a great deal like you-know-who.

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Dalai Lama’s letter to Barack Obama, congratulating him on winning the election

Via Rev. Danny Fisher’s blog comes the following text from the letter the Dalai Lama sent to Barack Obama congratulating him on winning the election for President of the United States.

November 5, 2008

H.E. Barack Obama
President-elect of the United States of America
Washington, DC

Dear President-elect Obama,

Congratulations on your election as the President of the United States of America.

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