Monday, 30 January 2012

Burma: It Can't Wait - Update

Some of you may remember the U.S. "Burma: It Can't Wait- Myanmar Celebrity Video Campaign" back in May 2008. The videos were hosted by Fanista but unfortunately were all taken down after the campaign was over. I've tracked them down on YouTube and reinstated the actual videos as opposed to the links to Fanista. There were also some which didn't feature in the original "30 days". so here they are now.......

Number 31, Sheryl Crow - Aung San Suu Kyi

Number 32, Brett Dennen

Marionettes - Number 33

Number 34, Giovanni Ribisi (and playmates)

Leaders - Number 35

Number 36, James Cameron

Matisyahu, 37

Norman Lear - No. 38

Burma: It Can't Wait- Myanmar Celebrity Campaign PSA Montage

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Tibetan Protesters Shot Dead by Chinese Police

This story is from AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

A Tibetan-inhabited region of China appeared to be under lockdown Thursday after it was rocked by deadly clashes, as exile groups gave grisly details of how the unrest unfolded.

The west of Sichuan province, which has big populations of ethnic Tibetans, many of whom complain of repression, was earlier this week hit by some of the worst unrest since huge protests against Chinese rule in 2008.

Security forces fired into two separate crowds of protesters in Luhuo and Seda towns on Monday and Tuesday in the remote prefecture of Ganzi, which borders Tibet.

Advocacy groups say at least three were killed in the clashes but maintain the protests were peaceful until police fired into the crowds. China says two died -- one in each incident -- and acknowledged police shootings only in Seda.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Note - New "Thought for the Day" Talk by Vishvapani

I've just posted the latest "Thought for the Day" Talk by Vishvapani onto our Audio Section.

In this talk he warns of applying labels and how becoming a Buddhist reinforced his belief that we’re all human beings first, and fundamentally the same, whatever our culture.

Monday, 23 January 2012

NEW MOON - Monday 23rd January 2012

Those who live impeccably,
who are discerning, intelligent and virtuous -
they are continually praised by the wise.
Who would cast blame on those
who in their being are like gold?
Even the gods praise them.

Dhammapada v. 229-30

Who do we compare ourselves with? The mental habit of comparing
ourselves with others is mostly an expression of inner confusion,
leading to more unhappiness. For the radiance of our true being to
shine freely, all compulsive comparing must cease. While we still
suffer this habit however, it is better to compare ourselves with
those who live impeccably; those who are more awake. It doesn’t help
if we merely hold images in mind of those more popular, wealthy or
beautiful. Some of the Buddha’s greatest disciples were neither
popular nor beautiful, but were clearly admired by all who could see

With Metta,

Bhikkhu Munindo

It's the Year of the Dragon!

A happy Chinese New Year to all our readers. The 15-day event, which runs until February 6, marks the arrival of the Year of the Dragon.

Chinese and other communities across the UK will be celebrating throughout the extended festival, and London will hold its own organised celebrations next Sunday, including an official ceremony attended by Mayor Boris Johnson as well as Chinese Ambassador to London Liu Xiaoming.

Here in the West Wight the Hong Kong Express restaurant in Freshwater is again celebrating with a Lion Dance to bring good luck for the coming year. This will be at 6 p.m. next Sunday, the 29th.

The Dragon is the fifth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 Animal signs. The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend. In ancient China, the celestial Dragon represents an emperor and power. Today, it is the ultimate auspicious symbol signifying success and happiness.

In Sung Dynasty (a Chinese imperial dynasty lasting from AD 960 - 1279) texts, the dragon is described as having the head of an ox, muzzle of a donkey, eyes of a shrimp, horns of a deer, body of a serpent covered with fish scales, and feet of a phoenix. The dragon usually clutches a pearl symbolic of its super-natural powers. Invariably accompanied by thunder and rain, dragons move like lightning and whirlwinds - - all powerful yet totally unpredictable.

For each of the 12 years, the Chinese zodiac includes animals, which has a very interesting legend. According to the Chinese, it is believed that before Lord Buddha left the earth, he summoned all of the animals to come before him. However, of all the animals, only 12 showed up to bid him farewell. In honor of these 12, Lord Buddha named a year after them. The belief is that the animal associated with each year rules over it. Therefore, the lifestyle and personality of the person born under that animal sign is strongly influenced by that particular animal, being supported by the old Chinese saying, “This is the animal that hides in your heart.”

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Note - New "Thought for the Day" Talks by Vishvapani

There are two new "Thought for the Day" talks by Vishvapani now posted on our Audio Section.

Monday, 16 January 2012

A Million Peace Cranes on the Isle of Wight!

You may remember our story about Sadako Sasaki and the Paper Peace Crane from August last year, about the young Japanese girl who died of radiation poisoning from the Hiroshima bomb. She vowed to fold a thousand origami Buddhist peace cranes before she died.

Now I see from one of the Island's leading websites, the Ventnor blog, that Linda Barnes is going to fold a million peace cranes, not hopefully all on her own!

As Linda says, "The lovely thing about origami is you can share this peaceful art with others, and by sharing it you pass on that knowledge and also help a charity. So I hope many people will join in, I will continue making them for however long it takes, or until my fingers stiffen up!

I’m appealing for donations of 1 pence per crane to help the good work of various chosen charities.

Your name will go on the crane and on a sponsor sheet, and feedback on how the projects progressing – and where the money’s going. If you wish to know more please contact me via VB."

Monday, 9 January 2012

FULL MOON - Monday 9th January 2012

Just like birds that leave no tracks in the air, there are those whose minds do not cling to temptations that are offered to them.
Their focus is the signless state of liberation, which to others is indiscernible.

Dhammapada v. 92

Can we do what we do so completely, so fully, that we leave no tracks behind? Probably not. Our habits of clinging mean we tend to do things partially. Our speech can be manipulative, leaving uncertainty behind.
Our actions can be self-seeking, leaving feelings of incompleteness behind. And our thoughts can be all over the place, leaving us confused. This subtle image of birds flying through the sky, with no tracks left behind, inspires us to live without clinging. In making this effort we align ourselves with those great beings that have done what needs to be done, leaving nothing but Truth behind.

With Metta,

Bhikkhu Munindo

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Note - New Videos, on the Brahma Viharas

I have just posted an excellent series of video talks by Tara Brach to our Video - Meditation section. These talks are on the Brahma Viharas or the Four Divine Abodes.

I've placed them immediately below the series Introduction to Insight meditation by Rodney Smith.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Science "Discovers" Mindfulness

There have been a considerable number of scientific studies recently "proving" the effectiveness of Mindfulness. Now, I know that there are plenty of things that lots of people firmly believe to be effective or to be true that aren't. But ever since the Buddha taught his system of meditation, over 2,500 years ago, many millions of Buddhist Monks, Nuns and lay practitioners have been well aware of its benefits.

The theory that meditation can reduce stress, depression and even chronic pain is one that has been gaining in momentum in recent years. So the BBC's David Sillito has been learning the art of mindfulness meditation in order to find out for himself.

After getting to grips with the activity, he joined some other devotees for an MRI scan to find out what impact the practice can have on brain activity, as you can see in this video.

The U.S military is also evaluating meditation and mindfulness training to help alleviate the devastating symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder that afflict more than 250,000 military personnel; soothe the brain trauma that’s left thousands more with tremors, speech impediments and memory lapses; and assuage the chronic pain that lingers after gruelling, repeat deployments.