Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wisdom Network News: Buddhism

Buddhist woman spins prayer wheels at Manelhakhing Monastery in Rabangla town, 42 miles (68 km) south of Gangtok, capital of India's northeastern Sikkim state, 9/3/09. Buddhists in the region will celebrate the "Pang Lhabsol" festival on Friday by offering the first harvested fruit of the season to the Buddha and the hallowed Mt. Khangchendzonga for blessings of peace and prosperity (Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri). Inside each wheel are scrolls with mantras (as seen below). 122 NEWS PHOTOS

Memoir about becoming Buddhist monk, quitting
The Novice: Why I Became a Buddhist Monk, Why I Quit, and What I Learned" (Greenleaf Book Group, 346 pages), by Stephen Schettini: Far from home and strung out on morphine, Stephen Schettini was saved from his skid when a friend showed up at his hovel in Pakistan to force him to clean up and move on. The young Englishman traveled around India and immersed himself in Buddhist teachings (Newsday).

"Unmistaken Child" (movie review)
A gentle but fervent quest to find a reincarnated Buddhist lama: The child is the rebirth of a recently deceased Buddhist master. Nati Baratz's documentary is about a five-year quest to find this elusive entity. Tasked with finding the child -- a mere baby -- is 28-year-old Tenzin Zopa, a Nepalese monk who was the late lama's acolyte and close companion. What follows is a straightforward narrative driven solely by faith and belief in... (Pittsburgh City Paper, 9/3/09)

Jet Airways introduces twice weekly Buddhist Circuit flights
Bangkok-Gaya-Varanasi -- Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, will connect the Thai capital of Bangkok with India's Gaya and Varanasi, two important Buddhist cities on the famed Buddhist circuit, effective October... (, 9/2/09)

Crime: Former monk arrested for stealing Buddhist statues
A former Mahayana Buddhist priest at a temple in Nara Prefecture was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of stealing Buddhist statues from another temple in the western… (Japan Today, 9/2/09)

Despite Outreach, violence is up in Southern Thailand
Over the past five years, a steady stream of bombings, shootings, beheadings and other terror attacks in the country's deep south have claimed roughly 3,500 lives, both Muslim and Buddhist. Why is the violence getting worse? (Time Magazine, 9/02/09)

Calls to remove statue from Bridge on the River Kwai
The Bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand -- a monument to the suffering of Allied troops in Japanese hands -- has been overshadowed by a controversial new Buddhist statue (Daily Telegraph, 8/31/09)