Friday, 28 November 2008

Europe's Buddhist Nation

I was amazed to discover that we have a predominately Buddhist country right here in Europe! The Republic of Kalmykia is a constituent republic of the Russian Federation situated south of the Volga on the north-western shores of the Caspian Sea. The Kalmyk are a people of Mongol origin who migrated to Europe during the 16th century. Most Kalmyks throughout the world remain Tibetan/Lamaist Buddhists regarding His Holiness the Dalai Lama as their spiritual leader.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

New Video Bar

If you look over to the right hand column you will see that we have a new Video bar featuring talks from the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. These replace those featuring Ajahn Jayasaro, who was born here on the Island.

This feature can now be found on the Video Streams page of our Video Section.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Ten Bulls, Perceiving the Bull

3. Perceiving the Bull

I hear the song of the nightingale.
The sun is warm, the wind is mild, willows are green along the shore,
Here no bull can hide!
What artist can draw that massive head, those majestic horns?

Comment: When one hears the voice, one can sense its source. As soon as the six senses merge, the gate is entered. Wherever one enters one sees the head of the bull! This unity is like salt in water, like colour in dyestuff. The slightest thing is
not apart from self.

Once seen, the bull can be recognised anywhere.

The bull is the eternal principle of life. The ten bulls represent sequent steps in the realization of one's true nature.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Burma, the Latest

I have just received an email from the Burma Campaign UK and I am just going to replicate if here without further comment.

“Today the regime sentenced 14 leading democracy activists in Burma to 65 years in prison. If they are forced to serve their full terms, they will die in jail. The sentences were handed down at around 1pm, behind closed doors in Insein prison special court in Rangoon. Family members were not allowed to attend the hearing. The sentences today relate to only five charges. They are all charged with a total of 21 charges and face further sentences as their trials continue.

Those sentenced are all prominent members of the 88 Generation Students group, which led the peaceful demonstrations last September.

In a separate hearing held in Insein prison special court, labour activist Su Su Nwe was sentenced to 12 years and 6 months.

Take action. Please send an email to the UN Security Council urging Ban Ki-moon to visit Burma and make the release of political prisoners his top priority:

Only yesterday EU foreign ministers met and called for the release of all political prisoners. The EU promised to increase pressure on the regime if there was no progress to reform, but despite the situation getting worse they have taken no action.

The UN must act. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is due to visit Burma in December, but there are fears he may back out of the visit because of the difficulties in negotiating with the regime. These sentences make it all the more important that Ban Ki-moon goes ahead with his visit. We have had 37 visits to Burma by UN envoys, but things have only got worse. We need his personal engagement on Burma”.

Dharma Downloads

I've just uploaded a guided body scan meditation by Leigh Brasington to our download site,, and noticed that they now display the number of times that any item has been downloaded. Our talks etc. as available on our Dharma Studies RESOURCES page are as follows:-

Not Self, Not No Self 32
Dependent Origination, Guy Armstrong 15
Catching Suffering Before It Happens, Ajahn Amaro 36
Wise View by Rodney Smith 11
Wise Aspiration by Rodney Smith 21
Choice Words by Steve Armstrong 12
Wise Speech by Rodney Smith 23
Wise Action by Rodney Smith 25
Wise Livelihood by Rodney Smith 18
Wise Effort by Rodney Smith 26
Wise Mindfulness by Rodney Smith 13
Wise Samadhi by Rodney Smith 11
Four talks on the Hindrances by Steve Armstrong 7 (group file)
The four Brahma Viharas, Metta 43
The four Brahma Viharas, Upekka 59
The four Brahma Viharas, Karuna 40
The four Brahma Viharas, Mudita 21

But the really impressive one is for our collection of meditation timers at 551 downloads!

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Friends in High Places?

Barack Obama has a lot on his plate but saying the right thing must be followed by doing the right thing.

"If Tibetans are to live in harmony with the rest of China’s people, their religion and culture must be respected and protected. Tibet should enjoy genuine and meaningful autonomy. The Dalai Lama should be invited to visit China, as part of a process leading to his return." READ MORE....

Prince Charles put himself on a collision course with the Prime Minister back in February by playing host to the Dalai Lama.

The meeting took place at his London home, the day after Tibet's exiled spiritual leader was barred from visiting Number 10. READ MORE..........

And here's the afore mentioned Prime Minister meeting the Dalai Lama but at Lambeth Palace, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury!!!!

So what's he going to be doing. Well other more "important" things, what with the credit crunch and everything. But, at least the Olympics are nicely out of the way (that's the Beijing ones not the London ones).

Friday, 7 November 2008

Burma Campaigners to make direct appeal to Lloyd’s staff

Further to the preceding post The Burma Campaign UK has distributed an open letter to all Lloyds of London staff explaining that institution's involvement in supporting the Burmese regime.

Three Lloyd’s syndicates are known to insure risk in Burma, Catlin, Atrium and Kiln. Lloyd’s of London refuse to reveal if other syndicates currently insure risk in Burma. Lloyd’s have not responded to repeated requests from the Burma Campaign UK to reveal all the sectors of Burmese business that are insured through the Lloyd’s market.

The letter calls on staff to be "whistle blowers" and let the Burma Campaign UK know which Lloyd’s companies are still insuring risk in Burma.

As Johnny Chatterton, Campaigns Officer at the Burma Campaign UK said “Lloyd’s are helping to fund a murderous dictatorship that rapes, tortures and kills those who call for human rights and democracy. The management of Lloyd’s seem to think it is OK to help fund this brutal dictatorship, they’re ignoring British Government advice, they’re ignoring the wishes of Burma’s democrats. We hope Lloyd’s staff will take the time to listen and question Lloyd’s’ Burma policy.”

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

New Campaign on Burma

Avaaz have just launched a new campaign for people to email Lloyds of London (that's the insurance market not the bank) to call on them to stop underwriting the Burmese military junta. As with South Africa regimes find it hard to survive if we just stop doing business with them. To contact Lloyds and do your bit to shame them into doing the right thing click HERE.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Email Subscriptions

It was brought to my attention the other day by one of our email subscribers that there is some confusion as to what the email contains. It will show all the text and usually all of the pictures and links displayed in the original post. It will not however show any embedded HTML code as with a video. So, as in the case of the last posting, there is a “blank” in the middle of the email where the video appears on the blog. The best approach is to view the blog if the email is "interesting" or “strange”.