Monday, 31 March 2014

Japan Told to Stop Whaling

Breaking news!!!!!

The United Nation's top court has ordered Japan to stop its annual whale hunt in the Antarctic.

"Japan shall revoke any existant authorisation, permit or licence granted in relation to Jarpa II [research programme] and refrain from granting any further permits in pursuance to the programme," the International Court of Justice's Judge Peter Tomka said.

Japan had argued that the suit brought by Australia, in May 2010, was an attempt to impose its cultural norms on Japan.

But Canberra said since 1988 Japan has slaughtered more than 10,000 whales under the programme, allegedly putting the Asian nation in breach of international conventions and its obligation to preserve marine mammals and their environment.

In its application before the world court, Australia accused Japan of failing to "observe in good faith the zero catch limit in relation to the killing of whales".

Meanwhile, here in the UK, The Tory Government was considering amending the Hunting Act, which would have made it almost impossible to enforce, signalling a return to hunting with dogs "by the back door".

However, thanks to a public outcry at the news, the Government has announced it will not now attempt to do this. Mr. Cameron in Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday 26 March said that the Government has dropped plans to amend the Hunting Act on the issue of the number of dogs that can be used in "exempt hunting".

A growing number of Conservative MPs had warned David Cameron that he risked losing the Commons vote if he pushed ahead with what they believed was an attempt to weaken the ban on hunting to woo rural voters away from Ukip.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

NEW MOON – Sunday 30th March 2014


While in the midst
of those who hate,
to dwell free from hating
is happiness indeed.

Dhammapada v. 197

Usually we equate happiness with getting what we want. Might there be other forms of happiness? For all of us there are times when we don’t get what we want, or we get what we definitely do not want. In this verse the Buddha is pointing to a quality of happiness which arises independent of whether or not we get what we want; a happiness which arises with wisdom. Wisdom knows that some conditions can be changed and some cannot. We can’t for instance stop someone else feeling hatred. But we can make the effort to not be pulled into their anger. And despite what some may say this is not quietism. This is taking responsibility for what is ours and maintaining equanimity towards that which is not.

With Metta,
Bhikkhu Munindo

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Newport Meditation Retreat

Yesterday a couple of us from the West Wight Sangha traveled into Newport to join the Soto Zen group for a days meditation retreat.

The talk that I took along was "What You Think is Not a Help for Realization" by Ed Brown.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

China Abstains on Ukraine's "Tibet"

At yesterday's meeting of the UN Security Council Russia vetoed a draft resolution criticising
today's secession referendum in Ukraine's Crimea region - the only member to vote against the measure.

China, usually a Russian ally on moves to counteract the diplomatic and economic might of the West, abstained from the vote.

Beijing is sensitive about issues of territorial integrity, because of fears it could send a message to its own restive regions of Tibet and Xinjiang.

Now, the Crimea was "given" to Ukraine On 19 February 1954. The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union issued a decree transferring the Crimea from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The transfer has been described as a "symbolic gesture," marking the 300th anniversary of Ukraine becoming a part of the Russian Empire. The General Secretary of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union was at the time the Ukrainian Nikita Khrushchev.

The Crimea was not invaded by Ukraine, unlike Tibet was by China.

The Ukrainian's didn't try to destroy the religion of Crimea, they're both Eastern Orthodox. Unlike the Chinese in Tibet where before the Chinese occupation, there were 6,000 monasteries, after the Cultural Revolution, there were six.

Hundreds of thousands of Monks, Nuns and civilians were imprisoned or killed for wearing traditional hairstyles and clothing, engaging in traditional song or dance, or voicing their religious beliefs. Rituals such as prostrations, mantras, prayer wheels, circumambulation, throwing tsampa and burning juniper or incense were strictly prohibited. Anything representing the cultural identity of the Tibetan people was eradicated.

And the Ukrainians haven't killed over 250,000 Crimeans in prisons and labour camps.

China does not want to alienate its strategic partner, Russia, which has lobbied heavily for China’s support for its intervention in Ukraine. Yet it cannot be seen as supporting a referendum in Crimea, which Russia backs, on the peninsula’s possible secession from Ukraine. For Beijing, that comes uncomfortably close to approving a vote on independence for Tibet.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

FULL MOON – Saturday 15th March 2014


Tasting the flavour of solitude
and the nectar of peace,
those who drink the joy 
that is the essence of reality 
abide free from fear of evil. 

Dhammapada v. 205

Physicians advise us to nourish the body by eating healthily and taking regular exercise. The Buddha advises us to nourish the heart with Truth. If we allow ourselves to become too busy, we forget how rejuvenating it can be to spend time alone; to take time for ourselves. A sense of discontent gradually increases until we believe we are inherently lacking. This perception might please the consumer culture but it doesn’t give us inner strength. Spiritual practice sometimes involves daring to take less and trusting in our heart’s natural, undefiled state.

With Metta,
Bhikkhu Munindo

Monday, 10 March 2014

Two New Buddhist Thoughts for the Day

It's a rare occurrence, a Buddhist Thought for the Day, on Radio 4's Today program, so when two come along in the space of a week it's something to note.

Both the new talks by Vishvapani can be heard on the Thought for the Day page of our Audio Section. You can also download them directly from the page.