Sharing Buddhist Spirituality Stories

Powdery white substance found ahead of Dalai Lama’s Belgium visit

An envelope containing a powdery white substance was discovered this week at the Yeuntenling Institute in Huy, Belgium, just days before the Dalai Lama was scheduled to address followers at the Buddhist center. An official for the temple spoke to reporters, confirming reports that an envelope with white powder had been discovered and that police are looking in to it. The temple had no further comment.

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Human rights group criticizes detention of Cambodian Buddhist monk

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An official speaking for Cambodian human rights group Licadho has called the arrest of Ven. Loun Savath, a human rights activist and Cambodian Buddhist monk, "unjustified." Savath was detained for taking photographs of protesters being forced into a Land Cruiser by other monks, police and plainclothes officers outside a Phnom Penh courthouse. More than 60 protesters were gathered outside the court, calling for the release of 13 Boeung Kak women inside. Savath was banned last year from all pagodas in Phnom Penh by the Supreme Patriarch Nun Nget.

"All of us believe that there's absolutely no basis for them to hold venerable Loun Savath, he did nothing he was just standing there," said the Licadho official.

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Angels and Demons: True Life Encounters Part 1 of 13

A 1994 documentary with interviews from people who have had real life encounters with angels and demons. Produced by Jack and Rexella Van Impe Ministries, ***I understand that the quality of this video is not real good but what you see was taken from a worn VHS tape. If you would like to see a better quality copy then you are welcome to contact Jack Van Impe Ministries at to see if they are still producing this same program today for purchase.*** Part 2

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Central Tibetan Administration’s Department of Religion and Culture approves geshema degrees for nuns

Phayul, the web portal for the exile Tibetan community, reports that, at a recent meeting of the Central Tibetan Administration's Department of Religion and Culture, it was unanimously decided that Tibetan Buddhist nuns will finally be able to receive geshema degrees (akin to a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy for monastics). Though nuns have participated in the same curriculum as monks, the decision will now allow them to "appear for the very stringent doctorate examinations," and thus receive degrees. Ngawang Choedak, the secretary of Department of Religion and Culture , is quoted in the piece as saying,
"High lamas from different monasteries, including from the Dalai Lama's main temple, and representatives from nunneries attended the meeting. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has over the years strongly advocated for Geshema degrees and guided the concerned people in arriving at this decision." You can read the full article here.

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Creating Happiness for 2011

Ajahn Brahm's 2011 new year's eve Dhamma talk

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From the May 2012 Shambhala Sun magazine: Relief from “A Complicated Burden”

Illustration: Vivienne Flesher

For decades, Sandy Boucher struggled with the guilt she felt from her brother's suicide, even though she couldn't have prevented it. In "A Complicated Burden," published in the May 2012 Shambhala Sun magazine and now online in its entirety, she describes how an encounter with another suffering young man helped her feel some relief.

"I thought about all the brothers who have died throughout all time and all the siblings who have felt guilty or helpless at their brothers' death," she writes. "And I found myself breathing in regret and sorrow, not just for my own situation, but also in solidarity with everyone in the world who has lost a brother. I breathed in all our pain as I'd been taught to do in the ancient Tibetan Buddhist practice of tonglen, and breathed out compassion for all of us." Click here to read all of "A Complicated Burden."

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Video: Politico sits down (and breathes) with Congressman Tim Ryan

We introduced you to Congressman Tim Ryan (right) at the Creating a Mindful Society conference, held last October in New York City. The congressman was a keynote speaker, and with good reason: few are as visible and vocal about the value of bringing mindfulness practice's many benefits to the American people. (Ryan is also the author of the new book, A Mindful Nation; watch the book's trailer here.) Now,'s Patrick Gavin (left) has sat down with Ryan, to learn about the Congressman's personal mindfulness practice, and why (and how) we might all give it a shot.

For more about Tim Ryan and A Mindful Nation, see our July issue, which will start appearing on newsstands in about a week or so. In it you'll find a triple feature review of A Mindful Nation, Richard Davidson and Sharon Begley's The Emotional Life of Your Brain, and Chade-Meng Tan's Search Inside Yourself — as well as a Q&A with the Congressman by the Shambhala Sun's Andrea Miller.

To read the report that accompanies Patrick Gavin's Politico video, click here: Game Changer: Meditating with Tim Ryan.

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Watch the International Symposia for Contemplative Studies online

Last month, scientists, humanities professors, and Buddhist teachers gathered in Denver for the first International Symposia for Contemplative Studies, a four-day conference aimed at exploring "the correlates and consequences of contemplative practice." Researchers from distinct but overlapping fields were able to share their research and network with potential collaborators to further the growth of the contemplative studies field.

Video of the nearly 30 speakers, including Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sharon Salzberg and Congressman Tim Ryan, is now available online here. For a full account of the conference, read this in-depth review by sociologist Karin Weyland.

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