Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On Being - Investigating Healthy Minds

Thanks to Deokwun Sunim's Grand Rapid's Sangha for pointing this out:

Once upon a time we assumed the brain stops developing when we're young. Neuroscientist Richard Davidson helped overturn this idea by studying the brains of meditating Buddhist monks. Now he's working on conditions like ADHD and autism. He focuses not on fixing what is wrong, but on rewiring our minds with life-enriching behaviors.

Listen (or read) the interview and whole story here.

Korean Buddhist Sutras on Wood

Original post and photos from Zen Mirror:

On June 19, Korean Buddhists organized a procession of ancient Buddhist sutra on wooden blocks in Seoul. With the participants lined up with the wooden blocks on their heads, the line was 1.5 km long:

Visit Zen Mirror to check out more photos.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Yongsanjae in Hollywood

From Ven. Bishop Jongmae's email,

Dear Taego sangha and IBS students
World UNESCO heritage "Yongsanjae" ritual took place at Ford Theater in Hollywood, yesterday.
President of Taego order (Most Venerable In-Gong) and 17 other Taego monks performed very beautifully
and about 800 audiences gathered at wonderful Ford Theater. Ritual manifests the utmost pleasure of Buddha-Dharm and faithful cultivation yet the rite that shows ancient musics and dancing...
Especially, Venerable Koo-Hae (Korea's national living treasure 50) and Dr. Ae-Jo-Lee (Korea's national living treasure 27) were drew out the most attention from audiences because their supreme performance.
Congratulations! and deeply appreciated to President of Taego order and 17 others supreme performers!
Enjoy the photos took by one of fellow Taego sangha.

South Korea's religious harmony put to the test

Many South Koreans concerned about the country's increasing religious polarisation are haunted by a single image - their president on his knees.

While attending a national prayer breakfast in March, Lee knelt to pray at the urging of Christian leaders.

Footage of the event shocked many in this pluralist country, where about half the population professes no particular faith and the remainder is split between Buddhists, Christians and homegrown creeds.

The main Buddhist Jogye Order called the scene "unforgiveable," and even right-leaning media outlets generally supportive of the conservative leader expressed reservations.

The Joongang Ilbo daily in an editorial urged Lee, a devout Protestant and an elder at Seoul's Somang Church, to keep his beliefs private and avoid provoking public ire....

Read more from Buddhist Channel.

Ron Artest looking to change name to "Metta World Peace"

The Lakers' forward filed paperwork in Los Angeles County Superior Court to legally change his name to "Metta World Peace."

"It's true, he did," said Heidi Buech, who was Artest's longtime publicist until resigning earlier this week.

Artest has informed the Lakers of his plans but has not yet filed paperwork with the NBA to apply for a name change on the back of his jersey, Lakers spokesman John Black said.

“My understanding is ‘Metta’ will be his first name and ‘World Peace’ will be his last,” Black said.

For a long time, Artest carried the reputation as an instigator in the infamous "Palace Brawl" in 2004, but he seemed to complete a personality turnaround in recent years.

Last December, he raffled off his 2010 Lakers championship ring, raising about $600,000 for various mental-health entities. Two months ago, he received the NBA's citizenship award for the 2010-11 season, as detemined by pro basketball media members.

Continue reading on the Lakers Blog from the Los Angeles Times

Thailand To Tattoo Tourists: Think Before You Ink

From NPR:

Many of Thailand's tattoo tourists find their way to Bangkok's Khao San Road, where tattoo parlors are nestled among the Internet cafes, noodle stalls and other backpacker hangouts. A visitor along this road might pick up a tattoo, along with some beads and dreadlocks, and perhaps even a nose ring.

The Thais are famously welcoming to visitors. But last month, Thai Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat called for a ban on foreigners' getting religious tattoos that offend Thai people.

The issue came up after an incident in the southern tourist haven of Phuket Island. Exactly whose tattoo offended whom is not clear. Nor is any sort of tattoo illegal under Thai law. But Thais consider the head sacred and the feet profane, and some foreigners get Buddhist tattoos below the waist, which can upset Thais....

Continue reading here.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dharma Talk - Be A Light Unto Yourself

Talk Given By: Rev. Hye Kyong Bup Sanim
Sunday, June 26, 2011.
Duration - 14:25


Friday, June 24, 2011

Love and Fear

Watch Love and Fear, a Short Film about the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care’s Chaplaincy Training

B.E.L.S: Buddhist English Library of Seoul

The Buddhist English Library of Seoul (Ms. Jiwon Chung, Director) is a place for the Buddhists of all traditions to come and study Buddhist texts and publications, and to listen to Buddhist lectures and meditation in English. The library shares the same foundation purpose from Songkwang-sa and Hwagye-sa International Seon Centre; to further the proliferation of Korean Seon(zen) Buddhism not only throughout Korea, but also through the world. The Buddhist English Library of Seoul opened its door on May 2007, in accordance with Ven. Cheonga’s deep meaning to spread Korean Buddhism. The library provides a space for the foreign Sangha members, renounced in Korea; or Foreign Sangha members, visiting Korea, to meet and make cultural exchanges with other foreign or Korean lay Buddhists. Through these stable and continuous exchanges, Korean Buddhism may be able to extend throughout the world.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Pizza Shop Joke

Exhibition marks 1,000th anniversary of First Tripitaka

This year marks the 1,000th year of the engraving “Chojo Daejanggyeong” (the First Edition of the Tripitaka Koreana), on which work was begun in 1011, during the second year of the reign of King Hyeonjong, and completed in 1087 in the Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392).

Tripitaka refers to a collection of Buddhist sutra known as the records of Buddha’s teaching. It was the second Tripitaka translated into Chinese characters in the world and it retains historical value as it includes a vast amount of content as the longest Chinese-language scriptures.

Chojo Daejanggyeong is the first Tripitaka in Korea, which was made to repel the Khitan invaders in the 11th century. It was stored in Heungwang Temple and moved to Buin Temple. Only the printed papers exist as the woodblocks were destroyed by Mongolian troops in 1232.

Palman Daejanggyeong (Tripitaka Koreana) stored in Haein Temple and designated as a UNESCO’s Memory of the World was manufactured after Chojo Daejanggyeong had been lost.

Read more from Buddhist Art News

Buddha Garden

Watch the full episode. See more Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Dharma Talk - Essence

Talk Given By: Hae Doh Sunim
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Duration - 14:12

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dharma Talk - Wake Up!

Talk Given By: WonMu (Tim Sheehy), MWZ Dharma Student
Sunday, June 12, 2011.
Duration - 16:17

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Sound of One Hand: Paintings and Calligraphy by Zen Master Hakuin

A guided video tour and introduction to Zen Master Hakuin's exhibit currently on display at LACMA.

Buddhist Nun Arrested After Handing Out Prayer Beads

A Buddhist nun giving out prayer beads on Canal Street to raise money to rebuild her burned down temple was arrested and detained her for several hours without an interpreter, she told DNAinfo.

Police charged Baojing Li, 48, with acting as an unlicensed vendor, a misdemeanor. They claim she hawked costume jewelry at the corner of Canal and Mott Streets on June 2 without a license from the state Department of Consumer Affairs.

But the religious woman, who wears a traditional Buddhist robe and has a shaven head, says she was not selling the 50-cent strands of prayer beads, but handing them out to generous people who dropped donations in her collection tin.

Li said she had a sign placed next to her stool — written in red Chinese calligraphy — telling would-be donors that she needed help rebuilding her temple and home in Chamblee, in Georgia. The building burned down on March 26, according to the official fire incident report.

The Chinese native, who came to the U.S. to do missionary work in 1996, wept as she said police approached her on the street, handcuffed her and took her to the Midtown South precinct where she said she was held for four hours without knowing what was happening.

Read the rest of the story from Tricycle.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Jogye order mends fences with ruling elite

The Jogye Order, Korea’s largest Buddhist sect, announced on Tuesday that it would “normalize” its relationship with the ruling Grand National Party after a six-month standoff over the government’s cut of state aid for temple stay programs.

Ven. Jaseung, president of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, released an official statement at the Center for Korean Buddhist History and Culture in central Seoul, saying the organization would lift its ban on GNP lawmakers and government officials entering its member temples across the country. The statement also said the sect had decided to accept the state funding it had been rejecting since January.

“Instead of banning and blocking, we’d like to solve problems (with the government) regarding our traditional Buddhist culture and heritage wi more communication and an open approach,” Ven. Jaseung told reporters.

Continue reading at the Korean Herald.

Temple ban on politicians called off - Zen Mirror

Buddhist star Richard Gere to visit Korea for Templestay

American actor Richard Gere will visit South Korea later this month to experience traditional Korean Buddhist temples, the country’s largest Buddhist sect said Wednesday.

Gere, a practicing Buddhist, will come to Korea on June 20, in time for his photography exhibition titled “Pilgrim,” featuring photos of Tibet, the Jogye Order said. He will have a meeting with Venerable Jaseung, head of the Jogye Order, and then travel down to Bulguksa in Gyeongju, about 370 kilometers southeast of Seoul, for a Templestay program.

Gere is scheduled to leave on June 25.

“I believe it will be his first experience participating in a South Korean Templestay,” a Jogye Order official said.

Templestays, run by the Cultural Corps of Korean Buddhism, are programs that allow locals and foreigners to stay in mountainside temples and participate in Zen meditation, early-morning chanting and daily chores. Overnight Templestays have become popular activities for foreign tourists. The Web site for the programs is available in six foreign languages: English, Chinese, Japanese, German, French and Spanish.

Gere, whose filmography includes major box office hits such as “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “Pretty Woman” and “Chicago,” has been an active supporter of the Dalai Lama for more than three decades. He’s also an advocate for human rights in Tibet.

The exhibition will run at Seoul Arts Center from June 14 to July 24. (Yonhap News)

Read the story at the Korean Herald.

100,000 Lanterns Color the Street of Jongno

On May 7th, Lantern Parade in Dongguk University and Jongno Area

100,000 lanterns created magnificent scenery on Jongno street. On May 7th and 8th, about 30,000 Buddhists, citizens of Seoul, and foreign visitors gathered and enjoyed the lantern festival in Dongguk University and the street in front of the Wujeongguk building near Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.

On May 7th, the lantern parade begun with an event called “Uhwulim-madang” at the Dongguk University’s main stadium. The lantern parade, which was the highlight of the festival, elevated the excitement when a stream of 10,000 lanterns flew through Dongguk University, Dongdaemun (East Gate), and Jongno Street. Many lanterns in the images of the Dharma protectors, elephants, dragons, Geobukseon (Korean Turtle Ship), helicopter and other impressive images led the parade and about 50,000 Buddhists with individually made lanterns followed the parade to revisit the true meaning of the Buddha’s birthday. However, a couple of controversial lanterns (due to its copy right issues), ‘Pororodeung’ and ‘Thomas the train’, were regretfully not showcased in this parade. After the parade, a Buddhist memorial at Jonggak street unified approximately 300,000 Buddhists, citizens of Seoul, and foreign visitors beyond religion and race for a grand celebration.

Continue reading here and see more pictures.

Korean Buddhism aims to make a bright future with Korean Citizens

To celebrate Buddha’s Birthday, the Jogysa temple in Seoul and other temples of the Jogye Order conducted Buddhist ceremonies and made a vow to become Buddhists that can demonstrate sharing with neighbors. On May 10th, the Celebration Committee for Buddha's Birthday (led by Ven. Jaseung, the President of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism) dedicated the Buddha’s Birthday Celebration Ceremony amid the crowd of 10,000 monks, nuns, and lay Buddhist men and women.

The ceremony included Buddhist initiation rituals, blessing ceremonies, flower offerings, incense and tea ceremonies, outstanding lay Buddhist award, opening speeches, Dharma teachings, and introducing the joint statement from North and South Korean Buddhists.

As a part of the effort to safeguard traditional Korean culture, and to promote introspection and organizational reformation, a various social minorities, such as the multi-cultural families, migrant workers, people with special needs, and people from other religious groups were invited rather than the community or political leaders.

Continue reading at Korean

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Podcasts and Blog Posts Resume on June 15

Hello All,

Sorry I forgot to post this message on May 31 but I am currently on vacation in Japan until June 15. All podcasts uploads and regular blog postings will resume next week.

Dharma Talk podcasts should still be getting recorded and will be uploaded either June 15 or 16.

Also, after returning from Japan, I will arrange a photo album to share of some of the Buddhist temples and other points of interests that I have been able to visit during my stay here. Below is a preview shot from Ryoan-ji in Kyoto. People meditating and looking upon the famous "Rock Garden".

Wikipedia Entry on Ryoan-ji Zen Temple