China offers glimpse of Tibetan life without the Dalai Lama

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LHASA, China (AP) — A brisk wind ruffles yellow prayer flags as dozens of Tibetans, some on crutches, circle a shrine in a time-honored Buddhist ritual. Across the street, a red banner spells out a new belief system, one being enforced with increasing fervor, of China’s ruling Communist Party. “Xi Jinping’s new socialist ideology with … Read more

Buddhist monastery in Scotland calls for firearms exclusion zone

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When the gunfire starts it is like a thunderclap, the monks and nuns explain, and the sound reverberates up the valley. During the game shooting season, it is not unusual for avian casualties to land within the grounds of Samye Ling, the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in western Europe. Tame ducks who have sought refuge … Read more

In Japan, ‘tree burials’ gain in popularity as lack of burial space changes funerals worldwide

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(The Conversation) — As the global population continues to grow, space for putting the dead to rest is at a premium. In the U.S., some of the biggest cities are already short on burial land, and so are many other nations around the world. At the same time, many nations are transforming funerary rituals, changing … Read more

‘All-in’ Buddhist practice combines meditation and martial arts

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(RNS) — In all Zen traditions, meditation is the backbone of the practice. Students sit with a tall spine, hands loosely interlocked and eyes half-closed. At Chosei Zen in Madison, Wisconsin, though, new students are never quite prepared for the rigor of Rinzai Zen, which asks participants to remain motionless for up to 45 minutes … Read more