Buddhism

Boise High grad brings community together to counter local Baptist pastor

June 28, 2022

Lizzy Duke-Moe, a Boise High School graduate who is attending Brown University in the fall, was spurred into action last week to counter a local Baptist pastor who called for the death of all gay people.

Duke-Moe said in an email that her mom, Keely Duke, and stepmom, Sarah Seidl are married — “they got married in Idaho,” Duke-Moe said, and her mother had shown her an article about the pastor’s sermons. “And...

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Louisville Tibetan Buddhist monastery holds interfaith memorial for lives lost in combat and mass shootings

May 30, 2022

A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery held a Memorial Day service to honor the lives lost in combat and recent mass shootings.

Believers of different faiths joined hands on Monday at the Drepung Gomang Institute on Hubbards Lane.

Twenty-one candles were lit throughout the ceremony to represent a pillar of light in the darkness.

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Buddhist Chaplains on the Rise in US, Offering Broad Appeal

May 15, 2022

Wedged into a recliner in the corner of her assisted living apartment in Portland, Skylar Freimann, who has a terminal heart condition and pulmonary illness, anxiously eyed her newly arrived hospital bed on a recent day and worried over how she would maintain independence as she further loses mobility.

There to guide her along the journey was the Rev. Jo Laurence, a hospice and palliative care chaplain. But rather than invoking God or a Christian prayer, she talked of meditation, chanting and other Eastern spiritual traditions: “The body can weigh us down sometimes,” she...

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Activist's self-immolation stirs questions on faith, protest

April 26, 2022

After 50-year-old Wynn Bruce, a climate activist and Buddhist, set himself on fire in front of the U.S. Supreme Court last week, prompting a national conversation about his motivation and whether he may have been inspired by Buddhist monks who self-immolated in the past to protest government atrocities.

Bruce, a photographer from Boulder, Colorado, walked up to the plaza of the Supreme Court around 6:30 p.m. Friday — on Earth Day — then sat down and set himself ablaze, a law enforcement official said. Supreme Court police officers responded immediately but were unable to...

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Across US, faith groups mobilize to aid Ukrainian refugees

April 4, 2022

As U.S. refugee resettlement agencies and nonprofits nationwide gear up to help Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion and war that has raged for nearly six weeks, members of faith communities have been leading the charge to welcome the displaced.

In Southern California, pastors and lay individuals are stationing themselves at the Mexico border waving Ukrainian flags and offering food, water and prayer. Around the country, other religious groups are getting ready to provide longer-term support for refugees who will have to find housing, work, health care and schooling....

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South Asian Americans face a complicated relationship with the swastika

March 25, 2022

During Nikhil Mandalaparthy's senior year of high school in 2015, the local Hindu temple in his hometown was vandalized. Spray-painted in red on the outside of the Bothell, Washington, worship and cultural center were the words “Get Out” — alongside a symbol that was almost familiar to the temple’s patrons: a swastika. 

But the mark used to terrorize Mandalaparthy’s community was different than the swastikas he had grown up seeing in religious contexts. It was sharp and at a 45-degree angle, what he recognized immediately as a mark of Nazism and white supremacy. ...

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Turning brokenness into beauty: Buddhists respond to anti-Asian violence

March 18, 2022

One by one, the Buddhist priests bowed before the altar at the Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo, wearing robes of yellow, orange and black.

Accompanied by the chanting of the Heart Sutra in Korean, they dipped a paintbrush into a bowl of golden lacquer to gently fill in the cracks of a white ceramic lotus that had been handmade for the occasion.

The ritual, which took place last May, was drenched in meaning. The lotus flower represented the purity and potential of the Buddha’s awakening. The repairing of the cracked ceramic lotus, a Japanese art...

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Prayers for peace in Ukraine

March 14, 2022

A variety of religious traditions assembled Sunday evening to pray for one thing: peace in Ukraine.

The meeting at North Presbyterian Church was assembled by the Williamsville Interfaith Clergy Association and was led by two Ukrainian clerics, one Catholic and one Orthodox. Joining them were Presbyterians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha'i, Sikh and Unitarian Universalists.

North Presbyterian Pastor Bill Hennessy said the array of clergy was deliberate.

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Roshi Merle Kodo Boyd, first fully transmitted African American Zen teacher in the United States, has died

February 24, 2022

Roshi Merle Kodo Boyd (1944-2022) passed peacefully at her home in Durham, NC, on Sunday, February 20, 2022. A Zen Buddhist priest and teacher, she was beloved for her keen wisdom, gentle kindness, and big love. Possessed of a fierce and independent spirit, Boyd was the first fully transmitted African American Zen teacher in the United States. Her life as a Black woman, particularly those experiences that shaped her throughout her childhood in a segregated but nurturing community in Houston, TX, and her life in the buddhadharma were intimately interwoven. She was of...

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Doug Emhoff highlights Black interfaith contributions as new project launches

February 24, 2022

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff lauded the interfaith work of Black religious communities for “saving lives” through distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations and for continuing efforts to get out the vote when he spoke at a midweek Black History Month event.

“Over the past year, Black faith communities have been working as trusted voices in their communities and getting the right facts and information out to their neighbors,” he said in remarks Wednesday (Feb. 23) at an online event co-hosted by the White House and the Black Interfaith Project. “This has led to millions upon...

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