Buddhism

Despite Obstacles, Traditions Persist at Buddhist Association Temple in Yelm

July 29, 2020

 

Out of the corner of your eye as you round a curve on Yelm Highway S.E. just after it splits with State Route 510, you might notice what appear to be a pair of pink lotus-flower statues on either side of a concrete-block wall adjoined by a black, wrought-iron gate.

If you turn your head quickly enough, you’ll see through the fence several bright yellow wooden buildings that resemble typical single-family Yelm homes. You might also notice a legion of statues standing erect throughout the property and a glass-and-wood enclosed shrine a bit further back called a...

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Hilary Decent: How Naperville’s faith communities are operating under phase 4 of Illinois reopening

July 27, 2020

 

Naperville’s faith communities are taking a cautious approach to eased restrictions now that Illinois has moved to phase four of its coronavirus recovery program.

Members of the First Congregational United Church of Christ have been meeting online since March. Rev. Mark Winters said: “Since the middle of March, we have been live streaming our services from our sanctuary. We recently switched to a pre-recorded model which allows us to include more readers and...

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Buddhist Peace Fellowship Joins Protests in Portland, Oregon

July 23, 2020

 

The Buddhist Peace Fellowship in Portland, Oregon, led a meditation march around Portland City Hall on Tuesday in support of the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests in the city. The purpose of the meditation was to call attention to “Portland’s need to reject white supremacy and enact anti-racist policies.” (Portland Mercury)

The hour-long meditation was scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening. Prior to the event, organizers of the meditation said participants could expect to “sit with the suffering caused by racist violence and police...

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How Taiwanese death rituals have adapted for families living in the US

July 23, 2020

 

Taiwanese people living in the United States face a dilemma when loved ones die. Many families worry that they might not be able to carry out proper rituals in their new homeland.

As a biracial Taiwanese-American archaeologist living in Idaho and studying in Taiwan, I am discovering the many faces of Taiwan’s blended cultural heritage drawn from the...

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White River Buddhist Temple Bon Odori Cancelled for First Time in 50 Years

July 22, 2020

 

White River Buddhist Temple released the following statement announcing the cancellation if its annual in-person Bon Odori due to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

For the first time in fifty years, White River Buddhist Temple will not be holding its annual in-person Bon Odori festival this year. While the Temple traditionally holds its annual Bon Odori festival on the third weekend in July, this year, the Temple will be virtually streaming it...

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The Karma of Becoming American

July 14, 2020

 

In the section under COVID-19 safety precautions, the Department of Homeland Security letter addressed to me mandated facemasks and banned guests for my newly rescheduled naturalization ceremony. Given fears that the virus might serve as a pretext for a complete shutdown of immigration and naturalization, it was a huge relief to find out that the ceremony would take place at all. The original date for the ceremony was March 19, the very day that California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order.

I had always imagined the conclusion of my long...

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Buddhist Priest Seeks to Halt Federal Execution During Pandemic

July 7, 2020

 

A 68-year-old Buddhist priest has asked a federal court in Indiana to halt Wesley Purkey’s scheduled July 15 execution, saying he shouldn’t be forced to choose between exercising his religious obligations to the convicted murder and the risk of catching Covid-19.

Prisons and detention facilities have become hot spots for coronavirus outbreaks, Reverend Seigen Hartkemeyer said in his July 2 complaint...

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Vows for Freedom

July 6, 2020

 

Erica Orta and Kerry Vadasz, inmates at the Ohio Reformatory for Women, received the sixteen bodhisattva precepts in October 2019 in a formal commitment to Zen practice. This was the fourth jukai (literally, “receiving the precepts”) held at the prison since 2012, when Laura Taylor, who has been serving a life sentence since she was 17, became the first inmate to take the precepts, Buddhism’s guidelines for ethical conduct.

Here, the three women reflect on the obstacles they face as Zen practitioners in prison. Tricycle’s...

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Buddhist Temple in Grafton offers calm from present storm

July 2, 2020

On a quiet hillside in the woods off Route 140 in Grafton, a Buddhist temple is doing its part to stay connected to its followers and spread its message of calm and compassion in a world roiled by the coronavirus pandemic. Its weekly insight meditation group now convenes on Zoom, as does its biweekly class that teaches the foundations of Buddhism to members’ children. The temple’s Facebook page posts words of wisdom and live streams the soothing chants of sutras, or scriptures, recited by its resident monks in Pali, the ancient language of the Buddha’s time.

The New England...

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Former Meyer's Toy World now a Buddhist monastery, yoga and wellness studio

June 30, 2020

 

The Victorian-style home at 72 North Ave. served generations of families shopping for toys, playhouses and infant furniture.

Meyer's Toy World closed its doors in 2014. The residential and commercial building has since undergone a dramatic transformation, becoming part of a neighboring Buddhist monastery that purchased the property in 2017.

Now, the SokukoJi...

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Quarantining while Buddhist: ‘It’s more important to be kind than to be right’

June 5, 2020

 

When I heard about a bunch of Buddhists quarantining together in a house near Cheesman Park, I was prepared to feel inadequate upon meeting them.

Surely they had figured out this interpersonal-relationships-under-glass thing and would be irritatingly calm as they described the smooth running of their household during the pandemic.

It turns out, though, that they’re just like the rest of us. The artist, the grandfather, the former telephone lineman and other residents of the house owned by Kadampa...

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Buddhists with Physical Disabilities Access Digital Dharma

May 29, 2020

 

For students of the dharma with physical disabilities, one of the recent positive developments of living under quarantine has been the ability to join a digital sangha anywhere in the world, at any hour of the day, from the comfort of home. But the online shift has also revealed where the Buddhist community sometimes falls short when it comes to accommodating people who face physical challenges. 

Before COVID-19, people with disabilities who wanted to attend a meditation...

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Together Alone: Online Sanghas in the Age of Social Distancing

April 1, 2020

 

The coronavirus pandemic has the world wondering what it means to live in connected isolation and the Buddhist community is no exception. Meditation centers, yoga studios and religious and cultural institutions quickly improvised their way to a new normal with cameras and high-speed internet connections. Living in a technological age means with a myriad of tools and applications at our fingertips, we never need to leave the comfort of our homes for a sense of community, even if it is a...

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Rising NFL Star Jaire Alexander Is Finding Solace in Yoga and Juggling

March 30, 2020

To stay sane and in shape during the NFL’s COVID-19 lockdown, one of the NFL’s youngest shutdown corners is turning to the downward dog. Each morning on the secluded Florida island where he is riding out the pandemic, Jaire Alexander of the Green Bay Packers starts his day with a meditation session followed by yoga and some spiritual reflection. 

A second-team All-ACC player at Louisville, Alexander began doing yoga before he declared for the NFL draft in 2018. He says he learned about the practice while doing some research into Buddhism.

“In college, before I...

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Acting on Faith

Acting on Faith: Women’s New Religious Activism in America (2005)

Acting on Faith: Women’s New Religious Activism in America is a documentary film that offers an intimate look at the lives and work of three American women – one Buddhist, one Hindu, and one Muslim – for whom faith, activism, and identity are...

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