Buddhism

Juror in Elizabeth Holmes' fraud trial excused for Buddhist beliefs

October 7, 2021

A Buddhist juror was booted from the fraud trial of Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes after she expressed growing anxiety about the potential punishment the one-time Silicon Valley superstar would face should she find her guilty.

Citing religious reasons, juror no. 4 requested she be dismissed from the California courtroom, telling U.S. District Judge Edward Davila that she practices Buddhism “for compassion ... for loving and forgiveness.”

“I keep thinking about this every day,” she continued, tearing up from behind her mask.

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LingYen temple starts expansion project on Richmond's Highway to Heaven

September 3, 2021

After 18 years of stops and starts in the planning process, construction work has begun at a Buddhist temple on Richmond’s Highway to Heaven.

But the original plan to expand LingYen Mountain Temple has been reduced by half.

In 2014, the proposal was to expand by almost 200,000 square feet and the temple was asking to build into the farming portion of the property – encroaching more than 300 feet into the “backland,” which is supposed to be actively farmed.

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Thousands celebrate completion of large Marshalltown Buddha statue

August 14, 2021

More than 1,000 attendees came to Theravada Dhamma Society of Iowa, a Buddhist temple in Marshalltown, to celebrate the completion of one of the largest images of Buddha in the United States.

Families flocked in waves on Sunday to a massive 18-feet-tall, 12-square-feet-wide Buddha statue to take pictures, pray and bring offerings. After a religious session in the morning, entertainers, including singers and dancers representing various ethnic groups within the society took to the stage. More than 30 Buddhist monks from around the state and country attended the celebration,...

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Marc Lieberman, Who Brought Jews and Buddhists Together, Dies at 72

August 8, 2021

Dr. Marc Lieberman, an ophthalmologist and self-proclaimed “Jewish Buddhist” who, when he wasn’t treating glaucoma, organized a dialogue between Jewish scholars and the Dalai Lama, and who later brought sight back to thousands of Tibetans stricken by cataracts, died on Aug. 2 at his home in San Francisco. He was 72.

His son, Michael, said the cause was prostate cancer.

Dr. Lieberman, who called himself a “JuBu,” retained his Jewish faith but incorporated aspects of Buddhist teachings and practices. He kept kosher and observed the sabbath, but he also meditated...

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For US teen Buddhist lama, it’s faith, school, football

August 1, 2021

COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) — In most ways, Jalue Dorje is a typical American teen — he grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis, loving football, Pokémon and rap music.

Yet a few years from now, he’s expecting to say goodbye to his family and homeland and join a monastery in the foothills of the Himalayas — from an early age, he was recognized by the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan Buddhist leaders as a reincarnated lama.

Since that recognition, he’s spent much of his life training to become a monk, memorizing sacred scriptures (often rewarded by his dad with Pokémon cards...

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Dharma Centers Reopen Their Doors

July 2, 2021

Last spring, dharma centers across the United States made the difficult decision to close their doors due to COVID-19. Unable to host in-person gatherings, Buddhist centers quickly adapted to the confinement of the pandemic by shifting their offerings online. Through virtual events, Zoom meditations, and live-stream talks, sanghas were able to stay connected while practicing apart. 

Now, as restrictions ease and more people get vaccinated, some centers have begun the careful process of reopening for in-person events. For those who have missed sitting alongside fellow...

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Firefighting monks ready to defend Buddhist monastery from Big Sur blaze

June 22, 2021

A group of firefighting monks was ready to defend a Buddhist monastery being threatened Tuesday by a wildfire burning in the rugged central coast mountains south of Big Sur.

The seven monks have been clearing brush from around the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and running a sprinkler system dubbed “Dharma rain,” which helps keep a layer of moister around the buildings, said Sozan Miglioli, president of San Francisco Zen Center, which operates the monastery.

“The blaze is about a mile away but we’ve been lucky with the weather, it has really cooled down,” Miglioli...

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Dalai Lama library and learning center to be built in Ithaca, NY

June 18, 2021

Namgyal Monastery announced plans to build a Dalai Lama library, learning center, and museum on its property in Ithaca, New York in a statement released Thursday. The monastery is His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s personal monastery and North American seat.

“Our vision – one that is supported and shared by the Dalai Lama – is to encourage genuine human interconnection and unity in an increasingly divided world,” said Tenzin Choesang, President of the Namgyal Monastery, in a statement.

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Fremont may tear down a Buddhist temple. A civil rights lawyer says: 'They don't want Asians'

June 21, 2021

A quiet Buddhist temple that sits 4 miles up a winding one-lane road high in the Fremont hills seems an unlikely place for a fight over discrimination and freedom of religion. But it became the focus of a civil rights lawsuit Thursday filed by San Francisco attorney Angela Alioto.

The suit contends that the city of Fremont violated the constitutional rights of the Temple of 1001 Buddhas and its founder, MiaoLan Lee, a Buddhist master, who bought the 29-acre property in 2010 on remote Mill Creek Road and began improving it. The temple consists of several buildings and serves as...

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Local Wat Pa Lao food festival celebrates Buddhist culture

June 3, 2021

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester residents from all walks of life gathered at Wat Pa Lao Buddhadham Sunday, for the temple’s annual food festival. The event best known for its diverse food selection, also acts as a fundraiser for the expansion of the temple.

Located on 135 Martin Road in West Henrietta, the Buddhist temple has served Monroe County for nearly 20 years. This year’s festival featured both Laotian and Thai food, beginning with culture-favorites such as chicken red curry with jasmine rice to famous deserts like the sesame balls.

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For the First Time Ever, the White House Celebrates Vesak, the Buddha’s Birthday

May 27, 2021

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 marked a historic moment for Buddhists in the US. For the first time ever, the White House celebrated Vesak, the holiday that commemorates the Buddha’s birthday, death, and enlightenment.

Wangmo Dixey, Executive Director of Dharma College and President of the International Buddhist Association of America, coordinated the event with the offices of Mr. Shekar Narasimhan, President of the Dharma Into Action Foundation. The celebration included candle lighting with the Second Gentleman, Mr. Douglas Emhoff, and prayers by leaders from the three major Buddist...

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

June 10, 2021

(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 — twice a day.

“It was so challenging, exhausting and painful,” said Kristi Crymes, 47, a family doctor in Springfield, Missouri, who attended an intensive retreat at the dojo in October 2017.

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Alabama Lifts Its Ban on Yoga in Schools

May 20, 2021

For the first time in nearly three decades, Alabama will allow yoga to be taught in its public schools, but the ancient practice will be missing some of its hallmarks: Teachers will be barred from saying the traditional salutation “namaste” and using Sanskrit names for poses.

Chanting is forbidden. And the sound of “om,” one of the most popular mantras associated with the practice, which combines breathing exercises and stretches, is a no-no.

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Monks share their stories, lessons as Thai temple marks 40 years

May 4, 2021

Every morning and every night at 8 o’clock, a strike of the gong echoes through the Thai Temple off of Palm River Road in Tampa.

Then, robed in the color of saffron, Buddhist monks bow in front of Buddha and begin an hour of chanting and meditation. 

“Chanting makes me feel better, feel good,” said Thai monk Suphat Kongkham.

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Buddhist temple in Auriesville plans expansion

April 14, 2021

GLEN — The Western Supreme Buddha Temple is seeking approval from the Planning Board to construct several new structures at its Auriesville site.

The Western Supreme Buddha Temple is located at 174 Shrine Road, the site of the former Jesuit Retreat House the organization purchased from the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in 2006. The group later constructed an archway and another temple structure on the lower portion of the roughly 29 acre site off of Route 5S.

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