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Author: Alex W

Facebook and “Contemporary Buddhism”

For some while I have been an “administrator” of a facebook group, now called “Contemporary Buddhism” though it started life as “Open Buddhism”. In its early days it was, while allegedly set up for all sorts of open and potentially critical thinking, fuelled by the need to let off steam and face up to the …

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Yuthok Nyingtig and Chöd

Living as I now do in the rural centre/north of Italy has many benefits. I have  recently, for instance, set up a lhakhang (shrine room, if you will). It is perhaps more reminiscent of a cave than a mountain-top hermitage, but it is cosy, and it is a place where I can ring bells, bang …

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Cultural baggage

(To whom it may concern:) So you took this ancient Buddhist tradition, and made it accessible by stripping out the cultural baggage, throwing away the encrustation of mystical, oriental trappings. Well done! And now you present to us its pure and beating heart, its true essence, free from those trappings, beating in the middle of …

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New Lhakhang

Once upon a time, centuries ago, it was an animal pen. It has also been a cellar, and more recently a bedroom. Now it is a lhakhang. A close translation for this would be “god-house”, so possible English equivalents would be shrine room, chapel or oratory. In any event, it’s the place where you have …

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Rumtek Monastery

Karmapa now allowed to visit Sikkim

HH Karmapa XVII is now at last going to be able to visit Sikkim, though not Rumtek. The problem will not be over until he is allowed to go there, but if he can at least see his followers in Sikkim a lot of people will be very happy. Read about it here, though they …

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