WHEN I SHOWED UP, the room at Harvard Divinity School was already overflowing. World-renowned professors and undergrads alike were packing the aisles, standing in the doorways, and squeezing in behind furniture. At the front of the room stood Bhikkhu Bodhi—a short, soft-spoken Buddhist monk with a marked Brooklyn accent—who held the audience rapt even as [...]
YESTERDAY we learned that 37-year-old Lobsang Namgyal self-immolated in Ngaba City on 3 February. The Central Tibetan Administration, the International Campaign for Tibet, and Free Tibet all referred to it as the 100th self-immolation in Tibet. Several media outlets followed their lead, including Radio Free Asia and the New York Times.
But have [...]
THE FRIGID AIR smelled strongly of gasoline when they discovered the lifeless body of seventeen-year-old Jigji Kyab near a busy intersection in Luchu, Tibet on January 19. He was soaked in it, a lighter in each hand. Kyab had gone to the intersection to burn himself alive, swallowing fox poison before leaving so he wouldn’t [...]
THE PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURAL COMMITTEE billed the National Prayer as a celebration of “the values and diversity that make us strong.” But if it was meant to celebrate diversity then it was difficult to see how.
The service was held on Tuesday, January 22, the day after President Obama’s second inauguration, at the National Cathedral in [...]
I WAS RECENTLY ON WNYC talking about the ongoing political crisis in Tibet with Brian Lehrer. You can listen to the segment, "Tibet Today," here or at WNYC's website:
THERE WAS AN INFECTIOUS RESTLESSNESS in the air as Marisa Egerstrom climbed the bandstand at Boston Common to address the 300-strong crowd at Occupy Boston’s first general assembly. Egerstrom and fellow faith activists from Boston—they called themselves the Protest Chaplains—had just come from the first days of Occupy Wall Street. A week later Occupy Boston [...]
ON 7 NOVEMBER 2012 THE DALAI LAMA SENT PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA A NOTE of congratulations on his reelection. It was, in most respects, an unremarkable form letter. For careful observers of Tibetan politics, however, the last paragraph jumped out:
As you know, it is over a year since I handed over all my political authority [...]
I SPENT THE YEAR AFTER COLLEGE in an AmeriCorps program that placed me in the Task Force for the Homeless in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. During my time there I served at several different transitional homes, emergency shelters, and soup kitchens. It was the end of a string of social-service work for me, which started several [...]
IT WAS AN UNUSUAL SCENE, to say the least. Scientists and academics stood in line next to young Tibetan monks. Aging spiritual seekers mingled with ambitious young Cambridge undergraduates. And they all filed, one by one, through checkpoints watched by hawk-eyed Secret Service agents with crew cuts and discreet earpieces.
This unlikely group was gathered [...]
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