A report on Sayadaw U Ottamasa’s meditation centre on the outskirts of Yangon has appeared in Frontline Myanmar.
It’s a well written article by Kyaw Phone Kyaw titled ‘A Sayadaw’s Sanctuary for the Needy’. A brief biography of the Sayadaw is available on Dhamma Web with more details available here. As an example of engaged Buddhism in Myanmar the Sayadaw’s activies have become very popular.
As Kyaw reports:
There is nothing unusual about a monk establishing a meditation centre in Myanmar and they can be found throughout the country, but the Thabarwa Center, established by the Venerable Sayadaw U Ottamasara in 2008 when he was aged 39, is very unusual indeed.
The centre, in Yangon’s outer southeastern Thanlyin Township, is a refuge for hundreds of needy people who are encouraged to meditate, as well as being a retreat for yogis, as lay meditators are known in Myanmar.
Membership of the centre is open to anyone and hosts many residents, many of whom have no home to call their own and will live there for the rest of their lives. Their food, health care and accommodation are provided free of charge.
The centre’s website contains more details.
Reviews of Philip Coggan’s Spirit Worlds: Cambodia, The Buddha and the Naga (John Beaufoy, 2015), and Erik W. Davis’s Deathpower: Buddhism’s Ritual Imagination in Cambodia (Columbia University Press, 2016).
Another great free summer course on gender and Buddhsim from the University of Hamburg, building upon past courses on women in Buddhism:
The Numata Center for Buddhist Studies in cooperation with Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts offers an e-learning course on the topic of Asian Buddhist Women. The course consists of a series of lectures by a group of international scholars who will present their research on the situation of women during various periods in the history of Asian Buddhism, based on textual studies and archaeological evidence. Participation is free of charge but requires online registration. The registration period will be from the 15th of February until the end of March.
As reported in Lion’s Roar:
“I cannot express in words,” he says. “I am so sad.” Rinpoche goes on to tell of meeting Bowie in 1965 — a story Bowie told his version of in 2001 at Tibet House — and also of knowing Bowie’s producer and collaborator, Tony Visconti. Then, before issuing prayers, Rinpoche says, “I’ll meet him again in the next life.”
American Academy of Religion Conference: Atlanta, 21st November 2015
Buddhism Section and Buddhist Philosophy Group
Theme Dṛṣṭi: The Problems of Views and Beliefs in Buddhism
Paul Fuller, University of Cardiff, United Kingdom
Actions speak louder than words: The danger of attachment to views in the Pali Canon and engaged Buddhism
The notion of ‘view’ or ‘opinion’ (diṭṭhi) as an obstacle to ‘seeing things as they are’ (yathābhūtadassana) is a central concept in Buddhist thought. In the study of diṭṭhi there is a dilemma. Early Buddhist texts talk about it as ‘wrong’ (micchā) and ‘right’ (sammā). The aim of the path is the cultivation of ‘right-view’ (sammā-diṭṭhi) and the abandoning of ‘wrong-views’ (micchā-diṭṭhi). However, there is also a tradition of Buddhist thought that equates ‘right-view’ with ‘no-view’ at all. The aim of the Buddhist path is here seen as the overcoming of all views, even right-view. This paper will analyse the description of ‘views’ in the Pali Canon and consider how it impacts on engaged Buddhism. Using a discussion in the Pāṭali-sutta , I will suggest how the Buddhist who acts politically can only do so if his actions exhibit right-view itself.