Tag Archives: Buddhism

Essay Five Years Ago: Will a Vow of Poverty Fill the Void In My Soul?

New York, N.Y.  As I approach my fiftieth birthday, I am feeling incomplete. Part of me – my soul? – is still missing. In secular terms, I think I am not yet in touch with the best way to serve humanity. In theological terms, I would say I have yet to stumble upon God’s full […]

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Photo of the Day: Little Monks

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Bollywood for Beginners – A Seeker’s Guide

New York, N.Y.  Speaking broadly, we don’t appreciate Bollywood because we don’t understand it.  We fail to grasp it not for any intellectual flaw, but for a major cultural one: we didn’t grow up in India.  The biggest point to absorb to better get Bollywood is that Indian cinema is both sophisticated and unique.  Films began […]

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Ambassador: From the Killing Fields to the White House

New York, N.Y.  I first met Ambassador Sichan Siv in 2004 when I was invited to hear him speak at the imposing Women’s Republican National Club, just north of Rockefeller Center. What a speech!  He spoke on surviving Pol Pot’s Killing Fields in Cambodia, then making his way to America where he earned a degree […]

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U.N. to Celebrate Buddhist International Day of Vesak Tonight

United Nations, N.Y. Vesak – “Buddha’s Birthday” – is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar, which celebrates the birth, enlightenment and the Parinirvãna (passing away) of Gautama the Buddha.  A rough approximation to Christmas for Christians.  In an era where the world is darkened by multiple conflicts and natural and man-made calamities, the Buddha’s message of non-violence, understanding, compassion […]

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My Pilgrimage Complete: Life Continues Like a Wheel

Bodh Gaya, India.  Four years ago I wrote the most-read piece of my life: Will a Vow of Poverty Fill the Void in My Soul? One of the reasons I was interested in this pilgrimage is to meet so many people who have taken a similar vow – the hundreds of thousands of monks who have descended in Bodh […]

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On the Banks of the Ganges: Reflections of a Journey in Time

Varanasi, India.  I realize this is winter in northern India just like in New York, but I had thought that India would be warmer and greener.  The countryside is often drab, so different from the vibrant rice fields of Bali.  Here, they appear to be either dusty or muddy.  I was unprepared for the cold […]

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Buddhism and the Universal Concept of Social Responsibility

Bodh Gaya, India. Studying in Japan back in college, I had a very unique Buddhist experience, one of which I did not understand until years afterwards.  I had joined a Buddhist student group that took me to the far north of Japan where we re-planted the mountainsides (“Shinnen No Mori”).  This was an international concept […]

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