A good overview here of where Western Buddhism is at these days. Personally, I find it refreshing to run across someone able to look at things objectively, without an axe to grind, and without rewriting history and/or trying to create a new –ism.
According to the Sunday Leader, “The U.S. and some Indian politicians believe now is the moment to publicly pressure Sri Lanka to address rights abuses committed by its military at the end of the country’s 26-year war against the Tamil Tiger separatists in 2009.” At the United Nations Human Rights Council to be held in Geneva next week, the U.S. is planning to introduce a resolution calling for Sri Lanka to “investigate and punish atrocities.”
This news prompted hundreds of Buddhist monks to protest in front of the U. S. Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesday. An unidentified monk told reporters, “America is interfering in our country. There are 26,000 to 30,000 Buddhist monks throughout the country who are ready to take to the streets.” Yeah, right. The way I understand this is that ethnic Tamil lawmakers in Sri Lanka have urged the U.N. Human Rights Council to take up this matter. The U.S. is just acting on their behalf.
In the 26 year long civil war between the Theravada Buddhist-backed Sri Lankan government and the Tamil, there were human rights violations on both sides. In 2009, Human Rights Watch issued a report that accused the Sri Lankan army of “slaughtering” and at the same time urged the Tamil Tigers to cease shooting civilians trapped in the war zone “who try to flee.” In other words, both sides have some ‘splainin’ to do.
Last year, the University of Massachusetts released the results of a study which showed that meditation produces positive changes in the brain (here). Now, Science Daily reports “Earlier evidence out of UCLA suggested that meditating for years thickens the brain (in a good way) and strengthens the connections between brain cells. Now a further report by UCLA researchers suggests yet another benefit.”
I can’t explain it, you’ll have to read for yourself, ‘cause I’m thick as a brick.
Just close your eyes and listen.