Nothing is permanent, so everything is precious. Here’s a selection of some happenings—fleeting or otherwise—in the Buddhist world this week and next.
The Dalai Lama and Other Buddhist Leaders Offer Pleas for Peace in Ukraine
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine that started on February 24, Buddhist leaders and organizations have been releasing statements of support for the Ukrainian people and those watching from afar, as well as pleas for peace and non-violence. The Dalai Lama called war “outdated” and nonviolence the only way forward. Read some of the statements here.
Tibetan Buddhists Celebrate Losar, the Tibetan New Year
On Thursday, Tibetan Buddhists started celebrating Losar, the multi-day Tibetan New Year event. The Dalai Lama gave a virtual address with New Year’s greetings, saying, “I am hopeful that on this occasion, Losar will be pleasant, joyful and comfortable for us all, for those of us in exile, but most especially for our fellow Tibetans throughout the three provinces of the Land of Snows.” On the same day, Thekchen Choling Tsuglakhang, the temple near the Dalai Lama’s residence, opened to visitors after two years of being closed because of the pandemic. Celebrations continue through Saturday, when 84000, a nonprofit devoted to translating the Buddha’s texts, is hosting a virtual New Year’s celebration featuring a newly-released translation of the Good Eon sutra.
Tibet House US Celebrates 35th Annual Benefit Concert
In honor of Losar, Tibet House US—a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Tibetan culture in exile—hosted its 35th Annual Benefit Concert on March 3. Streamed virtually, the event featured special greetings from Stephen Colbert, Iggy Pop, and Paul Simon, and performances from The Punch Brothers, Philip Glass, Keanu Reeves, and Patti Smith, among others.
Daisy Hernández Wins the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award for The Kissing Bug
Writer and Tricycle contributing editor Daisy Hernández won this year’s PEN/Jean Stein Book Award for her novel The Kissing Bug. She also received an award for the book from the National Book Foundation and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in a new initiative that will honor three books each year that “deepen readers’ understanding of science and technology.” Listen to Hernández discuss The Kissing Bug on an episode of Life As It Is, Tricycle’s podcast with editor-in-chief James Shaheen and meditation teacher and author Sharon Salzberg.
Suleika Jaoud’s Book Between Two Kingdoms Comes Out in Paperback
Journalist, writer, and inspirational speaker Suleika Jaouad’s latest book, Between Two Kingdoms, was released in paperback on Monday. The memoir details her four-year battle with acute myeloid leukemia, her recovery, and the 15,000-mile road trip around America she took with her dog. Through her newsletter The Isolation Journals, Jaouad recently shared in December 2021 that her leukemia had returned and she would be undergoing chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants. Read a March 1 update from The Isolation Journals’ editor Carmen Radley here.
Humanitarian and Explorer Richard Blum, Founder of the American Himalayan Foundation, Has Died
Richard Blum, a San Francisco financier and philanthropist whose friendship with the Dalai Lama and the mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary inspired him to found the American Himalayan Foundation in 1981, died on February 27 of cancer at his home in San Francisco. He was 86. On a trip to the Himalayas in 1978, Blum and his wife, US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, CA), invited His Holiness to visit San Francisco the following year, helping to facilitate his first trip to the United States. Blum’s humanitarian concern for the Tibetans and Sherpas began with a trip to Nepal in 1968, eventually expanding to include widespread efforts to provide healthcare, education, and other assistance to refugees across the Himalayan region. Sir Edmund joined Blum as his first partner in AHF following their 1981 expedition to climb Mt. Everest from the Kangshung Face in Tibet. An ardent supporter of the Dalai Lama and the quest for Tibetan sovereignty, Blum gave Barack Obama a kata he had received from His Holiness, which the President allegedly carried in his pocket during his first inauguration in 2009.