Nothing is permanent, so everything is precious. Here’s a selection of some happenings—fleeting or otherwise—in the Buddhist world this week.
The global Buddhist community said farewell to three celebrated thinkers recently: Indian monk Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala, scholar and writer C.W. Huntington, and author and translator Steven Goodman. As they begin their journey to the next life, we remember each of them here.
Indian Buddhist Monk Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala, a revered Indian Buddhist monk and secretary-general of the Bengal Buddhist Association, died on July 27 while being treated for COVID-19 at AMRI Hospital in Mukundapur, Kolkata, reported Buddhistdoor Global. He was 52. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala became a monk in 1993. Through the pandemic, he visited Buddhist monasteries, remote areas of India, and vulnerable Muslim families in Bangladesh to distribute relief supplies. The secretary-general of the International Buddhist Confederation, Ven. Dr. Dhammapiya, called Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala “an eminent Buddhist leader who worked tirelessly for the uplift of the Buddhasasana.” He added: “With his passing, the entire Buddhist world has lost a great Dhamma leader.”
Buddhist Scholar C. W. “Sandy” Huntington, Jr.
The scholar of early Indian Buddhism and writer C. W. “Sandy” Huntington, Jr. died on July 19 after a six-month struggle with pancreatic cancer, Wisdom Publications said in a statement on its website this week. He was 71. Huntington earned his PhD in Buddhist Studies at the University of Michigan and taught at Antioch University’s Buddhist Studies in India Program before he joined the faculty at Hartwick College in New York. A Tricycle contributor, Huntington published a novel, Maya, with Wisdom Publications in 2015. In the last months of his life, he worked on a book called What I Don’t Know About Death, which will be published by Wisdom Publications in 2021.
Author and Translator Steven D. Goodman
Steven D. Goodman, an author, professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, translator for many Tibetan Buddhist teachers, and Tricycle contributor, died at his home in Oakland, California on August 3. He was 75. Goodman published The Buddhist Psychology of Awakening: An In-Depth Guide to Abhidharma with Shambhala Publications last month. In an obituary, Gaetano Kazuo Maida celebrated Goodman’s life and unique contributions to Buddhist studies in the Western world.