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.
Annual Kimchi Festival in South Korea Donates to Elders in Need
After a two-year hiatus caused by the pandemic, the Seoul Kimchi Festival took place this week at Jogyesa, the chief temple of the Jogye order of Korean Buddhism. Over 150 volunteers joined monks from the temple in kimjang, the act of coming together to make and share kimchi, turning eight thousand kilos, or 17,638 pounds, of cabbage into the national dish. Half the kimchi went to low-income families and elders affected by the pandemic, and half went to the monks at Jogyesa and other Buddhist organizations. Watch a video of the kimchi-making here.
Phra Maha Praiwan Worawano, the Controversial Thai Monk Known for Using Humor and LGBTQ Terms, Leaves the Monkhood
The Thai Inquirer reported that followers took to social media this week to lament the disrobing of Phra Maha Praiwan Worawano, the Thai monk who amassed thousands of views on his casual and humor-imbued livestream teachings. In September, Worawano and his co-host, Phra Maha Sompong Talaputto, testified before a parliamentary committee on religion, art, and culture and agreed to use less humor in their live Facebook show. Since then, Worawano announced on Facebook that he would leave the monkhood “in recognition of his guilt in bringing trouble to and for the failure to save Phra Ratchapanya Suthee,” his teacher who was recently passed over for the position of abbot at his temple, Thai BPS World reports.
Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche’s Sangha to Develop Europe’s First Buddhist University
The Gomde Germany-Austria dharma center, founded by the Tibetan Buddhist teacher Chökyi Nyima Rinpoche, announced plans this week to establish a private university for Buddhist studies. Guided by Rinpoche’s vision, the center aims to build a “Wisdom Temple” on its grounds in Scharnstein, Austria, to house the university, which would be the first Buddhist university in Europe. In the email announcement, the team at Gomde stated that “both authentic study and practice will be taught and applied [at the university], so that—according to Rinpoche—the dharma can be preserved and passed on for countless generations.”
Shambhala Mountain Center Announces Independent Governance
Colorado’s Shambhala Mountain Center (SMC)—established in 1971 by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche—has announced its independence from the Sakyong Potrang, the nonprofit entity that holds the assets of the lineage of Sakyong, the spiritual leader of Shambhala International. The Sakyong Potrang has held a seat, and veto power, on SMC’s governing board for many years. “Both the Potrang and SMC Boards recognized this arrangement to be no longer necessary,” said Michael Gayner, executive director of the Boulder center, “and after much discussion, the Sakyong Potrang graciously agreed to relinquish the veto powers and its seat on the SMC Governing Council.” Read more about the decision here in an email from SMC.
Tibetan Writer and Activist Tenzin Tsundue Completes 103-Day Walking Campaign to Raise Awareness for Tibetans
Tibetan writer and activist Tenzin Tsundue, who has been on a 103-day walking campaign to raise awareness for Tibetans, arrived at his final destination of Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on Monday. Tsundue announced the campaign “Walking the Himalayas” on his Instagram account back in August, stating that he aimed to travel from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh to rekindle the cultural and political relationship between Indian Himalayan states and Tibet. Traveling with a projector and a copy of the documentary Escape of the Dalai Lama from Tibet, Tsundue also highlighted the plight of Tibetans under increasing military pressure from China.
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Meditation Teacher José Reissig Passes Away
December 4: Valerie Brown—a dharma teacher of Afro-Cuban descent in the Plum Village tradition founded by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh—leads this month’s Dharma Talk series with Tricycle. In “How to Fight Injustice Without Hating,” Brown offers practices to help ground ourselves amid the negativity and injustice that we face.The first of four videos goes up here on Saturday.
December 4: Renowned Korean Buddhist monk, author, activist, and Zen master Pomnyun Sunim hosts a free livestream dharma talk as part of his 2021 Live Dharma Talk Series.
December 7: The Mind & Life Institute hosts a conversation titled “Embracing Hope, Courage, and Compassion in Times of Crisis,” featuring His Holiness the Dalai Lama. (Read a just-published interview with the Mind & Life Institute and the Dalai Lama’s longtime English translator on Tricycle.)
Now through December 8: Dharma centers nationwide are holding online retreats in the leadup to Bodhi Day (known as Rohatsu orJodo-e in Japan), the anniversary of the Buddha’s Enlightenment, which falls on December 8.
December 10: “Living The Eightfold Path: A Live Virtual Workshop with Andrew Olendzki,” begins. The online workshop will include a dharma talk, a guided reflection on one step of the eightfold path, and an audience Q&A session. Participants will receive a special discount on Dhamma Wheel, Olendzki’s year-long daily contemplative study email program.