Nothing is permanent, so everything is precious. Here’s a selection of some happenings—fleeting or otherwise—in the Buddhist world this week.
“Corrupt” Monks Arrested in Thailand Temple Raids
Police in Thailand have arrested several senior monks as part of a crackdown on embezzlement and corruption at Buddhist temples. A police force of more than 100 officers raided four temples in Bangkok and arrested monastics, including Phra Phrom Dilok, 72, a member of the Sangha Supreme Council, which governs monks. Phra Sri Khunaporn and Phra Wichit Thammaporn, both assistant abbots of Bangkok’s Golden Mount temple, were also arrested—as was Phra Buddha Issara, who had launched a campaign in 2014 to clean up Buddhism.
A cat cafe in Dublin is offering meditation surrounded by kittens. The two-hour sit is described as the “ultimate de-stressing session.” If you can’t make it to Dublin, check out this kitten meditation that you can do at home.
Buddhist Studies Comes to Wyoming College
The University of Wyoming (UW) has received a grant to create a professorship in Buddhist studies. The Hong Kong-based Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation, which promotes Chinese culture and Buddhist philosophy, provides the grants through an international competition. UW recently merged its philosophy and religious studies department and said in a press release that the new position will help bridge the gap between the two disciplines.
Just Breathe, Fox News
There’s a new boss at Fox News, and she’s making some changes, including turning Fox contributor and Reagan-era military leader Oliver North’s former office into a meditation room featuring Muslim prayer rugs, Vanity Fair reports. CEO Suzanne Scott has also instituted a new sexual harassment training and measures to curb transphobia at the conservative-leaning cable news network. “People’s heads are blowing up,” one insider told the magazine.
House Backs Measure to Pressure Myanmar
The U.S. House of Representatives has backed a measure to pressure Myanmar on Rohingya rights, Reuters reports. The House voted overwhelmingly to include the legislation as an amendment to a larger defense bill that is routinely passed each year. If the current amendment remains in the final draft, the government will be empowered to withhold military aid and impose sanctions on Myanmar officials unless the country improves its treatment of the ethnic minority.
Rohingya Militants Massacred Hindu Village
A group of Rohingya militants slaughtered Hindu villagers in the Rakhine state, according to a new report by Amnesty International. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) killed up to 99 Hindu women, men, and children, sparing people who agreed to convert to Islam. “It’s hard to ignore the sheer brutality of ARSA’s actions, which have left an indelible impression on the survivors,” said Tirana Hassan, Crisis Response Director at Amnesty International. The massacre, which occurred in August 2017, came to light after a mass grave was discovered in September.
Myanmar Pushing Refugees Out of No-Man’s Land
Myanmar has resumed using loudspeakers to urge Rohingya to leave the “no-man’s land” at the Bangladesh border. Refugee community leader Dil Mohamed told The Irrawaddy website that the announcements from the Myanmar Border Guard Police say it is illegal under international law for them to stay there. Myanmar had agreed in February to stop using the loudspeakers to urge the approximately 6,000 refugees living on the border to cross into Bangladesh.
In-Flight Meditation for Higher Beings
The Australian airline Qantas will offer their passengers 10-minute meditation videos to help them relax during flights. But you don’t have to book a flight to try the guided meditation. The videos are free to watch on YouTube—although you’ll have to provide your own peanuts.
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