Nothing is permanent, so everything is precious. Here’s a selection of some happenings—fleeting or otherwise—in the Buddhist world this week.
Sharon Salzberg Suffers Health Emergency
Beloved meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg went through a “major health emergency” this week but is now “stable and on the path to a full recovery,” according to a statement posted on her website. The Real Love author who has played a major role in spreading the practice of metta, or lovingkindness, meditation in the West will be taking “a few months” off from teaching while she focuses on her health. People who are planning to attend one of her upcoming events can check her updated calendar to see if it has canceled.
Salzberg has influenced many people with her teachings, and on social media, many well-wishers sent their love in response to the announcement. Many others who have been touched by Salzberg’s work likely have been sending metta to her, using the traditional four slogans of lovingkindness:
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be safe.
May you live with ease.
Get well soon, Sharon.
Temple Stays May Be First New Economic Project Between North and South Korea
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on February 18 that plans to resume tourism to Buddhist temples at North Korea’s Mount Kumgang will be the first new economic project between the countries if they begin cooperating again, the Korea Herald reports. Moon said the temple stays at Singye Temple would be the “easiest” program to start with if sanctions are lifted. Moon made the remarks nine days before President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam. The leaders of South Korea’s largest Buddhist group, the Jogye Order, first initiated the conversations with their Northern counterparts about bringing back the tours of Mount Kumgang earlier this year, according to an announcement on January 16.
China Shuts Down Foreign Travel to Tibet through March
China has closed the Tibetan borders to foreigners ahead of the 60th anniversary of the March 10, 1959 Tibetan Uprising, the Associated Press reports. Tibetan travel agencies confirmed that foreigners would not be allowed into the area until April 1, according to the AP. It is unclear when the order went into effect. The ban also coincides with the March 14, 2008 unrest near Lhasa, when a series of protests in remembrance of the Tibetan Uprising turned violent. China’s policy already requires foreigners traveling to Tibet to obtain special permission in addition to a Chinese visa; journalists and diplomats have been almost entirely denied access in recent years.
US Approves $17 Million for Tibetan Projects
The spending bill signed by President Donald Trump on February 15 contained $17 million in funding for Tibetan causes throughout 2019, according to a press release from the Central Tibetan Administration, Tibet’s government-in-exile. The Consolidated Appropriations Act earmarked $8 million for supporting “activities which preserve cultural traditions and promote sustainable development, education, and environmental conservation” in the Tibet Autonomous Region and other Tibetan communities in China; $6 million to help finance projects for Tibetan communities in India and Nepal; and $3 million to “strengthen the capacity of Tibetan institutions and governance” in exile.
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