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RECALLING THE MEDITATION MASTER, AKHYUK RINPOCHE

AKHYUK RINPOCHE (1927-2011)
Recalling the Meditation Master, Akhyuk Rinpoche
By Matteo Pistono

The most renowned meditation master in Tibet, Akhyuk Rinpoche (Tib. མཁན་པོ་ཨ་ཁྱུག), Jamyang Lungtok Gyaltsen (aka Drubwang Lungtok Gyatso) passed away Saturday at as his remote encampment in the highlands of Eastern Tibet. Together with the late Khenpo Jikmé Phuntsok (1933-2004) of Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, Akhyuk Rinpoche revitalized the study and practice of Buddhism in Eastern Tibet beginning in the 1980s, eventually drawing tens of thousands of students from across Tibet and China to his Buddhist encampment of Yachen Gar.

I first met Akhyuk Rinpoche (pronounced Acho) nearly fifteen years ago, and continued to visit him whenever I returned to Eastern Tibet. Read More 
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Engaging the World through Buddhism

Ajan Sulak Sivaraksa and Matteo Pistono in Thailand at an International Network of Engaged Buddhist event
Engaging the World through Buddhism
The Washington Post July 10, 2011
by Matteo Pistono

Engaged Buddhism refers to Buddhists who are seeking ways to practically apply insights from their meditation practice and spiritual teachings to social, political, environmental, and economic suffering and injustice. While the roots of Engaged Buddhism may be found in the teachings and actions of the Buddha himself, and other great teachers of the past, Engaged Buddhism can also be understood principally as a movement that began in the late 19th century as a response to Western colonialism in Asia. It is best known through its political movements, such as the struggles by the Tibetan, Burmese, and Vietnamese Buddhists for self-determination, democracy, and peace.

Engaged Buddhism is not simply being a Buddhist and involvement in politics and social justice. Rather, Engaged Buddhists critically and creatively apply the Buddha’s teachings to transform themselves and their societies. Thich Nhat Hanh of Vietnam, Ajan Maha Ghosanand of Cambodia, The Dalai Lama of Tibet, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, and Ajan Sulak Sivaraksa of Thailand are modern-day leaders who embody Engaged Buddhist principals and have guided organizations such as the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, the International Network of Engaged Buddhist, and the Zen Peacemakers.  Read More 
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Krishna Das & Sharon Salzberg: Practicing Loving Kindness In The Capital

Practicing Loving Kindness In The Capital
The Huffington Post July 12, 2011
by Matteo Pistono

The historic synagogue at 6th and I Street near Chinatown was host Sunday night to Sharon Salzberg , renowned meditation teacher and NY Times best-selling author, and Krishna Das, often called the rock-star of the Western yoga scene for his captivating devotional chanting. Both have made significant contributions to the transmission of Indian spiritual traditions to the West by sharing their deep knowledge and experiences through music, meditation and teachings.

Sharon Salzberg started the evening by encouraging over a thousand people in the audience to "develop a mind so filled with love that it resembles space." Salzberg co-founded the Insight Meditation Center in Barre, Massachusetts over 30 years ago with Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield. The Center focuses on mindfulness meditation and methods of developing metta, a Pali term for "loving-kindness." Salzberg, like Krishna Das, has devoted years of her life to study and spiritual practice with great masters from India, Tibet, Burma and Thailand.  Read More 
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What is a Sand mandala?

What is a Sand Mandala?
The Washington Post July 9, 2011
by Matteo Pistono

The Dalai Lama has presided over three days of meditation, prayer, and rituals at the Verizon Center. This has included many hours of mantra recitation, complex visualization, intricate hand gestures, profound states of meditation, and ritual music and dance by monks in ceremonial costumes. These strenuous efforts by the Dalai Lama and the monks from Namgyal Monastery are believed to ritually cleanse the area of negativity while at the same time  Read More 
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Who Is The Dalai Lama?

Who Is The Dalai Lama?
The Washington Post July 8, 2011
by Matteo Pistono

There are up to 100,000 people expected to attend events with the Dalai Lama in Washington, D.C., over the next ten days. If you were to ask each of them, “Who is the Dalai Lama?” you will likely receive different response from every individual. Most certainly deep respect and veneration would be expressed. The Dalai Lama describes himself as “a simple Buddhist monk,” while in Beijing, the Chinese government regularly vilifies him as “a wolf in monk’s robes.” The Dalai Lama strikes many different cords.  Read More 
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In the FOX News room

FOX News Channel 5

WASHINGTON - Celebration for His Holiness the Dalai Lama continues in DC.

Matteo Pistono, a Tibetan scholar and author of ‘In the Shadow of the Buddha’ and Mary Beth Markey, president of the International Campaign for Tibet, joined us for more insight into the significance of his visit.

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What is the Kalachakra?

What is the Kalachakra?
The Washington Post On Faith July 6, 2011
by Matteo Pistono

On Faith asks, “The Dalai Lama will preside over the Kalachakra ritual at the Verizon Center. What is the Kalachakra?”

The Kalachakra refers to a corpus of tantric Buddhist teachings, as well as a specific tantric Buddhist deity.

With regards to the body of teachings, the Kalachakra is set of tantric Buddhist practices and teachings that include philosophy, meditation instructions, cosmology, medicine, and yoga. The Kalachakra is one of a number of different systems taught in tantric Buddhism in Tibet, all of which originated in India.  Read More 
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Dalai Lama arrives in Washington DC for two week visti

The Washington Post On Faith July 5, 2011
by Matteo Pistono

The Dalai Lama arrived in the nation’s capitol and will spend much of the next two weeks (July 6-16) at the Verizon Center conducting rituals and prayers for world peace, and imparting Tibetan Buddhist teachings. The Dalai Lama is also expected to have meetings with U.S. government leaders.

Events on July 6 will include a birthday celebration for the 76 year-old Tibetan leader. Martin King, son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, will join the celebration.

On July 9, the Dalai Lama will give “A Talk for World Peace”on the West Lawn of the National Mall. Whoopi Goldberg will emcee the event, which will include chanting by monks from Namgyal Monastery, performances by cellist Michael Fitzpatrick and singer Skylar Gray.  Read More 
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