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Buddhism Bail-Out in Japan

Sep 04, 2017 | 0 comments

The author lived in Japan for three years and quickly learned that religion was a rather unusual concept for the Japanese. Two-thirds of the people would say they were atheist, maybe 30 percent Buddhist and the remaining small bits would say Christian and/or Shinto. Maybe "and" would be a better way to describe all the options as a cocktail mixture of faiths or customs. Fundamentally, most Japanese celebrate holidays at Shinto shrines, may marry in a Christian ceremony and are buried in a Buddhist ceremony.Initially, we lived in Tokyo around the corner from the Meiji shrine which is the most...

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The Dalai Lama

Mar 27, 2017 | 0 comments

If anyone was asked who was the most famous Buddhist in the world, most would say The Dalai Lama.  In actual fact, he is the 14th Dalai Lama whose religious name is Tenzin Gyatso.  He was born in 1935 in a small Tibetan village and was designated as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama in 1937 and enthroned as the 14th Dalai Lama in 1950.  Although he is recognized as one of the leading figures in the world, he continues to represent a thorn in the side of China since he fled Tibet to India in 1959.   The communist...

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Former Indochina Foes Become New Best Friends

Oct 24, 2016 | 0 comments

As you can judge from a number of our blogs, things were not always friendly between the United States and the countries of Vietnam and Laos. However, after many years of war, misunderstanding and acrimony, the U.S. has finally joined hands with Vietnam and Laos. It is amazing what impact an expansionist China can have on its neighbors and the U.S. as the Chinese build man-made islands with aircraft fighter hangers on them in the South China sea without any plausible justification of a sovereign claim whatsoever. Arrogance and ignorance often create an explosive cocktail as it has in Southeast...

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Luang Prabang, A Home to Buddhist Spirituality

Sep 09, 2016 | 0 comments

When we were recently in Luang Prabang, Laos, we introduced our grandson, Story, to a bit of Buddhist spirituality in an effort to provide him a proper balance to the demands of Pokemon at which he has become an established expert. We began the first morning making merit by offering food to the monks followed by visits to a number of interesting and historically significant temples. Luang Prabang sits in a northern Laos mountain range and, in that setting, the Buddhist temples seem even more spiritual than those of far-away Bangkok. Many of the mountain villagers send their children to...

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