Calling all crafters and artists!

From Jewel Heart Tibetan Buddhist Center – Ann Arbor:

For the benefit of Jewel Heart we will be holding a holiday craft and art sale on Sunday, November 22nd. We are looking for all creative members of Jewel Heart, and our extended “friends and family” as well, to create crafts and artwork for this fundraising event. Most of the arts and crafts items will be sold at our Arts and Crafts sale. It is the artists’/crafters’ choice, within the minimum of 20%, of how much of the proceeds to donate to Jewel Heart.

More elaborate crafts and artwork can be offered at a silent auction, and bid on throughout the evening. A few of the larger items may be live auctioned at the end of the evening.

This is a great opportunity for creative folks to earn a little cash, and benefit Jewel Heart at the same time. If you or your friends are interested, please start crafting now! Questions? Contact Colleen Retherford at Thanks in advance!

Samdhong Rinpoche: West appeasing China on Tibet

From Agence France Presse:

DHARAMSHALA, India — Tibetan prime minister-in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche on Tuesday accused the United States and other Western nations of appeasing China in regard to the mountain territory.

The charge came after aides to The Dalai Lama said the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader would not meet President Barack Obama on a planned visit to Washington next month.

Every US president since George H.W. Bush in 1991 has met the Dalai Lama, who enjoys a wide US following. The Nobel Peace Prize winner was reportedly hoping to see Obama in the United States.

“A lot of nations are adopting a policy of appeasement,” Rinpoche told a group of journalists late Tuesday.

He was speaking in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamshala, which has been home to the government-in-exile since the Dalai Lama fled to India 50 years ago after China crushed an uprising in Tibet.

“Even the US government is doing some kind of appeasement,” Rinpoche said. Continue reading Samdhong Rinpoche: West appeasing China on Tibet

MP3 meditation timers on

I stumbled across these and thought others might find them useful. Sometimes it’s hard to focus on your meditation practice when trying to keep your eye on a clock. Play this mp3 file and the sound of a bell will help you keep time.

Click the link to play (or right click to download it to your own computer):
Mindfulness of breathing, 20 minutes, bell every 5 minutes

The Wildmind Buddhist Meditation site has several more examples, ranging in length from 20 minutes to an hour.

AFP: Obama aides at Dalai Lama headquarters for talks

From Agence France Presse (AFP)

DHARAMSHALA, India – Senior officials from US President Barack Obama’s government held talks Sunday with the premier of the Tibetan government in exile ahead of a planned meeting with the Dalai Lama.

The three US officials, headed by White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, are scheduled to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader on Monday, local officials said.

Tibetan premier Samdhong Rinpoche and the Dalai Lama’s special envoy Lodi Gyari held closed-door talks with the delegation, Tibetan officials said, but declined to give any details of the hour-long discussions. Continue reading AFP: Obama aides at Dalai Lama headquarters for talks

Help Thich Nhat Hanh and Bat Nha Monastery

from the

A difficult, immediate situation in Vietnam, has arisen. Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Thich Nhat Hanh’s Vietnam-based Bat Nha monastery is under severe economic, violent, and governmental pressure to abandon the monastery by September 2. The cause: Two statements supporting religious freedom, a core principle of democracy.

For that, they have been harassed day and night with loud speakers, threatened that they would be killed on July 5th by 400 tribal people with metal sticks or sickles, had their electricity and water cut off, their homes robbed, and have suffered innumerable verbal abuses. The monastery serves as a training and practice center in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh’s home monastery, Plum Village in France. Continue reading Help Thich Nhat Hanh and Bat Nha Monastery

Geek alert

I just updated the website to allow those who might access it via iPhone to save a customized Michigan Buddhist ‘bookmark button’ to their Home Screen.

Super geeky, I know. But if the shoe fits…

What if Dalai Lama, Mandela, and Gandhi had just chilled?

“Life is easier, if you don’t speak up”

via elephant journal, August 26, 2009:

This brilliant, almost-too-subtle (just a line at bottom) ad campaign was created by UNCLE Grey A/S Denmark. It vividly reminds us that in getting up off the couch, in working our butts off for the benefit of others, no matter the setbacks…it’s all worth it.

Even if we don’t amount to half or 1/100th of Mandela, Gandhi, or the Dalai Lama, at least it won’t be for a lack of trying, and a surfeit of surfing, skiing and barbecuing!

Three men who have inspired millions through their efforts. How different would our world be if they had just sat silently without taking action? Visit elephant journal to see the Mandela and Gandhi photos. :)

Thich Nhat Hanh Ill

This may be old news to some, but since there is a sizable community of those who practice in Thich Nhat Hanh’s tradition here in Michigan, I felt it appropriate to spread the word.

From the Tricycle magazine editors blog:

Thich Nhat Hanh has been hospitalized with a lung infection. He is doing well and is expected to recover. We join with millions of others wishing him a speedy healing process. He is visiting the U.S. You can see his tour dates here.

From the Ox Herding blog:

Thich Nhat Hanh is presently in Massachusetts General Hospital with an infection of pseudomonas aeruginosa, a serious but treatable pathogen. He had planned to lead a retreat during this time but will remain in the hospital for at least two weeks.

He has written a moving letter to his community which you can download here.

Monk needed to officiate Wedding

We received a request:

“I am a Buddhist and I am interest in the service of a monk that also has the license to be a Wedding Officiates. Any guidance or direction would greatly be appreciated. I am trying to incorporate my Buddhist belief into my wedding.”

The wedding is scheduled for 9/26/2009. If you are or know of a monk who could help, please email us: and we’ll put you in contact.

Thank you,


Site is alive!

Friends, thank you for your patience. After making promises to have the site up on Monday, it’s now up, and it’s only Friday!

After much gnashing of teeth and lost sleep, I switched the website hosting over to Laughing Squid, which is far easier to administrate (and considerably faster) than the previous host.

I will be adding a TON more resource links and tidying up things a bit as the weekend goes on…


Peace to all. Always.