Site problems

[UPDATE: Site fixed. If you experience unexpected behavior please let me know: [email protected] Updates to the Retreats, Events and Speakers page to come Thursday evening.

Thank you for your patience.]

Due to a change in domain registrar on Tuesday, February 16, parts of the site are temporarily ‘broken’. Most critical is the Retreats, Events and Speakers page. I inadvertently overwrote the code that pulls the scheduled events and posts them on this page.


I hope to have this fixed Wednesday or Thursday. There are several upcoming events I need to post, and if for some reason I can’t fix this problem, I’ll be sure to make a general post for each.

Thank you to those who have been kind enough to inform me of needed corrections in the Sangha listings. An accurate site is a helpful site, and helping you is really what this is all about.

Yours in the Dharma,


Sangha in Mason

If you’re looking for sangha in the Lansing area, please consider visiting:

Quanam Temple (Tu Vien Quan Am)
1840 North College Rd.
Mason, MI 48854
meets Thursdays 7:00 – 8:30 pm, sitting and walking meditation
(517) 699-3696 or (517) 974-6319

Monastics at Bat Nha need your help

Sam Ewalt from The Blue Water Community of Mindful Living writes:

Dear Friends,

Our monastic brothers and sisters in Vietnam are in great difficulty.

The 379 monks and nuns who were forced from Bat Nha monastery in September now face immediate violent eviction from their current sanctuary.

Details about this grave situation may be found at the respected web site Human Rights Watch.

More information may be found at the website Help Bat Nha.

A sister at Deer Park Monastery in California has forwarded to us a letter from Sister Chan Kong and I would like to share part of it with you.

Chan Kong writes:

“Please forgive me for disturbing you during this holy season of family and homecoming. But our Bat Nha monks and nuns are now in a position not unlike Mary and her baby Jesus–they do not know where to take shelter, to practice and be together in safety…”

“…the situation has gone from bad to worse, our 379 very young monks and nuns have undergone a kind of baptism by fire, and have achieved a great sucess in training to understand, accept, and have genuine compassion for those who abuse them. Over the past several months they have been verbally assaulted over loudspeakers 24 hours a day and threatened with being bludgeoned to death. Policemen came demanding the monastics’ identification every night from 7 pm to 11:30 pm and cut off their electricity and water for three months.”

“Then, hired mobs arrived on the stormy night of September 27, 2009 to forribly and violently eject 147 monks, smash doors and windows and torment the 232 nuns. They all escaped and sought shelter at Phuoc Hue Temple. At Phuoc Hue the monks and nuns continue to be harrased, and the most compassionate and elderly abbot of that temple, after much resistance, also has been violently forced to sign a letter evicting our monastics. As of December 31, 2009 these brothers and sisters will have absolutely no place to go, and in fact may be drafted by the government into the armed forces. Even if they return to their familial homes the harassment is not likely to cease unless and until they disrobe and abandon their monastic life completely.”

“Now is the most crucial moment for our monks and nuns. Please quickly go to Religious Freedom in Vietnam and sign the petition…

Please sign and write to five friends asking them to sign to achieve the greatest number we could before December 31, 2009. You have come through for me, for us, many times before. I know I can count on you in this, our hour of greatest need.”

“With all our most heartfelt blessings and wishes of peace to you–

—Sister Chan Kong”

John Daido Loori NYT obituary

via the New York Times:

John D. Loori, 78, Zen Abbot and Photographer, Dies


John Daido Loori, a photographer who found that snapping a picture mirrored the instant of spiritual enlightenment, inspiring him to start an influential Zen monastery in the Catskills, died on Friday in Mount Tremper, N.Y. He was 78.

John Loori founded an influential monastery in the Catskills.
The cause was complications of lung cancer, Vanessa Zuisei Goddard, his assistant, said.

In addition to being abbot of the monastery he started, Abbot Loori founded a worldwide Zen order, was a respected photographer and teacher and wrote 20 books on Buddhism and art.

He is to be buried in the cemetery of his Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper, where each year a “Hungry Ghost” ceremony honors the dead. In 49 days, according to Buddhist belief, he will be reincarnated. The funeral will be held then, Ms. Goddard said.

Although there are many Zen centers, some larger, Abbot Loori created one of the few Zen orders based in the United States that has members from Brooklyn to New Zealand. He published a 120-page quarterly journal and offered Zen instruction on the Internet, and on an online radio station ( Continue reading John Daido Loori NYT obituary

Dalai Lama prays at MLK assassination balcony

via the Associated Press:

MEMPHIS (AP) — The Dalai Lama says his visit to the site where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated was sad but also inspirational.
The Tibetan spiritual leader was in Memphis, on Wednesday to receive the International Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum, which incorporates the site of the Lorraine Motel.

The Dalai Lama draped a white shawl over a wreath that hangs over the balcony that marks the spot where King was standing when he was shot in 1968. Continue reading Dalai Lama prays at MLK assassination balcony

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

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

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…

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.

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.

It’s been a while…

The Michigan Buddhist site has languished unattended for longer than I’d like to admit.

Initially, it was nothing more than laziness; learning to code websites from scratch was far more difficult than I’d bargained for. So, the process of hand coding each update and keeping track of all the revisions made me less eager to stick with the task.

Eventually, it became something I dreaded.

I was, frankly, ashamed. Here I had accepted this task of supporting other Dharma practitioners, and then went and allowed the site to languish, which was exactly what I had wanted to avoid having happen to the site when I volunteered to administer it.

Then, on Halloween night 2007, my 13-year-old daughter was struck by a motorist while trick or treating. Continue reading It’s been a while…