To the south of Los Angeles is a lively independent suburb named Garden Grove. This small city with a population of around 170,000 is home to the Little Saigon of the Los Angeles region, named for the large number of Vietnamese refugees that immigrated there during the 1970s. Garden Grove has long been known as a conservative bastion with a well-run political machine that kept a tight leash on who ran the city. On 4 November by a margin of just 15 votes, Bao Nguyen beat incumbent mayor Bruce Broadwater to become one of a growing number of Buddhists now engaging in public political service in America.
In doing so, Bao Nguyen became not only the second Vietnamese-American mayor in US history, but also the first to serve in an American city with a population of over 100,000. In addition, at the sprightly age of 34, he became the youngest mayor in the history of Garden Grove. His path into the arena of public service was accompanied by a journey deep into the heart of the Buddhist faith. His Bachelor’s degree, which was in Political Science, came from the University of California in Irvine, but after graduating he turned to Naropa University, where he received a Master’s degree in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies, studying under the guidance of Dr. Judith Simmer-Brown.
Having been highly active in civic service since his youth, he did not take his studies at Naropa as a call to become a recluse; rather, he took the ideas of Buddhism as a call to benefit others through public service.
When asked how his faith and Buddhist Studies have influenced his experience, he says that Buddhism guides him in his belief in good government. He is highly influenced by the Vimalakirti Sutra, specifically the The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti: A Mahayana Scripture, a translation of the sutra by Robert Thurman. In a telephone interview, Bao said, “Vimalakirti showed that there is a way for a lay person to benefit many beings—one does not have to be a monastic. He shows that as a lay person one can help many beings see reality and engage in non-judgment . . . one can develop tolerance through recognition of the non-arising of phenomena.”
Bao emphasized being influenced by the principle of anutpattikadharmakshanti, which Vimalakirti says is the “entrance into non-duality” and Judith Simmer-Brown explained as “tolerance for the birthlessness—or incomprehensibility—of all things, which allows one to experience joyful patience within ambiguity and have a direct curiosity into the unknown.” Bao believes that someone who has dedicated their life to public service will find that this helps to free them from a divisive view and to engage with people from a place of openness, enabling them to hear others’ needs.
When speaking of his education at Naropa, he fondly remembered his time there: “I was able to develop a very strong moral compass. I am grateful for the education that I received there,” he said, adding that when people ask him how he finds Buddhism useful, he replies that it is “extremely useful. I used it every day during my campaign, and now I use it in governing.”
Bao Nguyen winning the election to govern Garden Grove is not just a sign of Americans accepting a new generation of youth into the realm of governance—it is a sign that the Dharma is starting to be well accepted in American culture. Bao’s election indicates that Buddhist thought is beginning to shape and influence American political thinking, and in doing so, is bringing principles of compassion, openness, and integrity into an area of life that is well served by good motivation and intention.
Most Venerable Thich Nhu Dien has been a member of the Buddhist order for 55 years, passed on the Vietnamese Lam Te School in Germany and authored of over 60 books: The Vietnamese monk ThíchNhưĐiển is one of the most important representatives of Buddhism in Germany; at the same time he is a co-designer of Vietnamese integration in this country. An essay on the life and work of a Vietnamese Dharma Master on behalf of his 70th birthday.
For many Americans, the dramatic photo of the Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation in 1963 constitutes their most enduring memory of the Vietnam War. In June of that year, as the Buddhist rebellion against Ngo Dinh Diem gained momentum, the elderly monk sat in a lotus position on a busy Saigon street and set himself on fire.
Nirvana Is Eternal Peace,
“Nirvana Is Eternal Peace”, four words on the banner on Quang Duc Buddhist Homepage about the funeral of the Most Venerable Thich Nhu Hue, as congratulations to His Holiness on the path to the Buddh
“Nirvana Is Eternal Peace”, four words on the banner on Quang Duc Buddhist Homepage about the funeral of the Most Venerable Thich Nhu Hue, as congratulations to His Holiness on the path to the Buddhahood end of June, 2016. In the Saha World, death means grieves but in Buddhism, death can be a joy (Nirvana Is Eternal Peace), is it and contrary difficult to understand?
That’s why Buddhism appears, that is to deal with this contrary. That is to radically remove the roots of birth and death cycle. If there is still birth and death, there is still suffering. No birth no death means happiness or bliss, it is simply so. In the Great Nirvana Sutra, the Buddha declares:“All formations are impermanent. They have birth and death. Birth and death ends, then comes Nir
The renowned Indian Buddhist monk Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhipala, secretary-general of the Kolkata-based Bengal Buddhist Association (BBA; also known as the Bauddha Dharmankur Sabha), died on Monday morning while undergoing treatment for COVID-19. He was 52 years old.
In a social media announcement for the revered monk, the BBA expressed deep sorrow over his death: “This was a great loss not only for the Bengal Buddhist Association, but for the world of Buddhism and humanity.” (Dharmankur Sabha Facebook)
Following Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala’s passing at AMRI Hospital in Mukundapur, Kolkata, on 27 July, the Supreme Sangha Councils of India and Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Buddhist Federation, the Mahabodhi Society of India, and many other organizations and eminent personalities shared messages of tribute to Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhipala and offered wishes for his attainment of the supreme bliss of nibbana.
“I wish to express our de
On September 13th, Buddhist nun, teacher, and author Pema Chödrön had the opportunity to meet President Barack Obama. There were, as you can see, smiles all around. Below, Glenna Olmsted, Executive Assistant to Pema, tells us about the meeting and how it came to be.
On 7 July His Holiness the Dalai Lama continued with his preparatory prayers for the Kalachakra initiations and was also welcomed in the United States Congress by Speaker John Boehner and congressional leaders from both the Republican and the Democratic parties... His Holiness said that after coming to India as a refugee in 1959, he began democratization process. By 2001 we already achieved elected political leadership, he said...
Born in England in 1949, Steve migrated to Australia with his parents and two brothers in 1963. Four years later he joined the Australian Army in 1967, serving in Viet Nam from 1969 to 1971. It was there he met his wife of 44 years, Tuyet. Steve has four children and six grand children.
He served 26 years in the Army and 8 more years out of the Army, until he retired in 2001 due to ill-health. Steve continued his voluntary work with Vietnam Veterans (Australian & Vietnamese) and with the Vietnamese community in Melbourne.
In 2002, Steve and Tuyet (Buddhist name: Nguyên Thiện Hạnh) made their first visit to Quang Duc Monastery and took refuge in Buddhism (with Snr. Ven. Thich Tam Phuong) in 2003.
There had been many changes to Australia since Malcolm Fraser became its 22nd Prime Ministe. During his leadership of 7 years and 4 months (11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983) with the implementation of multi-cultural promotion policies that enhance human rights, compassion and social justice, 56,000 Vietnamese boat people became Australian residents. The number has increased, leading to a community of 300,000 Vietnameses up to now.
The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, The Buddhist community is extremely upset by the inappropriate and disrespectful use of the image of Buddha, in a display at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) entitled the 'Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana, the Dying Gaul, Farnese Hercules, Night, Day, Sartyr and Bacchante, Funerary Genius, Achilles, Persian Soldier Fighting, Dancing Faun, Crouching Aphrodite, Narcisse Couché, Othryades the Spartan Dying, the Fall of Icarus, A River, Milo of Croton'. It can also be seen at: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/131149/
Although this display has been in place for some months, we have only just been made aware of its' existence. We are not usually outspoken, but this display desecrates the image of Buddha by placing images of these mythical images on him and in doing so, showing no apparent regard or respect for Him.