Buddhist monks

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Shandling Will Be Made Buddhist Monk Posthumously

Sources give TMZ details of comedian's funeral

(Newser) - Garry Shandling didn't speak much about it publicly, but he was Buddhist, and he had planned what TMZ calls an "elaborate" Buddhist funeral before his death. Sources tell the gossip site Shandling's head will be shaved by a monk, a symbolic gesture that ordains Shandling as a... More »

Buddhist Monk Is Philly's Newest Crimefighter

61-year-old tried to take down thief who interrupted his lotto session

(Newser) - Don't mess with Philadelphia's men of the cloth—especially if those cloths are orange. A 61-year-old Buddhist monk at a lottery machine in a Philly gas station Jan. 3 was targeted by a thief who probably assumed the holy man was an easy mark, the Philadelphia Daily News ... More »

Buddhists: Mummified Monk Is Just in Trance

Lama found in lotus position may not be dead, experts suggest

(Newser) - The 200-year-old Buddhist monk found still seated in the lotus position is not dead, but is rather in a rare spiritual state known as tukdam, Buddhism experts suggest. Dr. Barry Kerzin, a famous fellow monk who is also a physician to the Dalai Lama, tells the Siberian Times that monks... More »

Burma, Monks 'Encouraging' Ethnic Cleansing: Report

125K Muslims displaced after last year's violence: Human Rights Watch

(Newser) - Burma and its Buddhist monks have "organized and encouraged" ethnic cleansing in the country, asserts Human Rights Watch in a new report . Some 125,000 of the country's minority Rohingya Muslims have been displaced, in what amounts to "crimes against humanity," per the report. It's... More »

Thailand's Tubby Monks to Get Nutrition Lessons

Study finds nearly half of country's monks are obese

(Newser) - Thailand's monks have been piling on too many pounds on their way to enlightenment. Authorities plan to educate the country's hundreds of thousands of Buddhist monks about healthy eating following a study that found 45% of them are obese and 40% of them suffer from diseases such as... More »

Tenth Tibetan Monk Sets Himself on Fire

China calls it a form of 'terrorist activity'

(Newser) - The recent self-immolation craze may have started in Tunisia, but no one’s been as devoted to it as Tibet’s Buddhist monks. Yet another monk reportedly set himself on fire yesterday in protest of Chinese rule, making him the tenth to do so since March, according to the AP... More »

South Korean Monks Pray for 1.9M Culled Animals

Foot-and-mouth disease outbreak worst in country's history

(Newser) - Buddhist monks in South Korea held a massive memorial service today for the more than 1.9 million animals killed in a desperate attempt to halt the country’s foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. Surrounded by the faithful, the monks bowed before photos of the culled animals, offering them chrysanthemums as a... More »

Thais Take Coffin Naps to Fix Karma

$5 buys a few minutes in monastery's gaudy pink boxes

(Newser) - As Thailand's economy slows and its government falters, growing numbers of deeply superstitious citizens are jostling into a pink coffin to "die," the Telegraph reports. At about $5 a head, monks in a monastery outside Bangkok officiate over the "dead bodies" in the coffins, before ushering in... More »

Young Burmese Monks Ready to Take Up Arms

Buddhist movement gets bolder; some suggest stockpiling weapons

(Newser) - After seeing nonviolent protesters killed or detained in last year’s protests against the ruling junta, younger segments of Burma’s Buddhist monks are becoming more radical, embracing armed resistance and overt dissent, the Christian Science Monitor reports. "We need weapons,” one young monk said. “That is... More »

50 Years On, Tibet's Secret War Simmers

Dalai Lama's brother was key to CIA-backed anti-China insurgency

(Newser) - The little-known Tibetan resistance struggle after China's 1950 invasion still affects its politics today, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Dalai Lama's brother played a vital role in the CIA-backed armed movement, largely made up of Buddhist monks, and Chinese suspicion still lingers over how much the spiritual leader himself... More »

1,000 Tibetan Monks Jailed to Prevent Protests

Entire monasteries cleared as Olympics start date approaches

(Newser) - The Chinese government has jailed more than 1,000 monks in an effort to prevent protests during the Olympic Games, reports the Times of London. Three large monasteries are empty near Lhasa, where hundreds of monks and supporters held protests amid gunfire in March. The government is holding the monks—... More »

Dalai Lama's Advice Runs to Earthier Tones

Exile's Indian headquarters draws seekers of celestial, and not-so-celestial, guidance

(Newser) - Driven by questions both spiritual and secular, more Westerners are heading to the Dalai Lama's headquarters-in-exile, the Wall Street Journal reports. Humble despite being proclaimed a “God-King,” Tibet's spiritual leader has sought “opportunities to be interactive” in the Indian town of Dharmsala—seeing a wide variety of... More »

Monks Provide Myanmar Relief

They offer comfort to 2.4 million struggling to survive

(Newser) - In the wake of Burma’s cyclone, Buddhist monks have become the only source of comfort—both “material” and “spiritual”—for many thousands of homeless and destitute who have been abandoned by the government, the New York Times reports. “Monks are like parents to us. The... More »

Monks Spoil China's PR Tour

Press visit disrupted by crying Tibetans

(Newser) - Tibetan monks burst into a carefully choreographed Chinese media event yesterday, breaking the image of restored calm China had hoped to project. China had allowed a small group of foreign reporters into the region, but even as one monk at Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple was expounding on the return to... More »

Lhasa Erupts as Tibetans Battle Police

Dowtown market in flames in biggest clash in 20 years

(Newser) - Nearly a thousand angry monks and lay Tibetans clashed with police in the capital of Lhasa today in the most dramatic anti-Chinese protests in almost 20 years, writes the Times of London and CNN. Rioters threw rocks at police who tried to block the lamas, and burned Chinese-owned shops, leaving... More »

Burma Pledges Free Elections in 2010

Opposition leaders dismiss move as 'public relations spin'

(Newser) - The military junta in Burma said today the nation will have multiparty, democratic elections in 2010, Reuters reports. Opposition leaders greeted the decision with a heavy dose of skepticism and charged that even if the vote goes through, the military will not release its grip on power. The regime has... More »

Tibetan Villagers Riot Over Monks' Arrest

190 people demanded alleged thieves' release

(Newser) - Simmering ethnic tensions between Tibetans and Chinese boiled over into a riot in a remote Tibet province, Reuters reports. After 3 monks were arrested following an altercation with a Chinese shop owner, hundreds of Tibetan herdsmen converged on the town to demand their release. When authorities failed to comply, they... More »

Burmese Monks Back in Streets

More than 100 march as rights group slams junta over recruiting child soldiers

(Newser) - Picking up their quashed demands, more than 100 Burmese monks marched in defiance of the military junta today in the first marches since the government crackdown on pro-democracy protests late last month. "This is very significant... we are very encouraged to see the monks taking up action," one... More »

3,000 Detained in Burma, by Junta's Count

Japan cuts aid, China supports UN diplomat

(Newser) - Burma’s military regime imprisoned roughly 3,000 people in last month’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, the state-run newspaper announced today. Over 500 are still in custody, and more are being arrested each day. “Those who should be released will be,” the paper said. Meanwhile international outrage... More »

Myanmar Junta: 'You Are No Longer Monks'

Prisoners recount abject conditions after peaceful protests

(Newser) - Buddhist monks rounded up in protests in Myanmar faced torturous conditions, a recent detainee told Reuters. During days of interrogation, monks were beaten and denied medical treatment, water, and toilets. Prisoners were stripped of their iconic robes. “You are no longer a monk,” a guard told the prisoner,... More »

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