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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 »

One Key to Civilization's Rise? Fear of an Angry God

It's why strangers work together, say researchers

(Newser) - The belief in all-seeing and punitive gods may be a huge factor in how modern civilization came to be. So report researchers in the journal Nature after studying nearly 600 individuals from eight communities, including plant cultivators on the South Pacific island of Tanna, wage laborers on Fiji and in... More »

Tibet to China: Give Us Back the Boy Monk You Stole

2nd-highest Buddhist spiritual leader disappeared 20 years ago at age 6

(Newser) - Twenty years ago this week, a 6-year-old Tibetan boy was cornered by Chinese authorities, then apparently fell off the face of the Earth. He wasn't just any grade-schooler, though: Gedhun Choekyi Nyima had just been declared the 11th Panchen Lama (second only to the Dalai Lama in the Buddhist... More »

China Slams Dalai Lama's Views on Reincarnation

Official disputes spiritual leader's suggestion he might not be reincarnated

(Newser) - The Dalai Lama has said he could be the last of his kind , and China's governor of Tibet doesn't take kindly to the suggestion, Reuters reports. "I think that, in fact, he is profaning religion and Tibetan Buddhism," Padma Choling says. According to Tibetan Buddhism, the... More »

Man's Body Found in Ancient Buddha Statue

Dutch experts say it's the Buddhist master Liuquan

(Newser) - Look inside a 1,000-year-old Chinese Buddha statue, and what do you find? Why, a mummified body, of course. At least that's what Dutch researchers saw when performing a CT scan on a statue shown last year in the Netherlands at Drents Museum, Discover reports. The body is believed... 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 »

Remains of Man in Lotus Position Discovered

His mummified body is exceedingly well-preserved

(Newser) - Mummified remains were found in Mongolia this week, and there's something remarkable about them. "The mummified body sits in a lotus position, as if still meditating," says a report in Mongolia's Morning News cited by the Siberian Times , which reports that the age of the remains... More »

Dalai Lama to Buddhists: Stop Killing Muslims

He calls for end to violence in Burma, Sri Lanka

(Newser) - If monks going on the rampage against Muslims doesn't sound very Buddhist to you, then the Dalai Lama is in agreement. At a celebration high in the Himalayas to mark his 79th birthday, the religious leader spoke out against attacks on the Muslim minorities in Burma and Sri Lanka,... More »

Tourist's Buddha Tattoo Gets Her Arrested

Sri Lanka will deport her over 'disrespectful' tattoo

(Newser) - A British woman learned the hard way that it's not a good idea to visit Sri Lanka if you have a visible Buddha tattoo. Tourist Naomi Michelle Coleman, 37, was arrested after arriving from India at Sri Lanka's main international airport yesterday; she was taken before a judge,... More »

Accused Navy Yard Gunman Was a Buddhist

Dad also told police he was traumatized from 9/11

(Newser) - New details have emerged about accused Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis . Perhaps most unexpected: Alexis was a practicing Buddhist, who visited a Fort Worth Thai Buddhist temple to meditate twice a week. "From the outside, he was a quiet person," says one of the monk's assistants,... More »

Bombs Strike Top Buddhist Holy Site in India

2 injured in series of blasts

(Newser) - Two people were injured as a number of small bombs hit a major Buddhist temple yesterday in eastern India. The Mahabodhi temple complex, home to a tree where Buddha is said to have reached enlightenment, was struck by at least four blasts, but the temple wasn't damaged, CNN reports—... More »

Scientists: The World's Happiest Man Is ...

... Matthieu Ricard, a confidant of the Dalai Lama

(Newser) - French neuroscientists have wired up a confidant of the Dalai Lama and declared him the world's happiest man—or at least the happiest one they know about, the Daily News reports. The brain scans of Matthieu Ricard, a renowned Buddhist thinker, show that his gray matter emits a quantity... More »

Buddhist Abbot: Steve Jobs Is Reincarnated

And he's now living in a glass palace over Apple headquarters

(Newser) - Steve Jobs may have left this mortal coil, but for Buddhists (Jobs dabbled), that's not the final word. Now one group in Thailand claims it knows where and how Jobs has been reincarnated. “After Steve Jobs passed away, he was reincarnated as a divine being with a special... 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 »

New on the Menu: Mindful Eating

Buddhist practice gains mainstream popularity

(Newser) - Can you imagine taking 20 minutes to eat three raisins? That's one of the exercises associated with the increasingly popular trend of "mindful eating," the New York Times reports. Mindful eating is basically meditation with food, and it started, of course, at Buddhist monasteries. But health experts... More »

Dalai Lama Back in Washington

Tibetan to lead 10-day Buddhist ritual

(Newser) - The Dalai Lama has arrived in Washington, DC, for his highest-profile engagement since giving up his political role . Serving as a spiritual leader instead of a political one, the Tibetan will lead a complex 10-day Buddhist ritual called the Kalachakra, reports the Washington Post . He plans to hold low-profile meetings... More »

Japan Resorts to Mass Graves

Quake left too many dead to cremate

(Newser) - Thanks to the earthquake, the Japanese have been forced to do a lot of something they usually avoid at all costs: burying their dead. Japan’s Buddhist traditions dictate that bodies should be cremated, and the ashes stored in family tombs; burial is outright illegal in many places. But with... More »

Afghan Archeologists Uncover Buddhist Site

Appeal for foreign money to protect ancient relics

(Newser) - As Western and Afghan forces battle Taliban Islamists for control of Afghanistan, archaeologists have discovered major relics of the country's Buddhist past in an area south of Kabul. The artifacts date back at least to the 5th century AD, and possibly to the era before Christ. "There is a... More »

Surprising Celebrity Buddhists

Tiger isn't the only big-shot who practices Buddhism

(Newser) - Tiger Woods shocked many by mentioning Buddhism in his televised mea culpa. "People probably don't realize it, but I was raised a Buddhist,” he said. "I drifted away from it in recent years." He's not the only big-shot Buddhist around, the Daily Beast notes. Here are... More »

Dalai Lama: Faith Can Help You Find Self-Discipline, Tiger Woods...

... Whoever you are

(Newser) - A day after Tiger Woods said he had strayed from his Buddhist faith, the Dalai Lama had some advice for the golfer: self-discipline is among Buddhism's highest values. Tibet's exiled spiritual leader said that he had not heard of Woods, but when the circumstances were explained to him he said... More »

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