21 Oct 2019
Dhammananda Bhikkhuni, the first Thai woman to be ordained as a Theravada monk and current abbess of Songdhammakalyani Monastery, has been listed as one of the BBC’s 100 Women in 2019.
12 Jul 2017
The easiest Buddhist critical-thinking skill-set to recollect is found in the Visuddhimagga, a fifth-century treatise which borrows from the Abhidhamma. This expresses a coherent framework and structurally examines sila (moral regulations), samadhi (calming meditation) and panna (wisdom), through a fourfold-scheme to determine the characteristics, function, manifestation and proximate cause of the threefold-training.
21 Feb 2017
The appointment of a new supreme patriarch is an opportunity to better politics and Buddhism in Thailand. In what could be described as one of his earliest exercises of power, King Rama X has appointed Phra Somdej Maha Muneewong as Thailand’s newest Sangha Raja. After three years of vacancy, Thai Buddhists and the nation’s order of monks have got their long awaited Supreme Patriarch. But despite much celebration and fanfare, will the new Sangha Raja rescue Thai Buddhism? And what does the whole appointment process say about contemporary Thailand and its broken politics?
25 Aug 2016
The recent August 8 statement by Emperor Akihito of Japan stating the desire for an alternative to a decline in both duties and the wish for the activities of the Japanese monarchy to be sustained have been seen as indicating a wish to abdicate. As an expression of the human condition, the statement has parallels with the resignation of Pope Benedict XI in 2013 and with the birthday speech of his Majesty the King of December 4, 2005.
10 Mar 2015
The junta cabinet has approved a bill on religion which can be used to prosecute, with jail terms, people who propagate ‘incorrect’ versions of Buddhist doctrines or cause harm to Buddhism. The bill also posts jail terms specifically for homosexual monks.