Saturday, March 21, 2009

Korean President Reaches Out to Buddhist Leaders

I found the following article at The Buddhist Channel Website. Last year, South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak, (a devout Presbyterian) who drew up controversy with his wide-spread discrimination against Buddhists, including removing the locations of famous Buddhist temples from maps, and declaring South Korea a"Christian nation." Thus caused widespread protest and peaceful demonstraitons, with resulted in a half-hearted government apology. However, in the wake of econmic crisis, he seems to be making a genuine attempt at reconciliation. He appeared at a Buddhist conference yesterday with his wife, and stated:

"I thank the Buddhist community for taking the lead
in overcoming the economic crisis and bringing the public
together. The government will also honor Buddha’s
teachings and will put forth every ounce of its energies to
revive the economy and unite the people.”

He also thanked the Buddhist community for embracing different values in a multi-religious country, and attributed the Buddhist spirit has helped the country avoid religious conflicts.

It's good to see a Christian take on the values set before him by Jesus and actually embrace and accept the Buddhist community. While there may be political motive behind this, I like to think the best of people, and hope that his efforts are in genuine spirit. I also posted this to my other blog (,7926,0,0,1,0

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sexual Assault in the Military is Sharply Rising

Department of Defense Report Indicates Sexual Assault in the Military is Sharply Rising

The Department of Defense released a report this week that shows an 8 percent increase of sexual assault involving service members from fiscal year 2007. Sixty-three percent of the 2,908 reported sexual assaults were rape or aggravated assault. The report also showed that 8 percent more cases were referred to trial from 2007.

The Department of Defense estimates that only about 20 percent of cases are reported. Dr. Kaye Whitley, director of the Pentagon Sexual Assault and Prevention Office, told the BBC that "Given the fear and stigma associated with the crime, sexual assault remains one of our nation's most under-reported crimes in both the military and civilian community." She also indicated that the rise in reporting could be because "The department has been aggressively pursuing efforts to increase reporting and convince more victims to seek care and support services."

Media Resources: BBC 3/18/09; US Department of Defense Report 3/17/09; US Department of Defense Press Release 3/17/09


The biggest reason why I am not a fan of the military. A woman serving overseas in Iraq is more likely to get raped by a fellow serviceman then get shot by an enemy combatant. Sadly, our military has an ugly reputation of this. "41% of female veterans seen at the clinic say they were victims of sexual assault while in the military, and 29% report being raped during their military service."

Rapist in the Ranks,0,5399612.story

Rape of Iraqi Women by US Occupation Forces

Another KBR Rape Case

Five Soldiers Rape, Murder 14 year old Iraqi girl

U.S. Soldier pours kerosene on raped, slain Iraqi

Private War of Women Soldiers

I find myself confused by the brutality of human nature, the lack of compassion by our servicemen. How could a someone do this to another person?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Favorite Quan Yin statue

This is a famous statue of Quan Yin has always been one of my favorites. It is a Chinese carving from the Shanxi Provence, estimated to have been created around 1000 AD. I love it for a variety of reasons. All the well known symbols associated with Quan Yin, (such as the jar, a dragon, lotus flowers, dove/swallow, ect) which are present in other depictions, are missing in this one. The clothing is non-traditional.
Undoubtedly, my favorite thing about this statue is the pose. All at once it is casual, tough, and intelligent. It is a refreshing break from the typical meditation, standing, and sleeping poses we see so often today. It breaks the mystic atmosphere and makes her seem very human.
What is your favorite Buddhist depiction?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Interfaith Experiment

First, I would like to apologize for my lack posts and activity, I am a college student and this semester has been a heavy load. I do appreciate all the wonderful comments and have been keeping track of some wonderful posts by my favorite bloggers.

I have started a new blog on an interfaith experiment I have designed. For the next year, I will study Judaism, Islam, and Christianity in order to learn more about their similarities and differences, their inner conflicts, and how they have shaped the world around me. I'll also continue with my Buddhist practice, so there will be some Buddhist insight as well. I'll still be up keeping this blog from time to time depending on energy and time.

Wish me luck, and if you are interested in following my observations, or would like to leave a comment or suggestion, the blog can be found at