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Buddhadharma : Winter 2005
buddhadharma| 89 |winter 2005 dharma on the weB: BloGS Heather Burke (below, left), is encouraged by the support she has received from the Buddhist com- munity, male and female alike. She sees the center as a stepping- stone for the many northern Cal- ifornia women “with wonderful faith” who are seeking ordina- tion. Tathaaloka hopes that sup- port will grow so that Dhamma- dharini can find a secluded location to establish a larger center. ■ Using lasers as his medium, art- ist hiro yamaGata plans to commemorate the two fifth-cen- tury Buddha statues destroyed four years ago by the Taliban regime in the Bamiyan Valley of Afghanistan. Pending UNESCO approval, the 14 laser systems will project 140 overlapping images of the statues to create life-size holo- grams of the originals, ranging from 125 to 175 feet high. The multicolored laser images will be projected onto the Bamiyan cliffs where the original Buddha statues once stood. In August, the 58-year- old Yamagata told the press, “I’m doing a fine art piece. That’s my purpose – not for human rights, or for supporting religion or a politi- cal statement.” The lasers will be powered by windmills and solar panels. Yamagata hopes that the excess energy generated can be utilized by nearby communities that currently have no electricity. The holograms will be projected every Sunday for four hours and the installation will be built to last indefinitely. ■ The lotUS Gar- den retreat center, located in the Shenandoah Mountains in Stanley, Virginia, held its inaugu- ral celebration from September 21 to 25. The celebrations were hosted by Khandro Rinpoche, who is the center’s main teacher. Dzigar Kong- trul Rinpoche and Khochhen Rinpoche also attended the inau- guration, along with 45 monks from Mindrolling monastery in Dehradun, India, who performed the dance “The Eight Manifesta- tions of Padmasambhava” (above) for the first time in the West. On September 24, the land, called Pema Gatsal, was formally dedi- cated, blessed, and opened as a practice and retreat center. The inaugural celebrations also included teachings by Dzigar Kong- trul Rinpoche and a Buddhist film festival. ■ roShi Joan hali- fax was recognized by the Associa- tion for Transpersonal Psychology (ATP) with the Elizabeth Kübler- Ross Life Achievement Award for her work with the dying. Halifax serves as founder, abbot, and head teacher of Upaya Zen Center, and also acts as director of the center’s Project on Being with Dying, which offers training programs for pro- fessional and family caregivers and patients with life-threatening illnesses, using practices from var- ious Buddhist schools. The award was also presented to three other recipients: Gary Malkin and Michael Stillwater, award-win- ning composers who recently pro- duced an inspirational CD for those dealing with death; and frank oStaSeSki, who helped to establish the Zen Hospice Proj- ect, the first Buddhist hospice in America. They received the awards Visit the Vimala SanGha’S BloG and you’ll find insightful com- ments on current world issues and updates on what has been going on at the sangha’s center. The blog con- sists mainly of offerings from Lew Richmond, the founder and teacher of the Vimala Sangha and author of A Whole Life’s Work and Healing Lazarus. Located at www.vimalasangha.org, it is a simple blog that shows how they can be used to share news and information with sangha members. Teachers and sangha organizers should check out this site if they’re looking for ways to expand their online communication with community members. The best way to describe Ajahn Punnadhammo’s blog is “quirky.” From the neon-green background to the poignant and irreverent links and cartoons, this BhikkhU’S BloG is eclectic but also down- home. Punnadhammo is the resi- dent bhikkhu at Arrow River Forest Hermitage in northern Ontario, and he tackles an array of topics, from movies to the sorry state of educa- tion, in a witty and straightforward style. Punnadhammo’s no slouch – he updates his page three times a week – and while you may not agree with everything he says, you’ll find his blog entertaining. To visit the site, go to http://my.tbaytel.net/arfh/ and click on the link for “Bhikkhu Blog.” Chalip, the blogger at www. zenundertheskin.typepad.com describes herself as an “African- American, single mom, Zen Buddhist, yoga student, part-time poet, music lover, avid reader, and recovering hungry ghost.” Chalip’s blog started out as an online journal of her Zen practice. Visitors to Zen Under the Skin can read her frank and often funny thoughts on everything from getting back into the dating scene to what it means to be black and Buddhist. She welcomes feedback, answers almost all responses, and tells us one of the reasons for her site is “to affirm the existence of great com- munities (including my own) that include people of color in every way.” The american BUddhiSt StUdy center hosts a blog on its website offering several viewpoints on Buddhism and current issues. Every couple of weeks a new article is featured on the blog – a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr., a historical account of Pure Land Buddhism, excerpts from D.T. Suzuki’s lectures on compassion, to name a few – and all four of the bloggers at www. americanbuddhist.org respond. The group includes Jeff Wilson, a writer and editor; Gordon Bermant, the new president of the Buddhist Churches of America; Jose Tirado, a poet and longtime activist; and Abe Yoshida, a member of the New York Buddhist Church. Their reflections, as well as their comments to each other, are insightful, sometimes provocative, and occasionally heated. “The fundamental inability of us all to regularly and accurately understand one another (and ourselves),” says Wilson, “is one of the things that led me to become a Shin Buddhist.” LINDAFISHERDARLENEFuNGCHRISTELLuKoFF