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Buddhadharma : Summer 2008
85 summer 2 00 8 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly 86 the rubin museum’s brainwave 87 mindrolling rinpoche dies 89 deer park goes solar editor: andrea mcquillin MahaSanghaNews summer 2008 KeithMeng-WeiLohu.s.caMpaignforburMa Last December, Senators Di- anne Feinstein (D, California) and Mitch McConnell (R, Ken- tucky), both longtime critics of Burma’s ruling military junta, in- troduced legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Aung SAn Suu Kyi (above). Feinstein called Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate, “a woman of un- rivalled courage and commit- ment.” Suu Kyi has been living under house arrest almost con- tinually since Burma’s general elections in 1990, which she and her pro-democracy party won but the military regime has steadfastly refused to concede. The House of Representatives voted unanimous- ly in favor of the bill and it is now before the Senate. The Dalai Lama was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal last October. ■ A Japanese wood sculpture of a SeAted BuddhA (below) sold for $14.3 million at a Christie’s auction in New York in March, far exceeding presale estimates and setting a new record for a work of Japanese or Buddhist art. The Mitsukoshi company of Ja- pan purchased the 26-inch (66 cm) figure of Dainichi Nyorai, or Su- preme Buddha, which is believed to be the work of Unkei, one of the great wood carvers of the 12th-century Kamakura period. The sculpture is decorated with gold foil, and X-rays reveal it con- tains several objects sealed inside the torso, including a crystal ball supported by a bronze stand. ■ John BuLLitt (below), a geo- physicist, retired seismologist, and Buddhist webmaster, recently de- buted an immersive sound instal- lation called “Stratum 1: Breath” at his sound studio near Boston. The installation is the first in a planned series called “Deep Earth Dome.” Visitors enter a semi-dark room where, surrounded by a ring of eight loudspeakers, they hear sounds that would be experienced at the center of the earth. “By shifting the observer’s point of view,” Bullitt says, “I hope to cobble together a few guideposts to mark the trail that leads into the vast interior terrain that we all share.” ■ nAropA univerSity has received a $1 million bequest from the estate of an anonymous donor who had given the Buddhist university only one previous dona- tion ($2,000) in 2004. Christo- pher Dwyer, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Naropa, admitted that the donor’s connection to the university was a mystery, but said, “Naropa’s ➤ tiBetAn exiLeS And their SupporterS around the world (above, Vancouver, b.c .) are drawing international attention to the tibetan cause in the run up to the summer olympics in beijing. activists mounted large-scale demonstrations in cities along the olympic-torch relay route as it made its way from athens to beijing. the wave of demonstrations followed protests in tibet that began on March 10, the anniversary of the 1959 tibetan uprising against chinese rule. the tibetan protests were met with a violent crackdown by chinese security forces and the imposition of martial law. foreign journalists were also forced to leave, though some have since been allowed back under strict conditions. some groups are pushing for a boycott of the beijing summer olympics, but so far no government or major human rights organization has supported that idea, although some world leaders have suggested boycotting the opening ceremony.