Thay in Vancouver, floods in Sri Lanka and other updates

I was very much considering shutting down this blog, but thanks to some encouraging words, I’ve decided to keep it up for now. With school, work, and family, I have very, very little time to post, or even think about posting here anymore, so posting will just be more infrequent than usual. I’ve found I have less and less time to spend on the internets as well. I’ve moved all the blogs I used to “follow” on Google’s Blogger into just an RSS reader to simplify things. I also deleted about 2/3 of my blog subscriptions. I simply don’t have the time to keep up with many of them anymore.

From time to time, I’ll do a search on Buddhist news, and I came up with some rather random things today, and thought I’d share:

Apparently, there are Maoist spies pretending to be monks in Bodhgaya, supposedly to try to destroy the temple from within or something. An interesting tidbit in how politics, religion, and power grabs.

Thich Nhat Hanh will be just a couple of hours North of me in Vancouver, leading a 5-day retreat. I rarely here of prominent teachers coming to Seattle (which I find odd, or maybe I’m just waaay out of the loop) and this made me wonder if someone like Thay or even Ponlop would ever come to my school, Everett Community College. Probably not!

There was a story in the Canadian Press about all those animals having to be put down in South Korea. Apparently there was an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, and 1.9 million animals are being put down. What an enormous amount of devastation. And we can almost certainly conclude that the root cause of this all was our treatment of these animals, and the living conditions we forced them into. Anyway, the Buddhist link was that there were hundreds of monks and lay people there offering prayers and flowers for the departed. I wonder if anyone here in the US would show up and demonstrate that type of compassion if the same thing were to happen in Oklahoma?

Apparently, there ARE Buddhists in Mississippi

(’nuff said)

And finally,

Recently there were some absolutely terrible floods in Sri Lanka. From the UN News Center:

In eastern and central Sri Lanka, the flooding – which reached an almost 100 year high – has driven more than 360,000 people from their homes, killed 43 people, totally destroyed some 6,000 homes and 23,000 others partially. People are now returning to their homes, but 10,000 people still remain displaced in temporary relocation centres.

Agricultural production is the main source of livelihood in the affected regions and this season’s rice harvest is now severely damaged, leading to increased food insecurity.

 

From the news I’ve gathered, the already stressed country (they were hit hard by the 2004 tsunami and only recently were able to end a decades long civil war) is now just about completely broke. No doubt they will seek aid from foreign governments, and no doubt the World Bank will be there to loan them money, and if you think that’s a good thing, take a look at Haiti. I wonder if we will ever as a people place more worth in the quality of life for our fellow humans than we do the markets that keep them in poverty.

Okay, back to work.

Cheers.

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10 Comments

Filed under Buddhism, Political

10 responses to “Thay in Vancouver, floods in Sri Lanka and other updates

  1. Thanks for these links Adam. I, too, support your continued online presence in whatever form it takes. I can imagine there will be a time when I’m unable to be around as much as I am – life’s rhythms are like that. There have been so many floods recently, and Haiti, well, it gets weirder and sadder by the minute there. Take care.

    • Thanks Nathan. I heard the other day that the cholera outbreak is going from simple outbreak, to endemic disease. They will likely have to deal with it for decades, that is until they are able to build an infrastucture where they can sanitize their water. Something I don’t see happening in my lifetime.

  2. Cholera is treatable, even with the miserable condition of their water infrastructure. This is such a great example of a lack of focus on helping people with the basics. It makes me crazy how much money and resources have been wasted or stolen from the people down there.

    • It is treatable, yes. I based my opinion partly on an interview I heard on NPR. A quote from there:

      Dr. WALTON: We are now in the epidemic phase of this outbreak, where hundreds of thousands of people are contracting this disease. I think most experts would agree that this epidemic phase will then transition into an endemic phase, where cholera is now part of the microbes, one of the microbes that one sees in the country.

      The problem, however, is it’s almost impossible to control unless you get to the root causes of this epidemic. If cholera was introduced to the United States tomorrow, it wouldn’t take root because we have great sanitation, we have potable water. If you look at a place like Haiti that is one of the most water insecure nations in the world and one of the nations that has some of the worst metrics in terms of sanitation, this is the perfect setup for cholera to both spread like wildfire and set up shop for years to come.

      So unless we deal with the underlying issues that allowed cholera to spread so rapidly, it will almost be impossible to control.

  3. Michael Odom

    Thanks, Adam! Appreciate your blog. I know how it is. There never seemsto be enough time. Thanks for sharing your time with us!

  4. Glad you are still around.

    I’d bet a less well known (but still capable) teacher would come out and visit Everett. There are a few in the Seattle area.

  5. Whatever decision you make, I’m sure it will be the best one to suit your needs and the demands on your time. I enjoy your blog. I hope you keep it up.

  6. One never knows about Thich Nhat Hanh… he may well show up in Seattle! He’s shown up in Mississippi… ;-)

    Happy to read you anytime you can send up a flare!

  7. I use to live in Seattle and would have expected more teachers there too. I use to work in Edmund too — part way up to Everett. Good luck with school!

    • Thank you all. The comment about Everett was mostly a joke. I had just been thinking how funny it would be if I ever read the headline “Dalai Lama to give special transmission this weekend at Everett Community College”