Today six Buddhist monks — including one nun — studying at HDS from countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh are adapting to a new way of life in Cambridge, while keeping an eye on what they plan to do with their Harvard education upon returning home.Nestled on a sofa in the lounge of Rockefeller Hall, Upali Sraman, a second-year student and Bangladeshi Buddhist monk, said that his robe has a funny effect on people. “I have to be more conscious of everything I do, because I realize that I’m being judged,” he explained.Upali — who abstains from drinking alcohol, eating meat, and engaging in sexual activity — said people think monks are supposed to be perfect. “But underneath our robes, monks are very human,” he said, sipping a cup of green tea as the mercury outside dipped to 18 degrees on a snowy afternoon.Monks have their temptations and moments of weakness like anyone else, Upali said, and it is unrealistic to expect them to be more. “Worse,” he said, “you might be putting that monk in danger of having to lie or be dishonest so that they can live up to your expectations.”Chang Gan Shi, a Buddhist nun from Taiwan, agreed, adding that as a first-year HDS student she too has her challenges. “Like being the only Buddhist nun around here,” she said with a laugh. “I wish I could have a companion, someone to relate to. Sometimes it can get lonely.”Wearing a long gray robe and sporting a black beanie over her clean-shaven head, the 44-year-old Shi spoke in a cafeteria at Harvard Law School (HLS) while enjoying a large slice of cheese pizza, fries, and a bottle of Coke, a problematic habit she picked up from living part of her life in New York.Shi (who is not a Robert Ho Scholar) said another challenge is figuring out the proper social distance to keep with her Harvard peers. Can she go with them to a movie, or to a party? Should she tell them up front that she would rather not be hugged?Seated almost shoulder-to-shoulder with students in Harkness Café, which was swarmed by the boisterous noontime crowd, she said, “You can come off pretty unfriendly if you tell everyone not to hug you. But yet, I’m a Buddhist nun, and I need to keep some social distance. But it’s not always easy.”Sporting a crimson robe, blue sneakers, and a hearty laugh, 25-year-old Tajay Bongsa, a first-year HDS student, might not look or sound like the stereotypical monk, but, “Every monk has their own personality,” he declared.Bongsa said many Americans assume all Buddhist monks are calm, quiet, and always peaceful. “But come on,” he said. “Before most people even meet a monk, they have an idea of how we should act, behave, and be. But we might be different than what they expect.”As a member of an indigenous minority community fighting for its land rights in Bangladesh, Bongsa said he comes to Harvard with a double mission. He wants to study religion at HDS while also taking classes at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) to help synergize a political, economic, and spiritual solution for his people’s land rights campaign in Bangladesh. “I come from a poor family,” Bongsa explained, “so to have this opportunity to come to Harvard — through the Ho Scholars program — and learn something that might better help the lives of my people is both gratifying and humbling.”Bongsa is not alone in having big plans for his education. Shi would like to work with Harvard’s Chinese scholars to translate ancient Buddhist scriptures into English. “There is a neglected treasure of human knowledge in these documents that could be shared with the world,” she said. “And Harvard has the expertise and clout to get something like this started.”Ishwor Shrestha, a second-year HDS student and Tibetan Buddhist minister from Kathmandu, Nepal, is also on a mission. While forging his way through the snowy campus, the blue-jean-clad Shrestha said that at HDS he is learning how to spiritually counsel the dying. “There is a great need for this type of ministry in my country,” he said. The 38-year-old, whose dark hair is flecked with gray, explained that people die in Nepal without proper medical care or someone to help them face their end. “There is no program for this in my country, but I want to change that.”Shrestha wants to coordinate with non-governmental organizations in his country to develop Nepalese spiritual counseling and end-of-life care programs. “Everyone deserves to die with dignity and respect,” he said. Shrestha said a course at HDS on interfaith caregiving, taught by Chris Berlin, is now preparing him for this type of chaplaincy.Enjoying a veggie burger at Cambridge Common, Berlin, an instructor in ministry and pastoral counseling — and himself a practicing Buddhist — said that HDS benefits just as much from having the monks as the monks do from studying at Harvard. Berlin said that in his “Buddhist Polity” class, for example, when the monks talk about their spiritual community, students listen. “Because it’s not coming out of a book, it’s not an opinion. It’s coming right out of their own lives,” he said. “It’s hard to beat that for a source.”Asked how he feels about the impact his teaching has on many of the monks at HDS, Berlin said, “You couldn’t ask for more of a reason for why I teach. It almost brings tears to my eyes. It’s very humbling.”Not everything is smooth sailing for these Buddhist practitioners, of course. Last year at a student event, Shrestha said a Christian undergraduate told him that Buddhists go to hell after they die. Shrestha said he was shocked, because in his faith such a view is antithetical. “The Buddha said never degrade any other spiritual teacher; if you degrade them, then you’re not my disciple,” Shrestha explained.Nevertheless, Shrestha said that the positives of attending Harvard far outweigh the negatives. “What I have learned at Harvard will improve the lives of many in my country, and what can be more important than that?”Seated amid the imposing buildings at HLS, Shrestha was asked if he worries that his studies at Harvard might cause him to doubt or even lose his faith.“I don’t have faith that the Buddhist practices work,” he said. “I know the Buddhist practices work.” Shrestha explained that when a friend and a close family member died, it was Buddhism that taught him about impermanence. He said the idea that nothing in the world lasts forever helped him to let go of his sorrow and find peace again.“If you’re hungry and you eat,” Shrestha said, “you don’t have faith that the food will satisfy your hunger; you know it will. My faith is safe at Harvard.”Anthony Chiorazzi, who has an M.Phil. in social anthropology from Oxford University, is studying for a master of theological studies degree (M.T.S.) at Harvard Divinity School. He has researched and written about such diverse religious cultures as the Hare Krishnas, Zoroastrians, Shakers, and the Old Order Amish. Bhante Kusala says being a Buddhist monk at Harvard has its quirks.Leaning forward and adjusting his cinnamon-colored robe in the crowded Rock Café at Harvard Divinity School (HDS), the shaven-headed Kusala confided, “In this culture, people like to give a hug in friendship, but monks don’t do that. We don’t even shake hands.” When asked what he does when hugged by a Harvard student, the Sri Lankan monk and first-year HDS student laughed and said, “We’re supposed to hug back, or I believe it’s very rude.”Thanks to the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Scholars fellowship, Kusala is one of a growing number of monks from Asia invited to study at HDS. The one-year scholarships cover all tuition and living expenses. Now in its second year, the Ho fellowship program increased the number of scholarships from three to five. The fellowship is part of the Buddhist Ministry Initiative program now in its fourth year.The Ho Foundation scholars program welcomes Buddhist students who are from Asian countries. Priya Rakkhit Sraman (left), a Buddhist monk from Bangladesh, speaks with Seng Yen Yeap (holding beads), a monk from Hong Kong. Chang Gan Shi, a Buddhist nun born in China and raised in the U.S., is seen at Andover Hall. Harvard Divinity School students Priya Rakkhit Sraman (from left), a Buddhist monk from Bangladesh, and Bhante Kusala, from Sri Lanka, share a laugh with fellow student Katrina Peterson. The hands of Priya Rakkhit Sraman, a Buddhist monk from Bangladesh, and Seng Yen Yeap (holding beads), a monk from Hong Kong. Photos by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer Amongst the monks Ishwor Shrestha (left), a Buddhist minister from Nepal, chats with Bhante Kusala, a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka.
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PSG ready to beat Man Utd to Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireldby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePSG are eyeing Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld.Despite Spurs recently taking up a 12-month option in the player’s contract, PSG remain keen on Alderweireld.The Belgium international’s deal carries a €28m buyout clause – which suits PSG.Alderweireld is also being linked with Manchester United this season.However, United’s transfer plans are in flux after the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to replace Jose Mourinho.The Telegraph says PSG could seek to immediately trigger Alderweireld’s clause this month. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Chelsea defender Zouma: Keep an eye on Yoan at Boltonby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea defender Kurt Zouma is delighted seeing his kid brother making it at Bolton Wanderers.Yoan Zouma joined Bolton in August 2018 and was made to feel at home by his elder sibling, who was on loan in the North-West at Everton last season.”We lived 20 minutes away from each other so he used to be at my house every day, always having dinner together,” Kurt told chelseafc.com.”He played in the Under-23s last season and now he’s played a few games for the first team. He has done well. He’s the same kind of player as me: big, strong and quick. He deserves what happens to him.”He has been working hard in France, where he went through a lot. Now he is here, not far from me in England. We are always on the phone; I try to give him some advice. Hopefully he gets through into bigger leagues. He’s my little brother, I love him so much and I’m very happy for him. I hope he keeps going, keeps working hard and keeps pushing in the first team.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
APTN National NewsAt the Phoenix Sinclair inquiry in Winnipeg, social worker Delores Chief-Abogisis spent her second day in a row on the stand Tuesday.She was grilled about details of her contacts with Sinclair’s family because many of her visits were not documented.Abigosis explained that due to the high caseload workers faced, it was difficult to maintain records of all contact and visits. She had trouble remembering much of her visits.She said she wasn’t aware of any maltreatment of the five-year-old Sinclair whose body was found in 2005 after being returned to her parents.
Delhi Police nabbed seven persons who were found involved in attacking a family outside AIIMS Trauma Centre on Sunday. The law enforcement agency has also identified a few more people involved in the case. Deputy Commissioner of Police (southwest) Devender Arya said that as soon case came to light they took action and after the proper investigation in the case arrests were made in this regard. Police said that apart from arrests, three-four people have been identified allegedly involved in the incident. “The case is being probed,” said the officer. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder The investigating agency said that on Sunday at about 3 PM a PCR call was received regarding quarrel at Trauma Center. The complainant reported that guards at the gate had injured her husband and assaulted her sister also. In all four members were examined and MLC prepared. On Sunday itself in this regard, a case under appropriate sections was registered at Safdarjung Enclave and five persons were nabbed . The police official said that they took proper action in the case.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, May 9, 2017 – Nassau – A controversial video clip has surfaced of a FOX NEWS Analysis interview, expressing US perspective on The Bahamas’s relationship with China, economic standing and even forecast on election results.When speaking to the cutting back on economic investments in the US, the representatives from FOX NEWS said “Take the Bahamas, for example. The US, after the great recession, essentially pulled out all governmental and private investments there. The Chinese swooped in and now own the country because they invested so heavily in infrastructure”.They continued “There’s an election there on Wednesday which could actually swing to the opposition, which is not suppose to happen, solely because of China.”Following the circulation of the video, Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, released a statement where he asserted that the claims made by the Fox News commentator are “false, malicious and just plain silly.”The statement reads “There is a bit of disinformation going around via a video with a commentator from Fox News making several assertions which are false, malicious and just plain silly.The assertions are that the United States has pulled out investments in The Bahamas and that the Chinese own The Bahamas and its government.The Fox New commentator is obviously suffering from a very serious problem of ignorance.First, the United States as a government does invest in private sector projects in countries. US Investors, private citizens and corporations, continue to be by far the largest foreign investors in The Bahamas.Secondly, the Chinese Government has no hold on The Bahamas or the Government of The Bahamas. That is nonsense and patent rubbish.The Chinese government is perfectly able to speak for itself but there is no evidence that China has any hegemonic designs on The Bahamas.The China Export Import Bank has financed commercial projects in The Bahamas and at present all loans are beings serviced on normal commercial terms.The Bahamas itself is not involved in any way shape or form in any geo-political contest between larger countries.Any attempt to drag us into such contests is also false and maliciousWe need work for our people. We need investment for our development. Like the United States, we are an open country and welcome investments from any lawful source.The timing of the statement from Fox News is designed to influence the general election. Patriotic Bahamians of goodwill all see through this tissue of lies. The FNM should separate themselves from it, or be tarred with being supporters of anti Bahamian and anti patriotic actions.”#magneticmedianews#foxnewssayschinaownsbahamas Related Items:#foxnewssayschinaownsbahamas, #magneticmedianews
KUSI Newsroom, Posted: March 8, 2019 City Women Rock event at San Diego City College Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Celebrating women in leadership and their achievements San Diego City College is hosting a City Women Rock Conference Friday.The event is part of City College’s recognition of Women’s History Month and runs from 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at the Saville Theatre.Visitors who attend will get the opportunity to hear and share stories and experiences.For more information click here. KUSI Newsroom March 8, 2019