Wow. Let's take a short journey to a continent far away from our usual bailiwick. If you can’t muster some inspiration from the following, I don’t know what to do for you. This is light years (kinda literally) from the days of Idi Amin, no? Buddhism in Uganda – my stars. Can you guess what part of the first video made me cry?
Thanks to Wisdom Publications’ ‘Go Beyond Words’ blog for the find.
Update: My eldest sister, a long-time Africa hand, in a bit of serendipity stumbled upon this directory of Buddhist centers in Africa. Who knew? I notice that Rev. Ilukpitiye Pannasekara has dubbed himself "The Chief Monk for the African Continent." Quite a title. Come to think of it, when I was in Dharamsala, India, in 1991 I met a Kenyan nun who had been ordained by the Dalai Lama. I wonder whatever became of her?
Update II: Did you notice? Ashin Sopaka points out in the comments that the Buddha statue in the shrine was specially commissioned with African facial features. Very cool.
And speaking of Buddhists in far-flung places, Shambhala SunSpace introduces us to Buddhist in Nebraska. We’re a little late to the party. A young woman named Monica (self-described as “...a normal white girl from a conservative Christian family who found herself to be a liberal, vegetarian, treehugging Buddhist in the middle of beef country”) has been authoring it since 2006. Her very first post begins like this...
“I don’t keep track of dates well, so I have to think back to events. I moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, in August 2004 just before beginning my first year at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Also that August, just before moving, I made my first trip to Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado. It was both better and worse than I had ever thought it could be. I loved the mountain center. I hated meditation.”
“It is hard being a Buddhist in Nebraska.”
The original poem she just published entitled 'The Sea' is so lovely I would have blogrolled her just for that.