About the UBA

The University Buddhist Association of UCLA is an organization of students, faculty, and community members who come together to learn about and practice Buddhism. We're a non-sectarian Buddhist group that welcomes all Buddhists and non-Buddhist of all faiths and traditions.

If you're interested in learning more about the UCLA Buddhist community, please come to our meetings.

When: Every Tuesday, 5:30 - 7:00pm
Where: University Catholic Center
633 Gayley Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90024

If you have any questions, please contact us at uba.ucla.online@gmail.com.
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

International Education Week at UCLA

From Nov. 16-20, UCLA will be celebrating International Education Week. There will be many different events happening throughout the week that help promote worldwide educational exchange. The best part is that they even have two Buddhist-related events happening! Here are some of the events I would like to highlight:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Kerckhoff State Rooms

Study Abroad Fair

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Pauley Pavilion North Concourse

Buddhist Cave Temples of the Kucha Kingdom

Friday, November 20, 2009
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Seminar Room, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology

"Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country" Film Screening

Friday, November 20, 2009
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
James Bridges Theater

For a full list events, please click here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Awesome Buddhist / World History Timeline

I've been recently studying historical timelines and stumbled upon a Buddhist historical timeline. It's just about one of the most awesome buddhist resources I've seen so far because not only is it a timeline on Buddhist events since the life of Siddhartha, but also compares the Buddhist timeline side-by-side with "World Figures and Events", many of which are of other religions or related to Buddhism. It really gives you a sense of how Buddhism fits into the world history context, and this, I think, is especially important because we rarely get to see Buddhism in this "bigger picture" - at least in America.

Just as a little teaser, the timeline shows that the First Buddhist Council at Rajagaha after the Parinirvana (death and final release) of the Buddha happened in the same century (5th) as the Greek-Persian Wars and the time of Plato and his contemplations about the ontological, epistemological, ethical, and aestheticestions quof life. Props to Buddhanet for having this on their site.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

11-year-old becomes high-ranking lama

I wonder when Buddhists found out that reincarnation became globalized...

An 11-year-old schoolboy from Boston, Massachusetts has been made the head of a Buddhist sect in India after he was recognized as the reincarnation of a high-ranking lama who died more than 750 years ago.

Jigme Wangchuk has been anointed as the Rinpoche, the second reincarnation of Gyalwa Lorepa of the Drukpa sub-sect after going into a trance and describing a Buddhist monastery in detail.

Read full article.

Image from Daily Contributor

Buddhist horror film: Mantra

The Worst Horse posts a new Buddhist horror film called Mantra.

I've been getting into horror films lately with my fellow apartment-mates and never have I thought about a Buddhist-themed horror film. I guess anything can be scary as long as you target the right emotions.

Monday, November 2, 2009

UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies - Nov. Events

Shoji Yamada on his book "Shots in the Dark: Japan, Zen, and the West"

An Informal Lecture
Monday, November 02, 2009
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Faculty Center
Hacienda Room
Los Angeles, CA 90095

In the years after World War II, Westerners and Japanese alike elevated Zen to the quintessence of spirituality in Japan. Pursuing the sources of Zen as a Japanese ideal, Shoji Yamada uncovers the surprising role of two cultural touchstones: Eugen Herrigel's Zen in the Art of Archery and Ryoanji's dry-landscape rock garden. Yamada shows how both became facile conduits for exporting and importing Japanese culture.


The Buddhist Arts of Tea in Medieval China

James A. Benn delivers the 22nd Sammy Yukuan Lee Lecture on Chinese Archaeology and Art

Saturday, November 07, 2009
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Lenart Auditorium
Fowler Museum of Cultural History
Los Angeles, CA 90095

The relatively rapid change in drinking habits that occurred in late medieval China (Tang dynasty, 618–907) cannot be understood without appreciating the crucial role of Buddhist ideas, institutions, and practitioners. While Buddhist texts vividly depicted the dangers of imbibing intoxicating substances, Buddhist monks were also active in spreading an alternative to alcohol—tea—throughout the empire. By the end of the ninth century, tea had become a vital component in the Chinese economy and an essential commodity of everyday life. Tea was valued for its ability to sustain long periods of meditation and for its health-giving properties. It was considered an appropriate offering for Buddhist deities, and a suitable gift for monks and laypeople to exchange. Tea, like alcohol before it, stimulated and inspired poets and connoisseurs.

This lecture will look closely at the surviving artistic, material, and literary evidence for Buddhist involvement in the promotion of tea drinking and the invention of a Chinese tea culture.


Professor Melanie Malzahn (University of Vienna)

Friday, November 13, 2009
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM

243 Royce Hall

Among the extinct languages merely known by manuscripts discovered along the Silk Road, Tocharian A and Tocharian B, together, constitute one of the twelve branches of Indo-European languages. Although deciphered in 1908 by German Indologists Emil Sieg and Wilhelm Siegling, the main bulk of Tocharian texts scattered through European collections were known by only a few specialists until very recently. Tocharian A and B were closely related, but seem not to have been mutually understandable. Apart from literary texts exclusively related to and based on Buddhist literature, we also have documents of profane nature such as letters and monastery records. In recent years, much effort has been made in publishing texts leading to a better understanding of the languages themselves, especially with regard to their internal stratification. In this respect, both languages differ significantly. Tocharian A texts, which have only been found in the Turfan Oasis and around Shorchuk/Yanqi but not further west, display a very uniform linguistic character (with very few exceptions), and the manuscripts in general seem to be younger than those of Tocharian B. Tocharian B, on the other hand, is found over a far wider range of find spots, especially around Kucha, and displays an internal chronology of at least 400 years (from 5th century CE to 8th century CE), and is also sociolinguistically diversified. The apparent transfer of literacy from Kucha to the east together with the diachronic and socio-dialectal diversification of Tocharian B and the mutual linguistic influence between Tocharian A and B offers some insight into the but rarely known Tocharian society in the 1st millennium CE.


Buddhist Cave Temples of the Kucha Kingdom

An Afternoon of Presentations and Discussion
Friday, November 20, 2009
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Seminar Room, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology
Fowler Museum A222
Los Angeles, CA 90095

RSVP required to the UCLA Asia Institute:
eleicester@international.ucla.edu or 310-825-0007



"Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country" Film Screening
Armed with video cameras, a tenacious band of Burmese reporters face down death to expose the repressive regime controlling their country.

Friday, November 20, 2009
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM

James Bridges Theater
Melnitz Hall
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095



Chapman University Department of Sociology presents
Venerable Thubten Chodron: "Joyous Effort in Up and Down Times"

Saturday , 11/21/2009
Time: 10:30am - 12:30 pm
Location: Argyros Forum 209

Internationally renowned author and Tibetan Buddhist nun, and abbess of the Sravasti Abbey (near Newport, WA) will be giving a talk at Chapman University on Saturday.Thubten Chodron studied and practiced Buddhism of the Tibetan tradition for many years in India and Nepal under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan masters for many years. She has directed the spiritual program at centers in Italy, Singapore and Seattle. Ven. Chodron travels worldwide to teach the Dharma. Seeing the importance and necessity of a monastery for Westerners training in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, she founded Sravasti Abbey and is currently involved in developing it. Ven. Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well-known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. For information call 714-997-6608 or email:



Sunday, November 1, 2009

Religions push to address environmental issues

So there is something we can all agree on...

Leaders from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Baha'i, Jain and Zoroastrian faiths called on G20 nations to cut greenhouse gases.

They said climate change posed a "very real threat to the world's poor".

Their joint call at a meeting at Lambeth Palace in London precedes the Copenhagen summit which aims to deliver a new global climate treaty.

In a statement, the religious leaders urged G20 governments to fight for a deal which would quickly end global reliance on fossil fuels.

Read full article.

Image from BBC News.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Buddhist poet wins the Keats-Shelly Award

As an English major, this is quite interesting. The poem he writes is about a boy who looks within himself and finds a mouse holding a picture of him. This idea, of the story within the story, one that loops infinitely with no particular ending, is such a wonderfully complexing idea. If you would like to read the award-winning poem, click the link below.

"The Keats-Shelley prize, an annual award for the best poem on a Romantic theme, has for the first time this year gone to an explicitly Buddhist poet, DH Maitreyabandhu.


He also pointed to Keats's refusal to accept Christianity on his death bed, despite attempts by his friend Joseph Severn. "Keats was very steadfast – a very Keatsian word - in not accepting that, and I think that was incredibly brave of him. It's always one of the things I've admired in him particularly, not just because I don't believe myself, but to hold the line when he had days left – there is something steadfastly humanitarian about him," said Motion.


Maitreyabandhu, who has been ordained into the Western Buddhist Order for 19 years, says his love of poetry began when a friend read him the first five verses of Shelley's Mask of Anarchy. "It was one of those moments when one discovers a new ecstasy, even a new calling. After that I read and re-read Shelley and Keats obsessively and used their poetry to explore ancient Buddhist themes," he said. "WH Auden says, 'The primary function of poetry, as of all the arts, is to make us more aware of ourselves and the world around us'. The same could be said of Buddhism. I approach poetry, in one sense as a distillation of peak experience, in another as finding meaning in the everyday – as such, poetry has become another strand of my spiritual practice."

Read full article and poem.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form

If you have been coming to our weekly dharma talk meetings, this will sound familiar to you. We have been going over the heart sutra during the last few weeks and this is one of the core concepts: "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form". Though I don't like the title of this article (because I don't necessarily think it's a paradox), here's a brief summary of what "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form" could possibly mean from The Times of India.

"By way of explanation, we are asked to observe a cup or any other container. Is the cup empty when it does not contain any liquid or solid in it? We say yes, it’s empty. But is it really empty? No, it’s not. It is full of air. Even when the glass is in a state of vacuum, it is not empty. It still contains space, radiation and maybe light.

Therefore the Buddhist point of view differs from convention. The cup is always full of something or the other. To describe it philosophically, the cup is devoid of its inherent existence. It has come into existence because of many other conditions coming into play."
Read full article.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

“Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian”

A new book called "Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian" by Paul F. Knitter.

“Am I still a Christian?” he asks in his new book. It is a question posed over the years by others, including some unhappy officials in the Vatican. But the question, he writes, is also “one I have felt in my own mind and heart.”

“Has my dialogue with Buddhism made me a Buddhist Christian?” he writes. “Or a Christian Buddhist? Am I a Christian who has understood his own identity more deeply with the help of Buddhism? Or have I become a Buddhist who still retains a stock of Christian leftovers.”

The Fragrance of the Rose

The Fragrance of the Rose

The disciples were absorbed in a discussion of Lao-tzu's dictum:
"Those who know, do not say;
Those who say, do not know."

When the master entered,
they asked him what the words meant.
Said the master, "Which of you knows the fragrance of a rose?"
All of them indicated that they knew.
Then he said, "Put it into words."
All of them were silent.

from One Minute Wisdom by Anthony DeMello

Sunday, October 18, 2009


For those of you still following this blog, I have decided to keep updating it. I probably won't have the time to update it daily, though I really wish I could. I found out about this really neat movement called LoveMine that aims to bring awareness to the injustices happening in Burma. It's a "collaborative movement of people and organizations committed to peace, hope and freedom for the people of Burma". Please visit their site and see what they're all about.

Last year, UCLA held its annual "Mighty Mic" concert with proceeds donated to help the refugees in Burma. Maybe this year, UCLA will once again be one of the rally points for Burmese freedom.

Image from LoveMine.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Buddhists and Catholics call for government reform

" South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his administration remain under attack for failing to help the poor, protect the environment and for violating human rights.

Since the start of the month 124 intellectuals and university professors have complained that South Korea’s democracy, press freedom and media independence have been weakened. Two days ago Buddhist and Catholic religious leaders have joined the fight.

On Monday thousands of Buddhist monks and hundreds of Catholic priest issued separate statements calling on President Lee to change his style of government. "

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Journey to Zanskar

Screening of Journey to Zanskar

USC, Taper Hall 202
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Free and open to the public
Refreshments will be served
Time: 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Please RSVP:
uschina@usc.edu uschina@usc.edu>

Filmmaker Frederick Marx, producer of Academy Award nominated "Hoop Dreams," will be premiering a rough cut of his new film.

This screening features an advance preview of Journey to Zanskar. The film will be completed and released in the fall. It focuses on Zanskar, in the northernmost part of India, one of the most isolated regions of the Himalayas. Inaccessibility and isolation has protected Zanskar - also known as "Little Tibet" - from cultural change. Today, it is considered the last place on earth where traditional Tibetan Buddhist norms and ways of life still exist. This will change when the Indian government completes a modern paved road into Zanskar to provide its military with access to India's fragile borders with Pakistan and China.

Several years ago the Dalai Lama asked two senior monks upon the completion of their training to devote themselves to educating the children of Zanskar so their rich cultural heritage could be preserved through reading and writing. The two monks selected 17 of the brightest children from among the poorest families and began a ten day trek over the snow covered Himalayas from Zanskar to a school on the other side of the mountains. The children's journey is the focus of the film.

Marx will introduce the film and take questions after the screening.

Parking is available for $8 in Parking Structure D (on Jefferson Boulevard, west of Figueroa Boulevard). Click here to see the USC University Park Campus interactive map <
http://web-app.usc.edu/maps/> .

Project Trailer (
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdkCMqqrlww <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdkCMqqrlww> )
Project Website (
http://www.fmarxfilm.com/17paths.html <http://www.fmarxfilm.com/17paths.html> )
Project Blog (
http://vcr.csrwire.com/node/12341 <http://vcr.csrwire.com/node/12341> )
Project Donation Page (
http://www.fmarxfilm.com/donate.html <http://www.fmarxfilm.com/donate.html> )

Contact: US-China Institute
Phone: 213-821-4382

Sponsor(s): USC US-China Institute, Religion, Identity and Global Governance, The Office of Religious Life

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Week 10: Last Meeting of the Year!

Hello UBA friends,

We're coming to the end of another school year already! Come celebrate with the last meditation of the spring quarter before we go our separate ways with us this Tuesday, June 2nd from 5:30-7pm at the University Catholic Center (UCC, 633 Gayley Avenue - There's a chance we will be in the community room downstairs rather than the chapel upstairs, so be on the lookout for that!). Our meetings are facilitated by Rev. Kusala, who leads us in a dharma discussion which is then followed by a chance to ask questions and practice meditation. Previous dharma talks can be found available in podcast form at Rev. Kusala's website: www.dharmatalks.info.

Again, this will be our last chance to meet as a full group before the fall, so come on out for a night of good conversation as well as the chance to relieve some of the stress of 10th and finals week. Come meet the new staff members for the 2009-2010 year as well (and remember, we're always looking for new staff members, so just come find one of us if you're interested!) Whether we see you or not this week, have a great one, and it's been wonderful practicing with all of you this year.

Peace and blessings,

Thursday, May 28, 2009

64 for Aung San Suu Kyi

What is 64 for Suu?

Welcome to the global hub for supporting, Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's detained democracy leader, on her 64th birthday.

64 for Suu is a site where anyone from around the world can leave a message of support for Burma's imprisoned democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. We want to gather hundred's of messages by her 64th Birthday, June 19th 2009.

You can view video, text, twitter and image messages from around the world left by politicians, celebrities and the public in support of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Check out the site.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Burma VJ" Film Screening

Friday, May 29, 2009
Laemmle's Sunset 5 Theater
8000 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, 90046
Los Angeles, CA

"A roller coaster of alternating hope and despair" - Village Voice 

"A rich, thought-provoking film" - The New York Times"

The award-winning new documentary film "Burma VJ" will be screening in Los Angeles at Laemmle Sunset 5 on May 29 (exact times not yet announced; call the theater for info. closer to the date: 323-848-3500)

LA88 is encouraging all who are able to attend to show their solidarity with the people of Burma by joining us for the May 29 showing. Please also help to raise awareness of the ongoing crisis in Burma and the heroism of its people by inviting others to attend this important screening. The filmmakers describe the movie in part as follows:

"...Though risking torture and life in jail, courageous young citizens of Burma live the essence of journalism as they insist on keeping up the flow of news from their closed country. The Burma VJs stop at nothing to make their reportages from the streets of Rangoon... The film offers a unique insight into high-risk journalism and dissidence in a police state, while at the same time providing a thorough documentation of the historical and dramatic days of September 2007, when the Buddhist monks started marching."

More information about "Burma VJ" can be found here: http://burmavjcom.title.dk/


20-May – New York, NY – Film Forum
29-May – Los Angeles, CA – Laemmle Sunset 5
05-Jun – Irvine, CA – Regal Westpark
05-Jun – Portland, OR – Regal Fox Tower
19-Jun – Charlotte, NC – Regal Park Terrace
19-Jun – Boston, MA – Coolidge
24-Jun – Portland, ME – SPACE Gallery
26-Jun – Tallahassee, FL – Regal Miracle 5
26-Jun – Austin, TX – Regal Arbor
19-Jul – Santa Fe, NM – CCA
24-Jul – Cleveland, OH – Cleveland Museum of Art
31-Jul – Washington, DC – Landmark E-Street
07-Aug – Salt Lake City, UT – Tower
28-Aug – Seattle, WA – NW Film Forum

Monday, May 25, 2009

Week 9: Memorial Day Monday

Hello UBA friends,

First off, it was great to see so many of you come out this past weekend to celebrate Vesak with us! A very special thanks to everyone that made it possible - not just staff members but Reverend Kusala as well as everyone that came to support the event - we couldn't have done it without all of you!

Next, just a reminder as the quarter winds down that we continue our weekly meditation meetings this week at the UCC (633 Gayley Avenue) from 5:30-7 pm on Tuesday, May 26th. Our meetings are facilitated by Reverend Kusala, who leads us in a dharma discussion followed by a chance to ask questions and meditate. Previous dharma discussions are available in podcast form at Rev. Kusala's website: www.dharmatalks.info. We hope to see many of you there as this is one of our last two meetings this year!

Finally, we hope you are enjoying the Memorial Day weekend whether it is spent among friends and family or simply as a chance to relax and reflect on the meaning of the day. Wishing you a great rest of the week and we hope to see many of you on Tuesday.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Sutra Translation Project

I found this information on Rev. Danny Fisher's blog and thought it would be especially useful for college students (or any student) seeking to read the Dharma but can only understand English.  

The Sutra Translation Project

The Woodenfish sutra translation project aims to produce bilingual editions of a sizeable portion of the Buddhist canon, translated into English from the original Chinese. With FGS’s publishing company, Buddha’s Light Publishing, Woodenfish has thus far produced Buddha’s Light editions of the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra, the Vajra Prajnaparamita Sutra, the Amitabha Sutra, the Sutra on the Past Vows of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, the Sutras on Filial Piety and the Nagasena Bhiksu Sutra. The chief translators on the project are Venerable Yifa and HBMLP 2004 participant Peter Romaskiewicz. They coordinate with the Center for Sutra Translation and Research at the University of the West.
The Buddha’s Light editions are unique in a number of ways:
  • Each sutra copy provides facing bilingual pages, so that students who are learning Chinese can compare the English translation with the original text. Each copy also includes a brief history of the particular sutra, an exhaustive glossary of foreign words and ideas, and a translation catalogue which lists many of the other Chinese and English translations of the same text.
  • Each translation attempts to provide a fluid, yet literal rendition of the Chinese text, trying to capture the experience of reading sutras in Chinese while remaining as faithful as possible to the original text.
  • Woodenfish aims to produce not just one, but a complete series of translations of specifically Chinese Buddhist sutras using a consistent vocabulary for technical terms and foreign concepts. In all translations, a standardized lexicon and methodology is used, so that a technical term will be translated, or transliterated, in the same manner in every volume in the series

You will find translations for:

  • T 235 *Vajra Prajnaparamita Sutra* 金剛般若波羅蜜經
  • T 251 *Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra* 般若波羅蜜多心經
  • T 366 *Amitabha Sutra * 阿彌陀經
  • T 412 *Sutra on the Past Vows of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva* 地藏菩薩本願經
  • T 685 *Yulan Bowl Sutra* 盂蘭盆經
  • T 684 *Sutra on the Difficulty of Repaying the Kindness of Parents* 父母恩難報經
  • T 2887 *Sutra on the Profound Kindness of Parents* 父母恩重經
  • ---- *Sutra on the Difficulty of Repaying the Profound Kindness of Parents * 父母恩重難報經
  • T 1670 *Nagasena Bhiksu Sutra* 那先比丘經
  • *Nagasena Bhiksu Sutra* –endnotes那先比丘經註解

    Saturday, May 23, 2009

    Free Aung San Suu Kyi

    After being locked away for 19 years, those inspired by Suu Kyi and what she stands for await the day she will be set free. Yet, the military junta of Myanmar has found more excuses to keep her locked away:

    The charges stem from a bizarre incident earlier this month in which a 53-year-old American man swam across Inya Lake and appeared, uninvited, in Suu Kyi's garden. He was asked to leave, but when he complained of exhaustion, he was permitted to stay overnight. While swimming away the next day, he was arrested. The government appears to be using the incident as a pretext for extending Suu Kyi's house arrest, which expires in a few days; at the moment, however, she is being held on the grounds of Insein Prison, facing a possible five-year prison term. 
    Read full article.

    Displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka

    Here's an article about the recent situation in Sri Lanka.I haven't had time to keep up with then news lately so this is all fresh news to me:
    While Sri Lanka continues celebrations of its defeat of the rebel Tamil Tigers, the international community is calling for the country, run by the Sinhalese majority, to be sincere in its pledge for national reconciliation. The primary focus is on the treatment of 300,000 Tamils in displacement camps in the north.  

    The Ego

    Here's a simple and amusing cartoon that I found on Belief.net.

    Friday, May 22, 2009

    Vesak Day 2009 is in TWO days!

    Vesak Day 2009 is two days away, this Saturday at UCLA!! If you are in the Los Angeles area, please come to our FREE event. Below is all you need to know plus an updated schedule of who's speaking, performing, and leading the discussion. Also, if you have facebook, please RSVP on our event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?sid=657edc3b662d97cfd68ac50c970aeea8&eid=76892984253&ref=search

    If have any questions, contact me at eriku@ucla.edu. Hope to see you there!


    Who: Southern California University Buddhist Association (SCUBA) 

    What: Vesak Day (or Buddha Day) celebrates the birth, the enlightenment, and the passing away of the Buddha. It is celebrated by Buddhists all over the world as a remembrance of the Buddha and his universal message of peace to humankind. 

    Come out and learn more about Buddhism with the University Buddhist Association! Everyone is welcome - Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. The event is FREE and will consist of cultural performances, speakers, a Bathing of the Buddha ceremony, and a Q&A session. 

    Performances by: Chinese Cultural Dance Club and Nam Giao Do

    Speakers: Don Farber, a renowned photographer of the Dalai Lama and Buddhist Life; Venerable Miao Hsi, of Hsi Lai Temple; Venerable Pannaloka of Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara

    Discussion Leaders: Venerable Kusala of the International Buddhist Meditation Center; Professor Natasha Heller; former UBA president Aaron Lee

    When: Saturday, May 23, 2009
    10:30 - 2:00pm

    Where: Kerckhoff Grand Salon, UCLA
    308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024

    Why: To watch amazing performances, listen to great speakers, learn something about Buddhism, and eat delicious and free food.

    More information about Vesak Day:

    Significance of Vesak - Buddha Day

    Wikipedia - Vesak

    What is Vesak?

    Vesak Message from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown

    Sunday, May 17, 2009

    Week 8: Vesak Day!

    Hello UBA friends,

    First, a quick note to remind you about our weekly meditation meeting this Tuesday, May 19th from 5:30-7 pm at the UCC (633 Gayley). As always, our meetings are facilitated by Reverend Kusala, who leads us in a dharma discussion followed by a chance to ask questions and a
    meditation. Previous dharma discussions are available in podcast form at Rev. Kusala's website: www.dharmatalks.info.

    Also, we would like to formally invite each and every one of you to our special annual Vesak event presented in conjunction with SCUBA, the Southern California University Buddhist Association, held this year at UCLA. Here are some details on the event:

    Who: Southern California University Buddhist Association (SCUBA)

    What: Vesak Day (or Buddha Day) celebrates the birth, the enlightenment, and the passing away of the Buddha. It is celebrated by Buddhists all over the world as a remembrance of the Buddha and his universal message of peace to humankind.

    Come out and learn more about Buddhism with the University Buddhist Association! Everyone is welcome - Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. The event is FREE and will consist of cultural performances, speakers, a brief Bathing of the Buddha ceremony, a Q&A session, and lunch!

    Performances by: Chinese Cultural Dance Club and BOCA Youth Group Choir

    Speakers: Don Farber, a renowned photographer of the Dalai Lama and Buddhist Life; Venerable Miao Shi, of Hsi Lai Temple; Venerable Pannaloka of Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara

    Ceremony Led by: Ven. Huei Hsuen of Dharma Seal Temple

    When: Saturday, May 23, 2009 11:00am - 2:00pm (doors open at 10:30 am)

    Where: Charles E Young Grand Salon in Kerckhoff Hall, UCLA 308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024

    Why: To watch amazing performances, listen to great speakers, learn something about Buddhism, and eat delicious and free food.

    Please join our facebook group: 

    For more info, contact us at 

    Friday, May 15, 2009

    Vesak Message from British Prime Minister Gordon Brown

    I think this is pretty significant. It's a Vesak message by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. In the past, he's used religious quotes in his speeches. Here's his Vesak message: 

    In his message the British PM said "I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy Wesak. Britain’s Buddhists will join with others around the world to reflect on the birth and enlightenment of Lord Buddha and I wanted to let you know that my thoughts are with you as you celebrate this Buddha Day".

    He further said, "The Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path have brought so much peace to so many and we can all learn from Buddhist philosophy and the practice of mindfulness."

    "Today we should reflect on the great spiritual contribution that Buddhism has made to the world and congratulate Britain’s Buddhists for their vibrant contribution to our national life. Please do pass on my best wishes to your family and friends".

    Read full article.

    Photo from The Buddhist Channel.

    Facebook the Thai Temple!

    So I just found out from arunlikhati over at Dharmafolk that you can now request to be Facebook friends with the Berkeley Thai Temple! How amazing is that! Thanks to all those who helped keep the Thai Temple alive - you can receive updates on their status in the future through Facebook by friending them here: Wat Mongkolratanaram Berkeley.

    Monday, May 11, 2009

    Week 7: Back to the UCC

    Hello UBA friends,

    Just a quick note to remind you that our weekly meditation meetings continue this week, back at the regular location at the University Catholic Center, from 5:30-7 pm on Tuesday, May 12th. Our meetings are facilitated by Reverend Kusala, who leads us in a dharma discussion followed by a chance to ask questions and a meditation. Previous dharma discussions are available in podcast form at Rev. Kusala's website: www.dharmatalks.info.

    We would also like to remind you that UBA t-shirts are available for purchase for $15 dollars. To check out the designs and for contact info, visit our blog at 

    We are also still recruiting staff for next year! All types and levels of experience are welcome. Come talk to one of the staff members, or reply to this email, if you're interested or if you have more questions about what positions are available (or can be created just for you!)

    And as always, if you have any questions, comments, or ideas for events you'd like to see us put together, email us at 
    uba.ucla.online@gmail.com. Have a great week!

    Sunday, May 3, 2009

    Against the Stream - Dharma Punx

    The Los Angeles Times features an article about Noah Levine, founder of the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. 

    Levine is the founder of the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, which has centers in East Hollywood and Santa Monica and more than 20 affiliated groups nationwide. He and his students practice a unique incarnation of Buddhism infused with punk rock's anti-establishment ethos. They call themselves Dharma Punx. 

    Dharma Punx don't wear robes and they don't bow to statues of the Buddha. Anyone can form a group -- as long as he checks with Levine first -- and there isn't the emphasis on hierarchy found in many forms of Buddhism (there are no Zen masters or Tibetan lamas). The idea, Levine said, is to make Buddhist teachings accessible to punks -- and to reconnect Buddhism with what he sees as its radical roots. 

    Both punk rock and Buddhism, according to Levine, began as a rebellion against the status quo. "The first noble truth of Buddhism is that there is suffering in life, that there is an unsatisfactory quality to living in a world where everything is constantly changing, and to living in a world where there is so much greed and hatred and delusion," he said. "Punk rock's foundation is dissatisfaction, acknowledging greed, hatred and delusion and rebelling against sexism, racism, political corruption and war."

    Week 6: Meeting Location Moved, This Week Only!

    Hi UBA friends,

    The big news this week, as mentioned last week, is that we will be temporarily moving our regular meeting location from the UCC on Gayley Avenue to the University Religious Conference building, located at 900 Hilgard Avenue, on the opposite side of campus from the UCC, where we meet normally.
    A link to a map can be found here.

    The format of the meeting will be largely the same, with a dharma talk facilitated by Reverend Kusala, who will lead us in a discussion followed by a chance to ask questions and a chance to practice meditation. We hope to see many of you there, even if it is on the other side of campus from our normal meeting place!

    Also, many of you may be interested in an event taking place this upcoming weekend. The information is attached below:

    Book signing and Talk,
    in honor of Paul Discoe and his new book,
    ZEN ARCHITECTURE: The Building Process as Practice

    Saturday, May 9, 2009
    2-3 pm
    Beginner's Mind Zen Center:
    9325 Lasaine Ave., Northridge, CA 91325

    Paul Discoe is a visionary designer and Zen Buddhist priest who helped transform a rustic hot spring resort into Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. Ordained by Suzuki Roshi, he traveled to Japan to apprentice with traditional temple builders. Since then Discoe has designed and built Zen temples, residential projects, grand estates and modular structures. His team at Joinery Structures recently created a modular cardboard zendo for the Burning Man Festival. Currently he is working on Sonoma Mandala, a new Zen temple complex for the Sonoma Mountain Zen Center.

    Discoe has increasingly focused on evolving more sustainable design and building practices. His commitment to the environment (and a deep respect for wood itself) led him to open an urban lumber mill that salvages and recycles trees cut down by the City of Oakland. Paul Discoe's newest enterprise, Live Edge, will use those recycled materials to create low-cost prefabricated housing systems and furniture.

    View & print flyer at: