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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Saturday, January 31, 2009

McCartney mentions the Dalai Lama on the Colbert Report

Here's a hilarious video clip from the Colbert Report. During an interview with Paul McCartney, the Beatle suggests that the Dalai Lama would turn to cannibalism as last means of survival. Thanks to Rev. Danny Fisher for posting this.

Colbert Report Video Clip.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Documentary "The Road to Nibbana"

The Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) will be going to Myanmar to shoot a documentary on Myanmar's Theravada Buddhism called "The Road to Nibbana"

"Directed by Byan Choonho, the video will be shot in the country's famous Inlay Water Village located in northern Shan State.

The documentary will not only feature the life of Buddhist followers in the Inlay region but also the daily life of local inhabitants most of whom are fishermen, the report said."

Read full article

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Inter-religious Open House

Hi UBA friends,

Here are some details on the event that was mentioned this week at our meditation meeting. It looks like an interesting chance to check out some of the different faiths and traditions that UCLA has to offer, including a tour of some of the actual facilities offering different religious services, so many of you may want to check it out. Rev. Kusala will be among those giving presentations towards the beginning of the event.

Inter-religious Open House
When: Saturday, January 31, 2009
Time: 11:00am - 2:30pm
Location: UCLA Campus (meeting at the University Catholic Center, 633 Gayley Ave)
What: a tour of four houses of worship/meditation at UCLA, with short presentations from other religious groups

- to educate ourselves of the commonalities and rich diversity among different religions
- to celebrate together the richness and diversity of organized spirituality here at UCLA

Houses of worship to be visited (in order):
University Catholic Center
University Lutheran Chapel
St. Alban's Episcopal Church

Other religious groups participating:
Univ. Buddhist Assoc., MTO Suffi Assoc., Wesley Foundation, Hindu Student Council, and the Univ. Presbyterian Church.

Worried about lunch? Well Don't!
We will be starting with a FREE Continental Breakfast and ending with a FREE Lunch (we'll be taking into consideration the dietary needs of all participating religious groups)

This is really a great opportunity to meet new people from many different backgrounds, build relations with other groups on campus, and get a glimpse of just a few religious groups at UCLA (not to mention, getting a free bite to eat)!

***As a side note, for those of you on Facebook, it might be helpful to search for the event (by the name "inter-religious open house") and RSVP to it, just to give the organizers a better idea of how much food to buy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Quote from Socrates

I woke up this morning, read this quote, and found it to be an insightful way to start my day.

"I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing."


Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Conversation on Science, Ethics, and Religion

Thanks to Ven. Kusala from UrbanDharma for sending information about this event.

Esteemed American Buddhist scholar and activist Robert Thurman will be appearing at the Skirball in mid-February, speaking on the topic of science, ethics, and religion with renowned inventor and engineer Danny Hillis. Presented in celebration of Charles Darwin's 200th birthday, the conversation between Dr. Thurman and Dr. Hillis should make for a compelling evening. Details are below.


Robert Thurman and Danny Hillis

Thursday, February 12, 8:00 p.m.

$15 General; $12 Skirball Members; $10 Full-Time Students

Advance tickets: Available on site at the Skirball, online at www.skirball.org, or by phone at (877) SCC-4TIX or (877) 722-4849

Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049

Preeminent figures in the fields of religion and technology, Dr. Robert Thurman and Dr. Danny Hillis engage in a thought-provoking conversation on scientific progress and its impact on society. Robert Thurman has cultivated a worldwide awareness of Tibet through his academic and popular writing, translation of important Buddhist texts, and commitment to finding a peaceful resolution to the China-Tibet conflict. Danny Hillis is a respected figure in the technology community. He is an inventor, scientist, author, and engineer. He holds more than eighty U.S. patents and is the designer of the 10,000-year mechanical clock. Presented by the Skirball in celebration of the bicentennial of Charles Darwin.

Week 4: Dumpling Night Success!

Hello UBA friends!

First off, last Friday's dumpling night was stuffed full of great food, great company, and great fun! It was so good to see many of you there, and a special thanks to Keith for hosting.

As usual, we continue our regular meetings this Tuesday, January 27th from 5:30-7 pm at the UCC (633 Gayley Avenue, across from the UCLA campus). 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.

UBA T-shirts are still available for purchase! For sample pics and price info, check out the right-hand sidebar.

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!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Indonesian Monks against Buddha Bar

Indonesian Buddhist urge to have the newly opened Buddha Bar, a Paris-based franchise restaurant, shut down.

"We urge the Jakarta administration to take strong action against the use of the name Buddha to avoid angering Buddhists," Brilian Moktar, head of the Buddhist association in Medan, was quoted as saying by Antara.

Jakarta became the first South-east Asian city to have the Buddha Bar in December, joining major international cities like London, New York and Dubai.

Read full article.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chinese delegation investigate monk murder case

"A Chinese delegation arrived in Taiwan late on Sunday to help deal with an incident in which two visiting monks from China’s Linggu Temple died at a Hsinchu hotel last week. The delegation was headed by Li Huaining (李淮寧), a Nanjing City Government department chief in charge of ethnic and religious affairs.

Li said after his arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport that his group expected to get first-hand information about the incident.

He was referring to a suspected homicide-suicide case last Wednesday in which Dharma Master Jing Ran (淨然), abbot of Linggu Temple, was believed to have been killed by Dharma Master Chun Ru (純如), supervisor at the same temple, who later committed suicide."

Read full article.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Week 3 - Dumpling Night

Hello UBA friends!

As usual, we continue our regular meetings this Tuesday, January 20th from 5:30-7 pm at the UCC (633 Gayley Avenue, across from the UCLA campus). 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 announce our first event of the quarter - we will be having a dumpling-making and movie night this Friday, January 23rd from 5-9PM at UBA member Keith's apartment. If you are interested, please RSVP to ucla.uba.online@gmail.com by Wednesday January 21st so we know how much food to buy. We will email those who RSVP the address. Hope to see you all there!

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!

Understanding Death through Buddhism

The Closer-to-Reality Conference 2008 was held at Thean Hou Temple from 12/27-12/29. Sasanarakkha Buddhist Sanctuary organized it to “connect real life experiences with Buddhist scriptural understanding”. The conference was titled "Understanding Death and Beyond" and discussed issues such as...
  • When does death actually occur?
  • If I’m an organ donor, what will happen if I’m not really dead yet but my organs are being harvested?
  • Is there really an intermediate state between death in one existence and rebirth in another?
  • In a heart transplant, does the ‘spirit’ of the donor share the same body with the recipient who is experiencing a transfer of personality traits?
Read full article.

Photo from The Buddhist Channel.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Today is Religious Freedom Day

In 1786, America passed the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written by Thomas Jefferson. Now, every year on the same date, January 16, the President proclaims the day as Religious Freedom Day.

Quoted from Presidential Proclamation on Religious Freedom Day, 2009:

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2009, as Religious Freedom Day. I call on all Americans to reflect on the great blessing of religious liberty, endeavor to preserve this freedom for future generations, and commemorate this day with appropriate events and activities."

Related article: "America is a Land of Religious Diversity; Interfaith Cooperation The Norm"

Buddhist Economics

Here's a short article about applying Buddhism to the current economy.

"I would distill it even further in Buddhist thought. We're in the soup economically because of a lack of mindfulness. We at the micro level and those at the macro level didn't pay close attention to economic decisions."

Read full article.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

China revives religion

Religion is becoming less taboo and accepted once again as a part of society.

"A government-sponsored survey last year found that 300 million Chinese, or 31.4% of the country’s adult population, considered themselves religious believers, much larger than the government estimate of around 100 million.

Two-thirds of the believers are Buddhists, Taoists or devotees of traditional deities such as the Dragon King or God of Fortune. The survey estimated that 12% of all believers—or 40 million—were Christians, up from 16 million in 2005. That makes Christianity one of the fastest-growing religions in China. Some foreign estimates put the estimated number of Christians even higher, from 50 to 70 million. Many attend independent, unregistered house churches."

So what's the status of Buddhism in China?

"Looking at it from a different perspective, particularly with regard to Buddhism, is Master Xuecheng, vice-president of the Buddhist Association of China, and abbot of four monasteries including the Longquan monastery in Beijing. He argued that once people have satisfied their basic needs and wants such as housing and food, they would have more spiritual demands.

He added: “Only when a society has prospered and developed can it have the strength to tolerate different kinds of thinking…Only after a society has prospered to a certain level can it have considerable numbers of people with relatively high standards of knowledge and, therefore, the qualification to devote themselves to the study of Buddhist scriptures.”

He cited as evidence the fact that Buddhism flourished during ancient China’s golden age, the Tang Dynasty, particularly in the region of Chang’an (present-day Xian), at the Chinese end of the Silk Road.

Liu, who has also explored Buddhism, finds Buddhist scriptures too difficult to grasp. They run into thousands of volumes compared with the one-volume Bible for Christians and the Koran for Muslims.

Besides, Buddhism “requires you to give up a lot in life”, said Liu, adding that she found this hard to accept. Buddhists strive ultimately to chushi, withdraw from the world, she argued."

Read full article.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Interpretation of Yogacara Philosophy in Huayan Buddhism

The UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies is pleased to announce the next talk in our Numata Colloquium Series:

Interpretation of Yogacara Philosophy in Huayan Buddhism
by Professor HAMAR Imre of Eotvos Lorand University (Budapest, Hungary), currently Visiting Fulbright Professor at the University of Virginia

Friday, January 16, 2009
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
243 Royce Hall, UCLA
Free and open to the public
Parking available for $9

For more info, please go to http://www.international.ucla.edu/buddhist

Thank you for your ongoing interest in Buddhist Studies.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Week 2 - Welcome back!

Hello UBA friends,

It was so great to see so many of you this past week! Just a quick note to remind you that we continue our weekly meditation meetings this Tuesday, January 13 from 5:30-7 pm at the University Catholic Center (633 Gayley Avenue, across from the UCLA campus). 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.

This week's meeting may be taking place in another room of the UCC, due to another event in our usual meeting place in the chapel, but just take a look around for us on the first floor and you should be able to find us.

Also, we would like to remind everyone that we are still selling UBA t- shirts! To see a sample, visit http://theuba.blogspot.com/ and take a look at the right sidebar of the page. If you would like one, bring $15 to one of our meetings, or contact Eric Ku at eriku@ucla.edu.

Hope to see many of you there on Tuesday - have a great week!

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for events, we would love to hear them. Just send us a message at ucla.uba.online@gmail.com .

Friday, January 9, 2009

Religious Diversity in the 111th Congress

I am happy to be able to start posting again. I recently sent my computer to be fixed and now that I just picked it up, I feel reconnected with the world. This bit of news is quite interesting, another addition to all the other diversity issues in 2009 politics.

"Two years ago, Keith Ellison became Congress’ first Muslim member; shortly after Rep. Pete Stark outed himself as Congress’ first openly atheist elected official. The 110th Congress also saw the arrival of two Buddhist politicians, another first. Those Buddhists, as well as Ellison and another Muslim, are back for the 111th Congress, which began today and the Pew Forum says looks a lot more like the people it represents:

Although a majority of the members of the new, 111th Congress, which will be sworn in on Jan. 6, are Protestants, Congress - like the nation as a whole - is much more religiously diverse than it was 50 years ago."

Photo from The Jewish Journal.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Week 1: Welcome to the New Year

Hello UBA friends, 

Here we are in 2009! Please join us for our first meditation meeting of winter quarter this Tuesday, January 6th from 5:30 to 7 pm. We meet at the University Catholic Center (UCC), which is located at 633 Gayley Avenue (across the street from the UCLA campus, between Strathmore and Le Conte, near the fraternity houses). Our meetings are led 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. 

As a non-denominational Buddhist group, our meetings are great for followers of all forms of Buddhism as well as those new to the practice who are looking to learn more. Throughout the quarter we will also continue to offer various events such as talks, field trips, socials, community service days, and retreats. Keep checking our website (www.theUBA.org) for more info on these and other events. 

We will be offering a variety of events outside of our regular meetings as well, so stay tuned for that. We are also looking for some new staff members - if you'd like to get involved, let us know! We are looking for all kinds of skills, whether or not you have prior leadership experience. 

To wrap things up, if you're a returning member, we look forward to seeing you again, and if you're new, welcome! If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask, and if you have suggestions for events, feel free to share them with us. 

A happy and peaceful new year to everyone!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Daily quotes

Here are some daily quotes as posted by amidabuddha.org.

- January 3, 2009 -
Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little. - Buddha
-January 2, 2009 -
All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else. - Buddha
- January 1, 2009 -
These teachings are like a raft, to be abandoned once you have crossed the flood. Since you should abandon even good states of mind generated by these teachings, How much more so should you abandon bad states of mind! Conquer the angry man by love. Conquer the ill-natured man by goodness. Conquer the miser with generosity. Conquer the liar with truth. - The Dhammapada

Faith Q&A

Lama Chuck Stanford from Rime Buddhist Center & Monastery and the Rev. R.L. Baynham, pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church, offer answers from their respective faiths.

Q: Do you think it's possible to have a society that doesn't believe in God and yet is law-abiding and peaceful?

For their answers, please go to the full article.