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, 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: 

    Saturday, May 2, 2009

    Dharma Drum for Young People Summer Retreat

    I was sent an email about a summer retreat opportunity from Venerable Chan Yu of Dharma Drum for Young People. Here is his attached message:

    "Dear Friends,


    I am writing to announce an opportunity for college students and young professionals to attend the Chan Summer Retreats for Young People. The retreats are sponsored by Dharma Drum for Young People (DDYP), an affiliate ofUS-based *Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association*  (DDMBA) DDYP offers the retreats as an opportunity to introduce undergraduate and graduate students, and young professionals to the benefits of meditation and the practices of mindfulness living.  Membership or affiliation with DDYP is not required.


    The Summer Meditation Retreat for Self-Discovery (for beginners and non-beginners) will be held August 12-15 and the Chan Meditation Summer Retreat (for past participants) will be held August 15-18.  The retreats will take place at the Dharma Drum Retreat Center in Pine Bush, New York, located in the Hudson Valley near the Shawangunk Mountains. Meals accommodations, meditation, mindfulness and Dharma instruction are all included. Interested individuals are welcome to participate. The retreat fee is $40 for college and graduate students, and $120 for young professionals.


    More information and the retreat application can be found at: www.ddyp.org and for the retreat center, visit www.dharmadrumretreat.org. "