Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Buddhist Nun Becomes Singing Sensation

Buddhist Nun Becomes Singing Sensation Image
Ani Choying Drolma: "Ganesha Mantra." There is a simpler mantra, with only six syllables: OM MA NI PAD ME HUM.

KATHMANDU (IANS) - A Buddhist nun from Nepal who became a singing sensation in her own country and the west as well as an icon for hundreds of young Buddhist women will finally make her debut in India, the country from where her parents came.

Ani Choying Dolma, a 40-year-old of Tibetan ancestry, who took "asylum" in a monastery in the Kathmandu valley at the age of 10 to escape the rages of an abusive father, is now one of the best-known singers in the country with followers in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany, and the US.

The daughter of a sculptor who first migrated to India from Tibet and then moved to Kathmandu with his wife, Choying was "discovered" by American musician Steve Tibbits, who heard her crooning prayer songs in the Nagi Monastery and was struck by the purity and joy in her young voice.

He recorded her songs in the capital of Nepal then mixed them with his own music to create an album which created a sensation in the US.

* Nepal bans sale of marijuana during festival

Nepalese authorities have banned the sale of marijuana during a popular Hindu festival [Maha Shivaratri] at which holy men traditionally smoke the drug and share it with young men and women, police said Thursday. About 500,000 devotees attended the festival Wednesday at Kathmandu's Pashupati temple, considered the most revered Hindu shrine in Nepal.

* Nepal's former crown prince appears in court

Nepal's former crown prince Paras Shah appeared in court Thursday in connection with charges of opening fire on the son-in-law of a top politician three months ago.

* Maoists join new Nepal government

After keeping everyone guessing for weeks, Nepal's Maoist party formally decided to join the "Jhalanath Khanal" government on Thursday. The party's standing committee agreed to head 11 ministries in the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist)-Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) coalition.

* Wandering path of spiritual exploration

Over 25 percent of American adults have left the faith that they were brought up in, and college can often be a time and place for spiritual exploration or transition. A survey of Whitman students conducted by the Office of Spiritual Life found that 42 percent of those surveyed identify as "religious" and 67 percent as "spiritual."


* Religion is one of the destinations to which spirituality often can take us. Destinations can be different for all of us. Spirituality might bring a person to Christianity, but it also might bring a person to Buddhism or Judaism.

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