Forthcoming

Senator Elizabeth Warren "We're a country that is built on our differences; that is our strength, not our weakness"

 

Nov 5, 2018 A report on two pstate NY races:--CD 19, and NY State Senate 42. From Egypt and Tunisia new films by and about women-- "Youm el-Setat" and "El-Jaida"

Sept 24 Do war memoirs really advance education? Attacks on BDS and Americans' freedom of speech continues.

Sept 17-- Sport stars and politcal dissent stemming from Kaepernick's actions. NY State's Sept 13 Primaries

Sept 10  Assessing Muslim Americans' ongoing fight for Muslim rights, and in the context of today's election cycle.

Aug 27, Where are Muslim Americans in the US administration's immigrant purge?

Aug 20 Celebrating achievements-- Sam Anderson and Rosemari Mealy. And still more published memoirs fro Middle East peoples

August 1- The inexorable struggle for Palestinian rights

July 2, WBAI Radio  Exploring EXILE in American literature:--  "Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits", and "In The Light of What We Know".

June 25 EXILE in literature: a review of the novels "Cutting For Stone" and "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers".

June 18, The vicissitudes of Nepal's fledgling democracy. And a review of White House Ramadan "iftar" ceremonies.

June 11 The rentier economy of Jordan and current public protests. How the UK and US use Jordan. And celebrities' role in news.,

June 4 "Naila and The Uprising" a film memory of Palestinian resistance. And: why is Tariq Ramadan imprisoned?

April 30 How could detante in Korea affect other conflicts? And a look at our own role in plastic pollution.

April 23  The US mission creep into Syria, and more reviews of children's books about refugees. 

April 16  Why are Islamist rebels are being escorted out of the so called liberated areas, and where are they going? and a review of new Arab American memoirs 

April 9; Saudi Arabia's long and deep times with the US film industry. And we review the plethora of Arab women's memoirs

April 2 documenting war trauma. Do some war traumatized matter more than others? 

March 26 Iraq's neglected agricultural industry, and the persecution of Swiss-Arab Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan

March 19, Iraq today. And the legal challenges facing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against apartheid Israel.

March 12,Commentary on the fall of Myanmar's Ang Sang SuKyi; and recent observations for Iraq.

Jan 8, 7:45 am Film review of "Land of the Pomegranates", and an introduction to the American organization "Muslimish"

Nov 27, Russia and Syria: commentary on this longstanding relationship in the current international scene

Nov 20. A look at the new crisis created around Lebanon PM Hariri's resignation. Comments on a culture that's infused and spilling over with sexual predators.

Nov 13 Update on Kirkuk, Iraq. Veterans Day USA: Is celebration of war heros increasing?.

Nov 6, WBAI  News of Kirkuk, N. Iraq after the failed Kurdish referendum; Accusations towards male religious figures in ongoing sexual abuse exposes.

Sept 25: Syria update: the changing status quo and resulting change in US media coverage.. The Kurdish referendum

Sept 18: Myanmar's Ang San Su Kyi's eary history; beware of simplistic sectarian analyses

Sept 11: women as pawns in justifying American "wars to protect"

August 28, 7:45 am WBAI. Linda Sarsour, Arab American and US Muslim community leader: in her defence. Margo Shetterley author of "Hidden Figures"

Aug 21, WBAI Palestinian-American Rasmea Odeh, stripped of citizenship and deported this week.

Aug 14: BN Review of the anti-Israel boycott action in the US Congress. WBAI, 90.5 fm

July 10:  Nepal just completed its first election in 20 years for nationwide local admin posts.

July 3, WBAI Radio. "All politics is local":-- the hard work of using local news resources.

June 26: WBAI Radio We ask why is there no anti-war movement in the US? And: “Martyrdom”—an archaic phrase but a concept we need to think about today.

June 19  On the 50th anniversary of the 1967 war, and Israel's seemingly unstoppable political, diplomatic and territorial march, it’s remarkable that the Palestinian voice is heard at all.

June 12  The dilemma of 'moderate Amercian Muslims; following ReclaimNY , a child of Steve Bannon and Robert Mercer.

May 1, Workers Day, WBAI 99.5 fm. BN Aziz highlights the rise of the 'gig economy'

April 24, 7:45 WBAI 99.5 fm. A check on our progress as American Muslims; and, Lynne Stewart: the Peoples' Lawyer. 

See Ramzy Baroud's assessment on how our Muslim community misuses celebrity Muslims as surrogates for their own stuggle.

 

Monday April 17 WBAI Radio, NYC. Why is there essential no anti-war movement in the USA?

April 10;  A critical look at media coverage of the US assault on Syria; and an update on ReclaimNY.

B. Nimri Aziz weekly radio commentary on events around the globe and in the USA. Listen in at 99.5 fm, or online www.wbai.org where we are livestreamed.

"We are more alike than we are different"

  Maya Angelou

March 8, Women's Day Radio Specials  10-11 am on WJFF Radio, 90.5 fm, and 11:am on WBAI, 99.5 New York: B. Nimri Aziz interviews director Amber Fares about her new film "Speed Sisters" and exerpts from 2009-2010 interviews with professional women in Syria, Nadia Khost and Nidaa Al-Islam.

 

 

As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singer at 89

 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain

 

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

 

 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:

 

"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.

 

Venerable Trukshik Rinpoche (1924-2011), Nepal

2011-09-05

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

Trulshig Rinpoche (1924-2011), Nepal

Trulshik was the name given to the son of YumWangmo. He was recognized in his infancy as the incarnation of the Trukshik Yogin, his biological father, who had had a close association with the then abbot of a monastery in SW Tibet.

At the age of just 19, the young Trulshik was appointed assistant director of that monastery, Dza-Rong. He eventually inherited the leadership of the center, located above Dingri, in the northern shadow of Everest.

Trulshik Rinpoche, as he was known, eventually became one of the most revered and influential Tibetan religious figures in Nepal and beyond. Today, September 5, 2011, he is no more in the realm of we sentients.

I recall Trulshik so vividly today. Hearing his voice clearly in my memory, I feel a surge of grief along with warmth of the memory of times together. You see, I knew Trulshik well in the 1970s when I was a young anthropologist in Northeast Nepal and he a fast maturing, skilled monastic leader. He immediately rose to the challenge of piloting a disoriented refugee community of Tibetans, most of them from Dingri in Tibet. Together they had fled into nearby Nepal beginning in 1960 after the Chinese occupation of their land.

Tibetan Frontier Families, my first book, has just been released in a new edition. (Vajra Books, Kathmandu, 2011). Here, I update the history of Dingri Tibetans and Trulshik's rise to prominence. I also recall Trulshik’s youth in Tibet, his early years in Nepal, and our close association. He was a genuine and important friend of this single woman scholar with few friends in that distant, once-isolated valley. (That was the pre-road and pre-mobile phone era in Nepal’s interior.) Starting in 1970, Rinpoche and I discussed news headlines, the past, and his plans for his growing monastery. (I was not in a position to converse with him on Nyingma Buddhist philosophy, and he did not appear to mind that.)

I was based not far from his retreat –just 5 hours by footpath through the mountains of Solu-- and, when I visited the monastery we had lunch in his chamber, where he often tuned into his shortwave radio, where together we followed international news. He kept an atlas nearby whenever  we talked.

After knowing each other a year, seeing my curiosity in and my attraction to the 13th century yogin PhaDampa Sangyas, founder of the Zhijed Tibetan philosophical tradition, Trulshik shared with me a 5-volume manuscript he had secreted out of Tibet on the backs of his party of refugees. Moreover, he suggested I might photograph the more than 1,200 pages and he then made all facilities in the monastery available to me during the weeks of the project.

Those manuscript photographs I took to India; the film was printed, and eventually the entire 5 tomes were published for the first time. Recently I learned that Tibetans and other international scholars are engaged in work based on this text.) I need to mention the publication was arranged by another eminent figure of that era, Gene E Smith. A brilliant Tibetologist and a devotee, Smith was the US Library of Congress acquisitions officer in India those years. Many scholars like me owe much to Smith's support. He too recently escaped the wheel of sentient beings.

Last year, before his death, Gene and I reviewed my new introduction to Tibetan Frontier Families and we recalled the early years of Lama Trukshik’s career and his widening influence. Anthropologist Jane Goodall apparently became a devotee of Trulshik, along with other European Buddhist students. All followed the trail through the hills to his expanding monastery in northeast Nepal where my friendship with him had blossomed and where I spent many weeks at work on the manuscript and with the community of talented men and women who were part of the Rinpoche's center. (Consulting the web, I see that you can  learn about his foreign followers and Trulshik's international work there.)

In my new preface to Tibetan Frontier Families, you can find more about Trulshik’s life, and in the body of the original text , more details of his youth. I leave it to readers to consult my book, available on Amazon.com.

I believe there is not much beyond this in English about the remarkable early career of Trulshik. Although there may be a biography in Tibetan language written some 30 or more years ago. Suffice to summarize here what a brilliant manager he was; he drew around him dedicated, talented people; he was extraordinarily compassionate in the simplest way, and above all, he was hardworking, ready to serve anyone who came to him for spiritual or other help.

 For the first 20 years of his residence outside Tibet, Trukshik focused his attention on building up his original monastic center Thupten Choeling in Nepal. Despite his youth and limited access to anyone of his rank who he could consult, he flourished intellectually and spiritually. He emerged as a wise man by the time he was 45. I am told that after 1990 he had become influential within the ranks of the Tibetan scholarly hierarchy; and I understand he travelled the world. Although unlike many others of his background, his base remained the immediate community of monks and nuns in his mountain retreat.

I can hear his voice still so clearly-- laughing over some curiosity, his head always tilted to one side to emphasize his attention, chuckling about contradictions in earthly matters, praying, rosary in hand, in reflection on the problem of a supplicant, and his discerning comments as he inspects a calligrapher’s work, a liturgical ritual process, or this anthropologist’s writing. I still have some of his letters, written in a beautiful, careful hand, with a spot of whiteout here and there.

There will be abundant prayers for Trulshik’s soul in the coming weeks as his spirit travels beyond the worldly realm into that of the angles and countless Buddhist spirits in paradise. As in the case of Gene E. Smith who left his sentient body barely a year ago, I feel they hardly need our prayers to assure them a safe and swift passage.

Footnote--I am often surprised when I meet someone whom I have known for the past two decades and they have no awareness whatsoever of my work in Tibet. Perhaps, had I not been on record as opposing Zionist policies against my own homeland, and known for my unshakable pride in my Arab peoples, this early history would not have been obscured. So I welcome this opportunity through the passing of my dear friend Trukshik, to show that these lives are not unconnected.

This is by way of sharing with those who have known this author only from her work in the Arab lands, of an earlier era in Nepal, India and Tibet, the foundation for my dedicated ongoing research and work in the Middle East.

Bibliography, By BN Aziz

2011 Tibetan Frontier Families, new edition. Published by Vajra Books, Kathmandu, Nepal.

1979 The Traditions of PhaDampa Sangyas, A Tibetan text in 5 volumes, edited from a manuscript in Nepal, with an English introduction by BN Aziz. Published by Druk Press, Thimbu, Bhutan.

 

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