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Erik Curren: The Buddhist Politician

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Erik Curren is a business leader, community activist, author, Buddhist meditator, and politician—who is running for state legislature in Virginia during the 2010 election period. We were contacted by Erik’s campaign manager, who told us that Erik’s Buddhist background was causing a backlash of religious intolerance from some camps, including his fellow Democrats. We spoke with Erik about the importance of religious freedom in American politics, as well as about the way that the Bodhisattva ideal impacts his work as a politician.
Finally, we speak with Erik about his first book, Buddha’s Not Smiling, which explored some of the issues behind the current controversy between the two young men who both claim to be reincarnations of the 16th Karmapa–the spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu school. It turns out that there is corruption and misunderstanding in Tibetan politics, just as there are in American politics.
Episode Links:
OnBeing: Liberating the Founders ( )
Buddha’s Not Smiling : Uncovering Corruption at the Heart of Tibetan Buddhism Today ( )

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