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The T'ang Dynasty

China's Golden Age.
posted by homunculus on Oct 18, 2008 - 27 comments

The Ayahuasca Monologues

Surrendering to the Spirit Vine. Artist Alex Grey (previously) describes his experience with "the champagne of ayahuascas."
posted by homunculus on Sep 24, 2008 - 13 comments

The Feminine side of Buddhism

As in most religions, Buddhism's pantheon of deities and saints has been male dominated. The preeminent exception to this is Kuan Yin, the goddess of compassion, also called Guan Yin or Kannon. She is the female form of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, who underwent a gender shift after being popularized in China. She has inspired amazing forms of worship. [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Sep 12, 2008 - 15 comments

Art of the Kathmandu Valley

From the Land of the Gods: Art of the Kathmandu Valley. [Via Plep - NY]
posted by homunculus on Jul 17, 2008 - 3 comments

Dalai Lama teaches the Lam Rim at Lehigh

Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, just gave a historic six-day teaching of Je Tsong-kha-pa’s Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (the Lam Rim Chen Mo), a vitally important explanation of Buddhism written in 1402 and just recently translated into English by a team organized by Joshua Cutler of New Jersey's Tibetan Buddhist Learning Center. The teaching, attended by about 5000 participants (my estimate), consisted of two two-hour sessions per day, except for a public talk on Sunday afternoon, at which the Dalai Lama received an honorary doctorate from Lehigh and gave a speech. The speech is available as downloadable audio clips and for viewing online. It is possible that eventually the videos of the teachings themselves will be made available on DVD or for download at lamrim.com.
posted by setver on Jul 16, 2008 - 11 comments

China's plan to tame Tibet

China's secret plot to tame Tibet. "Internal Communist party documents have revealed that China is planning a programme of harsh political repression in Tibet despite a public show of moderation to win over world opinion before the Olympic Games next month." Meanwhile, the military has sealed off several monasteries in Lhasa, keeping over 1,000 monks locked up. Another 1,000 monks have mysteriously disappeared, and may have been sent to prisons in a neighbouring province to keep them silent through the Olympics.
posted by homunculus on Jul 13, 2008 - 111 comments

Between enraged and engaged Buddhism

Asia's Angry Monk Syndrome. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jul 10, 2008 - 19 comments

The Caves of Dunhuang

Buddha’s Caves: The Caves of Dunhuang.
posted by homunculus on Jul 6, 2008 - 7 comments

Wei Wu Wei

Terence Gray was an English born aristocrat of an Irish family. He tried his hand at Egyptology, drama and theater, but gave it up to keep the family vineyards in the Monaco. He owned the winner of the 1957 Ascot Gold cup. He also became a mystic. [more inside]
posted by fcummins on Jul 1, 2008 - 9 comments

Change Your Mind Day 2008

Change Your Mind Day 2008
posted by davar on Jun 8, 2008 - 32 comments

Burma: monks vs. junta

Monks Succeed in Cyclone Relief as Junta Falters. In Burma (Myanmar) the Buddhist monks are doing more than anyone to help the victims of Cyclone Nargis. At the same time, Burmese officials are trying to stem the influence of the monks by forcing survivors who have sought refuge in monasteries to return to their shattered homes. [Via Barbara's Buddhism Blog.]
posted by homunculus on Jun 1, 2008 - 26 comments

"A range of about 15 feet"

Two Buddhist teachers live a purportedly celibate life together as they strive for new heights of intimacy. But Tibetan Buddhist leaders and scholars are alarmed; the Dalai Lama refused a birthday offering. His teachings on yoga and business are controversial; so is the matter of his three-year "silent" retreat. More on Geshe Michael Roach. (Wiki.)
posted by fiercecupcake on May 15, 2008 - 80 comments

Heart Sutra, by Geshe Kunkhen

Here's a small representation of some of the culture that many Tibetan protesters hope to save from eradication in Tibet: Heart Sutra, by Geshe Kunkhen. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 8, 2008 - 18 comments

MettaFilter

"Attention regulation and monitoring in meditation" (PDF). A recent article in Trends in Cognitive Sciences on the neuroscience of meditation, focusing on how meditation alters and sharpens the brain's attention systems. The research is being done at the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior (previously), who have also recently published research on the "Regulation of the neural circuitry of emotion by compassion meditation" (PDF), which describes how meditation can cultivate compassion by physically affecting brain regions that play a role in empathy. They shared this research with the Dalai Lama at the recent Seeds of Compassion forum.
posted by homunculus on Apr 27, 2008 - 13 comments

Bamiyan Oil Paintings

Ancient Buddhist Paintings From Bamiyan Were Made Of Oil, Hundreds Of Years Before Technique Was 'Invented' In Europe. [Via MonkeyFilter.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Apr 24, 2008 - 23 comments

Contemporary Tibetan Art

Waves on the Turquoise Lake: Contemporary Expressions of Tibetan Art.
posted by homunculus on Dec 28, 2007 - 5 comments

Faces of the Divine

India's Ancient Art. "Fifth-century painters created stunning murals in dim man-made caves. A gifted photographer brings them to light." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Dec 25, 2007 - 13 comments

The Ultimate Paranormalist

Henry Steel Olcott is best known as one of the founders of the Theosophical Society, along with Helena Blavatsky. He died 100 years ago. [more inside]
posted by dbiedny on Dec 18, 2007 - 6 comments

Sinhalese Buddhist Nationalist Ideology: Implications for Politics and Conflict Resolution in Sri Lanka

Sinhalese Buddhist Nationalist Ideology: Implications for Politics and Conflict Resolution in Sri Lanka
posted by chunking express on Dec 14, 2007 - 4 comments

Repression in Burma

Crackdown: Repression of the 2007 Popular Protests in Burma.
posted by homunculus on Dec 9, 2007 - 32 comments

The Zen Mind

The Zen Mind - An Introduction. A Day in the Life of a Zen Monk. Zazen - A Guide to Sitting. Interview with a Zen Buddhist Priest (previously). [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Dec 8, 2007 - 36 comments

The Dalai Lama talks with neuroscientist about craving, suffering and choice

Traveling a lot this weekend? Long drive, plane or train ride? You can use that transit time to listen to the Dalai Lama talk for more than four hours with neuroscientists and Buddhist scholars on the topic of craving, suffering and choice. Part one. Part two. [iTunes links] If you're stuck at home, you can watch the video. The video link has the full list of participants.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 21, 2007 - 11 comments

May all beings be at ease

Most of us are sadly aware of the protests over the last few months by Buddhist Burmese monks. (previously 1, 2). To sustain themselves in the face of likely attack these monks have been chanting the Metta Sutta, the Buddha's teachings on compassion and loving kindness. The Metta Sutta is here in translation, some expositions (dharma talks) on the same subject: One by Sharon Salzberg who has done much to popularize metta in the west in the last 20 years, and a whole bunch from Dharma Seed, which makes buddhist teachings available on the web. You want to get in on the action? In the US you can try the Insight Meditation Society, which is based in Barre, Mass., but has lots of local branches. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot on Nov 1, 2007 - 12 comments

Monks back on the streets of Burma

Monks march again in Burma. Approximately one hundred Buddhist monks marched in protest oif government policies in the central city of Pakokku yesterday. One monk who spoke to journalists claims more marches will be organized. Will we see a resurgence of the mass marches--and crackdowns--of August and September?
posted by schroedinger on Oct 31, 2007 - 18 comments

Burma

Risking all: the Burmese jokers who laugh in the face of danger. In Burma (Myanmar), comedians are targets in the junta's war on words. [Via BB.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 17, 2007 - 23 comments

Neuroscience and Mysticism

Searching for God in the Brain. "Researchers are unearthing the roots of religious feeling in the neural commotion that accompanies the spiritual epiphanies of nuns, Buddhists and other people of faith." [Via MindHacks, which points out a few niggling omissions in the article.]
posted by homunculus on Oct 9, 2007 - 57 comments

Photos of Burma protests

Some amazing photos of the ongoing anti-government protests by Buddhist monks in Burma. Things are getting tense.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Sep 24, 2007 - 62 comments

China bans reincarnation without government permission.

China bans reincarnation without government permission.
(Coming soon: right to exist first requires government permit.)
posted by PsyDev on Aug 29, 2007 - 39 comments

Wu Tai Shan

Wutaishan: Pilgrimage to Five Peak Mountain.
posted by homunculus on Aug 22, 2007 - 4 comments

It takes lot of practice to sit that still in meditation

Sokushinbutsu - The self-made mummies.
posted by Burhanistan on Jul 2, 2007 - 55 comments

Buddha Paintings Found in Nepal

Paintings of Buddha dating back at least to the 12th century have been discovered in a cave in Nepal. Tipped by a local shepherd, a team of international researchers climbed to some old caves where they found a mural with 55 panels depicting the life of Buddha, reminiscent of the artwork of the Ajanta Caves in India (possibly NSFW). There are probably many other forgotten caves in the Mustang area (previously discussed here,) but they may be threatened by a planned trans-Himalayan highway.
posted by homunculus on May 13, 2007 - 22 comments

Chortens, Pagodas and Stupas

The stupa (aka the chorten or the pagoda) is Buddhism's universal piece of symbolic architecture. Borobodur in Java is probably the most famous, while Burma's Shwedagon Pagoda is the largest, and the Kyaik-htiyo Pagoda on the Golden Rock may be the most precarious. They're common across the Himalayas, and sometimes hidden in caves.
posted by homunculus on Apr 26, 2007 - 19 comments

Date with a Transvestite Spirit Medium

Burmese Daze: In which the author submits to the pleasures of a transgender spirit possession festival in Burma. [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 25, 2007 - 11 comments

One Action

Nhat Hanh back in Vietnam for the second time since his exile in 1973. He will lead three requiem masses "to offer prayers and healing energy to those who suffered unjustly as victims of war."
posted by Abiezer on Mar 15, 2007 - 7 comments

Vicious...you hit me with a flower

Three chords and four noble truths: on Philadelphia's legendary Buddhist hardcore band of the 1980s, Ruin.
posted by adamgreenfield on Mar 9, 2007 - 16 comments

Cry of the Snow Lion

Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion. The complete documentary (1 hr 43 min) on Google Video.
posted by homunculus on Dec 29, 2006 - 9 comments

The Pursuit of Happyness II: This time, it's a cross-cultural documentary

Three small classes of high school students, one in Watsonville, California, one in Jos, Nigeria, and one in Dharamsala, India, are currently collaborating on "Project Happiness". The students are "exchanging their thoughts about what happiness is, and how to behave in ways that promote happiness all around them," drawing on the Dalai Lama's Ethics for the New Millennium (useful 50-page pdf study guide; positive review from Christian Century magazine). In their work creating a curriculum for the book, the students communicate via email, a blog, and videos (an instructor in India describes the project's focus; a "what life is like here" video from India). The podcast section of the official site currently features just one introductory video posted a few weeks ago. The project will culminate in a meeting of all three classes in March 2007 in Dharamsala. A book and a PBS documentary are planned.
posted by ibmcginty on Dec 28, 2006 - 5 comments

If you meet the Buddha downtown, kill him!

Holy Madness! (Flash interface.) The Rubin Museum of Art in New York City has launched a website that allows you to pore over and compare Tibetan Buddhist artwork from their exhibits. Use the "Decode" feature to pick paintings apart and learn about their intricate components.

See also: their ambitious calendar of events.
posted by hermitosis on Aug 17, 2006 - 18 comments

Flickr Tour of Inle Lake

3000 feet up in the mountains of Eastern Myanmar (Burma) lies Inle Lake^, a giant freshwater lake that is populated by 70,000 people living in four separate cities on top of the lake. They dwell, fish, farm, worship and celebrate upon the surface of Lake Inle, living a unique lifestyle that seems wholly unto itself, untouched by the world outside. All pictures found using the amazing FlickrStorm tool.
posted by jonson on Aug 13, 2006 - 25 comments

transitional states of mind

The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Part One. Part Two. [YouTube videos] [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jul 28, 2006 - 20 comments

Silk Roads

The Digital Silk Roads Project continues to grow apace with more additions from the Toyo Bunko rare books archive. Now available online, among others, are Les grottes de Touen-Houang, The Thousand Buddhas and several German books, including Chotscho. Unfortunately, all of the high resolution images are greyscale. [related]
posted by tellurian on May 1, 2006 - 5 comments

a religion magazine for people both hostile and drawn to talk of God

"Killing the Buddha is about finding a way to be religious when we're all so self-conscious and self-absorbed. Knowing more than ever about ourselves and the way the world works, we gain nothing through nostalgia for a time when belief was simple, and even less from insisting that now is such a time. Killing the Buddha will ask, How can we be religious without leaving part of ourselves at the church or temple door? How can we love God when we know it doesn't matter if we do? Call it God for the godless. Call it the search for a God we can believe in: A God that will not be an embarrassment in twelve-thousand years. A God we can talk about without qualifications." I particularly enjoyed The Temptation of Belief, by a Buddhist exploring evangelical Christianity, and My Holy Ghost People, by an unbelieving daughter in a praying-in-tongues family.
posted by heatherann on Apr 24, 2006 - 21 comments

One of Thailand's most revered shrines destroyed.

One of Thailand's most revered shrines destroyed. Bangkok's most popular religious site -- the shrine to the four-headed Hindu god Brahma at the Erawan corner (ศาลพระพรหม) -- was smashed to pieces early Tuesday by a hammer-wielding mentally-ill Thai Muslim man. In the context of Thailand's current political instability, the disaster is seen by many in this deeply spiritual country as a terrible omen.
posted by soiled cowboy on Mar 21, 2006 - 59 comments

A Zen Master Blogs...

"My name is Gudo Wafu Nishijima, a Buddist Monk, who is 86 years old, and recently because of my old age, I finished my Buddhist lectures, which were held at many places for many years, and so I decided to open Dogen Sangha Blog, to express the Buddhist thought. It might be very short sentences, but I would like to continue it as far as possible almost every day."

The blog of Zen Master Gudo Wafu Nishijima, founder of Dongen Sangha Buddhist group. Learn from his video, How to Practice Zazen, or read some of Nishijima Roshi's lectures and articles, including the interesting talk, Zazen, A Better Way of Experiencing Pain.
posted by MetaMonkey on Feb 25, 2006 - 44 comments

Meditators have bigger brains

Meditation found to increase brain size (maybe) according to research led by Harvard neuroscientist Sara Lazar. Meanwhile, Atheist Manifesto author Sam Harris recently went on a meditation retreat and seemed to find it pleasant enough.
posted by homunculus on Feb 22, 2006 - 79 comments

The Little Buddha of Bara

A meditating teenage boy in south-central Nepal First mentioned by the BBC at the beginning of December; Ram Bahadur Bamjan is drawing the attention of scientists after attracting huge crowds in the past eight months and earning himself the name Buddha-reincarnate. No food, no water just snakebite. Is this: - holy or hoax?
posted by adamvasco on Feb 10, 2006 - 82 comments

get an after-life.

Is there any real possibility of an after-life? Some argue that belief in the after-life is an inherently unfalsifiable proposition. Others argue that science has already ruled out the possibility. Buddhism takes a radically different view, embracing a conception of the after-life far different from any found in the Judeo-Christian faiths. What about the possibility of Eternal Recurrence, as proposed by Nietzsche? Just what do we mean when we speak of the "after-life" anyway?
posted by all-seeing eye dog on Oct 13, 2005 - 129 comments

Meditation and Neuroscience

Two Sciences of Mind. A good article on the emerging dialogue between neuroscience and Buddhism (previously discussed here). Allan Wallace of the Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama's plan to speak at an upcoming neuroscience conference has led to controversy and petition wars.
posted by homunculus on Oct 2, 2005 - 50 comments

aspects of sublime contemplation

beacon of bliss Quality images of a deity to help calm outrage or anxious mutterings
posted by longsleeves on Jun 13, 2005 - 18 comments

Buddhanet

Buddhist photo documentaries and more.
posted by plep on May 31, 2005 - 5 comments

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