A number of Buddhism-specific dictionaries have been published over the years, but they have all been limited in scope to one language (such as Tibetan) or one tradition (Zen, for example). The 1304-page Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, however, written and edited by Robert E. Buswell, Jr., and Donald S. Lopez, Jr., includes entries from six canonical languages (Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), as well as selected terms and names in Thai, Burmese, Vietnamese, Lao, Khmer, Sinhalese, Newar, and Mongolian.
Posted by Tibetan Gallery
Tibetan Gallery & Studio Presents a Lecture Series: Teachers & Transmissions in the Thanbhochi
Our premiere lecture, by Nicholas Egan, began to scratch the surface on the complexities of this ancient Tibetan art. We have taped it, and you can find links to the different segments below.
In the first segment, Nick discusses the difference between art for purpose and art for art’s sake.
In part two, Nick explores the iconography of Shakyamuni Buddha and his two primary disciples.
In part three, Nick discusses the Nyingma section of the thanbhochi.
And in part four, Nick discusses the Kagyu section of the thanbhochi.
Tibetan Gallery & Studio in Sebastopol, California, is the only place in the world outside of Tibet where you can watch a Tibetan master create a giant ceremonial thangka, known as thanbhochi. The two-story canvas comprises 37 Buddhas, deities, and teachers.
Nicholas Egan is a Dharma teacher in the Nyingma tradition and has a PhD in Buddhist Studies. A student of Anam Thubten Rinpoche and Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, he is known for his clear and accessible teaching style and is the founder of the Advaya Institute. He has been leading pilgrimages to Asia since 2005 and has led groups to Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Mongolia, China, and Thailand.
Learn more, see our upcoming event schedule, and help support us at www.PreserveTibetanArt.org.
In May of last year, American monk Nicholas Vreeland’s name rippled through the Western Buddhist world following the announcement that the Dalai Lama had named him as the first Western abbot of a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. Vreeland has long been known as the “monk with a camera,” raising funds for the institution in question, Rato Monastery, through exhibitions and sales of his extraordinary black-and-white images. Now, Monk with a Camera is a film documentary, having its world premiere November 24-30 at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (a US premiere is promised for the spring). Read More »
Bring Mindfulness to Your Electronics Use
Take the IDP Be Free challenge and power down for an hour each day, January 1-10
For the first ten days of January, the Interdependence Project — along with thousands of people worldwide — will take the Be Free pledge. For one hour each day — an hour of our choosing (during which we would normally keep our electronics on) — we promise to put down our cell phones, shut off our televisions and other electronics, and simply be present with whatever we’re doing. If we’re reading, we’ll just read. If we’re walking, we’ll walk. If we’re having dinner, we’ll eat, and we’ll learn to be fully present with whoever is in our company, even if we’re dining alone. It’s a one-hour mindfulness practice that takes place in life, not just on the cushion.
IDP Be Free is part of January’s Responsible eConsumption Month, during which we’ll be focusing our attention on becoming more discerning, aware, and careful about how and when we consume information and communication via telephone, cellphone, internet, radio, and television. Read More »
The main hall of Lithang Monastery in China’s Sichuan Province was ravaged in a fire on Saturday. The Tibetan monastery, founded in 1580 by the Third Dalai Lama, was the site of a pivotal standoff between the People’s Liberation Army and the Tibetan resistance movement in 1956; in that confrontation, airstrikes damaged the buildings and killed many of the monks and laypeople barricaded inside.
The fire was extinguished before it could spread to other structures. However, the prayer hall was burned to rubble, and though many cultural artifacts were saved, the main statues were seriously burned. The fire is believed to have been started by an electrical short circuit.
On Friday, November 22, 2013, San Francisco Zen Center and Missing Links Press will present a special evening of poetry at City Center (300 Page Street, San Francisco), featuring four esteemed poets: Norman Fischer, Jane Hirshfield, Genine Lentine, and Zubair Ahmed. Tom Ingalls, publisher of Missing Links Press, will introduce the evening along with Kanzan David Zimmerman (SFZC). Click here for more info.
Monks in Cambodia recently took a stand against the Cambodian government and foreign corporations for their plans to build a hydroelectric dam on the Areng River. According to a report by Aljazeera, “the Stung Cheay Areng dam project, proposed by the China Guodian Corporation, will create a reservoir that would flood about 20,000 hectares of rainforest and displace the valley’s estimated 1,500 residents,” devastating one of the most biologically diverse areas of rainforest left in Asia.
Forty monks of varying ages marched 25km through the forest to the village of Pra Lay, in the Areng Valley, to encourage the residents there to stand up to the government. They brought with them an 80-meter long swath of saffron cloth; the morning after their arrival at Pra Lay, they used the cloth to wrap some of the oldest and largest trees in blessing ceremonies, marking the valley as a holy place needing protection from developers.
You can learn more about developments in the Areng Valley and the stakes of this conflict through environmental watchdog International Rivers.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama recently met with a large group of Tibetan nuns, following a one-month intensive debate session. The gathering of nuns was an initiative of the Tibetan Nun Project, which is making educational opportunities previously available only to monks open to nuns as well. The project has made great progress since its establishment in 1987. Many of the nuns who fled Tibet arrived in India and Nepal with little to no formal education, some even illiterate; in 2013, an unprecedented 27 nuns sat for the Geshema exam, the equivalent of a Ph.D. in Tibetan Buddhism.
The Dalai Lama, when meeting with the nuns, called on them to take leadership roles:
“The Dharma [Buddhist teaching] is at a critical juncture. You might think that it would be good to spend the rest of your life as a hermit, but we also need qualified people to teach others. Once you complete your studies we need some of you nuns to teach. Until now you have relied on monks to teach you, but in future it will be very important that there are also nuns to teach nuns.”
Nine-Story Mountain (click here for the trailer) is a documentary-in-progress that follows an Oxford University-sponsored expedition to Mount Kailash in Tibet — sometimes referred to as the mountain at the center of the world. According the film’s official site, Nine-Story Mountain “charts the path of three Western researchers on their journey to explore pilgrimage practices across the Tibetan plateau. Together, they set out to unearth the secrets of a mountain and landscape that have magnetized millions of people for centuries.”
Click here for more information about the film and on how you can support it.
The Winter issue of Buddhadharma won’t be on newsstands until November 19, but you can visit the magazine’s website today to get a look at what’s inside. There you’ll find excerpts from Joseph Goldstein’s “Four Foundations of Mindfulness,” Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche’s “Life, Frame by Frame,” a forum on “The Beauty of Renunciation,” and much more.
Friday’s devastating typhoon in the Philippines has claimed somewhere between 1,500 and 10,000 lives; it is already considered to be the worst such storm on record. If you’re wondering how to contribute to relief efforts, this guide from CharityNavigator.org will guide you through it.
The Nalandabodhi community has published on open letter titled “Typhoon in the Philippines: practicing for those suffering from the tragedy,” offering advice on how to use practice as a way of raising your own and your sangha’s awareness of this tremendous suffering.
The University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) announced last Friday that it was the recipient of a “transformational” $32 million grant bestowed by the US-based Alphawood Foundation. This near-record gift is intended to “advance the study and preservation of Buddhist and Hindu art in Southeast Asia.” The majority of the funding will underwrite more than eighty international scholarships and fully endow three new academic posts, including the David L. Snellgrove Chair in Tibetan and Buddhist Art.
Alphawood founder Fred Eychaner explained that SOAS was selected for such a substantial grant in part “because this School creates a very special learning and research environment where West meets East. It builds bridges to the universities, museums and galleries of Asia, including in areas where the arts were held back by war and politics in the 20th century.” Read the full story here.
The annual gathering of Western Buddhist monastics is one of my favorite events of the year. Having attended all but three or four of the nineteen gatherings, I have watched our group expand and coalesce into a vibrant community over the years. It seems to me the Buddha would be very pleased to see his devoted disciples gather with harmony each year, supporting each other in this adventure of living as monastics in modern Western society, where people have little idea who these shaven-headed, saffron-robed ones are. Of course, we recognize each other, not just because of the robes but because we see in each other the genuine aspiration to be free from cyclic existence and to benefit others. People who live with such an intention and with ethical conduct are not easy to come by in a world that values money and consumerism.
This year, more than forty of us — female and male celibate monastics — gathered at the City of Dharma Realm, a Chinese Mahayana Nuns’ Monastery in Sacramento, California, from October 21 to 25. “Monastic Formation” — an umbrella term that covers the many elements of monastic training that help to guide and develop all aspects of a human being — was our theme this year. Read More »