Jizo, Snow

Hiroshi Hamaya: New Year’s Visit with Jizo, Niigata Prefecture, 1940

Hiroshi Hamaya: New Year’s Visit with Jizo, Niigata Prefecture, 1940

The above image, showing young Japanese trekking through deep snow with a Buddhist statute, appears in the article “The Japan Beneath the Snow,” by Ian Buruma in New York Review of Books.

What if Wolverine attained enlightenment?

wolverine-social-1from the Lion’s Roar blog
BY SAM MOORE | JULY 22, 2015

If you’ve been a fan of Wolverine — one of Marvel’s most popular characters — for any significant period of time, you probably know that he’s had some Buddhism in his background. “I’m the best there is at what I do. But what I do isn’t very nice,” he’s famous for saying. But what if he was the best at was something nicer, cultivating compassion and non-violence? That’s the Wolverine that readers get to see in Marvel’s latest comic, Secret Wars-Battle World #3.

As we’ve written of before, Wolverine lived in Japan for a number of years. There, he learned martial arts and the way of the samurai (with a demon as his teacher), and took up his own zazen practice.

Currently, the “Marvel Universe” is undergoing a violent upheaval. In the aftermath of the destruction of all creation, arises “Battleworld,” where characters and settings from different timelines and stories from throughout Marvel’s history have been mashed up.

This new setting allows for a whole host of new stories, many of which contain different versions of the same character. One such story occurs in this month’s Battle World. Written by Ivan Brandon and drawn by Aaron Conley, “A Thousand Cuts” finds countless versions of Wolverine in an underground arena trapped in a seemingly endless battle royale. Combatants include different versions of Wolverine, from the canonical to the nonsensical. An adamantium skeleton with claws fights a Wolverine who is also Spider-Man. A pug dressed in Wolverine’s classic yellow and brown costume chases after a similarly styled cat, complete with Wolverine’s muttonchops. Amidst this glorious chaos we also find Wolverine, the Non-Violent Meditator.

wolverine-social-4 Continue reading

VMC, Museums Dept. lock horns over Buddhist pillars

The Hindu
M. SRINIVAS

Proposal of installing antique monuments at vantage points in city draws flak

The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) and the Department of Archaeology and Museums seem to be locking horns on the question of installing antique Buddhist pillars at vantage points in the city.

While the corporation mooted the proposal with the aim of showcasing ancient traditions, the Museums Department maintained that antique monuments were meant for preservation only for future generations and not for display in open spaces. Moreover, the department said, rules did not allow it to hand over monuments to other government agencies.

For the record, VMC Commissioner G. Veerapandian, after examining the Buddhist pillars on display at the Victoria Jubilee Museum, had instructed officials to take necessary steps for installing the pillars at important places with prior permission from the Museums Department. He had then said the installation of the pillars at vantage points would add to the attraction to the city.

“Who will own responsibility, if damage is done to the pillars after they are moved out?” asked an official. Incidentally, as many as six pillars have already been identified for the purpose.

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Getty to show exact replicas of art-filled Buddhist caves in China

Mogao Grottoes in China

The Mogao Grottoes, a vast network of 492 caves in China, are covered with Buddhist murals. Exact replicas of three of the painted caves will come to the Getty Center in a 2016 show that also will include artifacts from the caves. (Neville Agnew / J. Paul Getty Trust)

Los Angeles Times

By MIKE BOEHM

The Getty will mount an exhibition rising from a 26-year art conservation project it has sponsored in China

Exact, roofed-in replicas of three Chinese Buddhist temple caves and their murals to go on display at Getty

Showing replicas of artworks instead of the real thing is usually anathema to an art museum, but the J. Paul Getty Trust on Tuesday showed why that rule has its exceptions.

The Getty Trust fleshed out details of its 2016 exhibition “Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road,” which will include complete, exact, walk-in replicas of three decorated caves that artists adorned with Buddhist-themed murals over 1,000 years starting in the 4th century.

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“Dharma Screenings: Buddhist Film and Pop Culture—Bringing Buddhism to Creative Media”

An allusion to Buddha images in the Saint Young Men manga. From kyuuketsukirui.livejournal.com

An allusion to Buddha images in the Saint Young Men manga. From kyuuketsukirui.livejournal.com

Follow the link to read “Dharma Screenings: Buddhist Film and Pop Culture—Bringing Buddhism to Creative Media,” at Buddhist Door International’s site. The article, the third in a three-part series which explores “the Buddhist presence in pop culture media,” analyzes “how the Buddha has been depicted in entertainment media such as graphic novels and manga, and the ambiguous and conflicted reactions to these trends from the Buddhist world.”

Buddhism docu by Benoy K Behl wins at Madrid International Filmfest share this on 0001

Untitled-1By indiantelevision.com Team Posted on : 25 Jul 2015 02:46 pm

NEW DELHI: Indian Roots of Tibetan Buddhism by filmmaker and conservator Benoy K. Behl has won the Best Documentary Producer Award at the Madrid International Film Festival.

The film, produced by the External Publicity Division of the External Affairs Ministry, was in competition against around a 100 films from 50 countries.

An eminent art historian and filmmaker who began his career as a photographer, Behl has made 130 documentary films in the past but this is the first film that he has ever entered in an international film festival. The film has already won awards at the Bioscope Global Film Festival in Delhi where he won the Best Documentary Award and another in Noida where the film won the award of Best Script Writer.

Behl’s films are regularly screened in universities and museums around the world. They have also been screened on Doordarshan’s National and DD Bharati channels. Continue reading

Ngawang Lodup: The Buddhist monk who became a rock star

New dawn: Ngawang Lodup, the Tibetan former monk, will play WOMAD festival this weekend Photo: Andrew Crowley

New dawn: Ngawang Lodup, the Tibetan former monk, will play WOMAD festival this weekend Photo: Andrew Crowley

Ahead of his set at WOMAD, the Tibetan talks to Julia Llewllyn Smith about mandolins, monasteries and his painful exile

The Telegraph
By Julia Llewellyn Smith
7:00AM BST 20 Jul 2015

It’s a long way, in every sense, from the wide, rolling grasslands of Tibet to the packed, muddy fields of WOMAD, the annual festival of world music in Gloucestershire. But it’s on the WOMAD stage that Ngawang Lodup – a former Buddhist monk, turned rising musical star – will perform songs about his remote homeland, his long-lost family and his faith.

“Magic things are happening,” beams Lodup, sitting in a suit and tie, very different from the traditional dress in which he performs, in Broadcasting House in central London. It’s been an extraordinary journey for the 32-year-old, who was born into a nomadic family in the north-eastern Tibetan province of Amdo.

Ludop’s earliest memories were of his mother singing folk songs as she carried him on her back while tending their cattle, yaks and sheep. In the evenings, the family sang songs in praise of the snowy mountains and his two brothers taught him to play the mandolin and ancient Tibetan dramnyen, (a six-string lute).

As the youngest son, family tradition held that, at 14, he must enter a distant, 1000-strong monastery, where he spent long days studying Buddhist teachings, along with chanting and praying. All instruments, except those in the ritualistic Buddhist orchestra, were banned. “But I’m an artist,” says Lodup, in his good but not perfect English. “I love music, I couldn’t avoid it”.

After a trip home, he resolved to smuggle his beloved mandolin back to the monastery and hid it in his quarters. “The discipline masters were very strict and I knew if they found it they would take it away and destroy it, as well as fine me,” he says.

Lodup plays the dramnyen, a traditional Tibetan instrument similar to a lute (Photo: Andrew Crowley)

Lodup plays the dramnyen, a traditional Tibetan instrument similar to a lute (Photo: Andrew Crowley)

Despite this, he began skipping debate classes to play in secret, and soon a group of fellow novices also began sneaking away from their studies to listen. “I had monk fans!” Fear of recriminations from Tibet’s harsh Chinese dictatorship towards his family means Lodup is circumspect about many details and what happened next. But at 19, he left the monastery – and then two years later left his family – to pursue a life where he could express himself more freely.

Like hundreds of thousands of his compatriots who – since China’s invasion in 1950 – have fled Tibet, Lodup walked alone for 18 days and 250 miles across the Himalayas to Kathmandu in Nepal.

“It was absolutely dangerous and very, very difficult,” he says. “People lose arms and legs and die on the way because of the extreme weather.” With just his clothes on his back and some tsampa, a form of roasted barley that the Dalai Lama eats for breakfast, Ludong slept as little as possible, sometimes in caves but mainly on the snow.

“I was scared but I knew the main thing was to keep moving as much as possible. Sometimes I would throw some of the tsampa to the deities who live in the Holy mountains to guide me to a safe journey. And here you go! I’m here now.”

From Nepal, he then came to Britain. That was 11 years ago and he spoke little English. “It was an absolute challenge, I didn’t know anything about the system here and had no friends.” Continue reading