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James Stanford donates Buddhist work to the Tibetan cause – ArtfixDaily

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Las Vegas digital artist James Stanford will be donating his monumental work Budding Buddha to Art For Tibet for their 9th annual auction and exhibition in support of the Tibetan peoples nonviolent freedom struggle against occupation.

Founded in 2009, Art for Tibet will be taking place in New York on Thursday November 7 2019, and will bring together artists and activists to celebrate, commemorate, and support the Tibetan people.

Stanfords work Budding Buddha, a 3-flip backlit lenticular print is edition one of five, moving with the viewers gaze it transforms into three contrasting versions of itself. Depicting the Buddhas head the work refers to Stanfords own deep spirituality ignited in his teen years when he was introduced to Seon Buddhism and began practicing meditation. Other artists donating works to include Shepard Fairey, Cey Adams, Al Diaz and Pema Rinzin.

This years Art for Tibets Honorary Committee is made up of legendary hip-hop artist and Beastie Boys collaborator Cey Adams, French-Tibetan painter Marie-Dolma Chopel, Shepard Fairey and Columbia Professor of Indo-Tibetan Studies, Robert Thurman. The exhibition and auction will take place at the prestigious Gallery 8 in Harlem, where Tibetan artists will be showcased alongside leading contemporary artists. An online auction will take place from October 25 November 7 2019 and the live auction on November 7.

Stanford is widely known for his series Shimmering Zen, a group of digital works featuring mesmerising mandala designs based on photos of historic Las Vegas neon signage. The mosaics and patterns have an immaterial and spiritual quality evoking the artists strong connection to Zen Buddhism. Using a mix of traditional photography and digital techniques, Stanford layers photographs to create and discover patterns in familiar yet completely revitalised images. The exploration of light is key to Stanfords practice as he draws on his expertise as a painter photographer and professor of colour theory.

Dedicated to promoting arts and culture in his hometown Las Vegas, recent months have seen Stanford design a monumental site-specific mural covering the arts incubator at 705 North Las Vegas Boulevard. The mural spans over 2,000 square feet and commemorates the iconic Blue Angel statue that watched over Downtown Las Vegas for 61 years from its mid-century perch at the Blue Angel Motel.

Multimedia artist Stanford has earned an international reputation for an innovative and diverse oeuvre founded on the values of artistic experimentation and meditative practice. Working inventively in a wide range of media and genres, his subject matter ties into a long-term interest in the study and transformation of popular culture, most widely known in the abstract meditative reconfigurations through his Shimmering Zen series, a body of work based on the neon signage and lights of Las Vegas.His art is widely recognized for a sense of radiant light, shadowy space and an infinity of crystalline forms, aptly named modern mandalas.As a practicingBodhisattva teacher, the artist describes his approach and the transformation within his process: My works are part of my practice: meditations, and as such they act as guides to help the viewer gazedeeperinto who we really are. Popular culture can teach us all a lot about who we really are and show us our correct relationship to the universe.

James Stanford says:

I am honoured to be donating a work to Art For Tibet, a cause that is very close to my heart. As a practicing Buddhist I believe in equality, freedom and human rights, all things the Tibetan people are currently deprived of. I commend the Students for a Free Tibets (SFT) important work including their annual fundraisers which help them continue their fight to free Tibet with nonviolent action.

Notes to Editors:

About Art for Tibet:

Founded in 2009, Art for Tibet raises critical funds for Students for a Free Tibet (SFT), a grassroots network of youth and activists campaigning for Tibetans fundamental right to political freedom. Through education, grassroots organizing, and nonviolent direct action, SFT empowers youth as leaders in the worldwide movement for social justice.

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Jack Kerouac: On the road to immortality – The Navhind Times

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Navneet Vyasan

Born toFrench-Canadian parents, Jack Kerouac excelled in sports from a very young age.Initially, never interested in literature, Kerouacs athletic pursuits won hima sports scholarship at Columbia University in the early 1940s.

At the same time, Allen Ginsberg, also won a scholarshipat Columbia University and then met Lucien Carr. Carr, a well-read academic,was popular for his views and writings, which were infamouslyanti-establishment.

This is the time when, the core members of the BeatGeneration Kerouac, Ginsberg, Carr, Herbert Huncke and William S Burroughs would go on to start a movement that would inspire generations to come. Throughtheir prose and poetry, they would advocate spiritual awakening, purification,and illumination through heightened sensory awareness. This, they argued, mightbe induced by drugs, jazz, sex, or, in the later years, Zen Buddhism. But itwas Kerouacs book titled On the Road, and his friendship with Ginsberg thatmade headlines every nowand then.

In the 1960s, as their writing gained momentum, adorationwas closely followed by denunciation. However, their works, in time, influencedthese popular trends, then engulfing the world.

The hippiemovement

I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act ofleaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich withpossibility, wrote Kerouac in his seminal work, On The Road. Published in1957, this part travelogue part novel, took Kerouac only three weeks towrite. Written in a single, effortless flow, the book was inspired by Kerouacstravel across the rapidly changing post-war United States.

Cited by legendary artistes including, Bob Dylan, JimMorrison, and David Bowie as an influential read, Kerouacs work inspired ageneration of hippie trails. The quest for soul searching, lied in travel, andfor him, the journey he underwent before writing the book, was just a start.Unsurprisingly, American teens read the book cover-to-cover and before late, hebecame a literary icon.

In fact, the term hippie was introduced in the 1960s.Before that, the American media coined the term, beatnik, to describeAmericans, setting on a long journey inspired by Kerouacs writings. His works,acquired a global reach after hippies became prevalent around the world. The trail,required Americans to fly to Europe, which is where it would start. The finalstop, more often than not, being Southern India, the travellers used the passesthrough pre-revolution Iran, and Afghanistan, before it was invaded, finallycrossing over to Pakistan and entering India before settling in the southernstates of Goa and Kerala.

Countercultures

Arguably, nothing influenced music and literature the waycounterculture did. Constantly associated with liberation, one can see the riseof ideals of pacifism, LGBT acceptance and marijuana legalisation when onereads works like Post Office by Charles Bukowski or Fear and Loathing in LasVegas by Hunter S Thompson.

Counterculture literature grew with time when authors,notably, used their writings as a tool to critique the establishment that wasgoverning them. Risking imprisonment and sedition charges, Kerouacscontemporary, Allen Ginsberg penned his much acclaimed poem, Howl. Ginsbergregularly mentions Kerouac in his works.

What is obscenity? And to whom? he wrote in the initialpages of his book, Howl and Other Poems. Ginsberg was frustrated that therapidly growing American economy was masking the countrys military ventures.He accused the everyday white collar worker of ignoring the countrysatrocities. I saw the best minds of my generation who threw their watches offthe roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, and alarm clocksfell on their heads every day for the next decade, he wrote about how the USgovernment was fooling them by luring them with jobs, as a way to mask VietnamWars atrocities. Subsequently, he had to face sedition charges.

Religion andspirituality

In Kerouacs final days, which would also mark theconclusive years of the Beat Generation, he set out in search of spiritualityand was fascinated by Eastern religions. Ginsberg made a historic trip to Indiaand Kerouac published, The Dharma Bums, what is now considered the hippie handbook.

My karma was to be born in America where nobody has anyfun or believes in anything, especially freedom, he wrote. Raised a devoutRoman Catholic, Kerouac after being introduced to Buddhism, mentionsBodhisattva frequently in his works which followed The Dharma Bums. Moreover,this was the early 1960s, when hippies, in their Volkswagen buses, thronged thebeaches of California chanting Hare Rama, Hare Krishna.

(HT Media)

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Jack Kerouac: On the road to immortality - The Navhind Times

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Meditation @ Mac: addressing anxiety in Mac community – Macalester College The Mac Weekly

Posted: October 11, 2019 at 4:46 pm


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Izzy Gravano, Arts EditorOctober 10, 2019

In his own words, Rev. Marc Anderson is Macalesters zen grandpa. He serves as the Buddhist Chaplain in the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life (CRSL), where he facilitates Meditation @ Mac twice a week. The 30-minute sessions are open to students, faculty and community members.

Meditation @ Mac existed prior to Andersons arrival six years ago. When he first started as a volunteer Buddhist chaplain, a student organization was already holding meditation sessions. Anderson was officially hired two years later when College Chaplain and Associate Dean Rev. Kelly J. Stone started her tenure at the college. The students who had previously facilitated the meditation sessions decided to disband their organization leaving a gap in the colleges spiritual programming.

My view of meditation practice, even though I come from the Japanese Soto School of Zen Buddhism, is that I dont see Buddhism as a prerequisite, Anderson said. If students are interested in that part of it, Im available to them but Im trying to offer meditation as something thats available to everybody.

Rev. Anderson approaches meditation on a college campus differently than he might elsewhere.

Some form of contemplative space is really essential for everybody to be healthy, Anderson said. Its not just that youre less anxious and your blood pressure goes down, but it has all these other impacts that are harder for people to grasp because its because it happens differently for everyone.

Meditation is widely recommended by medical professionals and academics alike. On Macalesters campus, Disability Services sees a range of students with anxiety and stress two common reasons why someone might begin meditating.

I find that meditation is a great resource for our students to reduce anxiety, Disability Services Coordinator Josie Hurka said. It is one tool in the toolbox for a healthy life, so its nice that Macalester offers meditation here free of charge and open to everyone.

A dozen or so students regularly attend Meditation @ Mac. Anna Turner 22 sees the benefits, but like many students, cant find the time in the week to make her way to the chapel.

Ive never attended Meditation @ Mac, but Ive always wanted to. Turner said, I like that its a group atmosphere and so low stakes; hopefully I can convince my friends to come with me,

For Macalester students, Anderson cant recommend his sessions enough.

There are few things [in life] that I would guarantee, but meditation is one of them, Anderson said. Not everyone is ready for it, but Ive never met anyone whos been committed to it and not found it to be a good thing, and I cant think of anything else that I could say that about.

You just have to come in the door, he continued. And try it out.

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Meditation @ Mac: addressing anxiety in Mac community - Macalester College The Mac Weekly

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The miniature world of bonsai on display at Hershey Gardens – PennLive

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The ornamental art of Bonsai are on display in the Hoop House at Hershey Gardens in the annual Bonsai: Living Art of the Susquehanna Bonsai Club exhibit of miniature trees and shrubs.

The Susquehanna Bonsai Club provides the seasonal exhibit to Hershey Gardens. Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite bonsai.

Bonsai refers to an ornamental tree or shrub grown in a pot and artificially prevented from reaching its normal size. This art form comes from an ancient Chinese horticultural practice, part of which was redeveloped under the influence of Japanese Zen Buddhism.

The ultimate goal of growing a bonsai is to create a miniaturized but realistic representation of nature in the form of a tree. Any tree species can be used to grow one.

The display opens Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, and runs through Saturday, Nov. 3, 2019. The exhibit is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, including Saturdays and Sundays, and is included in admission to Hershey Gardens.

General admission is $13.50 for visitors ages 13-61, $12.00 for seniors (ages 62 and up), and $9.50 for juniors (ages 3-12); children under age three are free. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

For more information, please visit HersheyGardens.org.

Thanks for visiting PennLive. Quality local journalism has never been more important. We need your support. Not a subscriber yet? Please consider supporting our work.

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The miniature world of bonsai on display at Hershey Gardens - PennLive

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The Beat Generation in Whatcom County: Jack Kerouac, Gary Snyder, and the North Cascades – whatcomtalk.com

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The Beat Generation included some of the most influential,controversial, and celebrated writers of the twentieth century. Jack Kerouac,Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs were among many whose experimentalwriting inspired the 1950s and 60s counterculture. In Whatcom County, literaryhistory and local history converge on Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyders time asNorth Cascades firewatchers.

Born in 1922, Jack Kerouac most famously wrote On the Road , an autobiographical novelabout his and Neal Cassadys countrywide adventures. The Dharma Bums and DesolationAngels recount Kerouacs firewatcher job from summer 1956just one yearbefore On the Roads publication.Kerouac passed away in 1969 due to alcoholism, but his influence lives on.Notably, he coined the term Beat Generation and wrote spontaneous prosenonstopsentences that flow like breath, as in jazz and meditation.

Born in 1930, Gary Snyder won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetryin 1975 for Turtle Island. Snyderspent his early life mainly in King County and Oregon which, along with ZenBuddhism, inspired his poetrys natural emphasis. He was really the first sortof poet-environmentalist, with the exception of, say, John Muir or Thoreau,says literary scholar and Western WashingtonUniversity professor Christopher Wise.

Although brief, these writers North Cascades adventureshave inspired similar excursions by many of their readers.

Gary Snyder was a firewatcher at Crater Mountainin 1952 and SourdoughMountain in 1953. He convinced fellow poet Philip Whalen to become afirewatcher, and kept a journal published in Earth House Hold (1969).

Snyder first visited Bellingham while growing up in KingCounty, and visited friends there during both firewatcher trips.

There is this legend about Gary Snyder and Jack Kerouaccoming into Bellingham and visiting Cocoanut Grove, Wise says. A 1953Earth House Hold passage says Jackshowed Snyder the bar. However, the date does not match Kerouacs trip and Conversations with Gary Snyder by DavidStephen Calonne (2017) mentions one Jack Francis as a friend of Snyders inBellingham.

Snyder made later Bellingham trips, including poetryreadings at Village Books and North Cascades Institute in 2004. Havingclimbed mountains since 1945, Snyder knew the scenery well.

When Kerouac was in Whatcom County, he had an encounterwith a culture, with an experience of nature that he had never had before,says Wise. For Snyder, I think being here was more an extension of what he wasalready familiar with in Oregon.

Kerouac and Snyder met in 1955, the year San FranciscosSix Gallery reading featured Snyders Berry Feast and Ginsbergs Howl.Snyder introduced Kerouac to Zen Buddhism and the firewatcher job while theylived at Snyders Mill Valley, California cabinthe experience behind KerouacsThe Dharma Bums.

Jack Kerouac spent 63 days at DesolationPeaks lookout station in the summer of 1956, resulting in Desolation Angels. He never spotted any fires,and had only brief radio contact with the U.S. Forest Service.

DesolationAngels (published in 1965) has three parts: Desolation inSolitude written in 1956, Desolation in the World written in 1956, andPassing Through written in 1961. The first, Kerouacs firewatching journal,describes his struggle with boredom, isolation, and a self-confrontation youdont really see in his other narratives, Wise says. The journal replacesKerouacs spontaneous prose with meditations on Hozomeen Mountain, comparing itto the Void.

For people who really admire Kerouac, it can be afrustrating novel because of the rambling nature, says Wise. But I think ithas a real heartfelt spirituality that still speaks to people today.

From Marblemount and State Route 20, Kerouac hitchhiked toSeattle through Concrete, Sedro-Woolley, and Mount Vernon. Desolation in theWorld returns to spontaneous prose as Kerouac enjoys Seattles burlesque andreunites with friends in San Francisco. TheDharma Bums (1958) describes Desolation Peak in spontaneous prose, moreoptimistic in hindsight.

Desolation Peak may have been Kerouacs last realadventure, as Passing Through recounts following trips more cynically.Visiting Tangier (a Beat cultural hub) in 1957, Kerouac felt nausea concerningexperience with the world at large and lamented On the Roads newfound fame. BigSur (1962) is Kerouacs only other novel set afterward, chronicling laterhealth struggles.

To Kerouac, Beat meant beaten down but also upbeatand beatific. This sentiment resonates with his life story and with readersfollowing the same road.

Hiking Desolation Peak takes a 10-mile overnight trip,Crater Mountain a 19-mile daytrip, and Sourdough Mountain a 10-mile daytrip.Lookout towers still stand at Desolation Peak and Sourdough Mountain.

Poetson the Peaks by John Suiter and a State Route 20 plaquenear Desolation Peak commemorate the Beats mountain adventures. Still, WhatcomCounty feels the Beats influence in other ways.

I see a lot in their writing that resonates with thisparticular county, says Wise. And some of their values, their ideals, theirexuberance, the things that they loved, the experimental nature of their workIthink theres an openness to that here.

In the North Cascades, Whatcom Countys literature enthusiasts can hike further off the beaten path.

Featured photo by Christopher Wise

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Riley Lee fell in love with the shakuhachi but it’s silence that really moves him – ABC News

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Updated October 06, 2019 11:54:26

Riley Lee will never forget the first time he heard the shakuhachi a Japanese bamboo flute on a record his brother brought home to Hawaii in the late 1960s.

"It was as if some sentient being was talking directly to me," he says.

"Back then you couldn't loop things. So I took the needle off and I wore out that little track in the LP just having to lift it up and play it again."

The track was a collaboration between jazz clarinettist Tony Scott, Shinichi Yuize, who played the koto, or Japanese board zither, and shakuhachi player Hozan Yamamoto.

As a teenager, Dr Lee had no idea that the experience would set off a chain of events that would define his life.

Or how the gaps in the music the silence would come to be as important to him as the melodies he would play.

He has come to embrace Zen Buddhism, but says silence "transcends single religions": "To understand ourselves, to be more self-aware, requires that silence."

The shakuhachi was introduced to Japan from China in the 8th century, and Zen Buddhist monks have used it in meditation over the past 400 years.

Dr Lee became the instrument's first non-Japanese grand master in 1980, and completed a PhD in the Zen repertoire of the shakuhachi tradition at the University of Sydney in 1992.

He had originally wanted to learn Chinese at school to engage with his father's culture and language. But not enough people signed up, so he decided Japanese was the "next best thing".

On a subsequent trip to Japan, Dr Lee was browsing in a shakuhachi shop, planning on bringing one home with him.

He asked the shop owner how to tell the difference between a cheap and an expensive shakuhachi.

"He could have just sold me a more expensive flute because I had the money," Dr Lee says, "but he looked at me and he said: 'Do you really want to know?'"

The answer was yes. Dr Lee was introduced to a teacher and he spent the next seven years in Japan, learning how to play the shakuhachi.

For Dr Lee, silence is what separates notes and creates melody. But he says total silence is an "impossibility" like knowing infinity, or God.

"We hear our heartbeat; I hear my tinnitus," he says.

Silence has sacred qualities in Zen Buddhism, but it is also important in many other religions.

This weekend, a conference at the Australian Catholic University is exploring notions of sacred silence in literature and the arts.

Its convenor, Michael Griffith, says silence is a way for him to access godliness, and acts as a "gateway to our own inner understanding and our own self-knowledge".

He was raised a Catholic, and now affiliates himself with the Quaker community, as well as taking his Catholicism to a new level through his commitment to the Benedictine community.

He finds himself drawn to the role of oblate a lay person who continues life outside a monastery but remains highly spiritually connected.

Stillness and silence are integral parts of his spiritual practice, and he says these qualities help him open up "to what is around us with more intensity".

Many of his students come from a background where they've either "rejected traditional religions, or they are searching for something new".

They find an "inner reality" in literature, poetry and fiction that "gives them a taste of something beyond the material, digital world that enmeshes them all".

Dr Griffith uses reading to teach the sacred quality of silence without leaning on traditional religion.

He says across religions, silence acts as a reprieve from the unreal "all the digital data, the news and the fantasies which clog our mind and our capacity to be still".

Cultivating the mindset needed to play the shakuhachi has taught Dr Lee that the best way to understand silence is to become it.

"Silence is a responsibility, or an action," he says.

"No matter how silent the room or the situation or the countryside if we're not silent within ourselves, it's even noisier than when we are distracted by outside sound."

Dr Lee sees silence as a sacred element each of us can cultivate.

"We have a responsibility to ourselves, to experience it. If only a little bit before we die, then the big silence happens."

Topics:buddhism,sacred,books-literature,catholic,meditation-and-prayer,quakers,university-and-further-education,world,music,arts-and-entertainment,sydney-2000,japan

First posted October 06, 2019 07:00:00

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On the road to immortality – Hindustan Times

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navneet.vyasan@htlive.com

Born to French-Canadian parents, Jack Kerouac excelled in sports from a very young age. Initially, never interested in literature, Kerouacs athletic pursuits won him a sports scholarship at Columbia University in the early 1940s.

At the same time, Allen Ginsberg, also won a scholarship at Columbia University and then met Lucien Carr. Carr, a well-read academic, was popular for his views and writings, which were infamously anti-establishment.

This is the time when, the core members of the Beat Generation Kerouac, Ginsberg, Carr, Herbert Huncke and William S Burroughs would go on to start a movement that would inspire generations to come. Through their prose and poetry, they would advocate spiritual awakening, purification, and illumination through heightened sensory awareness. This, they argued, might be induced by drugs, jazz, sex, or, in the later years, Zen Buddhism. But it was Kerouacs book titled On the Road, and his friendship with Ginsberg, that made headlines every now and then.

In the 1960s, as their writing gained momentum, adoration was closely followed by denunciation. However, their works, in time, influenced these popular trends, then engulfing the world.

The hippie movement

I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility, wrote Kerouac in his seminal work, On The Road. Published in 1957, this part travelogue part novel, took Kerouac only three weeks to write. Written in a single, effortless flow, the book was inspired by Kerouacs travel across the rapidly changing post-war United States.

Cited by legendary artistes including, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison and David Bowie as an influential read, Kerouacs work inspired a generation of hippie trails. The quest for soul searching, lied in travel, and for him, the journey he underwent before writing the book, was just a start. Unsurprisingly, American teens read the book cover-to-cover and before late, he became a literary icon.

The manuscript of On the Road

In fact, the term hippie was introduced in the 1960s. Before that, the American media coined the term, beatnik, to describe Americans, setting on a long journey inspired by Kerouacs writings. His works, acquired a global reach after hippies became prevalent around the world. The trail, required Americans to fly to Europe, which is where it would start. The final stop, more often than not, being Southern India, the travellers used the passes through pre-revolution Iran, and Afghanistan, before it was invaded, finally crossing over to Pakistan and entering India before settling in the southern states of Goa and Kerala.

Countercultures

Arguably, nothing influenced music and literature the way counterculture did. Constantly associated with liberation, one can see the rise of ideals of pacifism, LGBT acceptance and marijuana legalisation when one reads works like Post Office by Charles Bukowski or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson.

Counterculture literature grew with time when authors, notably, used their writings as a tool to critique the establishment that was governing them. Risking imprisonment and sedition charges, Kerouacs contemporary, Allen Ginsberg penned his much acclaimed poem, Howl. Ginsberg regularly mentions Kerouac in his works.

Allen Ginsberg in Banarasin 1963(HT PHOTO)

What is obscenity? And to whom? he wrote in the initial pages of his book, Howl and Other Poems. Ginsberg was frustrated that the rapidly growing American economy was masking the countrys military ventures. He accused the everyday white collar worker of ignoring the countrys atrocities. I saw the best minds of my generation who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade, he wrote about how the US government was fooling them by luring them with jobs, as a way to mask Vietnam Wars atrocities. Subsequently, he had to face sedition charges.

Religion and spirituality

In Kerouacs final days, which would also mark the conclusive years of the Beat Generation, he set out in search of spirituality and was fascinated by Eastern religions. Ginsberg made a historic trip to India and Kerouac published, The Dharma Bums, what is now considered the hippie handbook.

My karma was to be born in America where nobody has any fun or believes in anything, especially freedom, he wrote. Raised a devout Roman Catholic, Kerouac after being introduced to Buddhism, mentions Bodhisattva frequently in his works which followed The Dharma Bums. Moreover, this was the early 1960s, when hippies, in their Volkswagen buses, thronged the beaches of California chanting Hare Rama, Hare Krishna.

First Published:Oct 11, 2019 15:42 IST

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Mamallapuram: Then And Now – Swarajya

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Few wise men and thought leaders for Indias national security once laughed at the mention of the maritime reach of the Deccan empires.

It was humorous to them, the idea that the kinds here had anything to do with the sea or had a blue water navy. Today, a simple search can bring up the history of the Chola, Pallava, Pandya and Chera dynasties.

Thank God for 4G and Wiki.

It is indeed a pity that history books and popular culture (aka Bollywood and even Kollywood) forgot the southerners post Independence. The laurels and glory of what happened to Delhi alone stayed as history.

Interestingly, most of it happened to Delhi than Delhi influencing things outside. Someday, if not the school kids, at least war colleges ought to be taught about the southern trio and their empire.

R Kalki Krishnamurthy in his epic mega serials of his era had chronicled the stories of the Pallavas and Cholas.

In his epic, Sivagaminyin Sabadham, he narrates the genesis of a town in honour of Mamalla (the great wrestler), Mamallapuram. The author, in fact, starts the story by saying clearly that with some facts available, he is using his imagination and opinion to create the rest of the story.

(A trivia to ponder on, was Sivagami Devi in Baahubali a character developed from Kalki's Sivakami ?)

China has to be appreciated both for its resilience and its desire to be modern with a clear understanding of their past.

Millennia of decay, misrule and indenture hasnt been good enough to make them forget their past.

The Belt and Road Initiative is an excellent example of it recreating its past trade routes.

An important aspect to remember in this initiative is the sea silk route. A route that the Chinese couldnt dominate on thanks to the blue water navy and gunboat diplomacy followed by the Cholas and Pallavas.

This virtual dominance of the sea route --- with full rearguard and dry-docks in islands all the way from Africa to China along important choke-points --- is a worthy past that post-colonial India didnt work on, except for a brief time in the 1970s and 1980s when India tried to resurrect Lakshadweep in the Arabian Ocean, and Andaman and Nicobar in the Bay of Bengal.

Mamallapuram port city might have been the epicentre of trade during the Pallava and Chola period. Apart from being the place from where the initiator of Shaolin tradition and Zen Buddhism, Bodhidarma would have most likely sailed on his mission.

A port that should have most likely been a key pivot to supply the troops in the conquest of Lanka when they were caught in a stalemate during Arul Muzhi Vermans (later on Raja Raja Cholans) campaign (will be good to read Kalkis Ponniyin Selvan for the folklore part!).

A port city that probably had schools on stone masonry to train masons who built huge temple complexes in India and in many places in the Indo-China region.

Like all good things the sun literally set on this port when it was abandoned by the East India company. The red coats preferred to build their safe house in Fort St. George and make Madras (Chennai) their capital.

A port with not enough draft was deemed fit to house the garrison for safety and to command the high seas. A location that had no great geographical features or resources to attract an attack but with a good vantage to defend the bay and hinterland.

Similar to the work done by the Chola dynasty, it appears that our incumbent PM has started the charm and awe mission to position this land in a contest for every inch of high mountain passes or deep seas.

This is a long game that will have to be fought both internally and externally.

Patience is the virtue in this game where there are no permanent enemies or friends.

Team India under its current Captain has aptly picked this important trading port of the old days, Mamallapuram, to have the informal meeting. Coincidentally, the point persons for Team India in foreign affairs and finance both seem to come from near Woraiyur, the ancient capital fo the Cholas.

The long walk over the high passes or the perilous sailing over the deep seas continues for Team India. It is good to see that the Captain and his team are all aboard on this long voyage!

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Mamallapuram: Then And Now - Swarajya

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SALA 2019 provides engaging fare for South Asians in the Bay Area – indica News

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Raji Pillai

The picturesque Villa Montalvo in Saratoga is the venue for the Bay Areas first South Asian Literature and Art Festival (SALA 2019).

The festival, which opened Oct 6, is presented by the Art Forum SF, a non-profit that promotes all visual, literary and performing arts emerging from South Asia, and the Montalvo Arts Center, in collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley, Institute for South Asia Studies.

The festival goes from noon to 5pm daily, with different panels every hour on topics spanning art, literature, non-fiction and film.

Harsha Ram, professor of comparative literature at UC Berkeley, spoke with beloved actor Deepti Naval. The session started with a video collage of scenes from several of Deepti Navals movies. She has acted in more than 90 films. A film she directed, Do Paise ki Dhoop, Chaar Aane ki Baarish is soon to be released on Netflix. She writes poetry in two languages, and has published a book of Hindi poetry and another in English.On the response to the art films in which she made a name for herself, she recounted that film producer NC Sippy said to her Dont change: dont put on makeup, lehengas and do dances. What you have brought is something we dont have.

She read a poem in Hindi, Registan ki Raat from Lamha Lamha, and mentioned that she has posted her poems on YouTube. A collection called The Silent Scream in Black Wind and Other Poems," stemmed from observing women at a mental institution. She read two moving poems from the collection.

On the opening day, painter Rekha Rodwittiya discussed her reflections at age 61 with Dr Prajit Dutta of Aicon Gallery, NY, with images of several of her paintings appearing on a screen.

Speaking in winding sentences, she painted a colorful picture of her life and art. In the late 1970s, she was a student of art at the MS University in Baroda, Gujarat, which then had a very fecund and wonderful environment of discourse.

In 1982 there was a seminal space of change, she said. Soon after, she read Salman Rushdies Midnights Children and Alice Walker (whose 1982 novel The Color Purple won a Pulitzer and was also made into a movie). It was a watershed moment and gave South Asian artists and writers the confidence to tell their stories differently.

Later, she studied at the Royal College of Arts in London. Her years in London were formative: she did not need to validate or explain her history. There she felt that each thread in a fabric is significant regardless of the color it is dyed.

Poetry can transport you in a way that prose cannot, said moderator Ritu Marwah in a conversation with poets Athena Kashyap and Tanuja Mehrotra Wakefield.

Kashyap has written Crossing Black Waters and Sitas Choice. Her family emigrated from Lahore in Pakistan. She read Partition Story, based on a true story from her family, and a poem about Leela, her domestic help in India.

Wakefield, author of The Undersong, grew up in Cleveland to Indian immigrant parents. She said she is inspired to write on long walks. She read a short poem titled Fear and Reverie.

Wakefield referred to her second poem as speaking the unspeakable. She was a brown girl trying to grow up in a very white environment. The poem is called Skin Hymn. It begins:

Hamilton, you promised medung for Valentines Day,because it would match my skin.

An audience member asked whom she wrote for? Wakefield replied with a quote from Yeats. Out of our argument with others, we make rhetoric. Out of our arguments with ourselves, we make poetry.

Next, Prof Harsha Ram of the Institute for South Asia Studies was in conversation with Minal Hajratwala and Siddharth Dube, LGBTQ writers.

Hajratwala read a poem on her childhood experience of Hinduism, and another, Insect Koan, that draws upon her experience with Zen Buddhism.

Dube, a non-fiction writer, was involved in the activism that led to the reading down of section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalized homosexuality. He read two sections of his book, An Indefinite Sentence. The first was personal, about his encounter with the Delhi police in 1988, where homophobic insults were hurled at him.

Moazzam Sheikh, writer, translator and editor of an anthology of South Asian literature, spoke with Bay Area writers Nayomi Munaweera and Shanthi Sekaran, both with books on motherhood, childhood and immigration.

Munaweeras first book, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, about the civil war in Sri Lanka, was a broad portrait. In her second, What Lies Between Us, about the journey of a mother and daughter from Sri Lanka to America, she wanted to write a more intimate story, taking a closer look at a character.

The character has committed a terrible crime and is in jail. Her challenge was to make the reader feel empathy toward the character. She read a portion from the beginning, and remarked that it is a cautionary tale about the culture of silence, and what happens when silence is unbreakable.

Shanthi Sekarans book Lucky Boy is set in the US. She spoke of her characters Soli, who is Mexican, and Kavya, who is Indian-American. She read from a section where a friend tells Kavya, I hear youre trying to have a kid. And then proceeds to give her perspective on what it will be like. They will suck you dry, she says.

The Lucky Boy of the story is preverbal: Shanthi spoke of the research she did into children who were adopted or fostered as toddlers. Their experience is very different from that of an infant, or of an older child who has learned to speak.

Munaweera commented that in her early writing, she paid homage to writers like Rushdie and Arundhati Roy. Now she claims Americanness: We are claiming that we are as much American as we are South Asian.

When Sheikh commented that Lucky Boy creates a space where two minorities, South Asians and Mexican Americans, dont have to negotiate political space, Shanthi responded that her characters are all South Asians in general; she made Soli Mexican only because she wanted to tell the story of crossing the southern border of the United States.

Journalist Raghu Karnad, writer of Farthest Field, spoke with Jonathan Curiel, a journalist with The San Francisco Chronicle.

During the audience Q&A, a woman remarked on the account in the book that in the spring of 1943 there was a Japanese invasion of India and the same ship that bombed Pearl Harbor attacked India.

On the scarcity of stories about women, Karnad commented that womens stories, which he called the other half of human experience, were not captured earlier in history.

On view in the Open Space Gallery was Revelations: The Evolution of Modern and Contemporary Indian Art, with paintings by Jamini Roy, Anjolie Ela Menon and MF Husain, among others.

Tushar Unadkat was an engaging MC for the event. In keeping with SALAs support of all performing arts, troupes of dancers (children and adults) came and performed in front of the villa between each session, their colorful costumes, charming dances and lively music adding a celebratory touch to the event.

More events remain in the festival through Oct 18.

More:
SALA 2019 provides engaging fare for South Asians in the Bay Area - indica News

Written by admin

October 11th, 2019 at 4:46 pm

Posted in Zen Buddhism

tomoko ikegai / ikg inc encloses yan bookstore in shenzhen using rammed-earth walls – Designboom

Posted: September 23, 2019 at 5:43 pm


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designed around the concept of life in the east, which lies at the base of chinese culture, yan bookstore by tomoko ikegai / ikg inc provides a space in which visitors can engage in deep self-reflection and create their own unique stories. the 2,475 sqm bookstore is located on the third floor of shenzhens MIXC commercial complex, closed off by a long faade of rammed-earth walls to create a very different, zen world within.all images by nacasa & partners

over the past thirty years, the population of shenzhen has exploded from 300,000 to 14M people, explains tomoko ikegai of ikg inc.it is unique among chinese cities that sixty-five percent of these residents are in their twenties and thirties, giving it a powerful new energy. located in the citys MIXC commercial complex, in a development area facing shenzhen bay where hotels, residences, sports facilities, and office buildings are clustered, yan celebrates chinese culture and offers a space where visitors can feel the calm and dignified spirit of zen buddhism. recently, bookstores have been opening all over china which on a surface level are beautifully and strikingly designed, adds the tokyo-based studio. however, we felt that especially in this proactive city, it was important to value chinas originality and individuality, exploring mystical images of the east in the context of globalization.

the bookstore is closed off from the lavish surroundings of the complex with a long faade of rammed-earth walls, reminiscent of layers of deep strata, that incorporate soils varying in color, from amber to milky white. these shades form the base for the color scheme inside the store, which is composed entirely of natural earth tones. tile in a mock italian travertine pattern covers the floor, expressing the idea of accumulation through marbles visual representation of earth hardening over many long years.

the gold color of the bookshelves derives from the image of minerals within the earth, while the slender, delicate metal shelves express spirituality. by nearly eliminating the presence of these exceedingly thin shelves, the design conveys the concept of immersing oneself in a sea of books. five custom-made original artworks that match the concept have been installed, while each piece of art has a theme to match the pattern and concept of the space. tomoko ikegai / ikg inc has also designed an event area with a small gathering space within the bookstore for a variety of events where visitors can interact and exchange information.

project info:

name: yan ( in chinese)

architect: tomoko ikegai / ikg inc.

sales floor area: 2,475m

client: china resources land limited

design cooperation: arterior co., ltd.

lighting: sola associates

graphic design: ujidesign

location: no.2888, keyuan south road, the mixc (shenzhen bay), nanshan disctrict, shenzhen, china

sofia lekka angelopoulou I designboom

sep 17, 2019

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tomoko ikegai / ikg inc encloses yan bookstore in shenzhen using rammed-earth walls - Designboom

Written by admin

September 23rd, 2019 at 5:43 pm

Posted in Zen Buddhism


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