Art

  • Myanmar's Cosmic Theater Paid Member

    Buddhist Art of MyanmarFebruary 10–May 10, 2015Asia Society, New York A Pyu period copper statue of a seated Buddha from the 8th or 9th century. Four years ago, Burma, now known as Myanmar, ended its decades-long isolation from much of the world. Now the Asia Society has mounted the first-ever museum show of Burmese Buddhist art in the US. The works included are fantastically varied in appearance, and for good reason. Until British rule in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the region comprising present-day Myanmar was a collection of separate kingdoms whose names, borders, and populations changed over the centuries. Providing a common thread among these disparate cultures was Buddhism, still practiced by 90 percent of the population of Myanmar. More »
  • Zen Moves Through Paid Member

    Trying to identify an artist’s Zen Buddhist influence is something of a fool's errand—and perhaps an antithetical one. The religion, after all, has a long, proud tradition of underplaying any overt impact it has on an adherent’s life. Ancient master Hiakajo Roshi famously summed up the practice with a rather spare injunction for students to eat when hungry and sleep when tired. Chan master Linji Yixuan, founder of the Rinzai school, echoes the sentiment in his oft-cited koan “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” Nevertheless, Zen Buddhist artists abound, so it’s tempting to wonder how practice might mingle with craft. More »
  • The Robert Frost Kickball Club Paid Member

    In my soul grows a small soul. In my small soul, one smaller. Infinite repetition, nonstop loop. Each beanstalk is an endophyte. Inside my teeth lie small baby teeth. Inside those, infinitesimal baby teeth. I reject each grim oath whispered by gypsies in Western Mass. I fumigate rotting futons. If he were still akickin' I'd kick Robert Frost's ass in kickball. I'd pop the ball, restitch it with shards of marble. I'd talk shit + run up the motherfuckin' score. The game within the game. I hereby donate my bargain-bin Kama Sutra handbook to a humanoid giraffe named Koan. Koan rocks black  glasses and a Kangol. More »
  • Tashi Mannox: Calligrapher Paid Member

    Planetary Collective, founded in 2011, responds to the most pressing issues our civilization is currently facing as we push the planet to its brink. Its members, pulling from their Buddhist backgrounds, attribute the roots of the environmental and social crises facing humanity to the misperception that we are separate—from each other, the planet, and the cosmos as a whole. Their forthcoming feature film is titled Planetary. Learn more about the Collective here. More »
  • The Dharma and the Artist's Eye Paid Member

    To consider oneself a Buddhist, says His Holiness the Dalai Lama, one must embrace the four noble truths expounded two and a half millennia ago by Shakyamuni Buddha during his 45 years as a teacher of the dharma. Regardless of one's lineage or tradition, these truths state that (1) there is suffering; (2) the cause of suffering is thirst (trishna), which most commentators interpret as being selfish desire; (3) there is a way to end suffering; and (4) that way is the eightfold path (arya astanga marga). Of the eight steps on this path, the one to which the others build and in which they triumphantly culminate is right mindfulness (samyak smrti). It is the root and fruit of all Buddhist practice.  More »
  • Five Questions for Sarah Ruhl Paid Member

    Award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl’s latest work, The Oldest Boy, tells the story of an American boy’s selection as a tulku, a reincarnated lama of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. When monks arrive and ask to take the child away for training in India, his American mother (Tony Award nominee Celia Keenan-Bolger) and Tibetan father (James Yaegashi) must make the most difficult decision of their lives. Directed by Rebecca Taichman, The Oldest Boy is running at Lincoln Center in New York City until December 28, 2014. The Lincoln Center Theater Review posed five questions to its writer, Sarah Ruhl:1. How did a Catholic white girl from Illinois come to write about Tibetan Buddhism? More »