Arts & Culture

The growing influence of Buddhist artistic expression in contemporary culture
  • Unusual Choices 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 »
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    Prayer for World Peace Paid Member

    Cusco, Peru: Andean faith leaders, Christian priests, and members of the Japanese Buddhist community Shinnyo-en gather together at Saksaywaman, a complex of stone walls from the Inca Empire, to participate in fire ceremonies from both the Buddhist and Andean religious traditions. The fires from the two rituals were taken by firebrands and combined on a single torch.Photograph © Shinnyo-en More »
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    Lost in Memory Paid Member

    American CanyonBy Amarnath RavvaKaya Press, 2014180 pp.; $23.95 paper Amarnath Ravva’s snake was asleep. His mother’s seer, Sharma, who sensed from another continent the imbalance in Ravva's body, diagnosed him. Sharma prescribes a visit to Livemore, California, for a homam—a Hindu ritual involving consecrated fire and offerings to the god Agni—where prayer is chanted; 1,001 ghee offerings are made; and Ravva’s name is written in Sanskrit on a piece of paper in which the pujari, or priest, seals ashes from the fire. More »
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    An Interview with Paul McBain Paid Member

    Profession: Student/FilmmakerAge: 31 Location: Chicago, Illinois More »