History

As a 2,500-year old religion, Buddhism has a rich and diverse past
  • Early Days with Thich Nhat Hanh Paid Member

    Like many thousands of others around the world, I have had Thich Nhat Hanh close in my thoughts this past week. Along with so many, I breathed with some relief when I read Sunday’s report from his community in Plum Village that his condition, following his brain hemorrhage, seems to have stabilized, and while his condition remains critical, there is reason for cautious optimism about the possibility of a full recovery. 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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    Digesting the Dharma, Part I Paid Member

    Last year, a new anthology of Buddhist texts, entitled Buddhism in Practice, was published. It seems that only once in each generation does someone have the audacity to produce such a book, and in this case, I was that person. In so doing, I placed myself in a long and venerable tradition of trying to encompass the dharma within the covers of a single book. The first such books, issued millennia ago, took the form of palm leaf manuscripts. Before long, they will certainly appear on CD-ROM. Regardless of technological advances, the problems facing the anthologizer have remained the same: What should be included and how should it be organized? More »
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    Mindfulness Of Death Paid Member

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    That Body Is This Body Paid Member

    If [a monk] were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground, picked at by crows, vultures, and hawks, by dogs, hyenas, and various other creatures . . . a skeleton smeared with flesh and blood, connected with tendons . . . a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, connected with tendons . . . a skeleton without flesh or blood, connected with tendons . . . bones detached from their tendons, scattered in all direc­ tions-here a hand bone, there a foot bone, here a shin bone, there a thigh bone, here a hip bone, there a back bone, here a rib, there a chest bone, here a shoulder bone, there a neck bone, here a jaw bone, there a tooth, here a skull . . . the bones whitened, somewhat like the color of shells . . . piled up, more than a year old . . . More »
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    Buddha On The Rio Grande Paid Member

    For centuries, the northern stretch of the Rio Grande has lured religious seekers to its stark, awesome landscape. And as the people—among them Pueblo Indians, Spanish Catholics, and now a growing population of American and Asian Buddhists—have settled in, the region has marked their practices with its indelible stamp. Guest editor: Michael HaederleImage: The canyon of the Rio Grande near Toas, circa 1911. Photo by H. F. Robinson, courtesy of the Museum of New Mexico.  More »