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    Lama Hates The Sunset Paid Member

    So long as their high mountains kept the Tibetans isolated, their attitude toward Westerners—which was generally dismissive or indifferent—remained an academic matter. But with the Chinese invasion in 1959, an academic matter turned into one of life and death. During the 1960s, the Communists leveled monasteries and forbade the teaching of Buddhism, and the world’s power brokers forgot Tibet in favor of China’s potential billion-customer market. The “last ancient civilization,” as it was called, was under a death sentence. Under such circumstances, the fate of Tibet’s religion was not hard to predict. More »
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    Negative Capability: Kerouac's Buddhist Ethic Paid Member

    Jack Kerouac's interest in Buddhism began after he spent some time with Neal Cassady, who had taken on an interest in the local California variety of New Age spiritualism, particularly the work of Edgar Cayce. Kerouac mocked Cassady as a sort of homemade American "Billy Sunday with a suit" for praising Cayce, who went into trance states of sleep and then read what were called the Akashic records, and gave medical advice to the petitioners who came to ask him questions with answers which involve reincarnation. So, Kerouac was interested in going back to the original historic sources. He went to the library in San Jose, California and read a book called A Buddhist Bible, edited by Dwight Goddard—a very good anthology of classic Buddhist texts. Kerouac read them very deeply, memorized many of them, and then went on to do other reading and other research and actually became a brilliant intuitive Buddhist scholar. More »
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    The Perfection of Wisdom Paid Member

    His wife Muriel called him "the old man who hates everyone." His mother once described him as "nothing at all, just a bundle of contradictions." Yet Dr. Edward Conze almost single-handedly made the Prajnaparamita ("Perfection of Wisdom") sutras—the fundamental scriptures of Mahayana Buddhism—available to the English-speaking world. Conze’s pioneering accomplishment is still hailed as a model of meticulous scholarship, and he ranks among the greatest and most prolific modern translators of the Buddhist tradition. But as renowned as Edward Conze was for his erudition, he was equally well known for his caustic, often outrageous temperament, and the combination earned him an intriguing and contradictory reputation. More »
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    Christmas Humphreys Paid Member

    [Humphreys and his wife] ran the Buddhist Lodge from their flat . . . where they had made a hideaway with a bright fire, Persian rugs, incense, golden Buddhas, and a library of magical books which promised me the most arcane secrets of the universe. . . . He is a tall, slender, and limber fellow with big ears, and a clear authoritative voice—always tempered to make it even more so—in which he speaks the best King's English. . . . He is a man of immense generosity and compassion, and through his taste in Oriental art and literature, radiates an atmosphere of warm mystery.—Alan Watts More »
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    Nagarjuna's Verses from the Center Paid Member

    Although Nagarjuna is arguably the most important figure in Buddhism after the Buddha himself, very little is known about him. All that can be said with any certainty is that he lived at some time around the second century C.E. in India and is the author of a Sanskrit work of 448 verses, divided into twenty-seven chapters entitled: Verses from the Center (Mulamadhyamakakarika). The first known account of Nagarjuna’s life was composed from Indian sources by Kumarajiva, the Central Asian scholar who translated Verses from the Center from Sanskrit into Chinese in 409 C.E. More »