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    Mothers of Liberation Paid Member

    Voluptuous tree spirits, maternal nurturers, potent protectors, and dancing female Buddhas - the Indo-Himalayan Buddhist world abounds with goddesses of amazing diversity. Miranda Shaw reveals some of the many powers, symbols, and stories of this often overlooked and misunderstood pantheon. More »
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    Man-Made Monk Paid Member

    In the summer of 1958, Michael Dillon stumbled up a mountain path in Kalimpong, India, gasping in the thin air. He was a British gentleman gone to seed, with an unkempt beard and a pipe stuffed into one pocket of his rumpled suit. He often glanced over his shoulder, as if someone might be chasing him. Dillon was on his way to a monastery run by an Englishman. He guessed it would be the kind of place where you could become invisible. Hidden on a mountaintop in the Himalayan foothills, you could lose your identity and start a new life. More »
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    Memories of Thailand Paid Member

    ISAN, OR NORTHEASTERN THAILAND, is a region known among Thais mainly for its poverty and grim heat - in contrast with the idyllic beaches of the south or the temperate hill forests of the north. Bangkok DJs and soap operas often mock Northeasterners as bumpkins, and northeastern Thai music corresponds roughly to American country music - rustic, easily derided, but infectious. Geographically and culturally isolated, Northeastern Thai life feels far removed from the world of art films celebrated in Berlin and Cannes. More »
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    The Mahabodhi Express Paid Member

    I ARRIVED TOO LATE on the last night of the Kagy Monlam to receive one of the battery-operated candles that glowed like an old-fashioned Christmas bulb, turned on and off with a twirl of the faux brass base. Thousands of them had been somewhat miraculously obtained and distributed by the Chinese groups who sponsored this year’s Kagyu Monlam, one of many traditional Tibetan Buddhist prayer festivals held each winter in Bodh Gaya. More »
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    Immaterial Evidence Paid Member

    ALL THE GREAT REVOLUTIONS in science have been catalyzed by sophisticated observations of natural phenomena. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, decades of empirical studies of celestial and terrestrial physical phenomena by Tycho Brahe and Galileo laid the foundation for Newton’s discovery of the laws of classical mechanics. In the nineteenth century, Darwin’s decades of painstaking empirical observations of biological phenomena enabled him to formulate his theory of evolution. In the early twentieth century, physics underwent a second revolution in quantum mechanics and relativity theory that was also based on increasingly precise and sophisticated observations of physical phenomena. More »
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    The Long Learning Curve Paid Member

                        Sugata: I would like to ask you about the Heart Sutra—the topic of this weekend's workshop. Why did you choose it? Baker Roshi: I didn't. Actually, I had some reservations about it, but Martin Kremer, who organized the seminar, kept asking me to speak on it. Sugata: What were your reservations? Baker Roshi: Although the Heart Sutra is the most commonly chanted Buddhist sutra in the world, it is a deep, difficult teaching. Hard to approach on a weekend, especially when some people are new to Buddhism. Sugata: What is so special about the Heart Sutra? More »