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You are browsing all posts tagged with the topic: history

Brendan Lawlor

Mar 15, 2013

“Journeys on the Silk Road” by Joyce Morgan and Conrad Walters

journeys-on-the-silk-roadMarc Aurel Stein was a superstar of his time. When he returned from the Taklamakan and Gobi desert in central Asia after a successful expedition that lasted from 1906 to 1908, weighed down with treasure in the form of ancient documents, the newspapers in London were full of his exploits. Today, almost nobody has heard of him. I certainly hadn’t until I read Journeys on the Silk Road by Joyce Morgan and Conrad Walters. Morgan and Walters have travelled from their native Australia to England, Wales, India and China in order to retell Stein’s story and that of the document most associated with his explorations: the Diamond Sutra from the Caves of …

Wildmind Meditation News

Sep 10, 2012

Zen Buddhism, art subject of University of Tennessee exhibit

An exhibit opening Sept. 15 at the University of Tennessee’s Frank H. McClung Museum explores both the simple yet elegant beauty and the deeper meanings of art developed around Zen Buddhism.

“Zen Buddhism and the Arts of Japan” is at the museum, located at 1327 Circle Park Drive on the UT campus, through Dec. 31.

The display includes such objects as tea bowls, robes, bronze memorial plaques and a wooden sculpture of the guardian figure called Fudo Myoo. “Zen Buddhism” also shows more than 40 hanging scrolls whose paintings and calligraphy were created by Zen Buddhist monks from 1600 to 1868.

The beliefs and practices of Zen Buddhists were …

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Bodhipaksa

Aug 21, 2012

The first western portrayal of the Buddha?

Twitter still has its uses. While keeping an eye out for new Fake Buddha Quotes to document, I came across a link to a post at a rather eclectic blog called Obsidian Wings. The post was written by someone who calls himself Doctor Science, who I know little about Doctor Science except that he’s from New Jersey and has an MA in theoretical population genetics.

He’s not an art historian or religious scholar, but he’s spotted something interesting in Pieter Aertsen’s Adoration of the Magi. Pieter Aertsen, in case (like me) you haven’t heard of him, lived from 1508 to 1575, and was a Dutch historical painter. According …

Wildmind Meditation News

Jun 28, 2012

Ancient Buddha attacked by Taliban in Pakistan gets facelift thanks to Italian archaeologist

When the Taliban blew the face off a towering, 1,500-year-old rock carving of Buddha in northwest Pakistan almost five years ago, it fell to an intrepid Italian archaeologist to come to the rescue.

Thanks to the efforts of Luca Olivieri and his partners, the 6-meter (nearly 20-foot)-tall image near the town of Jahanabad is getting a facelift, and many other archaeological treasures in the scenic Swat Valley are being excavated and preserved.

Hard-line Muslims have a history of targeting Buddhist, Hindu and other religious sites they consider heretical to Islam. Six months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the Taliban shocked the world by …

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Wildmind Meditation News

May 08, 2012

Ancient Buddhist temple found in China’s Taklimakan desert

Xinhua: The ruins of a Buddhist temple dating back 1,500 years ago have been discovered in China’s largest desert, offering valuable research material for historians studying Buddhism’s spread from India to China.

The temple’s main hall, with a rare structure based around three square-shaped corridors and a huge Buddha statue, has been uncovered after two months of hard work in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, Dr. Wu Xinhua, the leading archaeologist of the excavation project, said Monday.

“The hall is the largest of its kind found in the Taklimakan Desert since the first archaeologist came to work in the area in the 20th century,” said Wu, also head of the Xinjiang archeological team of the Chinese Academy of Social Science.

The ruins are located …

Wildmind Meditation News

Nov 10, 2011

11.11.11: Wildmind’s 11th birthday

On November 11, 2000, Wildmind’s website went live for the first time. We didn’t realize it at the time, but that meant that Wildmind’s 11th birthday would fall on 11.11.11!

Wildmind was started by Bodhipaksa while he was a grad student at the University of Montana. He’d recognized that at that time there was very little reliable information on meditation on the web. It had occurred to him that since people often learned meditation from books and cassette tapes (remember them?), the internet was the perfect place to bring together text and audio, providing structured, self-paced guides to Buddhist meditation practices.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Center for Contemplative Mind in …

Wildmind Meditation News

Feb 12, 2011

Yoga: it’s not as old (or as Hindu) as you think

yogaNo one denies that Hinduism’s most sacred and ancient texts, including the Bhagvad Gita, describe different kinds of yogic practices. But what does this ancient and sacred tradition of yoga have to do with what people all around the world do in yoga classes in gyms and fitness centres today?

To most Indians, such questions are nothing less than sacrilegious. Yoga is for them what apple pie and motherhood are for Americans: a living symbol of their way of life.

Indians tend to affirm their claims on yoga by trotting out the familiar icons of the ‘5,000-year-old Vedic tradition,’ which supposedly stretches from the Pashupati seal of the (actually very unVedic) Indus Valley …

Wildmind Meditation News

Dec 23, 2010

Not your everyday worship: the legend of the labyrinth

Contrary to popular belief, labyrinths are not used to get one lost and confused – rather, their purpose is to find answers and to meditate on religious issues. Two of the 109’s churches, St. Stephen Presbyterian Church and the University Christian Church, use labyrinths as methods of worship.

That fact is, according to Mark Scott of St. Stephen, the labyrinth is an extremely ancient form of meditation that has roots in paganism and is used as a form of worship in many historically aware churches. The design of labyrinths at St. Stephen and the University Church can both be traced back to the famous Notre Dame Chapel in Chartres, France.

Scott, St, Stephen’s minister of music and organist, is a fierce proponent …

Wildmind Meditation News

Apr 23, 2010

Buddha relics unearthed in Jammu-Kashmir

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) recently unearthed a Buddha Stupa in Jammu and Kashmir’s Amvaran village.

It is reported to be the seventh site in the world where relics of the Buddha have been found.

The stupa is said to have been erected by the Kushana Empire in the first century BC.

“This site was established around first century BC in Kushana period, and the relic, tooth relic of Lord Buddha was deposited at the time, which we have found in the reliquary,” said ASI archaeologist A K Khanna.

“The reliquary found in the stupa contain part of a tooth, some ashes, then there are coins, along with 38 foils of gold and there are beads,” he added.

The digging revealed many idols, gemstones, …