Bazara at the Shin-Yakushiji Temple in Nara

This wild-haired figure is one of the “Twelve Heavenly Generals” guarding the Buddha at Shin-Yakushiji Temple.  You can really grok the origins of those wild manga hairstyles when you get a close look at this nice statue, which is sculpted from clay and dates back the 8th Century.   This pamphlet dates to 1994.

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Bamboo Temple, Kunming, 1990

Another great temple visited on my first trip to Kunming, was the famous Bamboo Temple, located in the hills due West of Kunming.  The original gate ticket is shown on the right. This temple featues some fascinating –  if bizarre – statues of the 500 Lohan (or Buddhist adepts), shown in the photo below.  These […]

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Yuantong Si, Kunming, 1990

On my first trip to China, in October of 1990, I entered from Hong Kong by rail to Guangzhou Station, then bought a ticket on a flight to Kunming for the following morning.    I was staying at the Camelia Hotel , then a backpacker’s paradise, with a huge co-ed dormitory and easy access to various […]

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Your feet are diamond-cutters

  Thinking about Master Sheng Yen prompted me to run back over my own history of attempts at meditation, which dates back to the early 1970s and takes a ragged course up to the present day.  It occurs to me that even without touching on the teachings themselves, just a brief note on the course […]

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So Long, Master Sheng Yen!

The parting message written by Master Sheng Yen to all of us: Grown old while busy with trivial matters, Shedding tears and laughter over emptiness… But in the beginning there was no I, So birth and death can both be tossed aside.

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Alan Watts on the Clock-Mad Spirit of Modern Life

“Amerindians have always mocked the palefaces for looking at clocks to know when they ought to be hungry.  It is in the same clock-mad spirit that we are all supposed to “work” from nine to five on such preposterous projects as accounting for what we have done upon billions of square miles of paper derived […]

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Kamalashila Revisited

Great weekend spent on Buddhist teachings. Here we are recording Rinpoche’s talk on the 8th Century pandit, Kamalashila, and his teachings on the stages of meditation. This took place at the Hunneman Hall of the Brookline Public Library on Saturday. The following day, we held a full day meditation workshop on the basics of Shamatha […]

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