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The Good Heart

dalai lama

A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings of Jesus

His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Wisdom Publications 1996, 2016.

An Interfaith Dialogue with the Dalai Lama and Father Laurence Freeman exploring passages from the gospels during the 1994 John Main Seminar; with special sections on Christian (Laurence Freeman) and Buddhist perspectives (Dalai Lama and Geshe Thupten Jinpa, the Dalai Lama’s interpreter). The seminar is sponsored on a yearly basis by the World Community for Christian Meditation in memory of John Main, the Irish Benedictine monk who founded Christian meditation centers throughout the world.

What I found exciting and uplifting was the acceptance of the religious and spiritual focus in both Buddhism and Christianity, and the acceptance of the differences. The Dalai Lama’s reflections on the gospels and the explanation of Buddhist teachings, always based on his own experience, and about Buddhist and Christian saints, increased my understanding of both religions. I make this sound simple but the writing of the books is sometimes quite scholarly and academic and other times very down to earth- especially when the Dalai Lama is giving examples from his life. I am reading this book slowly and repeatedly.

Cheers,

Elisabeth

 

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Empress Cixi of China

February 27, 2018 Leave a comment

Somebody asked me about a book about Empress Cixi of China (1835-1908); Cixi had huge obstacles to overcome; she is much maligned but this 2013 biography by Jung Chang EMPRESS DOWAGER CIXI, THE CONCUBINE WHO LAUNCHED MODERN CHINA paints a somewhat different picture.

Empress Cixi of China

THE SOUTHERN GATES OF ARABIA, A JOURNEY IN THE HADHRAMAUT

February 17, 2018 Leave a comment

southern gates of arabia

I seem to turn more and more to adventure, travel and explorer books- for the body, the mind and the soul.

FREYA STARK

by Caroline Moorehead
1985

THE SOUTHERN GATES OF ARABIA, A JOURNEY IN THE HADHRAMAUT

by Freya Stark with introduction by Jane Fletcher
1936/2001

The two books by and about Freya Stark born in Paris 1893 I am reading again. Freya Stark fearlessly traveled alone to Persia, Iraq, sailed down the Red Sea following the ancient frankincense trail, and followed in the steps of Alexander the Great. She was an explorer, a historian, an archeologist and a writer in between working in places like Baghdad and sleeping in the tents of Bedouins. She was made Dame of the British Empire in 1972.

Where should we go next?

Cheers,

Elisabeth

 

More books about global trade……

February 17, 2018 Leave a comment

silk trade

SILK, PORCELAIN AND LACQUER: CHINA AND JAPAN AND THEIR TRADE WITH WESTERN EUROPE AND THE NEW WORLD, 1500-1644.

By Teresa Canepa, London 2016.

Global trade via trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific networks satisfying the demand for luxury goods, creating profitable opportunities for Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English merchants. The book explains that Chinese porcelains and silk was produced and shipped in great quantities whereas practically all Japanese lacquer traded by the Europeans was made to order. The book is said to be exceptionally well illustrated.

Cheers,

Elisabeth

 

BINDING THE CLOUDS: THE ART OF CENTRAL ASIAN IKAT

February 17, 2018 Leave a comment

In case you have not noticed that The Textile Museum is now part of the George Washington University Museum

701 21st Street, NW, Washington,D.C.

https://museum.gwu.edu/textile-museum

From March 10th – July 9th, 2018

BINDING THE CLOUDS: THE ART OF CENTRAL ASIAN IKAT

will be shown from what is now Uzbekistan and Central Asian oasis towns.

Uzbekistan still makes very colorful and interesting ikat fabrics often seen at international folk art shows; saw it last in Santa Fe.

MY SUGGESTIONS FOR FALL IN PARIS…

WHEN IN PARIS……….not only to the Moulin Rouge  ……….
 
 A TOUR THAT FOCUSES ON  MAJOR COLLECTIONS OF ASIAN ART
OCTOBER 5TH- OCTOBER 7TH
ORGANIZED BY THE ORIENTAL CERAMIC SOCIETY: http://ocs-london.com
If you cannot join the OCS,  do it on your own. These are some of the best and oldest collections of Asian art in the world.
1. CHATEAU DE FONTAINEBLEAU with treasures from the Summer Palace
2. MUSEE GUIMET   (http://www.guimet.fr/en/)
3.  MUSEE D’ENNERY (musée Guimet  website)
4. MUSEE DU QUAI BRANLY (http://www.quaibranly.fr)  specializing in Asian ethnographic material
Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha

NEW DISCOVERY IN PAKISTAN DATING BACK TO MAURYAN AND KUSHAN DYNASTIES IN SWAT, PAKISTAN

Archeologists excavated in April and June of 2016 layers  of cities associated with  Indo-Greek, Mauryan and Kushan cultures.
Mauryan settlements dating to the third century BC – think of the great Mauryan king Ashoka, the  grandson of the founder of the dynasty who vigorously promoted Buddhism among other things with carved edicts  on pillars of stone and wood from Bengal  to Afghanistan.  Some of us have admired the great lion capital in Sarnath from a time when episodes  and symbols from Buddha’s life  were portrayed – in this case the lotus and the wheel of law – instead of the later  presentations of Buddha  – seen first in the arts of Gandharan and Mathura.
unnamed
Archeologists also excavated a large temple with four pillars belonging to the Kushan era, 2nd century BC to second century AD. The Kushans dominated the areas of the Hindu Kush into Kabul, Gandhara, northern Pakistan and north-western India. They controlled the trade between China in the east and the Romans in the west. Under the famous Kushan ruler Kanishka ( 144 to 172 AD) Buddhist settlements flourished including Gandhara with its distinctive Graeco – Buddhist art form that influenced the arts in Central Asia and then China.
I first read about this discovery in Buddhist Art News:
Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha