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The Meditation on the Passion by Vittore Carpaccio (1510) (Public Domain)

Contemplating the Navel: The Origins of Ancient Mindfulness

The words of the 16th-century Bishop of Geneva, Saint Francis de Sales, are truer today than ever before: “ Half an hour's meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour...
Ancient Buddhist text discovered near Mes Aynak, Afghanistan

Rare Ancient Buddhist Text Discovered In Doomed Temple Super-Complex Near Kabul

Archaeologists in Afghanistan have discovered exceptionally rare pieces of an ancient Buddhist manuscript dated to around the seventh century AD at an ancient settlement near Kabul. In the spring of...
There are many tales about the Tengu. Source: shihina / Adobe Stock.

Magic and Mayhem of Japanese Legend: Don’t Try To Out-Trick A Tengu!

The Tengu were not only protectors of the mountains and the Buddhist faith, they were also known to be mischievous tricksters who, much like their Kitsune cousins, were capable of using magic such as...
The practice of Onmyōdō. Source: Epiximages / Adobe Stock.

The Oriental Magical Practice of Onmyōdō and Its Checkered History

The practice of Onmyōdō has a contentious history in Japan and, for reasons that will become clear, was outlawed for some time along with its close cousin, Shugendō (修験道). Onmyōdō, means literally, ‘...
Yoshitoshi, Ushiwaka Maru learns Martial Arts from Sojobo, King of the Tengu, 1880

The Dogs of Heaven - Tengu and the Secret Practice of Buddhism

The Tengu ( 天狗 ) are possibly the most recognizable of all the Japanese yokai , with their enormous black wings and faces of either a large crow or a red-faced, long-nosed, goblin . They are often...
Lord Buddha

Siddhartha Gautama: How The Father of Buddhism Walked From Suffering to Enlightenment

Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha or “Enlightened One,” is probably one of the most influential individuals to come out of India through the incidental founding of Buddhism . Siddhartha...
The ruins of Bavikonda, Andhra Pradesh, India.

The Sacred Bavikonda Monastery: Vestiges of the Buddhist Golden Age in India

Of all the countries in the world, India has some of the finest examples of Buddhist history and heritage. One of the noteworthy sites is the sacred monastery of Bavikonda in Andhra Pradesh . It is...
Swastika

The Powerful Symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000 Year History

The swastika is a symbol that was used in the 20 th century by of one of the most hated men ever to have lived, a symbol that now represents the slaughter of millions of people and one of the most...
Tibet Death Ritual is practiced by experienced lamas  not novice monks.

The Beauty of Death, Dying and Rebirth in Tibetan Buddhist Rituals

In Tibet they have a lot of interesting beliefs and rituals regarding death and the world beyond. There is even a ritual exclamation which a lama who officiates makes near the body of the deceased in...
Potala Palace in the winter.

Closer to Enlightenment? Potala Palace, the Highest in the World

Potala Palace, the iconic heart of Tibetan Buddhism, is the highest palace in the world. It once served as the winter palace of the Dalai Lama and was the Tibetan seat of government. The palace is...
Buddha in Polonnaruwa temple - medieval capital of Ceylon whose history the Mahavamsa describes.

The Mahavamsa: An Epic Poem that Sheds Light on Sri Lankan History

The Mahavamsa (meaning ‘Great Chronicle’) is one of the most important works of ancient literature from the island of Sri Lanka. This work takes on the form of an epic poem and was written either...
Kung Fu Shaolin

36 Chambers of Death: The Energy Centers of the Ancient Shaolin Martial Arts

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was the name of the 1993 debut album by American rap group Wu-Tang Clan, which not only set a new standard for hardcore hip hop during the 1990s, but it brought New...
The Dharma Wheel.

Understanding the Dharma Wheel: This Ancient Symbol Holds Secret Meanings

The Dharma Wheel is an Ashtamangala, or one of ‘Eight Auspicious Symbols’, a set of sacred symbols found in Indian religions. Although the Dharma Wheel is found also in Hinduism and Jainism, it is...
Mazu: Legendary Guardian

Mazu: Legendary Guardian of the Chinese Seas and Social Media Marvel

Princess of Supernatural Favor, Empress of Heaven, Goddess of the South China Sea - these are just a few of the illustrious titles given to the Chinese goddess Mazu (Mat-su) since her incursion into...
The Thinker in The Gates of Hell at the Musée Rodin.

How Should You Lead Your Life? Greek Philosophers May Have the Answer

It is human nature to wonder how best to live our lives. No doubt you have lost sleep over this notion, perhaps staring at the ceiling contemplating the very nature of your existence and what is the...
Sirkap is the ancient remains that have been recovered after excavation in Taxila

Where Greek Meets Indian: Sirkap, an Ancient City in Pakistan

When Alexander the Great invaded the Far East, his armies were awed by the strange cultures, exotic animals and unknown religions of India. Alexander promoted a fusion of cultures and his successors...

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