NAGARJUNA’S KILLER TIME GAP

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1ce24b49ef2c97c59535c8ba9b69f382I am no scholar and frankly admit that my long years of immersion in Eastern Philosophy were driven solely by an obsession to destroy my own darkness. In my teens, I dived into esoteric teachings in an attempt to understand my angst, and while much I learned took me a little further down the road to peace, it was a Buddhist Geshe I met in Manhattan many years ago who finally helped me sort out the confusion I felt about the nature of reality; it was through him that I came upon the luminous Indian scholar Nāgārjuna, considered second only to Gautama Siddhartha in the context of his critical contributions to eastern thought.

Nagarjuna’s life is a bit of a mystery to us moderns since surviving accounts of his life were written, in Chinese and Tibetan, centuries after his death. Most likely he was born into a Brahmin family in South India and later became a Buddhist. Some say he was an advisor to Yajna Sri Satakarni, a king of the Satavahana dynasty who ruled between 167 and 196 CE, which places him around 150–250 CE. Nagarjuna is considered the founder of the Madhyamaka School; due to his efforts, the concept of ‘emptiness’ (shunyata)—which he focused on in order to refute the metaphysics of some of his contemporaries—became the central ontological concept in Mahayana Buddhism. Continue reading

Grief, Ignorance and Slowly becoming a Writer – Viet Thanh Nguyen QUOTES FOR WRITERS (and people who like quotes)

I wrote my Moksha Trilogy for many reasons, primarily because I am in love with the idea of permanent freedom from suffering, and in the long arduous exciting process of writing these three novels I had to endure a lot – the hero’s journey indeed….

BRIDGET WHELAN writer

blank computer screen

…I learned about grief as I worked on that damned short story collection. I did not know what I was doing, and what I also did not know, facing my computer screen and a white wall, slowly turning pale, was that I was becoming a writer. Becoming a writer was partly a matter of acquiring technique, but it was just as importantly a matter of the spirit and a habit of the mind. It was the willingness to sit in that chair for thousands of hours, receiving only occasional and minor recognition, enduring the grief of writing in the belief that somehow, despite my ignorance, something transformative was taking place.
Viet Thanh Nguyen

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Mesmerizing Animated Masterpieces

Don’t know why, but Edward Hopper’s work evokes sadness in me – for the 50th anniversary of his death, a British digital agency chose to transform the most famous masterpieces of the artist into beautiful GIFs….thanks for sharing, Alk3r!

ALK3R

For the 50th anniversary of the Edward Hopper’s death, a British digital agency, Verve Search for Orbitz chose to make the most famous masterpiece of the artist, by creating beautiful GIFs.

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STEALING GEMS FROM A CORPSE

fb_img_1476180317452During my years in Manhattan, I flew to Florida to spend a long weekend with a close friend. At the time I was agonizing over whether to cut loose from a relationship that had been wonderful at the start but was now beginning to seriously drain and confuse me. You see, I had turned decisively to the inner path, but my friend had turned his back on the mystical path and was pursuing happiness in the external world. We had come to a major crossroads but neither of us were able to take that final decision to cut the cord. You see, he had arrived when I desperately needed spiritual companionship and our work together had allowed me to open the portal to great jewels in my awakening consciousness; apart from being willing to walk with me through hard, he had also inspired me to write my first novel.

That night I discussed the situation with this other close friend—a man in whose good heart and caring for me I trusted. Fascinated by the subconscious, he had developed a special mastery over lucid dreaming; in response, he guided me into meditation and told me to request my inner being for an answer to my conundrum. Continue reading

Mesmerizing Kaleidoscopic GIFs

Illustrator and animator Anna Taberko produces lovely kaleidoscopic animations that depict the blooming of flowers, the evolution of animals, and the flight of bees. Most of her pieces begin life as traditional hand-drawn cel animation before being digitized and turned into sequential loops. You can follow more of Taberko’s work on Instagram and GIPHY. Thanks, Alk3r!

ALK3R

Illustrator and animator Anna Taberko produces lovely kaleidoscopic animations that depict the blooming of flowers, the evolution of animals, and the flight of bees.

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The Man Who ‘Died’ and Came Back to Plant Trees

I LOVE trees….”Twenty some years ago David Milarch hovered above the bed, looking down at his motionless body. Years of alcoholism had booted him out of his life. An inexplicable cosmic commandment would return him to it. His improbable charge? To clone the world’s champion trees – the giants that had survived millennia and would be unvanquished by climate change.” Read on, and thank you for sharing this, Alk3r!

ALK3R

Bildergebnis für David Milarch

Twenty some years ago David Milarch hovered above the bed, looking down at his motionless body. Years of alcoholism had booted him out of his life.

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The Tragedy of A Relationship

“When a pigeon flies, his wings beat in taal… You can count the matras if you don’t believe me. And such a sweet voice… God has invested such a treasure of music in each of his creations that man can take armfuls away but never exhaust it. Goddess Saraswati has given me a little too. But not as much as I would have liked. Just when I began to draw something from the ocean of music, my time was up. This is the trouble, when the fruit of a man’s lifelong labour ripens… Who can understand God’s ways? But one thing I have understood a little. There is a fruit, the custard apple. I like it very much. I eat it and throw the seeds outside the window. And one day I look and there’s another tree of the same fruit. With new fruits on its branches. I eat it and others enjoy it too. This music also is like that. It is not the property of one, it belongs to so many.”

superaalifragilistic

In August 2000, Ravi Shankar’s first wife, the reclusive surbahar virtuoso Annapurna Devi, did her only interview in 60 years with me in which she spoke about her torturous marriage and the tragic life of their son Shubho. Originally published in Man’s World, it was rediscovered by a journalist in December 2012 after the demise of Pandit Ravi Shankar. Since then, the story of Annapurna Devi has gone viral logging in over 10k Likes on Facebook and 900 shares. It’s an amazing, unforgettable story of a rare modern-day musician mystic.

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In the Hindustani classical music fraternity, Annapurna Devi’s genius is part of a growing mythology. The daughter of the great Ustad Allauddin Khan, the sister of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and the divorced wife of Pandit Ravi Shankar, she is considered to be one of the greatest living exponents of both the surbahar and the sitar.

The tragedy is that…

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