Monday, March 13, 2017

15th Sakyadhita International Conference Workshop: Art and Meditation with Dharmacharini Anagarika Kiranada

I came to meditation and to Buddhism more than forty years ago, through art. The first time I sat with meditation instructions, I went into a deep, pristine place where “self” was gone, there was no separation, and I merged into that inner space. I knew I had been there before many times with my artwork. Years of research with meditation teachers, psychologists, and fellow artists followed and I began to find some explanation for what I experienced with this “losing self,” merging, and deepening in meditation. With some interactive art experiences (simple drawing and meditative writing), I plan to lead participants into this realm. Special talent or experience in art is not necessary.

Monday, February 27, 2017

15th Sakyadhita International Conference Panel: Monastic Life in the Modern World with Nirmala S. Salgado

Based on research recently conducted in Sri Lanka, I will discuss how different types of institutions of Buddhist nuns promote specific communal rules and why they might address those rules in different ways. The paper will focus on communities of nuns that include both fully ordained bhikkhunis as well as sil matas, who dwell in teaching institutions and meditation centers throughout the country, and belong to a Theravada/Southern Buddhist tradition. I will demonstrate that while nuns living at the various centers focus on the cultivation of contemplative practices that are conducive to the eradication of obstacles on the path to nirvana, and aim at maintaining a disciplined and harmonious life in community, there are important differences in how and why nuns at different institutions engage monastic regulations.

Monday, February 13, 2017

15th Sakyadhita International Conference Panel: Translation as Contemplative Practice with Annie Bien

The Mahāyāna sūtra titled, The Prophecy of the Daughter Candrottarā, tells the story of the merchant Vimalakīrti’s daughter, Candrottarā, a young woman striving on the path to enlightenment. Instead of crying when she takes birth, she sings verses about the nature of birth. Pure in body and deed, beautiful to behold and without desires, she is drawn to the Buddha’s voice. The men of the city of Vaiśalī want to marry her, threaten Vimalakīrti, and terrify him. She remains unafraid, calming her father through her understanding of karma. She comforts both parents by agreeing to choose a husband, but asks to meet the Buddha first. On her way, the Buddha’s disciples appear, questioning her. Candrottarā debates with them that sexual identity ultimately has no relevance for attaining enlightenment. The Buddha, listens and is delighted. He prophesies her future enlightenment. Elated, she transforms into a young man to continue her enlightened activities in the world.

Monday, January 23, 2017

15th Sakyadhita International Conference Workshop: Mindful Chinese Calligraphy with Esther Liu

This calligraphic work was created by elders tutored by Esther Liu.

Chinese calligraphy is the simplest artistic endeavor, being composed of black dots and strokes. The beauty of strokes, composition and integration create various kind of charm in the implicit and symbolic artistic expression.

Monday, January 16, 2017

15th Sakyadhita International Conference Workshop: Hatha Yoga with Lyudmila Klasanova

Yoga is a practice of mind and body. The primary goal is to gain balance in one’s life and provide a sense of calmness and inner peace. Like other meditative movement practices used for health purposes, various styles of yoga typically combine physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), relaxation (yoga nyidra), concentration (dharana), and meditation (dhyana).

U.S. Women's Marches & Events

Image via UCI Law.
The inauguration of United States President Donald Trump on January 20th has become a rallying cry for activists throughout the United States. During the week of January 20th a number of events are taking place in support of women's rights, as well as the rights of minorities, the LGBTQI community, and the environment. Below are links to three major marches, as well as information on an event being held in Washington D.C. by Pema Khandro.

Women’s March on Washington:

List of Sister Marches:
“Sister Marches are happening in cities across the country and around the world. Find one in your area here.” https://www.womensmarch.com/alaska/

Women’s March on NYC:

More information being updated regularly on Lion's Roar:

Women Meditation & Power with Pema Khandro Washington DC Jan 22nd

Explore how meditation enhances intrinsic power and celebrate the natural dignity of all human beings. Join Pema Khandro Rinpoche for a Buddhist teaching, meditation and prayer in honor of the historic Women’s March on Washington DC – Jan 21st.

This event falls on Sunday, January 22nd from 1pm -3pm. 
Free and Open to the Public.

Register Here Buddhist Women - Lets March Together
For more information on the walk email info@BuddhistYogis.org.

Monday, January 9, 2017

15th Sakyadhita International Conference Panel: Carla Gionotti on Identity and Religous Status

The Lives of the Twenty-four Jo mos of the Tibetan Tradition: Identity and Religious Status

Machig Labdron (Ma gcig Lab sgron)
As a tibetologist and a Buddhist practitioner, I deal with those peculiar feminine figures – earthly, divine, or archetypical – of the Buddhist Indo-Tibetan tradition that are recognized, according to a vision of equilibrium of genres and of a conciliation of genres, as a source of inspiration in the spiritual Buddhist path of contemporary women (and men). In my work, I came across an interesting Tibetan text that contains the hagiographies of twenty-four Tibetan ascetic women of the twelfth century. All except one of these twenty-four jo mos (venerable women or nuns), who were disciples of the great Pha Dam pa Sangs rgyas (died in 1117) are all supposed to have reached final enlightenment. Their life-stories are particularly inspiring and should be regarded, as reported in the Tibetan text, as a “message for future generations.”