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August 16, 2009 | Suzanne Muchnic
What comes to mind when you think of Buddhist art? A serene figure seated in a meditative pose, eyes closed, legs crossed, soles up? The Norton Simon Museum has many such examples in its collection, but the Pasadena institution's new exhibition, "Divine Demons: Wrathful Deities of Buddhist Art," offers something different. The gods Mahakala and Hayagriva, seen in richly detailed sculptures and paintings, lash out at foes with several sets of arms and stomp them into submission. Divine as the deities may be, they are not just having a little rant on a bad day. They are doing their jobs -- protecting Buddhist faith with physical force and terrifying symbolism.
September 20, 2012 | By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
The Zen master would not stop talking. Several times he began to draw his teachings to a close, explaining to his students that he was tired and in poor health. Then he would burst down another path. He discussed the difficulties of raising children. He lingered on the subject of death. Eventually, he raised a small fist in the air. "Everybody is together at one point," he said. "We cry together, we love together. There is no moment in which we are not together. " He is 105 years old and not even 5 feet tall, with paper-white skin and a blocky, bald head.
September 10, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
About 6,000 Dalits, often segregated as "untouchables" in India's Hindu caste hierarchy, converted to Buddhism in Kanpur, 240 miles southeast of New Delhi. Leaders of the ritual said they were protesting caste discrimination and India's failure to raise the issue at the U.N. conference on racism that concluded in South Africa over the weekend. Hundreds of monks arrived from Nepal, Japan and other countries to witness the ceremony Saturday, which was presided over by a Japanese Buddhist priest.
August 9, 2012 | By Mindy Farabee
"Digital Dharma: One Man's Mission to Save a Culture," an informative if not entirely engaging documentary centered on American E. Gene Smith's lifelong efforts to collect and preserve the sacred texts of Tibetan Buddhism, pays homage to a noble undertaking but little illuminates the man whose passion animated it. Smith was born in Ogden, Utah, and raised in the Mormon faith. In the early 1960s, when Tibetan refugees began to arrive in the U.S., fleeing the Chinese occupation, Smith was a doctoral student studying Asian languages at the University of Washington.
July 8, 1989 | JOHN DART, Times Religion Writer
In welcoming the Dalai Lama to Los Angeles on behalf of the diverse Buddhist community this week, a monk already prominent in organizing American Buddhists took the occasion to propose new ways to reduce tensions arising among U.S. practitioners of the ancient religion.
Blocks away from the triumphant Los Angeles Lakers victory parade Wednesday, the Buddhist priest pondered the win, the way and the sound of thousands of hands clapping. Yes, said the Rev. Noriaki Ito, he expected the Lakers would ride to a world championship the moment he heard Coach Phil Jackson was coming to town. He had followed him for years, knew he practiced Zen meditation and knew he incorporated those concepts into his coaching. Jackson, of course, practices more than Zen.
Pointed remarks about Buddhism, penned by Pope John Paul II, are igniting religious passions in Sri Lanka that threaten to disturb the pontiff's visit to the predominantly Buddhist island nation next week. On Wednesday, trying to defuse the dispute as he set off on his 11-day tour of Asian and Pacific nations, John Paul proclaimed his "profound respect and sincere esteem" for Buddhism.
Bureaucratic controls imposed on monasteries in Tibet threaten the survival of Tibetan Buddhism, a group associated with the Dalai Lama, the exiled leader of the faith, charged in a report made public today. During the last three years, as Chinese authorities have crushed a series of pro-independence protests in Tibet, "the international community . . .
September 25, 2007 | David I. Steinberg, David I. Steinberg is a professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a visiting senior research scholar at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.
The passive, otherworldly image of Buddhism can be misleading. In Burma, where two-thirds of the country is Buddhist, the religion has an overwhelming influence on day-to-day life and plays a continuing political role that makes the current protest marches by tens of thousands of monks through the streets of Yangon especially significant. Buddhism has long been one of the key ingredients of Burmese nationalism, and it has been used by political leaders of all stripes as a source of legitimacy.
Sitting cross-legged on a gallery floor, William T. Wiley casually strummed one of his funky handmade guitars. Wearing faded jeans and wooden clogs, his long, graying hair in a ponytail, the soft-spoken artist from the Bay Area looked as low key as they come. Don't be fooled. This 54-year-old may look harmless, but he's more than eager to kick up some dust, and that sort of yin-yang is what much of his art is about.
July 24, 2012 | Liesl Bradner
Does anyone really know what heaven looks like? For ages, artists have expressed their interpretations on canvas and authors have penned numerous books on their journeys to the hereafter. Recent titles include Mary C. Neal's “To Heaven and Back: A Doctor's Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels, and Life Again: A True Story” and Todd Burpo's “Heaven Is for Real,” which spent 70 weeks on the L.A. Times bestsellers list. In the story of a 4-year-old boy's visit to heaven during emergency surgery, the artwork of 8-year-old Akiane Kramarik (who also had a near-death experience)
July 22, 2012 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times
Where the Heart Beats John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists Kay Larson Penguin: 477 pp., $29.95 In the late 1940s and early 1950s, composer John Cage underwent related crises in his personal and musical lives. He was America's most progressive, most original, most brilliant, most charming and most media-genic young artist. But he had reached a dead end. Shortly after moving to New York from the West Coast by way of Chicago, Cage, who was born 100 years ago this September in Los Angeles, made his New York debut in 1943 with a concert of percussion music held at the Museum of Modern Art. It was big news and was excitedly reviewed even in Life magazine.
September 25, 2011 | By Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times
Occasionally they would knock on a neighbor's door to borrow tools or ask for help with a maintenance issue. But for the most part, the Buddhist nuns on Marcon Drive in Walnut kept to the ranch-style house where they lived and worshiped. For 10 years, the young women with the shaved heads and long robes were accepted as part of an eclectic neighborhood of single-family homes, a middle school, a spacious public park and four churches — one Mormon, one Lutheran and two catering to Korean American Christians.
August 8, 2011 | By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
Vincent Horn opened his eyes after a moment of meditation, scanned the room and smiled. About 150 other people were emerging from their own states of dead-silent, self-induced tranquillity. They shuffled a bit in their seats. "Hello, Buddhist geeks!" Horn said from his perch onstage. "This is the most geeks I've seen in one place, I think, ever. " His statement brought to mind a moment in the documentary "Woodstock," when folk singer Arlo Guthrie takes in the crowd of several hundred thousand young people and cackles, "Lotta freaks!"
May 2, 2011
MOVIES 'Bouncing Cats' This lively documentary, which was featured in the second season of the LA New Wave International Film Festival, tells the inspiring story of one man's attempt to create a better life for the children of Uganda using the unlikely tool of hip-hop with a focus on b-boy culture and break dancing. Featuring narration by Common and interviews with Mos Def, and K'naan. The Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown. 7:30 p.m. Free. RSVP required.
February 19, 2011 | By Nomi Morris, Special to the Los Angeles Times
When Sharon Salzberg returned to New York from her first trips to India in the 1970s, a crinkled cotton blouse was still exotic and people would politely sidle away from her at parties after she told them she taught meditation for a living. Now even Starbucks sells chai (a milky Indian spice tea), and a landmark Massachusetts General Hospital study released last month has documented that the brain shows positive physical changes ? in density of gray matter ? after just eight weeks of meditation.
Two child monks climbed a tower outside the scripture-reading hall of Erdene Zuu Monastery, then blew long blasts on conch-shell horns in a call to prayer. The temple air, heavy with incense and smoke from butter lamps, soon filled with Tibetan Buddhist chants and the sound of cymbals, drums and horns as 50 lamas gathered in worship.
The golden Buddha in the foyer of Hsi Lai University is a quick indication of what makes this school in Rosemead different from others in the state. And if the statue doesn't show it, the students' faces will. They come from Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, Myanmar and China, as well as the U.S. Just when Westerners are catching on to Buddhism's complex history--the Tibetan practice of the Dalai Lama isn't the same as the Zen of '60s songwriter Leonard Cohen--Hsi Lai expands the horizon.
February 8, 2011 | Mark Magnier
He's a "living Buddha" with movie-star good looks and an iPod, a 25-year-old who rubs shoulders with Richard Gere and Tom Cruise and is mentioned as a successor to the Dalai Lama. Now allegations that he's a Chinese spy, and a money launderer to boot, have laid bare divisions in the outwardly serene world of Tibetan Buddhism and longtime tensions between China and India. There's a lot at stake. The Karmapa is among Tibetan Buddhism's most revered figures and heads the religion's wealthiest sect, with property estimated at $1.2 billion worldwide.
January 8, 2011 | By Chris Woolston, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Of all fields of medicine, psychology seems especially prone to fads. Freudian dream analysis, recovered memory therapy, eye movement desensitization for trauma ? lots of once-hot psychological theories and treatments eventually fizzled. Now along comes mindfulness therapy, a meditation-based treatment with foundations in Buddhism and yoga that's taking off in private practices and university psychology departments across the country. "Mindfulness has become a buzzword, especially with younger therapists," said Stefan Hofmann, a professor of psychology at Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders.
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