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The Lost Tradition of Tibetan Zen

Dan Zigmond reviews Sam van Schaik’s The Lost Tradition of Tibetan Zen
Alex McKay | 2015.11.30

The dharma arrived in Tibet as a wedding present. Legend has it that toward the end of the 7th century, the royal families of China and Nepal offered brides to Songsten Gampo, the first of Tibet’s mighty kings to unify the country (and frighten its neighbors). These two princesses each brought with them an unusual dowry: a statue of the Buddha. Soon the great Jokhang temple in Lhasa was built to house these precious gifts, which are still proudly displayed in the Tibetan capital. And these two remarkable women are remembered as the matriarchs of Tibetan Buddhism, together planting the first seeds of Buddha’s teachings in the Land of Snows.

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Hitler and the Himalayas: The SS Mission to Tibet 1938-39

Members of the German SS expedition crossed the Tibet border in December of 1938 and arrived in Lhasa approximately one month later. In this photograph, members of the expedition gather at a makeshift camp during the jounrey. Inner circle, from left to right: Krause, Wienert, Beger, Geer, Schaefer.
Alex McKay | 2001.02.28

On the nineteenth of January, 1939, five members of the Waffen-SS, Heinrich Himmler’s feared Nazi shock troops, passed through the ancient, arched gateway that led into the sacred city of Lhasa. Like many Europeans, they carried with them idealized and unrealistic views of Tibet, projecting, as Orville Schell remarks in his book Virtual Tibet, “a fabulous skein of fantasy around this distant, unknown land.” The projections of the Nazi expedition, however, did not include the now familiar search for Shangri-La, the hidden land in which a uniquely perfect and peaceful social system held a blueprint to counter the transgressions that plague the rest of humankind. Rather, the perfection sought by the Nazis was an idea of racial perfection that would justify their views on world history and German supremacy.

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Secret Tibet’ by Fosco Maraini

Gyantse, Tibet, Kum-bum Chorten, 1937. A photo by Fosco Maraini, author of Secret Tibet. From Maraini: Acts of Photography, Acts of Love (Joost Elffers Books: New York, 1999)
Alex McKay | 2001.05.31

There is something about traveling in Tibet that makes Westerners reach for their pens. But of the literally dozens of travelers who have described their Tibetan adventures, few have possessed Fosco Maraini’s talent for writing. Maraini describing his bus journey across town would be enjoyable enough; to read his evocative account of traveling in Tibet is a real pleasure. His style, a blend of poetic speculation and careful observation, might well be described as “Herman Hesse meets Bruce Chatwin,” and like a great composer, he knows when to expand a theme and when to leave space for the listener’s own imagination.

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Cycling in the Alps
Pang | 2019.12.17



前后9分钟,没有说什么话,但配着Mew的Comforting Sounds,观看时最好带上耳机。





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Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

Steve Jobs at Stanford during his 2005 Commencement speech.
| 2005.06.12

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots. I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out? It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.”

My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college. And 17 years later I did go to college.

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I have a Dream

In his iconic speech at the Lincoln Memorial, King synthesized portions of his earlier speeches to capture both the necessity for change and the potential for hope in American society.
Dr. Martin Luther King | 1968.08.23

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

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Ich bin ein Berliner

There is a widespread belief that Kennedy confused being from Berlin with being a type of German pastry called Berliner. That is Fake News.
John F. Kennedy | 1963.06.26

I am proud to come to this city as the guest of your distinguished Mayor, who has symbolized throughout the world the fighting spirit of West Berlin. And I am proud – And I am proud to visit the Federal Republic with your distinguished Chancellor who for so many years has committed Germany to democracy and freedom and progress, and to come here in the company of my fellow American, General Clay, who – who has been in this city during its great moments of crisis and will come again if ever needed.

Two thousand years ago – Two thousand years ago, the proudest boast was “civis Romanus sum.” Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world.

There are some who say – There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. And there are some who say, in Europe and elsewhere, we can work with the Communists. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress.

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We Shall Fight on the Beaches

There is to be no whistling or unnecesary noise in this passage.
Winston Churchill | 1940.06.04

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.

At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation.

The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil

The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail.

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Common Sense

Thomas Payne | 1776.02.14

Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions.

The first a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.

Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expence and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.

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AUTHOR NAME | -0001.12.31



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