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Posts Tagged ‘Buddhism

I visited Yili Yining in Xinjiang Province last Sept

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picture of a wallpainting in a laotian temple,...
Image via Wikipedia

When I was leaving I decided to buy a few mementos, first an English language description of the SAR and its special touristic features. Then I bought a small bracelet that features a left facing svasticka symbol along with a set of nice stones.

More than one person has wondered why I should have bought such a controversial artifact. I have always said that the left facing svastika had some connection with Buddhism and peace. Here is an authentic sounding explanation copied in from Wikipedia:

The paired swastika symbols are included, at least since the Liao Dynasty, as part of the Chinese language, the symbolic sign for the character 萬 or 万 (wàn in Mandarinman in Korean, Cantonese and Japanese, vạn in Vietnamese) meaning “all” or “eternality” (lit.myriad) and as 卐, which is seldom used. The swastika marks the beginning of many Buddhist scriptures. The swastika (in either orientation) appears on the chest of some statues of Gautama Buddha and is often incised on the soles of the feet of the Buddha in statuary.

My family and emotional connections with this fractious world is so varied and light that I feel ok about wearing a semi-religious symbol that is connected to so many East Asian cultures and quasi religious origins.

I kind of like the sense that I feel ok wearing a symbol that has such a complex history.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/12/21 at 16:24

Canadian Tory “principled actions”

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Tories give Dalai Lama a wide berth

The Dalai Lama, left, greets the crowd prior to a panel discussion with the Reverend Mpho Tutu, right, in Vancouver Sunday. The Dalai Lama is visiting Vancouver to take part in the World Peace Summit. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Canada’s high-profile welcome in 2007 enraged China, and Ottawa is still mending fences ahead of Harper’s visit to the People’s Republic

I personally find it difficult to understand the point of the Dalai Lama excitement in BC these days. On Saturday he was the Guest Editor of the Vancouver Sun. And apparently he is here on some kind of “Peace Summit”. He really appears to be more of a peace gadabout than summiteer.

But all the rich bourgeois in Vancouver seem to be very happy to pay his fare many times over.

The whole brouhaha smacks more of culture vultering than “peace”!

As for PM Harper, he is simply up to his old tricks of political peekeboo. Now he’s with the DL, now he’s not! Now China are tewwible communists, now their not so tewwible! So goes “Tory politics with Harper principles” in Canada!

The temporary discomfiture of the Canadian Govt is further demoed by this quote from the Globe and Mail:

Governor-General Michaëlle Jean had been scheduled to share the stage with the Dalai Lama yesterday, but abruptly cancelled her appearance last week.

Spokeswoman Marthe Blouin said the decision was prompted by family reasons and had nothing to do with political pressure, noting Ms. Jean intends to meet privately with the Dalai Lama on Tuesday.

“The Governor-General is free to make her own decisions … and does not need to have her schedule approved by the government,” Ms. Blouin said in an e-mail.

At the Chan Centre, sitting cross-legged and shoeless on a comfortable black chair, the Dalai Lama surprised his reverential audience at one point by admitting he was stumped by a question posed by moderator Mary Robinson. The former UN high commissioner for human rights asked him about the role of dignity in human rights.

Image by california cowgirl1 via Flickr
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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/09/28 at 05:19