#LibraryOfCongress; #BudhistCarving; #PathToNirvana
Washington/Canadian-Media: John Hessler, a specialist in the Library of Congress' Geography and Map Division, and curator of the Jay I. Kislak Collection. focuses on computational geography and geographic information science.
The top of the 31 levels of existence, as seen on the cosmography. Photo: John Hessler. Geography and Map Division. Image credit: Lib of Congress
A rare 18th-century carving of a Theravãda Buddhist cosmography that originated in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) was recently acquired by the Library’s Geography and Map Division.
More than 9 feet high when all its three parts are fully assembled, this panel shows the many levels that spiritual entities — humans, animals or gods – transmigrate to the temporary resting places for living beings as they make their way to the ultimate goal of nirvana.
Displaying these stations as floating palaces, the panel gives their names, the geography of the cosmos and the life of beings who temporarily reside in each of them.
The engravings on the panel have been ultimately derived from the teachings of the Gautama Buddha, are found in a series of writings that are known as the Pali Canon, which are the earliest written records of Buddhist scriptures.
Previously these had been handed down in the oral tradition. This large body of texts, written in the ancient Indian language of Pali, is divided into discourses of various lengths and treats the metaphysics, psychology and cosmology of the Buddhist path toward enlightenment through meditation.
“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true,” is one of the Buddha’s metaphysical sayings.
The information found on the engraving in the Library’s collections is not derived from a single source, but from a variety of texts in what is called the “Sutta Pitaka,” or Basket Discourse.
Most of the information inscribed on the panel can be traced to the “Majjhima Nikaya, Anguttara Nikaya, Samyutta Nikaya,” which are the middle length, numerical, and connected discourses of the Buddha, respectively.
Recently translated by Heller, the panel describes, both graphically, as temples, and in writing, the 31 levels of existence. It starts at the top of the panel with “neither-perception-nor-non-perception.”
This is the realm of beings that are formless and without physical or material structure and who have no perception. The engraving continues down through the various levels of “Arupaloka” (world of non-form), through “Rupaloka” (world of form) into “Kãmaloka” (world of desire) finally reaching “Manussa” (the level of human beings). Below that we find the levels occupied by animals and the fiery hells that are undesirable places for rebirth and reincarnation.
Carvings of temples signifying each of the levels rising from the base of Mount Meru, or the sacred mountain can be found in the center of the panel.
Palace at the base of Mount Meru. Photo: John Hessler. Geography and Map Division. Image credit: LoC.
Here, the engraving turns cartographic.
The myth of Mount Meru is common to almost all ancient Indian religions and is part of the foundations of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist cosmology. According to all three, it is located in the center of the universe. In Hinduism, it is the realm of the gods.
In this section of the panel, we see the various mountain ranges that surround Mount Meru. These seven “golden” ranges are known as the “Sattaparibhanda.” They are separated by vast oceans.
Moving out from the center of the panel in both directions, they extend great heights and distances:
Yugandhara 40,000 yojana high and thick
Isadhara 20,000 yojana high and thick
Karavika 10,000 yojana high and thick
Sudassana 5000 yojana high and thick
Nemindhara 2500 yojana high and thick
Vinataka 1250 yojana high and thick
Asskanna 625 yojana high and thick
An ancient Indian scale of measurement, “Yojana” equals the distance that a cow yoked to a cart can walk in one day, although no one knows how far that actually is. The scale of these distances is not terrestrial, but cosmic. The distance from the center of Mount Meru (itself being 80,000 yojana wide) to the edge of the map is approximately 795,300 miles.
The four continents of Buddhist geography that includes earth, the “Jumbudvipa,” is in a great ocean that lies far off the map.
Theravãda Buddhism is the oldest and the only surviving form that derives directly from the ancient Hinayaba School. The word Theravãda, in both Pali and in Sanskrit, means “the School of the Elders.” It was established in Sri Lanka in the third century BCE by the Indian Emperor Asoka. Asoka’s edicts survive as some of the oldest written inscriptions relating to Buddhism, carved on boulders, pillars and cave walls, written in the ancient Brahmi script, according to Richard Salomon’s book “Indian Epigraphy.”
In the classical Western sense this may not seem to be a “map”, but the Geography and Map Division strives to collect a wide range of cartography, cosmography and the mapmaking arts from around the world. This panel, and many others like it from cultures around the world, constantly remind us how difficult it is to actually answer the question: What is a map?
The lower realms representing the existence of animals. Photo: John Hessler. Geography and Map Division. Image credit: Library of Congress.
#ArtForumSF; VirtualSala, #LiveSeries
Toronto/Canadian-Media: In these “uncertain times,” ," Art Forum SF moves to host the Virtually SALA (South Asian Literature & Arts), Live Series Episode 3 on June 17, 2021, from 8:30 PM PST (Pacific Standard Time) featuring Salima Hashmi, acclaimed Pakistani artist and public intellectual, moderated by Mira Hashmi.
The live series would be available on Facebook: www.facebook.com/southasianartforumsf, and YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UC6An2QAz5Cfgrf-Ei1dqSTw
SALIMA HASHMI at Virtually SALA 2021 — Live Series Episode 3
Salima Hashmi is an artist, curator, and contemporary art historian. Professor Hashmi was the founding Dean of the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Art and Design at Beaconhouse National University, Lahore. She was Professor of Fine Art at National College of Arts [NCA] Lahore and was also Principal of the College.
Salima Hashmi has written extensively on the arts. Her book “Unveiling the Visible — Lives and Works of Women Artists of Pakistan” was published in 2002, and ‘Memories, Myths, Mutations — Contemporary Art of India and Pakistan’ co-authored with Yashodhara Dalmia for Oxford University Press, India in 2006. She has edited ‘The Eye Still Seeks — Contemporary Art of Pakistan for Penguin Books, India, in 2014.
She is a Council member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and a founder member of the Women’s Action Forum. She is the eldest daughter of the renowned Pakistani poets Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Alys Faiz.
“ The world we live in sometimes may seem like it is enveloped in darkness and entangled in a web of chaos and suffering, especially in this past year of communal anguish,” asserted Ms. Kiran Malhotra, Board of Director, Art Forum SF. Furthermore, Ms. Malhotra refers to Joe Haldeman, American Film Director, News Writer, who once said, “Anyone who sees clearly, sees chaos. Art is a way of temporarily setting order to confusion.”
This virtual event is a conversation-style program with Mira Hashmi as the interviewer. Intro and outro by Dr. Robert Mintz, deputy director of the Asian Art Museum.
“Salima Hashmi is a true rarity in this world, an accomplished painter, a successful educator, a vocal change agent, a feminist, an activist, and inspiration. Her life and work mark a social change path and transformation from which she has never wavered or strayed. Her art, her words, and her actions all drive her quest for a better world,” said Dr. Robert Mintz.
MIRA HASHMI is a film study assistant professor at the Lahore School of Economics. A graduate of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University in Montreal, Mira has over three decades of writing experience about film for various publications. Her interest includes the cinema of Alfred Hitchcock and Hindi masala movies. Her first book, Gulzar’s Ijaazat: Insights into the Film, was published in 2019.
MIRA HASHMI at Virtually SALA 2021 — Live Series Episode 3
DR. ROBERT MINTZ, Deputy Director, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, is responsible for managing the curatorial, conservation, education, and museum services departments. With a B.A. (Art History) from the Michigan University (1989), his studies continued at the University of Washington, Seattle, earning an M.A. (1995) and Ph.D. (2002). His dissertation focused on the paintings and poetry of the 18th-century Japanese artist Yosa Buson. His most recent publications include work in Great Waves and Mountains (Pending), Kondo Takahiro Catalog of Recent Work (2021), Faberge and the Russian Crafts Tradition: An Empire’s Legacy (2017), Japanese Ceramics for the 21st Century (2014), and Japanese Cloisonné Enamels (2010).
About SALA: In October 2019, Art Forum SF debuted the South Asian Literature and Art (SALA) festival with grand success at the Montalvo Arts Center’s picturesque site in Saratoga, California. The festival featured prominent experts experienced in the cultural-literary-artistic histories of South Asian countries and different aspects of the humanities to give talks, have exhibitions and performances, book reading for local audiences.
Follow us on Social Media @ArtForumSF, and for more information, visit www.artforumsf.org or contact Ambika Sahay, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org | 425.736.1779.
For sponsorship, media, and marketing, contact MUKTA Advertising at email@example.com | 416.716.8582.
#Law Library of Congress; #Rare Book Curator; #Nathan Dorn, #NewAquisitions
Washington/Canadian-Media: Law Library of Congress Rare Book Curator Nathan Dorn brings us a display of new acquisitions for the Law Library’s Rare Book Collection, five of which are shared in this video.
Library of Congress. Image credit: Twitter handle
The first item, the first edition of the Sobornoye Ulozhenie or the Ulozhenie of 1649, is a Russian work with a compilation of the laws that were in effect in Russia in the middle of the 17th century.
The second item records the sale of land called Nashowamoiasuk or Neck Point of the Edgartown Great Pond by the seller Harrie, Indian of Nantucket and the buyer is John Coffin witnessed by Nathaniel and Mary Starbuck. Mary Coffin Starbuck. leade and influence was a significant figure in early colonial Nantucket and is believed to have made Quakerism predominant on the island in the 18th century, known by the locals as the Parliament House due to all the public business transacted there.
A manuscript copy of Article 9 of the Treaty of Ghent, the treaty that concluded the War of 1812 written in the hand of Henry Clay is also displayed by Nathan.
A medieval manuscript by the Lectura of Johannes de Imola is the next item displayed by Nathan on the Decretales of Gregory IX, made in Italy between the years 1431 and 1447. Johannes de Imola’s commentary on the second major work of the canon law of the Catholic Church as well as a large beautiful illustrates of St. James and hundreds of decorated initials are contained in this manuscript.
Historical work on legal education, Memoriale Institutionum Juris, is the final item Nathan displays. This item used a strategy that its author called “the emblematic teaching method” that associated words with memorable images in an effort to help the student memorize a particular lesson. In this work, the author uses this approach to assist with the memorization of Justinian’s Institutes, an introduction to Roman Law.
#TIWC; #Colorado; #SelfDiscovery; #Retreats; #Workshops; #Awakening; #ConsciousEevolution
Colorado/Canadian-Media: The Inner Wisdom Community (TIWC), an intentional community dedicated to the conscious evolution of humanity, brings decades brilliant teachers' our own evolution with technologies, and wisdom traditions to people in Colorado and online to offer support for your journey of self-discovery through gatherings, retreats, and workshops as well as private sessions.
Inner Wisdom Community. Image credit: Facebook page
Inner Wisdom Community. Image credit: Facebook page
During an E-mail interview with the Board members of the TIWC, they highlighted the origin as well as the contribution of this community to Asha Bajaj, the Editorial-Director of Canadian-Media.
Given below is the excerpt of the interview:
Asha: When and by whom was the Inner Wisdom Community originate? What was the driving force for its origin?
TIWC: TIWC was formed in Oct 2018. All of the board members Of IWC in divine timing came together. The board members are: Darren Sadge, Ron Zastrow, Kristin Zastrow Lukela, Danny Parizek, Dana Suazo, Carrie Christensen, and Ashley Dordal. In their creation together Inner Wisdom was formed for the purpose of bringing spiritual light and experience and create new processes that can be shared in a loving environment.
Asha: Highlight the use of technologies and wisdom traditions employed by the practitioners while trying to awaken the inner wisdom of the people both in Colorado and online? What are some of the approaches used?
TIWC: All of the board members are trained under many different modalities. Some using multiple modalities to create and awaken. The modalities of shamanism, meditation, energy healing and science all come together to embody and enlighten our true selves. We provide these modalities to the members and it is an open and receiving community that welcomes others’ ideas on a frequent basis.
Asha: How did you raise awareness of these services among people of varied backgrounds and from various nationalities? Did you distribute any literature for it?
Dana: Through divine practices. And each meeting naturally has evolved everyone and their practices. Because each person evolves individually and as they bring more to each meeting, everyone evolves. The awareness is because of the ”yes” we all have claimed on this embodiment path. Literature as far as references can be given in meetings yet not required. All are welcome because we are all one.
Asha: From when did the online sessions start? Were they available even before the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic? How popular are these and how many days a week are these held?
TIWC: Before the pandemic we offered in-person workshops and community meetings (once a month). It evolved into online sessions once the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Also, because of the pandemic we started offering it once a week. We felt that since we were all going through spiritual growth due to the pandemic, it was a benefit to everyone to have it once a week. It was also a good support system for those that were rocked more than others.
Asha: You also hold sessions through gatherings, retreats, and workshops as well as privately. How many times a week are these held? Compare their popularity with the online sessions.
TIWC: The community meetings were held once a month. Workshops and retreats were held when inspired. The online sessions were a necessity due to the pandemic. It is the only option still currently at this time. I will have to say that with the online sessions we have been able to have others join us from other states.
Asha: Approximately how many people are there in one gathering? Can you outline the sessions of a gathering?
Dana: It varies and yet the community is growing perfectly. We have around 35 active members. Typically we do an introduction, then the healing, meditation or class will be held; followed by a questions and answers session. We wrap up with a prayer.
Asha: What criteria are adopted for the selections of the practitioners of this community? Do they have to undergo some special training in the Community before starting their practice? How may practitioners are employed by the community?
TIWC: This is an open forum for those who have been in their practice for a long time and for those that are just stepping into it. We all meet everyone where they are at. We all learn from everyone, no matter what level they are at. They are willing and so is the group.
Asha: How long is the training session and how can one join? Is there a fee for joining?
Dana: Right now it is just in-kind gift donations and it is not required. The group welcomes all students and teachers. It is a very inclusive group. All are welcome. No membership required at this time.
Asha: What are the vision and the mission of this community? Give 2 or more examples of this practice being successful.
TIWC: TIWC is committed to the path of awakening ourselves and every person we encounter to the innate wisdom and intelligence within us all. We offer powerful, unique, and proven modalities for healing and transformation. We value the uniqueness of each individual journey, and the authenticity and integrity of each being.
We know that there is an inner wisdom that always knows what it is doing, and it is to the emergence of this that we dedicate ourselves. In so doing, we are liberated from limited ideas and instead, align with health, freedom, joy, power, creativity, love, and abundance.
Each practitioner of TIWC is dedicated to his/her continuous growth and unfoldment, recognizing that there is always more of us to be revealed and expressed. We affirm that awakening to our authenticity is a lifelong, constantly evolving, endeavor that invites us to remain ever-available students of our lives.
It is successful because there is always a good turnout. People feel supported, encouraged and it helps to keep them grounded at times when they are feeling overwhelmed with what is going on in the World.
Asha: What are your future plans for expansion?
TIWC: Our manifestation goal is to establish a wellness center that welcomes all types of healers. From reiki, energy, acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists. It will be a place where everyone can feel supported in any of their needs. We would also like to step into more retreats and ceremonies.
Asha: What are the funding sources for this community? Is the community equipped with a small library? Do you distribute any spiritual literature?
TIWC: Currently we are funding the community through the board members’ initial investments and by in-kind donations. Spiritual literature is distributed by each speaker, if they have any. We are consistently sharing videos, websites and/or book ideas with each other as we are inspired.
Asha: Do you offer a complimentary session for individuals? What is the approximate duration of a session?
TIWC: It is a group community so it is not an individual session. However, each community member has different healing practices that allows them to provide individual sessions for their patients.
The board members’ websites and/or contact information are as follows:
Dana Suazo – www.onethreadhealing.com
Danny Parizek – Liquid Lighted Love LLC. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristin Lukela – https://www.theinnerwisdom.net/
Carrie Christensen – http://www.thetastatehealing.com
Ashely Dordal – (Ashley is in the process of designing her website)
Darren Sadge – darrensadge.com or darrensadge.org
#HistoryOfCowboyPoetry; #LoC; #CreationOfMood, #ExperienceWithWords
Washington/Canadian-Media: Origin of the Cowboy poetry dates back to late nineteenth century when cowboys launched their long-distance cattle drives across the West lasting up to six months, and they entertained themselves by singing and playing music, telling stories, and composing songs and poems drawing inspiration from their lifestyle and their diverse cultural backgrounds.
A cowgirl in the daily “jingle,” or horse roundup, at the A Bar A Guest Ranch in Carbon County, Wyoming. Image credit: Carol Highsmith, photographer, 2016; Prints & Photographs Division
These poets typically included ranchers from Mexico and south Texas, former slaves of African Americans from the South, Anglo-American Texans, travelers from the East and Europe, and sometimes Native Americans.
Many of the earliest cowboy poems and songs were in Spanish—including the oldest known cowboy ballad (from the 1860s-1870s), “El corrido de Kiansis” about a group of ranchers on the cattle trail to Kansas.
At the start of the cowboy poetry in the 1800s, many cowboys could not read or write, and they used to recite long verses from memory which has led to an oral tradition in the present and performances. Many performers come together at various events across the West and around the country and several cowboy poets have even performed at the Library of Congress.
Some of the examples are D.W. Groethe’s ode to strong coffee and his love song to meat, Grammy-nominated musician Don Flemons perform Black cowboy songs from the Library’s archive in this program recorded in 2020, Flemons plays a song from a Black cowboy, Charlie Willis, “Goodbye Old Paint.” “Steel Pony Blues,” based on the life of Nat Love, a formerly enslaved African American who became a cowboy after the Civil War.
Our perception of cowboys changes after exploring the diverse history of cowboy poetry and lead us to think about the “typical American cowboy” in movies and TV shows (such as Buffalo Bill’s “Wild West” shows starting in 1883), and perceive how those images differ from what we know about cowboying now. Further exploration of the Backaroos in Paradise and The American West 1865-1900 collections throw more light on the realities of cowboying.
In writing cowboy poetry, strict rules are not followed and it can reflect all kinds of experiences. It can rhyme, but it need not, it can be funny and light-hearted or serious and dramatic., it can relate to a great adventure or an everyday routine.
The key to cowboy poetry is to create a mood and an experience with words that reflect what it means to cowboy.