Save Mess Aynak from destruction by signining this petition

The clock is ticking, imminent destruction scheduled to begin December 2012! We the undersigned bring to your attention that, when one talks about the protection of world heritage one cannot help to think of UNESCO and its commitment and responsibility to find prompt solutions for the safeguard and protection of endangered sites. After 30 years of armed conflicts Afghanistan has suffered the loss and desecration of thousands of objects and hundreds of sites such as the city of Ai Khanum and Bamiyan, a site that would eventually be enlisted as a site to be protected but too late. Let us NOT repeat the same mistake and ACT now for: the Heritage of Afghanistan is once again faced with violation and inpending loss, this time in the case of the immense Buddhist  site of Mess Aynak (see picture). We believe that while economical development through the mining of precious minerals, is necessary, it cannot become an additional tool or exscuse for further destruction of an already weakened Heritage. We the undersigned ask of UNESCO that the site of Mess Aynak, Afghanistan be enlisted immediatly on the List of Endangered Sites and the World Heritage List thus giving UNESCO the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the protection and safeguard of our World’s Heritage.

Archaeologists from around the world are fighting to save a 2,600-year-old Buddhist city, called one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Asia, from imminent destruction by a Chinese mining company in volatile Logar province, Afghanistan. Sign the petition to save the ancient city of Mes Aynak from needless destruction while preventing irreversible environmental harm to Kabul watershed and the Afghan people.This ancient location, is in crisis because it will become a copper mine this coming December. Help us save this ancient site, containing thousands of years of history from being destroyed for commercial benefits. Signing the petition will take less than 2 minutes to do!

And here is the Link to the Petition


Beautiful Buddha Statue attracts Vietnam visitors

The Long Son Pagoda was previously known as Đăng Long Tự and it is located at 22 October 23 Street. It is located in the ward of Phương Sơn, and sits at the foot of Trại Thủy mountain, in city of Nha Trang (Southern Vietnam), just 400 m west of the railway station. Long Son Pagoda was erected on another hill in 1886 under the abbotship of Thích Ngộ Chí (1856–1935), who hailed from the district of Vinh Xuong in Khanh Hoa Province. Before joining the sangha, he was a participant in anti-French resistance forces that attempted to regain Vietnamese independence. In 1900, after a large cyclone, the temple was destroyed and had to be moved from the hill to its current location. In 1936, the Buddhist Studies Association made the temple the headquarters of the Buddhist Association in Khanh Hoa Province. In 1940, the temple was renovated and expanded under the leadership of Thích Tôn Thất Quyền and a lay Buddhist by the named of Võ Đình Thụy. In 1968, the temple was heavily damaged during the Vietnam War, in particular the tiled roof. In 1971, Thích Thiện Bình organised for the capital works program to restore the temple, which was around 60% complete in accordance with the plans of the architect Võ Đình Diệp when it was interrupted by the Fall of Saigon and the communist victory over South Vietnam. Since its construction, the temple has had a stable leadership, with only three abbots in over 120 years: Thích Ngộ Chí (1886–1935), Thích Chánh Hóa (1936–1957) and Thích Chí Tín (1957–).

From the Long Son Pagoda, there is a large road leading up to Hai Duc Pagoda along the crest of the hill, where there is a large white concrete statue of Gautama Buddha. The statue was built on the site of the original temple and the statue was cast in 1964 before being installed the following year, under the auspices of Thích Đức Minh, who was the Head of the Buddhist Association of Khanh Hoa Province. The sculpture of the statue was by Kim Điền. From the ground up, the statues is 24 m, and from the base of the statue, it is 21 m. The figure of the Buddha is 14 m while the lotus blossom comprises 7 m. Around the statue are statues of seven arahants. In front of the statue are a pair of dragons, which are 7.20 m long. The statue is visible from afar as one enters the city, from either the national highway or by train. The temple grounds also includes a garden. The entrance and roofs are decorated with dragon mosaics which are built from glass and ceramic tiles. The main ceremonial hall is adorned with modern interpretations of classical motifs. The nasal hairs of the dragons are wrapped around the pillars on either side of the main altar. The main statue in 152 stone steps up from the entrance of the pagoda, and is often used as a vantage point to look over the city of Nha Trang.

Gorakshanath’s cave discovered in Nepal

A group of spiritual seekers found a cave in which the sage Gorakshanath seemed to have meditated for a long period of time in the 10th century AD.  The cave is situated behind a Buddhist  monastery in the surrounding hills an is mainly worshiped because of a Buddhist Lama who meditated in the same place in later years. The long cave has been closed and only a small chamber with a shrine remains. On the website we found the following text about the life of Gorakshanath.

Gorakhnath is also known as Siddha Siddhanta and Nath tradition. It was founded by Gorakshanatha (Gorakhnath) who lived about 10th century AD. He is believed to be 3rd, 4th or 5th in a line of 12 prominent teachers of this tradition, which has followers in both Buddhism and Hinduism. He was said to be a disciple of Matsyendranatha who was from Nepal. Followers of this sage believe that knowledge of this tradition was received by Matsyendranath directly from Siva himself. Gorakshanatha is credited with such works as Siddha Siddhanta Paddhathi and Viveka Martanda. He composed them in Hindi. He also created 12 monastic orders across Northern India in an effort to preserve the Adinatha tradition. Other important works of this tradition are Hathayoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita, Siva Samhita and Jnanamrita. The school was predominantly ascetic and adapted many practices of the Pasupatha sect and the Adinatha Tradition in contrast to the Nandinatha tradition followed in the south. Although it is a tantric tradition, it differs from many left-handed (vamachara) schools of tantra with its uncompromising emphasis on the practice of brahmacharya or celibacy and its stand against the use of sexual energy in yogic practices. In the past this groub enjoyed some Muslim following in the northern India and some of them even became heads of their monasteries. Gorakshanatha brought to light many secrets of hatha yoga, kundalini yoga and samadhi and contributed to their present day popularity. Members of the group also dabble in occult sciences and siddhis or super natural powers.

Followers believe that it would be possible through yogic practices to prolong human life and become immortal in the physical body (kayasiddhi). They believe that through the practice of hathayoga it is possible to channel breath energy through a web of nerves or nadis and acquire occult powers as well as achieve liberation. No one knows for sure what these practices are except those who have been initiated into them. Some followers claim to have seen or interacted with beings who are several hundreds of years old. There are claims that Gorakshanatha, the original founder of the school, is still alive and active in our earth plane but does not appear in public. They also believe that Siva is the material and efficient cause of creation and that after liberation the jivas would return to Siva, like bubbles in water. Oneness with Siva can be experienced by serious practitioners of yoga in a deep state of samadhi. Once the state of samadhi is reached, an individual would remain forever established in transcendental consciousness even while engaged in the mundane affairs of the outside world. The group is active in many parts of India and abroad and its followers range from mendicants and street magicians to the most obscure ascetics living in the Himalayas. The popularity of hatha yoga, pranayama, kundalini yoga, holistic medicine, astrology and ayurveda in the modern world can be attributed to a great extent to this tradition.

And here for the first time  you can see some glimpses of this cave in Nepal and the chantimng monks of this sacred place:


Japan’s Magic – My new Slideshow on YouTube

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Enjoy my newest slideshow with pictures I did during a trip to the charming town of Kamakura in Japan, where the Daibutsu, a huge Buddha sculpture, is situated. It is also the place of countless temples, gardens and other aspects of Japanese beauty and culture.

Buddhist Chanting – Nothing But Everything

Vodpod videos no longer available.
This Chanting is presented by the Shingon Teaching. Shingon is a form of Japanese Buddhism, it is also called Shingon Mikkyo. This school was founded in 804 AD by Kukai (Kobo Daishi) in Japan. The teachings of Shingon are based on the Mahavairocana Sutra and the Vajrasekhara Sutra, the fundamental sutras of Shingon. Through the cultivation of three secrets, the actions of body, speech and mind, we are able to attain enlightenment in this very body. When we can sustain this state of mind, we can become one with the life force of the Universe, known as Mahavairocana Buddha. The symbolic activities are present anywhere in the universe. Natural phenomena such as mountains and oceans and even humans express the truth described in the sutras. The universe itself embodies and can not be separated from the teaching. In the Shingon tradition, the practitioner uses the same techniques that were used over 1,200 years ago by Kukai, and have been transmitted orally generation after generation to the present. As Shingon Buddhists, there are three vows to observe in our lives:

1. May we realize Buddhahood in this very life.
2. May we dedicate ourselves to the well-being of people.
3. May we establish the World of Buddha on this earth.

Borobudur – A sacred Buddhist place on Java

Vodpod videos no longer available.

During the Christmas vacation early 2009 a group of disciples of Sri Chinmoy visited the famous Borobudur monument on the island of Java. Although the weather was not perfect we had a great time experiencing the great Buddhist site with over 2 million stones and more than 500 Buddha sculptures and the whole story of Buddha’s live and his many incarnations in stone carvings. This video brings you some impressions we had early in the morning as well as explanations by our tour guide Sri Darmanto. To watch the video it in HD quality start the video first, then click on the appearing button HD on the right bottom corner, click on it and it runs in HD!

Krishna & Arjuna – Video feature on


I recently visited Bali together with a large group of Sri Chinmoy’s students. Near Denpasar airport I found this powerful sculpture-fountain featuring Krishna and Arjuna on the chariot. I chose a simple black & white presentation to emphasize the structures and forms. You can find this 7th episode of “Moments of Silence” on in two sizes: a smaller iPhone version and a larger HD version. Older episodes of “Moments of Silence” on themes such as Haleakula, Maui, Water, St. John the Divine Cathedral, Daibutsu and “The Faces of 500 Buddhas” can be found here.

Kamakura Buddha in Blue Light

daibutsu-blueThe Great Buddha in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, was illuminated with blue lights in commemoration of World Diabetes Day on Friday, Nov. 14.

About 50 famous structures across Japan, including Tokyo Tower and Nagoya Castle, were illuminated in blue as part of the diabetes awareness campaign in over 90 countries and regions around the globe.

Around 18.7 million people in Japan are estimated to be diabetic or in danger of developing the disease.

(Soure: The Mainichi Daily News)

On Buddha’s Footsteps – new publication by Bruno Baumann

In this impressing and unique new book by Bruno Baumann the reader will be taken on a journey to the different centres of Buddha in Nepal and India and how Buddhism has spread throughout Thailand/Laos/Sri Lanka, China/Vietnam, Tibet, Japan and Korea. Everywhere, the Buddha appears as image in different styles, but it is obvious that it is the same Buddha people believe in. Either with a big belly as displayed in China or more ascetically as in Burma. Since ever Buddhism merged in a symbiosis with culture and the people living there. Interesting to learn is also the aspect how very much Buddhism was influenced by the landscape and different vegetations, like in the scantiness of Tibet where the convents are breathtakingly colourful, or in the magnificent Japan where the convents are basically simple. At every end of a chapter there are interviews with very well known masters of recent Buddhism, like Dalai Lama or the Vietnamese master Thich Nhât Hanh, who both stand for the differently practiced ways of Buddhism. They have their own personal interpretation of ancient Buddha and comment on the different aspects of the apprenticeship which they personally consider important. In this complete works of living Buddhism you will find incomparable photographs and lots of informative text. Short list of content: The prince who became a Buddha, The custodian of Buddhas heritage, Buddhas teachings as the export-hype alongside the Silk Road, The Himalaya – Buddhas mountain fortress, Buddha in the land of the rising sun. For the moment there is only a German edition available. (terra magica Verlag, Hardcover with dust jacket, approx. 208 pages with more than 200 photographs, format: 27,5 x 29 cm, ISBN: 978-3-7243-1004-4).