The Snake Rope: Essential Buddhist Teaching in a Simple Story

Buddhism is a large and diverse religion. It has many branches and schools of thought that might look quite different from one another at first glance. Its large corpus of texts and philosophical discourses abounds with a variety of ideas concerning life and enlightenment. Nevertheless, there are certain key Buddhist teachings which serve as unifying elements and make Buddhism recognizable as Buddhism. The story of the snake rope beautifully serves to highlight the key … [Read more...]

Beginner’s Meditation Tips: A Fidgeter’s Guide

These simple tips can get a meditation practice going The first time you join a sitting meditation group, you may be joyful at the prospect of being there, but feel a bit awkward. Know that as a beginner, there are just two things you will likely struggle with at your first sitting meditation: sitting, and meditation. You may not be able to sit still despite concerted effort. You may get something of a yoga workout changing positions to find comfort. Perhaps … [Read more...]

You Have Heard Of Columbus, But Have You Heard Of Zheng He?

Years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, another country began an ambitious exploration of the world with a fleet of ships. It is an often overlooked part of history because this huge ocean expedition was not launched by a European country. It was launched by China, and it is still considered by many historians as one of the most impressive navel efforts ever undertaken. More, it is possible that this Chinese fleet may have visited the 'undiscovered' Americas before … [Read more...]

The Forgotten Voyages Of Zheng He

Many have never heard of Zheng He, a man who sailed the ocean blue with a vast armada almost 100 years before Columbus sailed to find a new route to India. In the first part of this article, You Have Heard Of Columbus, But Have You Heard Of Zheng He? we explored the rise of Zheng He to power and his ambitious efforts to both explore the known world and expand China's influence in the world. It seemed the pressure within emperor Yongle's court to end China's opening to … [Read more...]