Atma Ananda – Sacred Asia: traditions and stories.

Sacred Asia: traditions and stories

Atma Ananda

Sacred Asia: traditions and stories

West is West, East is East

and with the place they will go,

until you see the Sky with the Earth

terrible on the Court of the Lord.

But there is no East and West no —

what tribe, country, race,

when a strong man strong face to face

at the edge of the earth rises?

(R. Kipling)

Introduction. East

Having lived in India for a total of five years, the last three years, leaving only for visas to Nepal and Sri Lanka, I essentially ran out for itself a space in the sense of “call to awareness”. Interaction with teachers of high level, many of which had world-wide fame, became a kind of everyday activity, and personal practice of yoga brought to “spiritual perfection” if such a combination is appropriate. But here we are not talking about my “personal achievements” but rather a more extended space in which I spent two years after he left India. My plans included quite deliberately to focus on Indochina, before I get in China. The center of travel was Thailand, around which were described several circles, covering neighboring countries: Indonesia – Malaysia – Cambodia – Laos – Vietnam – China and return to Thailand after each small circle. Partly describing his adventures and encounters are inevitable in a long journey, I’ll focus more on the cultures with which I had a chance to interact: Theravada Buddhism (Vipassana), Mahayana (Zen and Thien), Vajrayana (karma Kagyu) and Taoism (tai Chi). Gently touch the fragmentary contacts with other traditions: Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and tribal cults, although they will serve mainly as “external reflection”.

Only in the sphere of my personal research included ten countries in Asia. This is the first book that is written unintentionally: just created a separate article on their experiences in each country, and gradually accumulated enough to combine to describe the covered region. Basically, it reports on personal travel, although it is in them that I had received General information about the cultures, get acquainted with biographies of craftsmen, met with contemporary teachers and practitioners. In the end, this includes all materials: as descriptions of their own experience and personal narrative of my knowledge in the tradition. I studiously avoid the genre of “guide” for tourists in these countries so much, why Eastern culture is increasingly “blurred”. On the contrary, my task is to crystallize the East as it is, some I managed to keep him for myself, despite the triumphant March of Western industrialization. The East, which itself is not forged under the East suitable for sale to Western tourists, and also “live their lives”.

India and China are two “poles” of the great ancient cultures, between which is enclosed a vast space, which in fact can be called “Indochina” in the General sense of the word. It is significant, the separation of India and China, their separation by mountains and seas, have generated a lot of “alternative routes”, linking these cultures, and thus, many cultural variations, created by the prinipe of synthesis of those or other cultural influences from both sides. We can say that each of the intermediate countries “Indo-Chinese”, although each of them maintains and develops bilateral traditions, and each of them can hold a kind of “border” between Indian and Chinese. Buddhism was culturally the most universal spiritual basis for most social interactions: migrations, conquests, conversions… a certain plane, it can be argued that the whole basis of the cultural weave is the history of the penetration of Buddhism from India, Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism from China, preceded by the direct invasion of Hinduism in India and Taoism from China. That’s why naturally I had to focus on the Vipassana and Zen – two spiritual practices that allows you to dive …


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