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“The truth of Zen, just a little bit of it, is what turns one’s humdrum life, a life of monotonous, uninspiring commonplaceness, into one of art, full of genuine inner creativity.”
- D. T. Suzuki
This year Urthona Buddhist arts magazine has been published in virtual form as an e-magazine - due to many Buddhist centres (where most of the printed copies are sold) being still closed.
Ratnagarbha, the Journal’s editor, writes:
We made it just in time for the end of 2020 with a lovely electronic version complete with high resolution images and animated page turns…!
The theme is American Zen - we explore the transformative encounter in the 50’s and 60’s last century between Buddhism (especially Zen) and art and literature.
It was a transformative dialogue… Zen Buddhism encountered American culture in full flood in the dynamic fifties and sixties. Neither were ever the same again.
Especially in the hands of maverick scholar, D. T. Suzuki, Zen culture entered the modern world and was re-expressed in western-friendly terms. This ancient path was shorn of ritual and ethical rules and expressed in terms of the Romantic path of the rebel artist seeking authentic inner experience free from the straight-jackets of tradition, society, conventional religion and mundane philosophies.
Many artists took up the baton and as a result American and world culture were subtly but deeply transformed in a dynamic encounter between American letters, visual arts and what was taken as the essence of Buddhism. From John Cage, to Beat poets Ginsberg & Snyder plus Abstract Expressionist painters such as Mark Tobey many of the most iconic figures of American arts are on these pages.
* The Crack of Vision: Buddhist influenced poetry in North America – Pound to Snyder by Ratnagarbha
* Fine new poetry from Dhivan, Rachel Jagger, Penny Hope, Paramananda, and others.
* A Brush with Infinity Interview with a master of Zen brush painting who lives in Cambridge, Peter Cavaciuti.
* Rothko: Horizons, Emptiness and Perfect Vision. A personal exploration by Donal Mac Erlaine
* Zen and Abstract Expressionism.
* Ginsberg and the Beats – a personal memoire of 50s California from Acarasiddhi.
* Gary Gach on Bresson’s visionary movie of spiritual struggle: Diary of a Country Priest.
The e-magazine can be downloaded from www.urthona.com for only £5.00