18 September 2011

Today's News

The Vogelherd Horse is estimated to be 34,000 years old.

The Lascaux cave paintings are estimated to be some 17,000 years old.

Both of these belong to what archaeologists and anthropologists call "behavioral modernity," which means that these are of distinctly human origin.  That means, among other things, that we can recognize something of ourselves in them.

Last night I watched a documentary on the practice at Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in California.  It's a monastery in the Thai Forest tradition of Ajahn Chah.  The title of the documentary was Fearless Mountain (the English translation of Abhayagiri).

What impressed me most in the film was the way in which the bhikkhus were utterly unashamed to practice the 2500 year old tradition in 21st century America.  What's more, they can't build kutis fast enough for those who want to join them.  

As one of them put it, the things that afflict humans haven't changed in 2500 years.  Why should the remedy?

If the Vogelherd Horse belongs to our behavioral modernity, how much more so the Buddhadharma!

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