The Buddhas of Mes Aynak - please support this project

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The Buddhas of Mes Aynak - please support this project

Postby Dan74 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:22 am

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/472409280/the-buddhas-of-mes-aynak

A mining giant is about to destroy an ancient Buddhist city in Afghanistan. Brent Huffman is trying to make a documentary to tell the world about it. After Bamiyan Buddhas, can we just allow this mind-boggling cultural vandalism just slip by unnoticed?

Friends, please help make this project happen.
_/|\_
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Re: The Buddhas of Mes Aynak - please support this project

Postby Ben » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:04 am

+1
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: The Buddhas of Mes Aynak - please support this project

Postby Kusala » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:12 am

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
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Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.
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Re: The Buddhas of Mes Aynak - please support this project

Postby Cittasanto » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:24 am

+1
:anjali:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: The Buddhas of Mes Aynak - please support this project

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:38 pm

Why fret about impermanent material things?

The life-span of Buddhism doesn't depend on ancient monuments, it depends on the living practice of its followers. Instead of preserving useless tourist attractions in a Moslem country, develop meditation centres in Buddhist countries or wherever Buddhism is being followed.

We don't need to know how Buddhists practised 2,500 years ago in Afghanistan, we need to know how Buddhists are practising here and now, wherever that may be.
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Re: The Buddhas of Mes Aynak - please support this project

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:00 pm

Greetings bhante,

From my personal perspective, I agree entirely with what you're saying ~ "useless tourist attractions in a Moslem country" don't float my boat either.

However, different people may find their inspiration in different ways... if projects like this, and their subsequent results give rise to saddha in some people, then I'm all for it.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Buddhas of Mes Aynak - please support this project

Postby James the Giant » Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:54 pm

According to that site "Directly beneath the Buddhist site lie mineral deposits worth an estimated $100 billion. "
Sorry to introduce some realpolitik here, but nothing on earth will stop the Chinese from mining there. That's just toooo much money. And neither will anyone with power in Afghanistan be motivated to stop them. Vast royalties weighed against the removal of a bunch of buried infidel ruins treasured by a minority...
Opposing this is like trying to stop an avalanche or landslide. :soap:
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Re: The Buddhas of Mes Aynak - please support this project

Postby Dan74 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:29 pm

James the Giant wrote:According to that site "Directly beneath the Buddhist site lie mineral deposits worth an estimated $100 billion. "
Sorry to introduce some realpolitik here, but nothing on earth will stop the Chinese from mining there. That's just toooo much money. And neither will anyone with power in Afghanistan be motivated to stop them. Vast royalties weighed against the removal of a bunch of buried infidel ruins treasured by a minority...
Opposing this is like trying to stop an avalanche or landslide. :soap:


Sometimes making a stand even in the face of certain defeat, is very worthwhile. But the film is not about that.
_/|\_
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Re: The Buddhas of Mes Aynak - please support this project

Postby James the Giant » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:34 pm

Oh, I had a look at the site, and it seemed to be a film aimed at raising awareness to try to stop the mining. If it's just about documenting the place and the struggle to excavate before the draglines move in, then that seems much more do-able
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: The Buddhas of Mes Aynak - please support this project

Postby Dan74 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:48 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Why fret about impermanent material things?

The life-span of Buddhism doesn't depend on ancient monuments, it depends on the living practice of its followers. Instead of preserving useless tourist attractions in a Moslem country, develop meditation centres in Buddhist countries or wherever Buddhism is being followed.

We don't need to know how Buddhists practised 2,500 years ago in Afghanistan, we need to know how Buddhists are practising here and now, wherever that may be.


"Useless tourist attraction?" is that what you think all these people are frantically trying to save, Bhante?

I think just as it is counter-productive to try to live in the past, it is short-sighted to simply dismiss the past and our deep link to it. Understanding how the Dhamma was practiced 2500 years ago may well enrich the way we practice now.

But the main point was (to me) that these ancient momuments besides being an invaluable resource in trying to understand the past, are a symbol of the flourishing of the Dhamma, of thousands of practitioners' dedication to the Dhamma, of hard work of countless hands and they will be bulldozed with no regard to all this in yet another chase after profit. We see this happening in the Amazon, we see this in illegal logging in Sarawak. Whether our cultural heritage or pristine rainforest, this disregard for the priceless that cannot be converted into hard cash is shaping our culture and it is shaping up more and more as a culture of greed. What sort of a practice environment is this? Is this conducive to liberation?

So do we just watch it passively or turn away and focus on our own practice until there is nothing left standing that is not serving our material consumption? Nothing even to remind us that there was once a time when people toiled not just to fill their bellies and fulfill their desires but for a higher purpose?

The utilitarian approach can certainly sound rational and logically persuasive, but it neglects the heart. Whether ancient ruins or pristine rainforest, I hope we rediscover a deep respect for our planet and our heritage. This is what this documentary is about for me, not fretting over tourist attractions or ancient monuments. Our culture is being shaped by these events and by our response to them.
_/|\_
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Re: The Buddhas of Mes Aynak - please support this project

Postby santa100 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:11 am

Here's a parallel thread on the same topic, and it has a petition site for you to sign..

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=14114&p=208162&hilit=+ancient+site#p208162
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Re: The Buddhas of Mes Aynak - please support this project

Postby Kusala » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:15 am

Dan74 wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Why fret about impermanent material things?

The life-span of Buddhism doesn't depend on ancient monuments, it depends on the living practice of its followers. Instead of preserving useless tourist attractions in a Moslem country, develop meditation centres in Buddhist countries or wherever Buddhism is being followed.

We don't need to know how Buddhists practised 2,500 years ago in Afghanistan, we need to know how Buddhists are practising here and now, wherever that may be.


"Useless tourist attraction?" is that what you think all these people are frantically trying to save, Bhante?

I think just as it is counter-productive to try to live in the past, it is short-sighted to simply dismiss the past and our deep link to it. Understanding how the Dhamma was practiced 2500 years ago may well enrich the way we practice now.

But the main point was (to me) that these ancient momuments besides being an invaluable resource in trying to understand the past, are a symbol of the flourishing of the Dhamma, of thousands of practitioners' dedication to the Dhamma, of hard work of countless hands and they will be bulldozed with no regard to all this in yet another chase after profit. We see this happening in the Amazon, we see this in illegal logging in Sarawak. Whether our cultural heritage or pristine rainforest, this disregard for the priceless that cannot be converted into hard cash is shaping our culture and it is shaping up more and more as a culture of greed. What sort of a practice environment is this? Is this conducive to liberation?

So do we just watch it passively or turn away and focus on our own practice until there is nothing left standing that is not serving our material consumption? Nothing even to remind us that there was once a time when people toiled not just to fill their bellies and fulfill their desires but for a higher purpose?

The utilitarian approach can certainly sound rational and logically persuasive, but it neglects the heart. Whether ancient ruins or pristine rainforest, I hope we rediscover a deep respect for our planet and our heritage. This is what this documentary is about for me, not fretting over tourist attractions or ancient monuments. Our culture is being shaped by these events and by our response to them.


Good point, Dan74...

"Wisdom without compassion can be dry and indifferent; compassion without wisdom can be mushy, saccharine, maudlin."
Image

Homage to the Buddha
Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

Homage to the Teachings
The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
time; inviting one to come and see; onward leading (to Nibbana); to be known by the wise, each for himself.
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