Welcome to Urthona magazine. Inspired by William Blake’s zoa of the creative imagination, Urthona blends a Romantic concern with inner and outer spiritual freedom with the insights of the Buddhist East. Urthona appears once a year in 72 page full colour A4. We explore world art, literature, culture and imagination from a contemporary Buddhist perspective.
Click ESSAYS & ART FEATURES above for online essays on literature, art…
All 36 printed back issues at URTHONA SHOP see top menu.
For Editor’s Blog – musings on art, philosophy and psychogeography scroll down…
Landscapes move and uplift us in ways that are hard to pin down. Artists explore such emotional responses and bring clarity, awareness and transformational depth to the process. They help us to make the appreciation of landscape more conscious and meaningful.
As Christopher Neve in his wonderful book ‘Unquiet Landscape’ says of the work of Paul Nash: ‘pictures, like the landscape itself, enunciate with the greatest clarity a language that is beyond words.’
Join us to discover this language of the heart.
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The encounter of Buddhism and Platonism – what can modern Buddhists and others learn from Plato?
A philosophical essay by Ratnagarbha
I have been interested in Platonism for as long as I have been a Buddhist. The two have always gone hand in hand for me. I find in Platonism a wonderfully articulated view of a sacred cosmos, in which number and harmonic ratios, in their more mystical aspects, play an important part. It is a cosmos imbued with living, divine forces that animate it and give meaning and purpose. Whilst I am well aware of the vast, rich heritage of imaginative mythological conceptions in Buddhism, for me still, even after several decades, it is the practical, existential aspect of Buddhism that is to the forefront of my mind. Renouncing attachment and cultivating concentration and wisdom. After many years of thinking about the differences and similarities between these two systems, and feeling it was important for me to honour both, I offer these reflections that may be of some interest to others… Posted here a seven point key summary of my conclusions. After these there is a link to a longer 10,000 word essay which explores Platonism and its parallels with Buddhism in more detail.
A brief review of two very contrasting novels written by ordained Buddhists.
Neither of these writers has their work marketed as anything to do with Buddhism. Nevertheless they they both show awareness and imagination deriving from their practice of mindful engagement with the breadth of human experience.
Yesterday I was privileged to visit GroundWork, in Kings Lynn a wonderful gallery space by the Kings Lynn historic waterfront that focuses on environmental art. The current exhibition is ‘Extraction: Loss and Restoration’ – looking at the effect of large-scale mining and quarrying on the landscape.
Kate Boucher uses charcoal to evoke liminal transition zones, skies at dawn and dusk, coasts and mountains in shifting atmospheres of wind and cloudscape. Each of her landscapes is an intense study of a particular mood, not a portrait of one moment or scene, but a response to the essential qualities inherent in a time and place based in many different angles of engagement. These studies arise from a deeply sensitive awareness of the emotional energies evoked by wide open landscapes. The working with soft layers of charcoal, with many stages of rubbing and melding results in a subtle and fluid interplay of form and movement.
Waterlight is a film project inspired by a chalk stream in Cambridgeshire, the Mel, which runs between the villages of Melbourn and Shepreth. Waterlight began as a collaboration between poet and writer Clare Crossman and James Murray-White. The project team grew to include local expert Bruce Huett and filmmaker Nigel Kinnings.
Urthona and other reviews mentioned by CSP highlight the playful quality of this volume, in which deep ideas about Zen, Literature (including the Lord of the Rings) and AI are explored from the point of view of a post modern Zen practitioner.
Waterlight, is a film project inspired by a chalk stream in Cambridgeshire. Waterlight began as a collaboration between poet and writer Clare Crossman and filmmaker James Murray-White, and the project team has now grew to include local expert Bruce Huett and filmmaker Nigel Kinnings.