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Current Issue: THE FRIENDSHIP ISSUE
FROM THE EDITORIAL: Friendship is being talked about again. But do we really know what it is? And what really has it got to do with the arts – for haven’t artists, after all, always been ec- centric loners who bordered on egomania, and most of what they express about friendship merely an idle dream? In this issue we will be dwelling not on failures but on some shining examples of artistic friendship throughout the ages. For a start there is our wonderful cover image. Tobias and the Angel is a story from the apocryphal book of Tobit, for centuries an image of friendship with the divine. What emerges is a sense that friendship can be seen as a vital dimension of artistic endeavour and of creativity in general. Highlights include:
Haunting art photograph by new rising star, Brighton based Buddhist photographer Sahajatara: “At first, I went to amazing places to take pictures; wild coastlines, old cemeteries… and what I quickly noticed was that, for me, the celestial light revealed herself most clearly through the ‘ordinary’, through ‘every common sight’. I would go to an abandoned church, and as I was leaving, see a red serviette in the gutter looking exactly like a rose…”
An in-depth article on his poetic mentorship with Mimi Khalvati by Maitreyabandhu. Mimi is widely regarded as one of the best poetry mentors in the country, and is also a fine poet herself. Maitreyabandhu reveals a process of excavation in which her mentorship was invaluable in finding what he really wanted to say: ‘dig into it, knock into it with your spade…’
We have an in depth interview with talented Buddhist artist, Amitajyoti . She is half way through a major commission of a diptych for the Birmingham Buddhist Centre, showing the Buddha with two different disciples, a monk and a nun. She also talks about her dynamic abstract works including a series which explores ‘Union with the Beloved’.
A friendship forged in Hell. From the editor Ratnagarbha there is a substantial essay about the friendship between Dante and the poet Virgil. Dante in real life was deeply inspired by the writings of Virgil and felt that he had learned his ‘fine tuned style’ from this great man. What makes Dante special is that he drew on this connection to create an imaginary friendship of surpassing depth and interest, as the two poets travel through the heights and the abysses of the medieval universe, in Dante’s Divine Comedy.
Issue 32: ‘The Goddess Issue’
Awaking the Sleeping Beauty – renowned writer on the goddess image Anne Baring
Interview with a High Priestess – Sorita De Este is a mistress of ritual and a devotee of western esoteric traditions.
Gravity and Grace – The remarkable mythical installations of nagasiddhi
Kuan Yin – Jan Osborne explores the symbolism of Kuan Yin, the female Bodhisattva of compassion.
Portfolio: Marissa Roth – Pulitzer Award winning photojournalist Marissa Roth’s latest project, Infinite Light: A Photographic Meditation on Tibet.
Issue 31: The Story Telling issue
The Burden of the Prophet – on Jung’s Red Book by Peter Abbs
Interview with a Master Storyteller – Kevin Crossley Holland on storytelling
The Unasked Question – Ratnagarbha on the Quest for the Grail
Poetry – Mimi Khalvati, Geoffrey Hill, Vishvantara, Chris Hardy
Masterpiece – the Iliad – Dharmavadana on the greatest story ever told
Cover Story – Stefanie (Ine) Grewe’s wonderful book illustrations
Who was Urthona – an introduction to the vision of William Blake by Ratnagarbha
Pride and Prejudice – a Buddhist response by Richard Winter
Ten Best Movies of all time – by our movie editor Ed Piercy
Mariko More – timeless light, a remarkable installation artists with Buddhist influences
Thirteen Ways – of making poetry a spiritual practice by Maitreyabandhu
The art of Sukhi Barber – remarkable Buddha sculptures in Bronze
Pure Drama – Ed Piercy, former director of Cambridge Arts Cinema with a survey of Greek Tragedy on screen
Macbeth’s Karma – Buddhist author Vishvapani looks into the heart of darkness in Shakespeare’s Macbeth
Metal Man Turns to Paint – sculptor Sahaja now works in paint
Fine art photographer Natasha Lythgoe overcomes the dualism of mind and body
A Life Lived in Poetry – Vidyadevi interviews Sangharakshita about his love of poetry
Portfolio: Harold Mockford – painter of mystical landscapes
Ratnagarbha on Reimaging the Buddha for the 21st Century
The Wild Places – interview with Robert Macfarlane
An introduction to Urban psychogeography
Cover feature – Janette Kerr painter of Shetland seascapes
Travels in Buddhist central Asia by Rijumati
Poets Go East – interviews with David Constantine, Penelope Shuttle and Fiona Sampson
Buddhism, Blake and Deep Ecology by Ratnagarbha
Hollywood goes Eco – Ed Piercy on movies from the last fifty years that have engaged with ecological issues
Buddha in the Forest Vishvapani, explores the neglected topic of the Buddha’s relationship with nature
The Religion of Art – Dhivan on ‘The Religion of Art’ by Sangharakshita
Fine Art – Susan Derges’ remarkable ‘photograms’
Wabi Sabi – Vajradarshini discovers the beauty of imperfection