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Tulkus 1880 to 2018 Photo Installation

I am so pleased to have a small part of this photographic exhibit! I'm happy some of the photos have found a home! mp

Witte de With is excited to unfurl her 2013 program with Tulkus 1880 to 2018, a mastodontic artwork and work in progress by Paola Pivi, based on an extensive international research.

Aimed at creating a complete collection of portraits and basic information on all the tulkus of the world – who in Tibetan Buddhism are the recognized reincarnations of previous Buddhist masters* – from the beginning of photography until today, from all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism and Bon, and from all the areas of the world where this religion is practiced, this growing survey has until now collected over 1100 photographic portraits.

Manifesting in a stunning array of forms, from high production color prints to  Read More 
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A few thoughts on The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

I first read The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying in a library at Kopan monastery in Kathmandu. It was in 1994, a year before I met Sogyal Rinpoche. I literally could not put the already dog-eared book down and read it in a single day. The next days as I walked around Kathmandu, I repeatedly “saw” the enlightened potential—the Buddha nature—in taxi drivers, street sweepers, and shop owners—and in myself. The book changed me, forever.

What is the source of the wisdom in that book, I later asked myself? The transformational power it had on me was undeniable. I wanted to know  Read More 
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Thich Nhat Hanh on self-immolation

The image of monks and nuns burning themselves in protest in Tibet is reminiscent of the Vietnamese monk Thich Quang Due’s self-immolation in 1963.

Fellow monk and countryman Thich Nhat Hanh wrote a few years after the incident, “The Vietnamese monk, by burning himself, says with all his strength and determination that he can  Read More 
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Tibet is burning: What compels a Buddhist nun to burn herself alive?

Tibet is burning
Opinion: What compels a Buddhist nun to burn herself alive?

Global Post by Matteo Pistono November 4, 2011

BIHAR, India — There is only one road to Kirti monastery, and it is rough.

Snow peaks tower to the north and west of the sprawling complex in eastern Tibet. Nomads who visit the chapels to pray let their yaks graze on the grasslands rolling in every direction.

Kirti, located in the region of Ngaba, which the Chinese refer to as Aba, is a spiritual hub and a center for Buddhist scholarship.  Read More 
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Is the Dalai Lama Retiring?

The Huffington Post
Is the Dalai Lama Retiring?
by Matteo Pistono Monday, March 15, 2011

To understand the Dalai Lama's statement yesterday about devolving his political authority to a democratically elected leader, one must keep in mind what the Tibetan leader calls his three commitments. First, as a human being, the Dalai Lama is committed to the promotion of basic human values of compassion and tolerance; secondly, as a Buddhist leader, he works to promote understanding among the major religious traditions; and, thirdly, as the holder of the title "Dalai Lama" which is traditionally the spiritual and political leader of the Tibetans, he is committed to resolving the Tibet issue with China.  Read More 
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Why I Went Public About Smuggling News of Brutal Crackdowns Out of China

The Huffington Post
Why I Went Public About Smuggling News of Brutal Crackdowns Out of China
by Matteo Pistono Monday, March 14, 2011


Today is the anniversary of the 19th century Tibetan mystic named Tertön Sogyal. Tertön Sogyal was a meditation teacher to the 13th Dalai Lama, the predecessor to the current Dalai Lama. In the late 1990s, I began a ten-year pilgrimage to Tibet in Tertön Sogyal's footsteps. I was drawn to this mystic's life because he, like the Dalai Lama today, was a master at integrating his social activism with spiritual practice, never losing the pure motivation that holds others' well-being as the priority. Read More 
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China and the (Next) Dalai Lama

The Huffington Post
China and the (Next) Dalai Lama
by Matteo Pistono Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 10 marks the anniversary when Tibetans rose up in the streets of Lhasa against China's nascent occupation of Tibet. It is also when a 24-year-old Dalai Lama fled a pursuing Chinese army and eventually crossed Tibet's border into India as a refugee. That was 52 years ago.  Read More 
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