Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 28, 2012
STR / AFP / GETTY IMAGES
Shaolin monks perform for visitors on Oct. 24, 2010. The temple makes millions every year from entrance fees and online sales of Shaolin items
In China today, there’s little that money can’t buy — even when it comes to faith. Many of the country’s most popular Buddhist sites are chock-full of cure-all tonics and overpriced incense. For the most part, people seem happy, or at least willing, to oblige. That changed this summer, though, when it emerged that China’s four most sacred Buddhist mountains were hatching plans to list on the Shanghai stock exchange.
In July, Mount Putuo Tourism Development Co. announced it would attempt to raise 7.5 billion yuan in a 2014 initial public offering. The company operates the tourist facilities at Putuo Shan, located on an island 20 miles (32 km) off Shanghai. Chinese state media quoted representatives of Wutai Shan in Shanxi province and Jiuhua Shan in Anhui province as saying they too had plans to raise funds on the capital markets. The fourth of China’s sacred mountains, Emei Shan in Sichuan province, completed a public listing in Shenzhen in 1997, under the incredibly auspicious ticker symbol “888.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Article | Tagged: Buddhist sites, China, Emei Shan, initial public offering, IPO, Jiuhua Shan, Putuo Shan, Religion, religious commercialism, tourism, Wutai Shan | Leave a Comment »
Posted by worldamity on May 3, 2010
By Lama Surya Das 
Last night PBS aired The Buddha, a new TV special about the sage’s life, impact, and particular relevance to our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. By filmmaker David Grubin, the documentary features the work of some of the world’s greatest artists and sculptors, who across two millennia have depicted the Buddha’s life through art rich in beauty and complexity. Moreover, this film points out how we may integrate enlightening wisdom and mindfulness into our daily lives today, which is the main point of Buddhism in practice, for the Buddha himself exhorted us not to worship Buddha but to become more Buddha-like and to be a Buddha.
But who and what is Buddha, really? The stone Buddha outside in the garden is not the real Buddha, obviously, any more than a Jesus statue is the deathless Christos. The Buddha is actually an archetype representing enlightenment, an icon symbolizing inner wisdom, a pointer towards the possibility of a level of spiritual awakening embodying the fullest actualized potential of human beings. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Article | Tagged: Buddha, Buddhism, Religion, World Peace | Leave a Comment »