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Founding Editor Inez Van Oord
Ayurveda: Choosing food that suits your energy type. Dietary guidelines for radiant, lifelong health Recipes: banana chia coconut perfait, mint & lime infused water and roasted pears with blue cheese By Michelle Fondin
Health Benefits of bath sea salts Choosing the bath salt based on a skin type Recipe for homemade herbivore botanicals bath salt and coco rose body polish By Tom Wesselmann
The journey into Tibet. The Dalai Lama, Buddhism, and Tibet: Celebrating Tibetís culture
By Xander Kaplan
BATH SEA SALTS
Exlusive interview with Jeff Koons The Most Successful American Artist Since Warhol. So what’s the art world got against him? Artwork: Balloon Dog By Emma Brockers
with a light heart page 19
JOURNEY INTO TIBET
A new Turnaraoud, a newborn glow. Turnaround energy boost regimen optimizes cell renewal for a fully charged, radiant glow.
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Choose food to suit your body type
Dietary Guidelines for Radiant, Lifelong Health Ayurveda is one of the olders systems of medicine in the world and it’s getting more popular than ever. What is the secret to this traditional Indian health practice? The answer is very simple. Eating the right food makes us healthy and happy.
here are a few steadfast rules about nutrition in an Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle. Most of these represent a commonsense approach to healthy eating as a whole. There’s a wise saying in Indian philosophy that states, “Infinite flexibility is the key to immortality.” Ayurveda is clear on this: all health starts with digestion; with the proper metabolism of food.One of the most important things we can do for our health every day of the year is to eat wisely. Food is considered just as powerful as medicine. In fact, there is a sloka (writings of the ancient texts of ayurveda) that says “food is medicine when consumed properly.” If we eat foods uniquely suited to our physiology, and follow a sattvic (life supporting) routine that enhances digestion, our bodies will reap the benefits and we will find that our days will be happier, healthier and filled with real vitality — at any age. Eat loads of fruits and vegetables, not only for their nutritional value, but also because they are good natural internal cleansers.Vegetables do not necessarily have to be just separate dishes. Add them to grains, stuff them in breads, toss them in stews and soups — there’s always room for your favorite veggies in every dish. Start your day with stewed apples or pears. 6
Eat a handful of berries for your mid-afternoon snack. Ayurveda prefers bioavailable foods. What do we mean by bioavailable? Cook your veggies rather than eating them raw. Although raw veggies “may” contain more vitamins and nutrients, they can be harder for our bodies to metabolize. Think of a piece of broccoli. If it is raw, how long does it take for our digestive enzymes (digestive fire) to penetrate completely to its core and break it down? Now imagine a cooked piece of broccoli. Whether steamed or sautéed, in either case, room has been created in its cellular structure for our enzymes to penetrate and much more quickly digest it. Ayurveda diet benefits are not only felt in your body – they are also seen in your mental and emotional wellbeing. This holistic approach to health allows you to become a balanced, vital, happy person with the least amount of effort. Ayurveda is an ancient solution to our modern-day problems that need quick, effective solutions. The three ayurvedic body types, or doshas, are Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
practices are regarding pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
Choose Only Organic Grass-Fed Dairy, Eggs, Poultry, and Meat In addition to being fed plants treated with pesticides and grown from genetically modified seeds, feedlot animals are given antibiotics and growth hormones to maximize and speed up their growth and keep them alive. Dairy cows are given a genetically engineered hormone, rBGH, to increase milk production. And most cows, who are meant to eat grass and clover, are fed a grain-based diet. Unless you have your own cow, the best way to ensure that you’re getting the best dairy products possible is to choose grass-fed dairy products.
Eat All Six Tastes at Every Meal: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Pungent, and Astringent
TEXT BY Michelle Fondin PHOTOGRAPHY BY Tom Wesselmann
> Eat Freshly Prepared Foods at Every Meal I understand that this rule may turn you upside down. American cooking has emphasized using leftovers or making meals ahead of time and freezing them. If you’re from a different culture, the concept of eating only freshly prepared foods may not seem so foreign to you. When we think about nourishing our bodies, we must think about optimal nutrition on all levels. We’re only as healthy as the cells that make up our body, and so we need to offer our body food that contains the most nutrients in every bite. According to Ayurvedic diet philosophy, The fresher the foods, the more of these nutrients they contain. After a food is cooked or picked, or even worse, once it’s been processed, the food begins to decompose and loses its nutritional value. Eat the prepared food within twenty-four hours of making it. This requires you to cook less food and prepare it more often; but with the exception of certain curry dishes and marinated salads, fresh food tastes better anyway.
Choose Organic and Locally Grown Produce and Grains Organic fruit, vegetables, grains, and even meat can be found in most grocery stores and supermarkets today. An important component of Ayurvedic diet and nutrition is to minimize the amount of toxins entering the body and maximize the number of nutrients. Organically grown food is grown without synthetic pesticides (including herbicides) and synthetic fertilizers and is free of genetic modifications. As a consequence, organic foods are higher in antioxidants and phytonutrients and lower in toxins. Furthermore, by keeping harmful chemicals out of our soil and water supply, organic food helps to keep our earth healthy. And in general, organic food tastes better. When it’s not possible to buy organic produce, the next best option is conventionally grown local produce. Check out a nearby farmers’ market and talk to the farmers. Ask them what their 8
In Ayurveda, foods are composed of six tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. Any given food has a primary, or baseline, taste and may also have a secondary and even a tertiary taste. A good example of this is meat: the baseline taste of meat is sweet, but its secondary taste is salty. According to Ayurvedic diet philosophy, we must receive all six tastes at every meal for optimal nutrition and to minimize cravings and prevent overeating. Once you learn how to integrate the six tastes in every meal, you will see the spikes and valleys in your hunger level out.
Reduce Your Consumption of Packaged and Processed Foods If you must use processed foods, observe the following: Choose packaged products labeled “USDA Organic.” Choose products with no more than six ingredients listed on the label; and you must know what the ingredients are and what food source they come from.
Choose the Five Healing, Foods in Their Organic: Milk, Ghee, Almonds, Honey, Fruit. There are a few exceptions to this rule.Kapha types and those who are on Kapha-pacifying diets must minimize their consumption of milk, ghee, and honey. Diabetics need to closely monitor their consumption of honey and fruit owing to the high sugar content. Milk is revered in Ayurvedic diet philosophy as a complete food. It should be brought to the boiling point first and then cooled slightly before drinking. Warmed milk combined with a teaspoon of ghee has a mild laxative effect and can be used to treat constipation or sluggish bowels. Warm milk with cardamom, nutmeg, and a teaspoon of sugar can induce sleep when taken in the evening. If you are calcium deficient or are at risk for osteoporosis, soak ten almonds overnight and peel and eat them in the morning.
Let Vegetables and Fruit Make Up 50 to 60 Percent of Your Daily Food Intake Ayurvedic medicine presupposes a vegetarian diet. However, if this is not desirable or possible, strive to make vegetables and fruits at least 50 percent of your daily food intake. This is necessary because these are water-rich foods, and our bodies are 50 to 65 percent water and our brains are 85 percent water. By eating water-rich foods, you are sure to get enough water in your body. >
Water is, without a doubt, the most important thing we put into our bodies
Eliminate High-Fructose Corn Syrup; Other Types of Corn Syrup; Artificial Sweeteners; Bleached, Enriched Flour; and White, Processed Sugar Because of our genetic blueprints passed down from our ancestors, our bodies are hardwired to recognize natural foods and know what to do with them. High-fructose corn syrup was developed in 1967, and our bodies have hardly had time to adjust to this product and learn what to do with it. Chemically engineered artificial sweeteners are known to cause a spike in insulin levels, which may tire out the pancreas. Bleached, enriched flour is actually stripped of its nutritional value: the germ and outer bran layers are removed and the wheat is then bleached with oxide of nitrogen, chlorine, chloride, nitrosyl, and benzoyl peroxide mixed with various chemical salts. Using this flour means that you not only consume something devoid of nutrients but also ingest residual chemicals. Instead of eating any of these products, choose organic, unbleached, un-bromated flour and organic turbinado sugar, organic sugar, organic brown sugar, organic honey, and organic grade A maple syrup.
Reduce Your Consumption of Frozen and Canned Food When the variety of fresh produce is limited at certain times of the year, is frozen produce better? When it comes to nutrients, time is of the essence. The longer a plant-based food has been out of the ground, or the longer an animal-based food has been dead, the fewer nutrients it contains. There is a principle in Ayurveda called prana, or “life force and vitality.” A living thing has prana unless it has been altered by chemicals, laden with toxins, or deprived of sunlight and water. The same prana in a living entity is given to us in food. As soon as a plant is pulled from the earth or an animal is slaughtered for meat, it begins to lose its prana and continues to lose it as the days go by. Food that has been frozen is literally prana frozen in time, but eventually that food loses its prana. How much prana is present in frozen food depends on the length of time it has been frozen. Most canned food has been preserved in water or some other liquid, and the nutrients leak into the liquid while the can sits on the shelf. And since most of us throw away the liquid surrounding the food, we toss out the nutrients as well. As a rule of thumb, if your food hasn’t seen sunlight in a while, it’s best to reduce your consumption of that food or eliminate it from your diet altogether.
feel cranky when we’re even slightly dehydrated. The minimum amount of water you should drink daily is eight eight-ounce glasses. It’s best not to count beverages such as tea, coffee, or soda as part of that amount. They have a diuretic effect on the body, causing you to urinate more frequently and, in doing so, lose water more rapidly than normal. People with a larger body mass, and athletic people, may need additional water. Ideally, drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, then strive to drink 70 ounces of water. If taste is an issue, add a few drops of fresh lemon or lime juice or a few tablespoons of other natural juice to the water. Many clients tell me they forget to drink water. My advice is to fill a container with the amount of water you need to drink for the day and take it from there.
Be Moderate and Avoid Extremes Remember the 90–10 rule: implement the nutritional guidelines 90 percent of the time and allow yourself 10 percent flexibility. My dear teacher Dr. David Simon often said, “If you say ‘do not’ or ‘cannot’ too many times, it will tie you in knots.” Follow the guidelines most of the time, and they will become a part of who you are. But don’t go crazy. Eat ice cream once in a while; have a frozen pizza. Just don’t let that become the norm.
Drink Filtered, Distilled, or Spring Water Water is, without a doubt, the most important thing we put into our bodies. Given that our bodies are about two-thirds water and our brains are over 80 percent water, it’s no wonder we
<< Morning Breakfast >> Banana Chia Coconut Perfait
This Banana Chia Coconut Parfait is full of coconutty flavor and tastes like summer in a bowl
<< Mint & Lime Infused Water >> With or without cucumber Delicately flavored Lime Mint Infused Water with Cucumber is a refreshing drink to keep you cool and hydrated all summer long! Ingredients: 1 small cucumber (or half of a medium cucumber), scrubbed & sliced 2 sprigs fresh mint, washed & bruised 1/2 lime, scrubbed & sliced (optional) 10 to 12 cups cool filtered water Place sliced cucumber, mint sprigs, and lime slices (if using) in a large pitcher. Pour water into the pitcher. Cover and refrigerate for anywhere from 1 to 8 hours (the longer you infuse the water, the stronger the flavor will become). Strain the water into a glass and serve chilled with a slice of cucumber for garnish, if desired. If your pitcher of water is going to last more than a day, remove the lime slices after 6 to 8 hours to prevent the water from turning bitter. In order to enjoy Cucumber Mint Infused Water without the wait, put a few slices of cucumber, a few mint leaves, a thin slice of lime, and a few ice cubes in a bottle or jar. Fill the bottle/jar with water, seal, shake, and enjoy immediately.
<< Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese >> and you can add walnuts
Ingredients 4 pears, halved, but not peeled or cored Extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 bunch fresh thyme Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup crumbled good-quality blue cheese 1/4 cup walnut pieces Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the pears, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Strip the leaves from the thyme branches and sprinkle over the pears. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and spoon a generous teaspoon of crumbled cheese in the center of each pear half, return the pears to the oven and roast until they are tender and the cheese is soft, about 10 more minutes. Meanwhile, put the walnuts on another baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Chop. When the pears are cooked, transfer them to a serving plate and sprinkle the toasted walnuts over the top. Serve hot. TEXT BY Michelle Fondin PHOTOGRAPHY BY Tom Wesselmann
Health & Wellness
Health benefits of
bath sea salts
Epsom salts have been used by many different cultures for hundreds of years. They have a number of different beneficial properties and are used in gardening, household cleaning and detoxifying the body.
psom salts are named for a bitter saline spring located at Epsom in Surrey, England. Epsom is different than traditional salts in that it is actually a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. These minerals have very powerful health benefits that can enhance the detoxification capabilities of the body. Using Epsom salt baths is an advanced detoxification strategy that has remarkable health benefits.
HOW DOES EPSOM BATH SALT WORK?
Magnesium and sulfate are both readily absorbed through the skin and into the porous membrane that both takes in minerals and eliminates toxins every day. Using a powerful mineral base such as Epsom salts in a bathwater medium creates a process called reverse osmosis. body’s blood stream. The skin 12
is a highly This process pulls salt and harmful toxins out of the body and allows the magnesium and sulfates to enter into the body which plays a critical role in over 325 enzymes and helps to improve muscle and nerve function. Magnesium also reduces inflammation and improves blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body. Sulfates are necessary building blocks for healthy joints, skin and nervous tissue. Epsom salts replenish the body’s magnesium levels and sulfates. This combination helps to flush toxins from the body and helps build key protein molecules in the brain tissue and joints.The use of regular Epsom salt baths has been shown to improve the symptoms of many health conditions including athlete’s foot, gout, toenail fungus, sprains, bruises and muscle soreness. It is also good for anyone dealing with chronic disease or chronic pain to do regular Epsom baths to help detoxify and de-inflame while improving mineral and sulfur balance in the body. Contraindications to Epsom baths would be if you are pregnant, dehydrated or have open wounds or burns on
your skin.Individuals who are suffering with cardiovascular diease should consult with a natural health physicianwho is familiar with the health benefits of Epsom salt baths before starting.
HOW TO TAKE EPSOM SALT BATH?
The first step is to schedule yourself at least 40 minutes, as you need about 20 minutes to remove the toxins, and for the second 20 minutes, the body absorbs the minerals in the bath water. Fill up your bath with warm water. Be sure to have a water filtration system in your house, as you don’t want to bathe in tap water that has toxic chlorine, fluoride, dioxins and heavy metals. Add in the Epsom salts in the following amounts. Children under 60 lbs: Add 1/2 cup of salts to a standard size bath. Individuals between 60-100 lbs: Add 1 cup of salts to a standard size bath. Individuals between 100-150 lbs: Add 1 1/2 cup of salts to a standard size bath. Individuals between 150-200 lbs: Add 2 cups of salts to a standard size bath. For every 50lbs larger - add in> an additional 1/2 cup of salts.
You can banish headaches with quartz + rose infused bath salts
CHOOSE YOUR BATH SALT * Fig+Moss:
restores parched, dry skin and relaxes tired muscles * Coconut+Kelp: rejuvenates skin and nourishes the skin
* Pink Himalayan Salt + Rose: revitalizes and soothes skin 13
Himalayan salt’s unique cellular structure allows it to store vibrational energy
OTHER WAYS TO APPLY WITH EPSOM SALT
Adding in a 1/2 cup of olive oil is also very good for the skin, as the polyphenols soak into the skin and give extra antioxidant benefits. Adding ginger or cayenne can increase your heat levels, which will help you to sweat out toxins. You can add anywhere from 1 tbsp to 1/2 a cup to stimulate sweating, and these herbs are loaded with antioxidants that will enhance the detoxification process as well. Do not use soap with an Epsom salt bath, as it will interfere with the action of the minerals and the detoxification process. Try to rest for an hour or two afterwards unless you have arthritic joints, in which case you will want to stay active as much as possible to prevent congestion in the joints.
HOW IT DETOXIFIES THE BODY?
While both magnesium and sulfate can be poorly absorbed through the stomach, studies show increased magnesium levels from soaking in a bath enriched with Epsom salt! Magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed through the skin. Sulfates play an important role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. They stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are thought to help detoxify the body of medicines and environmental contaminants.
SALT DETOX BATH INSTRUCTIONS
Dissolve Salt, epsom salt, and baking soda in boiling water in a quart size 14
jar and set aside. Fill tub with warm/ hot water and add apple cider vinegar. Pour salt mixture in and add essential oils if using. Soak in bath for 30 minutes or as long as desired. Note that with any detox bath, you may feel tired or lightheaded when you get out. I don’t recommend doing this while home alone or before going somewhere in case you are tired or need help.This bath is great for soothing skin irritation, boosting magnesium levels and overall detoxing.
FIG+MOSS WHIPPED PINK SALT SCRUB
Polish and cleanse for soft, radiant skin you’ll love with whipped pink salt scrub from Fig + Moss. Shea butter, sea salt and soap blend for a whipped scrub that cleanses and exfoliates away dead cells in a pinch while coconut oil and rose clay soften for your smoothest, brightest skin ever. Fig and moss is a small batch apothecary featuring luxe handcrafted products made from natural, local ingredients in California.
COCONUT AND KELP DEAD SEA SALT
Wash, exfoliate, and moisturize your face, so why not take great care of the rest of your body. Soap and water just aren’t going to cut it if you’re after a glowing, look-at-me complexion. Show your skin some love while you hydrate, exfoliate, and protect like never before. Coconut and kelp body sea salt scrub is creamy and luxurious. Dead Sea Salt provides a natural yet gentle exfoliation that buffs away dead cells. Then Almond and Apricot oils team up to nourish and hydrate your complexion for a bight, vibrant look.
PINK HIMALAYAN SALT & ROSE
Himalayan crystal salt is far superior to traditional iodized salt. Himalayan salt is millions of years old and pure, untouched by many of the toxins and pollutants that pervade other forms of ocean salt. Known in the Himalayas as “white gold,” Himalayan Crystal Salt contains the same 84 natural minerals and elements found in the human body. Himalayan salt’s unique cellular structure allows it to store vibrational energy. Its minerals exist in a colloidal form, meaning that they are tiny enough for our cells to easily absorb.
Herbivore Botanicals Bath Salt In a large bowl, mix to combine: 6 parts Himalayan Sea Salt; 3 parts Dead Sea Salts, 3 ounces of coconut milk to soothe tired muscles and reduce inflammation; 1 part calendula & rose petals. Add a few drops of sandalwood and sweet orange essential oils, and combine. Add a few drops of food coloring, until you achieve the desired shade. If you intend to present the bath salts as gifts, be sure to store them in a stoppered and labeled container to keep out moisture. Ingredients: Himalayan Sea salt, salt of the Dead Sea, coconut milk powder*, wild-harvest calendula flower petals, rose petals*, essentials oils of: sandalwood, sweet orange.
COCO LAVENDER BODY POILISH Highly moisturizing and gently exfoliating blend of virgin coconut oil and delicately floral Bulgarian rose absolute. It leaves skin silky soft and hydrated with a light scent of coconut and lavender.
The Dalai Lama, Buddhism, and Tibet: Celebrating TibetĂs culture
I TEXT BY Michelle Fondin PHOTOGRAPHY BY Tom Wesselmann
Young Buddhist Monks at Rongbuk, a Tibetan monastery
central to the lives
of most Tibetans. For them, liberalization began in the eighties primarily meant the freedom to worship
Sera Monastery is one of the “great three” Gelug university monasteries of Tibet, located 1.25 miles north of Lhasa and about 5 km north of the Jokhang. “
TRAVEL A cultured man has grown, for culture comes from a word meaning to grow In Buddhism the arahant is the perfect embodiment of culture. He has grown to the apex, to the highest possible limit, of human evolution.
n a remote plateau thousands of feet above sea level, there still exists a place whose chief attraction is the traditional virtues embodied by its culture: warmth, humility, devotion. In Tibet, Pankaj Mishra finds a country holding fast to its identity but facing an uncertain future. Tibet, the broad high plateau between India and China, bigger than even Western Europe, and the source of most of the great rivers of Asia.
The Universe I felt I left Delhi and began living in a small village in the Indian Himalayas. It was spring when I arrived. I got up every cloudless morning and walked out onto the balcony of my cottage to see the white mountains toward the east straining high on their plinth of air. I could gaze upon the mountains for hours on end, especially in the long evenings, when the distant snow refused to disappear beneath the encroaching darkness and continued to glow an imperious red late into the night. My landlord often joined me on the balcony. One evening he asked me if I knew what lay beyond the mountains. I shook my head. “Tibet,” he said.I had read how the Chinese, who first invaded Tibet in 1949, had killed hundreds of thousands of Tibetans and destroyed thousands of monasteries and temples. I had read that the traditional society and culture of Tibet were gravely threatened. But, growing up in a Hindu Brahman family in India, I had also inherited a religious, and therefore immutable, idea about Tibet: it was the sacred homeland of great seers and sages, people capable of levitation and astral travel. While working on a book about the Buddha, I came across a slicker version of this virtual Tibet: in such Hollywood films as Seven Years in Tibet and Martin Scorsese’s Kundun, the place appeared purely as the setting of a benign, medieval religiosity, threatened only by atheistic Communism. Our modern fantasies of a simple and whole past are fragile. Perhaps that’s why we hold on to them so tenaciously. After finishing my book, I finally went to Tibet, seeking, like many travelers before me, to confirm everything I had imagined about it.
The Journey The magic began on the flight to Lhasa from Kathmandu when, defying predictions of bad weather and low visibility, Mount Everest unexpectedly emerged, all sheer rock and ice, looming well above the thick cloud cover at 25,000 feet. And then, after a long, snowbound mountain range, the Tibetan plateau revealed itself in all its purity and vastness. Tibetans made up most of the crowd of pilgrims, tourists, policemen, and trinket sellers flowing clockwise around the temple. Women from eastern Tibet, magnificently adorned with turquoise headdresses, necklaces, brooches, and bangles, mingled with young Tibetan city slickers in reversed baseball caps.
But at the monastery of Sera, tourists clicked their cameras frantically as young monks debated Buddhist philosophy in the traditional way, underscoring points by leaning forward and bringing their hands together with a loud clap. The event seemed staged. The Potala palace still appears fabulous, as it abruptly rises, tier by tier, above the city on its own steep hill, and gazes equably at the mountains surrounding Lhasa. But looking directly down from the roof of the palace, I saw ugly squat blocks of concrete stretching to all four corners, and the palace, with its vast magnificent bulk, suddenly appeared marooned in the city. As I stood there one afternoon, a shampoo salesman with a megaphone harangued passersby in the huge Chinese-built square below the palace—a desert of tarmac created by razing the old quarters. The echo penetrated the melancholy empty apartments of the Dalai Lama, still touchingly preserved. Almost all reports about contemporary Tibet attest that despite having been under continuous assault for more than three decades, Buddhism remains central to the lives of most Tibetans. For them, the liberalization that began in the eighties primarily meant the freedom to worship rather than to play the new stock market in Lhasa. I felt frustrated that I couldn’t talk to Tibetans freely without risking the malevolence of the men in dark glasses—plainclothes policemen—who sat conspicuously in hotel lobbies and sometimes even followed foreign tourists. But one didn’t need extended conversations to understand the unqualified devotion the Dalai Lama inspires among monks and laypeople alike, more than 40 years after he fled to India. When I thought of Tibet after coming home, I first remembered that morning on the Tsangpo: the austere landscape where small things—the water slapping against the boat, the bare hills brown against a blue sky, a man in a trilby hat twirling his prayer wheel—possessed the power to bestow happiness. I remembered watching snow blow off the rocky summit of Mount Everest, one chilly evening on the half-collapsed mud roof of Rongbuk monastery. I remembered the peasant women in Lhasa, that garish symbol of Chinese capitalism. I had become aware, too, of the great dignity and inner strength with which Tibetans have protected their traditions and identity while living amid the physical rubble of their civilization—the rubble of destroyed monasteries and temples over which a profit-driven, and still repressive, Chinese regime is building a Disneyland of Tibetan culture.Within Tibet, travel is not especially easy. Altitude sickness is common for anyone not accustomed to spending time at elevations of 10,000 feet or more. Most people require three days to acclimatize (ask your doctor about Diamox, which can speed up the process). Throughout the country, consume only bottled water, clean produce well, and beware of ice cream sold on the street (it may have melted and been refrozen). > 19
Buddhist Culture and personality
For over twenty-five centuries, Buddhist ideas and ideals have guided and influenced the lives and thoughts of countless human beings in many parts of the world. As lay Buddhists, our own experiences and discoveries in life are not enough to give a true perspective on life. To bring ourselves closer to the ideal of a well-balanced man or woman, we need to acquire, at least in outline, what is called a cultural grounding in the Buddha-Dhamma. Culture reveals to ourselves and others what we are. It gives expression to our nature in our manner of living and of thinking, in art, religion, ethical aspirations, and knowledge. A cultured man has grown, for culture comes from a word meaning “to grow.” In Buddhism the arahant is the perfect embodiment of culture. He has grown to the apex, to the highest possible limit, of human evolution. He has emptied himself of all selfishness — all greed, hatred, and delusion — and embodies flawless purity and selfless compassionate service. Things of the world do not tempt him, for he is free from the bondage of selfishness and passions. He makes no compromises for the sake of power, individual or collective. In this world some are born great while others have greatness thrust on them. But in the Buddha-Dhamma one becomes great only to the extent that one has progressed in ethical discipline and mental culture, and thereby freed the mind of self and all that it implies. True greatness, then, is proportional to one’s success in unfolding the perfection dormant in human nature.
The magic of a beginner’s mind We should therefore think of culture in this way: Beginning with the regular observance of the Five Precepts, positively and negatively, we gradually reduce our greed and hatred. Simultaneously, we develop good habits of kindness and compassion, honesty and truthfulness, chastity and heedfulness. Steady, wholesome habits are the basis of good character, without which no culture is possible. Then, little by little, we become great and cultured Buddhists. Such a person is rightly trained in body, speech, and mind — a disciplined, well-bred, refined, humane human being, able to live in peace and harmony 20
with himself and others. And this indeed is Dhamma. In order to grow we also have to be active and energetic, diligent in wholesome conduct. There is no place for laziness and lethargy in Buddhism. We must be diligent in cultivating all aspects of the Dhamma in ourselves at all times. If we develop as good individuals, we automatically become cultured members of our society, mindful both of rights and duties. Buddhism addresses itself only to the individual thinking person. It has nothing to do with mass movements, for “masses” are just collections of individual men and women. Any true social development must therefore begin with the transformation of each individual person. For a true lay Buddhist will aim at personal progress in worldly matters only on the foundation of the Noble Eightfold Path.
From knowing to flowing Buddhism distinguishes between emotions that are constructive, such as metta and karuna, and those that are destructive: anger and jealousy, for instance. It encourages the cultivation of the former to eliminate the latter. Human beings can both think and feel. When the Buddha taught the Dhamma, sometimes he appealed to reason, sometimes to the emotions, and sometimes to the imagination, using such means of instruction as fables, stories, and poetry. Buddhist culture, too, manifests in other forms than that of a fine character, such as in the field of literature — the Jatakas, the Theragatha and Therigatha, for examples — philosophy, art, architecture, and sculpture. Art is basically a medium of human communication. It can help in the education of the emotions and is one of the civilizing agencies of humankind. The work of the artist, whether painter, dramatist, sculptor, or writer, is worthy of study because it has a certain expressiveness that both reveals and stimulates fresh insights. The artist sees new meanings in objects and experience that ordinarily escape the rest of us, and thus he creates new values and insights in life. TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHY XANDER KAPLAN
â€˜ I believe that art should somehow affect mankind and make the word a better place â€™
A Life in Brief The basic story line is about art leaving the realm of the artist, when the artist loses control of the work. It’s defined basically by two ends. One would be Louis XIV — that if you put art in the hands of an aristocracy or monarch, art will become reflective of ego and decorative — and on the other end of the scale would be Bob Hope — that if you give art to the masses, art will become reflective of mass ego and also decorative. The body of work is based around statuary representing different periods of Western European art. Each work in the show is coded to be more or less specific about art being used as a symbol or representation of a certain theme that takes place in art, such as Doctor’s Delight, a symbol of sexuality in art; Two Kids, of morality in art; Rabbit, of fantasy in art. Generally I walk around and I see one object and it affects me. I can’t just choose any object or any theme to work with. I can be confronted by an object and be interested in a specific thing about it, and the context develops simultane-ously. I never try to create a context artificially.
Contemporary Artwork Advertising is basically the medium that defines people’s perceptions of the world, of life itself, how to interact with others. The media defines reality. Just yesterday we met some friends. We were celebrating and I said to them: “Here’s to good friends!” It was like living in an ad. It was wonderful, a wonderful moment. We were right there living in the reality of our media. I’m not negative toward advertisement. I believe in advertisement and media completely. My art and my personal life are based in it. I think that the art world would probably be a tremendous reservoir for everybody involved in advertising. I would be extremely interested doing an ad. I’m not interested in corporations having my work. Some corporations collect my work, that’s fine. But let’s say I use a specific product, like a Spalding basketball. I don’t want Spalding to have my basketball. I don’t do it for that reason. But if Spalding came to me and asked if I would like to work on an ad cam-paign, I’d love to do that. I love the gallery, the arena of representation. It’s a commercial world, and morality is based gener-ally around economics, and that’s taking place in the art gallery. I like the tension of accessibility and inaccessibility, and the morality in the art gallery. I believe that my art gets across the point that I’m in this morality theater trying to help the under-dog, and I’m speaking socially here, showing concern and making psychological and philosophical statements for the underdog.
Self-Portrait Koons has made his name manufacturing toys for rich old boys—exacting pagan monuments to mass-culture triviality, like his stainless-steel balloon animals or vibrantly colored metallic Popeye, which he calls a self-portrait—and along with Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami, he is one of a small group of power-Pop impresarios who helped define the aughts as an era of large-scale spectacle. And displayed wealth. (His collectors include Eli Broad, Dakis Joannou, Steven Cohen, and the royal family of Qatar.) A brand-new work by Koons, like the human-size bronze Hulk sculptures he’s been producing of late, is said to run between $4 million to $6 million and is usually pre-bought by his collectors.That might seem like an odd observation to make about someone who owes his fame beyond the art world to the work that was also his greatest
professional and personal heartbreak—a much-derided-atthe-time series of photo-realistic paintings and sculptures of himself and his then-wife, Ilona Staller, an Italian porn star who went by La Cicciolina, copulating gauzily (and, in some cases, not so gauzily). But to hear him tell it, he really thought he was making work anybody could identify with, to help relieve us, he says, of “guilt and shame.” When he was still married to the porn star, who hardly spoke English and to whom he spoke either through a translator or Koons’s peculiar pidgin-Italian-accented English, he told Vanity Fair that “the sculpture that I am most interested in is our child. I don’t believe that marble bust I made is my way to enter the Realm of the Eternal. To me the only way to exist in the eternal is through biological sculptures.” Later, he said he dreamed of opening a museum to which children would drag their parents.
Balloon Dog Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog Sculpture Sells for Record-Breaking $58.4 Million. Koons has broken a world record for a price paid for a single artwork by a living artist. His sculpture "Balloon Dog (Orange)" fetched $58,405,000 at a Christie's New York auction on Tuesday night. High-end estimates suggested it might sell for as much as $55 million. (The previous record-holder was a painting by Gerhard Richter depicting an Italian city square, which sold for $37.1 million in May.) Christie's has released no information as to the identity of the winning bidder. The sculpture, standing 12 feet high and crafted out of stainless steel to resemble the kind of novelty a clown might twist into existence at a children’s birthday party, was sold on behalf of the Brant Foundation Art Study Center in Greenwich, Connecticut. It is one in a series of five, with other colors in the series -- yellow, blue, magenta and red -- owned by financier art collectors Steven A. Cohen, Eli Broad (whose “Balloon Dog (Blue)” is on display at LACMA), Francois Pinault and Dakis Joannou. The description of the work in the Christie's catalogue calls it "one of the most recognizable images in today's canon of art history," and "the most beloved of all contemporary sculptures." What is its significance? It evolved "from Koons's desire to re-create the ecstatic experiences of a child's enjoyment of the world with universal signifiers," the entry reads.
TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHY XANDER KAPLAN
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