#3: Gone with Ghandāra
August 26, 2018

Dear Readers – Before we dive into the riveting details of my ten day silent meditation – I want to step back, far away from now, to a place where Greek and Buddhist philosophy first met: Ghandāra. It sounds like a magical place. Located between present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan, it’s hard to believe that this region was the birthplace of a so-called Buddhist Renaissance. Buddhist statues carved into red cliffs, famously towered over the Bamiyan Valley for over a millenia, until demolished by the Taliban in 2001. It was here in Ghandāra, as early as 300 BC, that Buddhist philosophy first came into contact with Greek culture. Artists broke away from the Indian tradition, which resisted the seeking of idols by prohibiting bodily depictions of Buddha, and created the first Buddhist statues. With flowing Greek hair and fleshy earlobes – a man who once lived 500 years before Christ, became immortalized as a deity.

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