End of the World

In my last post I briefly mocked Harold Bloom for predicting the end of good literature. To some extent I just wanted to make a pun on his name (“Harold of the Apocalypse”), but I also think that doomsaying is fascinating phenomenon while simultaneously a sort of cognitive fallacy. Whether people predict the whole kit […]

Shamballa Land and other Buddhist Sites

This is Shamballa Land. It is a reconstruction (yes, the Soviets were very thorough about destroying stuff) of a holy site built by the Lama of the Gobi. If you go there, it will be easier for you to reach enlightenment. Its mostly an empty space surrounded by Supas. There are places to make offerings also, including […]

Slightly More Subtle Things

There is a Lama, called the Lama of the Gobi, who has been incarnated in Mongolia five times (I believe others have claimed to be incarnates but haven’t been accepted as such. You have to pass some tests). The last incarnation, Dulduityn Danzanravjaa, was a very significant figure in Mongolian history. He started a number of […]

Buddhism and Gandan Monastery

This is the first of a couple posts on religion. We’ve seen three monasteries and heard a couple lamas and an abbot speak. We’ve also heard from a practicing shaman. First a brief history of Buddhism in Mongolia. Originally they were shamanistic, and many still are. I may describe Mongolian shamanism later. Buddhism entered Mongolia […]