Friday, December 13, 2013

Chinese discovered America (video)

CC Liu, Ashley Wells, Xochitl, Wisdom Quarterly; Sarah Todd (; Rick Fields
The splendor and sophistication of ancient China's walled civilization (Linc060/flickr)
(FA) Documentary about the Chinese discovery of America, with written recorded documentation in China and anthropological evidence in America, long before European explorers. This "shocking" was revealed by Rick Fields in How the Swans Came to the Lake

Buddhists in early America
Sarah Todd, Editorial Assistant (
Editor in chief James Shaheen recommended Rick Fields’ How the Swans Came to the Lake, which offers an in-depth history of Buddhism’s role in American life. Originally published in 1981 and last updated in 1992, Swans is a (mostly) current and always relevant look at Buddhism’s roots.
In a culture saturated with pop-Eastern philosophy -- toy Buddha car accessories, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and The Tao of [Physics and] Pooh, the now-discontinued “Om” fragrance by Gap -- it’s clear that Buddhism has secured a place in the imagination of the American public.
In warm, witty prose Fields takes on the question of why and how this came to be. He begins by tracing the development of America’s understanding of Buddhism, illuminating the way that misconceptions and poor translations caused even great Western thinkers to misunderstand basic [tenets] of practice.

(AHB) A Buddhist monk arrived in California/Mexico 1,000 years before
"Who Really Discovered America?" Did numerous explorers discover the "New World" long before Christopher Columbus staked a claim for Europe in 1492? No less than a dozen cultures have tales of these adventurers woven into their histories, but they are noticeably absent in American history books. This documentary explores the possibility that the Chinese, Japanese, Polynesians, Norse, Welsh, Irish, Ancient Hebrews, and the Solutreans all made it to the Americas earlier than Columbus. Rebuild the ships, trace the routes, test the artifacts and analyze blood evidence to finally learn the answer to one of the greatest mysteries of all time -- who really discovered America?

The USA is only a small part of America
From the 18th-century scholar and linguist William Jones, who understood Asian culture’s potential to offer the West an “Oriental renaissance” but “either did not know or did not accept the Buddhist’s version of the origin of their own religion,” to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote alarmingly of “This remorseless Buddhism…threatening with death and night,” Westerners often misunderstood Buddhism as a primitive form of nihilism.

Nonetheless, Fields points out that many artistic and intellectual movers-and-shakers of early America had more in common with Buddhists than they themselves may have known. Henry David Thoreau’s experiment on Walden Pond was focused on mindful sitting in nature that sounds much like Buddhist meditation; he himself wrote, “I realized what the Orientals mean by contemplation and the forsaking of works.” And what else is Walt Whitman’s expansive embrace than a celebration of the interconnectedness of all beings, one of the central Buddhist understandings? First, America became ripe for Buddhism; then came the ambassadors.
The Western interpreters of Eastern Buddhism rose to prominence in the form of Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky, spiritualists who eventually forsook their preoccupation with the afterlife to, as Blavatsky said, “point the way eastward.” Olcott sought to bring Buddhism to the public and “unite Buddhists under a common banner,” writing a book of Buddhist catechisms that was translated into nearly every European language... More
(History) America was full when Italian Colombus arrived on Spanish ships

When Columbus arrived in the Caribbean in 1492, unknown to him he was on islands located between two huge land masses now known as North America and South America. It was teaming with huge civilizations rivaling any in the world at the time. There were thousands of smaller First Nations and tribes. According to recent estimates, the population may have exceeded 100 million people from Alaska and Greenland in the north, to the southern tip of South America. In proto-Canada, most people lived along the coast or along major rivers.

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