Cultural Tourism DC Calendar

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Sep
12
Thu
Talk: Buddhism: Some Major Misconceptions
Sep 12 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

All Buddhists meditate. All Buddhists are vegetarians. All Buddhists are pacifists. All Buddhists are atheists. The Dalai Lama is the pope of Buddhism. Mindfulness is the universal form of Buddhist meditation. Tantra is all about sex. All of these statements, appealing as they might be, are wrong. In this lecture, Donald Lopez discusses these and other misconceptions about Buddhism. He explains why we like to believe them and shows that dispelling such misconceptions makes Buddhism far more interesting than we might imagine.

This event is part of the Encounters with Buddhism series. Join us for a reception (6–6:30), followed by the talk and discussion (6:30–8 pm).

Donald S. Lopez is the Arthur E. Link Distinguished University Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan. His most recent books include Seeing the Sacred in Samsara: An Illustrated Guide to the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas and the forthcoming Two Buddhas Seated Side by Side: A Guide to the Lotus Sutra (with Jackie Stone).

Sep
18
Wed
Talk: Seeing through Mindfulness: Formations of a Modern Meditation Practice
Sep 18 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Many people, especially in the United States, now see mindfulness as a birthright. This view is powerfully appealing because to look at our experience without bias—to look mindfully—is also believed to be inherently healing and empowering. This talk probes the origins of this distinctive and quite recent view of mindfulness. By examining the translation of the Buddhist concept of sati as mindfulness, and by exploring therapeutic modalities, such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and recent neurological studies of the meditating brain, this talk shows that the concept of mindfulness is variable and difficult to characterize. It looks at how our modern concept of mindfulness is actually an implicit and culturally specific set of values that makes universal claims. Seeing through mindfulness means seeing the unfinished series of projects, including a move away from religious belief and toward the secular, that make up its formations.

This event is part of the Encounters with Buddhism series. Join us for a reception (6–6:30), followed by the talk and discussion (6:30–8 pm).

Erik Braun is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. His recent publications include Buddhism, Meditation, and Science, coedited with David McMahan, and The Birth of Insight: Meditation, Modern Buddhism, and the Burmese Monk Ledi Sayadaw, which was a cowinner of the Toshihide Numata Book Prize in Buddhism in 2014. His research focuses on Burmese Buddhism in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, Pāli literature, and globalizing forms of meditative practice.

Sep
19
Thu
Peacock Room Shutters Open
Sep 19 @ 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm

See the Peacock Room in a whole new light! When the shutters of Whistler’s “harmony in blue and gold” are open, a flood of natural light turns the Peacock Room into a glowing jewel of blue, green, and gold tones. Details, colors, and textures are revealed in the sunlight—and a special filtering film on the windows minimizes fading.

Sep
21
Sat
Open Studio: Playing with Paper
Sep 21 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join us for free family-friendly activities in association with Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece. Discover this beautiful gilt wood sculpture of the Bodhisattva of Compassion on family-friendly tours (12 and 2 pm). Then, return to the studio to use traditional Korean paper (hanji) to create your own books and origami. All ages are welcome with adult companions.

Sep
25
Wed
Talk: Objects of Faith and Mystery: Hidden Aspects of Korean Religious Images
Sep 25 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Relics and other sacred objects have been placed inside Korean Buddhist sculptures since the Goryeo period (918–1392). This lecture addresses the secret dedication rituals that transform religious images into holy bodies ready for worship. This practice, linked to Buddhist scriptures and belief in the principle of the Five Directions, continues to the present day in Korea.

This event is part of the Encounters with Buddhism series. Join us for a reception (6–6:30), followed by the talk and discussion (6:30–8 pm).

Jeong Eunwoo received her MA and PhD degrees in Buddhist art history at Hongik University in Seoul. She is currently professor of archaeology and art history at Dong-A University in Busan. A member of the Cultural Heritage Committee of Korea and president of the Association of Art History, she previously served as a director of the Seokdang museum at Dong-A University and chairman of the Korean Society of Art History. She actively studies Buddhist art history and has published numerous papers as well as several books, including A Study of Buddhist Sculptures in the late Goryeo Dynasty and A Smile of Buddhist Sculpture (both in Korean).

This talk is presented in conjunction with Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece.

This program is made possible through generous support from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Republic of Korea.

Oct
1
Tue
Workshops: Mindfulness & Meditation
Oct 1 @ 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm

Meditation is the process of moving from the busyness of our external environment to a place of inner quietude. In this way, meditation is simple—but frequently it doesn't feel easy. Our lives are full, and our commitments to others are significant. Most of us have little experience going inward and few tools to do so systematically.

Each Tuesday we take a moment out of our day to find a comfortable posture, calm the breath, relax deeply, and awaken to effortless attention. We'll develop an effective practice to make common hurdles less troublesome and bring forward the fruits of meditation: reduced stress, improved sleep, an enhanced sense of well-being, and greater access to intuition and creative states.

These free weekly drop-in sessions are appropriate for all levels of practitioners. Please join us, and then continue your contemplative practice by visiting our exhibitions. No special clothing or previous experience are required.

Oct
2
Wed
Talk: Buddhist Mandalas in Practice on the Silk Road
Oct 2 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

One of the challenges of studying premodern Buddhist art is how to reconcile Buddhist imagery with Buddhist practice. This talk examines a specific grouping of deities known as the Mandala of Eight Great Bodhisattvas and presents a series of case studies on how to think through the religious functions of mandalas. Mural paintings and hanging scrolls produced in the multicultural settings of sites along the Silk Road in northwestern China form the focus of this talk.

This event is part of the Encounters with Buddhism series. Join us for a reception (6–6:30), followed by the talk and discussion (6:30–8 pm).

Michelle C. Wang is associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Georgetown University. Her research specialization is the Buddhist art of the silk routes, and she teaches courses in premodern to modern Asian art history.

Oct
8
Tue
Workshops: Mindfulness & Meditation
Oct 8 @ 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm

Meditation is the process of moving from the busyness of our external environment to a place of inner quietude. In this way, meditation is simple—but frequently it doesn't feel easy. Our lives are full, and our commitments to others are significant. Most of us have little experience going inward and few tools to do so systematically.

Each Tuesday we take a moment out of our day to find a comfortable posture, calm the breath, relax deeply, and awaken to effortless attention. We'll develop an effective practice to make common hurdles less troublesome and bring forward the fruits of meditation: reduced stress, improved sleep, an enhanced sense of well-being, and greater access to intuition and creative states.

These free weekly drop-in sessions are appropriate for all levels of practitioners. Please join us, and then continue your contemplative practice by visiting our exhibitions. No special clothing or previous experience are required.

Talk: Edmund de Waal on Porcelain Past and Present
Oct 8 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

To complement The Peacock Room in Blue and White, now on view in the Freer Gallery, potter and author Edmund de Waal presents a fascinating discussion about displays of Asian ceramics in America and Europe. As an artist and writer, de Waal offers a fresh perspective on the Peacock Room, its role as a space for the display of ceramics, and its relation to his own body of work.

Edmund de Waal is internationally acclaimed for his installations of porcelain vessels, often created in response to particular collections or historic spaces. Both his written and artistic works have broken new ground through their critical engagement with the history and potential of ceramics, as well as with architecture, music, dance, and poetry. His most recent ceramic installation, Elective Affinities, is on display at the Frick Collection in New York City through November 17, 2019.

De Waal is also renowned for his family memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes (2010), which won the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Costa Biography Award and has been translated into more than thirty languages. His second book, The White Road, about his journey to discover the history of porcelain, was published in 2015.

Oct
12
Sat
Gandhi at 150: Art and Social Change
Oct 12 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Explore ways to further peace, justice, and understanding across cultures by taking inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi, leader of India’s independence movement. Known for fighting for freedom through nonviolent actions, Gandhi inspired change makers around the world, including leaders of the civil rights movement in the United States. His legacy is more important now than ever. Join us for a special celebration of the 150th anniversary of Gandhi’s birth, hosted in partnership with the Embassy of India and the Gandhi Memorial Center. This special day includes music, dance, art, and dialogue, with activities for all ages.

Activities include:

  • Performances: Indian classical music
  • Open Studio: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds with artist Shanthi Chandrasekar
  • Demonstrations: Artisans work on khadi handspun cotton textiles
  • Workshops: dance and movement with local Indian dance company Spilling Ink
  • Gallery Tours
  • Talk: Understanding Gandhi’s Life and Legacy by Srimati Karuna, Director of the Gandhi Memorial Center
  • Story Time: Family-friendly stories in English and Hindi
Oct
15
Tue
Workshops: Mindfulness & Meditation
Oct 15 @ 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm

Meditation is the process of moving from the busyness of our external environment to a place of inner quietude. In this way, meditation is simple—but frequently it doesn't feel easy. Our lives are full, and our commitments to others are significant. Most of us have little experience going inward and few tools to do so systematically.

Each Tuesday we take a moment out of our day to find a comfortable posture, calm the breath, relax deeply, and awaken to effortless attention. We'll develop an effective practice to make common hurdles less troublesome and bring forward the fruits of meditation: reduced stress, improved sleep, an enhanced sense of well-being, and greater access to intuition and creative states.

These free weekly drop-in sessions are appropriate for all levels of practitioners. Please join us, and then continue your contemplative practice by visiting our exhibitions. No special clothing or previous experience are required.

Oct
16
Wed
Talk: Unfortunate Destiny: Animals in the Indian Buddhist Imagination
Oct 16 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

How are animals imagined and depicted in early Buddhist literature from India? Should they be seen as convenient objects for human exploitation and abuse—or as fellow travelers in the round of rebirth, worthy of human kindness and compassion? This talk focuses on the role and imagery of animals in early Buddhist literature and illuminates how Buddhist authors used animals to explore what it means to be human.

This event is part of the Encounters with Buddhism series. Join us for a reception (6–6:30), followed by the talk and discussion (6:30–8 pm).

Reiko Ohnuma is professor and chair in the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College. Her research focuses on South Asian Buddhism, and she is the author of Head, Eyes, Flesh, and Blood: Giving Away the Body in Indian Buddhist Literature (Columbia, 2007); Ties That Bind: Maternal Imagery and Discourse in Indian Buddhism (Oxford, 2012); and Unfortunate Destiny: Animals in the Indian Buddhist Imagination (Oxford, 2017).

Oct
17
Thu
Peacock Room Shutters Open
Oct 17 @ 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm

See the Peacock Room in a whole new light! When the shutters of Whistler’s “harmony in blue and gold” are open, a flood of natural light turns the Peacock Room into a glowing jewel of blue, green, and gold tones. Details, colors, and textures are revealed in the sunlight—and a special filtering film on the windows minimizes fading.

Oct
19
Sat
Open Studio: Playing with Paper
Oct 19 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join us for free family-friendly activities in association with Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece. Discover this beautiful gilt wood sculpture of the Bodhisattva of Compassion on family-friendly tours (12 and 2 pm). Then, return to the studio to use traditional Korean paper (hanji) to create your own books and origami. All ages are welcome with adult companions.

Oct
23
Wed
Talk: Ghosts and Spirits in Buddhist Art and Literature
Oct 23 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Buddhist world is alive with the supernatural. Ghosts and spirits, often described as living out the consequences of past actions, wander the world imbued with the capacity for either great kindness or terrible wickedness. This talk introduces the hungry ghosts, demons, and nature spirits that have haunted Buddhism from its earliest days in India to the present and examined their often-overlooked contributions to its development and survival. Examples from art and literature are drawn from across Asia.

This event is part of the Encounters with Buddhism series. Join us for a reception (6–6:30), followed by the talk and discussion (6:30–8 pm).

Robert DeCaroli is a professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University. His research concentrates on the early history and development of Buddhist art. He is the author of two books, Haunting the Buddha: Indian Popular Religions and the Formation of Buddhism (Oxford, 2004) and Image Problems: The Origin and Development of the Buddha’s Image in Early South Asia (Seattle, 2015). DeCaroli is also cocurator of Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia, now on view at the Sackler.

Oct
29
Tue
Workshops: Mindfulness & Meditation
Oct 29 @ 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm

Meditation is the process of moving from the busyness of our external environment to a place of inner quietude. In this way, meditation is simple—but frequently it doesn't feel easy. Our lives are full, and our commitments to others are significant. Most of us have little experience going inward and few tools to do so systematically.

Each Tuesday we take a moment out of our day to find a comfortable posture, calm the breath, relax deeply, and awaken to effortless attention. We'll develop an effective practice to make common hurdles less troublesome and bring forward the fruits of meditation: reduced stress, improved sleep, an enhanced sense of well-being, and greater access to intuition and creative states.

These free weekly drop-in sessions are appropriate for all levels of practitioners. Please join us, and then continue your contemplative practice by visiting our exhibitions. No special clothing or previous experience are required.

Nov
5
Tue
Workshops: Mindfulness & Meditation
Nov 5 @ 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm

Meditation is the process of moving from the busyness of our external environment to a place of inner quietude. In this way, meditation is simple—but frequently it doesn't feel easy. Our lives are full, and our commitments to others are significant. Most of us have little experience going inward and few tools to do so systematically.

Each Tuesday we take a moment out of our day to find a comfortable posture, calm the breath, relax deeply, and awaken to effortless attention. We'll develop an effective practice to make common hurdles less troublesome and bring forward the fruits of meditation: reduced stress, improved sleep, an enhanced sense of well-being, and greater access to intuition and creative states.

These free weekly drop-in sessions are appropriate for all levels of practitioners. Please join us, and then continue your contemplative practice by visiting our exhibitions. No special clothing or previous experience are required.

Nov
12
Tue
Workshops: Mindfulness & Meditation
Nov 12 @ 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm

Meditation is the process of moving from the busyness of our external environment to a place of inner quietude. In this way, meditation is simple—but frequently it doesn't feel easy. Our lives are full, and our commitments to others are significant. Most of us have little experience going inward and few tools to do so systematically.

Each Tuesday we take a moment out of our day to find a comfortable posture, calm the breath, relax deeply, and awaken to effortless attention. We'll develop an effective practice to make common hurdles less troublesome and bring forward the fruits of meditation: reduced stress, improved sleep, an enhanced sense of well-being, and greater access to intuition and creative states.

These free weekly drop-in sessions are appropriate for all levels of practitioners. Please join us, and then continue your contemplative practice by visiting our exhibitions. No special clothing or previous experience are required.

Nov
19
Tue
Workshops: Mindfulness & Meditation
Nov 19 @ 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm

Meditation is the process of moving from the busyness of our external environment to a place of inner quietude. In this way, meditation is simple—but frequently it doesn't feel easy. Our lives are full, and our commitments to others are significant. Most of us have little experience going inward and few tools to do so systematically.

Each Tuesday we take a moment out of our day to find a comfortable posture, calm the breath, relax deeply, and awaken to effortless attention. We'll develop an effective practice to make common hurdles less troublesome and bring forward the fruits of meditation: reduced stress, improved sleep, an enhanced sense of well-being, and greater access to intuition and creative states.

These free weekly drop-in sessions are appropriate for all levels of practitioners. Please join us, and then continue your contemplative practice by visiting our exhibitions. No special clothing or previous experience are required.

Nov
21
Thu
Peacock Room Shutters Open
Nov 21 @ 12:00 pm – 5:30 pm

See the Peacock Room in a whole new light! When the shutters of Whistler’s “harmony in blue and gold” are open, a flood of natural light turns the Peacock Room into a glowing jewel of blue, green, and gold tones. Details, colors, and textures are revealed in the sunlight—and a special filtering film on the windows minimizes fading.