In the West, yoga is exercise. In the East, it is something much bigger

Yoga is more than just standing on your head. It’s about uniting with the divine. KEY TAKEAWAYS By Alexandra Keeler While yoga has become a trendy lifestyle and wellness practice in North America, its roots are ancient, spiritual, and profound. Originally developed in Hinduism, yoga provides a path to achieve a higher state of consciousness and to unite with the divine. The Sanskrit word yoga literally translates to “to yoke,” derived from the root word yiuj which means “to join,” “to integrate,” or “to harness.” The word yoga was first mentioned in one of the oldest texts known to humanity, the Rig Veda. The Rig Veda is … Continue reading In the West, yoga is exercise. In the East, it is something much bigger

The golden fuel

On the outskirts of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in southwestern China, 6 November 2006. Photo by stringer/Reuters Asia’s rise to economic power and food security has been powered not by rice but by American maize, the ultimate flex-crop By Peter A Coclanis, is the Albert R Newsome Distinguished Professor of History and director of the Global Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a co-author of Plantation Kingdom: The American South and Its Global Commodities (2016) and the co-editor of Water and Power: Environmental Governance and Strategies for Sustainability in the Lower Mekong Basin (2019). Maize is … Continue reading The golden fuel

How to become wise

Detail from a six-panel folding screen in the Chaekgado style, a still-life genre from the Joseon period depicting a scholar’s books and possessions. Courtesy the National Folk Museum of Korea Practice is at the heart of Korean philosophy. In order to lead a good life, hone your daily rituals of self-cultivation Kevin Cawley is senior lecturer (associate professor) in Korean Studies at University College Cork and director of the Irish Institute of Korean Studies. He is Korean philosophy editor for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the author of Religious and Philosophical Traditions of Korea (2019). ‘We are unknown, we knowers, ourselves to … Continue reading How to become wise

What The West Misunderstands About Power In China

Andy Gilmore for Noema Magazine Often overlooked in media portrayals of China, provincial and local officials in fact have the greatest impact on day-to-day governance, and their actions actively shape national politics. BY XIAO MA, Xiao Ma is an assistant professor of political science at Peking University. His research interests include bureaucracy, political elites and development. He is the author of “Localized Bargaining: The Political Economy of China’s High-Speed Railway Program” (Oxford University Press, 2022). BEIJING — China is often portrayed as a monolithic authoritarian country, with the whole government acting on the command of a few top leaders. But this is a very large … Continue reading What The West Misunderstands About Power In China

The lethal act

During a clash between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya communities in Sittwe, Myanmar, 10 June 2012. Photo by Reuters staff The Buddha taught not to kill, yet his followers have at times disobeyed him. Can murderers still be Buddhists? Martin Kovan is a writer and ethicist with a PhD in philosophy from the University of Melbourne in Australia. He is the author of A Buddhist Theory of Killing: A Philosophical Exposition (2022). Most Buddhists recognise that the injunction not to kill, the first of the religion’s five precepts, is central to the ethos of the different Buddhist traditions. In the past decade, however, … Continue reading The lethal act

Blue-eyed Buddhist

The story of a working-class radical from Ireland who became a celebrated monk and challenged the British Empire in Asia Laurence Cox is professor of sociology at Maynooth University, Ireland. He is author, with Alicia Turner and Brian Bocking, of The Irish Buddhist: the Forgotten Monk who Faced Down the British Empire (2020), among other books. On 2 March 1901, the Buddhists of Rangoon (today’s Yangon) in Burma celebrated the full moon festival, the largest of the year. Visitors, respectfully barefoot, filled the grounds of the huge gold-plated Shwedagon Pagoda, the country’s most important Buddhist pilgrimage site, its glimmering spire visible from … Continue reading Blue-eyed Buddhist

‘Dangerous’: Greenpeace slam Saudi Arabia ski resort as Kingdom wins 2029 Asian winter games bid

By Charlotte Elton  Campaign group Greenpeace has slammed a “dangerous” ski resort being built in Saudi Arabia. The warning comes days after the desert kingdom won its bid to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games. Saudi authorities claim that the new Trojena resort in the country’s north west will operate on “sustainable infrastructure” and renewable energy. But Greenpeace campaigners have questioned the project’s environmental credentials. “You’re changing a natural ecosystem which can have compounding impacts,” says Ahmed El Droubi, regional campaigns manager for Greenpeace. “If you change something in one place, it may change something else in another place, and so on, and it can have impacts … Continue reading ‘Dangerous’: Greenpeace slam Saudi Arabia ski resort as Kingdom wins 2029 Asian winter games bid

In Pakistan, 33 Million People Have Been Displaced in Floods

Unrelenting rains that began in June have claimed more than 1,500 lives, at least a third of whom are children. BY ZOHA TUNIO SINCE MID-JUNE, the worst floods in living memory have impacted more than 33 million people in Pakistan — now one-third underwater. As the country deals with the aftermath of the devastation and links with global warming become clearer, a demand for climate reparations from the world’s top emitting countries is gaining momentum ahead of the annual global climate talks, COP27. For weeks now, thousands of families from the southern province of Sindh have taken refuge alongside the national highway … Continue reading In Pakistan, 33 Million People Have Been Displaced in Floods

The Calvinist conquest

In the 17th century, Dutch proselytisers set out for Asia, Africa and the Americas. The legacy of their travels endures by Charles H Parker, is professor of history at Saint Louis University. His research focuses on early modern European and world history. His most recent book is Global Calvinism: Conversion and Commerce in the Dutch Empire, 1600-1800 (2022). At the turn of the 1600s, a handful of Protestant pastors and chaplains in Amsterdam began accompanying ships of the United East India Company (VOC) to small Dutch commercial settlements in Southeast Asia. These Calvinist (also Reformed Protestant) ministers went to faraway lands to … Continue reading The Calvinist conquest

How Money Was Born: The Small Seashell and the Fierce Maldivian Queen That Made the Modern World

How humanity turned another species into its first specie. BY MARIA POPOVA Money began as a language for expressing gratitude and became the lever of the extraction economy — the currency of aggregate human entitlement. In the golden dawn of modern capitalism, Henry Miller — passionate, idealistic, and broke — sang the thrush song of warning: “The dilemma in which we find ourselves today is that no matter how much we increase the purchasing power of the wage-earner he never has enough.” A century hence, the dilemma has swelled to a carbon cloud of doom — and yet money keeps washing … Continue reading How Money Was Born: The Small Seashell and the Fierce Maldivian Queen That Made the Modern World