Nepal’s Kung Fu Nuns
It is a hot, cloudless morning on a hillside on the outskirts of Kathmandu and dozens of nuns arrange themselves into lines around a golden Buddhist shrine. In unison, each slams a clenched fist into their opposite palm, breathes deeply and waits, motionless in the rising heat.
But these devotees are not here to pray or to meditate, for they have gathered to undergo a rigorous and aggressive martial arts routine as the world’s first order of kung fu nuns…..
The nuns, in contrast to most Buddhist groups, are also taught to lead prayers and given basic business skills, as well as running a guest house and coffee shop at the abbey and driving jeeps to Kathmandu to get supplies.
Kung fu came to the nunnery only four years ago when its spiritual leader, His Holiness the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, visited Vietnam, where he saw nuns receiving combat training that was previously used by Viet Cong guerrillas.
“His Holiness wants the nuns to be like the men, with the same rights in the world,” she said. “That is why we get the chance to do everything, not just kung fu”.
Kiera Cass (via maxonshreaves)
Joan Crawford in Possessed (1931)
82 years later and it’s still relevant
you are lying to me if you said that you didnt sing this in your head
I told Miyazaki I love the “gratuitous motion” in his films; instead of every movement being dictated by the story, sometimes people will just sit for a moment, or they will sigh, or look in a running stream, or do something extra, not to advance the story but only to give the sense of time and place and who they are.
"We have a word for that in Japanese," he said. "It’s called ma. Emptiness. It’s there intentionally.”
Is that like the “pillow words” that separate phrases in Japanese poetry?
"I don’t think it’s like the pillow word." He clapped his hands three or four times. "The time in between my clapping is ma. If you just have non-stop action with no breathing space at all, it’s just busyness. But if you take a moment, then the tension building in the film can grow into a wider dimension. If you just have constant tension at 80 degrees all the time you just get numb.
Rogert Ebert, on Hayao Miyazaki
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