Kalmykia: Europe’s Only Buddhist Republic

I thought I knew all the regions of Great Mother Russia since the USSR breakup, but maybe new ones are still being carved out? (As perhaps a newly minted form of tourist-money-generating scheme for their mafia? In which case–if they’re reading this now–please carve out your next “faux federation” to be not just Europe’s, but the world’s, first and only 100% gay region!)

I swear I’d lick your Kazakh boots and more than a few other pieces (they’re also renowned for their excellent chess players), if ya’ll did me that little bitty favor? I hear the figs and persimmons are sinfully sweet this time of year in Georgia.

A small part of Kalmykia touches the Caspian Sea in the northwest, but they are still a people of the steppes. I actually first learned about Kalymkia earlier today, in this YouTube flick created by our new-age communications’ stellar media outlet, “Russia Today” (26 minutes and 6 seconds of pure video enlightenment, guaranteed!):

But what most impresses me about Kalmykia, turns out to be completely ignored in the several articles that I’ve read thus far, nor is it mentioned in the video linked above. Which is this:

Its status as gateway to the Middle East, places an entire nation of Buddhists smack dab almost-in-the-heart of the planet’s most fiery cauldron of political upheaval and religious violence. I’d even go so far as to conjecture that the good folks of Kalmykia have more in common with their Middle Eastern neighbors, than their European ones! Culturally speaking.

Personally, I think having a Buddhist society looking over those Semitic shoulders from such neighborly close range, may indeed make a vital difference in achieving peace in our time. What do you think, how do you feel about this topic? Do you believe having a passel of devout Buddhists in a Middle Eastern corridor (possibly spilling over into a wider range of outreach in times of urgency), will make any difference towards ending war after war in the long run?

Now, read my latest Koan:

Ezekiel’s Latest Koan:

(If you don’t know what “Koan” means, look it up in Wikipedia. But for the moment, you may regard it as a Zen Buddhist spark-of-enlightenment mind game.)

There is no proof of God beyond the angels.

For if God is ultimately the composite of which everyone and everything is born…then we can only “see” him through these manifestations…so the angels are presumably closer to God than anything else we can think of. And that is powerful proof, I would say.

The problem here is that angels are also imaginary or mythological beings. So we must reduce the Koan down one level, to:

There is no proof of angels beyond their statues.

And there is no Koan beyond mine! :P


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