27 September 2010

Hūṃ on bodhi leaf.

Originally uploaded by jayarava
I have been mucking about with a Chinese calligraphy brush lately. This is a hūṃ in the Tibetan dbu-can (Uchen) script. It is painted on a bodhi tree leaf, from my own bodhi tree which I grew from a seed collected in Bodhgaya under The Bodhi Tree.

17 September 2010

Article on the Origins of Alphabet

Rollston, Christopher. The Probable Inventors of the First Alphabet: Semites Functioning as rather High Status Personnel in a Component of the Egyptian Apparatus. American Schools of Oriental research (ASOR) Blog, featured article.

16 September 2010


My block of International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN) numbers arrived today. The publisher prefix for Visible Mantra Press is: 978-0-9566929. This is a global unique identifier and means that Visible Mantra Press has been registered internationally as a publisher. Another milestone for the creation of my publishing empire!

Our first book will be Nāmapada: a guide to names in the Triratna Buddhist Order (ISBN 978-0-9566929-0-0 ) which I am working on in parallel to Visible Mantra (the book) while I wait for my proof copy to arrive and then my proof readers to finish their work. Visible Mantra will be second, and then I'll be considering what to do next. I have a lot of mantra material, but would also love to write something about Kūkai. I would also like to produce an edition of Plato's Cratylus with an introductory essay on sound symbolism (or phonosemantics as it is sometimes called) and the relationship to mantra. There are one or two people I'd like to contact about producing paperback editions of hard to find, or expensive books as well. I need to look into distribution deals and the like, but only once I have something to show people.

While I'm not quite ready to accept submissions, I hope to solicit manuscripts once my own major projects are in print - realistically this will be in 2012.

15 September 2010


Stumbled on an excellent webpage for the Cundi mantra today while answering a question for the Omniglot blog. Lots of background info and links to other info.

Cundi is a form of Avalokiteśvara. The Cundi site thinks she may be a Buddhist form of the goddess Caṇḍī, a non-vedic tribal goddess from Bengal. There are other non-vedic goddesses as well particularly (Pāli) Siri, (Sanskrit) Śrī, who becomes Lakṣmī - a goddess of luck.

10 September 2010

Book Progress

I have just completed rebuilding the book and sent it off to get a proof copy printed. This is such a relief as I was at this stage almost a year ago when the Word file I was working with broke. There will still be quite a lot of proof reading to do - and because of the plethora of scripts this is no mean feat. So far we have: Siddhaṃ, Lantsa/Ranjana, dbu-can, dbu-med, Devanāgarī, Kanji/Hanzi, and Sinhala. Also minor use of Kharoṣṭhī and Brahmī. In addition there are the fun mantras in Klingon and Elvish. In terms of languages there are words in English, Sanskrit, Pāli, Japanese, Chinese, and Tibetan. And to think the Triratna in-house publisher Windhorse Publications turned down this book! Fortunately I have a friend who can read all of the above and I think I can induce him to check everything for me.

Still. Progress is steady now and I expect to see the book through to completion by early 2011.

My while waiting for the proof of Visible Mantra to arrive I plan to put the finishing touches on another little book called 'Nāmapada: a guide to names in the Triratna Buddhist Order' which is a glossary of terms used in our names, with etymologies and cognates from other European languages, and a brief guide to constructing Sanskrit compounds. This is aimed at the Triratna movement obviously.

I finished my Pilgrimage Diary some time back. So Visible Mantra Press is now airworthy and getting ready to fly. If you have a book length project related to mantra and would like to get it published I would be interested to take on such work in the future - I'd like to build up a catalogue of niche publications on mantra, utilising print-on-demand to get around the problem of the smallness of the market.

09 September 2010

Photography Exhibition

Cheryl includes images of Tibetan calligraphy (some from Visible Mantra) in her art work. If you are in New York, Oct 7-29 do check it out at the Pratt Manhatten CCPS Gallery! Also see her website www.stockshotstudio.com.