Last week John Quigley, who was AITECE coordinator here in Ireland for a number of years after returning from a stint in China, presented a number of his works as part of the Rye Valley Artists Exhibition in Maynooth.
I did not know John had this extra talent but it seems he has being practicing it successfully for many years. I looked for signs that his work was influenced by his time in China and found a number. I wonder if any other of our returned teachers have had their lives and hobbies influenced in this way.
Buddhism in Ireland?
Last week, on my way by train to meet Roberto Bertone of the East-West Friendship group, I looked through his booklet on intercultural communication between Europe and Asia.
He quotes a writer who claims that from the 7th century, if not the 6th, accounts of Buddhism by Europeans circulated in Ireland. The distribution and quality of this information expanded from the mid-13th century and again from the 16h. In the 19th century Irish missionaries and British Colonial civil servants added to this scholarship. (In more recent years William Johnston SJ made a major contribution.)
I was surprised at the length of the contact and wonder if anyone has more details of the early encounter?
At present there are 8,703 Buddhists in Ireland and Buddhism is the fourth largest religious group in the country after Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.
Recently I had an email from Fidelma Carroll who taught in SISU, 1993-1994. She is interested in keeping up contact and asked whether there would be any more gatherings.
In the past few week we have had three serious enquiries so your hard work in putting up posters and spreading the word seems to be paying off. So keep it up.
To add to the cheer of Spring I recommend the following video: