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I s s u e:  D e c e m b e r  2 0 0 4


COVER by Romio Shrestha
White Tara: The Divine Mother (multimedia painting on scroll). Romio Shrestha is a master in the artistic traditions of Nepal and Tibet. He directs a school of artisan-craftsmen in the Katmandu valley of Nepal. White Tara, as well as the cover of this month’s Gift Guide, Avalokiteshvara: The Vision of Selflessness, are part of a collection of scroll paintings reproduced in the art book Celestial Gallery. Shrestha and his team of artisan monks use hand-ground malachite, lapis, and marigolds–at times painting with three hairs of a cat’s tail.

Described as the "Mother of all Buddhas," White Tara functions as a savior and protector. In her left hand she holds a lotus, symbolizing the mind’s innate purity. Her right hand is extended in a gesture bestowing good fortune. On both palms, as well as on the soles of her feet, are eyes of transcendent wisdom. On the Gift Guide’s cover, Avalokiteshvara wears the robes of a bodhisattva, a celestial being who returns to the world to bring others into the realm of enlightenment.

For more information about Shrestha’s work and the book Celestial Gallery, which is available in bookstores in February, contact the distributor, Ten Speed Press, at (800) 688-2218, the publisher at www.mandala.org, or Devi Jacobs at www.devijuice.com.

 


F E A T U R E

Who Is Your Co-Pilot?
For many the holidays have become a season of giving and receiving, but they also have roots deep in religious history. There is a wintry impulse to reflect–whether spiritually, personally, or both. Six writers share their reflections, on childhood religious training, adult spiritual disappointments, raising children in mixed-faith marriages, and reconciling their parents’ faith with their own.


S P E C I A L  S E C T I O N

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
The Monthly
’s annual guide to holiday shopping


C O L U M N S

IN FARO'S GARDEN by R.E. Faro
Cinnamon, cedar, firewood smoke . . . all are scents evocative of the holiday season. Our gardening hero, newly in love, revels in the power of outdoor fragrance to flag a memory and mark an intimate stroll with his sweetheart.

SHOPPING AROUND by Sarah Weld
School’s not just for kids. In the Bay Area, adults can choose from hundreds of enrichment classes and a myriad of degree programs to accomplish the New Year’s resolution of a new job, stronger skill set, or simply more fun.


D E P A R T M E N T S

UP FRONT: People, Arts, Issues

Art: What’s Going On? at the Oakland Museum attempts the nearly impossible: to plumb the depths of the Vietnam War’s impact on California. It’s more than just hippies and peace sign pendants. Every war has its lessons and Vietnam became a cornerstone of California’s history and culture, leaving an indelible footprint on the Bay Area.

Critic’s Choice for December: The art of Collage; Nutcracker renewed and revamped; Holiday flicks–the predictable and the poignant; Juanita Ulloa’s Latin American Christmas songs; Zora Neale Hurston’s unearthed manuscript plays Berkeley Rep; more holiday events for the family plus local open studios.

DINING GUIDE The Monthly’s menu of local restaurants.

MARKETPLACE The Monthly’s catalog of goods and services.

BACK TALK

The Kilduff File: Heyday Books founder Malcolm Margolin shares his Californiafied optimism.

Kartoon Korner: Cartoons from around the country.

 



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