Shelley Schanfield’s fascination with Buddhism and yoga arose fifteen years ago, when she and her son were pursuing black belts in Tae Kwon Do in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Tae Kwon Do, like all the Eastern martial arts, includes techniques developed by Buddhist monks to calm and focus the mind.Inspired by the Buddha’s transformational teachings, she set out to learn as much as she could about who he was. By profession a librarian, Shelley immersed herself in research on the time, place, and spiritual traditions that 2500 years ago produced Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. Yoga, in some form, has a role in all of these traditions. While studying yoga’s history, Shelley began her own practice, which proved as transformational as Buddhist meditation.
Because she loves historical fiction, Shelley looked for a good novel about the Buddha. Unsatisfied with what she found, she decided to writer her own.
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We’re accustomed to see images of the Buddha from China and Japan, in which he is portrayed with more East Asian than South Asian features. Rarely is Prince Siddhartha pictured in East Asian art. The sculpture shown here is from 1st Century CE Gandhara, one of the Sixteen Arya Kingdoms…