Some people are beneficiaries of a system that enables certain individuals to amass inconceivable riches while countless others are condemned to lives of squalor and disenfranchisement. And while Buddhism extends its systemic lenses on a much wider framework of human suffering, the in-between area of the immediately near us is sometimes neglected.
THE TANTRA OF EVERYTHINGView Post
FINDING YOUR OWN SEATView Post
His self-deprecating humor and keen intellect combined with a vast heart pierce the human yearning for authenticity amid the sorrows of sentient life. His words go beyond poetic conceits and cultural baggage. In any case, I have remained wildly enthusiastic about the works of Patrul Rinpoche for decades now. The current publication is a much awaited event to carry his mindstream further into the 21st century. If you are unfamiliar with his work, you’re in for a special experience when coming into contact with him. Please read him. If he is an old heart friend, Enlightened Vagabond will not disappoint!
Book Review by Jacqueline Gens.
Art plays a very important role in the practice of transformation, not only to inspire, but to present sacred imagery for visualisation meditation. The Tibetan Buddhist tradition in particular is rich in sacred art and a means to transcend and liberate, says Tashi Mannox in this interview.
“I don’t quite know why but towards the end of his life, I promised Trungpa Rinpoche, I would bring the stories of Ashoka Maharajah, Gesar of Ling, the Yong Le Emperor and Prince Shotoku Taishi to greater prominence in the West.”
Read the interview with Douglas J. Penick here.
The poems I like the best are those that hold up a mirror to my own thoughts, feelings, and impressions. This of course springs from a narcissistic fascination with myself. Much loved poems play with this tendency in readers like me, they tempt us to transmigrate into the voice of the speaker and claim it as our own. The poem carries out its work once we’ve been thus snared. Infusing our experience with meaning, poetic verse changes our course even as we tell ourselves that we’re the ones doing the reading.
Imagine a world in which everyone can make their own money. All bills are 18 x 12 cm. You can use it as real money to buy food. In fact, Artmoney was invented in 1997 as an art project aiming at cleaning up the filthy path of real money with the broom of art. The utopian hope was to create a platform, where all people are worth the same, and anyone could make their own money gain freedom from financial slavery.
In this modern society, we try very hard to avoid being alone with ourselves, and when we have free time we fill it with texting or social media. We are so scared to face our neurosis. Practice is a training so we are more and more comfortable in our own company. It starts when we sit down on our butts to do practice the first time.
Jason Espada read his exquisite poetry in praise of Tara, the female buddha of compassion:
Spiritual beauty bringing light, giving hope, removing obstacles, calming fear, pacifying suffering, and protecting, bringing harmony to every surrounding circumstance, bringing life, health, happiness, good fortune, and stability.
There is such a need for bigger hearts, vast minds, for more tolerance, kindness and attitudes that includes everyone. We have enough racism and so many other way to exclude each other. We all know how painful it is to be the left out, to be the excluded or even the suppressed minority. Sometimes for absolutely no reason.
Here is a meditation song to sing right after waking up. Such a song can resonate into every moment, every action, and give strength to make a day better by connecting with love and genuine presence. It comes from Padmasambhava, and the tune is original, the same as Tulku Urgyen sang in Tibetan, but the words are translated into English. Erik and I just recorded it this morning after waking up. Everyone is invited to use the song.
The rise in a multitude of ways to have a quick fix, a good body, and perfect health is another manifestation of our cultural sickness. Simple direct ways to live, eat and follow the flow of nature have become totally uninteresting to our hyped-up western culture. If it’s not sexy, trendy or going to make you famous, then it’s not of value to us at all. This is the danger of our current way of being in relationship to our lives and a direct affront to the sacredness and true purpose of life itself.
Day after day we can witness around us acts of callousness and cruelty of which most people are not even aware, because they simply do not acknowledge that other life forms are sentient and therefore feel and respond to energy, moods and pain. This is an extremely crucial point to understand if we are ever to come into greater harmony with all other life forms with whom we share this world.
Living in a world focused on what is outside us, and not looking within, we are taught from a young age that we need to become something more than we are right now. We are encouraged to always be doing: we must learn; we must buy; we must acquire and achieve. And for absolute certain we must become better than we are right now just sitting here doing nothing. The Buddha taught the opposite. He said that by learning to let the mind be, just as it is right now, all our good qualities can unfold from within.
This story from one of the previous lives of His Holiness Rangjung Rikpé Dorjé, the XVIth Gyalwang Karmapa, was told in 1976, while his party drove through Jalandhara, a place in Himachal Pradesh. It was raining very slightly and peacocks were singing softly. His Holiness had the car stopped and said to his attendants, “I have come back to my motherland”. He then told the following wondrous story.
Where there is suffering, either in ourselves or in our world, it is because there has been a lack of attention, love, and understanding. Now, each breath, each look, each thought we direct towards ourselves can be brimming with love, Each step, and every attentive moment can be like a gentle caress.
In the moments just before dusk the light lengthens, lemon-gold, over the grass: swells, then billows flags of flame tearing in the wind, wave after wave of ochre and umber resounding on the shores of evening, and finally becomes a thing almost incarnate—the clear flesh of the orchid evaporating on its stem might be the opposite of this— and thoughtless you reach to touch it so it thins, fades, and is gone.
With everyday stress, you should be looking more at handling the situation with your own mind and your own attitude rather than turning to any medication. But medicine is there to help; either for people who are not handling it or people who have such undue stress that it’s not even reasonable to expect them to handle it. Body and mind are constantly interrelated.
Interview with Dr. Emchi Shakya Dorje.
At the onset of the after-death experience, phenomena have no structure and no recognizable features whatsoever, but are a tremendous display, the ultimate acid trip. It’s unlike wide open space on a cloudless day: something happens within that space, called sounds, colors and lights. The sounds are, Tulku Urgyen said, like 100.000 simultaneous thunder cracks, from all directions, above, below, everywhere. The colors are all colors of the rainbow, but much more intense than we normally see in this life. The rays of light are like sharp needles or swords, piercing through everything.
We began by viewing each other as enemies and ended up holding hands—a young college student and a broken soldier holding hands together in the brightness of early winter. I give his story to you now because it’s all I can do to relieve the heavy tenderness I still feel for him to this day.