Sunday, October 28, 2007

Wild Hares of the Western Mojave

I know 'dis guy in Mongolia, see? He likes boids, see? So, he writes in his blog about dirty bustards who don't pay up for nuns, see? So, I got this wild hare to do something about it, see?

Because me and him are pals, see? Because we want to help 'dose nuns, see?

Yeah... that's it... real special like.

Photo above is of my pet jackrabbit, Little Caesar. He's boss of the rabbit rackets on the West Side.

Now, if youse guys ain't coming up with your fair share of the grift for 'da nuns......

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張奇夫: Rest In Peace

"The evil that men do lives after them
The good is oft interred with their bones; 
So let it be with Caesar."

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yam, Ram, Southern California

Winds approaching 100 miles per hour and wildfires: Southern California is (again) experiencing a tragic loss of life and property on an extensive scale, leading to all sorts of obstacles. We are presently a few miles from one major fire-- started when the winds blew down an electrical transformer-- where a reported 180 homes have already been lost. The latest reports state over a half million people have been evacuated, over a quarter million acres have burned, there has been at least one fatality, and numerous major transportation routes have been severed, inclusive of Interstate 15-- the heavily traveled main route between Southern Nevada and Southern California.

"When our illusory bodies are threatened with danger and destruction because of obstacles of the elements of earth, water, fire, and wind;
"Without any doubt or question, I supplicate you, Orgyen, together with the four goddesses of the elements;
"Thus, there is no doubt that the elements will be self-pacified.
"I supplicate Orgyen Padmasambhava. Grant blessings for the spontaneous accomplishment of our wishes!

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Calling the Lama from Afar

There will be a moratorium on posts to this web log while we pause to celebrate the birthday of Tenpa Rinpoche, during the period October 20th through the 24th. Below, one of his favorite prayers, written by His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche, which he asks everyone to read. You can send greetings to

The Prayer of Calling the Lama from Afar
Song of the Primordial State

Essence unchanging from the very start, fundamental nature beyond elaboration,

Primordially pure profound clarity, present as the Youthful Vase Body,

Dharmakaya Lama, Yeshe Dorje ("Adamantine Primordial Wisdom"), you who know,

Grant me your blessings that I attain great confidence in the View.

Self-nature unceasing, concentration of the radiant luminosity of primordial union,

Spontaneous realisation, present as the display of the five certainties,

Sambhogakaya Lama, Dechen Dorje ("Adamantine Great Bliss"), you who know,

Grant me your blessings that I perfect great clarity of meditation.

Compassion free from bias, primordial wisdom beyond all limitation,

Present as the naked essence of all-pervading awareness-emptiness,

Nirmanakaya Lama, 'Drön'dül Lingpa ("He who is from the Continent of Taming Beings"), you who know,

Grant me your blessings that I become skilled in activity that bestows great benefit.

The primordial ground of intrinsic awareness is unmoving and unchanging;

Whatever appears is the creativity of the Dharmakaya and is neither good nor bad.

In the awareness of "nowness", the very actuality of Buddhahood,

The Lama of the vast expanse of serene joy is discovered in the heart,

And when this innate mind is realised to be the very nature of the Lama,

There is no (longer any) need for contrived and fabricated prayers of carping and complaint.

By letting go in the free and natural flow of uncontrived pure awareness,

Without solidifying or holding on, the blessing of the self-liberation of whatever arises is obtained.

There will never be a time when contrived practice leads to Buddhahood:

This intellectually contrived meditation of mental analysis is a deceitful enemy.

This very instant, (let) mental grasping fall apart with the abandon of a madman,

And let this human life be spent in a state of spontaneous and naked ease:

Joyful in whatever he does, the yogin-practitioner of the Great Perfection;

Happy in any company, the Lineage-Son of the Lotus Born.

Peerless Protector, Great Tertön Lama;

Teaching beyond compare, Heart-Essence of the Dakinis.

Purifying in its own place the great ignorance darkening the heart,

The immaculate sun of radiant clarity shines forth day and night.

This good fortune is the graciousness of the only father Lama:

Unrepayable kindness! - My Lama! I think only of you!

Thus, at the request of my principal vajra disciple, Trülpa'iku Jigme Chöying Dorje, Dön T'amche Drubpa'i-de, this was spoken as so much meaningless chatter by Jigdräl Yeshe Dorje.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Update: Plot to Murder Dalai Lama

New details are emerging on Zhang Qingli, the renegade Communist Party official implicated at the center of a plot to murder the Dalai Lama. Sources with credible access to such information report that Zhang is under investigation for corruption during his tenure with the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. Chinese officials at diplomatic posts in the United States and Canada are quietly looking into luxurious homes, and other investments, allegedly acquired with the laundered proceeds of Zhang's graft schemes by members of his extended family.

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Petition the British Prime Minister

Here is the link:

If you follow this link, you will taken to an official British government site where you can petition the Prime Minister to meet personally with His Holiness the Dalai Lama -- no matter how loudly wet Chinese cats sputter and cough.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Plot to Murder the Dalai Lama

His name is Zhang Qing Li, born 1951, Shandong Province, and he is the insultingly acid-mouthed Communist Party Secretary of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Credible news just now filtering out of China places him at the center of a bizarre Chinese government plot to assassinate the Dalai Lama, blame the Dorje Shugden Cult, and then declare the Dalai Lama's successor. The plot is believed to include Chinese intelligence service personnel operating under diplomatic cover in all nations visited by His Holiness, including the United States, as well as "sleeper" type agents. It is said that details of the plot include provisions for a "discredit after death" type operation, i.e. the manner of death would serve to tarnish the victim's memory. It is further suggested that the threat is imminent, and that this is why the Chinese government rushed its "reincarnation regulations" into effect last month.

We will post more details of this extraordinarily alarming matter in due course. This certainly explains the heavy security around His Holiness, and veiled references made during the events in Washington.

Zhang Qingli

Secretary, Communist Party of China, Tibet Autonomous Region
Communist Party Committee of Tibet Autonomous Region
Kang An Dong Lu 1 Hao
Lhasa, TibetPeople's Republic of China 850000

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Pure Lands

Dear Rinpoche,
I have been having trouble with the concept of Pure Realms, Such as Amithaba's , Guru Rinpoche's or Medicine Buddha's, are they actual places where one can take birth and live in an existence much like this worldly realm? Or could you point me to works which explain such realms more clearly. Any clarification is greatly appreciated.


In my view, which is not necessarily the correct view, wherever we find ourselves is a buddha-field, as we, ourselves, are buddha-fields. Similarly, wherever we find ourselves is a pure realm, as we, ourselves, are pure. For example: I can say, with equal measure of grace and truth, that we are currently not separate from the Medicine Buddha's realm. We don't have to leave someplace to go someplace else. There is no distance between where we are now and the Medicine Buddha's realm. However, because of illusory obscurations, we do not always immediately apprehend this purity. I suggest you read my post, 'Letter to a Friend,' below, as this directly addresses the issue.

I believe the definitive explanation of this matter occurs in the Vimalakirtinirdesa Sutra, so I quote at length here:

"There are buddha-fields that accomplish the buddha-work by means of bodhisattvas; those that do so by means of lights; those that do so by means of the tree of enlightenment; those that do so by means of the physical beauty and the marks of the Tathagata; those that do so by means of religious robes; those that do so by means of good; those that do so by means of water; those that do so by means of gardens; those that do so by means of palaces; those that do so by means of mansions; those that do so by means of magical incarnations; those that do so by means of empty space; and those that do so by means of lights in the sky. Why is it so, Ananda? Because by these various means, living beings become disciplined. Similarly, Ananda, there are buddha-fields that accomplish the buddha-work by means of teaching living beings words, definitions, and examples, such as 'dreams,' 'images,' 'the reflection of the moon in water,' 'echoes,' 'illusions,' and 'mirages'; and those that accomplish the buddha-work by making words understandable. Also, Ananda, there are utterly pure buddha-fields that accomplish the buddha-work for living beings without speech, by silence, inexpressibility, and unteachability. Ananda, among all the activities, enjoyments, and practices of the Buddhas, there are none that do not accomplish the buddha-work, because all discipline living beings. Finally, Ananda, the Buddhas accomplish the buddha-work by means of the four Maras and all the eighty-four thousand types of passion that afflict living beings.

"Ananda, this is a Dharma-door called 'Introduction to all the Buddha-qualities.' The bodhisattva who enters this Dharma-door experiences neither joy nor pride when confronted by a buddha-field adorned with the splendor of all noble qualities, and experiences neither sadness nor aversion when confronted by a buddha-field apparently without that splendor, but in all cases produces a profound reverence for all the Tathagatas. Indeed, it is wonderful how all the Lord Buddhas, who understand the equality of all things, manifest all sorts of buddha-fields in order to develop living beings!

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Universal Symbol of Peace

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President George W. Bush, raising the ire of Beijing, called on Chinese leaders to welcome the Dalai Lama to the communist nation on Wednesday.

Bush called the Tibetan spiritual leader a "universal symbol of peace and tolerance, a shepherd of the faithful and a keeper of the flame for his people.''

"He has won the respect and affection of the American people,'' Bush said at the U.S. Capitol where the leader of Tibet's Buddhists received the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal.

"America cannot look to the plight of the religiously oppressed and close their eyes or turn away,'' said Bush, who sat next to the Dalai Lama during the ceremony and personally handed the medal to him.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said this was the first time a U.S. president has appeared in public with the Dalai Lama.

"It is a great honour for me to receive the Congressional Gold Medal,'' said the Dalai Lama, who delivered his remarks in English. "This recognition will bring tremendous joy and encouragement to the Tibetan people.''

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dalai Lama Medal

Avalokitesvara is in America. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama receives his Congressional Gold Medal in the Capitol Rotunda this afternoon, in Washington, D.C.

It is my immediate experience that His Holiness has fully extended his blessings today.

You will be able to purchase duplicates of this medal at 1:00 p.m. EST today by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).

The obverse of the Dalai Lama Congressional Gold Medal, designed by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, features a smiling portrait of the Dalai Lama. The Himalayan Mountains are in the background. The inscriptions "14th Dalai Lama of Tibet," "Tenzin Gyatso," his birth name, "Act of Congress" and "2006" are included on the obverse.

The reverse, designed by Joseph Menna, a United States Mint Medallic Sculptor, depicts a stylized lotus flower, considered to be a symbol of purity. The inscriptions include a quotation from the Dalai Lama, "World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not the absence of violence. Peace is the manifestation of human compassion."

The three-inch, bronze reproduction medal is available for $38.00, and the one and a half inch medal is $3.75. There is an additional shipping and handling fee of $4.95 per order. Presentation cases also are available.

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Letter to A Friend

Dear --------:

Shortly after my immaculate teacher hastened me out into the world, I received a letter from him. “We could write pages and pages to one another,” he suggested. “But I do not see the use. What you understand, I understand and what I understand, you understand. I am writing you now only for sentimental reasons.”

When I first read those words, I missed him terribly and I was despondent, but now that a few decades have leaked away, the shining beauty of those words immediately reminds me of his gentle kindness and always brings comfort to my crazy heart. Although my poor words to you lack any such beneficial quality, I nevertheless pray that in the future this letter will bring you at least some small satisfaction, when you recall the high esteem in which I hold you.

There are mountains hereabouts, and a painter may stay some distance from such mountains to produce his work. We judge him in any one of several ways. We can compare his work to the mountain we see, and reckon it a good likeness. We can compare his work to what we imagine, and thus employ him to replace the mountain we might otherwise know. We can say that he captures the mountain, or evokes the mountain, but we can never appropriately say that he has reproduced the mountain. The mountain, after all, reproduces itself.

It is considered a downfall to teach emptiness to a person whose mind is not prepared to accept emptiness. Yet, since I am incapable of teaching anything to anybody, and since your mind is like the ocean that accepts everything, I do not think we need enter the clumsy dance of benefit and harm if we merely discuss emptiness the way our painter paints mountains.

Some people---and I most assuredly do not refer to you---believe without any experiential foundation that their minds are empty, that every action is perfect, and that nothing whatsoever needs to be done. Such people rely on a subjective decision, or a belief in the authority of past status, or a passive sense of “thus,” as the humorously inferior compound delusion of meditation might otherwise persuade us is some sort of goal. You can always recognize this sickness. It is endemic in the monasteries, temples, and the horrible meditation centers: vacantly grinning, enigmatically engaged, idiosyncratic ninnies, blind to their own-face, with emotions as agitated as bats in a barn fire.

You can say whatever you like to these fools, and they will smile knowingly, and call you wise, but what they really do is invite you into a tacit pact. They will continue to call you wise only for as long as you ignore their utter lack of understanding. The more skillfully you enable their illusions, the greater will be your reward of wonderfully spoken sentiments and slavish devotion. These gliding red ghosts will ensnare and imprison you with their flattering service. If you permit yourself to depend upon them, you will come to ruin.

Must I warn you, my precious friend?

Every day, it is useful to ask, “Who am I?” Every day, it is useful to ask, “What is this?” Some people, while sleeping, smell smoke and immediately awaken. Others simply continue sleeping and burn to death.

What is this mountain our painter paints? Where does it reside? Is the mountain earth, or rocks, or trees? What of the kinds of earth, or of the waters within; the several minerals, or the leaves on the trees? What of the fish, the insects, the mammals, the birds, or the spirits? Is the mountain juxtaposition between earth and sky? Is it upside down or right side up? What of the mountain, the eyes of the painter, his painting of the mountain, and our own eyes, beholding all of these?

Yes, the mountains are so beautiful today, my love. To an ant, a pile of horse shit is a mountain. To a dung beetle, it is home. How I longed for a home in the mountains, together with you. How astonishing, in the midst of a dream, to smell the smoke of burning mountains.

Anything can happen in basic space. A painter we believe in makes it so. Let there be a lady who is basic space and identical with ordinary mind that arises dynamically there from, and shines pervasively. You can believe in her if you like. Let there be ladies, and practitioners, and elements, and mountains. How astonishing, in the midst of a dream, to rub your eyes and see colorful stars.

You led me through your empty house and walked me to your developing ground. Your dress was torn, your manner was lonely, and you climbed into the top of a tree. As if negligently sleeping, you reached out as sleeping lovers do, and I reached out for you. These bubbles have bubbles, these dreams have dreams: these rivers, and dams, and dikes, and locks we build from this ocean, and earth, and sky by mistakenly investing one endlessly replicating illusion in another endlessly replicating illusion.

I am the King of Pretenders and you are Queen of the Matrix. Shyly, you sit at my left, but the pearl upon your brow betrays your slightest gesture. From where is the arrow released and to where does it go? What do we seize, and what do we bind? All pretenses dissolve in space, and space in union with space is the myriad pretense of wisdom.

Is this arrow long life, or a support for divination? I divine that life, however long, is brief and insubstantial and there is no time for hesitation. If you wish to be a goddess, you are already a goddess, but if some process enlightenment for the benefit of others is your wish then the arrow has already missed its mark. How astonishing, in the midst of a dream, to disregard authentic presence, differentiate omniscience, and believe that space can be injured.

I do not know why we met, or why we communicate. I do not think there needs to be a reason. I could write like this to you forever, but when I point at the moon, I do not intend that you look only at my finger. Although it seems that I have used many words, I have actually used only two words.

This life.

A woman like you will understand.

With assurances of continuous prayers for your happiness, I sign the name Tenpa.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Ancient Tibetans in America, or Vice-Versa?

It goes something like this: ending roughly 11,000 years ago, depending upon what you choose to believe, there was a long period of human migration from Asia to the Americas across the Bering Straits land bridge. The precise modalities of this are, of course, hotly debated in scientific circles, but we do know there was some form of migration---that fact, at least, is "carved in the bones" we find in the United States. In this country we find the bones of camels and so forth, and we also do DNA analysis of human remains. We also find striking similarities between certain aspects of the Tibetan culture and that of the Native Americans. Taken as a whole, the suggestion is that ancient peoples from what is now Tibet (or was until the Chinese got hold of it) crossed the land bridge to become the first settlers in America.

Still, recent discoveries--- of 50,000 year old "native" Americans--- suggest another possibility: what if the migration went in the other direction?

Fun to think about, isn't it?

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Separatist Regime

I see that the Chinese are carefully demonstrating their vast knowledge and deep appreciation of Tibetan culture in this English-language web site. Either that, or this is the Chinese police exhibiting photographs of stolen property. Note to H.H. Karmapa: if you're missing a seal, we think we know what happened.

By the way: I claim "Separatist Regime" as the name for a new rock-n-roll band. I think it has a catchy ring.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Jigme Lingpa's Day: October 14

Just a little reminder that Jigme Lingpa's day falls on October 14th this year. Wouldn't this be a perfect opportunity to do the Longchen Nyingthig Ngondro all day?

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dzongsar Monastery

Dzongsar Monastery is an important site for numerous reasons. This link will take you to a discussion of this monastery's history, and will give you an indication of its future.

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Architecture for Humanity

Since I am fundamentally homeless, I take a keen interest in minimalist shelter and solutions for homelessness. One group appears to share this interest:

They have a catalogue of designs for emergency shelter using things such as wooden pallets, containers, and so forth. This sort of thing is worth encouraging.

I think any professional license, be this an engineer's license, a medical license, or whatever, should be made conditional on first giving two years' worth of pro bono services to those who are not fortunate enough to live in conditions of economic surplus. Of course, in the West, nopbody sees things this way. You go to the wretched universities and then you graduiate and start grabbing with both hands.

Try to care. It helps all of us.

The problem was solved centuries ago. We could land Mongolian gers in any country in the world for under USD $1,000 each, each ger being sufficient for a family of four. This is the best low-cost shelter solution on the planet.

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White Mouse, Black Mouse

Weather has turned cold, so I wandered down to 5,000 feet, looking for warmer quarters. The adit in the lower right corner, above, was ideal but there were of course numbers of bones. So, while sorting out the bones, I started thinking about the parable by I-forget-who, quoted by Tulku Thondup in I-forget-where.

The point is, a guy slips over a cliff and is falling to his doom when he grasps a clump of grass and arrests his fall. He is hanging there, holding on to the clump of grass, when a little white mouse appears from the rocks and starts nibbling the blades. He eats one or two blades, and then disappears.

Then a little black mouse appears, nibbles one or two blades, and he disappears.

This goes on: first the little white mouse nibbles, then the little black mouse nibbles, until finally all the grass is gone. The poor guy has nothing left to hold, so away he goes.


The point is, being born is like falling off a cliff, the white mouse is day, and the black mouse is night. You are desperately holding on to the clump of grass that is your life, and it is dwindling away in front of your eyes.

So, do us both a favor, won't you? Stop whatever you are doing and right this minute say 108 mantras for all who are hanging around, waiting for the mice to finish eating.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

High Desert Hermitage

This is New Tsering Jong: the High Desert Dzogchen Hermitage. This will be an approximately USD $500,000 project, of which $260,000 is land acquisition cost, $140,000 is infrastructure development, and $100,000 is an endowment for future operating costs. It can fund in three stages over a thirty-six month period, at the rate of roughly $166,000 per year. Seen above is the view from the "front porch." It is my belief that anyone who practices at this place will very quickly receive the benefits of their practice. I therefore declare this the final project of my lifetime, and I dedicate it to the welfare of all those who will come after me.

This is typical of what one sees on the way to the summit. I welcome every spirit who wishes to make this project come to fruition. If any obstacles appear to arise, I will eat them. I do not care what effort becomes necessary. I do not care what sacrifice becomes necessary. This project must be completed.

This is looking back at a portion of the "low road," or northern approach to the summit. The hermitage property is situated so that the surrounding terrain will never be developed. By law, this realm will be forever protected.

This is what it takes to traverse the vehicle trail that actually leads to the property. This is an inexpensive Toyota FJ Cruiser, in which the after-market suspension modifications cost more than the original vehicle (the "Scorpion" FJ Cruiser). Today, this creation took us on trails last traveled in 1970, and brought us back in safety.

If you want to help, contact rinpoche2006(at)gmail(dot)com

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Monday, October 08, 2007

Smoking the Scorpion's Tail

In this morning's post comes a plaintive question: "Rinpoche, how should I practice?" Hence, the topic of today's sermon, which refers to the practice of smoking the pulverized stingers from a scorpion's tail.

In general, people will do anything to achieve some change in their ordinary status. Since this is the 21st century and you're on the Internet, I don't need to belabor this point overmuch. You already know that people will smoke, snort, and stick just about anything and everything on the slightest chance they might alter themselves, and thereby momentarily kill the pain of life in this here Samsara.

The same attitude carries over to what we call "practice." We have this tendency to jump in the car, head down to Sedona for the In'juns, then run to the coast for the lamas, make a couple of swami stops, and then...hallelujah lord....tune in that old time radio religion. This turns into a hobby. I actually heard two ladies arguing the other day, saying "my Rinpoche is higher than your Rinpoche because he travels with a bigger entourage." Somebody better start making copper statues of Willie Nelson, because he travels with the biggest entourage I ever saw.

So, let's just work with this energy, shall we?

Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche did a little book about twenty years ago called The Union of Mahamudra and Dzogchen. This was actually his take on the first Karma Chagmey Rinpoche's Direct Instructions of the Compassionate One. So, here is the translation:

By keeping the gaze again and again, clarity increases.
Sometimes practice one-pointedly in seclusion,
and sometimes mingle practice with daily life.
at this point, when you read the scriptures
and all the teachings of the siddhas of India and Tibet,
they will be in harmony with your mind.
If your diligence is great, you will repeatedly recognize dreams.
If your exertion is slack, the number of recognitions will diminish.
Following this, all of the external world and its beings,
Though their appearances are individually distinct and clear,
In their essence, just as ice melts and becomes water,
They will all mingle inseparably with emptiness and mind.
If you meditate, they are mind and if you don't meditate, they are also mind.
You will then realize that mind is emptiness, without concrete existence since the beginning.
This is the essential point of original emptiness without distinctions.
Such as meditating or not meditating, being distracted or not distracted.

This is one of the more salient instructions one could hope to find. In terms of our present discussion, we could say that this might help us with our monkeyshines by allowing us to shift our gaze, up and down, to the sky, to the ground... we could then get up and try to mingle the practice with daily life...when we are secluded or when we're at the coffee shop. Sooner or later, we can start opening dharma books at random, and the chances are good we will find something useful no matter where we look.

But, the important thing is to arrive at the point where we practice regularly. There are a lot of nuances to this. Some of us beat ourselves in marathon practice sessions and then go on vacation. This doesn't work. Some of us get up in the morning and start negotiating until night falls: we can't do it today but we'll do it twice tomorrow. This doesn't work either. Some of us get up and blow through the mantras like ole' Dale at the 500 'afore he up and crashed? This will not help.

The thing is to reach the place where you get up and can't wait to do your practice: where your practice is joy. You know... doing practice properly is like being in love. Every day is a holiday. The flowers are that much brighter. Just be constant and regular. Be like a river.

Finally, you get to the point where---whether you practice or not---everything is mind.

In terms of "modern Western Buddhism"---(shudder) whatever that is---what does this mean?

I'm glad you asked that question.

It means be human, be kind, and be happy. Say your prayers every day and take guidance from that which inherently surrounds you at all times. Stop chopping salad bowl spirituality and concentrate on the basics of Buddhism. Then, allow the basics to carry you forward naturally. Lay off the labels and let the sun shine where it wants to shine; let the rain fall where the rain wants to fall.

One more thing... you kids better stop smoking that damn 'tail!


The nomenclature of scorpion toxins recognizes two general classes, alpha-and beta-toxins. The division being not whether they are insect or mammalian specific but rather their effect upon sodium channels. Scorpion alpha-toxins induce a prolongation of the action potential of nerves and muscles by slowing down the inactivation of the sodium channel with receptor affinity dependent upon membrane potential, while beta-toxins bind to a receptor site distinct from that of the alpha toxins with binding being independent of voltage. Scorpion alpha- and beta-toxins are sometimes called 'Androctonus-like' and 'Centruroides-like' toxins after the genera from which they were first isolated, these two genera being representative of Old World and New World species respectively. So, kids... the next time somebody comes up to you in the desert, the temple ruins, or anywhere else for that matter, and offers you a 'tail... just say NO!

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Help Support Mindrolling

Here is the link:

Both Mindrolling in Tibet (top, est. 1676) and Nagyur Nyingma College in India (bottom, est. 1965) are functioning institutions of higher studies in Vajrayana within the context of the Nyingma School: they are, in fact, the finest such institutions in the world.

Both need your support.

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(We Don't Need) No Stinking Badges

The singing of experience in song
was the tradition of former adepts,
known by name as the way experience is born.

The singing of understanding in song
is the tradition upheld by me today,
known by name as the experiential song of meditation.

after I entered the gate of the excellent Dharma,
with the precious, authentic master as spiritual father,
doubts of both word and meaning were removed.

Practicing without distraction,
a ceaseless understanding was born

Looking out at the external objects of the six groups,
I saw them to be the magical display of birthless mind.

Looking in at the internal, intrinsic awareness of mind,
there was the groundless, rootless nature of mind that is
forever empty.

Examining the attentive, aware mind in between,
incidental thoughts free themselves.

Godrakpa Sonam Gyaltsen (1170-1279)

Photograph, above, of Garuda Hole, a mountaintop home owned by the Bureau of Land Management of the United States Department of the Interior. It is undergoing a $3.00 renovation in preparation for gSangyum Tenpa's arrival. Feast guests have been asked to donate their skulls, blood, and internal organs to the new home.

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Enlightened Presentation of Becoming

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Who Is the Enemy?

When your mind is trained in self-discipline, even if you are surrounded by hostile forces, your peace of mind will hardly be disturbed. On the other hand, if your mind is undisciplined, your mental peace and calm can easily be disrupted by your own negative thoughts and emotions. The real enemy is within, not outside. Usually we define our enemy as a person, an external agent, whom we believe is causing harm to us or to someone we hold dear. But such an enemy is dependent on many conditions and is impermanent. One moment, the person may act as an enemy; at yet another moment, he or she may become your best friend. This is a truth that we often experience in our own lives. But negative thoughts and emotions, the inner enemy, will always remain the enemy. They are your enemy today, they have been your enemy in the past, and they will remain your enemy in the future as long as they reside within your mind.

This inner enemy is extremely dangerous. The destructive potential of an external enemy is limited when compared to that of its inner counterpart.... In a time when every country is a potential target for the nuclear weapons of others, human beings still continue to develop defense systems of greater and greater sophistication. I do not know if it will ever be possible to create a defense system capable of guaranteeing worldwide protection against all external forces of destruction. However, one thing is certain: as long as those destructive internal enemies of anger and hatred are left to themselves unchallenged, the threat of physical annihilation will always loom over us. In fact, the destructive power of an external enemy ultimately derives from the power of these internal forces. The inner enemy is the trigger that unleashes the destructive power of the external enemy.

Shantideva tells us that as long as these inner enemies remain secure within, there is great danger. Shantideva goes on to say that even if everyone in the world were to stand up against you as your enemies and harm you, as long as your own mind was disciplined and calm, they would not be able to disturb your peace. Yet a single instance of delusion arising in your mind has the power to disturb that peace and inner stability.

--from The Compassionate Life by Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama

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Marpa, Up to Date

(anything is possible)

Marpa: Hello? Who is speaking?

Milarepa: It's me.

Marpa: Who?

Milarepa: Me!

Marpa: Who?

Milarepa: It's me, Milarepa!

Marpa: Who?

Milarepa: It's me... Milarepa... the house... you know?

Marpa: So what can I do for you?

Milarepa: Well, that's just the thing. I'm building this house for you, and I just wondered, like...what do you think I should do about my dog?

Marpa: Your what?

Milarepa: My dog! I really love my dog, my dog really loves me... but, like.... I want to have clear decks while I build this house for you.

Marpa: How the hell should I know?

Milarepa: Oh, wow... never thought of that! Gee... thanks, Marpa!

(ring, ring, ring... a little while later)

Marpa: Hello? Who is speaking?

Milarepa: It's me.

Marpa: Who?

Milarepa: Me!

Marpa: Who?

Milarepa: It's me, Milarepa!

Marpa: Yes?

Milarepa: Sorry to bother you.

Marpa: Just spit it out.

Milarepa: Well, about this house... I mean... I'm just trying to understand.... like, I don't know you so well and all... but, how come your other students don't build this house for you?

Marpa: What house is that?

Milarepa: This house! The house I'm going to build for you!

Marpa: Make yourself happy.

Milarepa: Uh......

(ring, ring, ring.... a little while later)

Marpa: Don't tell me. Let me guess....

Milarepa: You know, Marpa... I mean, like... I really, really respect you and all, but this whole house concept is busting my hump... so, do you think you could get some lamas or something to, just say you are, like.... well, ummmm.....

Marpa: Do I know you?

(ring, ring, ring... a little while later)

Marpa: Grand Central Station.

Milarepa: You mad at me?

Marpa: I love you like a son.

Milarepa: I love you too.

Marpa: I love you more.

Milarepa: I'd do anything for you.

Marpa: Then pretty please...with sugar on it... go build the freakin' house.

Milarepa: I'm all over it! I'll have it done in the morning! Even I have to kill myself!

(ring, ring, ring... early next morning)

Marpa: Say what?

Milarepa: Good morning, Marpa.

Marpa: What's go good about it?

Milarepa: You sleep well?

Marpa: What is it now?

Milarepa: Well, the thing is... I went to build the house, but my car broke down, so I was wondering if you could could come over here and give me a ride to go build the house.

Marpa: Hold your breath until I get there.

(ring, ring, ring)

Marpa: Yes, Mila...

Milarepa: It's O.K. now, Marpa. It really is O.K. this time, I swear.

Marpa: Yes?

Milarepa: I got a bunch of rocks and a wheelbarrow and I thought we would probably need green tea and so forth, so I got that, and here is my paperwork, and my blood type, and.....

Marpa: Whoa!

Milarepa: Ye...Yes...?

Marpa: Bottom line it, baby... while I'm still young.

Milarepa: Well, the thing is... I never built a house before, so I was wondering if you could come over here and show me what to do with all this stuff.

Marpa: Who's building this house? You, or me?

[-=to be continued=-]

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Kathmandeux Bijou

(Fat Tuesday in Northern Tibet)
I like dis!

Here is a weblog by a good ole' Fulbright Scholar boy from N'awlins, with a whole heap o' goodness yah!

Y'all gotta' see dis, heah?

He even gets to Lhasa: betcha' plenty he took his black cat bone!

For those of you who doubt: Ole' Tenpa is still a Honorary Deputy Sheriff in Orleans Parish!

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By Request: Demons and Mental Illness

"With the rope of continuous mindfulness,
If you bind the elephant of mind,
All fears will become nonexistent,
And all virtues will come into your hands."

The following is by special request, excerpted from a larger work.
I now want to explore the most delicate aspect of mental illness. Some otherwise sympathetic commentators attempt to tip-toe their way around this aspect as if it were quaint superstition, but I want to approach it head on. This is the aspect of mental illness that arises from demonic possession or the malevolence of others.

Malevolence is a shared feature of temporal existence. In this context, demons and evil spirits do exist and black magic is possible. Demons and evil spirits exist in both this and other dimensions, and can travel between them. The effects of their malevolence can manifest as mental illness. While karmic cause and karmic ground are present, and definitely give rise to such conditions, we are here discussing an externally submitted case as distinct from an internally submitted case.

A celebrated psychiatrist of my acquaintance once asked me if, in the sense that the anxiety is the insanity, is the insanity the demon. This simple question deserves a simple answer. The answer is yes and no. The insanity may appear demonic, but not caused by demons. Conversely, the insanity may appear conventionally grounded yet it is in fact caused by demons.

Elsewhere, I have quoted my teacher’s remark that everything can be assigned either a divine or a demonic quality. In this context, demons or evil spirits are harmful and destructive actors in the play of life. Black magic involves harnessing these actors and directing their energies to a particular end.

Sometimes people ask if demons are fearsome creatures with terrible appearances. They can be, and then again, they can be quite attractive and seductive. They can manifest as both seen and unseen, rarely as the former and regularly as the latter.

People also ask if demons are germs or microbes. It would be convenient to say that they are, but I cannot truthfully answer that this is so in all or even any cases.

People ask if demons take human form, and if Hitler, or Stalin, or Mao, were demons. Demons can inhabit or assume human form. I do not know that any of these historical figures were so inhabited and I do not know they were not. I did not know any of these individuals personally. Regardless of whether they were or were not inhabited, demons and evil spirits are demons and evil spirits, and thus nonhuman.

Some people ask if demons and evil spirits are primordial evil. My answer is that while demons and evil spirits are an embodiment of evil, there is no primordial evil to spawn them. Demons and evil spirits are spawned in ignorance. The only primordial energy in this or any other dimension is primordial wisdom.

Finally, people sometimes ask me if I have ever actually seen an evil spirit. On a few occasions, I have seen what I thought were evil spirits but I cannot be certain this was in fact the case. I may have been looking at myself.

People of Christian background often question if demons exist because Buddhas exist, as if one were a necessary reflex of the other. The answer to that question is no. The question is frequently extended to ask why, if Buddhas exist, they do not simply subdue or otherwise eradicate demons. The answer is that they do, but just as Buddhas are continuously manifesting, so too are demons and evil spirits.

To the question of what manifests Buddhas and demons, the answer is almost surely that Buddhas are uncreated and self-manifesting, whereas demons are persistent illusions created by collection.

The question then becomes, if they are illusions, why do they persist. The answer is they are raw, evolving illusions, connected to us by the force of karma.

The question then becomes, if they are created by collection why are they not subject to dispersal, i.e. why do they endure? The answer is they endure through the power of collective intention and ignorance.

The question then becomes, if they are thus an aggregate in a field of non-dualistic purity, are they not also fundamentally pure? The answer is that they are fundamentally pure evil.

The question then becomes, if, in a field of non-dualistic purity, distinctions between good and evil are erased, how is fundamentally pure evil still possible? The answer is that it is not. The definition of evil is ignorance and ignorance is the nonrealization of purity, or appropriately, the obstacle to purity. An even simpler definition is that evil is a limited perspective that acknowledges only its own possibilities.

The question then becomes, why do we frequently read of discourse or interaction between Buddhas and demons, or of cases where supernormal beings or exorcists subdue demons. The answer is because demons: (1) are the embodied manifestations of persistent illusions, (2) are born of restricted perspective, (3) exist in this and other realms, i.e. they arise in collective unconsciousness and manifest in individual consciousness, (4) cause harm and afflictions, (5) are actually projections of our own mental processes, and (6) are thus fit candidates for intervention.

Mental illness caused by demonic possession or external malevolence is distinctive. Once you have seen it, you unmistakably recognize it. The condition is characterized by sudden onset, and is observable in both the patient’s urine and pulse.

An evil spirit pulse is fluctuating, uncertain, and unpredictable. It is subject to sudden changes not otherwise explainable by circumstances. This is also known as gdon rtsa [ghost pulse], felt as grossly irregular, or without pattern.

Diagnosis by urinalysis is predicated on observation of a particular type of bubble in the urine known as a fish eye. The bubble is so called because it looks precisely thus. A nine-chambered framework is imposed over the container of urine. Diagnosis is made based on the chamber in which the fish eye appears.

The manifestations of madness or the overt symptoms of mental illness are secondary criteria. There are two important reasons for this. First, a mentally ill person may howl at the moon regardless of whether or not he or she is possessed or targeted by black magic. Second, and more to the point, assessing these cases represents an enormous cross-cultural challenge. You have to become familiar with the variegated ghost pantheons of the world, pick one that works for you, and then relate your pantheon to the operative pantheon of your patient’s culture. Therefore, I recommend the defining diagnostic criteria be observed in the urine and the pulse.

If, despite the above advice, you simply cannot resist the temptation to play with spirits, I offer a few samples from the Indo-Tibetan pantheon together with selected, illustrative diagnostic criteria. These samples are from the eighteen ‘byung-po’i gdon, or elemental spirits that create mental disorder, which are the familiar devas, asuras, gandharvas, nagas, yakshas, rakshas, and Brahma of Indian tradition. I also include a few indigenous Tibetan furies.

1. Lha’i gdon: God Demons. Typically male spirits, white in color, who usually do not care to trouble humans. In Indian practice these are known as devas. People afflicted by God Demons suffer from insomnia; they obsessively clean themselves, display good natures, and speak sweetly.

2. kLu’i gdon: Serpent-spirit Demons. Extremely powerful residents of water and trees, manifesting as serpent bodies with human heads, green in color, who guard subterranean treasures, and who control the waters of lakes and springs. If a person suffers from insanity because of possession he or she will occasionally slither on the ground, lick the corners of the mouth very rapidly, become very irritable, and will like candy, honey, and milk. The face will be glowing and the eyes will be bloodshot, with piercing stares. kLu are known as nagas in Indian practice. They are usually associated with skin diseases, such as leprosy.

3. gNod sbyin: Harm-giver Demons. Typically male spirits, red in color, who also guard treasure. They typically haunt mountain passes. Their king is Kubera, the god of wealth and guardian of the north, who is usually depicted with his left hand holding a mongoose disgorging jewels. If a person suffers from insanity as a result of possession, his or her eyes will become copper colored, the body will present a pleasant appearance, red clothing will be favored, there will be a serious demeanor, he or she will move very fast and speak very infrequently, he or she will be tolerant and display a radiant complexion, and will constantly think of giving things to people. He or she will also occasionally display hatred toward doctors and priests, chatter thoughtlessly, and will crave fish. gNod byin are known as Yakshas in Indian practice.

4. bDud. Male spirits, black in color, who are extremely wicked. They eat human flesh and require blood sacrifices. There are four, which are known as the demonic forces of the afflictions, aggregates, death, and the heavenly son. The latter is similar to a demonic Cupid.

5. Tsan. Male spirits, red in color, who are regarded as the restless spirits of ill-tempered monks.

6. Gyal po’i gdon. Male spirits, white in color, who wear shining armor and are regarded as the spirits of deceased kings and lamas who failed to reach liberation. These are also known as King Evil Spirits and are known for their mischievous and violent nature.

7. Mamo. Female spirits, black in color, who require blood sacrifices. They are generally evil but are sometimes employed in a protective capacity.

8. gZaa yi gdon. A class of male planetary spirits, usually black in color, who assume various forms, such as a black dog, a monster with a dragon’s tail, a phoenix, or a man on horseback. They are regarded as extremely malevolent, and are associated with epilepsy, sudden paralysis, and strokes.

Black Magic.

Black magic, sorcery, or witchcraft represents a particular form of malevolence quite separate and apart from demons and evil spirits. Although demons and evil spirits may be employed by the black practitioner as instruments of affliction—these are called Byad stems, or curse ghosts—this is not always the case. A sorcerer can tinker with causal conditions and wreak the same if not more damage.

The first question people always ask is whether black magic is effective. I assure you that it is. I know people who practice black magic, and I have seen them achieve results. I have no doubt that black magic is not only effective, but also efficient. The thing, of course, is to separate real black magic from folk belief, autosuggestion, superstitious mumbo-jumbo, and fraud.

In some respects, explaining black magic earns the same karma as practicing black magic, so I do not want to delve into the subject too deeply. Suffice to say that directed malevolence is technically possible for the same reason that directed benevolence is possible.

The practice of black magic is a grievous offense that earns the most severe karmic results. A life-long practitioner may enter a pact with a demon and literally volunteer for hell, promising to serve the demon as a hell being in all future lifetimes. This forges a powerful bond and unleashes puissant energy. Conversely, a person may practice black magic, repent their deeds and, by achieving enlightenment, escape the result of their actions. Tibet’s famous yogi Milarepa provides us with an example. To avenge an offense to his family, the young Milarepa cultivated black magic and caused considerable damage to his enemies. Repenting this deed, he assiduously practiced Vajrayana and thereafter provided benefit to all sentient beings.

The presence of black magic is detected by palpation of what is known as the enemy pulse. The enemy pulse is employed individually, to predict if an enemy may be overcome by attack. If the lung and kidney pulses are strong, the attack will be successful. If the spleen pulse is strong, the enemy will prevail. Conversely, if the enemy attacks, the opposite holds true. Therefore, in the case of a female patient, the physician would take her right wrist, and using the upper half of his left index finger would assess the lung. The upper half of his left ring finger would assess her right kidney. He would next take her left wrist, and using the upper half of his right ring finger, assess her left kidney. Finally, the upper half of his right middle fingertip would assess the spleen. By noting anomalies, he would be able to determine if black magic afflicted her.

There are numerous forms of black magic around the world, with the most virulent found in Central and South East Asian cultures. Cambodian black magic is particularly strong.

Counteracting true black magic is no easy task, and absolute relief from its effects is often elusive. On some occasions, it may become necessary to locate the sorcerer involved, and negotiate with him directly.

Some of you may read the above account of demons, sorcerers, and think, “This author is ridiculous! Such things do not exist!” I am neither credulous, nor superstitious, nor am I prone to unquestioned belief in anything. In professional terms, this is not a possibility finding. This is a probability finding. This is not a “more likely true than untrue” determination. This is an absolute certainty.

Having said this let me now agree with you. Demons and black magic do not exist for you. The thing is, they do exist for some people. They exist for me because I allow them to exist; because, I admit their existence and deal with them as such. This is not as simple as thinking they are produced by belief; rather, this is a perspective that admits their probability. One often hears, “If you believe in ghosts you see ghosts. If you do not believe in ghosts you do not see them.” That is ridiculous. By believing in the existence or nonexistence of ghosts you have already erected a ghost framework, so naturally they exist. You have given a label to a proposition, so naturally that proposition is going to manifest itself at one time or another.

Let us take this discussion apart using other terms. I had a dear friend who absolutely believed that grains of sand grow into mountains. I discovered this when we walked along a beach, and she paused to remark, “Isn’t it mysterious? All this life is coming from the sea. All these little grains of sand will grow up to be mountains.” I protested that it was the other way around. I argued all the geological evidence that mountains eventually weather away to become grains of sand. No matter how I argued, I could not shake her belief.

The thing is, we both were right. If you think about it, grains of sand do grow to become mountains. I was imposing my limited perspective on her perspective. I was arguing a theory of destruction, while she was presenting a theory of creation. I was the destructive demon in her evolutionary garden.

How, then, do we treat a person with mental illness caused by such external forces? We cannot use the transactional methods described (elsewhere in the original text). They simply will not work. In most cases, we have to call in specialists such as exorcists, or highly realized lamas.

I am not particularly skilled as an exorcist because I lack sufficient knowledge and any accomplishment. I have no supernormal powers and my inner practice is incompetent. Nevertheless, I know people who are exorcists, who enjoy wide knowledge and accomplishment, and have a highly developed inner practice. I have seen them work and I have seen the results of their work.

There are numerous exorcising rituals in the Tibetan tradition—far more numerous than many suppose—but they all fall into either one of two classes: peaceful or wrathful. The peaceful methods involve appeasement by means of offerings, use of effigies, and substitution methods, where the spirit is drawn to magical structures, such as thread crosses or traps. Wrathful methods involve trapping the spirit in a container that is buried, fire rituals, and trapping the spirits in offerings, which are then thrown.

There are also other, highly sophisticated forms, which are the province of advanced tantric practitioners. On one occasion, in Nepal, I observed an exorcist work with a legitimate case of possession involving a young Englishwoman. This woman was quite haggard, mad, and unkempt. She was unable to care for herself, and babbled constantly, speaking incoherent nonsense in a language that only she understood. She would have fits of crying, and singing, and could neither form nor answer normal conversation. On occasion, she would fall to the ground and start eating grass. She urinated and moved her bowels in her clothes, and was afflicted with open sores. She had been this way for about three months, and everyone feared for her life.

The setting was a meadow and the time was noonday. The sky was clear and cloudless, and the weather was uncomfortably warm. I witnessed the ensuing scene together with several other people, all of whom saw what I saw.

The exorcist directed the young woman to sit in the center of the meadow. At precisely twelve o’clock, he took up his position at the edge of the meadow, in the shade of a tree. We observers occupied a position some twenty-five feet away from him. He began reciting mantras, and used a damaru drum. After an interval of some fifteen minutes, a black cloud suddenly began to take form over the young woman’s head. This cloud was about five feet in diameter, and appeared at a height of about twelve feet from ground level. As we watched this remarkable sight, the cloud began to emit small bolts of lightening, and then rain, which fell only upon the young woman.

Once the rain began to fall, she slumped to the earth and lay motionless. The exorcist ceased his mantras and the cloud disappeared. He collected his belongings and simply walked away.

We ran to the young woman, who raised herself from the ground as if she were awakening from sleep. She asked us, “What is going on? How did I get here?” We asked her how she felt, and she replied, “I feel fine. Now, tell me what is going on!”

We took her to the village, cleaned her up, and explained the situation to her. Upon hearing our explanation, she exhibited disbelief. She thought someone had drugged her and played a malicious prank, covering her in excrement. She wanted to call the police to investigate the matter and arrest the culprit. When we finally convinced her what had happened, she could only express astonishment. I saw her on numerous occasions after her experience, and although she remembered nothing, she was otherwise perfectly normal. She was quite personable and attractive. She was a gentle-spirited student of literature from Cambridge.

Before we leave this topic, I want to offer an aside about religious practitioners. Because of the people I see, I always differentiate between ordinary mental illness and cultivated mental illness. The former is ubiquitous, while the latter—if genuine—is rarely encountered. People who practice the higher meditations and the higher yogas occasionally appear to be insane. In some cases, they quite literally go insane on purpose. In other cases, they go insane because of a flaw in their practice. Given enough time—and by diligently following the instructions of a qualified teacher—a skilled practitioner can recover himself, but a less gifted practitioner will be in a wilderness. In either case, the manifestations of illness are full blown because the individual has deliberately engaged them, and is working with them. Inveterate egotists, drug addicts, alcoholics, and other obsessive personalities occasionally exhibit similar, but not identical, characteristics.

Suppose the police discover a woman sitting naked in a grave-yard at midnight, munching on dirty food. Were such a thing encountered in India, law enforcement’s immediate concern would be that the woman not be disturbed. In America, the police would demand an explanation. The person might explain that she is engaged in the non-dualistic contemplation of impermanence, which is a perfectly wholesome and altogether rational activity. Nevertheless, it is probable that she will be hastily covered, taken to the nearest psychiatric assessment unit, and like as not, will thereafter be criminally charged.

If you are practicing higher yogas, it is important to take personal responsibility. If unseemly behavior arises, do not become attached. Just keep meditating.

The issue of social account, while not particularly germane to medical matters, does play a current role in assessing mental illness. Suppose an advanced tantric practitioner becomes intoxicated and decides to beat someone. Whether in India or America, the police may be summoned, and the matter is sure to provoke controversy. While there may be an adequate religious explanation, this may not be sufficient to address legal concerns and the practitioner may be held for psychological evaluation. I also want to mention that governments are clearly not above using psychiatry for political purposes. We find evidence with the French in Viet-Nam and their forced psychiatric detention of the Vietnamese Buddhist prophet Huynh Phu So, and with the current Mainland Chinese persecution of Buddhists.

Another thought, in passing, is that there are some people in this world who are inherently, albeit ignorantly, wicked and who rejoice in their wickedness. Sometimes this makes them appear possessed, demonic, or insane. One of the worst cases I ever encountered involved a practicing psychologist—an otherwise cultured, well educated, and well-spoken Chinese woman—who deliberately, systematically, and efficiently led her patients to absolute ruin. She regularly had sex with her patients, both male and female; would encourage and even procure alcohol for alcoholics and drugs for drug addicts; concocted elaborate lies to have patients arrested and imprisoned, and on one notable occasion provided a homicidal patient with a loaded pistol.

As it happened, she was secretly in therapy for a multiple personality disorder, and there was some speculation she might be possessed. My assessment was that she simply enjoyed ruining people. When confronted with this assessment, she cheerfully admitted that it was accurate. She stated that the only reason she stayed in therapy was to gain an alibi in case she was caught, and she congratulated herself for deceiving her therapist.

Some would say she was mentally ill; a sociopath in the grip of madness who set out to do harm. Actually, she was just a thoroughly unpleasant human being.

Finally, I want to mention that there are also highly evolved beings—Bodhisattvas, in fact—who display unusual or controversial behavior that is beyond our judgment. You can get the flavor of this from Vimalakirti’s verses to the Bodhisattva Sarvarupasamdarsana, wherein Vimalakirti describes the “true bodhisattvas,” saying, in part: “They intentionally become courtesans, in order to win men over; and, having caught them with the hook of desire, they establish them in the buddha-gnosis.” Here, Vimalakirti describes a Bodhisattva adopting the role of a prostitute, and then dancing with passions in order to inculcate the seed of liberation from suffering, or what Vimalakirti elsewhere calls the “transcendence of morality, which is consummated in the moral development of immoral beings.”

This, too, is medicine.
Do you understand?

Copyright (c) 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 by Tulku Urgyan Tenpa Rinpoche. all rights reserved. Used by permission.

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