Thursday, May 31, 2012

To Dispel the Misery of the World

Wisdom Publications has now come out with To Dispel the Misery of the World: Whispered Teachings of the Bodhisattvas, by Ga Rabjampa Kunga Yeshe, with a foreword by the late Khenpo Appey, who passed away while the book was in production.

As soon as I heard the name of the translator, I bought a copy. This work was accomplished by Adam Pearcy, working through Sogyal Rinpoche's Rigpa Translations, but better known to many of us as the brains of the outfit over at Lotsawa House, where Dharma is always "on the house."

Not only was I keen to have the book, which is of great comfort and guidance in virtually any situation, but I wanted to show support for Adam, and appreciation for Lotsawa House. These folks scramble along on nothing, the fuel gauge perpetually on "Empty," with the wolf constantly howling at the door. I felt that if Wisdom saw respectable sales on this title, it would encourage them to commission further work by Mr. Pearcy, as well as some other young lotsawas like Erick Tsiknopoulos of Sugatagarbha Translations, where Dharma is likewise "on the house."

If you feel the same way, why not spend around USD $13.00 or so and get a copy. Then, the next time somebody asks, "Well, how do you 'practice' Buddhism anyway?" you can hand them this book and gracefully exit the field of possible error.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gyatrul Rinpoche Explains "Protecting Nyingma"

On May fifteenth this year, during the course of a spontaneous teaching at Half Moon Bay, California, Gyatrul Rinpoche made the following observation:
"We are trying to help sentient beings. At the same time we need to protect ourselves, protect the center. What does that mean? It means that we need to guard our merit. That is how we protect ourselves. And we need to protect the center from waste and carelessness. You shouldn't think, 'This belongs to the center, let's use it now, use it up.' Instead, you should think, 'I need to protect the center. I need to guard my merit. We need to keep, protect, save, use everything carefully.' Everybody needs to take care of the center. Young or old, smart or dumb, scholar or non-scholar, rich or poor, pretty or handsome or ugly like me, it doesn't matter... ."
It is an interesting statement, and when I read it, I was immediately put in mind of a recent teaching by Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche, echoing a theme that was frequently explored by Trungpa Rinpoche's observations on the perversion of sangha:
"Despite the clarity of the teachings, we often lose sight of this essential aim of eradicating mental poisons and self-clinging. In fact, instead of eliminating those poisons, we often end up increasing them. For example, people that practice the Dharma have a tendency to gather together and organize themselves. They create institutions, Dharma centers, and monasteries that can quickly become banners proclaiming their self-importance. 'We are this. We are that. We are Nyingma! Kagyu! Sakya! Geluk!' People in these institutions nominate someone to be president, secretary and treasurer. These officials can easily become proud of these titles. Gradually, their activities come to be at odds with their original purpose."
So what does this mean? Gyatrul Rinpoche says, "it means that we need to guard our merit." So what is this merit? Is it the same as luck? Consider Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche's definition:
"In this age, people don't like to talk about merit--they talk about luck. From the Buddhist perspective, merit and ...luck are very different. Luck is accidental-- you can't really make luck happen. There are no books on how to create luck. Luck just happens. Merit is very different from luck.

What do we mean by merit in Buddhadharma? The Buddhist interpretation of merit is always in reference to what is closer to the truth or farther away from the truth. Anything that brings us closer to the truth is merit. Anything that takes us farther from the truth is lack of merit. It's because of our collective merit that we still have the teachings of the Buddha today."
When we speak of protecting the Nyingmapa, it is clear that we are not referring to sectarian rivalry, cops and robbers, or indeed, any external threat whatsoever. Instead, it very clearly refers to bringing ourselves closer to the truth one finds when one eradicates one's own mental poisons. This has nothing to do with exposing one's own mental poisons in the context of personal battles, couples fighting in the kitchen, vengeful notions, or ideological upsmanship. This does not refer to policing others; rather, this quite definitely refers to policing one's own self.

You know, Nyingma has been protecting itself quite nicely for many centuries, without needing any help from self-appointed stooges!

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Friday, May 25, 2012

The Entity of Immaculate Emptiness

We take great pleasure in here presenting the Jeffrey Hopkins translation of the Seventh Dalai Lama, Kaysang Gyatso's (1708 - 1757) The Song of the Four Mindfulnesses, as taken from the Fourteenth Dalai Lama's Instructions for Meditation of the View of Emptiness, The Song of the Four Mindfulnesses, Causing the Rain of Achievements to Fall. 

We were fortunate enough to receive the transmission of this from the Fourteenth Dalai Lama personally, during which he conveyed his wish that people would memorize the following five stanzas, and bring them to mind during idle time, such as waiting for transportation, waiting for a friend, and so forth.

The Seventh Dalai Lama seems somehow special to me because of his great affection for rabbits, and his omniscient belief that he was previously born as a rabbit. In the upper right corner of the above painting, from the Rubin, right at the level of Buddha, we see this rabbit clearly depicted. By noting this, you might feel we are trivially focusing on the least of the matter; actually, this is the best of the matter in disguise.

On the seat of the immutable union of method and wisdom
Sits the kind of guru who is the entity of all the refuges:
A Buddha who has perfect abandonment and wisdom is there.
Forsaking thoughts of defects, make a petition with pure perception,
Not letting your mind stray, place it within admiration and respect,
Making your attention unforgetful, maintain it within admiration and respect.

In the prison of suffering of limitless cyclic existence
Wander the six types of sentient beings bereft of happiness.
Fathers and mothers who protected you with kindness are there.
Forsaking desire and hatred, cultivate endearment and compassion,
Not letting your mind stray, place it within compassion,
Making your attention unforgetful, maintain it within compassion.

In the divine mansion of great bliss, pleasant to feel,
Abides the divine body which is your own body of pure aggregates and constituents.
A deity with the Three Bodies inseparable is there.
Not conceiving yourself to be ordinary, practice divine pride and vivid appearance,
Not letting your mind stray, place it within the profound and the manifest,
Making your attention unforgetful, maintain it within the profound and the manifest.

Throughout the circle of appearing and occurring objects of knowledge,
Pervades the space of clear light, the nature of phenomena, the ultimate.
An inexpressible mode of being of objects is there.
Forsaking mental fabrications, look to the entity of immaculate emptiness,
Not letting your mind stray, place it within the nature of phenomena,
Making your attention unforgetful, maintain it within the nature of phenomena.

At the cross-roads of the varieties of appearances and the six consciousnesses,
Is seen the confusion of the baseless phenomena of duality.
The illusory spectacles of a deceiving magician are there.
Not thinking they are true, look to the entity of emptiness,
Not letting your mind stray, place it within appearance and emptiness,
Making your attention unforgetful, maintain it with appearance and emptiness.

So beautiful!

This is such a simple practice, but it is a powerful practice. We need only memorize a few lines. Then, when we are waiting for a bus, or a plane, a court proceeding, a doctor's appointment, or simply sitting idly about, we can bring these stanzas to mind as an instant meditation on emptiness.

This seems such an appropriate practice for our readers, several of whom made it possible for me to receive this transmission, and it is for our readers, among all sentient beings, that I sought this transmission in the first place. I am therefore particularly directing this post to readers who are unable to get around, who are confined, or are of sorely limited circumstances. Let us be your eyes and (long) ears.

I do not think the publication of these stanzas breaches the prohibition against teaching voidness to those whose minds are untrained, nor do I believe it represents the downfall of revealing confidential teachings to those who are unripe. Rather, I think it demonstrates an appropriate manner to relate to a spiritual guide, and helps and treats respectfully all of our many Dharma friends, throughout the world.

May it be auspicious!

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Rabbit Rescue Revisited

Those of you who are new to this blog may wonder, "What do rabbits have to do with Buddhism?" Quite a lot, actually, but that is not why we feature "Rabbit Appreciation" so prominently on our masthead.

You see, the thing is, I am rather fond of rabbits. I enjoy keeping up with rabbit news on a worldwide basis. If anything is thumping, I start jumping!

Accordingly, I was so pleased to learn that Big Ears Animal Sanctuary, in Tasmania, was recently able to assist with the rescue of some 300 farm bunnies. You can (and should) read all about the effort on their site. They also have a number of photographs of their charming guests.

Whilst considering rabbits in Oz, you might also visit the Radical Rabbit Organization. They helped Big Ears with the rescue, and seem like now they might need our help. Oh, yes... if you want to see why rescue was necessary, visit the Freedom for Farmed Rabbits site. Warning: not for sensitive eyes.

Turning our attention to England, we find the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund. They have helpful information about hutch size you may wish to consult.

Of course, for those of us who take rabbit service -- you know, bunny butlering -- serious enough to make it a lifelong commitment, there is the ever-durable House Rabbit Society. The HRS site has answers to every rabbit question under the sun and moon, including detailed information on diet: what to eat, and more importantly, what not to eat. You have to watch the little critters very carefully in that regard.

The five links we have given, above, should be enough to quickly immerse you in state-of-the-art rabbit rescue.

In my own case, I have domestic house rabbits, and then I also have a sizable wild rabbit and hare population to think about. I have set aside grounds as a rabbit sanctuary, and maintain the environment so that it affords the lucky lagomorphs optimal sustenance, health, welfare, recreation, and job training opportunities. I keep journals of feeding data, watering data, population, and so forth. I also build brush piles at strategic intervals, so they can lounge in the shade, hide from predators, and digest their meals in peace.

Of all the critters that really need human help to protect them from other humans, rabbits are high on the list. Owing to rapid birthrate they are not in danger of extinction, but what threatens them the most is physical suffering at the hands of farmers, scientists, and little kids who think they are toys.

Rabbits are kind, gentle, loving, often humorous, and clean little creatures who do no harm. The more time you spend with them, the better you will come to understand why rabbits are perfect animal friends for Buddhists. Oh... and here's another little clue:

If you click this link, you'll be taken to a painting of the Seventh Dalai Lama, showing all of his previous incarnations.  You'll find our friend here -- the future Dalai Lama -- in the upper right corner.

How do you feel about rescuing rabbits now?

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

H.H. Gyalwang Drukpa Explains "Jetsunma"

His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa's now-famous speech about the role of women in the Vajrayana -- as eloquent, guileless, almost impassioned, courageous, and deeply felt a statement of feminist principles as has ever been heard in a Tibetan Buddhist context. 

This video also clarifies, once and for all, the confusion some people apparently have about a certain title, and the sort of person for whom such entitlement might be genuine.

In this context, it is important for all of us to understand that authentic teachers arise naturally, in a field of truth. They are neither born from intrigues nor instantly fabricated, and cannot deceive their way into a position. They are not produced by wishful thinking. They are not verified by popular acclaim.

This is a time of renegade cults and dubious prophets. Within the past few months alone, a co-dependent child molester enabled by one such cult has been sentenced to twenty years in prison. In another case, a young man died in the high desert -- a timely call away from help -- when traumatized by another such cult's "retreat."

We are beset by spiritual materialism of the worst order, and for those of us with some connection to Vajrayana, there is no quarter asked and no quarter given. Our path has been called dangerous; compared to obtaining a jewel from the head of a cobra, or walking a razor's edge. We are, it is said, like snakes in bamboo: we have only two ways to go, up or down.

We simply cannot afford to entrust ourselves, our children, or our grandchildren to questionable circumstances. What we must do, with special dedication of ceaseless effort, is stick to established guardians and safe outposts. 

The day of pay-for-platitude is over. 

His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa understands this better than most, it seems, and he has given us all a lesson in what is required.

When I think of such things, I am reminded of Jigme Lingpa, and I laugh. He could "channel" Longchenpa well enough -- as we might say in today's spiritual mish-mosh -- but he still spent decades alone with his tailbone on stone. Today, there are some lounging around, making claims to his lineage, who cannot even bring themselves to finish the ngondro he wrote.

They sit upon sofas and think them thrones.
"It used to be that dharma study tied your mindstream in knots instead of liberating it. You would hear some teachings and maybe get a little bit of a name and then instantly you would pop up thinking, "I am something special!" Then you would need a throne, a high chair, a high position, totally misunderstanding and turning your whole dharma upside down. What is the throne that you actually need? You need the throne of hearing, contemplating, and meditating on the dharma... ."
--Gyatrul Rinpoche, 15 May 2012
Writing here, today, I hope you do not think I am somehow praising myself whilst belittling others. I hope you do not find these words antagonistic, or that I am finding fault with vajra brothers or sisters. Before I write these things I always very carefully search my heart, often for a very long time, to ask myself "Why" do I feel the need to write them. Many times I have written something, and then just let it collect digital dust, because I feel my motivation wasn't as I might have wished.

In the main, I write things such as these to myself. Every criticism you have ever seen me make is a criticism I have leveled at myself.

I am so very, very sorrowful at the tragedies befalling people who, one fine day, decided to involve themselves with Dharma. As I have mentioned elsewhere, I see these things and I have an irrational thought, "Hey! Why didn't they learn from my mistakes?" Then, of course, I realize that if I don't discuss my mistakes, nobody can possibly learn anything from them!

So, if you are a very high person with a great name and title, I feel these words will give no offense. Owing to the perfection of your view, and the ocean of your compassion, it will be only natural to disregard what is unnecessary to regard.

Just a few minutes into the above video, when a person with "not so good reputation" is being discussed, there is a moment... just a moment there... when one hears tittering, knowing laughter from the audience.

I freely admit I have known such laughter, as perhaps have you.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Breaking Promises to Nagas

Nagas are temperamental beings typically associated with water, and to a lesser extent, earth, where in the latter case they bear some relationship with trees. Nagas are normally depicted with reptilian characteristics, most commonly those of snakes. 

Some people believe nagas are, in fact, snakes that live in springs, ponds, rivers, swamps, and so forth. From an ordinary-mind perspective, nagas are animals, and you will find people who argue this perspective with special vigor. 

However, from an extraordinary perspective, nagas are one of the eight classes of spirits, having a special connection with weather, wealth, treasure, teachings, and health. In this sense, they are to be regarded as the continuum of primal spirits arising in a prehistoric age: spirits of the environment.

Thus, in an an ancient, environmentally-dependent society, if the nagas are pleased, they send rain to speed the crops. This equates to wealth and health. If they are displeased, they send rains to break down earthen restraints and create floods. This equates to ruin and disease. In between these two extremes there is much to learn.

In ancient Buddhist societies, this fortune comes and goes with the rains. In time, it devolves down to specific days of the lunar month. Just like a farmer with his almanac, the ancient observers came to consider particular days as having certain qualities with respect to interaction between nagas and men. We used to publish those days here at DTBA, until it became tiresome.

The "interaction" of which we speak is wholly dependent upon contracts made long ago between fully realized entities and the nagas, wherein ordinary beings, i.e. mankind, are the beneficiaries. You cannot communicate directly with nagas, nor would you particularly wish to try. Everything that might be said and done with respect to nagas has already, in the fullness of time, been said and done. But, what you can do is generate yourself as a deity, and engage the nagas in the context of those long-ago contracts. You can keep your side of the bargain, so to speak, by reaffirmation of -- or subscribing to -- the ancient promises made by the deity on your behalf.

Because nagas are worldly spirits. They are not transmundance. Among their number are oath-bound spirits, and some yet to be tamed. When you generate yourself as the deity to reaffirm oaths -- making offerings of special incense and so forth -- you are engaged in a symbolic communion with the oath-bound spirits as representatives, or intermediaries to the whole class. Sometimes peaceful offering will not suffice, and outright coercion seems necessary. Maybe that works with baby nagas, but I do not think it will work with developed nagas, unless you are Padmasambhava and know where to find a mongoose mob.

The promises between our transmundane representatives and the naga representatives are not unilateral. These are bilateral promises of certain conduct on both sides. So, it is fundamentally important to realize that this is a two-way street. If the nagas become fractious, and start bending the rules on their side, we can take the moral high ground and shake them up a bit. If, on the other hand, we become sloppy and forgetful...well, in this case you may rest assured that the nagas have their little ways.

Not only do they have their ways, they also have a mind to up the ante, and do not shy away from provocation. They are aggressive beings, who generally do not know how to return kindness for kindness.

These photographs (which are Photoshopped, by the way, just for snakey fun) are of worldly nagas. Nevertheless, polycephalic snakes do occur in nature. If worldly nagas can show such aberration, can you imagine what their spirit brethren can do?

Escalations can take many, many forms -- these are usually forms that we do not immediately associate with reptilian motifs,  although they may evoke prehistory.

I am writing these words because I see that we have so profoundly broken our pact with the nagas as to invite full scale disaster upon ourselves.

We have broken samaya.

The black misery that our greed for power poured into the Gulf of Mexico -- you might say that undersea oil is in some fashion the blood of ancient nagas -- has resonated in the absolutely world-threatening misery from Japan. Just think: one shake of the earth, one wave of the ocean, and the whole of the planet is in mortal danger.

This is the NOAA model of the flow of debris from Japan, following the March 2011 tsunami. Now, since the tsunami struck before the nuclear disaster, government scientists are saying that the tsunami debris is not radioactive.

I have a question.

What will this model look like if the nagas decide to send another message?

Don't you think it is high time we stop breaking promises to nagas?

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Shambhala Swallows Snow Lion

In a development likely to have far-reaching influence on the state of English-language Buddhist publishing, Shambhala Publications of Boston, Massachusetts this past Thursday announced that they have acquired Snow Lion Publications of Ithaca, New York, for an undisclosed sum.

Shambhala thus absorbs its only effective competitor in the field of Tibetan Buddhist books, and while the acquisition is being heralded as a good thing for both companies, it remains to be seen if it is a good thing for the reading public. 

According to Snow Lion's management:
Thirty years ago His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave the founders of Snow Lion a mission: to publish books from all the traditions of Tibet.  It was most important, he told us, to be non-sectarian in our approach. More specifically, he suggested that we publish translations of classic texts and monastic textbooks from each of the four main lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, commentaries by eminent lamas past and present of their respective lineages, and works by Western practitioners and scholars skilled at bridging the cultures. In addition, he suggested we publish books for those newly interested in Buddhism, books for serious students and scholars, as well as materials for advanced practitioners. 
Whether or not Shambhala can manage to hold that editorial vision intact is a valid question. Snow Lion had the courage to take on projects that were less than viable from an economic perspective, but vital from a spiritual perspective. Snow Lion also went to considerable lengths to identify, cultivate, and publish new authors, often outside the mainstream Shambhala represents. 

Once a renegade independent, with its roots in a storefront on Berkeley, California's Telegraph Avenue, Sam Bercholz's Shambhala -- now run by his children -- has reinvented itself as an upscale, establishment publisher with an unadventurous list. The firm originally came to prominence through an exclusive relationship with Trungpa Rinpoche, but in recent years has depended mainly upon authors such as Pema Chodron to define a mass-market stance. Shambhala also controls magazines, and a fledgling digital presence principally concerned with promoting its products and its authors.

In many other fields, Shambhala's acquisition of Snow Lion might prompt anti-trust scrutiny, but it is unlikely in this particular case. Nevertheless, the move does represent a tightening of Shambhala's grip on English-language Buddhist print media in North America.

Apart from Dharma Publishing and Wisdom Publications, we are pressed to find anyone else of comparable consequence in the field. Both of those firms are closely held by non-profit entities.

The fate of Snow Lion's approximately 300 title backlist -- including several works by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and "initiation only" titles such as Yeshe Lhamo or The Roar of Thunder -- is now in some question. According to sources, Shambhala follows the business model of "running out" its backlist in order to maintain interest in its new titles. One presumably well-informed source quotes Shambhala founder Sam Bercholz as believing, "That an open backlist printed on demand would slow the demand for new books."

Look for Grandmother Pema's Sixty-Second Weight-Watching Meals Without Fear from the Vajrayana Kitchen, coming to a bookstore near you. And, copy the below to pin up in your cubicle:

"Dharma books die when driven by market demographics."

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Vital Advice

My Vital Advice 
Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro

Homage to the unsurpassed savior, the Lord of Oddiyana.

Now that you've found this precious human life with freedom and richness,
Take care not to squander it unconsciously.
Push yourself to uncover the meaning of this life.

Your mind is the source of everything.
It is skilled in deception and manipulation, and beguiling when unexamined.
Once you look into it, it is without basis or root.
It comes from nowhere, stays nowhere and goes nowhere.
Everything, including samsara and nirvana,
Is but a reflection of pure and impure mind;
In reality, neither samsara nor nirvana exist.

The source of compassionate awareness
Is primordially empty. Though free from characteristics,
It is not just a barren nothingness
But is luminous and naturally present.
Pristine awareness is not captured by names and labels.
The endless unfolding of samsara and nirvana pours forth as its radiance.
At the same time, there is no rift between the place from where all these come and that which is coming;
Remain in that nondual place.

Unborn dharmakaya Rigpa
Arises naturally without cause or condition.
Alert, fresh and naked,
It is uncolored by dualistic mind
And unpolluted by intellectual ideas.
Stay in that spontaneously arisen meditation.
Even the words "to meditate" are but words;
In reality, there is no meditator and nothing to meditate on.
Without distraction, always maintain empty awareness,
The true face of dharmakaya.

The deluded karma of samsara will never run out.
The more you work to solve your problems, the greater they become.
Belief in enemies and friends grows and grows,
And the causes for incarnating in lower realms pile up.

Direct yourself toward the dharma,
And if you can bring dharma to every action, word and thought,
You will uncover the great awakening, the path to liberation.
When death falls upon you, you will regret nothing.
During this life and in those to come,
You will walk the path of ever-growing happiness.

Atop your head and in your heart,
Imagine as a single being
Your most kind guru and the great Lord of Oddiyana.
Feel an upwelling of unbearable longing and devotion.
Whatever joy or sorrow befalls you, whatever favor or misfortune,
Pray forever to the lord Guru.
Let your minds flow together, yours at one with his.
As death draws near, let go of all attachment and hatred.

Picture Guru Padmasambhava above your head;
Imagine your consciousness as an orb of light, marked with the syllable Hri;
Dissolve that into the heart of the guru.
If you practice regularly now
And recite "The Aspiration to Be Born in the Copper-Colored Mountain,"
At death, a clear visualization will be easy.

To put it briefly, the essence of dharma
Is to cut through clinging to samsara,
To cultivate love and compassion toward those in the six realms
And to completely tame one's mind.
Without distraction, please always practice thus.

Even though I am immune to dharma, have no experience of meditation, and just use up the donations, I, Chokyi Lodro, wrote this according to what the past masters have taught, to fulfill the request of the yogini Pad Lu.

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Friday, May 04, 2012

Celestial Events Promise Excitement

Saturday, 5 May 2012 at 11:35 EDT in the United States will witness this year's "supermoon," coinciding with a full moon, and if you have never witnessed one, now is a chance you won't want to miss. This is the moon's perigee -- its nearest distance to Jambudvipa -- happening this year on Vesak! To make matters more interesting, this will happen while the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower (remnants of Halley's Comet) is hitting its peak.

Next, coming up on 20 May 2012, a major astrological event unseen for 26,000 years: the Sun and Moon ( New Moon) will be precisely conjunct with the important Central Star of the Pleiades, in the constellation Taurus, in the midst of the first annular eclipse visible in the 'States in almost eighteen years. More precisely, the Sun and Moon will be within 5 degrees from Ketu, the Southern or descending node in the sidereal zodiac sign Taurus. Get out the cat's-eye chrysoberyl talisman! During this solar eclipse, the effects of positive and/or negative actions will be multiplied 10,000 times, so really -- pull out all the stops.

This event ushers in Saga Dawa, on 21 May 2012.

The solar eclipse will be followed by a lunar eclipse on 4 June 2012 -- which, this year, coincides with Saga Dawa Duchen, when the effects of positive and/or negative actions are multiplied ten million times (with an extra 1,000 multiplier owing to the eclipse). The mid-year solstice falls on 20 June 2012 -- the first day of the fifth Tibetan month. 

This one month period from 20 May to 20 June will be remarkable in several respects, not the least of which will occur on 5 or 6 June (depending on time zone), when the planet Venus will glide across the sun in a rare celestial event that won’t happen again until 2117.

As we all understand, this is a Dragon Year, and all sorts of predictions have been made. If you like, you can think of the events noted above as the "trigger" of this year's energies.

If there was ever a time when you wanted to devote extra attention to practice, now is most definitely the door. We can use the coming days to lay in stocks of barley flour for tormas, incense, oil for the lamps (or candles), new prayer flags, and we can ready supplies to repair stupas, make flower offerings, and so forth. I also want to suggest sponsoring prayers at your temple, live releases, and making gifts to teachers and ordained.

Beyond all of this, we can settle down with our best practice text, and all commentaries if need be, and really perform for the benefit of all sentient beings.

May it be joyous! 

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Thursday, May 03, 2012

A Dirty Shame

Ian Thorson, newly-wed husband of Christie McNally -- the well known one-time spiritual companion of  Michael Roach -- has died in a cave in Arizona, following a bizarre series of events.

The statement of Ms. McNally (written immediately before Thorson's death) is given here.

A statement by Michael Roach (written after Thorson's death) is given here.

I leave it to you to read the above two statements, and figure out the story for yourselves. I cannot bring myself to do our usual reporting on the matter because it is a low-down, dirty shame. Here was a young man come to needless grief from all the bullshit that surrounds franchise Buddhism in America.

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