Thursday, March 19, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Karmapa's Return to Rumtek

Sensitively-placed American government advisors and employees close to the matter are reporting, "... a bright, green light," for the Seventeenth Karmapa's return to Rumtek. His Holiness is presently in the United States, and was just warmly received at Stanford University (above).

In an after-hours meeting proximate to Stanford's Hoover Institution, a top analyst who asked not to be named, explained the situation in this way:

"As far as the American government is concerned? We love this Karmapa, but we couldn't show it before now. We had an institutional duty, you could say it was an inherited obligation, to respect the Indian intelligence community's expressed wishes. You had Sharmapa managing relations with the Indian intelligence community as the legacy of the Sixteenth Karmapa. Everybody understood he held that portfolio. With Sharmapa's death, all of those old obligations are no longer an obstacle."

Asked, specifically, what impact this might have on the Karmapa's return to Rumtek, a source replied, "He has a bright, green light as far as we are concerned. We would prefer to see him there because it lends long-term stability. It would be difficult to start trouble on the Karmapa's doorstep, because this would be known all over the world in a matter of seconds. The Indians are smart enough to know what would make [the U.S. government] happy, so this is bound to happen."

The meeting referred to above was not attended by His Holiness, and took place after he left the campus.


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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Controlled Experiment

If you can see this, then you've been invited to join in DTBA on Facebook. This is a small experiment in writing for a core audience, as distinct from a mass audience.

Limited opportunity.

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Friday, March 06, 2015

Baying for An Apocalypse

It must have been a trifle for you to see through the games men play to deceive one another. Great, Irreplaceable Rinpoche, when it came to politics, you were nobody's fool. 

Here, now, with your words embedded in mind; here is another deception.

I am among the last of my generation to be raised by loving parents in a peaceful land, in a time before television. Among the last to have experienced a living history that is now being erased, and distorted. Free, clear, and independently able to recognize what turned out beneficial, and what turned out a pack of lies. I am patient. For the benefit of all sentient beings, I am of this world forever.

I read the books before they were burned. Saw the images before the very mediums themselves were destroyed. I walked the ground before walls went up. 

I lived long enough to look back at you, Rinpoche; to honestly and naturally experience the nature of your blessing, and protection. With fires and fences around us, we stayed together, and now they have evaporated into space. 

Wolves and crows came after you. They are like soldiers in dreams, destined to defeat as soon as they are born, capable of absolutely nothing. Let them rise as smoke from fires, let them momentarily perch upon fences. These pictures, too, shall perish.

Diamonds endure long enough to cut anything even as they dissolve; but, a dream? A dream is a far more dangerous thing, sharp and keen for fulfillment. It grows. It does not dissolve. 

A dream can cut the past, the present, and the future.

In the crazed projection of this world that lays open in front of me, resting upon my two hands, there is blood, there is order, there is treason, there is justice, there is no love song long enough to drain every last tear, there are all sorts of hopes, all sorts of reasons. I can see all the tiny lights in the small windows of all the little cities. They shine like flickering red candles on a peaceful village's altars, in the middle of a dark jungle night. 

Oh, Rinpoche, in our deep confusion we have even distorted light, and made it into a weapon. Elderly Father, we arrogantly jumped up to tame outside light, before light inside unburdened us. Certainly, there came infinitely deeper darkness.

In this dark projection at the edge of my fingers, war has come, is waging, and the ancient demons of our species arise like a burgeoning cloud of black dust. Beings torment one another with calculated cruelty. Fantasies become ruthless: people search for pleasure in pain. The relations between men and women are in complete disarray, families are normally broken, and children can no longer be children. Disruption is celebrated, and victims are encouraged to become even stronger abusers.

Grand Rinpoche, beings are once again in this world vowing destruction of the Dharma, whilst harming one another in a bloody dream in the middle of a desert. The ancient demons are baying for an apocalypse. The apocalypse they seek is the sum of all human fears. I call you now to help us dissipate this madness! 

When our own minds are so polluted, shall we liberate only those who go abroad in our delirium armed with rifle and sword?

Here, brought down by desire, anger, and delusion we face inside ourselves is this projection: this imagination, this stream, this outcome, this clear and immediate unfolding. Hear it crack like the ice beneath one who stands in the middle of the deepest lake. 

Here, arising like a curse of our being against all other beings, violence is rapidly unfolding as a solution to violence. Hear the cannon: indeed, they are weapons old as cutlasses. 

Death now falls out of silence swift as disease, from any direction of the sky. We no longer aim lead. We aim fire, light, sound, and somatic disorder. We aim invisible torment at societies, groups, and individuals. Our triggers are thousands of leagues from the barrels of our guns. 

Rinpoche, like a mad child's imagination from rocket comic books, we kill one another from more than eleven miles in the sky. Oh, Master of Physicians, this fever is tempestuous! These wars are terrible! Can you please help us quell these insane delusions?

You have personally looked upon others and me with kindness in numerous lifetimes, under circumstances we understand are significant. Across lifetimes, you have continuously appeared for the benefit of beings. You have planted countless seeds in the hearts of countless beings, those seeds have been nurtured, and they have grown. I am as bound to you as a child to creation - separation is no longer possible, and in this I rejoice and take great comfort. There is no more urgency to be immortal, no more reason to feel loss. I can stay here, endlessly and effortlessly, with you, and imitate doing what is done.

So arises the love, and the obligation to beg the giver of one's vows for surcease of the appearance of war and disorder as it arises. May the constant call for an apocalyptic resolution in the name of ancient demons be met with swift self-recognition of it's own true character by those who utter such calls.

May the calls for peace be met with immediate peace!

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Astrology for Tibetan New Year 2015 (Extended)

The lunar year 2015 into 2016 is the Year of the Wood Sheep (shing-lug lo).  In Tibetan, Chinese, and Vietnamese practice, this lunar year commences on February 19, 2015.

The chief value of the following post lies in the calculations. Ordinarily, these calculations are the result of a laborious process, but here you have them at your fingertips, already done for you. Please take note: as a general rule, astrological indications are rendered highly flexible by Dharma practice. Astrological calculations, as distinct from indications, are a medium of expression similar to mathematics.
I gave what I regard as a suitable explanation and introduction to the detailed nuances of yearly astrology, and the relative meanings, in our remarks for 2009. Rather than repeat myself, I would suggest that you click back to 2009, read the post, and then click back here to discover what has changed. 

Be all that as it may, let us begin with the geomantic indicators. This year, the opportune passageway is  observed at West White (2) and North Blue (1), and here are the positions occupied by our sa-bdag friends, from rje-blon nyer-drug ma-bu 'khor:

1) King The-se - Southwest (also hidden spirit Ba-dan)
2) Queen Hang-ne - Southwest
3) Queen Mother The-khyem - South
4) Crown Prince Te-so - South
5) Royal Minister Tsang-kun - East
6) Royal Astrologer Se-ba bla-mkhyen - Northeast  (also inner at East, secretly at Southeast)
7) Royal Dog Walker Hang-phan ser-po bya-ra-ba - Southwest
8) Royal Treasurer Se-byi - Northeast
9) Royal Bodyguard-Assassin Se-shar - Northwest
10) Royal Horse Se-ba rang-rta - East
11) Royal Groom Se'u rta-khrid - East
12) Royal Timekeeper Se-bya - South
13) Royal Upholsterer Sa-bdag se-bu gdan-'ding - Southwest
14) Royal Policeman Se-lo sa-'chag kungs-myul - Northwest
15) Royal Sweeper Se-lo sa-'phyag - Northwest
16) Royal Dog Hal-khyi nag-po - West
17) Princess dKar-sham - West
18) Prince sBal-te (her husband - the royal son-in-law) - West
19) General Vang-ging dmarpo - South
20) General Tsang-kun - Southwest
21) Adjutant Tsang-kun 'phye'o - Southeast
22) Dog-headed Assistant Tsang-kun khyi-mgo - Southeast
23) Advisor Bla-mkhyen phe'u - Northeast
24) Scorpion-head Zin 'phung - North
25) Venomous Pi-ling - East
26) Chief of the Eleven Ministers of the King (symbolizing them) - West

The containing note for 2015 is gold in the mine (alternatively, "gold ore"). The body element (lusiron -- symbolized by iron ore) originates from the turtle's skeleton. The other basics of the year are its srog, or vitality (earth); the dbang-thang, or destiny (wood); the rlung-ta, or luck (fire), and the khyams-nyid, or actual luck (fire). To get a bit more technical, the zla-klung-gi gza'gnyis are Moon and Iron Bird, and the destiny/vitality relationship is 'dun-khur. If you are business minded, you will want to watch mining, metals, and allied industries. Great wealth will be accumulated (and lost) in this most fortunate year for precious metals.

Our magic numbers this year are skye-me, or natal, as White 8 - associated with the element Metal, "Mirror of the Country God" (upper metreng); srog-sme, or vitality, as Red 9 - associated with the element Fire, "Mirror of Prosperity") (middle metreng); dbang-sme, or destiny, as Blue 3 - associated with the element Water, "Mirror of Ocean Medicine") (lower metreng). These are color cues for what promises to be a massive year for all aspects of the fashion industry. Color magicians, take special note.

Because I favor elemental astrology, it is difficult for me to make general predictions about how the various "animals" will fare in this Year of the Wood Sheep. Anyone who tells you they can is deceiving you. For example: there is a traditional notion that the Ox may experience challenges this year. You will see statements like this everywhere, but you cannot always accept them as valid. The Ox people have nothing to fear from this Sheep Year.

Why is this? 

There are twelve animals and five elements, for a total of sixty possibilities. Each of these sixty possibilities must be evaluated in terms of five elements, for a total of 300 possibilities. Each of these 300 possibilities has five possibilities, for a total of 1,500 possibilities. Therefore, anybody who says, "Oh, the Mouse will be lucky this year," is engaging in crass generalization. What they should be saying is "Oh, the Fire Mouse exhibits the following five relationships in this, the year of the Wood Sheep."

Some astrologers do not care for Sheep years. This is due to Chinese cultural idiosyncrasy regarding birth years. Under this system of belief, those born in the Sheep years are "too timid" to take on the world's misfortunes. In the case of a Wood Sheep, nothing could be farther from the truth. 

What shall I say about Sheep? Born artists. High lamas. Bold inventors. What else shall I say? Bill Gates is a Wood Sheep. Steve Jobs was a Wood Sheep. So much for "too timid."

The folk astrology of both China and Tibet indicates that Sheep in general are artistic, spiritual, wealthy, trustworthy, charming, and brave. Very good with parents, friends, and society at large. Excellent diplomats. Think of people born in 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, or 2003. On the negative side, they can be given to argument, resistance, envy, and a certain tendency to vengefulness. They tend to crave riches, and the trappings of wealth, to support their social fluency. Their ideal careers are found in the arts, government and politics (emphasis on intelligence community), and the world of religion. In business, they are suited to the arts and entertainment industries, to high technology, creative thinking, and positions requiring trust and confidence. The ideal companions are those born in the year of the Rabbit, or Pig. They will wish to avoid significant relationships with the Ox, Dog, Dragon, Bird, or Snake.

In particular, Wood Sheep are considered patient, and reliable, with a generous nature. They are noted for extreme intelligence, and clarity of thought, often to the level of genius. Although they will only face three major obstacles in their lives, these will be easily overcome.  Their average lifespan is sixty years. If you are a Sheep, and you are 60 or over, really watch your diet, medication, and exercise. Food and drink, as well as impulsiveness, are your enemy.

This is a year of wealth. The manner in which great wealth generates is not pleasant to consider. Adequate wealth is a different matter entirely.

The last Wood Sheep year, 1955, saw a world in turmoil: a world much like the one appearing before us now... To a certain extent, this became possible because of similar factors: a massive restructuring of wealth, in the particular case, occasioned by world economic restructuring during the decade following the World War of 1939-1945, and in our case by the almost complete centralization of wealth. In 1955, there was no shortage of wars, weapons, riots, and outrages. There was no shortage of rebellion, and break-away states. The year 2015 will witness the same cruel basics of gold, guns, and greed. Gamblers will rise and fall. If you really want to buy a self-sustaining place in the country, now is the year to act on your dream. If you want to embrace a nomadic lifestyle, then sell the place in the country, and lay hands on a fine means of transporting your own shelter. However you wish to live, that is how you should live, but be serious: get out of the city. Learn to work with your mind for money, and labor only for love of others. In the midst of world turmoil, embrace contentment.

[a work in progress]

As a personal aside, thank you for continued support of Digital Tibetan Buddhist Altar through our own challenges during years gone by.

Keywords: Tibetan New Year, Year of the Sheep, Chinese New Year, Tibetan Astrology 2015, Losar, Wood Sheep, Asian Astrology, Chinese Astrology 2015, Astrology, Sheep, 2012, Lunar New Year, Sheep Year, Goat, Ram.

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