Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Number 1 with a dorje on the Euro charts.
“Sharia (Islamic law) calls for the extermination of all mice. That includes the rodents as well as ‘the famous cartoon mouse’,” he said.
However, after a phone call from the Disney legal department, the Sheikh changed his tune.
Apparently, death threats directly naming or even inferring Mickey Mouse fall outside the fair use doctrine, and could reasonably be expected to seriously interfere with prior licensing agreements having substantial value.
Following his conversation with Disney lawyers, the Sheikh admitted that it was Donald Duck who forced him to utter the threats, but they were directed against Mighty Mouse, and not against Mickey Mouse.
He said that Donald Duck talks to him in his head, and he must do whatever Donald wants.
Monday, June 29, 2009
So, Melong... my dear... download the above image, copy it, and paste it (facing in) over the doors and windows of every room you wish to protect.
Typhoons... earthquakes... swine flu... miserable relatives... somebody in Hualien get on the wrong side of a sorcerer, or what?
I'm speaking of the analytical programs that explain what people do when they visit Digital Tibetan Buddhist Altar, and why.
The good news is, our numbers are way, way up. More and more people are visiting, staying longer, and following our links.
The strange news is that -- try as I might to keep this thing on the up and up -- the clear majority of you are coming for Kurukulle (love), White Mahakala and Dzambhala (money), and Tibetan Calligraphy (tattoos).
Whatever happened to , or rock and roll?
Love, money, and a fresh tattoo are your top tier. The second tier is demons and mental illness, followed by some lamas I could name (but won't, to save them embarrassment), followed by weird pictures and prophecies.
Tell me the truth now... when you're in line at the supermarket check-out counter, do you just glance at the tabloids? Or do you regard them as a highly authoritative news source?
Ever see the documentary film, Men In Black?
Once, a very long time ago, I took a vow to make people happy. Therefore, you will be utterly overjoyed to know that I will soon begin increasing our coverage of love (sigh), money (I spent it already), and tattoos (oh, my god, what have you done).
Don't like that reference?
When H.H. Kusum Lingpa was giving certain empowerments, he used to say, "Those of you who have had abortions might as well get up and leave."
Sometimes that would account for half the audience -- so, are we just supposed to pretend these things didn't happen, and then forget about it?
Try to remember that I have a program which tells me what search words you use. Watch it with "Secret Tibetan Holy Words to Tie Up, Tie Down," because I have young people in the house.
Keep that up, and I'll start selling the Kurukulle Love Water at USD $88.00 per bottle, not to mention the Kurukulle Reconciliation Love Oil at USD $303.00 per bottle.
Plus shipping and handling, but don't worry, these are really small bottles.
In the White Mahakala / Dzambhala department, scholarship is right out the window. You want "Secret Tibetan Holy Words to Make A Lot of Money Really, Really Fast."
Want to impress that new friend you just made with the Kurukulle Love Water, eh?
In the Tattoo Department, I have some disturbing news.
Tattooing mantras on your anatomy is not enough for "Buddha Creds."
You actually have to accumulate the mantras.
You actually have to do the practices.
When he winds up his very successful Australian tour on July 9th, he'll head to Singapore, and then on to Mongolia. His office has him blocked out for the Singapore Trip and Mongolia Teaching Tour from July 10th through August 2nd.
2009 is the 50th anniversary year of his enthronement, and an important year in terms of the teachings he has been presenting worldwide.
You can check for further details here.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
I vividly remember that the very first thing Tarthang Rinpoche ever did upon arriving in the United States -- he was barely getting over the jet lag -- was to cause duplicate photographs to be made of his teachers -- and the photograph for which he wished special attention was that of Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro. I know this, because I am the one who made those duplicate photographs.
Tarthang Rinpoche had come down to San Francisco after dropping his trunk in Grass Valley. I met with him in a flat on Laguna Street (quite near the old Buddhist Churches of America headquarters on Octavia Street). He spent over two hours showing the photographs to me, explaining who was who, and stressing their importance. When I left, he said, "Now I have put all of my teachers in your hands. Don't lose them."
I left in late afternoon, and started hitchhiking back to Berkeley. I was standing at the old Oak Street entrance to the freeway, the photographs under my arm. I was there only a few minutes, in fading light, when I was mugged at knife-point by a street gang. I gave them everything I had -- a gold ring, all the money I had left in the world -- but I hung on to Tarthang Rinpoche's precious photographs.
Nobody in the United States knew or cared who Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro was until Tarthang Rinpoche showed them in ways too numerous to mention. It is only fair to mention that Sogyal Rinpoche did exactly the same thing in Europe.
Now there is a regular movement afoot to memorialize Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro's life and teachings. There is a blog, and a documentary motion picture in production.
But the real memorial is his students, and the students of his students -- because we are all his children and grandchildren -- and I think we should use today to ask ourselves what more we can do.
And then whatever it is, just strongly do it, and have no regrets.
Please, stop what you are doing, and watch this short film. I truly believe that it has the power to wake up your heart.
That old boy who used to run the place was not only fearless, he was fit.
Today, Manny is talking to H.E. Ersatz Tulku, who after 30 years of trying, finally got a visa to visit America. He's here to raise $27 million dollars to build a school-monastery-nunnery-hospital someplace in India nobody can pronounce, and he only has six weeks before the visa expires.
but he needs better handlers. Get over this whole 'which one?' and earn!"
"Buddhala...," says Manny. "Let me do for you a favor like you was my own son. I'm going to do for you what in this town doesn't ever get done. I'm going to tell you the truth, so now I am doing the talking and you are doing the listening."
Avalokitesvara Empowerment we walk away with 2 maybe 3 mill, easy!"
Manny takes a polite sip of his sparkling water, belches behind his manicured hand, and stabs the air with an unlit, fair trade, organic cigar, made sustainably in a worker-owned factory with day-care.
"You came to the wrong place at the wrong time. The action is back in Asia, and for Asia, you got to deal with the millionaire's tai-tai. To get into his pocket, you got to go through her ego, and for that, you got to have a number. I'm not talking the New York Aunties here. What are you Buddhala? The Ninth incarnation? The Tenth incarnation? The ones you want to meet start at Twelve and work their way up. And that reminds me... what are you? An Eminence or a Holiness? Big difference. Big, big difference. Big, big, big difference! With a Holiness I got a back end. With an Eminence? With an Eminence I got... oh, what's the use?"
Manny glances at his Ulysees Nardin, his eyes pausing on the engraving: 'M.L. from D.L.'
"You got to have an entourage, Buddhala, and I'm not talking those schmucks from Shambala with the uniforms and the lapel pins! The private army thing is over! The secret service thing is over! I'm talking bald heads and movie stars! Tai-tai keeps the Holiness for herself and she passes out the bald heads to her girlfriends. She says, 'Oh, my house isn't big enough for all of H.H.'s monks and nuns! You have to help me!' She says, 'Can you put up Richard Gere? Don't worry... he's stopped drinking. Just don't put him up with that Keanu Reeves.' "
It goes on and on.
"You think the Vatican doesn't watch numbers? You think the Pope doesn't get a report every morning on his breakfast tray? You think the cardinals don't get the trends on their Jesus Phones? Wake up and smell the incense!"
"Its a tough business, Buddhala... but you're a tough guy. Tell you what... come back when you got a CD, and maybe we can talk Pleasanton, California... thirty Chinese housewives, eight gray boomers... you do a Dzambala Empowerment... you walk away with maybe $300 bucks."
"But, you understand... while you're earning your chops, this agency will have to refer you."
His eyes sparkle like obsidian.
"Unless, of course, you can help me help you by bringing in King Khyentse... "
Manny rolls his eyes and shakes his head... his secretary departs.
"So smart, but none of them get it. The kid, Gesar... he almost got it, but wham... in one ear and out the other..."
"It isn't about tulkus who make movies. Its about movies that make tulkus."
"Tibet, and you people never heard of Rocky?"
(This is a work of fiction by a fictional person about fictional activities of fictional people. Any resemblance to any actual person, living or dead or henceforth reincarnated, irrespective of their actuality or lack thereof, is completely unintentional and strictly coincidental, interdependent arising notwithstanding. All rights reserved. The worldwide box office earnings of the six "Rocky" films is one billion, one hundred and twenty-six million, three hundred and fifty thousand, five hundred and three United States dollars. The number of people who have paid money to watch actors pretend to beat each other to a predictable outcome, is greater than the total number of adherents to the Buddhist faith over the last two thousand five hundred years. When Richard Gere stood up the Oscar broadcast and spoke out for Tibet, he reached over sixty million people at one shot: to this day, the largest single human audience to a Buddhist-inspired message in the history of mankind. Somebody needs to have a serious chat with Steven Seagal.)
Keywords: Tibetan Buddhist, Buddhists, Buddhism, Pleasanton, California, Melbourne, Australia, Portland, Oregon, Singapore, Seattle, Washington, Perth, San Francisco, Brisbane, Sydney, Denver, Colorado, New Zealand, Vermont, Hawaii, New Mexico, Arizona, Massachusetts.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
It did not exactly drop from the sky, unless you count air parcel post.
The previously remarked and long anticipated 2007 English language translation of the Mani Kabum arrived here the other day. To order this book from anywhere besides Singapore takes effort. You have to arrange a wire transfer in Singapore currency, and then you must wait, and wait, and wait.
I strongly encourage you to invest the effort and endure the wait.
Then, for the next several days, I read it over and over again, and I struggled with the question of how it should be reviewed, or even whether it should be reviewed.
I find it difficult to write without emotion, about something which requires no emotion.
In my heart, the Mani Kabum always has been, and always will be, beyond the concept of literary review.
In general, we say that statues, images, and so forth are representative of the Buddha's body; dharma books and such-like are representative of the Buddha's speech; stupas are representative of the Buddha's mind.
It is strictly my idea -- this is not written anywhere, and I do not think it is taught anywhere -- that the inconceivable treasure revealed as the Mani Kabum transcends this categorization; that it defies frame of reference to shimmer as the divine play of original wisdom. We perceive it in the form of a book because of habitual tendency. I believe it is equally possible to cease perceiving it and instead, let it perceive us.
Should you be fortunate enough in this lifetime, that the Mani Kabum perceived as a form having the name book would find its way into your hours, please consider being guided by the following comments. All I ask is consideration, for these are strictly my own ideas. I do not think that they agree with the ideas of others, nor are they part of any identifiable tradition, or teaching. However, from experience, I have learned that they are agreeable to one's self, and beneficial to others, so what is the harm to keep an open mind?
Thus, while I cannot say that I have heard this, or been taught this, I nevertheless believe in my heart that if you address offerings to the Mani Kabum, it is as if you have addressed offerings to all the buddhas and bodhisattvas, of all times, and all places, and all directions. So, too, could you make prostrations. So, too, could you provide a special throne. So, too, could you commission a residence, into which it might be placed, and to which prayers might be addressed.
Equally, you could take it with you into the ravines and forests, or to the middle of the desert, or to stony fields, where it would be your protector and your guide. In such cases, it would sustain you, and provide you with everything you might need.
In all truth, I cannot say that I have heard this, or been taught this, nor is it part of any school or tradition, but I nevertheless believe in my heart that the benefits of the Mani Kabum exist apart from its perceived utility as a book-which-contains-words, and that you will derive benefit from the mere existence of the Mani Kabum, even if you cannot or do not read so much as one word. Perhaps, you would even violate that which it may be said to express by regarding it as a book-to-be-read.
Many of you are familiar and even comfortable with the concepts of liberation on sight, liberation by wearing, liberation by hearing, and so forth. To you, who have an open mind, I would suggest that the Mani Kabum encompasses and then transcends all of these.
Maybe you will laugh, and think me a crazy old man, but I bathe before I touch it. I make three prostrations, and complete offerings before I read it. Then I think that I have not touched it; that I have not read it; that it has touched me; that it has read me. I think if someone is very ill, or very disturbed, or even just ordinarily bewildered and suffering, if you bring them into close proximity with the Mani Kabum, it should be enough to relieve illness, confer ease, bring clarity, and ensure that they will never fall to lower rebirth.
When I received the Mani Kabum, after a time, I spoke for just under an hour on the benefits, and then I forgot what I said. Maybe, somebody who was there will remember in time. I have a vague notion that I said the Mani Kabum was a direct, living manifestation of Buddha, as large as space; that it is one of Avalokitesvara's hands; that it manifests from a single pore at the tip of one of Avalokitesvara's fingers. Maybe I said that you can live inside the Mani Kabum just as well as it can live inside of you. That is not a device, you know? That is a descriptive statement based on direct observation.
What I say is rabbit mutterings: it really isn't important at all.
What you will come to realize by yourself is of better stuff, and what you will come to realize is that this is not a book that was composed; rather, this is a continuous heart-stream that composed itself as an echo from a treasure house, taking the form of a book for some, and a buddha for others. So, while it is that to a scholar, this is a book, that is only because scholars see books. To examine this through the lens of technical criticism, saying the translation is this way or that way, acceptable or unacceptable, quirky or precise, is to lose entirely. To say so-and-so did this-and-that, and I want to thank the Academy, is a waste of time.
Say instead that the Mani Kabum has manifested itself as it wishes, so that it may express itself as it will.
For the benefit of all sentient beings.
[Order the Mani Kabum by clicking here.]
Yet, we say they are demons, and we are compassionate.
I wonder what that means... when we say "compassionate."
Were these outrageous acts indeed an outrage, or were they a wrathful expression of compassion? An expression that we are not prepared to accept, because we are revanchiste, or because it argues with our self-cherishing notions of culturally-specific, individualized piety. In the Mani Kabum, there is a line, "Destruction by demons will be said to be reaching wisdom." I am not immediately or transiently suggesting that destruction by demons is reaching wisdom; rather, I am suggesting that the entire corpus of compassion's works exhibits many different faces.
I am saying that it doesn't do any good to sit around hating "demons" and praising "saviors."
Who can count how many times OM MANI PADME HUM was repeated?
Friday, June 26, 2009
I believe everyone should read this sutra, recite this sutra, and promulgate this sutra by various wholesome means. I believe we should send very beautiful and elaborate copies of this sutra to elected leaders, when they are sworn into office. That they would actually read and follow the sutra is almost too much to hope for, but at least they would derive some benefit from having the sutra among their possessions.
In fact, I would encourage you to do this.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
(ought to be a sign over the door of every "Dharma center")
SMOKEY THE BEAR SUTRA
by Gary Snyder
A handsome smokey-colored brown bear standing on his hind legs, showing that he is aroused and watchful.
Bearing in his right paw the Shovel that digs to the truth beneath appearances; cuts the roots of useless attachments, and flings damp sand on the fires of greed and war;
His left paw in the mudra of Comradely Display--indicating that all creatures have the full right to live to their limits and that of deer, rabbits, chipmunks, snakes, dandelions, and lizards all grow in the realm of the Dharma;
Wearing the blue work overalls symbolic of slaves and laborers, the countless men oppressed by a civilization that claims to save but often destroys;
Wearing the broad-brimmed hat of the west, symbolic of the forces that guard the wilderness, which is the Natural State of the Dharma and the true path of man on Earth:
all true paths lead through mountains--
With a halo of smoke and flame behind, the forest fires of the kali-yuga, fires caused by the stupidity of those who think things can be gained and lost whereas in truth all is contained vast and free in the Blue Sky and Green Earth of One Mind;
Round-bellied to show his kind nature and that the great earth has food enough for everyone who loves her and trusts her;
Trampling underfoot wasteful freeways and needless suburbs, smashing the worms of capitalism and totalitarianism;
Indicating the task: his followers, becoming free of cars, houses, canned foods, universities, and shoes, master the Three Mysteries of their own Body, Speech, and Mind; and fearlessly chop down the rotten trees and prune out the sick limbs of this country America and then burn the leftover trash.
Wrathful but Calm. Austere but Comic. Smokey the Bear will Illuminate those who would help him; but for those who would hinder or slander him...
HE WILL PUT THEM OUT.
Thus his great Mantra:
Namah samanta vajranam chanda maharoshana Sphataya hum traka ham mam
"I DEDICATE MYSELF TO THE UNIVERSAL DIAMOND MAY THIS RAGING FURY BE DESTROYED"
And he will protect those who love the woods and rivers, Gods and animals, hobos and madmen, prisoners and sick people, musicians, playful women, and hopeful children:
And if anyone is threatened by advertising, air pollution, television, or the police, they should chant SMOKEY THE BEAR'S WAR SPELL:
DROWN THEIR BUTTS
CRUSH THEIR BUTTS
DROWN THEIR BUTTS
CRUSH THEIR BUTTS
And SMOKEY THE BEAR will surely appear to put the enemy out with his vajra-shovel.
Now those who recite this Sutra and then try to put it in practice will accumulate merit as countless as the sands of Arizona and Nevada.
Will help save the planet Earth from total oil slick.
Will enter the age of harmony of man and nature.
Will win the tender love and caresses of men, women, and beasts.
Will always have ripened blackberries to eat and a sunny spot under a pine tree to sit at.
AND IN THE END WILL WIN HIGHEST PERFECT ENLIGHTENMENT
...thus we have heard...
(may be reproduced free forever)
to this place and working in this room that I cannot begin to tell you.
You know, I usually don't visit cities that don't proclaim a day in my honor, but I love this sort of thing so much, I just may fly over there, and when people ask me what I did, I could then say, "Tenpaseenchicago."
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I am also told that Sogyal Rinpoche has attempted (or is attempting) to re-create the Ngadrama statue in France. I wonder, does anyone have any further information about that? Perhaps this is what was intended by the image seen below, currently at Lerab Ling, in France:
The more images like this we can develop, the easier it is for the engineers to do their job. And of course, for every person there is a Padmasambhava, is it not?
Please help in the search. Please don't assume that I have "already seen" something, or "already know" something. Were you to make paper from all the trees in all the forests of the world, and ink from all the water in the oceans, you would still not be able to write the list of that which I do not know.
I also want to mention that we are examining the entire family of kun tsab, or "representative" images, such as these well-known images, below. These are extremely important to this project.