Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Shangpa Kagyu Lineage Empowerments

From August 13 through August 31, 2009, Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa Rinpoche will give the Empowerments and Transmission of the complete Shangpa Kagyu Lineage, at Palpung Sherabling. This is very important news, and an extremely wonderful opportunity. Click here for more information.

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Heart Sutra: The Dance Mix

You owe it to yourself to get your Gucci Rag out, put on your headphones, and hit this link to Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche's rendition of the Heart Sutra, in Tibetan, courtesy of the fine folks at Lotsawahouse.

Number 1 with a dorje on the Euro charts.

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Oh No! Not the Mouse!

In a statement that garnered worldwide attention, Sheikh Mohamed al-Munajid said that mice were “agents of Satan” and should be killed.

“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.

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Daily Tibetan Astrology: June 30, 2009

Chinese 9th, M-T-K 8th. Dragon, Zin, White 6. A zin phung day. Tara, and Medicine Buddha practice day (but you already knew that). Don't start any trouble today, O.K.?

See our Introduction to Daily Tibetan Astrology for background information.If you know the symbolic animal of your birth year, you can get information about your positive and negative days by clicking here.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Earthquakes Hit Hualien

Yesterday, June 28th, a series of twenty-two earthquakes struck the Taiwanese resort town of Hualien. The largest was 5.6, which is actually a common number for this region, where 5 point earthquakes average about two or three per month. However, what makes yesterday interesting is the number of significant quakes in one twenty-four hour period.

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?

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Tibetan Buddhist Love, Money, and Calligraphy

Things could be a whole lot worse.

Well, the results are in, and I admit to being confounded.

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 [censored], 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).
I told you so.

I will also be including more hard-hitting photojournalism demonstrating the law of karma, like the amazing two-headed turtles seen above, or the seriously challenged fellow in the photograph below. Not once but twice in his previous life did he visit the abortionist.

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?

Don't believe in the law of Karma?

In the Kurukulle department (as I have remarked in the past), you are not coming for scholarship, but for love spells. You want witchcraft. You want subjugation. You want baby please, please, please!

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.

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HH Sakya Trizin to Visit Mongolia

Apart from anything else that one could say about him, His Holiness the Sakya Trizin is a genuinely kind and gentle human being, with an encyclopedic knowledge of Buddhism and Tibetan affairs. Encounters with him are never disappointing.

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.

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Daily Tibetan Astrology: June 29, 2009

Chinese 8th, M-T-K 7th. Rabbit, Gin, Yellow 5. Rabbit days are good for coronations and funerals, so if you're due to be crowned or drop dead, today is your day. This is not a good day to disturb the earth element, so burial is out of the question. It is a warm fire or a hungry bird, or maybe a boat ride down a strange river. If you're not due to be crowned or cremated, today is good for Vajrakilaya, and not much else. Some astrologers try to please everybody. I try to keep it real with kings and corpses. (Play this message backwards for gyalpo voodoo stuff).

See our Introduction to Daily Tibetan Astrology for background information.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Master of Masters:
Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro

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.

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Hunting the Wild Yogi With Map and Compass

If you're running low-level obliques over the area of operational interest, but you still can't seem to find that old pile, don't re-task the Eye: try the Monastery Inventory, instead.

The resolution isn't all that informative, but it is still better that nothing. Hmm... the place we're looking for is at 13,250 feet. Better check out Trekking In Tibet, by Gary McCue. He knows you're going there for the caves, and he doesn't waste any time. Day hikes at 13,250 feet? Thirty minutes to hit 13,750, up "a steep, muddy path?"

That old boy who used to run the place was not only fearless, he was fit.

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Manny Lamawitz Takes A Meeting: Fun With Google Trends

"Manny Lamawitz" is my fictional, obnoxiously stereotypical Hollywood agent who handles gurus, and is guaranteed to offend everybody. Those who know me have heard me "do" imaginary conversations between Manny Lamawitz and the chairman of the board of Buddha, Incorporated many times -- and sure enough, everybody gets offended. I like to amuse myself thinking about made-up nonsense, I'm on vacation, and it makes the rabbits happy.

Manny Sez: "The D.L.? Since the Congressional Medal, he can sit wherever he wants."

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.

Manny Sez: "This Karmapa is the kid to watch. He's started drafting on the D.L.,
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."

Manny Sez: "Numbers don't lie. We put D.L. in Oz doing a Secret Purple
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.

Manny Sez: "Mahakala is flattening, but wrathful still has share."

"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.

Manny Sez: "We're not charting pretty. This Kali Yuga is a god damn bear!"

"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!"

Manny Sez: "You don't book East Coast tours when your numbers scream Pacific Rim!"

"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."

Manny pauses....

"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 Sez: "This Khyentse is a multimedia torpedo. I want in."

Manny's secretary interrupts: "Mr. Lamawitz, its Sakyong Mipham on the phone again. He says it will only take a minute."

Manny rolls his eyes and shakes his head... his secretary departs.

Manny Sez: "Kingdom Schmingdom... why is today different from every other day?"

"Learn from him, Ersatz... learn from him. I love this guy, he gives good franchise, but he's a victim of his entourage. The royal wedding was a great gimmick, but this bunch... worse than the Jacksons. His own brother works with Khyentse! Give the kid credit... it was a smart move, but you want to eat turkey at that house on Thanksgiving? Good management is going to sit them down and explain the advantages of putting Trungpa Twelve on Blu-Ray."

Manny sighs....

"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.

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Daily Tibetan Astrology: June 28, 2009

Chinese 7th, M-T-K 6th. Tiger, Kham, Green 4. This is the 50th anniversary of Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro (1893-1959), and a day devoted to practice in his memory and honor.

See our Introduction to Daily Tibetan Astrology for background information.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mani Kabum: The Translation Reviewed

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.

When the Mani Kabum arrived here, I placed it on the highest altar and presented it with a scarf and other offerings. I also did a brief puja in honor of its arrival.

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.]

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Compassion's Oeuvre

Cultural Revolution: sacking temples and monasteries, Tibet.

I would be very surprised if, within the next decade, China did not become the wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth. I am not entirely convinced they have not already reached that status. Maybe media managers are conspiring to deny us the news, so we will keep on paying taxes, and shopping at Great Wall Mart.

Cultural Revolution: destruction of images, Tibet.

That China's Western expansion was drenched in blood should not surprise us. In America, our own Western expansion was likewise drenched in blood. What are they, if not the new Americans: the keen students of our example?

Yet, we say they are demons, and we are compassionate.

I wonder what that means... when we say "compassionate."

Cultural Revolution: burning scriptures and sacred art, Tibet.

If the outrage in Tibet had never happened, would you be able to read the English translation of a Tibetan book? Could you obtain a tangkha to hang on your wall? Would you have private audiences with gifted lamas? Would there be temples and stupas all over the world? How many non-Tibetans would have finished a three year retreat?

Cultural Revolution: destroyed images, Tibet.

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."

The West heartily enjoyed its own Inquisitions.

Maybe the wrathful forms of compassion don't see it our way. In Tibet, before the Cultural Revolution, thousands upon thousands upon thousands of pujas were held, lamps were lit, and offerings were made. Extensive illusory exercises in illusory merit-making for its own sake were conducted by almost the whole of the illusory population.

Who can count how many times OM MANI PADME HUM was repeated?

1959: The Dalai Lama (left) walks across the Tibetan border.

While it is diverting to examine history in terms of what was intended, it is of substantial benefit to examine that which actually resulted.

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Daily Tibetan Astrology: June 27, 2009

Chinese 6th, M-T-K 5th. Ox, Khen, Blue 3. Don't visit the dentist today. Don't cut wood or disturb water. Good for journeys or important meetings.

See our Introduction to Daily Tibetan Astrology for background information.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Sutra of Golden Light (金光明經)

I have often thought that if there had to be just one sutra for "modern times," it should be the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light. As it happens, this sutra has its own web site where you can download the text in various languages.

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.

I also have the crazy idea that we should build four Golden Light Sutra chapels in our country: one each in the north, east, south, and west. The monks or nuns there could recite the sutra on a regular basis -- sort of like a Buddhist Coast Guard (although it could be argued that the Coast Guard, by its very nature and essence is already inherently Buddhist).

I also believe this sutra is particularly suited for situations involving disturbed people, or physically challenged people, and should be widely available in hospitals and so forth. You know, in such circumstances, I really respect the Taiwanese approach to such things. They will print up pocket or purse-sized editions with beautiful production values, and hand them out for free.

Today is the 17th Karmapa's birthday -- as we all know, he is emerging as a world leader -- and if you are looking to give him a present, why not read or recite the Sutra of Golden Light? You can download it with click, and then read or recite in the privacy of your own home, dedicating the merit to his long life and substantial benefit.

In fact, I would encourage you to do this.

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Daily Tibetan Astrology: June 26, 2009

Chinese 5th, M-T-K 4th. Mouse, Dwa, Black 2. Birthday of the 17th Karmapa. On this most auspicious day let your actions be for the benefit of all sentient beings. There is no planetary influence to obstruct you.

See our Introduction to Daily Tibetan Astrology for background information.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Advice from Marpa

"The Dharma is ownerless like deer in a meadow."

--Marpa Lotsawa,

(ought to be a sign over the door of every "Dharma center")

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Smokey the Bear Sutra

Personal Note: I do not believe I will ever forget the day Gary Snyder came to visit. I liked him immediately -- there is a synergy between poets and printers, you know? He came to visit Tarthang Rinpoche, and later invited us to visit his house in Marin County. He had a "moon window" there, in the bedroom, that was most impressive. One day, he walked into my press and wanted to print a broadside. He asked me, "How much?" I told him, "For you, it is free, forever." The 'sixties, you know, had a way of helping people help each other. Gary -- wherever you are and whatever you are doing -- don't forget to breathe.


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...


Thus his great Mantra:

Namah samanta vajranam chanda maharoshana Sphataya hum traka ham mam


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:





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.


...thus we have heard...

(may be reproduced free forever)

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Sect Index Shows Kagyu Gains

Tenpa's Sect Index (having way too much fun with Google Trends) shows that, despite an overall market downturn, the Kagyu narrowly beat out closest competitor Sakya in steady trading. Nyingma are holding firm, bolstered by the Padmasambhava franchise, whereas despite heroic efforts, the Gelug aren't charting.

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Derge Parkhang Exhibition In Chicago

When I was 16 years old, I had such romanticized notions of going
to this place and working in this room that I cannot begin to tell you.

This coming September 11th, if you are in Chicago, or anywhere near, I strongly suggest you visit Columbia College Chicago's Center for Book and Paper, Arts 1104 S. Wabash, second floor, where they are hosting an exhibition celebrating the work of the Derge Parkhang -- Tibet's foremost printing house. You can get full details by visiting Artseenchicago (which I guess means "Art Seen Chicago," a play on "Art Scene Chicago," oh, what fun).

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."

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Daily Tibetan Astrology: June 25, 2009

Chinese 4th, M-T-K 3rd. Pig, Khon, White 1. Get ready for tomorrow, which is going to be thoroughly celebrated pretty much all over the world.

See our Introduction to Daily Tibetan Astrology for background information.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ngadrama: "Same As Me" Statue Can Be Recreated, Part 2

Responding to my call for assistance, some very nice people sent in these useful photos of the so-called Speaking Statue, originally at Crystal Cave, and now at Dragon Rock. Photographs like these are ideal on a number of counts.

First, they were taken at different angles. Second, they were taken at different times (the black and white photo in 1997, the color photo, above, in 2005). Third, they were taken by the same photographer, who is able to give technical detals about camera and lens. Fourth, we have access to very high resolution copies, if needed. Fifth, these are photos of a known statue, of known provenance, that we can relate in time and circumstance to the destroyed statue at Samye, thus fixing iconographic evolution. Sixth, we have a corpus of other images of the same subject, that we can also use.

Of interest: note the breastplate in the above photo,
and compare it to the one in the 2005 photo.

Believe it or not, these three photos are all the technicians would need to create an exact duplicate of the image. This is what we are trying to achieve with the Guru Ngadrama statue, but we have only a single photograph to worth with. I firmly believe that other photos do exist.

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.

  1. http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/06/new-face-for-guru-rinpoche.html
  2. http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/06/whats-story-samye.html
  3. http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Looks_Like_Me
  4. http://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Gyalyum_Kunzang_Dechen_Tsomo_Namgyal
  5. http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/06/offering-clothes-to-guru-rinpoche.html
  6. http://tibetanaltar.blogspot.com/2009/06/ngadrama-same-as-me-statue-can-be.html

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