Monday, March 30, 2015

Just One Reminder

Fifty years ago this month, I find myself sobbing beside a swift-flowing river in the middle of the night. The sobs come from a sorrow so acute, it cuts the center of my stomach. I want to find my father, but I do not know where he has gone. 

He died without warning, and everything I knew to be the case, ceased to be the case. I think about chasing after him, without even knowing what that means. I take another step closer to the riverbank. I mean to throw myself in the water, where I reckon I will be drowned and eaten.

Will the chase be rewarded? I look into the dark sky and try to use it to sample the darkness imagined for death. I squeeze my eyes shut. I stop and think about what I was thinking before I stopped thinking. I have a gentle change of heart, and begin to reason with the darkness.

"What if," I ask the darkness, "instead of drowning in the river, I find some way to fix this so nobody else ever has to feel the way I am feeling right now?"

Ordinarily, it doesn't do any good to discuss one's innermost experiences. There is always the suspicion you are attempting to fascinate, or impress. People have various and sundry spiritual experiences of every variety and stripe. We cannot say one is more or less valid than another. They are as they are. With your patience, this is one of my own experiences. 

Grief makes the mind dance to dirge: a ballet on the knees. My legs were falling out from under me. Across the river, the darkness became like a small ball of light. This light grew gradually larger, until I saw it was emanating from a glowing person. One by one, I could see the various insects, birds, and animals step forward toward this person, and as they entered what was now a large sphere of light, they began glowing the same way. I even saw creatures come up from the river, and like a miracle, I saw them enter this light, taking on the same glow. For a moment, I thought it must be St. Francis, owing to the remarkably sudden collection of all sorts of beings, and their transformation as they entered the sphere.

Not long after,  I left home in response to that vision, seeking someone in particular. I was searching through the streets of a faraway city, and saw the above image through a window. It was a picture of the person beside the river!  Later that same afternoon, and through the medium of this image, I met the unmistaken one I set out to find. The living chase is rewarded in ways the death chase cannot find.

If you ever find yourself reasoning with darkness along this river of sorrow that flows through our lives, imagine all of the tears ever been cried for the reason you're crying now, and then live for the tears still to come. Shine through those tears; heal it all, with a simple thought of others who have suffered, or who will suffer, as you are suffering now. 

Sometimes, all it takes is just one reminder.

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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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