So you are attracted to Tibetan Buddhism and David Bowie, have read some really good books and learned a few meditation techniques, now you want to delve deeper and spend real time with Buddhist Masters? How do you guard against being fooled by a charismatic charlatan? What criteria do you apply to your search for an authentic teacher? Lama Jampa Thaye’s advice reflects a commonsense approach:
“Although one may come across examples of authentic Buddhist masters who dress or speak unconventionally, there is no licence in Buddhism for unethical behaviour. Thus oriental or occidental masters who claim their selfish and abusive behaviour is a display of ‘skillful means’ or ‘crazy wisdom’ are to be given a wide berth – unless we want to jump over a cliff hand-in-hand with them.”
Sound advice, I have nothing to add to this except these few words.
I have been and still am a seeker. Older now and perhaps a bit battered by the experience but still a seeker. I have ceased to question stars, books and alchemy. I have begun to listen to the teaching my heart whispers to me in the dead of night, when all is still. Eve
Mary Finnegan has a new book released about David Bowie called the Psychedelic Suburbia: David Bowie and the Beckenham Arts Lab.
You can read it in about two hours. It’s all about who was there, who was who and leaves one with the feeling of who cares. Well, aficionados of David Bowie days will care and read it, particularly now that he is dead, and young people into bi-sexuality. So will those curious about the “sex, rock and roll” and early drug scene in the sixties. A pretty large and marketable crowd.
What is interesting is that in Mary’s blog post in 2013, in the archives at her website Flower Raj, she writes about her motivation for writing, which was to expose the”horror stories” and the “dark side, the very dark side” of Tibetan Buddhism that she sees has gone down a wrong path. This is because of corrupt Tibetan lamas, she says, and the naiveté of old flower children, like Mary.
In this post she also notes she became a “one-woman activist” to expose her Lama Sogyal and his corruptions, as well as the shadow side of Tibetan Buddhism which she knew quite well. She was a one woman activist and she did expose Sogyal the predator Tibetan lama , relentlessly. For she knew a great deal about the dark side of Tibetan Buddhism, having been in his inner circle. She was one of his older female students who ‘pimped” for him to find young , naive women to join his Lama hareem. Unknown to the public, pimping for their lamas is a common task of devoted Western Tibetan Buddhists inside their communities or sanghas. Mary also writes explicitly about her experience, in her short memoir about Sogyal.
- This would have been the better book and more helpful to the younger generation who sadly now will be fooled by this book about David Bowie. This of course is the one people will want to buy. It is a shame, all the same, because Mary was a feminist voice for the many women that had been abuse by this Tibetan lama and so many others like him. She was a feminist voice with experience of the sexual abuse inside these Tibetan Buddhists sanghas that appears to have been silenced. I post this link for those who wish to read the entire details.
highly recommend this blog.