Sex, Rock and Roll And Those Other Messiahs – Book Review

 

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Buddhist monk in orange robes sitting in Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Buddhist monk in orange robes sitting in Angkor Wat, Cambodia – David Bowie

 

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.

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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

 

David Bowie:

 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.

1)Rigpa:Behind The Thangkas” (link to the book on line.)

  1. 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.

 

hhtp://www.extibetanbuddhist.com/2016/01/11/david-bowie-mary-finnegan-and-the-marketing-of-tibetan-lamas/

 

http://theflowerraj.org/ 

highly recommend this blog.

The Parable of the Light Princess (Jewish) – Myths and Legends

Hi folks, having a lovely time here in Prasanthi. The gardens are exquisite and full of bouganvillas, butterflys and beauty. Don’t really want to leave here it is such a treat after the cold winters in Europe.

Here is one of my favourite parables from years ago. Happy Ugadi – New Year !!


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I love this short story. Actually it’s a parable within the Jewish Faith. I have had it at the back of the blog for sometime now, where it is not seen. Hopefully bringing it to the front page will be a good way of sharing it.. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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There was once a long time ago, a lovely princess who made her home in the Temple In Jerusalem. She was not an ordinary princess, oh no, she was very special for she was made of light.

Her father, was the ruler of the world and made his home in a heavenly palace. There he had two thrones, a throne of justice and another throne of mercy. Because he was a good and wise ruler, he used the thrones to make the laws. When he sat on the throne of justice, he was stern and very strict. When he sat on the throne of mercy he was a forgiving and loving ruler. The king had sent his princess into the world to give out blessings and light.

Most of the time the princess was invisible, although people could sense her presence, and once in a while they saw her in visions and sometimes in dreams.

Sometimes she appeared as a princess and sometimes as a lovely bride and at other times she would appear as a saintly person, she could sometimes be seen hovering over the Temple. Then the people would gather together and say to each other, ‘the princess is with us!’ Whenever she appeared they would utter prayers, for they knew that as long as the princess was there, her father the king, was also protecting them.

While the Temple stood in Jerusalem, the princess of light was always happy, her days were full of blessings.

But when the Temple was torn down, the princess was sorrowful. She saw how the people of Jerusalem were forced to leave their homes and decided she would also leave the Temple and go into exile with the people.


Her father called upon all the princes in the world to go and find her


When her father learned that she had left the Temple and gone into exile, he called upon all the princes in the world to go and find her and to report back to him with news to where the princess was. He promised the prince who found her that he would wed him to the princess. He foretold that on the day of the marriage, all the people in the world would celebrate their marriage.

Now all the princes wanted to marry the princess whose father was the ruler of the world. Each went his separate way in search of the princess. Some looked to the North, others to the East, a few went to the South, and others to the West. They searched every town and village, in every house and under every bed. But even though they searched everywhere, they could not find her.

At last there was but one prince left who had not searched for the princess. Now it was his chance to go and look and he could not turn down the quest. Before he set out into the world, he went around his castle saying to himself, ‘Where is it that the princess is so well-hidden, yet the same time always with her people?’

This prince sought out a wise rabbi and the rabbi said, ‘There is only one thing in the world that is always with our people, and that thing is the holy book, the Torah.’ ‘Well’ said the prince, ‘you must teach me the words of the holy book.’ The rabbi agreed.

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The prince had to study the Torah for many years before he was able to master it, but a day came when he had become such a master of the teachings, that he was able to find out where the princess was hidden.

And as was the case, his search came to an end one day while he was reading the holy book. For all of a sudden he glimpsed the princess hidden in the sacred words of the Torah. The prince as he became filled with wisdom was able to see the shining brightness of the princess in the holy words, and his eyes were filled with luster.

Now the prince knows where the princess is hidden, he is determined to set her free. And when he does, her father the ruler of the world will keep his promise to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, that was once her home and on the day of their wedding the whole world will celebrate.


-retold by moi from the Original.

Womens’ Ecstatic Visions of God – Poems And Faith

 

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Next week, I will be on holiday and far away from the computer. Gosh! I need a break, time away to relax and indulge myself in photography. I leave you with this post on Truth as seen by several ancient women poets whom I admire greatly. Hoping  you will all enjoy this post as much as I did writing it.   I do enjoy comments, if only a one liner once in a while. They provide me with valuable feedback, without them, I am lost to know what to write and publish here. Here we go with my last post for a while.

 

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n every spiritual tradition, the same truth appears: I am sure you have all noticed that at some time or another. Writing on spiritual matters as I do, I honestly can say, there are as many paths to the divine as there are people.

 

While it is necessary to undertake specific practices in spiritual life – prayer or meditation, the vows of right behaviour and right speech, all the many paths that lead to “being awake and aware at the core of our being” – such practices do not create anything that was not there from the beginning. They only open the door to what is already present within us. We do not pray or meditate or engage in good works in order to reach a goal or to become some way “better,” but because these activities are the fundamental expression of the heart freed of the distortions of ego and dualistic thinking. Nothing we do can bring the Sacred into existence and nothing we do can destroy it: this is the message the mystics have always brought to us.

What follows in this post are several poems from different traditions and different times – all from women, yet each points to this idea of the hidden treasure of Truth that does not change.

 


A small image of Lal Ded
A small image of Lal Ded

The first poem is from Lalla Ded, a fourteenth-century Kashmiri poet. she was also a mystic of the Kashmiri Shaivite Sect. She wrote many devotional and mystic poems, expressing her longing for the Divine.

I was passionate,

filled with longing,

I searched far and wide.

But the day that the Truthful One

found me,

I was at home.

To learn the scriptures is easy,
to live them, hard.
The search for the Real
is no simple matter.

Deep in my looking,
the last words vanished.
Joyous and silent,
the waking that met me there.

– Lalla Ded

 

 


 

Sun Bu-er (1124?) was the most famous woman teacher of Chinese Taoism. She began spiritual practice only at the age of fifty-one, when after raising three children to adulthood, she and her husband undertook study of the Way. Each became a fully realized being and teacher, and SunBu-er left behind a number of Taoist treatises and poems.

Cut brambles long enough,
Sprout after sprout,
And the lotus will bloom
Of its own accord:
Already waiting in the clearing,
The single image of light.
The day you see this,
That day you will become it.
-Sun Bu-er

 

Rabi'a
Rabi’a

 

 

Interestingly, the inner sacred is almost never desribed as residing in a temple, but as being at home, kept from public view behind closed doors, in the inmost rooms of the self. Here is one example of such a poem, by the Sufi saint Rabi’a (717-801), a freed salve who lived in the simplest of huts on the outskirts of Basra, in what is now Iraq.

O my Lord,
the stars glitter
and the eyes of men are closed.
Kings have locked their doors
and each lover is alone with his love.
Here, I am alone with You.

-Rabia al Adawiyya

 


Painting of Mirabai by GR Sharma
Painting of Mirabai by GR Sharma

From an early age Mirabai felt an irresistible attraction and devotion to Sri Krishna. As a young child she was given a Krisha doll, which she worshipped as if it embodied the living presence of Him. Although people misunderstood her, she considered Krishna to be both her best friend, lover and husband.  Swami Sivananda said of Mirabai  ‘It is extremely difficult to find a parallel to this wonderful personality – Mira – a saint, a philosopher, a poet and a sage. She was a versatile genius and a magnanimous soul. Her life has a singular charm, with extraordinary beauty and marvel.’

That dark Dweller in Braj
Is my only refuge.
O my companion,
Worldly comfort is an illusion,
As soon you get it, it goes.
I have chosen the Indestructible for my refuge,
Him whom the snake of death
Will not devour.

My Beloved dwells in my heart,
I have actually seen that Abode of Joy.
Mira’s Lord is Hari, the Indestructible.
My Lord, I have taken refuge with Thee,
Thy slave.

– Mirabai

Rumi, As The Spokesman For The Religion Of Love – Rumi

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Photo, Port de Carhaix, Fr.

The spiritual influence of Jelaluddin Rumi (1207-1273) is increasing among people of diverse beliefs throughout the western world. Rumi is now recognized here in the West, as he has been for seven centuries in the Middle East and Western Asia, as one of the greatest literary and spiritual figures of all time. Rumi is a spokesman for the religion of love in the language of the heart. Here’s a beautiful poem, a lesser known one from Rumi’s collection of bountiful soul-yearning insights.

“For ages you have come and gone
courting this delusion.
For ages you have run from the pain
and forfeited the ecstasy.
So come, return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

Although you appear in earthly form
Your essence is pure Consciousness.
You are the fearless guardian
of Divine Light.
So come, return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

When you lose all sense of self
the bonds of a thousand chains will vanish.
Lose yourself completely,
Return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

You descended from Adam, by the pure Word of God,
but you turned your sight
to the empty show of this world.
Alas, how can you be satisfied with so little?
So come, return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

Why are you so enchanted by this world
when a mine of gold lies within you?
Open your eyes and come —
Return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

You were born from the rays of God’s Majesty
when the stars were in their perfect place.
How long will you suffer from the blows
of a nonexistent hand?
So come, return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

You are a ruby encased in granite.
How long will you decieve Us with this outer show?
O friend, We can see the truth in your eyes!
So come, return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

After one moment with that glorious Friend
you became loving, radiant, and ecstatic.
Your eyes were sweet and full of fire.
Come, return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

Shams-e Tabriz, the King of the Tavern
has handed you an eternal cup,
And God in all His glory is pouring the wine.
So come! Drink!
Return to the root of the root
of your own soul.

Soul of all souls, life of all life – you are That.
Seen and unseen, moving and unmoving – you are That.
The road that leads to the City is endless;
Go without head and feet
and you’ll already be there.
What else could you be? – you are That.”

― Rumi

 

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http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/223160.Rumi_Daylight