The Secrets of Tantric Buddhism: Understanding the Ecstasy of Enlightenment, by Thomas Cleary Weiser Books, 9781578635689, 226 pp., 1998, 2014The Secrets of Tantric Buddhism
is collection of 46 writings from more than 20 prominent siddhis within the Carya-Gira from the 10th century, translated by Thomas Cleary. The mystic poets
discuss the nature of reality, the processes of the self, and the path to enlightenment, often framed as the relationship between the practitioner, and a beloved partner (representing at different times reality, self, or enlightenment). These writings are a form of mystic poetry, not surprisingly very reminiscent of the Bhakti devotional mystical poetry from Bengal.Cleary does a great job with translating the poetry, always a more difficult text than translating prose, especially when the poetry is focused towards an abstract mystical understanding. Each section contains the poem as a whole, and then over the course of the next few pages it is pulled apart and built upon a few lines at a time. While the book comes with an introduction, I wish Cleary had spent more time explaining who the poets were, as well as his process of translation. Read More
Chaos magick is all grown up, and if there are punk zen monks
, there are also chaote monastics
.Are you a bad witch
? Bad Witches
is a new blog and it's off to a strong start, with posts on hacking the tarot
, and what Jove's up to on Thor's day
and how you can make harness that money magick goodness. (Or is that badness?)Mindfulness meditation centred around Baphomet
? Count me in.Check out Sable Aradia's great two part (so far) series on sex magick, "A Sticky Subject: Teaching Sex Magick: Part I
" and "Part II
". Important reading. Read More
Zen: Simply Sitting: A Zen monk's commentary on the Fukanzazengi (Universal Guide on the Correct Practice of Zazen) by Master Dogen, by Philippe Coupey Forward by Lee Lozowick, Translator's preface by Marc Shaver Hohm, Press, 1890772615, 114 pp. (incl. notes, glossary and index), 2006Zen: Simply Sitting
is a book in two parts. The first is the text of the Fukanzazengi
, written by Master Dogen (1200-1253) in 1227, and later revised into its final form in 1242-1243. It is the final version, the Rufubon
, which is reproduced here. As we learn, fukan
means "recommended for the people", meaning that the text is intended for laypeople, not only monks and priest.The Fukanzazengi
is extremely brief, only a few pages long, and it deals with the practice of zazen, seated meditation. Master Dogen describes the correct posture and attitude one should maintain while sitting. His prose is sparse and direct, with clear guidelines on how it should be done. Read More
Compassion and Meditation: The Spiritual Dynamic between Buddhism and Christianity, by Jean-Yves Leloup Inner Traditions, 9781594772771, 165 pp., 2009
A French Orthodox priest teaching meditation in a Zen dojo, this might seem strange but such is the life of Jean-Yves Leloup. A long time practitioner of Hesychast, a Christian form of meditation, Leloup shares his experience in this form as well as his understanding of and connection to Buddhism. He believes that meditation without compassion is lacking something, and in the same thought that compassion without meditation is incomplete.While it would be an oversimplification to attribute compassion to Christianity, and meditation to Buddhism, and try to combine them; Leloup does think that both systems contain both compassion and meditation, but that their differences and similarities can support each other. He is not alone; he briefly traces an interesting history linking Christian and Buddhist practices and ideologies in religious texts going back to the 1700's. Read More
Many kinds of Zen exist. Each variety centres around a particular practice/ rite. Soto Zen centres on zazen. Rinzai Zen on koan introspection. Fuke Zen centres on playing a particular kind of music on the shakuhachi (a bamboo flute). Elemental Zen centres on tea ceremony. Discordian Zen centres on the Rite of Not Knowing as its basic manifestation [see below].
Performing the Rite of Not Knowing we enter into the realms of don’t know mind. Letting go of our time and opinions, doing what appears, we become more flexible, less attached. Discordian Zen represents a new Zen manifestation. While the Rite of Not Knowing represents Discordian Zen’s primary practice (open to anyone), there exist additional practices/manifestations. These include:
- The Zen Precepts
- A new manner of speaking
- A new manifestation of time
- Reweaving the web of life
Discordian Zen has no temples, no location, no tax exempt status. It only seeks to manifest, transmit and expand the life-giving Chaos that constitutes our original nature, our original enlightenment. If you want to know more about Discordian Zen please write to:
PO Box 429
Monte Rio, CA 95462
The Basic Practice of Discordian Zen
The Rite of Not Knowing
3×5″ file cards (lined or unlined)
- On each file cars (as many as you choose to use) write simple action(s)/ activity(ies) (I prefer one activity/action to a card, but you can have more if you like). For example:Walk around the block 3 times.
Eat a hot dog bun.
Do 50 jumping jacks.
Listen to 5 different radio stations simultaneously for 5 minutes.
- Mail the cards in to me, Tundra Wind, Box 429, Monte Rio,CA 95462.
- I shuffle all the cards I receive together and then, through random means, decide how many cards to send back to you.
- I mail cards to you. You perform the actions/activities on the cards EXCEPT for those activities you wish to veto. This principle of the veto ensures that you don’t have to do anything that violates your health and/or welfare.
- After you finish, mail the cards back to me (add new ones if you wish) and I then put them back in the stack to re-include them in the next round.
The original constantly present and relentlessly emerging condition means nothing other than the life giving Chaos. Through this Rite one enters the original ungraspable, undefinable condition. The Chaotic vibrations of freedom and compassion flourish. Miraculously, one discovers that one loses nothing when one gives everything away.
Feel free to give the Rite of Not Knowing to any you feel will have an interest in it.
The Gospel of Thomas, translated by Jean-Yves Leloup Shambhala Press, 1590300424, 51 up. (+ author notes), 2003
For those of you whose first reaction is: "this is a Christian book," you’re wrong. It is
a book of sayings attributed to Jesus, but that doesn't necessarily make it a Christian book.It contains a selection of 23 of the total of 114 sayings which were discovered in the Nag Hammadi library in 1945. They are coupled with beautiful, and colourful, calligraphic illustrations.While it is a short, fairly expensive work, the colours and illustrations make it worth the price and more. While it is possible to breeze through this work in just a few minutes, resist the temptation. Read More