Help us to establish Drala Jong - a Buddhist Retreat Centre in Wales

Help us to establish Drala Jong - a Buddhist Retreat Centre in Wales
Help us to establish Drala Jong - a Buddhist Retreat Centre in Wales

Monday, 24 September 2018

Not quite the species of Buddhist you might imagine

Thumbnail  “You’re quite the bon vivant for a Buddhist” Rebecca observed.
Somehow I often understood these French usages by guess work and so I was able to reply without seeming too gauche “I'm maybe not quite the species of Buddhist you might imagine. I don’t belong to a monastic tradition you see...
“Ah...that’s...a very welcome idea.
Yes...I thought so...” I grinned “...my teachers are all family people...”
Really...?” Meryl queried. “So...it’s not about austerity and abjuring pleasure?
No...especially not pleasure – it’s more geared to maximising pleasure through appreciation of the widest possible spectrum of  phenomena – and, encouraging that in everyone and everything everywhere...”

p110, An Odd Boy Volume 4, Doc Togden,  Aro Books Worldwide, 2017, ISBN 978-1-898185-42-0


Monday, 17 September 2018

Cutting through the mountain of our mental distortions and neurotic mind-states.

 
Relaxing into Meditation Practising meditation on your own with only yourself as a guide could be compared to wearing away a rock with water from a gentle stream – the water will erode the rock, but it will take a long time to have any great effect and the effect may lack focus.  Becoming part of a spiritual tradition and working with a teacher is like turning our gentle stream of spiritual practice into a powerful, focused, torrent that will quickly cut through the mountain of our mental distortions and neurotic mind-states.

p151,  Relaxing into Meditation   Ngakma Nor'dzin,  Aro Books Worldwide, 2010, ISBN 978-1-898185-17-8
 

Monday, 10 September 2018

The King of the Universe

Wisdom Eccentrics

Pema Dorje was all smiles when he came to take me to my prospective Tsawa’i Lama. 
The mistress of the house ushered us into Rinpoche’s room – and, there he sat like the King of the Universe.  Rinpoche was not the King of the Universe because he was grandly dressed.  He was simply dressed and his Lama’s appurtenances were simple.  He wore a black chuba with an emerald green shirt beneath it.  Both were noticeably faded – but otherwise spotless.  He was the King of the Universe because … it was an indisputable fact of his existence.  Other people have noticed it too and said the same thing.
Be that as it may, I stood there—feeling as if I were suspended in mid-air—and not knowing what to do.
Then all hell broke loose.

p56-57, Wisdom Eccentrics : Rumours of realisation as told by Künzang Dorje Rinpoche with additional tales of the unexpected.  
Ngakpa Chögyam,  Aro Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9653948-6-4

Monday, 3 September 2018

Devotion

Wisdom Eccentrics


As far as I'm concerned devotion isn't measured in terms of empowerments or anything that can be added to your spiritual credit rating.  Devotion is direct understanding – and that never has any need of being displayed.  In spiritual terms this could sound too subtle, too abstruse to understand – but the same phenomenon exists in the world of the Arts.  Almost anyone can enjoy world-class music – but only a proficient musician can know the worth of a world-class musician.  The greater your musical ability the more astonishing a master-musician becomes. 
JS Bach is a composer of marvellously intricate sonic adventures – until you learn something about contrapuntal composition.  Then you gasp.  Jack Bruce said “Bach was my greatest bass teacher”.  So . . . Bach isn’t some dim and distant figure.  Bach is alive and well – and his compositions are as fresh as the present moment.  I'd describe that statement as ‘devotion’ – the gasp born of the inseparable nature of developed musical knowledge and critically inspired appreciation. 

p19, Wisdom Eccentrics : Rumours of realisation as told by Künzang Dorje Rinpoche with additional tales of the unexpected.  
Ngakpa Chögyam,  Aro Books, 2011, ISBN 978-0-9653948-6-4