Monday, October 18, 2010

Sad, Relatively Unknown News of Tibetan Buddhists' Infighting

Several of my friends have approached me with eagerness to say, "The Dalai Lama is coming to Cincinnati! Are you going?" I remain neutral and answer that H.H. the Dalai Lama has requested that anyone from my lineage, not attend his teachings. "What! Why?"
Because of a hundreds-of-years-old conflict concerning a certain Dharma protector (protecting the words and knowledge of the teachings of the Buddha) named Dorje Shugden. Many years ago, H.H. the Dalai Lama—a wonderful man who has done much for the world—wrote praises and poems revering Dorje Shugden. Then he changed his mind, and announced that Dorje Shugden is a demon. He asked that anyone revering Dorje Shugden (as my teachers do, and as I do), not come to his teachings.
Many negative events occurred following this pronouncement, which have come close to violence and death in the Tibetan Community. Nonetheless, these people without a land of their own, are divided against each other.
The saddest event came about by way of an order given by H.H. the Dalai Lama, that my teachers' home monastery in Southern India, Gaden Shartse Monastery housing and feeding and schooling thousands of monks, was to send all the monks revering Dorje Shugden onto the streets: no food or shelter was to be given to them. This action left hundreds of monks and nuns homeless.
The Mongolian, American and Tibetan support for these outcasts enabled them to build an entirely new monastery, also in Southern India, which had its formal opening in 2008(?). There is a Dorje Shugden Society to be found on a website.
This news is vastly unexposed, yet my teachers have been denied entrance to H.H. the Dalai Lama's teachings anywhere; one of my special teachers was in the middle of a crowd of hecklers coming close to violence, so much so, that the police had to put my teacher and his fellow monks on a bus to protect them.
I try not to get depressed or disillusioned about this, because the words of the Buddha are pure and good, just as the words of the Catholic faith are merciful. Yet look at what is happening in the Catholic Church with its many child-molesting priests. Are there similarities here? Humanity means human frailty, and H.H. the Dalai Lama is no exception. I wish him a long life, happiness and prosperity. And I will continue my Dharma practice with joyous effort.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dream Themes: Clothes and Cages

Night after night, dreams of lost clothes, clothes that slip off me and are lost, searches for something to cover my nakedness (despite preferring it) because of a nod to society's demands of the shame of the human body . . . a contradiction as men pump iron and women wheel furiously in front of cable TV in Sports Clubs . . . the perfect body striven for. We absorb both the shame of bodily exposure and the pride of rippled and muscular abdomens, et al. As I think of it now, I've given in to society's strictures to the detriment of revealing my authentic being, this naked Truth. Spiritual growth is blocked in fear of others' reprimands.

And last night, enrolling in a school where I learned nothing . . . fun-loving teens crowding the halls all the time . . . no memory of a single class.
Rooms are filthy with dust, cluttered with trash, disorganized messes of objects, toys perhaps. I spend a good deal of time trying to clean and order one room, but there is just too much to do everywhere to make it a better place.

I want to get out of the crowd, pay the dormitory rent to a strict and stocky principal. She asks for cash. I tell her I have check or credit card. So I'm digging through my overpacked disorganized bag for the credit card, and at first think I've found it, but it's a stack of pictures of my son from childhood to manhood I always carry with me. I find the card, planning to pay the rent, then get on a train and GET OUT. Go. Travel. Let go of all that's holding me from learning, growing. Wander to find the Truth.

As I contemplate last night's dream, the cage of a place where I learn nothing and pay for it, distracted by numerous other chattering beings, the old desire to escape emerges. "Wherever you go, you take yourself with you." The school is the chaos of samsara where precious human lifetime is wasted in play and delusions. Graduation adds no happiness, but the delusion of arrogance of being better than others.
Here, too, I want to run, get away, be alone, grow alone, teach and heal myself.

When I wake, my mind is agitated, overloaded with negative dreams, night after night. I watch my breath for a long time, only the breath, only the breath . . . and decide that running is useless. The Truth is in watching my breath, my hand, feeling this body move . . . Mindfulness.

Authentic being, the Truth is not to be found by escape from the circumstances one is in. Authentic being and Truth is under the crust, the armor of all my delusions. It is everywhere, if I could only see, no matter where I am geographically . . . a work in progress I yam.