Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

For the sake of ornament and illumination.

Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:27 am

THE RADIAN OF OUR BEING, by Charles Carreon

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The earth, being a large sphere, is shot through from its center to its surface with lines called “the radians” of the sphere. An infinite number radians pass through the earth's center, which is also true of a golfball. The radians in a golfball, however, have but slight gravitational pull, all effects being masked by the overwhelming pull of the earth, as even Tiger Woods has learned. Radians are everywhere in evidence. But for the wind, raindrops would always fall straight down a radian. All radians are essentially the individual expressions of a single principle -- the earth's radian.

It’s the triumph of living things that they defeat gravity. Rocks can’t manage it. They roll downhill, they stay there. We roll downhill, we get up and walk back up the hill, at least if the fall didn’t kill us. And death, of course, puts an end to our mobility, our ability to ambulate, to make our way from one place to another.

We defeat gravity is large ways and small. The biggest feat of all is circulating all that blood through all the tiny little capillaries in your cells, aerating all those hemoglobin-carrying red cells through the immense complex network of your lungs, square miles of tissue, if you spread it all out, and all crawling with your cells, breathing, absorbing oxygen – your lungs really contain a vast hacienda of breathing surface. The heart keeps fluid pumping through all of that vast liquid circulatory system through a dynamic tension system that gets help from strong leg muscles and the hydraulic assistance of the diaphragm. Our body is a pulsing bubble of liquid that stands up against gravity, and delights in speed and acceleration, even the utter defiance of gravity through flight.

With all this speeding about, however, we forget the health and spiritual value of utilizing the radian in all our activities. In this essay I discuss first physical, and then moral and spiritual uprightness.

To appreciate the value of the physical uprightness, consider the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which has departed structurally from the radian due to a bad foundation. While the citizens of Pisa would not want to lose this structure, if they were allowed to have only one building in the entire city, I’m sure that would not be it. The tables will slide, or at least pencils will slide across the room. Without continuous maintenance, the building would become unusable and hazardous. Compare this with the two WTO towers, so well detonated that they fell right down along the radian, violating every rule of how buildings fall in the absence of controlled demolition, unless of course, like Tower 7, they were in fact the targets of controlled demolition. The science of controlled demolition of course involves a detailed utilization of the power of the radian, but it is a corrupt, tragic application of it, much like the dropping of bombs. Fie on these black magicians of death. We must use the radian for better purposes.

Purposes like standing up straight under the sky, like a redwood, for example. A redwood silently utilizes the quiet energy of wind and rain to pump enormous daily volumes of water straight up, hundreds of feet – up to a thousand liters per day, which is 440 gallons. Yet, as everyone what has inspected a Sequoia can tell you, the pumping apparatus is invisible, silent, and no human has yet duplicated the feat or adequately explained the mechanism involved. In “Shakespeare In Love” Geoffrey Rush couldn’t explain how all the backstage chaos congealed into a dramatic presentation, and instead admitted “It’s a mystery.” Similarly, botanists come up with the same answer when asked to explain the mystery of the great water pumps of the ancient forests that transport water far more quietly and economically than humans, contributing oxygen to the air as a by-product of their labor. Built in perfect harmony with the radian, Sequoias grow straight up, keeping the pumping distance as short as possible, and the trees to standing straight and tall for hundreds of years, in high winds and heavy rains. Such are the virtues of physical uprightness.

Moral uprightness is traditionally expressed as loyalty to ethical standards, as Marcus Aurelius put it in his Mediations: “He is a competitor in the greatest of all contests, the struggle against passion's mastery; he is imbued through and through with uprightness, welcoming wholeheartedly whatever falls to his lot and rarely asking himself what others may be saying or doing or thinking except when the public interest requires it.” In his essay entitled The Clear Sound of Jewels, Takuan Soho reveals a more penetrating view of human uprightness:

“Within this body solidified by desire is concealed the absolutely desireless and upright core of the mind. This mind is not in the body of the Five Skandhas, has no color or form, and is not desire. It is unwaveringly correct, it is absolutely straight. When this mind is used as a plumb-line, anything done at all will be right-mindedness. This absolutely straight thing is the substance of right-mindedness.”

Takuan Soho thus urges us to use “the desireless and upright core of the mind” as a “plumb-line.” What is he talking about? A plumb-line is a tool consisting of a plumb bob and a piece of string. A plumb bob is a weight, traditionally made of lead, that is allowed to hang straight down from a string, and thus used by carpenters and bricklayers to establish lines perpendicular to the earth. Careful use of the plumb-line is essential to create a structure that is in harmony with the radian of the earth, and therefore, will stand directly on its foundation. A structure that deviates from the radian is already in the process of collapse.

Thus, like carpenters and bricklayers, who constantly consult the earth’s radian by means of their plum-bob, those who wish to possess “right-mindedness” will constantly consult the “absolutely desireless and upright core of the mind.” This is to rely upon the Radian of Our Being.

What is the Radian of Our Being? Is it a physical attribute like the radians emanating from the enormous, spherical earth? Indeed, it is continuous with and energized by the radian of the earth. Passing through each of us is a radian of the earth. When we stand, sit, walk or lie on the earth, we are directly on our spot, and that spot is our personal radian.

What aspect of us directly senses the presence of the radian of the earth, and hence, the Radian of Our Being? That organ exists, and it is not the eye, ear, nose, tongue or the cognitive organ, the cerebellum. No, it is the most sophisticated organ of touch in our body, hidden away in the core of our head, the vestibular system of the inner ear, which maintains our equilibrium. Interestingly enough, Takuan Soho identifies all of the senses with desire, but states that the upright core of the mind lies within and unaffected by the traffic of sight, sound, smell and touch. Our sense of balance is satisfied, not by waves of sensation and perception, but by the simple return to the center of one’s physical being.

The Radian of Our Being is thus accessible through simple, upright activities. Since the earth supplies a radian wherever we find ourselves, it is an inexhaustible resource. Like the trees that manage the labor of standing straight for hundreds of years and pumping hundreds of gallons of water a day, our bodies are aided in their labor by standing, sitting and lying on the radian of the earth.

When you settle into the Radian of Your Being, the fluid circulation through your body, the distribution of air through your cells, the pressure between your head and your lower body, and many other liquid phenomena, will equalize, easing the labor of your heart, lungs, and veins. The sense of settling will deepen as your inner ear records less and less motion in your body. From settling comes the sensation of thoughts precipitating out of your mind like solid matter that settles to the bottom as our choppy mental atmosphere, and clarity ensues as floating thoughts diffract less of the light of consciousness. Self-awareness then shines like the sun, and flowing breezes of continuous mind energy stretch our perceptions like cloudy wisps across the sky.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:29 am

THE SUTRA OF THE LEAVES, by Baksheesh the Madman

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Thus have I heard. One summer afternoon in a place near Rajgir, when the heat of the day was intense, while walking in an area of sandy dunes with Ananda, the World-Honoured One remarked, "Ananda, this place where we are staying is very hot."

"Yea, World-Honoured One, very hot indeed," replied Ananda.

Turning to Ananda, walking at his side, the World-Honoured One, gesturing gracefully, extended his arm toward a grove of palm trees that was being attacked by workmen with knives, who stripped the leaves from the trees and carried them off in baskets.

"Ananda," asked the World-Honoured One, "why are those workmen taking the leaves from the palm trees?"

"They are harvesting them,” replied Ananda, "to use as writing paper, for books that are being written."

“Is that why, Ananda,” questioned the World-Honoured One, “it is so difficult to find a shady place to sit in this place?”

“I believe that the World-Honoured One is correct in suggesting this to be one of the reasons why it is so difficult to find a shady place to sit in this place.”

The World-Honoured One then gestured gracefully to a place where men were cutting down trees and burning the trunks in pits from which dark black clouds emerged. “Ananda,” asked the World-Honoured One, “why are those men burning the trees in those pits?”

“To make charcoal, World-Honoured One, that is used to make ink for writing on the palm leaves.”

“So the trees,” the World-Honoured One said, “are being sacrificed to the writing of books, Ananda?”

“Yea, World-Honoured One, books of mighty importance,” replied Ananda solemnly.

"What books are those?" asked the World-Honoured One.

"The books, World-Honoured One," replied Ananda, "written by the monks of the Sangha, recording the sacred Dharma of the World-Honoured One that you have offered to all men from the generosity of your noble mind."

The World-Honoured One asked further, "Ananda, have you arranged for my words to be written on leaves, for the leaves to be bundled into books, for the books to be distributed to faithful, and for the proceeds of all this virtue to be directed to the Sangha treasury?"

Then Ananda beamed with satisfaction as he announced, "World-Honoured One, indeed have I done these things. I have arranged for the faithful recording of every word of teaching spoken by the World-Honoured One, and so great has been the clamor of the faithful for your teachings that the trees have indeed been sacrificed in great number to this great work.”

The World-Honoured One the asked, "Are my words, Ananda, more important than the trees?"

"Yea, World-Honoured One, far more important," replied Ananda, "your words are the highest Dharma known among all gods and humans, whereas a tree gives coconuts, dates, mangos, tamarinds are also very tasty, but nothing like the Dharma in value."

“Ananda,” asked the World-Honoured One, “are your words recorded in these books that have been made in such great number?”

“No, World-Honoured One, they are your words, the words of the Dharma,” replied Ananda.

“So Ananda,” asked the World-Honoured One, “if there were no more trees and everyone knew the Dharma, would my Dharma have triumphed over the world of Samsara?

"I do not know, World-Honoured One," replied Ananda, "I do not know the answer to your question."

"Then I will tell you the answer to my question, Ananda," replied the World-Honoured One. "My Dharma would not have triumphed over the world of Samsara if in doing so the trees were lost, because my Dharma is a Dharma for the benefit of all living things, and when beings are killed they are not benefited, and once the trees are lost, all other living things will follow their path to death. Therefore, a Dharma that causes the destruction of the trees and of all living things cannot be the Dharma of the World-Honoured One.”

“World-Honoured One,” answered Ananda, “I was only trying to propagate the Dharma by distributing the teachings more widely, to permit more earnest study by your students.”

“Ananda,” questioned the World-Honoured One, “before you became Bikkhu Ananda, did you have no books?”

“No, World-Honoured One,” answered Ananda, “like yourself, I had a library in my home, filled with important books.”

“Ananda,” continued the World-Honoured One, “Do you wish to have a library again?”

“No,” replied Ananda, “I wish to be a Bikkhu and to follow your World-Honoured Self.”

“Then,” replied the World-Honoured One, “You must give up this notion that the Dharma is written in books. The Dharma is to gain understanding, not knowledge. Do you understand, Ananda?”

“Yea, World-Honoured One, I understand,” replied Ananda.

“Since you understand, then, Ananda,” said the World-Honoured One, “you and all of the bikkhus will abandon this practice of recording my words, of which you do not yet know the meaning, and will destroy these books you have made, and devote yourselves to understanding my meaning.”

“So will it be done, World-Honoured One,” replied Ananda, and respectfully leaving the presence of the World-Honoured One, arranged for the destruction of the books and notified the workmen that the library project would be abandoned.

Thus have I heard.

Baksheesh the Madman
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:30 am

THE THREE ELEMENTS OF COUNTER-INSURGENCY AND NARCOTICS ENFORCEMENT, by Charles Carreon

These are:

1. Surveillance
2. Infliltration
3. Agent Provocateurism

1. Surveillance

Observe the narcotics users and dealers, or the politically active, and discover their meeting places, clothing styles and other signals, jargon and slang, passwords and other security mechanisms.

2. Infliltration

Adopting the appearance of the target population, infiltrate by imitating their appearance, style and speech.

3. Agent Provocateurism

Using the infiltrators, set up drug deals or other criminal behavior. Encourage, dare, coerce, trick or bribe targets into performing compromising acts. Bind them to secrecy and then challenge them to commit acts that prove loyalty. Those acts will later provide you with a halter to control these persons, who can then be turned traitor when you reveal your true allegiance to them. The fun never ends, once you get to this stage.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:31 am

THE TIBETAN WALL OF SILENCE, by Charles Carreon

Here I am, visiting the Tibetan Wall of Silence. It's very quiet here, probably because of the restless patrols of warrior monks with big sticks who threaten anyone who hangs around. They absolutely take no lip, knowing of course that book learning is not their forte, and they prefer not to engage on the enemy's ground.

On the other side of the Tibetan Wall of Silence, there is a great deal of chatter. Ceaseless chatter, disputation, uncertainty, neurosis admitted, splayed out for revelation. Among themselves, Buddhists are fulsome in their admissions of spiritual defect. Rotten Buddhists, losers who can't practice, ass kissers without real motivation. Just tell them a lama said those things about them, and they'll agree it's all true. And it is. Nobody can win at the game, and everyone pretends to have the painful problem of life sewed up, like old Ram Dass, half-gorked by his spiritual exertions, probably unable to admit that he's madder than hell under the assumed serenity. Yep, they'll admit that in an encounter-type situation, or while doing a little drinking with other Buddhists, but they will never admit it to the opposition.

The opposition gets the stony silence when start talking back to the preachers, criticising the doctrine. Then everyone's perfect. They know why they're meditating, how to meditate, and that it's working. They know the path, they are on it, and they are making progress.

Of course, practicioners have to tell themselves these things, because otherwise the tautological engine would not run. Further, I believe we must all stoke our own fires with self-encouragement and healthy pride. But self-derision is a counter-force that can cause a painful mental split in the mind of the devotee. Tara often reminds me of how much she feels injured by having indoctrinated herself with frightful images and metaphors, and having to overcome the threat of those self-erected icons.

Of course, the silent Buddhists say, one must encourage oneself in the right path, the doctrinally approved path, and that means being mindful of pitfalls to spiritual growth. Sounds great, but guess what? Your little baby mind inside your heart doesn't hear all your high flown reasoning. That little baby mind just wants to know that it is safe, that it is good, that it is not guilty, not threatened, and is loved. Question why we would feed our mind a diet of cosmic-sized fears about multiple innumerable afterlives to be spent in roaring furnaces or as wild beasts or as long-lived gods in heavens unseen.

What did the person who was the Buddha think about these cosmic conundrums, about the fear of the afterlife? If you ask the Tibetans, of course, he knew very well that the universe was exactly as the Tibetans now conceive it -- an amalgam of old Vedic notions, interpreted using Chinese and Nepalese artisanship, and infused with the strange macabre spirit of Mongolian herdsmen and their wrathful gods of the howling wastelands of stone and ice. Because, of course, on another plane, he had divinely appeared to do a Special Turning of the Wheel of the Dharma in the Highest Heaven, attended by all the gods and goddesses, gurus, vidyadharas, bodhisattvas and arhats from the ten directions and three times. And the lamas of today are emanations of that very Buddha. You better believe it.

Strange, of course, that not a word of these extracurricular activities of the Buddha were ever mentioned by him. He sat around telling stories about how, if you argued with him about irrelevant details, you were like a guy stuck by a poison arrow who refused to allow the physician to extract it until he learned whether the arrow had been shot by an archer of his own caste. That guy, obviously, is going to die, said the Buddha. So will you, if you waste your time with stupid questions. That's a good rhetorical trick, and has since shut up generations of philosophers, but I never heard that they got enlightened.

Of course, that's another thing the Buddhists talk a lot about among themselves, but never with outsiders. Who is enlightened? Among themselves, there's lots of mutual back-scratching until the competition for students gets hot. Then they let their hair down. They admit that the titles are all inflated, and no one on the market right now can teach you much of anything deep, because they don't know it. But over here, on the other side of the wall, they claim there's lots of enlightened people, some in Tibet. And of course, the really great teachers "aren't interested in teaching Westerners." (Said Alan Wallace)

If you take that deeper, and you ask, "What does it mean to be enlightened?" you encounter even more division. People in the press and publishing ask what "Buddhists" believe. Well hell, they believe more crazy shit than Christians, Moslems, and Scientologists all put together, and of course they're not much more in agreement. Buddhists have blasted each other as heretics since the early days, and taken it quite as seriously as Rome took the Christian problem during that backward pre-Christian Italian era. The Gelukpa takeover of the Kagyu monasteries using Mongolian thugs, and their subsequent ascendance to theocratic dominance, is a good example.

The Nyingmas, of course, remember very well that the Gelukpas have been praying to Shugden for their demise for centuries, and that their Dzogchen doctrine was a prosecutable heresy in their homeland, and the only reason the Geluks don't string them up right now for defiling the Dharma is because this isn't Tibet, and the Geluks need to make nice.

Tibetan Buddhists disagree bitterly on what constitutes the path to Enlightenment, and on what Enlightenment is. But again these disputations are never heard beyond the Wall of Silence. Instead they stick to the positive, and allow the Dalai Lama's bland formulations of goodness to pass for the doctrine itself. In truth, of course, most Tibetan Buddhists who are at all well-initiated are looking for much stronger stuff than the Dalai Lama's one-size-fits-all feel-goodism.

And what does the average fool Buddhist do with this plethora of clashing opinions? Do they try to sort it out? Do they compare doctrines, ask their teachers why they disagree with other Buddhists, and demand some explanation of the purported unity behind the obvious multiplicity? No, they don't. They blame themselves for lacking faith, and they numb themselves with service and activity, and/or try to silence that dreadful "monkey mind" that gives them no rest. And all they really want is a banana.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:36 am

THE VESTIBULAR SYSTEM, by Charles Carreon

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Physical and Mental Equilibrium Founded on Healthy Operation of the Vestibular System

Thanks to the operation of the Vestibular System, located in the semicircular canals of the inner ear, we are able to orient ourselves in three-dimensions. The sense of equilibrium allows us to walk, swim, fly and move about, retaining a sense of orientation with respect to the sky above, the earth below, as well as knowing what is in back of us, what is in front, and how parts of our body are oriented with respect to the rest of our body. Meditators can develop awareness of the flow of neural information being piped directly to the perceiving brain from the tiny cilia that serve as “angular accelerometers” detecting all movement in the head, keeping our vision from blurring by making tiny adjustments in our eye muscles to maintain a static focus on the objects of attention even when our heads are in motion. Furthermore, when a person’s body settles into stillness, the vestibular system continues producing "resting discharge activity" to indicate the lack of movement stimuli. It is hypothesized that this “resting discharge activity” signals to the perceiving mind that it is safe from threat and may settle into rest. It is further hypothesized that the activity of meditation may be simplified by realizing the concrete, physiological benefit of consciously attending to this “stillness signal,” thus generating a feedback loop that allows for deeper and deeper stillness in both body and mind. Quotes from scientific literature to sustain this hypothesis are provided below.

The following quote is from http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hb ... chlea.html

The semicircular canals are the body's balance organs, detecting acceleration in the three perpendicular planes. These accelerometers make use of hair cells similar to those on the organ of Corti, but these hair cells detect movements of the fluid in the canals caused by angular acceleration about an axis perpendicular to the plane of the canal. Tiny floating particles aid the process of stimulating the hair cells as they move with the fluid. The canals are connected to the auditory nerve.


The following information on the primacy of the Vestibular Nerve as the first to develop in the foetal body is quoted from Kay Hogan's online essay "The Ear and The Alexander Technique" at http://www.kayhogan.com/articles_ear.htm, quoting Hannaford, C. (2002), Awakening The Child Heart. Jamilla Nur: Hawaii.

Nerves myelinate (fully develop) in order of their importance for survival. The first cranial nerve to myelinate in utero is the vestibular nerve (sensory nerve with some motor nerve functions) whose primary functions are balance and energy. A two-month-old embryo hears and reacts to sound by opening and closing the arms and legs, these movements are the Moro reflex. "The newborn hears and moves in rhythm to the mother's voice in the first minutes of life. There are no random movements; every movement of the newborn has meaning, with particular movements being linked to particular sounds. For example, with a sudden loud sound the baby will throw out its arms and legs in a Moro Reflex. In response to his mother's voice, he will turn toward her. Studies done using high-speed film show that newborns and infants have a complete and individual repertoire of body movements that precisely synchronize with syllables or sub-syllables of a speaker's voice. This important matching of movement to words, or "entrainment", starts in utero at about four and a half months and leads to full development of the vestibular systems and the ability to language successfully."

The Vestibular Nerve begins to myelinate in utero by registering the movement of the fetus and its environment (mother). After birth the vestibular system is necessary for the infant's survival in the new environment, which is gravity. The vestibular nerve is involved in the sense of equilibrium, maintenance of posture and muscle tone. The other purpose of the newly myelinated nerve of the hearing organ is the electrical charge that the brain receives from sound and that is crucial for brain development. In these early stages, it is the mother's voice that the baby has entrained to, and in particular to the high frequencies that are most enriching for the infants' brain development. "We instinctively talk to babies with a higher voice, called "Parentese", which we now know energizes the baby's brain, making it more alert to all sensory input and able to take in specific patterns and rhythms, thus aiding leaning."

MOTOR NERVES MYLINATE BEFORE SENSORY NERVES

It is the motor nerves that myelinate before the sensory nerves, meaning that movement awakens the senses. We need movement and that includes sound in order to sense or perceive our environment and ourselves. Movement is crucial to learning in both the internal environment and external environment. Both sound and movement are crucial to the early developmental reflexes.


From The Origins of Human Love and Violence, by James W. Prescott, Ph.D. • Institute of Humanistic Science, from Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, Volume 10, Number 3: Spring 1996, pp. 143-188, available online at http://www.violence.de/prescott/pppj/article.html

[M]y quest to understand the origins of human love and violence was partly rooted in my doctoral training in developmental neuropsychology and psychophysiology at McGill University, Montreal, P.Q. Canada where I was made acutely aware of the extraordinary importance that the early sensory-social environment has upon brain development and behavior. The pioneering studies at McGill in the 1950s and 1960s documented that social isolation rearing of puppies results in not only aberrant adult emotional-social behaviors but also in abnormal brain development and functioning.

***

In 1966, I joined the newly formed NICHD where I created the Developmental Behavioral Biology Program (NICHD) to establish basic research programs on brain-behavioral development. During my tenure at the NICHD (1966-1980), I formulated a novel developmental brain-behavioral theory of emotional-social regulation to explain the pathological depression and violence that results from maternal-social deprivation or the social isolation rearing of infant animals.

***

I redefined "maternal-social deprivation" as a special case of Somatosensory Affectional Deprivation (SAD) and identified somesthetic processes (body touch) and vestibular-cerebellar processes (body movement) as the two critical emotional senses that define the sensory neuropsychological foundations for maternal-infant affectional bonding. Sensory deprivation in the other sensory systems (vision, hearing, smell and taste) do not result in the maternal-social deprivation or SAD syndrome).

***

My reconceptualization of the maternal-social deprivation syndrome which involved cerebellar-limbic-frontal lobe brain functions was made possible by the pioneering studies of Mason (1968) and Mason and Berkson (1975) who demonstrated that the isolation rearing of infant monkeys on a "swinging mother" surrogate (vestibular-cerebellar stimulation) prevented the development of the classic maternal-social (SAD) syndrome. This behavioral study opened the "vestibular-cerebellar" gate to brain structures and processes not previously implicated in these emotional-social disorders and represents, in my view, a scientific study of such importance that is matched only by the original contributions of the Harlows. The implications of the Mason and Berkson "swinging mother surrogate" study for human development is profound but, unfortunately, remains unappreciated despite the fact that its dramatic effects can be seen in the Time Life documentary film "Rock a Bye Baby" (Dokecki 1973) and which has been one of the most successful documentaries of Time Life.

It is important to emphasize that in terms of SAD theory, the different sensory-emotional systems of the body provide the neuropsychological foundations for different psychological states. Specifically, the vestibular-cerebellar sensory system provides the primary neuropsychological foundation for "Basic Trust"; the somesthetic (touch) sensory system provides the primary neuropsychological foundation for "Affection"; and the olfactory (smell) sensory system provides the primary neuropsychological foundation for "Intimacy". In normal development these emotional-sensory systems are combined in rich patterns of complex sensory stimulation which results in the development of a "neurointegrative" brain where "Basic Trust", "Affection" and "Intimacy" are integrated with one another to form an emotional brain gestalt that can be called "Love"– long before the infant can understand the spoken or written word which is mediated by the auditory and visual cognitive senses.


The following information is from http://www.medicine.mcgill.ca/physio/cu ... vest1.html

The vestibular system is phylogenetically the oldest part of the inner ear. It is situated in the petrous part of the temporal bone, in close proximity to the cochlea. The vestibular system responds to movement of the head relative to space and gravity, using inertial-sensing receptors which are activated by forces arising from the acceleration of mass in accordance with Newton’s law: Force = Mass X Acceleration.

In order to determine the absolute movement of a body in three dimensional space, reliable information is required about movement in each of the 6 "degrees of freedom" permitted in three dimensional space, i.e. three translation or straight lines (up-down, left-right, fore-aft), and three rotational (in one horizontal, and two vertical planes at right angles to each other) movements. There is one vestibular system on each side of the head, in close approximation to the cochlea.

Each side of this bilateral system consists of two types of sensors:

1. the two otolith organs (the saccule and utricle) , which sense linear movement (translation),
2. a set of three semicircular canals, arranged at right angles to each other, sensing rotation movement in three planes.

Introduction to the Vestibular System

The Otolith Organs


The utricle and the saccule are two sac-like structures each of which contains a specialized region (the macula) which is made up of a ciliated sensory epithelium (the vestibular hair cells). In humans, the hair cells in the vestibular system differ somewhat from those in the auditory system, in that each vestibular cell, in addition to having a number of thin stereo-cilia, also has one thicker longer kino-cilium positioned at one end of the cell’s hair-bearing surface.

The hair cells of the vestibular system also exhibit a constant "resting discharge activity" even in the absence of a stimulus. Thus, stimulation is sensed by the central nervous system as a change in this resting, "spontaneous" discharge rate. The cilia which emerge from the hair cells are embedded in a gelatinous matrix containing solid CaCO3 crystals (the otoconia) which overlies the cells. During linear acceleration, the crystals (being denser than the surrounding fluid) will tend to be left behind due to their inertia. It has been demonstrated that the resultant bending of the cilia causes cell excitation when the bending is toward the kino-cilium (with a resultant increase in the firing frequency of the innervated afferent sensory fibres of the VIII th nerve), and inhibition when away from the kino-cilium (with a resultant decrease in the firing frequency of the innervated afferent sensory fibres of the VIIIth nerve).

Since they are sensitive to acceleration, the otolith organs detect the direction and magnitude of gravity, as well as transient linear accelerations due to movement (for example: tilting the head produces a transient linear acceleration which is reflected in changes in the firing frequency of afferent fibres innervating the sensory cells).

The Functions of the Vestibular System

The information from the vestibular apparatus is used in three ways:

To provide a subjective sensation of movement and/or displacement in 3-dimensional space.

For example, the hair cells of the utricle provide a sensation of head tilt based on the direction in which the cilia are bent by the gravitational force. When the head is tilted in the direction of polarity of a given cell, it depolarizes and excites the afferent fiber. Alternatively, when the head is tilted in the opposite direction, the same cell hyperpolarizes and inhibits the afferent fiber.

To maintain upright body posture (balance). A variety of reflexes of the limb musculature, are mediated by activation of the otolith organs and semicircular canals. When the vestibular system is activated these reflexes result in the stabilization of the head's position in space (vestibulospinal and otolith-spinal reflexes).

To control the muscles that move the eyes, so that in spite of the changes in head position which occur during normal activities such as walking and running, the eyes remain stabilized on a point in space . The eye movements which are generated by activation of the vestibular system are called vestibulo-ocular reflexes and are discussed in greater detail on the next page.

The Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex

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Unblurred vision is only possible if the eye is stationary (fixed) with respect to a viewed object. The vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) is an important mechanism by which unblurred vision is made possible during head movements that are generated during everyday activities such as walking and running. For example, if the head is turned to the left, this reflex causes the eyes to move to the right (i.e. in the opposite direction of the head movement). The oppositely directed eye movement occurs at the same velocity as the head movement, and therefore generates an eye movement which keeps our line of sight fixed on the same point in visual space both during and following the movement.

During short head movements, these compensatory eye movements remain well within the mechanical limits of eye rotation. However during large amplitude head rotation, the eye can reach its limit of excursion long before the head movement is completed. Consequently, during this condition, an additional feature is added to the VOR: when the eye reaches an extreme position, it is rapidly flicked back to a new starting position. From this new starting position, the eye then continues a new cycle of compensatory movement during continuing head movement. The resulting "saw tooth" pattern of slow compensatory/ rapid resetting eye movements (slow phases and quick phases respectively) are referred to as vestibular nystagmus.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:39 am

"THEY'RE ALL DIABOLICAL BOZOS!", by Charles Carreon

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The Dickies are a classic of the LA rock scene who repeatedly opened acts for The Ramones when we lived there during the mid eighties through nineties, especially for the gigs out in the Valley. Their big hit was "Manny, Moe and Jack," yes, as in the three fraternal founders of Pep Boys Auto Parts, a southland tradition. If you ever hear this song, you will notice it sounds a lot like Killer Klowns, but the lyrics are a little more down to earth:

The Dickies in Manny Moe & Jack wrote:

Once you're inside
they won't take you for a ride
they got a good deal for you and your automobile
for the right price
they will sell you fuzzy dice
and leather hand grips for your steering whee-al


Killer Klowns came out on an EP with just three other songs. Two of them are totally forgettable, but "Booby Trap" is a classic, with spooky lyrics that complement the Krazy Karnival Kalliope sound of Killer Klowns with a little Transylvanian Rapture. This song always reminded me of Elvyra, Queen of the Dark, another LA original.

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The Dickies in Booby Trap wrote:

Estelle is a vampire ...
She has a novel way of leaving her calling card.
Sing along by the campfire,
She'll leave her mark while stealing your heart.

Forget her lies about not drinking wine,
You love though you're gonna turn blue.
Her madness grows like the thorns on a rose...
I'd wear a cross if I were you.

If you want to date her,
You better get her home before she sees the first light of day,
But sooner or later
The best laid plans of mice and men go astray

She's the kinda girl who'll put your head in a whirl --
She's bound by traditional victorian rules,
The daughter of the devil and the mother of hell,
I'd let her alone if I were you.

Don't look back!
It's a trap!
It's a fact!
It's a booby trap!
Booby trap!
Booby boob-booby trap!

She'll get your love like a hand in a glove,
The fangs of a bat and the heart of a dove...
From hell below to heaven above,
I wouldn't let her in if I were you.

Don't look back!
It's a trap!
It's a fact!
It's a booby trap!
Booby trap!
Booby boob-booby trap!


One night we saw The Ramones at the Country Club out in the Valley. No booze 'cause they'd just gotten popped for underage sales, so I went out to the place next door to grab a brew after the Dickies finished their set and before the Ramones came on. The bass player was having a burger in this place. Still wearing his dress from onstage. He looked at me like he thought I was interesting and displayed his left shoulder in a provocative way. I think we chatted a little but I can't remember. Looked like a fun guy, sorta.

Cheers
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:40 am

TIBETAN TWO-STEP, SHUFFLE & SLIDE, by Charles Carreon

(Perform while wearing seersucker suit and straw boater hat with ukelele accompaniment.)

There's a sucker born every minute
In the good ole USA,
I got here through religion, and here I'm gonna stay.

Just stand right there
Don't scare the crowd,
I've got wisdom teachings, so gather 'round.

It's true you've heard tales of monastery life
How it's filled with depravity and extra wives
But where we gonna go? It's cold outside.

The spiritual path is hard to travel,
But in an antique Rolls
The miles just unravel.

So whaddaya expect a guru to do
But pass the crumpets,
Wouldn't you?

So listen up kids,
Not many can boast
That they told you the truth before they ate your toast

And before you say no, remember first
I'm the best of what's left
And you could do a lot worse!
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:42 am

TIM LEARY, STARFLEET COMMANDER, by Charles Carreon

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Timothy Leary famously blew his cranium on mushrooms in an experience that he recites in "Your Brain Is God" as follows:

"Many years ago, on a sunny afternoon in a Cuernavaca garden, I ate seven so-called sacred mushrooms given to me by a scientist from the University of Mexico. During the next five hours, I was whirled through an experience which was, above all and without question, the deepest religious-philosophic experience of my life. And it was totally electric, cellular scientific, cinematographic."


That experience opened the door to a lifelong search for truth, beauty, and the secret of human existence that Leary confidently proclaims to have solved in "Your Brain Is God." Leary embraces the Gaia hypothesis, seeing the biosphere as a thin bubble of self-creating order that generates ever-more complex and capable living organisms. Leary promises human fulfillment for those who master the "Eight Crafts of God," which might be thought of as harmonizing all human energies into a single harmonious spectrum of being. Of course, psychedelic yoga, the practice of one LSD session per week, is inseparable from making progress toward skill in plying God-craft.

Leary's vision has historic content, as all scientific visions do. Think of the Grand Canyon, of the tales of physicists, about worlds infinitely distant in both space and time, visible through powerful telescopes. So also the LSD voyager often experiences the grand sweep of history, recapitulating, as Leary would have it, the long journey of life up from the primeval swamps, through amphibious and reptilian and mammalian life forms, until we became game-playing simians. So for Leary it is clear that we exist, this universe is in process, human life and all life is on a unified trajectory with the general flow of the universe, and within that flow there are optimal and suboptimal outcomes for living beings resulting from our level of consciousness.

Tim is big on what I like to call the tautological nature of the mind, the tendency of the mind to reflect whatever appears within it. Tim talked about having good set and setting. He talked about the outer set, the difference between being at Esalen, or in a seedy motel. He also described the inner set, harder to change, which is simply the mental disposition you've been developing since you were born, probably before. Set and setting condition your experience. Tim’s lifework was creating set and setting for ecstatic experiences, which he thinks you can get the vast majority of the time for the majority of people.

Tim differed in this regard from other LSD therapists, somebody like Stan Grof, who calls LSD a non-specific neural amplifier that allows you to hear your entire subconscious mind sometimes singing, sometimes shrieking, at high volume. A high-dose trip with Grof could be like lancing the pus out of a painfully engorged ego. Unbelievably scary, and very relieving. By contrast, Leary never designed a philosophy of cathartic tripping. He was an ecstatic revelationist who believed the best use of LSD is to induce ego loss. This ego loss is very far from a state of nonexistence. Rather, it is direct connection without mediation to the source of the all-creative universal mind. From the place of egolessness, each individual can practice the eight God crafts.

Set and setting, says Leary, perfectly mirror one's inner state. Dead people live in dingy cities, he says. When you realize, through LSD practice, that you need to be in a vital, wholesome, esthetically pleasing environment, you'll put yourself in one. So you have to be ready to make those changes. He's seen it time and again. People don't want to make those changes, they stop taking their LSD. Leary doesn’t mention that there are economic and other penalties for following the dictates of your increasingly-sensitized God-mind. Penalties that he of course paid when he was in prison for a half a joint. He puts it this way: “To continue to use LSD, you must generate around you an ever-widening ring of ‘tuned-in’ actions. You must hook up your inner power to a life of expanding intelligence.” Most people, the large majority of the 5,000 who undertook LSD yoga with him, “could not harness their activated energies to a more harmonious game.” Tim’s yoga, however initially attractive, appears to produce as few adepts as the old systems. But every guru can get grumpy.

Leary hazards a guess that The Tibetan Book of the Living, the first trip-manual he produced with Richard Alpert, introduced more people to Buddhism than any mainstream publication, while noting that few "Buddhist professionals" would admit this. Leary describes how the popularity of the book became a problem: "The Tibetan Book of the Living , our first venture in updating old neurological-trip maps, was so successful we became alarmed. Thousands of people began using the Tibetan jargon of Bardos, and a definite fad-trend toward Buddhism was developing. To head off this Oriental renaissance, we quickly sought another, less parochial text for describing and guiding brain astronauts. The advantage of the Tao Te Ching was that this Taoist text was almost content-free. There are no pious monks, shaved heads, red hats, yellow hats, orange robes, or specific levels of heaven, purgatory, and hell in the Tao Te Ching."

Leary’s hostility to an “Oriental renaissance” taking root in his psychedelic movement discloses more ambivalence than real hostility, however. Earlier in the book he regards Hinduism as the nearest neighbor of his own philosophy, and lumps Jainism and Buddhism together as “life-affirming philosophies” that will make possible the “Scientific Paganism of the 21st Century”. Then, in the book’s last chapter, “A Holy Mess,” he recalls that the “religious metaphor” for psychedelic experience “boomed.” A “holy mess” resulted from telling people that they were gods, to which “only the young listened,” causing us all to look to Eastern holy men for guidance. As Leary builds up speed, he begins enjoying tossing a little invective. He’s talking about real people that he can remember:

“It worked because it was so seductive. There was a lot to learn back-East – the barefoot grace, the body-control sinuosity of yoga, the wiry elastic mind-trick of seeing everything from the standpoint of eternity. The ultimate cool of fatalism. The junky-hindu grin of pompous, self-satisfied passivity. The comforting babble of mantra nonsense-syllables. New colorful, bizarre Hindu Lord’s Prayers to monkey-mimic.”

Having gotten up some steam, Leary continues:

“Oriental philosophy is profoundly pessimistic, cynical, stoic, and passive. Before modern scientific technology expanded the scope of human perception there was, indeed, no place to go and nothing new. The same old body cycle – circles of birth, aging and death. Stay detached from the outer world, because there is nothing you can do about the relentless leveling entropy of age.”


Here, Leary ascribes the dead-end view of earthly life that is characteristic of Buddhist and Hindu philosophy to a lack of scientific insight. Examining the other side of the tautological equation may reveal another truth, however – that the adoption of a dead-end view of earthly life stifles the development of scientific insight. Either way, of course, the Orientalist view that one should “stop the world and get off” seems ill-adapted to humanity’s future, which places us in control of spaceship earth, in control of our genetic future, and powerfully in need of a vision that accommodates wholesome, unlimited growth.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:45 am

UBIK: PHIL DICK'S ANSWER TO DEATH AFTER LIFE, by Charles Carreon

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Joe Chip has a problem. He went to the moon with his boss, and got killed in a terrorist bomb attack. Or his boss was killed. He’s not sure, but either way, it’s a problem. It’s 1992 in a world a little different from ours. It’s still earth, and earth is still populated by people. But there are lots of psychics on the planet now, and the moon is colonized.

If Joe himself is dead, he must be in cold-pack in a Swiss half-life “moratorium,” where dead people can spend their half-life in a dreamlike space, and occasionally visit with relatives through a sort of psychic intercom. It’s a common thing to have relatives in cold-pack, and Joe’s boss, Glen Runciter, still meets to discuss business matters with his lovely dead wife Ella, who half-lives in the exclusive Beloved Brethren Moratorium, a Swiss facility that is supposed to be among the best. Ella Runciter died in her twenties, but Glen Runciter thinks so highly of her that he has never considered remarrying, despite his wealth.

Runciter Associates is a psychic security company, and Joe Chip is Glen Runciter’s top man. Although Joe was always broke, his life wasn’t entirely crazy until he met his new girlfriend, Pat Conley. Everything went crazy shortly after Joe introduced Pat to Runciter. Although both Joe and G.G. Ashwood, a renowned psychic talent scout, agreed that Pat had a powerful psychic talent, Runciter questioned whether he should even hire Pat, because he usually hired “inertials,” who block the psychic talents of “precogs” and “teeps” hired by Runciter’s nemesis, the Hollis organization of criminal psychics. But Pat wasn’t a psi-blocker. She displayed a new type of talent, the ability to change the future, not just foresee it. She could send people on alternative reality trips, to places a lot like the present, but with important differences.

Runciter had always refused to take jobs on the moon because of the security risks inherent in being away from earth, far from help. However, ever the businessman, he broke his rule to pick up a big contract job working for Stanton Mick, a plum client Runciter was eager to sign up for a very fat fee. Stanton Mick had told Runciter he needed immediate, massive assistance to block the efforts of a band of psychic spies who were invading the privacy of his lunar planned community. But shortly after Runciter and his inertials arrived, Mick came to meet Runciter in a conference room. Mick acted and talked strangely in a metallic voice in a grandstanding manner, setting everyone on edge. Slowly, it dawned on Runciter and Joe Chip that this wasn’t Mick; rather, it was an android made in his image. Alas, they didn’t figure this out until the android floated off the floor to gain destructive altitude, and an instant later, detonated.

Immediately after discovering that the blast had apparently killed Runciter, Joe Chip assumed control of Runciter Associates. He chartered a rocket and flew the survivors to Switzerland with Runciter’s body, where they booked him into the Beloved Brethren Moratorium, and tried to set up a half-life session. But Runciter wouldn’t revive into half-life, and Joe experienced the pain of losing his father figure.

After Runciter’s death Joe struggles to run the company, but he has some impediments. Like Philip K. Dick, Joe Chip finds himself habitually broke, and regularly abused by the his coin-op apartment door, which won’t let him out without depositing a poscred, and makes nasty remarks when he loses his temper. Sometimes he has to call friends to come by and visit, and pay to get in. Then he can borrow money from them to get himself out. But these problems are small, because one by one Joe’s friends are dying, turning into mummified ragbags of bone and hair. This horrific transformation occurs within a few hours after each individual quietly separates themselves from the group, seeking solitude and stillness.

Not only are Joe’s friends turning into mummies, all mechanical objects, except his apartment front door, are regressing to older models and falling apart. His TV turns into an old tube radio. The elevator in his building regressed from a modern self-serve box to a tiny lift with an accordion steel grate, and seemed to silently suggest: “Take the stairs.” Joe’s car turns into an old car, and even as he negotiates to sell it, the car ages into an even older model of jalopy that is virtually worthless. When he goes to the airport, all he can find to fly is an old biplane.

Due to a series of messages from Runciter that mysteriously appear on bathroom walls and elsewhere, Joe Chip learns that he is probably dead and merely half-living in the Beloved Brethren Moratorium, where Ella Runciter is also in half-life. To reverse the decay of all forms, and prevent himself from turning into a mummy, Runciter tells Joe to get UBIK in the aerosol can. Unfortunately, every time Joe is close to getting a can of aerosol-spray UBIK, he finds only old-fashioned, regressed versions of UBIK that contain toxic ingredients, or in one case, a substantial quantity of pure gold suspended in mineral oil. Fortunately, this last form of UBIK is worth a lot of money in the half-life realm, and Joe is able to trade it for a plane flight for Demoines, Iowa, where Runciter’s funeral is happening. Joe is still not sure that he is dead, so he of course wants to attend Runciter’s funeral.

After Runciter’s funeral, one by one, Joe’s friends just keep disappearing, hiding themselves from their friends so they can turn into psychic tumbleweeds and blow away into the void. The only one who isn’t dying is Pat Conley, Joe’s strange girlfriend. She thinks she’s doing the whole weird trip with her powers, thinks she’s immune from the death that’s stalking him, and drenches Joe with passive-aggressive cruelty while observing Joe’s painful effort to just go to his room and die. But Joe makes it to his room, where Runciter is waiting for him with a can of UBIK aerosol:

“Opening a drawer on the vanity table, he hastily brought out a spray can with bright stripes, balloons and lettering glorifying its shiny surfaces. ‘Ubik,’ Runciter said, he shook the can mightily, then stood before Joe, aiming it at him. ‘Don’t thank me for this,’ he said, and sprayed prolongedly left and right; the air flickered and shimmered, as if bright particles of light had been released, as if the sun’s energy sparkled here in this worn-out elderly hotel room.”


Shortly after this rejuvenating Ubik experience, Joe meets his true antagonist – Jory, a malevolent psychic juvenile delinquent who haunts the moratorium’s half-life realm. Jory is a projective psychotic who generates deceptive “realities” that seduce half-life dwellers into unreal realms and consumes the dregs of their half-life vitality. Dick’s description of Jory’s psychic attack on Joe Chip is bluntly physical and eerily frightening:

“Snarling, Jory bit him. The great shovel teeth fastened deep into Joe’s right hand. They hung on as, meanwhile, Jory raised his head, lifting Joe’s hand with his jaw; Jory stared at him with unwinking eyes, snoring wetly as he tried to close his jaws. The teeth sank deeper and Joe felt the pain of it throughout him. He’s eating me, he realized. ‘You can’t,’ he said aloud; he hit Jory on the snout, punching again and again.”


Shortly after the Jory encounter, from which Joe barely escapes with his life, he sees a pretty girl going down the street, and in a desperate hope to have one last pleasant moment, he strikes up a conversation with her and asks her to dinner. You can almost see Phil Dick counting his Dexedrine pills, getting hungry for a burger after days of speeding and typing, and figuring out he’d better finish this story up quick, before he consumes the last of his inspiration. The story picks up pace immediately after the unexpected encounter with the girl, which leads to the hasty revelation that she is Runciter’s dead wife. Ella Runciter tells Joe that his friends have been killed by Jory, but that, good news – he’s been granted a perpetual supply of UBIK. She explains to him that an aerosol can of UBIK is actually “A portable negative ionizer, with a self-contained, high-voltage, low-amp unit powered by a peak-gain helium battery of 25kv. The negative ions are given a counter-clockwise spin by a radically biased acceleration chamber, which creates a centripital tendency to them so that they cohere rather than dissipate.” UBIK, at 212 (Vintage 1991).

Immortality in a spray can? What else would we expect from Phil Dick?
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:51 am

"VEE HAVE VEYS OF MAKING YOU LOVE SENTIENT BEINGS" -- NAZI METHODS OF INDUCING "BODHICITTA", by Tara and Charles Carreon

"Afterward we watched a documentary of animals being tested in labs, kittens being injected with flea spray, monkeys struggling against restraints while medical researchers smashed their skulls with a giant cow puncher as a way to study head trauma. After that there was a movie about lambs being slaughtered."
-- "The Buddha From Brooklyn," by Martha Sherrill


If you wouldn't do it to your kid, why do it to yourself? Jetsunma was using these insanely violent images to induce Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ("PTSD"). According to the American Psychiatric Association, "psychological damage ... can result from experiencing, witnessing, or participating in an overwhelmingly traumatic event."

There are two types of horrible events that can cause PTSD when witnessed:

1. Seeing another person violently killed or injured;
2. Unexpectedly seeing a dead body or body parts.

Dr. Manaan Kar Ray

Jetsunma used this Nazi mind control trick to isolate her prey from sources of support. As the APA says, one of the symptoms is "Avoidance [which causes] the person [to] avoid close emotional ties with family, colleagues, and friends."

The symptoms of avoidance may also create a stunned mental state, much-desired by spiritual seekers, who hate emotions and crave a peaceful mental state. The APA describes this symptom of avoidance resulting from witnessing trauma: "At first, the person feels numb, has diminished emotions, and can complete only routine, mechanical activities. Later, when reexperiencing the event, the individual may alternate between the flood of emotions caused by reexperiencing and the inability to feel or express emotions at all."

Dechen, whom Jetsunma immediately identified as afflicted with low self esteem, was predisposed to PTSD by identified risk factors:

"The psychological history of a person may include risk factors for developing PTSD after a traumatic event:

• Borderline personality and/or dependent personality disorders;
• Low self-esteem;
• Neuroticism;
• Pre-existing negative beliefs;
• Previous trauma.

"People with borderline personality disorder often have a history of physical and/or sexual abuse, neglect, hostile conflict, and parental loss or separation. Dependent personality disorder is characterized by low self-esteem, fear of separation, and the excessive need to be cared for by others. All of these features may predispose someone for PTSD after experiencing a traumatic event."

According to Dr. Ray, "People who have experienced previous trauma(s) are at risk for developing PTSD. Repeated exposure to trauma causes hyperactive release of stress hormones, which may be instrumental in creating symptoms of PTSD." Dechen was in a perfect condition for being thrown into acute PTSD after the automobile accident. Setting up the tribunal in the dark house, dressing in black leather, assaulting her victims in front of an audience of sycophants: it is a textbook case of brutalizing a vulnerable person into mental hell.

Dechen was forced to witness the brutalizing of her monk-boyfriend, and also to directly experience additional trauma. The types of directly experienced traumas that are known to cause PTSD are:

1. Combat;
2. Kidnapping;
3. Natural disasters (e.g., fire, tornado, earthquake);
4. Catastrophic accident (e.g., auto, airplane, mining);
5. Violent sexual assault;
6. Violent physical assault.

Dechen had just been in a car crash, in which she suffered severe concussions and cranial lacerations requiring stitches (number 4). She was effectively kidnapped and abandoned by her mush-brained mother, who obediently delivered her directly from the hospital into Jetsunma's clutches (number 2). Jetsunma shows up dressed in combat gear, black leather (evoking number 1). She then subjects Dechen to a violent physical assault (number 6). Hey, four out of six ain't bad.

After these traumatizing events, Dechen was subjected to social ostracism, forced to do only menial tasks like toilet cleaning and floor scrubbing, required to pray many rounds of penance (Vajrasattva), and otherwise kept in a traumatized state.

Of course, all the monks and nuns who participated in this horror show were also being given a booster shot of trauma for themselves. These repeat inoculations of trauma help maintain the submissive character that is so desirable in a devotee. Still capable of performing routine activities, they remain productive. Alienated from their families, they are unlikely to break away from the group. Stifled in their emotions, they are unlikely to develop distracting relationships that diminish their dedication to the guru. Well-developed devotees of course enjoy imbibing another dose of trauma, which is considered good discipline. The Christian flagellants, Hindu faqirs, and Tibetan ascetics raised the self-administration of trauma to the level of high art. But Jetsunma's muscled celibates did not intend to be outdone. Devotees of pain are like no others.

THE BUDDHA FROM BROOKLYN: THE GREAT BLESSING, by Martha Sherrill
copyright 2000 by Martha Sherrill

You have to see through the luster of all the things you play with. You have to take the inner posture of leaving the party. -- Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo

Dechen borrowed her mother's white minivan the next morning and drove to the town house in Darnestown where the Monk was living with five other monks. She parked on the street and went inside. "I'm going to see Khenpo," she told the Monk, "and I think you should come, too."

On the drive together there were long periods of silence. When directly confronted on the phone, Dechen had told Alana about the affair. And when Dechen insisted that she had not "broken her vows"--meaning her root vows--Alana had accused her of obnoxious hairsplitting. "You were together alone on a bed in a hotel, and you say you didn't break your vows?" There were several rounds of this until Alana simply said, "I can't talk to you anymore," and hung up. Dechen then called the Monk and told him what happened.

"You told Alana?" he said, in horror.

But later that night Alana called again to say that a meeting with Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso had been scheduled for noon the following day and that Jetsunma would see her in the evening. Nobody had suggested that Dechen bring the Monk along. That was her idea.

The drive to the temple seemed very long, and dreadful. Now she saw that it was a mistake not to have confessed. This was the worst possible outcome -- to be found out by Alana and dragged before Khenpo, the venerable Tibetan scholar. She had memories of India, of having gone before the very same man once before with news like this. The irony staggered her.

Dechen and the Monk walked inside the temple together and found Khenpo upstairs, in a suite of rooms he always used when visiting. He ushered them inside and sat down on a purple sofa in his bedroom. Khenpo was a short man with a small mustache and a perfectly round head. He was younger than most Tibetan scholars -- still in his fifties -- and while he seemed easygoing and simple, he was also known for having one of the best minds in the Nyingma school. There didn't seem to be an esoteric point that he couldn't elucidate or a question he didn't have an answer for. More than anyone, the Monk had been awestruck by Khenpo's intellect and wisdom, by his subtlety and clarity. The Monk had hoped to stay by Khenpo's side and keep working on translations with the scholar. As a teacher he was revered in both the United States and India, where he ran the monastery in Bylakuppe and the large university as well. For the last couple of years he'd been coming with greater frequency to Poolesville to give teachings and instruction. For a while now the Monk had suspected that Khenpo's trips to KPC were designed to keep Penor Rinpoche informed of the students' progress there, and--in light of some of the New Age overtones to Jetsunma's teachings--make sure that her students were also offered something more traditional.

Dechen sat at Khenpo's feet. The Monk sat farther behind, in a display of great humility and modesty. Khenpo seemed to want no further details--he'd already heard enough from either Jetsunma or Alana--and launched immediately into an angry diatribe. His face looked pained.

"How could you do this?" he said to the Monk. "You've been a monk for twelve years! . . . You may have some realization, but without moral discipline you have nothing."

"And you!" he said to Dechen. "You knew! You knew you needed to confess!" She looked back at the Monk. He said nothing.

Khenpo explained that it was true: their root vows had not been broken. They had broken a branch vow, which would now remain forever broken. But he was clearly appalled. "The hiding! The secrecy!" If they had come forward and confessed, the negative karma could have been purified. But because they didn't come forward and were found out after a confrontation, the vow would forever be broken, and forever unpurified.

Dechen listened very hard for instructions and advice from Khenpo during the twenty-minute meeting. "Do Vajrasattva practices," he finally said, but he didn't suggest an amount. They could try to purify the karma, but, basically, "Nothing can be done at this point."

Driving home, Dechen said, "I won't say I told you so."

"Good, " said the Monk. They said nothing else.

Dechen didn't mention the meeting she had scheduled that evening with Jetsunma. She assumed it would be one on one, and assumed she'd be reamed out. The Monk came from another school of Tibetan Buddhism, and it wasn't really Jetsunma's place to reprimand him. He had already pondered this himself. Technically, Khenpo was the only person in Poolesville--besides perhaps Alana-who should ever know what had happened between the Monk and Dechen. When vows were broken it was a private matter. If it became public it would be an insult to Khenpo, suggesting that his advice alone wasn't enough--and showing a lack of respect for his ability to handle the situation properly.

Still, the Monk had a bad feeling about this vow breakage. He had a feeling it wasn't going to remain a private matter. Jetsunma didn't seem to care about doing things in a traditional way. And Poolesville wasn't like the other Dharma centers; it didn't feel like the other Dharma centers. It was the kind of place where anything could happen.

***

After she dropped the Monk at the town house, Dechen began the drive back to her mother's. She felt small behind the wheel of the lumbering minivan, and the burgundy robes felt heavy on her skin, a demanding weight that engulfed her small body. She drove on Quince Orchard Road and began thinking about whether she should remain in Poolesville. But she worried. If she couldn't make it as a nun at Kunzang Palyul Choling, the largest concentration of Tibetan Buddhist nuns in America, where could she?

The sky was dark, the color of fresh wet concrete. It was about two o'clock on the afternoon of February 9, 1996. She made the left-hand turn onto Longdraft Road and never noticed the small beige car in the oncoming lane. It was going fifty miles per hour. When the two vehicles collided, the minivan was totaled. So was the other car -- its front end was flattened up to the windshield.

Dechen was dizzy when she squeezed out of the minivan, and she brushed the broken glass off her robes. She stepped over to the small beige car. "Are you okay? Are you okay?" she asked. The driver was a middle-aged blond woman in a business suit. She looked dazed. "I can't really feel my leg," the driver said. Dechen stood next to the car and worried--until other cars began to stop and their drivers told Dechen to get back into the minivan. Her face was covered in blood. When the paramedics came, they put her in a neck brace and carried her to the ambulance, where the driver of the other car was already stretched out. Together they were taken to Shady Grove Hospital in Gaithersburg. The driver of the car had a sprained leg and a bruise on her shoulder. Dechen had lacerations of the face and head from the broken windshield glass--she had forgotten to wear a seat belt--and after receiving fourteen stitches and being given Vicodin for pain, she was told that she was still in shock and needed to rest.

Sherab and Dawa arrived at the hospital--they'd driven by Quince Orchard Road and recognized the crushed white minivan as Ayla Meurer's. At first the two nuns assumed that Ayla had been in an accident, but once they realized that it was Dechen who'd been driving -- and that she was going to be okay -- both nuns turned critical. "How could you get in a car accident?" they asked her. It was more evidence of the negative karma that Dechen had been accumulating lately. They immediately called Alana from Dawa's cell phone. Dawa spoke with Alana for a moment, then handed the phone to Dechen.

Alana's voice was cold and stern. "Don't think that this means you can get out of tonight's meeting," she said quickly. "Jetsunma says you aren't hurt that badly."

By the time Ayla arrived at the hospital, her daughter was being released. As they drove, Dechen felt her shame and despair drifting into numbness. Scattered around her face and short, dark hair were shaved marks and cuts, and the thread of the stitches. " I already heard that you're fine," Ayla said, "so I can say that I'm really mad at you. How could you break your vows?"

Ayla handed Dechen a folded bundle of yellow robes -- the robes the ordained wore for ceremonial and special occasions. She'd been called by Alana and instructed to get her daughter out of the hospital, give her the yellow robes, and take her directly to Ani Estates. There was going to be a meeting. In the car with her mother, Dechen stared straight ahead at the road. A meeting. She felt nothing. She never got hysterical when unexpected things happened like this. Her reaction was always delayed. And, anyway, the last thing she was going to do was cry.

"You know," Ayla said as she dropped Dechen off, "you're in serious trouble."

It was about four-thirty when Dechen arrived at Ani Estates, the large, beige stucco-and-wood tract house on Spates Hill Road where five nuns--Dawa, Dara, Aileen, Alana, and Dorje--lived. Dechen walked into the house alone and saw that activity had already begun. Several nuns were in the kitchen washing large offering bowls. Atara was standing in the middle of the living room, repeating Jetsunma's instructions. "Jetsunma says there should be chairs lined up in here, like this," she was saying. "And Jetsunma says there should be an offering out for the ordained" -- so pretzels and chips and other refreshments were to be set out. The table in the dining room was to be removed, "and under here," where the dining room table was, "Jetsunma says there should be two chairs."

Dechen had been inside the house many times, for all kinds of reasons. She'd come frequently to borrow movies there from Aileen's video library. She'd exercised on the Health Rider. She'd helped with some Tibetan translations there. She'd even lived there for a week once, when she had no other place to live--and she had cleaned the house to make money. When Jetsunma and Sangye got together, their Consort Engagement Party had been there. And over the summer Dechen had attended the meeting of the ordained at Ani Estates where everyone was asked to sign a paper relieving the temple of any responsibility for taking care of them. But never had Dechen--one of the mousiest of the nuns -- been the center of any attention like this. She sat on the floor in the corner and watched the preparations. She watched Atara stage- direct and everybody follow her orders. She noticed that the vertical blinds were drawn.

The house grew darker as night fell. As the monks and nuns began to trickle in, it was clear most of them had very little idea of why they had been called to Ani Estates. The meeting was mandatory for all ordained. Only Sangye Dorje--later admitting that he had a sense of what might transpire--quickly volunteered to take the prayer shift and remain at the temple. As the rest of the nuns and monks arrived, they saw a table of food and began picking at the snacks. Dechen had moved to a spot on the carpeted stairs that overlooked the room and tried to keep her head down. She was feeling a bit woozy. She kept touching the stitches on the top of her head, and it was weird that they didn't hurt. One cut on the left side of her face kept tickling her. She overheard whispers among the monks--they were always the most clueless. "What's going on? Do you know?"

The Monk was among the last to arrive. He came with Konchog and was told to sit away from Dechen until the meeting began and not to speak with her. He sat on the floor in the front hallway and furtively looked up to the stairs, trying to catch Dechen's eye. She only looked away.

Then Atara led them to the dining room and told them to sit on the chairs under the lights. Dechen found herself looking around the room, and at the monks and nuns in the chairs lined up facing her. One by one she looked at their faces. She had known many of them a decade, since she was seventeen. She had sat beside them, prayed beside them, learned to prostrate beside them, been ordained beside them. It felt like they'd been through the wars together. They'd followed the voice of Jeremiah, made the move to Poolesville, enthroned their lama, watched Michael's leaving, built the stupa garden, and seen Jetsunma marry Karl. They'd done all-night prayer rounders together, floated through the exquisitely beautiful White Tara retreat and the amazing Rinchen Ter Dzod, and sat together through last summer's Nam Chu empowerments. They'd kept a twenty-four-hour prayer vigil going, without a break, since it started in the dark basement of the little brick house in Kensington ten years before.

Here was the largest collection of Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns in America. They were kind people, good people. Dechen admired so many of them, for wanting to dedicate their lives to something good, for building such a beautiful Dharma center. For trying to live by their ideals.

A broken vow wasn't a small matter. The results would be profound and long-lasting. The bad karma would spill inevitably into the path of everyone in Poolesville and create obstacles. It would cause ripples that would produce more suffering. Dechen and the Monk had not just betrayed themselves and their own Buddha nature but defied the guru and hurt the entire sangha. Why hadn't Dechen been able to see that all along? Why hadn't she come forward months ago?

Most of the lights in the house were dimmed. And the lights in the living room were shut off. Only the lights over Dechen and the Monk were kept brightly lit. Alana was wearing burgundy robes and stood in the dining room before her fellow ordained.

"There has been a vow breakage," she said.

The room became utterly quiet. "Nobody is ever to speak of what happens here tonight. And remember, everything you see is compassionate activity." Alana looked squarely at the Monk. "You are not to speak--either of you--or defend yourselves in any way."

Some headlights flashed behind the windowpane in the front door. Dechen saw that Jetsunma had arrived. The front door flew open, and the room of ordained rose to their feet. Jetsunma quickly pulled off her black overcoat in the foyer and tossed it to Atara. Underneath she was dressed entirely in black, too-black wool and black leather.

"You fool!" she shouted at the Monk, as she ran toward him, then struck him hard on the head with her open hand. The Monk lost his footing and staggered momentarily. When his balance was regained, he realized that his wire-rimmed glasses had been knocked to the floor and he couldn't see.

Jetsunma studied him briefly. With his glasses off the Monk looked like a mole-soft and blind. "Sit down!" she yelled. The Monk and Dechen began to drop onto the seats of their chairs, and Jetsunma yelled again. "No! Sit on the floor! You don't deserve to sit on the same level as these other ordained!"

Dechen sat on her knees. The Monk sat cross-legged on the ground, with the large lights swinging overhead. "I brought you into our hearts!" Jetsunma yelled at him, then bent down to punch the Monk again hard on the side of the face. "We took you into our homes! And this is how you repay our kindness? I should throw you through that sliding glass door but you don't have the merit."

The ordained were quiet, barely moving in their chairs. Dechen looked out into the living room; in the shadows she could see the outlines of a few nuns who were holding their stomachs. One monk had his hand over his mouth.

"This is a stain on all of us--and has harmed all ordained forever." Jetsunma yelled, continuing to punctuate her comments with blows to the Monk's head. "This has shortened my life, the lives of our sangha, and made it harder for all future ordained to keep their vows. And it's shortened their lives as well. They worked so hard to keep their vows purely, and now you've made it so hard!"

Dechen looked up again and heard Tashi sobbing.

Jetsunma turned to face the little nun. Dechen stared up at her. "And you!" she yelled. She struck Dechen across the side of her head with the heel of her hand, not far from a few stitches. "I've taken you into my heart! I've done everything I could for you!" She slapped her again on the forehead." There are words for women like you, but I won't use them!" she yelled. "It disgusts me to see you in those robes. It disgusts me to see your face!"

Dechen looked up into Jetsunma's face and never broke her gaze. Jetsunma had a look that Dechen never remembered seeing before. She was almost. . . smiling. But it wasn't a smirk as much as a leer. "What you said happened to you in India before, what you told me," Jetsunma shouted, "that isn't what really happened, is it? You lied to me." She backhanded Dechen again.

Jetsunma began listing instructions for Dechen to follow. The young nun felt herself focusing on all of Jetsunma 's words, all her advice and instructions, hoping to remember every moment. Dechen was never to look at or speak to the Monk again. She was to put her yellow robes on her altar and prostrate to them every day. She needed to get a job and payoff all of her debts. She had to stop "leaning on" the other ordained. She needed to do one hundred thousand Vajrasattva practices, but Jetsunma wasn't sure that was enough. As a punishment, she and the Monk were going to clean the temple every day--the bathrooms, the floors, the kitchen. And every moment that Dechen wasn't either cleaning or working to pay off her debts, she was to be practicing. As for reading or TV or any other "enjoyments," there were to be no more than four hours per week. She talked about how little remorse Dechen had. "You have never done a single thing that I have ever told you to do," Jetsunma yelled angrily, "so I have no confidence that you'll do it now."

Dechen followed her lama's eyes. She soaked up her lama's words. These were blessings, she told herself. Each word was a great blessing. Each slap and slug, a great, great blessing. Dechen tried to be as submissive as she could be and tried to find a posture of accepting all the blessings as they came her way. This wrathful display--as it was called--would only help to purify any negative karma that had been created by her contact with the Monk.

The Monk had been very still, but he turned slightly to see if Dechen was okay. She was cowering. She was humiliating herself: He wanted to yell at her, "Get up! Get up!"

Jetsunma turned to him again. "You may keep your robes but not wear them," she said, "and if you were in better health, I'd make you clean every toilet at the temple eighteen times a day with a toothbrush." She pointed to the crowd in the chairs. "Their toilets!"

Dechen was to clean toilets, too, she said. "I can't tell you not to come to teachings, but if you do, sit behind an umbrella or something. I don't want to see your face. . . . And I've talked to Khenpo Tsewang Gyatso about this--you may not keep your robes!"

At this Jetsunma walked out. The room remained perfectly still. Alana returned to center stage. She announced that Jetsunma wanted the ordained to tell Dechen and the Monk how this evening had made them feel--sharing their anger and outrage would help Dechen and the Monk "with their remorse."

Ani Rene spoke first and addressed her comments to the Monk, with whom she had studied. "Driving in the car with you one time," she said, "you criticized some lamas and poisoned my mind with gossip!" she said, shaking with rage. "I felt sick for an hour, and I could have just ripped you apart. " Tashi was so overcome with emotion that he could barely get the words out. He was horrified by what had happened, particularly by the fact that Jetsunma's life would now be shortened. Then came Konchog, the young monk who did press relations for the temple and who was a scholar. He also addressed his remarks to his friend, his housemate, his fellow monk. "I had so much faith in you, " he said, fighting back tears. "You kept your vows for so long. And you talked about how the Dharma texts were more important than Jetsunma, and you almost turned my mind away from my teacher."

The nuns of Ani Farms each spoke to Dechen. Palchen said that Dechen needed to face her total irresponsibility and lack of thought for anyone but herself. Alexandra mentioned Dechen's thoughtlessness. She had never contemplated how her breakages would affect anybody but herself. Sherab was the angriest. "You're always rebellious, and everything has to be Dechen's way!" she yelled. Another nun talked about how she'd helped Dechen out when she broke her vows last time, how supportive she'd felt. This was different. "Countless sentient beings," she said, "will be hurt because of this."

But most of the comments were directed at the Monk, and they continued for forty-five minutes after Jetsunma's departure. In the following ten days there were two more meetings--where Dechen and the Monk were required to confess the details of their affair to the entire ordained sangha. At one point, as Dechen tried to give an account of exactly what had transpired between them sexually, the Monk began shouting; "Shut up! Shut up! It's none of their fucking business!" And it was this attitude, his indignation and pride, which seemed to fuel the anger of his peers. One by one in all three meetings, the ordained told the Monk how they really felt about him, how egotistical he was, how deluded, how he lorded his knowledge of Tibetan and all his studies and retreats and expertise in Tibetan Buddhism over everybody and made them feel bad, how he'd tried, with all his talk of tradition and other teachers and other Dharma centers, to turn them against their lama. He had taken many empowerments, but he'd somehow missed the boat.

The Monk didn't know these people well--he had been in Poolesville only eight months--and it shocked him that they would have such intense hatred for him. It also surprised him that Jetsunma should feel so strongly--to scream at him, and slug him, to threaten to throw him through the sliding glass door. He had refused to give her instruction in some high teachings, and he'd ignored what he felt had been her romantic advances: was that the explanation for her rage? But what had he done to the rest of these people to make them so angry? The attacks on his character were personal, and brutal. This is like something out of the Spanish Inquisition, he was thinking. He knew what Jetsunma would say, of course, that to strike a student was to give him a great blessing. There was a long tradition of teachers hitting students in Tibetan Buddhism. He had heard that in Tibet students were sometimes beaten unconscious with logs and clubs. Penor Rinpoche himself, the legend went, had cured one of his students of cancer by beating him to a bloody pulp--then collapsed outside on the grass and sobbed. But hitting a student in this country, wasn't that a great risk? Was this monastery life in Tibetan Buddhist America?

***

In the following weeks Dechen went overboard to live by Jetsunma's edicts and purify herself. She spent two or three hours a day cleaning the bathrooms or floors or whatever Rinchen told her to do. She did her Vajrasattva. She went to the bank, consolidated her debt. With credit cards, back-tithing. and what she owed Palchen in rent, the total came to four thousand dollars. She found a job right away, as a secretary in a publishing house. And since Jetsunma didn't want to see Dechen's face, she listened to her lama's teachings on Wednesday nights while scrubbing the solarium floor. She was largely shunned by the sangha but felt soothed by her mother.

They stayed up late at night, talking about how Dechen had come to veer off her intended path, how she felt dried up spiritually--and did not trust the words of her lama. Ayla Meurer spent hours with her daughter after the night at Ani Estates. going over every detail of the evening, and every word Jetsunma had spoken. Ayla admitted that she'd had difficult times at KPC over the years, too. Michael Burroughs had said and done many things to hurt her. She'd sometimes felt rejected and ignored by the inner circle. But to her Jetsunma was like Jesus Christ, a miraculous savior of the entire planet. And over the years she had felt great blessings flow from Jetsunma and she'd been able to find her own path, her own way of studying Tibetan Buddhism. She encouraged Dechen to find her way, too.

Dechen spoke a great deal with Ani Catharine Anastasia, her assigned mentor in the ordained community. Catharine Anastasia helped her see that the Monk was not her friend and had never truly cared about her; he'd only planted poison in her mind. He'd come into her life and turned her against the guru, turned her against Poolesville. In a moment of guilt and renunciate fervor, Dechen threw out all the robes that she wore while she had been with him, and she returned all the Tibetan texts and manuscripts he had given her.

The loss of her robes was too much even to consider. If Dechen wasn't an ani anymore, who was she? As Jetsunma instructed, she put the folded robes on her altar and prostrated to them not just three times a day, as Jetsunma had instructed, but nine. She continued to keep her vows assiduously, even after Alana made a point of reminding her several times that she was no longer a nun, and Sherab left an angry voice mail for her when she wore burgundy jeans and a burgundy T-shirt to clean the temple. "How dare you wear burgundy!" Sherab said. "You aren't a nun anymore. " But Dechen was determined to earn her robes back, and Ayla encouraged her. She told her daughter that anything was possible, if she paid back her debts, lived responsibly, practiced Vajrasattva, and kept practicing and practicing. In every spare moment of the day, Dechen did. "I was very remorseful and sad," she said later, "but I was trying to get myself together."

When Chris Finney called her one day in late February, Dechen was surprised to hear her cheerful voice. It seemed like a long time since anybody from the temple had called her--and sounded friendly. Chris had a small business making prayer beads that were sold in the temple gift shop, and she was calling to offer Dechen her supplies. She could make some decent money stringing the malas, and Chris said she knew that Dechen probably needed it.

"You're not making malas anymore?" Dechen asked.

"I'm not coming to Poolesville anymore," said Chris.

"You aren't?' Dechen asked. This seemed unimaginable. Chris was one of the founding members--one of the First Wavers.

"No, " Chris said, and then she mentioned something about seeing a lama in Frederick, Maryland, now. "We're just going on with our life in another direction."

Dechen didn't inquire further and, frankly, didn't want to know any more. The repercussions of Chris's departure were too horrible to think about. Dechen would rather break her vows a hundred more times than break samaya.

Chris didn't offer any explanations, either. She just made plans to give Dechen all her beads and wire and wire cutters. The truth was, through the Dharma grapevine she had heard about the night at Ani Estates and was wondering how Dechen was holding up. News can travel fast in a temple when something unusual happens. But when Chris asked Dechen how she was doing, she said, "Great! I'm doing great."

And that was truly how Dechen felt. Her mother was being kind and helpful. Dechen was paying off her debts. She liked her new job at the publishing house. Her boss, a woman, was supportive. "You don't know what you're worth, do you?" she said. And Dechen was already looking at the classified ads--to see if she could afford a studio apartment in Gaithersburg.

A few nights later Dechen was dusting the Guru Rinpoche altar in the prayer room when the sangha gathered in the Dharma room for a teaching from Jetsunma. Dechen had moved into the solarium to begin cleaning tables when she heard Jetsunma's voice. "If you could sample Your teacher's mindstream," she said, "if you could sample the nectar of what your teacher actually has to give you . . . it is contained within this teaching."

Dechen could hear Jetsunma 's voice almost too clearly, coming from a loudspeaker in the kitchen. "I hope that all my students who intend to remain my students are here tonight," she said, "and those who are not here, I'm afraid I'm sorry to say that it may be due to causes having been created that make it not possible or not easy for you to receive what comes directly from the mind and the intention of your teacher."

She began to read a poem she'd written to the sangha, which she explained had been inspired by the activities of two of her students. It was called "War Cry:"

Bitch,
I have seen you.
I have heard your voice.
I have smelt your smell.
I have lived
And died with you.
I know your name. . .
Samsara.

Bitch, whore,
Whatever garment you wear
I will know you.
Your smile is no seduction
To me.
I know you.

You will appear
In lovely forms,
Seductive, caressing, singing songs
Filled with promises.
It is then I will appear
Far more beautiful than you
Adorned with garments
Of pure aspiration

Resplendent with gold and gems
Of pure bliss.
From my mouth will come
The ambrosia of Dharma
And from your
Grasping arms
I will steal my children away,
Like a thief
In the night. . .
And lead them to
Paradise.

Dechen felt herself sinking to the floor. She put her hands over her face. She felt her breath stop. More than the night at Ani Estates, more than anything, this poem hurt her, like a knife in her stomach.

Be warned,
Whore-mother of suffering,
I am coming.
I am relentless!
Not one of my children
Will I abandon to you.
I will meet you on
Every hill and mountain.
In every ocean, in every country.
In the sky, in the six realms,
In form and formless lands,
No hell or heaven will
Hide you from me.
I will never stop.
Like a tigress
I will come,
Mouth dripping with blood,
Claws extended.

I will come and slay you,
I will rip you apart
Cut up, shredded,
Sliced and diced,
No one will know
Which part to call Samsara.
I will finish you.
You will not enslave my children.

Then I will shed tears
To heal you.
I will scoop you up
In my arms,
Tenderly I will hold
Your head.
My eyes will shine
Wisdom and compassion upon you.
My body will be your home.
My speech will sing lullabies
Of pure virtue.
Then you will remember
You are my child too.
Samsara.
Yes, you too.
Then, beloved child
Who is never separate from me,
We will depart together.
We will be in Paradise.

Jetsunma began explaining the poem, line by line. Of course, it wasn't literally about two students, it was about the entire sangha, and it was about samsara. "Whore indicates an awareness that samsara is completely unwholesome," she said. "Samsara is just simply filled with degradation and unwholesomeness, with shit and garbage. There is nothing here but garbage, and so whore is a word that indicates the complete unwholesomeness of it."

She kept reading.

From my mouth will come
The ambrosia of Dharma
And from your
Grasping arms
I will steal my children away;
Like a thief
In the night

"Skillful means are indicated here," Jetsunma said. "The bodhisattva will come like a thief in the night. And I'll tell you that there have been many times that I have stretched the truth, quite a bit, in order to hook sentient beings, that I have elaborated in order to hook sentient beings, that I have put on my chicken suit and danced in order to hook sentient beings, and I know that if I have done that, my humble self, then I know that the great bodhisattvas have done it much more. Whatever means are necessary! . . . When bodhisattvas meet with their students, whatever skillful means are necessary are legal!"

Dechen stayed on the floor, unable to get up. She felt a bit light- headed and confused. How long would this punishment go on? "There are many, many stories of great bodhisattvas who did not even follow the norms and traditions of the society in which they were born," Jetsunma said, "or the society in which they practiced. They threw all that out the window. And they did so because skillful means were necessary to overcome such a terrible demoness as this whore samsara."

Dechen slipped into a back room of the temple until the teaching was over and then found a ride home with Bob Colacurcio. She mentioned nothing to him about the poem. A few days later she got up the courage to talk to Catharine Anastasia about "War Cry."

"That poem--was it about me?" she asked over the phone.

"I was sure you were going to think that--you're so self-centered," Catharine Anastasia said. "It's not about you. It's about Wib and Jane."
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