Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexually as

The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.

Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:55 pm

Interviews: Bob Halpern cuke page
Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki
by David Chadwick
June 11, _____



ROBERT HALPERN - Green Gulch Farm, June 11, 3:05 -later more at my house in San Rafael and more on the phone. Robert now lives in Halifax.--DC
See photos of Bob below

I went up to the Bay Area in 65 to a Yasutani sesshin and my friend wanted to stop at Bush street and meet Suzuki Roshi who I hadn't heard of - so I went there with him. Katagiri had just arrived [in 64] and he took us upstairs at Sokoji and Suzuki Roshi took us into his office and he sat there with the three monkey statue near him - see no evil etc. - with his hands behind his head - that theme was a favorite of his - he liked to collect them. A number of people gave him those because they knew he liked them. I heard him say more than once that was one of his favorite themes. He entertained us and told us Dick was trying to find a practice center in the countryside. Dick had been talking about it - founding a practice center to have more strict practice and he said he was perfectly content on Bush street but if they wanted to do it, his students, if they insisted, he would do it - but he himself didn't see any problem with the way things were going.

DC - Interesting - Dick always said that Suzuki Roshi did it because he felt that people just weren't getting it, that only Dick could practice in the city and that he needed it for others. But whatever he said to you at that time might have been intended more to encourage you to accept city practice which was all there was then - to say it's okay here now.

As a matter of fact he specified that Dick was insisting.

He'd flip back and forth from Dick to they.

He was less magnificent, so much more ordinary and frail, not sickly but small and didn't have a gruff voice like Toshiro Mifune in the samurai movies. I'd only met Yasutani Roshi who screamed and ranted and raved and bounced up and down - he was more vital then - when we saw him at Tassajara a couple of years later he'd aged a bit. Suzuki Roshi was 20 years younger than him and I expected him to be a lot more vibrant - but he was so gentle and soft-spoken. He didn't sit in lotus, in a samadhi pose, he sat in a chair western style with his legs crossed like men do here. he wore tabi - obviously afraid to get his feet dirty and he didn't have enough hair on his legs - seemed unmanly to me.

Then I went back to LA and invited Yasutani's translator, Maezumi sensei, to leave Zenshuji to start a Zen Center to teach Americans - so then I went to live with him - at the newly started LA Zen Center and shortly after Suzuki Roshi was visiting Zenshuji for a conference of Japanese Soto priests in America and Maezumi invite Suzuki Roshi to dinner and made niku (meat) donburi or some such thing - and I fed myself vegetarialy at the table and Roshi said "don't you eat meat? and I said well, sometimes, and Roshi said, "oh, sometimes I eat rice." And he said it so smoothly that it didn't stop me. It shocked me only later when I replayed it. I wasn't embarrassed a the time. But later I realized what had happened - he had made fun of my small minded approach.

DC: You mean like not wanting to break the precept against eating meat?

And that he'd used English masterfully. Sometimes I eat rice was a masterful ironic way of making fun of what I had said.

It gave me pause for thought. By the time that the impact of having had dinner with him sunk in, I was starting to resolve to become his student. Even though we'd had very little conversation. At dinner it seemed that Maezumi was trying to impress him and to get him politically on side and all that.

DC - It certainly didn't work.

That's right.

So then I decided to go up to Suzuki Roshi and closed up the Satori Book Shop and Gallery on Sunset strip [Robert was one of the first people to sell the psychedelic posters for the rock concerts of the day - he sold that part of the business to Bill Grahame.] and go up to do a sesshin later that year - about a month later. I went in Friday night during the movies and just lay down on the tatami in the zendo so I'd be there in the morning but he got up early to go to the kitchen and came over and woke me up and he said you're not supposed to be here and I bounced up into some sort of correct posture and bowed to him, my new master and double-talked some gibberish and so he took me in and gave me tea and then the sesshin started and I had a Japanese type brown half-skirt, my sitting uniform, my way-seeking mind uniform, and he looked at that ridiculous thing my girlfriend had made for me and so I sat there - later on when he told me not to study with Maezumi, when Maezumi came to the opening of Tassajara and he asked me to come help him with sesshin, cook or administrate or something and Suzuki Roshi refused permission for me to go and told me that if I didn't think there'd already been a change I should try to reflect on how incredibly arrogant I was when I first showed up. I'd be wasting my time to go back to that place where nothing had been accomplished but a lot of arrogance. I hadn't been there very long but in any case so what happened and then I didn't move immediately but started to commute on weekends and things like that - stayed in the flat where Jeanie Campbell lived. It was the first communal living space. She talked to Suzuki Roshi about developing it that way.

DC: So did Claude.

I thought of myself as a macho sitter so I applied to be in the first crew of Tassajara - you were already there - in spring of 67. I lived on Bush street for a while with out a job and hung out and sat for a while.

DC: The first I remember of you, you were on the deck by the kitchen at Tassajara - I think you had hiked in - did you?

I don't know.

[Bob Watkins says he did]

When I went to Tassajara I felt I was already a member of the sangha, that I already had Dick Baker as an enemy - you have to be a member to be on his demerit list. [He tells about how Dick gave him some posters to put up in LA for the Zenefit and how Robert had not put any up when he was there.] -

Seems to me that before the first training period started that I finagled and pushed my way to be on the rock crew with Suzuki Roshi - no matter what I was assigned to - I ended up on the rock crew. I'd help him pick out rocks in the creek I tried to stick to him like a glove. Until Phillip Wilson showed up I'd get the job. And then I'd even usually get that job with Phillip - we made that our niche - we wanted to be special. In one paragraph Phillip would call him Reverend Suzuki, Suzuki Sensei and Suzuki Roshi, Roshi, get all mixed up

I used to stand outside his cabin hoping he'd come out so I could be with him - I developed a kind of father complex - looking for his approval and all that and I would pat him on the back and do things that others were too shy to do. I got into a warm cocoon of relating with him - got into that hi Roshi pattern. And I would try to drive him as much as I could and Mrs. Suzuki would tell me to drive him someplace because she didn't trust Dick - she thought he drove too fast.

DC: Same with me

And behind Dick's back I would reinforce the image and tell her that he usually drove over a hundred. I really slandered him. Roshi must have never snitched on me cause I was a terrible driver and I would fall asleep while driving and he'd start working on my neck

DC: Same with me - once driving him to Stockton to Dan's parents place for a Quaker meeting I was falling asleep and Phillip was in the back seat and kept asking me if maybe he shouldn't drive and was worried that I was going to kill his teacher. We were always so tired from getting up early and going to be late.

We fell into a roll that if he was going to a Japanese person's home one of us would drive him. If he went to get antiques he might take Silas. We went to the house of the guy who's daughters were Rumi and Kumi.

We went to a wedding or a funeral or something and I had a couple of drinks and was enjoying and relaxing and I thought that was my function - that he liked me cause I could talk freely with them and be friendly and he came over and said to me with a roar "You're drunk!" and I wasn't drunk but that was the first experience I had with him that showed he expected something of me - improvement or growing sense of discipline. He didn't drink but he never let on that he cared so I was surprised.

Later at Zen center housing when Jeff B. decided he'd go around naked - he was trying to be real to communicate and took off his clothes and I was Claude's assist. as head of ZC housing. Suzuki Roshi said we had to talk to Jeff because if he saw him he'd have to banish him forever. That was a surprise to me - it seemed he was saying he had an uncontrollable temper that most people would never guess cause we were so masterfully tamed and he was so sweet and gentle.

Another time I saw him bark the same way with his wife when he came home for the hospital when he had that throat coughing thing - 69? He'd had a long stay in the hospital. After that he was laid up in his room and for a couple of months it seemed we'd be sitting in the zendo and as we sat we'd hear him coughing through the whole period - repeated coughing. When he came home Okusan told me to carry him on my back upstairs, piggyback because he was weak - and he growled at her that he was not going to be carried like a grandfather - that's how they carry the old in Japan when they're crippled. He really lashed out at her.

Once at Sokoji I thought I saw a miracle. Siddha (supernormal) - a side product of practice. He wanted to get up into the ceiling at Sokoji through the hole in the tall ceiling so I went to get a chair from the kitchen table - he was just over in the alcove where things were stored. And I was thinking of putting a chair on a table - and I turned around and he was up there. It was an extraordinary gymnastic feat. How in the world could somebody less than 5 foot tall leap up there - off the kitchen table in the hall way out there - and I was really shocked - he was going up there to see how much the pigeons were infecting the attic you know the cooing we'd hear - quite a racket - in cooing or mating season - he wanted to go up and check it out. I thought of that when later he told me that instead of manifesting as a big dragon that he also had a dragon but he kept it little and in his kimono so that people couldn't see his dragon. He had a secret dragon - he said that in his office not long after he flew up to the ceiling. I think he was telling me about not trying to be special in other people's eyes.

Later I saw another miracle at Tassajara when we were building a retaining wall in the little creak by the bridge. Mike Daft was down there and Roshi was watching him build the wall down below and Suzuki Roshi picked up a fifteen pound rock, a small boulder, and he threw it over the bridge towards Mike's head and as it was in the air he said "Mike!" who looked up and caught it - a very unusual occurrence that remains with me to this day.

DC - I've heard similar stories. Jumping in the tree and onto the back of the dump truck flat footed. Maybe it's a Japanese thing - Arthur Okamura used to amaze folks at Smiley's bar in Bolinas by jumping up on the bar flat foot from the floor.

Ask Phillip Wilson how he'd move rocks. He had pretty good strength considering he was a frail man in his sixties - and occasionally he would do things that just didn't jive - because he had that bent finger - and without putting any weight behind it, he'd move a rock with his hands instead of with his body. In working with rocks you have to get close up - you can't just reach up with your hands and move them so his way of working was a little surprising - but basically he was straightforward. It wasn't miraculous but something nagged at me that he had a special relationship with these rocks because they moved around when he felt like it.

Phillip and I would have contests of strength - we'd act like complete show off babies and he'd fuel the fire and he'd ask on of us "isn't that one too big to move and we'd completely exhaust ourselves trying to impress him - he'd get an incredible amount of work out of us - or just let us play out our energy and I was quite amazed at working with him that he could do all this without drinking water - you know hot hot Tassajara summer The way we had to guzzle down water to work in the sun - he didn't want a sip - he didn't get thirsty, he didn't sweat.

In those early days before his private bath time was announced by Dick, I often used to bathe with him. I would finagle it. I would always make sure I took my bath at the exact same time that he did because I wanted to be around him. The first time he undressed in the hot summer he was wearing a wool haramaki (waist sweater) and I said what's that and he looked at me very directly as if to say that I'm going to tell you this just once - "I wear this every day no matter how hot it gets."

DC - Japanese laborers wear them but a neighbor of mine in Japan said they're for yakuza. We got them from SK Ueda in LA.

I've been through quite a few.

I remember he used to come back from the baths wearing a small white towel on his head. Then one day I saw him carrying a book like he was going to sneak a read. I stopped - I used to watch his movements as if my eyes could suck like a baby sucking at a nipple - that's the way I looked at him. Like I could get some key to the mystery of life by watching him. I wasn't the only one who looked at him that way. Anyway, the book was "Born in Tibet" - a guy named Frank had given it to him who came over from Scotland - huge Adam's apple. He'd studied with Trungpa Rinpoche in England and evidently Roshi was reading it and liked it a lot.

I used to try to impress Roshi. Before Reb came I used to sit in the seat right in front of him at Sokoji - the row facing the people facing the wall. One day I had a sleeping attack and he did his rounds and bypassed me because I'd automatically sit up when I knew the stick was coming around. He was up on the platform again and I was nodding out and he stepped down to hit me and I thought that's very compassionate and sat bolt upright and he went back up but then I fell asleep again and that time he leaped down and whacked me a few times. I thought what a blessing - now I'll be completely wide awake - although I've disturbed my teacher's own chance to practice he's blessed me with this lighting awareness in which I'll be able to penetrate in the deep zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. So then he came down and whacked me harder and harder and didn't leave and I fell asleep and it kept going like that till the period was over.

Remember when we used to bow to him after sitting - I used to compose how I was going to bow to him.

DC - I remember how a few times Loring took acid right before dokusan in sesshin - so he'd be peaking when he met Roshi.

He liked to walk - he was so natural- completely unaffected - but still when people were looking he'd tend to walk in shashu (shashu is hands together and the solar plexus) but when he was by himself - like going to visit that Christian friend of his who had the antique store down on Webster street - he'd sometimes walk with his arms straight and out a bit and with his palms to the front - hitting the air - I don't know why he did it that way - if he liked his chest to be open - an unusual posture you don't see people normally doing.

DC: He used to walk casually with his arms at his side all the time, even at Tassajara - that's what I remember.

Around that time there were the riots in the Filmore and we told him he mustn't go.

DC: We went over and told him he should get out of the neighborhood - there was rioting in the streets and we were worried about it spilling up into our area and had fears of angry blacks streaming into Sokoji breaking into buildings and killing people and we told him and Okusan they should leave and he said no, black people like me - they like to put their finger on my head - they like to pat babies and Buddhas. In fact I think I'll take a walk up there and go visit them and we said no no no no! please no and he backed off - we said ok ok stay - but at least please don't walk up there.

Later in that riot, when it wasn't safe - he did take a walk - to go see his friend on Webster street.

I went with him a number of time to that shop like if he had to get a wedding present for a friend he might go back two or three times just looking to see if something would grab him.

He did go for a walk anyway, with relaxed confidence.

I remember a year or so later he was up late at night agonizing over a letter he had to right to his friend Yamada Roshi at headquarters, the vice abbot of Sotoshu. Suzuki Roshi was trying to resign from Sokoji and he wanted to write a letter and explain to them that he wanted to spend most his time with his American hippie students. He wanted to give them warning and he was agonizing over the letter and I said to him, if he's your friend why don't you just call him, and he made me feel like as a 20th century American boy I could augment the Buddha activity because it never had occurred to him he could do such a high tech thing and that it would make sense and wasn't a terrible waste of money and he treated me like I was a very clever person for thinking that one out and he made the call and his friend understood the whole thing and he didn't have to write the Japanese letter.

DC: Do you remember the time when he'd been sick? or maybe it was because he was going to Japan soon or - I don't remember, anyway we went over and caught him and he said "and while I'm in Japan I'm going to give Dick transmission, and then you'll have an American priest, teacher," and he seemed so pleased to say that and we went WHAT?! and you said "Suzuki Roshi, if you give Dick transmission, EVERYBODY's gonna think you're crazy."

Oh yeah

DC: And he said no no no sort of whiney and I asked does that mean that Dick is fully enlightened and he said no no no it just means he has a good understanding and a FULL commitment.

Right - commitment

DC: We couldn't believe it - we were shocked - and we weren't actually down on Dick like a lot of others.

We weren't in those circles.

DC: I told Kobun that in the office and he raised his hands up in horror like a monster was attacking him and went "no no no - maybe he's talking about Phillip." But we had such romantic ideas about transmission then which to most Japanese priests is like graduating from college.

Why did Kobun take it so seriously?

DC: Cause Dick and he didn't always get along - Dick couldn't stand the way students related to Kobun with awe as soon as he arrived even though there were Westerners who'd studied Zen a lot longer around there. We'd sit up late with him asking him about his enlightenment experiences cause he had a yellow robe and was Japanese. He spoke so slowly.

Waiting for his next vowel

DC: Remember when he was giving a lecture in the summer and guests came to it to hear a Zen lecture and he was staying up late studying and he spoke so so so very slowly - Kato says he does that in Japanese too - slowly but so beautifully - and there got to be longer and longer spaces between the words and then he was just sitting there and then he started to lean forward and then he started to drool and this long strand of drool went down into his mudra and woke him up and he just sat up and started talking slowly again.

I remember when the shit hit the fan and he lay in bed like he was sick day after day cause he'd had the thing with Evelyn Lentz. and Suzuki Roshi tortured him by making a rock garden right around his doorway and on some very hot days his door would be open to help cool his cabin down and he wouldn't even get up to take a pee for hours while we worked waiting for the end of work period. It was a kind of double-edged behavior for Suzuki Roshi to have - he kind of felt sorry for Kobun who wasn't feeling well but on the other hand he was needling him with this extraordinary hot claustrophobic breath of being right outside his door all day long.

DC: I was carrying the kyosaku one night in the zendo and I left, walked out and right up to Kobun's door and knocked and as he stood there I hit him gently on each shoulder with the kyosaku and he bowed and I went back hearing his door close as I walked off.

DC: I once was driving Suzuki Roshi and I asked him have you ever had a student who understood your teaching and he said yes and I said how many and he said one and I asked was it an American and he said no and I said was it a man and he said yes and I asked was he Japanese and he said yes and I asked what happened to him and he said, "He died." [I now think he may have been speaking of Nishinakama.]

He told me that he was very impressed with Trudy Dixon. Once after the Monday morning sitting in Mill Valley he said let's go visit Trudy and we rang the door bell and Mike answered the door and he had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, unshaven and instead of jumping to attention like everybody does what he'd been through was so devastating walking someone through their dying when you're as young as he was and going through his own turmoils about his sexual orientation - and he just went oh hi Roshi and just kept talking there with the cig in his mouth dangling out of the corner and we talked to Trudy for a while and she was so interested in him and what he had to say and seemed to be equally interested in me. She was just interested in other people in how they were doing and how they felt and what they had to say - even though she was very ill with cancer - and so we left there and he said after he'd gotten into the car, "Now there's a real Zen master."

When his son Otohiro went into the army and he asked me to move into his apartment by Katagiri's across the street from Sokoji

Roshi asked me to vacate the apt so Trudy could live near ZC for the last few weeks of her life - I left my clothes in the apt and was crashing up the block and I'd go there after ironworking to take a shower and change and we used to carry Trudy across the street to meditate - lie on her back because she was so weak.

And I'd visit her and tell her whatever was going on in my brain and she'd ask things about it and I'd be so oblivious that I was talking to a dying woman that I'd sit there relaxed lying back in an easy chair and ask her to make me a carrot juice which would use up all the available strength she had for three days that she needed to sit.

DC: Yes I remember at Tassajara she had special food in one of the fridges in a bag marked for Trudy do not touch and you told me that you couldn't stop yourself from stealing it even though there was only enough for her.

Roshi and Rinpoche were talking in the dining room at Tassajara where they first met in 70 - his second visit [to America?] - and Rinpoche had his back to the creek and Suzuki Roshi was facing him sitting at one of those tables for eight people and the han started to go for Suzuki Roshi's evening talk and Roshi said don't worry, I've got about fifteen minutes before I've got to give my talk. And Rinpoche said, I know, we've got a system just like that in Tibet. And then they looked at each other and there was an electrified air of silence. A kind of nervous silence and then they started talking again except when they resumed talking it was in English. Evidently Roshi had said the business about I have fifteen minutes in Japanese and Rinpoche had answered him in Tibetan.

DC: Then how'd you know they said those things?

I talked it over with Rinpoche afterwards and I asked him what happened and he said I'm not sure, what do you think happened and we went back to the event but I never discussed it with Roshi

DC: But Roshi never said anything in Japanese

Well when I talked with Rinpoche it seemed the two of them had had a flash and flipped into some sort of family feeling - a different kind of environment - I'm trying to tell you the unusual things I remember I know he didn't speak in Japanese - that's why I remember it. This was a unique situation.

Rinpoche was brought into Zen center flat on his back like by pall bearers after throwing down a couple of fifths of Johnny Walker black label. He said, hi Roshi, I'm druuuuunk. And not long after that Rinpoche invited me to come to boulder and I said I had to talk to Suzuki Roshi about and he said "Oh he'll think it's a good idea and I was taken aback that he'd be so presumptuous but when I asked Roshi he almost cried. He said when I think about Trungpa it makes me think I want to tell all my students to drink more. He said he thought it was a good idea and he'd always opposed my crackpot schemes to go to do this or that. Once I left with you to go to Texas and he was opposed to it till I told him we wanted to visit the Hopi and your mother and grandmother and there were people in Texas interested in Zen. Once he saw it wasn't' just for entertainment or excitement he said okay.

DC: I never asked him about things like that - I'd just tell him.

Yeah - it's like the time that Jewish girl - Beverly - found a twenty dollar bill on the street and she was full of guilty type of thoughts about like what should I do with it, I didn't earn it, so she went to Roshi and asked him what she should do with it and he said give it to me without hesitation.

He said I couldn't go to Mexico to visit my old friend Juan with Alan Marlowe. He said no but when I told him that it would stop Alan from going to Tibet to live in a cave he said okay.

Ask Henry Schaeffer about Roshi.

DC: He stopped going to ZC because Roshi asked him to cut his hair didn't he? [I later did an interview with Henry.].

DC: In what way did Suzuki Roshi teach?

He was reluctant to comment on a persons practice very much so that when he did people cherished it and studied it like a koan - now if he did say something - like David you're too hard on yourself, you'd remember that forever. And you couldn't catch the rhythm of why he approved or why he disapproved.

DC: Like the time that you and I were with Trungpa screwing around and he was drunk of course at night after a talk and he said that our problem was that we were too serious.

Straight forward direct criticism of you was unusual and people would cherish it as the direct teaching.

He always apologized for telling us too much because he said it was much better to not say anything but I can't help myself, I've got to tell you the following.

I was in Toronto with Trungpa at Beverly Webster's? house and Kalu Rinpoche was sitting on the floor with his students, paying their respects, and Trungpa Rinpoche was sitting in his chair drinking a bloody Mary and Kalu was asking him how to teach Americans and they got up and did their prostrations and left and then Fran Lewis came in with a phone message from Yvonne that Roshi had advanced cancer and wasn't expected to live and before she finished saying it Rinpoche was crying blood, he burst a blood vessel in his eye or something and his tears were all pink and he cried like a baby who'd just seen their parents mowed down - there was no shock, just agony and he was really torn apart, couldn't stop crying and he said to me you go back immediately and I said I have so much confidence in Roshi he's a living buddha he's fine and you're completely falling apart and he said no he's your teacher you have to go and I'll come up in a couple of days and so I went and went immediately to Okusan to talk to her in the kitchen and Roshi came out to us from his bed which was evidently unheard of he wasn't seeing anybody at all - this was a low period and he was all purple and weak.

Remember how he did Dick's ceremony when that strength came from somewhere amidst the fainting. When I saw him there he kind of struggled out and he sat down and he said to me with measured breath, "How many of my students are with Trungpa?" and I was fumbling and said, "You look really good Roshi" and I told him I'd been at Rocky Mt Dharma center and there were about a dozen and he asked me how Rinpoche's health was and how his leg was and then I helped him back into bed and then I noticed there was this stack of get well cards off in the corner on the dresser but right to his bed was this big post card flipped around to the back with the writing showing no the post card was showing - a picture of the Rockies that I had sent from Colorado - a big postcard I'd said Dear Roshi and had drawn a picture of Buddha with a picture of Suzuki Roshi on one side and Rinpoche's teacher on the other side and said this is Rinpoche's shrine which was also Karmadzong at the time because we sat at his home and I said Rinpoche's shrine, love Bob. He was very intently interested in what we were doing there - he didn't say how are you? to me. He wanted to know how Rinpoche was doing. When Rinpoche came out a couple of days after he'd heard, I couldn't meet him at the airport but I went to meet him where he was staying that evening and I went in and he told me a little Boulder gossip and then he said "I had a really beautiful visit with Roshi today - I went from the airport right to his home and went to his bedside and we didn't say a thing, we just held hands for about three hours, we really didn't say a thing and he looked at me and he kind of puffed up his chest and he said, and I didn't even cry at all and then he started sobbing just like he had in Toronto and we couldn't stop him.

DC: But they did talk - I know because Rinpoche published it - in Garuda [which is on cuke]

Once Roshi was sitting on the floor front row center for Rinpoche's talk sitting with all the students and Rinpoche pulled his leg up, pulled it up to crossing as he sat in the chair till it fell down, and did that a few times and then he said "The open way is the title of the talk at Page Street" and he said "I'm not gonna sit here like a little righteous old man telling you what to do and what not to do "- it sounded like he was criticizing Roshi who'd tell people how to live - you should wash your hands after you go to the toilet you should handle things carefully, live mindfully and all that but he wasn't - there was this great love that went on between them -

I remember the first time he came to page street Roshi asked him to sit down on a sofa in the guest dining room and Rinpoche blurted out "in your tradition what's the difference between prajna and vijnyana[sp?]? because I'm a little confused having read so much emphasis by reading the English translation of Zen texts" and Roshi said just a second and he almost ran up the stairs to his room, very uncharacteristically, and he came back excitedly and he said what word was it and he looked em up in Sanskrit and saw the Chinese and said well for us prajna means this and vijnyana means that and Rinpoche said I'm so glad because that's exactly what it means for us and the two of them were quite happy about that the further discovery that both had the same sense of these subtle philosophical distinctions between things so then Rinpoche asked one of the people in his group to run out to his car and get the magazine called Garuda - the first Garuda - and Rinpoche who was well trained in oriental politics and had been to oxford with princes and hobnobbed with Nehru and the Dali Lama opened up the Garuda and said to Roshi and this is our center in Colorado and here you see this and this is what we're doing so instead of the usual diplomatic stuff he's all excited like a son showing his father what he'd done and Roshi was quite happy about the whole thing

Once I was driving him back from Mill Valley and I asked him if he thought I should give up smoking and he said weather or not you give up smoking you should always practice as hard as if you're involved with giving up smoking and then he said what did you ask and I said should I give up smoking and he said yes just to punish me for asking.

DC: Once we went to Bill Kwong's sitting and afterwards went over to Bill's for breakfast with Roshi cause he'd literally given us each like a heaping tablespoon of seven grain cereal or rice or something and afterwards we were all starving and went to a pancake house cause we were all hungry.

DC: Once you were sitting in the back seat, maybe that time, maybe not, and you asked him if you should quit smoking and he said that practice is pretty hard, it's at least as hard as quitting smoking, and you said did you hear that David and feigned throwing your cigs out the window and you might have done so but you smoked just as soon as he was out of sight.

I remember one time driving him to Tassajara he wanted to stop at the Monterrey zendo in someone's house - Ueno's, the priest - he remembered roughly how to go there but it was my first time and he was saying it's around here someplace - we were getting there very early so we could sit so we left at about three. And the sun was just coming up and he said stop and we got out and he looked up at the mountains and caught his orientation and he said go this way - he had a geographical sense of where he was in relation to the mountains, the Santa Lucias.

DC: So how did Suzuki Roshi teach?

He always talked to us about how impatient he was because he always used the most extreme utmost patience in teaching so his idea was that Dogen taught about returning the water to the river not so much by telling people that he did it but by actually doing it day in day out. To do it whether he felt like it or not.

DC: Definitely

And Roshi looked forward to days when he didn't feel like practicing because that's when he could make the message to us that you do it weather you feel like it or not rather that just lecturing us about that and that

Somebody asked Gandhi, my boys addicted to sugar talk to him to break him of the habit and he said yes I'll talk to him but wait a couple of weeks cause I have to kick it first myself.

DC: Can you give an example of how he taught by example?

One day I tried to make a point to him that I was a sentient being with human needs and desires so I said to him at dinner want to go so a movie tonight? and he said sure - Okusan's not here and a group of us looked at what was on and piled into my van and went to see 2001 and it was a second show and a long movie and it was in the South Bay quite a ways away and we got back very late and the next morning he was up for sitting

DC: I was there and during the movie he didn't say anything except to tell me to shut up when I tried to explain him something and afterwards he said, "Is that what LSD is like?"

And later he used that movie frequently in his talks - the monolith was like the Alaya Visnana - he refereed to various things about that movie

Looking back on it, it seems his mind was constantly seeking for ways that he could explain Buddhism in our own language

DC: Do you remember before the first practice period at Tassajara when we were sitting in where the zendo came to be before there was any zendo - with the big fireplace - you asked him, "Suzuki Roshi, there are various students doing things that actually don't seem to be an ideal part of the practice - like bathing together men and women or talking in the baths and it seems we need more rules and don't you think we need some rules here? And he said yes the broom over in the corner is standing on its bristles and it should be on the wooden butt and that will preserve the broom - there - that's your first rule. And that's the way Buddha's rules came about - not sitting around dreaming up rules but in response to actual situations. However, the next day he said that up to now we've had men and women together in the baths and they are a place to practice, to continue our zazen , second only in importance to the zendo and when we bathe together men and women its not really practice, it's social - so for now on men and women will bathe separately and the people like Jim and Bill and their wives who were trying to practice with us got mad and left saying it was too puritan for them.

He appointed me ino (head of the zendo) for Tatsugami's visit and I was completely undisciplined and he teased me afterwards calling me mistake ino Roshi. He said your problem is that you try too hard. after I'd screwed up breaking all the rules. He said everything would be fine if your not so hard on yourself.

DC: Yeah, Tatsugami told you that he knew what your problem was - that he'd had a friend like that and he got neurosurgery. You were crushed.

Suzuki Roshi said I'm not so Japanese anymore. Yoshimura is and more so Katagiri. They are typically Japanese whereas Chino sensei is more like you - a real unusual type.

DC: It was interesting how we could get him to gossip or comment on others. I remember once standing on the road with him and he pointed to a woman and said she's too serious and I wondered why did he say that to me - is it because I'm too serious? Why else would he try to tell me about somebody else?

He told me that he had a philosophy about children - that they shouldn't be taught - they should just be played with and he told me I should be involved with education when he gave me my Buddhist name and that he liked the way I was with younger people

Do you remember at the funeral? Well first all these honchos from Japan and America one after another with red robes - the vice abbot of Eiheiji or whatever went by his casket and Rinpoche walked up heaving in agony with the Tibetan white scarf and kept trying to put the scarf on him and he wouldn't go and it kept flipping off the casket and he was heaving with emotion and Okusan broke into tears who had been so composed through the ceremony and afterwards she in a hurried way ran upstairs to get his walking stick that he'd last used and came down into the hallway and gave it to Rinpoche.

He had his last visit with Roshi at San Francisco Zen Center a short time before Roshi's death; Rinpoche returned there for Roshi's funeral in December. During the ceremony, he went up to offer a khata, a Tibetan ceremonial white scarf. With one hand, he unfurled the scarf and it hung in the air and then draped perfectly, beautifully, over the casket at the same time that he uttered a piercing cry.

-- Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, by Diana J. Mukpo with Carolyn Rose Gimian

I used to drive him to Marian's house and there were usually about five people - it was in Marian's garage with a tiny group of housewives.

DC - I remember more like fifteen.

They showed movies at Sokoji in the big auditorium on the weekends and I remember Roshi saying that i resolve not to go to the samurai movies and then I hear those swords clashing and I begin to think I wonder why they're doing that I wonder what's going on in there and then I hear a couple of more swords clash and then I go in and I'm hooked and I stay for the whole thing.

Then I remember another time driving him down to Tassajara with some Zen monks from Japan and we stopped in a motel in Monterrey and they were watching TV ignoring it and chatting but when the commercials came on they were captivated by them

When he was tested for alpha waves by Joe Kamia he constantly slept during the test

DC: Rinpoche said that until he met Little Joe, the Peyote Road Man, Suzuki Roshi was the only sane man he'd met in America

Rinpoche said that after he left Tibet he never heard of his teacher again and he felt so sad and alone and then when he met Roshi he felt that he had a friend

He said that all the people supporting him in England were only making things worse - the whole Christmas Humphreys crowd.

I asked Suzuki Roshi isn't it important what you eat and he said yes but it's more important how you eat and more important than that is how you sleep and he said it with his brilliant sense of irony and timing but he also said not to read before you go to bed

DC: He said don't drink anything before you sit zazen

No intoxicants - but his message about diet and all that was not to screw up one's synchronization of mind and body

I was worried that my parents might not approve of Suzuki Roshi when they came to Tassajara and he told me that I needn't go in and join them in his cabin. I was nervous waiting outside and it went on and on and on and I opened the door and my father and he were rolling on the floor laughing and my parents had completely fallen in love with him and my mother thought he was exactly like her father and he said to my father that they think we're old and they don't realize how young us old people can be. He said the only old one around here is the mountain. To this day my father quotes him.

He got angry at me once for making a disparaging remark about Alan Watts - I said his books were shallow and he said that was completely missing the point that what I should notice is that Alan watts books brought thousands of people to Buddhism.

DC: He also said that Alan Watt's was a great Bodhisattva - same thing.

He also got angry at me once when I told him I got a job iron working and he asked me how much I was being paid and I said 6$ and hour and he said that was no kind of money for a Zen student to make - however he did tell me that he felt that Dick should get a salary like a director of a corporation.

At one point Claude and I were worried that he was banking his $600 a month he was earning when he went on ZC salary and stopped taking money from Soto headquarters and we talked to him and Okusan and found out he was giving about two third of his money to charity without telling anybody. Like polio or united fund. The only time he'd spend any money would be if he bought a gift for a Japanese friend or something.

Once we were crossing a toll gate and he asked me to get a receipt for a quarter and he said I'm too old to learn how to take care of financial things but there's still time for you.

DC: Okusan said that he kept good records and was careful to distinguish between what was ZC and what was personal and that he never had time to teach Dick about that and that's why Dick didn't understand those things so Dick got confused about what was personal and what was ZC. But from what I saw, Dick was more special to him than anyone else and he left that sort of thing up to us. Personally I wasn't so bothered by Dick's spending. Maybe it got out of hand but a lot of it was for public benefit like his trip to Russia with the US Soviet friendship people. He didn't do anything carelessly, just not in synch with the students I guess - ultimately.

My impression is that he respected Dick's ability to manipulate the situation and ride heard as an administrator to keep the whole thing together. He liked his vision in that sense and to be quite the artist or as sensitive a person as Roshi was but that he well represented him in terms of catching the vision of how he wanted things to grow and develop so he felt quite good about him as a heart son in that respect.

Do you think that Suzuki Roshi planted seeds in his students that are just beginning to come to fruition?

DC: I don't know. I guess so.

I do. I think that anytime he said anything to anybody that they didn't understand that they kept playing it or replaying it and that late something would percolate. Later they'd see it meant something they never realized.

Suzuki Roshi couldn't understand everything people said and when he spoke extemporaneously it wasn't near as good as when he prepared - he'd tell us how forgetful he was but he could remember lots of words he looked up in the dictionary

What about Hoitsu?

DC: He has no inclination to do what his father did - he doesn't like zazen and Suzuki Roshi asked him to learn English so he could come over and help but he didn't want to. [Hoitsu has totally changed since then. - dc 5

Hoitsu studied kendo for many years and Sri Oribendo said the way East and West will finally meet will be in sports. Hoitsu got mad at me for bringing him gifts in Japan - he said you can come but don't bring gifts.

DC: Wow - that's what all Japanese do. He also gave me back a donation I'd left on his altar.

This is the end of the cuke interview with Bob Halpern.

Photos of Bob

4-04-11 - Had some fun exchanges with my dear old friend Bob on Facebook today and downloaded these four photos from his page. - dc

That's Bob, Suzuki, and Philip Wilson

Bob Halpern with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

This photo withdrawn by cuke censor: Bob Halpern with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in the center at - I don't know, maybe a meeting of the Vajra Guard. They look like they're getting ready to invade someplace.

Bob recently. Hi Bob! - dc
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sun Jul 28, 2019 2:11 am

Henry Schaeffer with Sam Bercholz and Walter Fordham



Henry Schaeffer: I saw Rinpoche and Roshi together on four different occasions. The first time was when he gave the talk at Zen Center in May 1971, in the dining room, not the Buddha Hall. The second time was when he blessed Taggie (Tagtrug Mukpo). The third time was when we went there for lunch. Were you there, Sam?

Sam Bercholz: Mm-hmm

Henry Schaeffer: Yeah. We went there for lunch. It was Sam, myself, I think Frannie (Fran Lewis), Cason (Tania Leontov), John baker and Marvin (Casper). We went there and one of the things Rinpoche had said to us then was: "Ask Roshi what's the difference between prajna and jnana." Roshi said: "They're the same." And then one of us said: "Rinpoche says they're different." So then Roshi said: "Excuse me, I have to go up and get my Japanese Sanskrit dictionary. He went up to his room and came back down with it; then he looked at it and said, "Oh, they're different." I really felt, and I believe it to this moment, that he [Rinpoche] was also instructing Roshi. Now, is that something strange to say? I don't know. But that's what I saw.

The fourth time Roshi invited Rinpoche down with Diana. So I drove them down to Tassajara. And then Rinpoche gave a talk at the zendo one of the evenings we were there. Another thing we did down there was Roshi showed us the spot where he wanted to have his ashes, [after he was] cremated. It was further downstream from those buildings: the zendo, the kitchen, the whole thing. We took a walk over there, and Roshi showed us that he had chosen these particular rocks and boulders and stones. It had already been worked on, but it wasn't complete. That I remember very clearly. That was the fourth time I saw them together. [The site is not downstream - dc]

But the third time, he [Rinpoche] was staying with Sam's [business] partner, Michael, in Oakland.

Walter Fordham: Michael Fagan.

Henry Schaeffer: Michael Fagan yeah. And Michael Fagan had this big, maybe Victorian apartment, that was either on the second or third floor, and overlooked several backyards, and it had a back porch. So it was a nice night, and as you know, Rinpoche liked to stay up late at night, and he had a lot of us students there drinking and hanging out with him and talking. It was very late, three or four in the morning, and in the first Garuda [a sangha newsletter, which had just been published, and which Rinpoche was paging through for the first time], there's a photograph of Rinpoche from Gold Hill, wearing a kind of a grayish sport coat with a turtleneck sweater. But in that turtleneck sweater you can see his beads [malas]. They showed through [the sweater (see photo above)]. We were there and Rinpoche told us, "The time for this is over," and he took his beads and twirled them around like this, and threw them over a backyard, he just threw them away.

Walter Fordham: The malas?

Henry Schaeffer: The malas. Yeah. He just threw them across to another backyard. I can't remember which one it was, but ... We were kind of facing parallel and right and left and in front of us were backyards. And then he told me, tomorrow morning, go at ten or ten thirty and tell Roshi that he [Rinpoche] was coming at 11 with Taggie, and Roshi was going to bless Taggie. Not ask him. Tell him.

As I told you, Roshi always told me I did things wrong. I never did things the right way. I was always doing them wrong. So I told Rinpoche, "No no, oh no, he's going to really get angry with me." I already felt like maybe I had offended him because I had gone to study with the Rinpoche. A lot of people at Zen Center, Yvonne Rand, and lots of people told me I had betrayed Zen Center and Roshi by going to study with Rinpoche. You know they were telling me that there.

Rinpoche told me to get up early in the morning, and go there. So I did. Rinpoche said, "I'll be there at 11." So I went there, and I asked for Roshi, but he was up in his apartment. So then I asked for Yvonne Rand. So she came and I told her what the situation was, and she didn't like it at all, and she said, "No." I insisted, so she finally went up and talked to Roshi, and then in a few minutes he came storming down. At least that was how I saw it, and he was chewing me out, telling me, "What's this? I'm supposed to ... like giving me orders ...?" I repeated what Rinpoche said, and just then the doorbell rang and they had a desk there, with a person there, and the person went and opened those two double front doors at the Zen Center and when he opened the door, Rinpoche was there in kind of a similar shirt that we saw in the video of where Rinpoche is holding Taggie with Diana, that kind of shirt. And he's holding Taggie, and we're just seven or eight feet from the front door. I'm standing there with Roshi. And he [Roshi] wasn't that tall, but he was like a mahakala, or something. That's how I experienced it. The doorbell rings, Rinpoche is holding Taggie, and walks up to us and starts walking around in circles, holding Taggie. I'm standing kind of like this and Roshi is here, looking at me, and Rinpoche just walks around, making a few circles.

Walter Fordham: He goes around you?

Henry Schaeffer: No, just in front of us, just circles, walking around in circles. So then Roshi says, "You want me to bless Taggie?" and Rinpoche said, "Yes." And then Roshi said, "Okay." It changed then, and then Roshi said, "I have to go upstairs because I have these new Roshi robes from Japan that I've never worn before." So it was a very special thing. We went into the Buddha Hall, and Roshi had a special twig with little branches on it.

Sam Bercholz: I was there.

Henry Schaeffer: With water

Sam Bercholz: Yes.

Henry Schaeffer: And he had a little mirror, and he did this whole thing; chanted certain things in Japanese, and then he put the twig with little branches in water, and ...

Sam Bercholz: That's where Rinpoche got that ceremony.

Henry Schaeffer: ... and sprayed Taggie. And then he took the mirror, the special mirror, front of Taggie and [claps hands twice] like that. And Taggie responded

Sam Bercholz: Yeah.

Henry Schaeffer: He said, "But ..." I can't quite remember. But he saw it as a very good sign. Then we went into the dinning hall, and had some sort of refreshments.

Sam Bercholz: Mrs. Suzuki had prepared something.

Henry Schaeffer: Mrs. Suzuki was there, too, right. "Missus" in Japanese is "Okasan," that's how she was always referred to, "Okasan." [dc - Okusan]

Walter Fordham: That's great Henry. That's fantastic detail.

Sam Bercholz: His memory is unreal.

Walter Fordham: And that's a really important event because he [Rinpoche] did that ceremony.

Sam Bercholz: That's unreal. How would anyone remember that, I mean the details of it. But some people have asked where that [ceremony] comes from, and it came from right there. That was the first time, and Rinpoche really paid attention.

Henry Schaeffer: So, I'll tell him about the talk. Yeah, that was something, that was something. So there was already a set date that Rinpoche was going to come [May 27, 1971]. There was already a lot of controversy at Zen Center: Rinpoche was a charlatan, Rinpoche was just a pandita (scholar), not a yogi/practitioner. So this talk had been arranged and a lot of people came. You know, his books were out, Born in Tibet, Meditation in Action, and the first Garuda ... I drove Diana and Rinpoche, and Rinpoche had been drinking pretty good. So we walked in there, and they had the traditional ... the priest's dressing room ... a room shortly after you came into the building, and we went in there before the talk. People were all gathering and they're mostly there already, because we always got there a little late. So we're in there, and Rinpoche was sitting on a regular chair, and he had these high boots, remember the high shoes with a lot of laces? So I was kneeling on the floor.

Sam Bercholz: He had that leg brace thing.

Henry Schaeffer: Leg braces, yeah. Even after the operation, he still wore the braces. So I had to take all that off, and I was kneeling, and there was a knock on the door, and I think Diana opened the door, and it was Roshi. So Rinpoche says to Roshi, "Hi, Roshi, I'm drunk." So they talked while I was doing this, and then Rinpoche said to Roshi, "Well, Roshi, you can go now." So Roshi [says], "Okay," and he walks out and he's looking concerned. So Diana walks out with him, and closes the door, and they're standing in the hallway, and then Diana comes back in and says to Rinpoche, "Roshi thinks you're angry or upset with him."

Chogyam Trungpa: We need someone to help light the candles immediately.


Chogyam Trungpa acting very "politely" to the 16th Karmapa

-- Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche -- Screencap Gallery, produced and directed by Johanna Demetrakas

My beloved daughter had no chance against this wicked person, who I believe is a Nazi sympathizer as per his Facebook profile post (see video). As a result of Katsura Kan’s manipulations my daughter is dead, and he is promoting Hitler.

Amazingly, but not surprisingly, he was considered good enough to be hired by Naropa University in Boulder, CO, which is an accredited higher learning institution, where we believe he taught his students without any proper teachings credentials, the destructive dance of Butoh and its philosophy in the classroom which promoted pain, suffering, and death. We will look into what I believe is the undeserved accreditation of this university.

Thank you for watching,

Tibor Stern
On Behalf of the Sharoni Stern Estate
President of F.A.C.T., Inc.

Earlier that year, Allen had invited several poets to Boulder for a poetry reading. Gary Snyder, Robert Bly, and Nanao Sasaki were invited to read poetry with Allen Ginsberg and Rinpoche. In addition to his own poetry, Allen read some of Rinpoche's poems from a recently published book, Mudra, which included many of the early poems Rinpoche had written, in England in the sixties. The evening ended rather disastrously after Rinpoche put a large Japanese gong over his head while Robert Bly was reading a serious and significant poem. Rinpoche did a number of things to disrupt Bly's reading, actually. Gary Snyder and Robert Bly interpreted Rinpoche's behavior as rude and drunken. I guess it was, but from his point of view, their behavior was arrogant and bombastic, and he felt that humor was needed to lighten up the space. Allen took this controversy remarkably in stride, and managed to remain friends with all involved. Snyder and Bly, however, wanted nothing further to do with Rinpoche, and as far as I know, he had no regrets on his side.

-- Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, by Diana J. Mukpo with Carolyn Rose Gimian

Sam Bercholz: Do you remember what the talk was he gave? You were going to say that. I think Dick Baker was there, right?

Henry Schaeffer: Yeah, everybody was there. It was totally jammed, people on the floor. I mean ... have you ever been to Zen Center? [DC - Dick Baker was in Japan]

Walter Fordham: No.

Henry Schaeffer: It's got a big dining room and they had, you know, they moved all the tables out.

Sam Bercholz: Yeah.

Henry Schaeffer: There were people sitting in the aisles. There were people sitting everywhere, all around. Roshi is up there, Katagiri [Roshi] is up there, and Rinpoche still keeps them waiting a bit. So finally, Rinpoche says, "Well, time to go out." He wasn't staggering at that point, but when he got out in the hallway ... I am holding on to him and he's going all over the place. We're walking down, and they had these like French doors right there and we start walking in and all these people are sitting in the aisles and everything, and [I'm] barely holding him and he's going all over the place, like you're in a ship at sea, a stormy sea. I finally get him up to his seat. Katagiri is there. Roshi is there. And then I sat on the floor, and Yvonne Rand was sitting in a seat. I was right next to her. The place is jam-packed and they're all looking at him [Rinpoche]. He barely gets on the seat. He used to be able to cross his legs and he could always ... you remember this? When he sat, his right leg could go totally parallel to the floor even though ... Do you remember that?

Walter Fordham: Yeah. Right.

Henry Schaeffer: So he would ... and he would miss....[his leg] and he was doing all this stuff.

Sam Bercholz: What a joker.

Henry Schaeffer: And Katagiri went to help him, but Rinpoche went like that [demonstrates] to him. Because I saw it, you know, and Katagiri sat right back down.

Sam Bercholz: Sensitive guy.

Henry Schaeffer: Huh?

Sam Bercholz: He [Katagiri] was a sensitive guy. He knew.

Henry Schaeffer: He knew.

Sam Bercholz: It was just a little ... it was the tiniest little gesture.

Henry Schaeffer: Yvonne Rand said to me, "You're his attendant, you ought to be helping him," and I said, "No way." So there he is. He finally gets the leg up there, and I guess Diana brought the drink in. Whatever it was, but it was alcohol, and they had a glass of water there for him. But she brought him a glass too.

Sam Bercholz: Those were Johnny Walker days, so it was obvious.

Henry Schaeffer: So he's there ... Was it the Open Way?

Sam Bercholz: Something like that. That's right. I remember it was a Mahayana talk.

Henry Schaeffer: Yeah, yeah. At first it's very hard even for us to understand him, but pretty soon ... Oh .... He took a long time, like he used to, before he even spoke, he just [exhales], you know. He felt the whole room, and got the sense of it, and everybody is there with all their thoughts and thinking. I think he must have lit a cigarette and that really ... The drink and the cigarette ...

Sam Bercholz: It was driving them insane. Not like they didn't all smoke or drink, but still ... driving them insane.

Henry Schaeffer: Finally though, he does begin to speak, and as he's talking it gets clearer and clearer, and pretty soon he's just totally right there, and the room changed. It was really something, and then in the question and answer period, it was amazing. So many people, a lot of people fell in ... a lot of Roshi's students.

Sam Bercholz: They were so magnetized, it was unbelievable.

Henry Schaeffer: Yeah, a lot of them immediately planned to leave and go to Boulder, so that was the other thing. It made a tremendous uproar at Zen Center. It was so powerful, and like Sam said the other day, it was like a stroke, a samurai stroke. But it was so gentle, it was so gentle.

He gave the talk during the sesshin and it was either a 7 or a 9-day sesshin [ dc - 7 - never was a 9], I can't recall. The talks were on Tuesdays or Wednesdays generally at Zen Center, and Saturdays. That Saturday I heard that Roshi was giving a talk, and then I went to the talk at the sesshin. I got there in the morning and sat and then about 11 he gave the talk. So he started talking and he said, "I want to talk about Bodhisattva Trungpa. He said, "When Alan Watts came here and smoked and drank [dc - that wasn't at the City Center, he just said he couldn't accept Watts' drinking], I couldn't accept it. But when Bodhisattva Trungpa came here and smoked and drank, and drank the way I'm drinking water now... (and then he took a sip), I gave up." And he went like ..., he made that gesture like, "I just gave up." Then he said, "You have no idea how much support he's giving you. He's giving you so much support. You have no idea."

So he [Roshi] saw. He understood right away.

For example, in the Shobogenzo-zuimonki Dogen Zenji tells a story, which was told to him, about an influential person, Ichijo Motoie. One day Motoie discovered that his sword was missing, and since no one else could have broken into his house, one of his own men must have stolen it. The sword was found and brought back to him, but Motoie said, “This is not my sword, so give it back to the one who owns it.” People knew that the man who had the sword was the one who had stolen it, but because Motoie didn’t accuse him of it, no one could say anything, so nothing happened. This is the calmness of mind we should have, according to Dogen.

If we have generous, big mind, and if we have a strong spirit of practice, then there is no need to worry. Dogen emphasized a sparse, simple life. Without expecting anything, we just practice our way. Many students asked how it would be possible to support the temple or group without any plan, and he said, “If it becomes difficult to support our temple, we will think about it.” So before something happens, it is not our way to think about it too much. In that way we have complete calmness of our mind. Because you have something, you worry about losing it, but if you don’t have anything, there is no need to worry.

-- Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen, by Shunryu Suzuki

Politeness is about not hurting other’s feelings, not putting people on the spot, and not crossing them in front of others by saying things which might cause the speaker embarrassment. Instead, hold your correction until later when it’s one-on-one and the person has a chance to consider why they may be wrong.

Polite people do not blame and do not complain.

-- Politeness beyond words, by Amy Chavez
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sun Jul 28, 2019 4:40 am

Politeness beyond words
by Amy Chavez
Special to The Japan Times
December 24, 2011



We all know the Japanese are “very polite.” But being polite goes beyond just saying excuse me or thank you or holding the door open for someone. Let’s start with the word “teinei,” or “polite,” in Japanese. Teinei goes beyond the English word “polite” because it applies to far more than just people and their actions. In Japanese, you can treat a fragile item “politely” meaning “gently” or “with care.” A birthday present should be wrapped “politely.” A friend recently complimented my cat, exclaiming how “politely” she uses her litter box (clean and orderly).

Politeness can also be synonymous with respect. Putting other people first: giving them the biggest piece of cake, the best seat in the restaurant, or the center position in the photo, are all part of everyday politeness in Japan. The traditional Japanese house even has a dedicated seat for guests — the one in front of the tokonoma, so that the guest is framed in a background of the beauty of Japanese art (hanging scrolls, ikebana, ceramics, etc).

Respect is about patience. Waiting in line without complaint, and giving others the chance to express their opinion without someone immediately challenging their words. It’s about listening to others, allowing them to open up. It’s respecting other’s opinions, even when they’re different from yours. Respect includes copious doses of “benefit of the doubt.”

Respect means not boasting, not dominating the conversation, and not talking in an angry voice. Respect even entails holding in your emotions, so as not to make a scene if things don’t go as smoothly as you think they should at the bank, post office or city hall.

Politeness is about hesitation, that slight verbal delay employed when you have to ask a favor (rather than just barreling right in with your request). And when someone does ask us a favor, so often we are inclined to think: What’s in it for me? Instead, we should be asking: What’s in it for us?

And don’t just accept favors, return them too. No, not tomorrow, today. Procrastination results in putting yourself before others, doesn’t it?

Politeness is about not hurting other’s feelings, not putting people on the spot, and not crossing them in front of others by saying things which might cause the speaker embarrassment. Instead, hold your correction until later when it’s one-on-one and the person has a chance to consider why they may be wrong.

Polite people do not blame and do not complain. In short, politeness is the realization that, OMG, it’s not all about you! Instead, it’s about us.

Politeness is about grace. Using your hand to refer to the person standing over there rather than pointing that accusing index finger. It’s about honoring dress codes: dressing well just to please others. Yes, you may be uncomfortable in that shirt and tie, but if you wear jeans out to a nice restaurant, you are making your guest look bad. Think about the people around you and that they might be uncomfortable if you: talk too loud, gossip about others, or wear offensive clothing.

Politeness is about respecting property. If it’s not yours, don’t take it. Just because it’s not chained down doesn’t mean it’s yours. In Japan, there isn’t even any “finders keepers . . .” (“losers weepers!” How’s that for compassion!). Instead, if someone drops their hat on the sidewalk, the finder rests it on the nearest post, so it is easily visible to the person coming back to find it.

Politeness is about being a good citizen. Don’t throw trash on the ground, and if others do, clean up after them (yes, even if you didn’t do it). Sweep the sidewalk or pathway in front of your house every day. Clean the drains in your neighborhood of leaves and debris. Take responsibility for your environment, rather than just blaming others who don’t. Clean up after yourself, whether it be a hotel room, a stadium seat, or a camping spot. Do your part. Then do some more.

Respect means you do not deface property, even if you are an underprivileged youth or a rebel high school student on detention. Privilege is not a prerequisite to politeness.

Politeness is about having a sense of duty, and doing things even though you may not want to. Are the in-laws driving you crazy? So what! Honor your spouse and tolerate them. Rather than cop out by avoiding them at holidays, ganbaru instead! Remember, it’s not about you, so stop being so selfish. Instead, be selfless.

Politeness is about the little things, such as staying to help the host or hostess clean up. “Of course I do that,” you might tell yourself. But are there also times you don’t do it? Quite a few, actually? Being polite is making these things regular habits. No exceptions. Even when you’re tired. Even when you don’t feel like doing it.

In my country, people get noticeably nicer at Christmas time. But should politeness be seasonal? Why not be polite all the time? We should strive to always live at the highest level, the highest ideal.

Politeness promotes harmony. But most importantly, try to remember that it’s not all about you — it’s all about us, living in this world together.

And may your cat use her litter box politely.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:55 am

Wrongful Death Lawsuit of Naropa Dance Student Upheld
by Christine A. Chandler
April 14, 2019



Trungpa’s Tantric College in America to Spread his Cult Teachings and Programming in the United States

EXCLUSIVE: Heartbroken father wins wrongful death lawsuit against Japanese ‘death dance cult leader’ who made 32-year-old daughter his ‘sex slave and plied her with mind-bending drugs’ that drove her to suicide

• Tibor Stern won a wrongful death lawsuit after a six-year legal battle against Katsura Kan, who he accused of driving daughter Sharon to suicide in 2012
• Kan is a Japanese citizen who was teaching Butoh, a dance in which students are told to ‘wallow in the darkness of their soul’ at a college in Colorado
• He was found liable by a Florida circuit court in March after he failed to attend a summary judgment via telephone; Damages have yet to be determined
• Butoh features slow, controlled movements and is traditionally performed in white body makeup, it also portrays grotesque imagery or absurd environments
• Sharon met Kan when she enrolled in the master of fine arts program at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado in 2007
• ‘Kan intentionally and/or recklessly inflicted emotional pain and suffering on Sharon from the day he met her until the day she died’ according to Tibor’s suit
• Tibor claims Kan ‘seduced Sharon, abused her physically and mentally, humiliated her, insulted her, and manipulated her’
• He added: ‘I’m a very loving father and she was my best friend. I know who she was. I know what she became. The man needed to be found guilty’
• From the Daily Mail Article Updated April 9th, 2019 by Donna Anderson for the Daily Mail.

prayer flags on Shambhala Day

“Naropa University has over 6,500 alumni that are leaders in their fields, entrepreneurs, healers, educators, and innovators. They start businesses, nonprofits, private practices, and innovative community organizations. They show up differently in their fields because they (sic) unshakeable and grounded while exuding compassion and non-judgment for others. As an alum of Naropa, you shared a journey that shaped who you are today – and who you are in the world. We invite you to stay engaged with the Naropa community and join us for Community Practice Day, Shambhala Day, Community Week, and various events and receptions throughout the year. As unique as our alumni are, they each share one powerful commitment: “to meet the world as it is and change it for the better.” Explore resources, ways to connect, and share your story with us through the links above.”

-- From Naropa’s Website. 2019

Thousands of Trungpa’s Naropa graduates, with their ‘soft science’ careers and/or tenured professorships at Colleges and Universities; Journalist Schools; Environmental Programs and Environmental and International Law; Harvard Divinity and Religious Studies, and most particularly Psychology programs to help promote Shambhala International and its Tantric, chaotic and undemocratic influence on American soul.

Naropa’s motto, for all who enter its Tantric halls, promoted as just a liberal institution, is to be “Change Agents to Change The World.”

Naropa was set up by Chogyam Trungpa, and his Karma Kagyu Lamas, to infiltrate through psychology, psychotherapy, religious studies, academia, the arts, and create graduates under ‘undue influence’ of his cult; without being aware that they, too, were part of the Plan. Just as much as the more active, die-hard cult Vajrayana members, who took vows to these despots on thrones.

-- Danza Butoh - Katsura Kan en Buenos Aires "Time Machine" 1/3

Katsura Kan, and his cult of Butoh Death Dance, a very Tantric-influenced cult, would have been like a bee to honey finding Naropa’s attitude to ‘crazy gurus’.

My beloved daughter had no chance against this wicked person, who I believe is a Nazi sympathizer as per his Facebook profile post (see video). As a result of Katsura Kan’s manipulations my daughter is dead, and he is promoting Hitler.

Amazingly, but not surprisingly, he was considered good enough to be hired by Naropa University in Boulder, CO, which is an accredited higher learning institution, where we believe he taught his students without any proper teachings credentials, the destructive dance of Butoh and its philosophy in the classroom which promoted pain, suffering, and death. We will look into what I believe is the undeserved accreditation of this university.

Thank you for watching,

Tibor Stern
On Behalf of the Sharoni Stern Estate
President of F.A.C.T., Inc.

Starting in New York earlier in the year, Rinpoche had developed some spontaneous theater, shall we say, in connection with taking his evening pill to control his blood pressure. (He had developed high blood pressure in the early 1970s.) This ritual reached new heights that summer. At the end of an evening at Aurora 7, whoever was there when Rinpoche was getting ready to retire, which often included the servers, would be invited into the living room to witness a spontaneous play. The drama always revolved around Rinpoche taking his medicine. He would speak in what sounded like Japanese, although he didn't know Japanese, and David would tell the audience what he was supposedly saying. The point of the play was that, when Rinpoche would swallow the pill, it was supposed to be committing seppuku, or ritual suicide, as in the Japanese samurai films. Instead of using a sword, Rinpoche would die by the pill. When he actually swallowed the pill, he would fall down on the floor, writhing in what seemed like genuine agony, and sometimes a little saliva would leak out of the corner of his mouth. Then he would fall silent, his eyes would roll up in his head, and frankly, he looked like he was dead. Then he would revive himself and laugh heartily about the whole thing. The first time I witnessed this, I thought we should call an ambulance.

-- Dragon Thunder: My Life with Chogyam Trungpa, by Diana J. Mukpo with Carolyn Rose Gimian

This is because the earliest and most fanatic cult devotees of Trungpa run the place. They learned first-class trickery from master tricksters: Lamas like Trungpa; the master trickster of them all. His early devotee cult members have been training thousands of unwitting change agents for this late Warlord from Kham who are now in our psychotherapy clinics, in the arts, in gender studies departments, in prestigious Divinity Schools across our nation. Spreading this medieval doctrine, as secular, liberal and ‘compassionate’ to new, vulnerable college students they recruit.

These harem-keeping ‘no-good-no bad’ chaos-creating early cult members of Trungpa were the most thought-controlled of all; to help him undermine our Western democracy: Trungpa’s explicit goal with his ‘advanced’ Shambhala change-agent students.

I was one of them. I took that vow; ‘to perpetuate’ Trungpa’s medieval world. All of Naropa is still staffed and administered by these early cult members; his first inner circle.

So Naropa University didn’t think anything was wrong when a Japanese guru (a ‘visiting’ Naropa teacher on staff for eight years) tortured and drugged and abused and eventually caused the death of this beautiful young dance student; a daughter, a sister, and a friend.

They looked the other way. Like they always do. But, fortunately, the public and our legal system weren’t cult-influenced by Trungpa and Tantra and didn’t look the other way. Katsura Kan has just been found guilty of contributing to the wrongful death of Sharon Stern.

Naropa Institute has been one of the main enablers of ‘Crazy Wisdom’ gurus like Katsura Kan.
Con Artists, and Abusers. Like Chogyam Trungpa; and Trungpa’s Regent, who also could do what he wanted, even if it killed students, too. And Trungpa’s son, biting and abusing and sexually exploiting hundreds of female students. Many Tibetan Lamas on the prowl have taught at Naropa.

That this is a Tantric cult being run out of Naropa Institute (now University) under the Karma Kagyu Lama hierarchical Theocracy of despotic Tibetan gurus on Thrones, influencing our American sons and daughters and getting Federal Grants, i.e., our tax dollars, to exist to abuse ‘another day’ is little known. Trungpa’s early students are experts at keeping secrets; having taken vows to do so to their first guru.

What I find still shocking is how much cognitive dissonance strategies are being used to deny, obscure and hold onto this cult of Tantric Lamaism by those who believe they are addressing the problem while still under the Lamaist hierarchy’s thumbs. They refuse to believe that all these Lamas operate as One. Fooling Westerners over and over and over again. They cannot accept that they are still in the cult of Lamaism when they continue to stay in its Tantric net. They are addicts who still need a guru fix. It is sad and disheartening to see, after all this exposed abuse. That they remain enablers of Lamaism’s institutional abuse by not letting it go is hard to watch.
Since this abuse cannot be changed while still in the cult of the Lamas.

Naropa University has its influences in big business, with many enablers outside of the cult, such as in Boulder, Colorado and at the University of Colorado. Not to mention the billion-dollar Mindfulness commodity, started by two Naropa students and the Dalai Lama. So, it is not surprising that there is ambivalence and mostly silence in addressing Naropa being complicit with guru abuses.

Naropa, after years of disassociating from Trungpa, is now creating a Chogyam Trungpa Institute within Naropa to teach Trungpa’s medieval Tantra unashamedly again. These Naropa staff and administrators have no shame. I believe Trungpa’s inner circle watched and waited and saw how these women who were abused, could be confused again, easily, and that the whistle-blowers were few.

Because, to whistle-blow and truly be a survivor (not just clamoring to take a settlement and sign a non-disclosure agreement with the billion-dollar corporation that is Tibetan Lamaism, and the secrets will be kept) you cannot be part of this overarching, highly organized, multi-sect lineage of the Tibetan Lamist cult anymore. Not in any way. You can’t go off with other Lamas recommended by the Lamaist hierarchy to keep you still in the sticky net. You must leave your cult friends still in it in any way. Because they can’t be trusted. They are still under the spell. Unable to call the root of the problem out. This is one big Lama cult and that is what has to be seen to be free.

But, winning this Wrongful Death Lawsuit? This threw a wrench in the cover-up mix of Naropa and Shambhala International, and all the Tibetan Lamas and their damage control plans. Winning this ‘wrongful death suit’ is Big. It should have happened thirty years ago when Trungpa’s Regent caused a wrongful death. He was the President of Naropa around this time and a sadistic guru who slept with hundreds of mostly heterosexual male students while knowing he had AIDS.

AIDS was just a concept to this cult bunch and still is. Even when a young dharma brat died.

It took thirty years, for finally a wrongful death suit to be won. It is a start.

When I look out at both these Sharia Islamist and Tibetan Lamaist devotees now? I see female enablers who would rather be in a sexually, misogynistic cult, than face the truth of their having been in a cult; enabled the cult; and refuse to do the hard work of coming out.

Some of them still in the Tibetan Lamaist cult are getting book deals to promote the Dalai Lama’s innocence in all this, and the protection of their own guru Lamas. They want the public to think Sogyal, and Trungpa, and his son are just ‘exceptions.’ And, how there is ‘no overarching hierarchy’ of Tibetan Lamaism, a.k.a. ‘Buddhism’ even though they watched as the Lamas of other lineage sects sexually shared their daughters and friends.

It is more important to save Tibetan Lamaism, and Tantric factories like Naropa University, than their sons and daughters from abuse.

And I extrapolate this cult-like behavior to the Progressives who are the Hard Left’s les idiots utile du systeme. These populations overlap, since Allen Ginsberg days. They don’t care about boundaries, either. Or right or wrong. The end always justifies the means to their similar Utopian dream: The destruction of a Western Democracy by stealth.

Neither do Tibetan Lamaists care about the boundaries of women, westerners or other Democratic nations that have supported them, gave them refuge. They have no concept of these things. So Katsura Kan fit right in. They don’t care about women or boundaries or a democracy of free people, or thinking for yourself.

Tantra is a misogynistic nightmare for women, and Katsura Kan exposed it for what it is.

So, this is really about cults in our midst. Whether religious or political. And warning people when they have dangerously merged.

And the psychologists and anti-cult groups who do nothing about it? Don’t call it out? Don’t want to know? Don’t want to see? Are in their Mindfulness groups? They aren’t going to rock the boat. They went along with the “new religious movement’ politically correct label that allowed these groups to become wealthy cult ‘Churches’ with no transparency. How many of these Tantric psychotherapists and Hard Left Progressive academics, in collusion with these Eastern cults, have infiltrated into Anti-Cult groups? They have infiltrated everywhere else. It wouldn’t be the first time that cult-apologists have infiltrated anti-cult groups to weaken them. Fortunately, F.A.C.T is not one of them and calls a Cult a Cult when it is the Elephant in the room.

Winning this suit is a big victory; One of the many to come, we hope.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:00 am

CU's [Colorado University's] expertise in Tibetan and Buddhist studies is unusually deep
by Clay Evans
March 1, 2014



Holly Gayley, assistant professor of religious studies at CU-Boulder, takes in the view near the Amne Machen Range in Tibet. Photo courtesy of Holly Gayley.

We have three tenure-track, full-time specialists in Tibet, and that’s three more faculty specializing in Tibet than you find at most universities. It’s not a huge group … but it’s an incredible opportunity (for research) and also for students.’

Belly up to a bar, drop by a café, or sit down at a bus stop and mention Tibet in most any American city, from Baltimore to Boise, Phoenix to Philadelphia, and the ensuing conversation will be short.

“I would say that in general Americans who pay attention to global events will know something about Tibet, but they might not know much,” says Holly Gayley, assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.

“They know something bad happened there that might involve China, and that’s where the Dalai Lama comes from,” says Carole McGranahan, associate professor of Anthropology, who specializes in contemporary Tibet. (See YouTube interview, at right, about her research on the CIA and Tibet.)

But that isn’t the case in Boulder, a small island of Tibetan and Buddhist culture and home to a thriving community of immigrants and exiles from the Himalayan nation that was invaded by China in 1950.

Tattered, fading Tibetan-style prayer flags flutter from eaves throughout the city and many a Subaru, Volvo or SUV sports a “Save Tibet” bumper sticker. Buddhism, considered exotic and mysterious in much of America, is just another belief system in Boulder.

The city also has become a center of academic research into Tibetan religion, culture and the environment. Naropa University, started by the late Tibetan teacher Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1974, was the first Buddhist-focused university in the United States.

What many people may not know is that Trungpa first taught in Boulder at CU [Colorado University], and today the university shares with Columbia University the distinction of having three faculty members who specialize in modern Tibetan studies: McGranahan, Gayley and Associate Professor of Geography Emily Yeh, whose research focuses on environmental issues on the Tibetan Plateau and the Tibetan diaspora. All three women have traveled extensively in Tibet.

“I usually say we have three tenure-track, full-time specialists in Tibet, and that’s three more faculty specializing in Tibet than you find at most universities,” McGranahan says. “It’s not a huge group … but it’s an incredible opportunity (for research) and also for students.”

McGranahan in recent years has been researching Tibetan guerillas who fought against the Chinese occupation in the 1960s and were trained by the CIA at Camp Hale, a U.S. Army facility near Leadville, Colo.

The combined academic heft of CU’s [Colorado University's] Tibetan studies trio, Naropa and a new Boulder research branch of the New York-based Tsadra Foundation, which funds the translation of Tibetan Buddhist texts, have attracted attention and new opportunities to Boulder and Colorado.

Emily Yeh, associate professor of geography, interviews members of a grassroots environmental protection group about their traditional environmental practices on a sacred mountain in Chamdo, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. July 2005. Photo by Kunga Lama (Center for Asian Studies)

A joint lecture series between CU [Colorado University] and Naropa, named in honor of Chogyam Trungpa, kicked off in 2013 with Janet Gyatso of Harvard University. John Makransky, professor of Buddhism and Comparative Theology at Boston University and a meditation teacher, will speak in September on compassion, the theme at Naropa’s 40th-anniversary year.

“This is a step forward in the collaboration between the universities,” Gayley says. “There is the perfect nexus for Buddhist studies in Boulder and (collaborations of this kind) will strengthen both programs.”

The lecture series was started with a seed grant from the Uberoi Foundation for Religious Studies, founded by the late Mahinder Uberoi, former chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at CU-Boulder.

In October, the Tibetan Translation and Transmission Conference, sponsored by the Tsadra Foundation, will bring some 200 Tibetan studies scholars and translators to Keystone. Andrew Quintman, assistant professor of Religious Studies at Yale University, will speak in Boulder as a lead up to the conference.

“Boulder is definitely a lightning rod for Buddhist and Tibetan studies,” Gayley says. “I always have a wait list for my Buddhism classes, and I get 120 to 150 for the Foundation of Buddhism class. … It would be hard to garner that kind of interest anywhere else.”

Of course, Tibet is a real place, not just a subject of academic research and study. The nation continues to struggle under Chinese occupation. The 14th Dalai Lama, who escaped from his homeland to become a global leader for peace, is now 78, and China has signaled its intention to choose his successor. It’s doubtful many Tibetans in exile would accept such a choice: Some 130 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in the last five years in acts of protest against China.

All that sounds dire. But, says McGranahan, the exile community refuses to give up.

“The one thing the Tibetan refugee community is most defined by is the politics of hope,” she says. “They hold a real belief that Tibet will be Tibetan again. … No state or empire … has existed in a consistent shape or form without end. … But I think change needs to come in part through change in China, the Chinese making demands on their government.”
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:33 am

Benefactor: Mahinder Uberoi
by Uberoi Foundation for Religious Studies
Accessed: 8/1/19




Mahinder Uberoi was born in Delhi, India on March 13, 1924. He earned a doctorate degree in engineering and lived for most of his adult life in the United States, primarily in Boulder, Colorado. Professor Uberoi passed away in 2006 as a retired academic having chosen to live with very little pretense and ostentation. His wealth, however, was considerable, and his assets today help to raise awareness of Dharmic religions in an effort to promote understanding, communication, tolerance and peace in the world.


Mahinder Singh Uberoi grew up in Sialkot, India, and received a bachelors of science degree from Punjab University in 1944. Subsequently, he studied in the United States, earning a masters degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1946 and a doctorate degree in engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 1952.

Academic Leadership

Professor Uberoi began his academic career on the faculty of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Michigan from 1953 until 1963. During that period, in 1958, he earned early professional distinction as a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

In 1963, Professor Uberoi moved to Boulder, Colorado, where he lived for more than forty years until his death in 2006. From 1963 to 1975, he served as the chairman of the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado. Four U.S. astronauts graduated from the Department during those years, including Ellison Onizuka who died with other members of his distinguished crew aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1986.

Mahinder Uberoi

As chairman, Professor Uberoi added faculty and advanced basic research in the fields of fluid mechanics, modern control systems, and the biological sciences. Adolf Busemann, the father of supersonic aerodynamics, joined the department in 1963. Much of Professor Uberoi’s academic career involved research and teaching far from his adopted city of Boulder, Colorado. In 1966, he was an exchange scientist with the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Between 1972 and 1974, he was an invited professor at the University of Quebec, followed thereafter in 1974 as a visiting scientist at the Max Plank Institute of Astrophysics in Munich. From 1975 to 1976, Professor Uberoi was an honorary research fellow at Harvard University, and he returned to the University of Colorado between 1981 and 1982 as a Croft professor.

Scientific Achievement

Professor Uberoi made innumerable contributions to scholarly literature during his career, on topics such as turbulent flow, magneto-hydrodynamics, and combustion. He was the editor of Cosmic Gas Dynamics by Evry Schatzman and Ludwig Bierman. He served on the steering committees associated with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics from 1966 to 1969 and with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences from 1967 to 1969 at the University of Colorado. He organized the all-university Seminar on Environment and Public Policy from 1970 until 1975. He directed and organized a science of flight program of High School Honors Institute from 1968 to 1974, directed the Summer Institute for Disadvantaged High School Students in 1969, and directed and lectured in the Pre-Engineering Program for many years.

Posthumous Orientation

Mahinder Uberoi passed away on November 25, 2006. He never married and had no children. In 1986, twenty years before his death, he signed his last will and testament. In that document, Professor Uberoi ordered that his assets be used to establish a foundation “for the scholarly study of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Sikhism, and other related religions and their music and arts.” In implementing his mission, he made it clear that his intent was not to proselytize. “Scholars need not have any particular faith or beliefs,” he wrote. To carry out his mission, Professor Uberoi intentionally left much judgment to the men and women who would be named as trustees of the foundation. Nevertheless, by way of example, he wrote, “Obvious candidates for support are persons who are regularly engaged in scholarly work, such as universities, institutes, and religious centers.”

Deploying the assets of Prefessor Uberoi upon his death, the Uberoi Foundation for Religious Studies requested and subsequently received authorization as a tax-exempt private foundation by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on December 13, 2007. The five founding trustees of the Foundation wish to express particular gratitude to a former student of Professor Uberoi, Mr. Randy Nishiyama, for his tireless and selfless work in helping to lay the groundwork for the Foundation. Along with founding trustee Parveen Setia, Mr. Nishiyama provided a most thoughtful and invaluable service in memory of the man who was once his educator.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:40 am

Suresh Oberoi Marriage: Love And Mutual Respect Conquers All
by Rohit Garoo
December 5, 2016



Suresh Oberoi was barely a year old in August 1947 when his family fled the mayhem in Quetta in Pakistan. It was a bitter-sweet time – India gained independence, but at the cost of a bloody partition – leading to a mass, chaotic exodus both ways across the new border.

The Oberoi family settled down in Hyderabad, India, where they established a flourishing pharmacy business. But Suresh’s interests lied elsewhere. After starting out as a radio talk show host – owing to his amazing voice, he went on to become one of the most successful supporting actors in the Hindi film industry.

Suresh’s career was still in its nascence when he had an arranged marriage with Yashodhara, who was eight years younger to him. Despite coming from an affluent family, Yashodhara happily lived with her struggler husband in a single room flat and did all the household chores. Even after four decades and more of togetherness, the couple share the same rapport which they had in the very beginning.

Let’s take a closer look at the Suresh Oberoi marriage with Yashodhara, and the secret behind their successful marriage!

Suresh Oberoi – From Radio Shows To The Big Screen


Suresh Oberoi was born on 17th December, 1946 in Quetta, then part of British India (now in Pakistan). After the partition, the family moved to Hyderabad, India, where Suresh’s father established a pharmacy successful business. Suresh was one among eight children, and received all of his education in Hyderabad.

Suresh always had a keen interest in the performing arts but never considered it as viable option until he was in high school. But due to his father’s death at the same time, he had to postpone his plans. He later joined the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII, Pune) in 1974 and graduated in 1976. He, subsequently shifted base to Mumbai, where he began his career as radio talk show host and an advertising model.

In 1977, Subhash made his Bollywood debut with the film Jeevan Mukt in which he played a supporting role. He played the lead character in the film Ek Baar Phir (1980), which unfortunately bombed at the box office. Thereafter, Suresh stuck to playing well-written supporting characters, and is counted amongst the most popular supporting actors of the 1980s.

This was around the same time that Subhash changed his surname from ‘Uberoi’ to ‘Oberoi.’ In the 1990s, he also worked as a dubbing artist and was the voice of Mufasa in the Hindi version of The Lion King (1995).

Although he limited his work in cinema after 2010, Suresh Oberoi continues to be active as a dubbing artist and a TV talk show host, and is popularly known to possess one of the best voices in showbiz, perhaps second only to Amitabh Bachchan.

Yashodhara – An Arranged Marriage Based On Selfless Love


By early 1974, Suresh Oberoi had taken an affirmative decision to become an actor – much to the disappointment of his family. The Oberois had a booming business in Hyderabad, and Suresh’s elder brother Jagmohan was keen on having him on board. But nothing could deter the young Suresh from his goal, and he joined the prestigious Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune for a two-year acting course.

The family thus decided to wed him off before he sets foot into the film world. Suresh agreed to it but on the condition that the girl needs to be a Punjabi but settled in South India for a long time. Through their research, the Oberois zeroed down on Yashodhara – a Punjabi girl settled in Chennai (then Madras) with relatives living in Hyderabad. She happened to be one of the relatives of a close family friend of the Oberois. The match was fixed. Suresh went down to Chennai in April 1974 to meet Yashodhara and assented to the marriage. The very next month the couple got engaged and the wedding date was set for 1st August 1974.

“We were not allowed to speak even on the phone because it would mean a disgrace to our families. Hence for months, we just waited for D-day in separate cities.”
– Yashodhara about the phase between engagement and wedding

Suresh tied the knot with Yashodhara on 1st August 1974 – the same day when he was beckoned to FTII, Pune. He sent a request letter to the institute with an appeal to permit him to join a week later. Suresh lied to Yashodhara that he will be off to Pune for a three-month direction course whereas he had applied for a two-year acting course.

Exactly a week after his wedding, Suresh left Hyderabad for Pune to pursue the acting programme.

The Initial Years


At FTII, Suresh would wait for a long weekend to make a trip to Hyderabad to meet his wife. Some months through his course the institute faced a strike and Suresh made the most out of it and returned to Hyderabad to take his wife for a honeymoon trip to Bangalore. A few days after their arrival back to Hyderabad, Yashodhara spotted an acting course form in Suresh’s belongings and it is when it dawned on her that Suresh had lied to her and that her husband will be away for two full years. She hid the form and later mailed it to Suresh when he had left for Pune.

“After we returned, she found a copy of the acting form at home and sent it to me, filled with her own details and ‘suffering wife’s course’ written in the space for subject!”
– Suresh Oberoi on his wife learning the truth about his acting course

Yashodhara was a committed life partner – supportive to her husband’s choices and goals. In 1976, Suresh and Yashodhara were blessed with a son, Vivek. A few months after Vivek’s birth, Suresh completed his acting course, and shifted lock, stock and barrel to Mumbai with his family.

By Each Other’s Side Through Tough Times


The initial years in Bollywood were not easy. Yashodhara who enjoyed the luxury of maid servants – both at her marital and maternal home, was suddenly expected to bear all the work single-handedly. The couple had their second child, a daughter, in Mumbai, and now the entire responsibility of the house, their son, and now their daughter, Meghna, was on Yashodhara’s shoulders.

“We stayed in a small room with no fridge or T.V, no bread or cheese. She even washed clothes and utensils, something she never did her entire life, but she never complained.”
– Suresh Oberoi about his wife during his struggling years

Despite all the hardships, Suresh strived to keep his wife and children happy. He made it a point to fulfil his responsibility as a breadwinner by helping his wife with all the shopping and outdoor activities.

“I remember during his days of struggle, he would work in shifts and return only in the morning. He would bring vegetables in a suitcase so that people didn’t know he was ‘vegetable-shopping’ for me!”
– Yashodhara on her husband Suresh

Suresh and Yashodhara are a couple with high moral values, and it was their faith in the institution of marriage that helped them glide through the difficult times. Suresh Oberoi went on to become a successful actor, and eventually his son Vivek followed his footsteps to meet success himself. Yashodhara later took to social work and even today is known to be an active social worker.

Together Because Of The Respect For Each Other


In an interview, the couple once shared that the reason they had a smooth marriage is because they based their relationship on the strong foundation of faith, respect and mutual dependence. The couple always made it a point to share whatever they experienced in their lives – be it their biggest victories or their greatest losses.

“Marriage is no competition. To be committed and to sacrifice is not an easy task. A relation needs a lot of commitment and respect for each other’s views. It is in doing little things for each other that a relationship becomes strong.”
– Yashodhara Oberoi about marriage

Suresh stated that in today’s modern era, marriage is more based on sexual compatibility rather than tolerance towards each other’s incompatibilities. “Today’s youth finds it convenient to break up rather than walk along,” added Yashodhara.

Respect and commitment has been at the core of the Suresh Oberoi marriage with Yashodhara, and it is no wonder that the couple went through so much yet excelled at their relationship for more than four decades. It seems everyone can learn a lot from their relationship! On that note, we’ll leaving you with these adorable words by Yashodhara and wish the couple many more decades of happy togetherness.

“If I read something I make him listen. We go for evening walks. We talk, discuss and spend time with each other. After so many years we can read each other’s mind without having to say anything!”
– Yashodhara Oberoi about her marriage with Suresh Oberoi
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:59 am

Joining Heaven and Earth
by Reggie Ray
Accessed: 8/7/19



In order to understand the shape of the Dharma Ocean community, its configuration of teachers and mentors, and its work in the world, it is necessary to understand Chogyam Trungpa’s Shambhala teachings about Heaven and Earth, the process of joining them, and the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo principles. It is sometimes thought that these teachings apply in a practical way only to individuals at the top of the hierarchy, but this is not the case. In fact, Trungpa Rinpoche emphasized that each of us plays the role of Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo in our individual lives, and that we all need to understand Heaven and Earth and how to join them in order to live our lives in the Shambhalian way. Because there seems to be much confusion today as to what Trungpa Rinpoche actually meant by these aspects of his Shambhala teachings, some explanation is in order.

Heaven is the realm of vision and view. Earth is the realm of phenomena and practicality. Heaven’s task is to overarch and protect Earth. Under the vastness of Heaven’s love, the task of Earth is to give birth, to nourish, heal, and grow all things, to nurture them and make them live.

Vision, as Trungpa Rinpoche presented it, is seeing what is with complete openness, clarity, and impartiality; it is thus utterly non-conceptual and non-judgmental. To see things as they truly are is the same as loving them, and so just as Heaven sees Earth’s plethora with perfect clarity, its love for Earth is infinite. In Vajrayana terms, this is known as seeing the sacredness of all things—the phenomena of Earth and all she gives birth to—in all their beauty, power, and life.

Interestingly, each of us seems called more toward either the function of Heaven or the function of Earth. There is a tendency for men to be more disposed toward the Heaven role and women more toward Earth, but not always. In any case, as we grow spiritually, each of us learns how to embody and speak for both Heaven and Earth.

The word Sakyong means “protector (kyong) of the Earth (sa).” This means protecting the isness, the true or essential being, the life force, the inner purpose or mission for being that marks each of Earth’s children, from sub-atomic particles, to people, mountains, and stars—“all the realms of being,” as we say. It is assuredly not the role of the “Earth protector” to dictate to Earth or to humans what they should be; the sakyong’s role is to see what is in all its purity and sacredness and protect that within the realm of Earth. This means protecting and making clear the inner integrity, life force, and sacredness of what is, so that it is not covered over, misrepresented, polluted, or destroyed on its journey. For example, the sacredness of each person—their individuality, creativity, and unique journey—is an end in itself; in the Shambhala world, people are not a means to achieve some other higher purpose, sacrificed for some more noble end. Heaven’s role, in short, is to protect the life that Earth bears, the integrity and inviolability of all that is.

When it does not unite with Earth, Heaven remains aloof, disconnected, and ineffectual. Earth, for her part, loses her sense of sacredness when she does not unite with Heaven, becoming purely mundane and susceptible to being taken over by conventional values.

When Heaven and Earth are joined, the vision of the sacredness of each person, of all phenomena, is made clear within the mundane, practical, earthly sphere: Heaven gives teachings, practices, and social forms to protect that sacredness among the people of the Earth. When Heaven and Earth are joined, then Earth is able to carry out her mission of manifesting the vision: she heals, nurtures, and loves, guided by the true compass of Heaven. Heaven and Earth must surrender to one another. Heaven must surrender to what Earth bears without judgment or partiality. Earth must surrender to the sacredness of what Heaven knows and reveals, the sacredness of what is, beyond concept and conventional values.

We are a Shambhalian community in holding Chogyam Trungpa’s lineage of the four yanas and seeking to practice, realize, and transmit to others his teachings of sacredness, the dignity of each human soul, and the mission of bringing the Shambhalian view and practices to the rest of the world. In any Shambhalian community, those at the center of the mandala—in the case of Dharma Ocean, Caroline and I—are charged with representing the Sakyong and Sakyong Wangmo principles, and joining Heaven and Earth.

At present, I am mainly responsible for representing Heaven, Caroline is mainly responsible for representing Earth. Although everyone in our community is involved in the process of giving birth to the Shambhala vision and its application, Caroline and I together bear ultimate responsibility for developing, presenting, and activating the teachings within Dharma Ocean and the world. Beyond this, we have the charge of training everyone in the vision and maintaining its integrity in ourselves, our leadership, our community, and all the ways the teachings are manifested in our world.

Within that collaboration, my particular area is the view and practice. As I come to deeper understandings through my own meditation, and through ongoing explorations and discussions with Caroline, my job is to develop appropriate language for the teachings and practices which help people gain direct experience of it in their lives and benefit from the transformations that follow. Teaching, writing, and recording programs that express the view and practice are all parts of my job as well.

Caroline’s particular role is expressing, manifesting, and activating the view or vision in the realm of activity, both within the Dharma Ocean community and the world beyond. For example, as chair of the Dharma Ocean board, she oversees our board of directors, our operations, and all of the people who contribute to our organization, so that everything we do reflects the values of our lineage—the precision, responsibility, compassion, and integrity of the sacred world. She has also taken the lead in developing the teachings on relationality and intimate partnership, and looks after the areas of family life and children’s Dharma education at programs.

As a healer herself, in her teaching Caroline is helping all of us to understand how healing and spirituality are not separate domains. It is the process of healing itself that makes the spiritual journey possible, providing the continual foundation for the path. As head Desung (protector of well-being or bliss), she helps the kasung perform their function of protecting the health and well-being of participants and staff at programs. In this area, she has also worked with the kitchen mandala so that it is sane, wholesome, uplifted, and supportive of the journey of everyone at programs, both participants and staff alike.

Caroline also attends to the sign-lineage expressions of the teachings, having been instrumental in funding, designing, and decorating our retreat center and other physical spaces. Her own practice as a photographer, as well as her exploration of Trungpa Rinpoche’s teachings on Dharma art, inspire the increasing presence of visual art in our community spaces. In short, through her many ways of developing, activating, and manifesting the teachings, Caroline is responsible for overseeing the life of our community and beyond, birthing, nurturing, teaching, healing, and mentoring as needed, encouraging all of us to bring the teachings into our everyday existence and make them real in all the details of our lives.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:24 pm

Chris Chandler’s Expose of Shambhala as a Mind Control Cult is Required Reading
by Tara Carreon
August 13, 2019



The Shambhala organization is in crisis, and Chris Chandler is perhaps the most fearless and best-informed of its critics. Shambhala's spiritual leader, the "Sakyong Mipham," has been outed as a sexual assaulter and heavy drinker with a bad habit of assaulting his female followers, and even the internal investigators hired to sanitize the problem ended up by confirming his bad behavior. Revenues from new students and book sales have fallen off the charts, and local centers have stopped sending the required 25% of revenues to the mothership. Numerous old students have left the fold, and compromising pages on the website are regularly being scrubbed. Two senior Shambhala teachers have been arrested for child sex abuse, and the organization has issued denials of corporate knowledge eerily reminiscent of the Catholic Church's approach to its own pedophile crisis.

Chris Chandler's qualifications to write an expose of Shambhala are unmatched. She devoted the better part of her adult life to serving the group, became a member of the "Kasung" corps of uniformed disciplinary officers who patrol the premises when teachings occur, and ultimately was so trusted by the Mukpo Family that she became the full time caretaker for Taggie Mukpo, the autistic son of bad-boy lama Chogyam Trungpa, whose own proclivity for alcohol and cocaine drove him to an early grave and may have cursed Taggie with fetal alcohol syndrome. Chris reveals how the Mukpo Family failed to provide for Taggie's care, and entirely abandoned him to the care of the State of Vermont, even as his mother indulged a familial taste for the finer things in life, including international travel, multiple homes, dressage horses, lavish parties, fine food, drink, and apparel.

Chris and her husband were both part of the group, and due to their insider status, were able to attend all manner of secret ceremonies and initiations that were altogether inaccessible to the public, and available to insiders only after meeting study prerequisites and shelling out lots of cash. Chris explains how the Shambhala system of "mindfulness meditation" forms the basis for cult indoctrination, fostering a blank, uncritical mind-state and an attitude of childlike dependency among followers, even as they boast that they are developing "warrior confidence," and an ability to confront the challenges in life with the "energy of basic goodness."

Perhaps most important for those who are dabbling in "Shambhala training," Chris reveals that this veneer of "secular spiritual" that supposedly does not endorse any faith-based beliefs, is actually the entryway to a supernatural view of life that focuses on weird practices like visualizing oneself as a Mongolian warlord astride his white charger, hacking down legions of heretics in order to establish an "Enlightened Society." Once Chris's book opened the door to this revelation for me, I was able to find other Shambhala apostates posting online about this "bait and switch" approach. Shambhala Training, it turns out, gradually pushes the trainees towards the doorway of cultic fetishism, and when the student gets to "Level 5," they are given a very persuasive shove through the portal, whereupon they find themselves in a place they never intended to go -- the "Kalapa KIngdom."

What is this Kalapa Kingdom? It is the pure, fanciful invention of Chogyam Trungpa, the inventor of the entire Shambhala system, that he constructed out of a hodgepodge of belief systems, relying especially heavily on the Japanese cultural traditions of calligraphy, flower arranging, and martial philosophy. Trungpa, it turns out, was fascinated with militarism, and in a master stroke of "reconciling the opposites," conjoined the sanctimonious mystagoguery of Tibetan Buddhism with the toxic heirarchicalism of Japanese Imperial Buddhism to create a bizarre hybrid that, surprisingly enough, held considerable appeal for a core group of believers.

Having come to the land of democracy, Trungpa found himself free to set up a monarchy, and surrounded himself with a "Court" of sycophants who fostered ever-grander delusions in his alcohol and cocaine-charged brain. His word was absolute law, all of his relatives were deified, and his servants catered to his every wish, believing that they were thereby paving their own path to enlightenment. Within this "Enlightened Society of Shambhala Warriors," no one could draw an independent breath, and everything went according to Trungpa's wishes. When he died at the age of 48, his body destroyed from drug and alcohol abuse, and his son took the "Kalapa Throne," the party continued unabated. But in his attempt to fill his father's shoes, the Sakyong Mipham laid down a trail of drunken misconduct that now, in the era of #MeToo, has become the bane of this imaginary monarchy.

You will, inevitably, be hearing more about the collapse of the Shambhala Empire, because its rotten foundations have begun to give way, and the entire superstructure is tilting. If you want to understand the faulty architecture of this cult, that gives itself the name of Buddhism, but deserves to be shelved next to Hubbard's Scientology and Moon's Unification Church, you can find no better guide than Chandler's compelling tome. While at times she repeats thematic conclusions that have already been well-expressed, I did not find that it impeded readability, although I occasionally skimmed over some paragraphs that presented ideas with which I had already become familiar. Those who think that she draws too many unwarranted inferences of worldwide conspiracy from the evidence would do well to research the various actors whom she implicates in the plot to take down American independent thinking -- the Dalai Lama's publicity army exists for a reason, and that reason is entirely political.
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Re: Former teacher at Boulder's Shambhala accused of sexuall

Postby admin » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:58 am

The Anatomy of a Common Tibetan Ritual: The Lhasang
Excerpt from Indestructible Truth: The Living Spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism
by Reginald A. Ray



The lhasang—literally ‘‘higher purification offering,’’ which may be glossed as ‘‘invocation of the higher beings’’—is one of the most common rituals in traditional Tibet. While some rituals are performed strictly for temporal ends and others for spiritual ends, the lhasang is interesting because it is performed for both mundane and supermundane purposes. And, while most rituals are directed to a particular being, the lhasang is a broad invocation that calls upon all the various ‘‘good spirits’’ and well-intentioned deities, as well as upon the various buddhas, bodhisattvas, protectors, and departed teachers of the buddhadharma. Because of its broad conception, the lhasang is multipurpose. On the one hand, it is performed by laypeople: in times of duress or special need, the male head of the household will do a lhasang on behalf of the entire family. On the other hand, lamas will also perform the lhasang on various special occasions, before a journey, on a special holy day, to support the construction of a building, to bless an important object. In the Western practice of Tibetan Buddhism, the lhasang is a popular and often-performed ceremony both because it is applicable to almost any situation and because it is simple and accessible.

The purpose of the lhasang may be described as twofold. First, it is a ritual of purification, cleansing people and places of any obstructions, obstacles, or negative forces. The fire and the purifying smoke are held to embody a powerful energy that dispels the defilements and negativities of those present. Second, the lhasang is an empowerment in that it brings down blessings in the form of wisdom, efficacy, and power. Juniper is typically burned in the lhasang fire, and the fragrant smoke travels up to the heavens, attracting the higher beings of samsara and the enlightened ones; thus the smoke becomes a kind of passageway or lightning rod down which their blessings can descend, filling participants with a sense of well-being, understanding, and happiness. Many different lhasang rituals were used in Tibet, depending on locale, lineage, and specific purpose. The following summarizes the general format typically possessed by lhasang ceremonies.


Prior to the actual lhasang ritual, a hearth or fire pit is constructed, usually out of doors. The green boughs of juniper are collected and laid out by the ritual site. Juniper is typically selected—sometimes along with other aromatic woods such as cedar—because its smoke is especially fragrant and pleasing to the gods. The fire is lit and allowed to burn down so that the heat of glowing coals predominates, rather than open flame. The juniper may be doused with water, as wet juniper produces a heavier and more aromatic smoke. When the officiant is prepared to begin the invocation, the boughs are laid on the coals, and, within moments, the white, fragrant smoke begins to billow up to the sky.


The ritual now begins with an invocation to all-powerful and helpful forces, both those within samsara and those beyond it. The invocation is a way of calling these beings to attention and inviting their presence at the liturgical performance of the lhasang. The invocation will usually address general categories of beings and also more specifically particular protectors, bodhisattvas, departed teachers, local deities, and so on. On the general level, then, the lhasang might call upon the three jewels (Buddha, dharma, and sangha), the three bases of Buddhist practice (gurus, yidams, and dakinis), and whatever gods and sages there may be. More specifically, one might invoke certain protectors, the three bodhisattvas most important to Tibetan Buddhism (Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri, and Vajrapani), Guru Rinpoche, other lineage figures, and the like.


Once the invocation has caused the multitude of helpful beings to gather, offerings are made. The offerings consist both of actual physical substances and those that are conceived with the imagination. The actual or material substances that are offered into the fire vary depending on the intentions of the ritual and the elaborateness that is desired. The juniper, of course, is already being offered, and this consists of the basic offering ingredient. Other material substances may include different kinds of grains, other desirable food substances, varieties of alcohol, and other things that may be deemed attractive to the invited unseen guests. At this time, mental offerings are made, consisting of the visualization of all the good and fine things that the world has to offer. Sometimes to Westerners, the imagined offerings seem less consequential and important than those that are physical. In a Buddhist context, however, the act of holding precious things in mind and then offering them can be equally powerful, whether they are material or not.

The Supplication for Assistance

The invocation has gathered the unseen beings, and the offerings have formed a link between those beings and the human practitioners of the ritual. Next follows the request for assistance, which usually includes two parts. In the first, one supplicates for protection against obstacles and other forms of negativity. This negativity itself is both inner and outer. Inner obstacles or obstructions might include illness, emotional disturbances, resistance, and any other inner impediments to well-being and successful dharma practice. Outer obstacles—as articulated in Tibetan tradition—include the enmity of others in the form of curses, lawsuits, warfare, and other forms of attack, as well as disasters such as failing crops, plague, or famine.

While the first kind of request made in the supplication is for purification of oneself and the removal of external obstacles, the second is for empowerment. Now one requests that one be filled with both mundane and transmundane power and well-being. On the mundane level, one asks for health, material prosperity, and happiness. On the transmundane level, one supplicates for the increase of successful dharma practice, insight, compassion, and a closer relation with one’s lineage. In Buddhism, it is of course believed that all things occur based on causes and conditions. However, the beings of the unseen world, each in his or her own way, are powerful participants in the realm of causality. Worldly deities represent critical, vulnerable points in the way things transpire in the world. By invoking them, making offerings, and supplicating them to provide assistance, it is as if one were relating to a worldly monarch who is all-powerful. Though still within the web of causality, he is able in a unique way to bring about effects and respond to one’s needs.

When it is great bodhisattvas and enlightened beings that one is supplicating, their power is that much greater. Particularly within a Western context and with our ‘‘otherworldly’’ religious heritage, one might question whether it is appropriate to ask buddhas for help with, for example, sickness. Aren’t they only interested in enlightenment? It is the same as asking whether a realized master would care about our physical suffering and have any interest in helping us recover. For Buddhism, physical and emotional obstacles, while they are with us, can be powerful teachers. But they can also prevent us from engaging in the practice of dharma and from helping others. Poverty, political oppression, and other obstacles can similarly be impediments to the ultimate welfare and spiritual progress of oneself and others. In the traditional Tibetan context, it is believed that the buddhas and bodhisattvas, as well as the human teachers and gurus, look with kindness upon human woe and its relief. They will help where it is appropriate and where they can. At the same time, in every human life, there are sorrows and sufferings that remain our companions; these the practitioner is to regard as expressions of the compassion of the awakened ones, who are holding us closely to teach and train us.

Mantras That Bring Down Power

Typically, the supplication is followed by the repetition of various mantras, series of syllables often with no rational meaning. These are often in Sanskrit, considered the original language of Buddhism and thus particularly holy and efficacious. These mantras are mostly drawn from various powerful sources within Tibetan Buddhism. For example, at this section in the lhasang one might find the syllables om mani padme hum, the universally known and revered mantra of Avalokiteshvara, or om ah hum vajra guru padma siddhi hum, the most important mantra of Padmasambhava. In Vajrayana Buddhism, the mantras embody in sound the essence of particular buddhas, protectors, or departed gurus. In saying them, one is directly and powerfully connecting with those beings to whom one is making the supplication.

As the mantra section of lhasang is being chanted, participants may circumambulate the fire, circling it in a clockwise fashion, allowing the juniper smoke to wash over them and bring a more tangible sense to their purification. At this time, it is also common for people to pass various objects through the smoke to purify them, such as clothes one might wear on important occasions or implements used in religious work, such as paintbrushes, sculpting tools, and so on. Trungpa Rinpoche comments, however, that it would not be appropriate to include in this process ritual implements such as malas (rosaries) or bells, which are already pure by their very nature.


The lhasang now concludes, perhaps with a restatement of what is desired, perhaps with a particularly powerful mantra. The following particularly sacred Sanskrit mantra might well form part of this coda:

om ye dharma hetu-prabhava hetum tesham
tathagato hyavadat
tesham ca yo nirodha evam vadi mahashramanah

This mantra represents one of the oldest statements of Buddha Shakyamuni’s teaching, found in the Pali canon and elsewhere. Roughly translated, it means, ‘‘Whatever phenomena (dharmas) arise from a cause, the cause of them the Tathagata has taught, as well as the cessation thereof. Just so has the great ascetic declared.’’ The coda puts the finishing touches on the lhasang liturgy and seals its intentions.


Rituals are performed in Tibetan Buddhism for many different purposes, both spiritual and temporal, and the atmosphere surrounding them obviously varies depending on the situation. General rituals, such as the lhasang described here, are occasions for enjoyment and celebration. This is a natural result of the character of ritual as festive and social in the broadest sense. In the lhasang, the usually invisible powers that undergird and transcend our world are invited as guests of honor. The offerings that are made to them represent a kind of feast that reestablishes one’s connection with them and invites their participation in the life of the community. Through the ritual, one is led to take a larger view of one’s life and one’s world. In Tibetan ritual, one experiences a shift in perspective—sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic. This shift feels like a diminishing of one’s sense of isolated individuality and an increase in one’s sense of connectedness with other people, with the nonhuman presences of our realm, and with purposes that transcend one’s usual self-serving motivations.

In the lhasang, the shift in perspective can often be quite tangible. Perhaps as the smoke rises up to the sky, the wind abruptly picks up; perhaps a bank of clouds suddenly comes over the mountains or a cloudy sky breaks up and a brilliant burst of sunlight appears. Perhaps an eagle is suddenly seen overhead or the air abruptly becomes more sparkling. Whatever the signs, if the ritual has been done with a whole heart, some kind of confirmation from the nonhuman world may be expected. The shift is also atmospheric, giving birth to relaxation, humor, and expansive joy.

Ritual is a way of reconnecting with the larger and deeper purposes of life, ones that are oriented toward the general good conceived in the largest sense. Ironically, through coming to such a larger and more inclusive sense of connection and purpose, through rediscovering oneself as a member of a much bigger and more inclusive enterprise, one feels that much more oneself and grounded in one’s own personhood. Through ritual, one’s energy and motivation are roused and mobilized so that one can better fulfill the responsibilities, challenges, and demands that life presents.
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