The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perks

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: The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perk

Postby admin » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:35 pm

Chapter 9: Images


"Making love to humans is like fucking pigs and chickens," said Rinpoche. "Until you have made love to the deity, your experience will remain the same." I looked across at the painting of Vajrayogini. Well, she looks pretty pissed off to me, I thought. Besides, she's utterly shameless. The only one I know who even seems like that is Sara Coleman, but she's always crying these days because you, Rinpoche, are dying and her husband has run off with another woman.

"His Holiness, Karmapa, is not well. You should go and see him, Johnny," said Rinpoche, breaking into my inner discussion on sex. "Find him a white bird. That would be very auspicious."

"You mean a canary?" I inquired.

"Yes," he said slowly. I called canary breeders in Denver and located a white canary, a singing male, which I took to Marpa House where His Holiness Karmapa was staying. To my surprise, the monks ushered me into His Holiness's sitting room. He was sitting on the floor writing on a small table. He looked up and smiled as I entered. Before I could do my customary prostrations he waved me to sit opposite him at the table. I settled cross­legged on a cushion offered by his attending monk.

"I hope so," he said to me in his limited English. Then for the next hour he talked to me in Tibetan. I had no idea what he was saying, but I became mesmerized by the sound of his voice. For a while he held my hand. At the end of our time together he patted me on the head and said, "I hope so." I left him with the white bird and walked back to the Court, falling in love with leaf­-waving aspen trees. A dragonfly landed on my arm, rode for a while, then flew off into the warm blue space.

"What did His Holiness say?" asked Rinpoche upon my return.

"I've no idea," I replied laughing.

"His Holiness said you had a good exchange," said Rinpoche.

I was going to ask if they had conversed by phone, but I knew it was pointless to relate on that level. I heard the Shambhala flag flapping in the Court garden. I stopped asking "What the fuck is that supposed to mean?"

The problem with meeting a Mahasiddha is one of reference point, which does not exist. And you are not aware of that. You are doing your thing, being John Perks, Susie Smith, Billy Burns, Ella-Mae Gray, whomever. A Mahasiddha dances out of no reference point. There is no way to deal with that because there is no deal. Rinpoche would sit in a talk and yell "Fuck you!" And we were like the person in the film Life of Brian who asked Brian, "How do you mean, 'Fuck you'?" While you are doing that, you are still caught up. in your "fucking" reference point. The Mahasiddha cuts you down at every turn. That is why you freak out. Nobody wants to deal with the real quality of emptiness, because there is not even "quality."

We were in Boston, where Rinpoche had finished a teaching weekend on Tilopa. Our plane to Denver was leaving at 10:20 a.m. I was frantically trying to get everything packed and in order. I had gotten Rinpoche dressed in one of his Savile Row suits and seated in a chair with his glass of sake. We needed to leave for the airport at about 9 a.m. We dragged all the bags and trunks to the hall and I glanced at the clock; it was ten to nine. I bounded up the stairs to get Rinpoche, but when I reached the bedroom floor his chair was empty. I checked the bathroom, the closets, the other bedrooms -- no Rinpoche. I leaned over the banister and yelled down to the guards in the hall, "Has anyone seen Lord Mukpo?"

Andy, one of the Boston Kusung,30 came up the stairs and whispered to me, "Ella and Sue took him into the back bedroom."

"Oh, Lord!" I exclaimed, and ran down the hall to the back bedroom where I discreetly knocked on the door.

Rinpoche's high-pitched voice said, "Come in." I opened the door. All three of them were in the bed naked. Ella was clutching his penis and guiding it into her as she moved up and down. Sue was straddling Rinpoche's neck and pushing his head into her curly mound of black pubic hair. Her bottom wiggled in seeming delight.

I stood there frozen and somewhat amazed. I was completely at a loss. Suddenly, I remembered the airport and our impending flight.

"Sir, are you coming?"

Rinpoche managed to free his mouth to say, "Any moment, Johnny. Any moment now."

We all laughed and a question flashed into my mind. "Did the Buddha eat pussy?" Well, he always had that smile on his face. Perhaps, I thought.

"Is Rinpoche coming?" a guard hollered from downstairs. "Oh yes, yes." I walked downstairs and a moment later the girls pulled a disheveled and laughing Rinpoche down to where we were waiting. We kissed goodbye, hugged, and bundled Rinpoche into the waiting car: As we pulled out, students were waving or holding their hands together m the Buddhist anjali,31 with bowed heads.

Did the Buddha eat pussy? I wondered to myself again.

I poured Rinpoche a glass of sake. He was seated between Sue and Ella. They were all holding hands and smiling. Rinpoche waved to the crowd of students and hummed, "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh what a relief it is." There was an air of pain and gentleness in the car -- the gentleness of being in love and the pain of parting, all mingled with the smell of sex, wet hair, and sake. I was overwhelmed by a feeling. I felt totally in love with anything and everything. A mental image of Tilopa eating fish heads entered my thoughts and I wondered again, Does Buddha eat pussy?

I, myself, had practiced eating vaginas by sucking on cans of sardines. Somehow vaginas were more sophisticated than sardines. It's really difficult to describe the individual taste or mustiness or wetness because you're dealing with a live entity on the end of your tongue, which is very electric.

Rinpoche looked at me inquiringly and said, "Major, are you okay?"

"Yes, Sir," I replied, snapping back to my organizational role. I ran through a mental list to be sure I hadn't forgotten anything.

"Great," Rinpoche said. "Then let's sing the Shambhala anthem." We sang to the tune of "Let Erin Remember" while dragons thundered in the sky around us.

The vagina is the gateway into the human realm. We are all born with the taste of our mother's vaginal juice in our mouths. Unless, of course, you are Caesarian, an interesting name! Sex is such a primordial act. It is so powerful, the joining of two to make a third, or just experiencing the act. Rinpoche says it's like death -- apart from sneezing, the only other time we experience death is at orgasm. Try keeping eye contact with your partner up to and through orgasm. It's an interesting experience.

Something is very wrong. Millions of human beings and other beings are copulating right now. But everywhere people are pretending that it isn't happening. What is the secret that we are all keeping from each other? Is copulation the ultimate spirituality­ -- even beyond such an idea of spirituality -- or is it just an event, totally in tune with the cosmos, in which ideas of anything don't exist in any form?

I look out of the car window and in its sun-reflected transparency I see my mother and father copulating-making love to produce me. They are locked in passion like two frogs. Am I in the spirit world looking on? I have a great feeling of compassion for my parents' copulation, for their mutual passion, their willingness to share passion, their willingness to feel what we all experience, ordinary, extraordinary, known, but unknown as to its source or origin, beyond conceptualization. But at the same time, conception occurs. "Thank you so much," I whisper to the reflection and it disappears into the sunlight and Boston streets. We all have that connection.

So I have answered my question. "Yes, of course, the Buddha ate pussy all the time." When he spoke it was from the ground, the ground of the compassionate vagina willing to give birth, willing to nurture, willing to be totally open, willing to be totally invitingly wet, constantly, willing to be Rinpoche.

We pulled into the airport with plenty of time to spare. I had no idea how this was possible.

For the Dorje Kasung, who are the Vajra guards, Rinpoche has made the "eight slogans," which they keep in small pocket-size books, like the pocket books of the Red Guard of Mao Tse Tung. However, these are more revolutionary than the Red Guards', or, for that matter, more revolutionary than the Art of War.32 Rinpoche's motto is "Victory over war."

Number one slogan is "Have confidence to go beyond hesitation."

We were all very concerned with Rinpoche's health and at one point Doctor Mike said we should find a way to cut down on Rinpoche's sake drinking. To my surprise, and Mike's relief, Rinpoche was cooperative. It was suggested that we remove the alcohol from the sake by means of boiling. This went on for some weeks with attendants and servants boiling gallons of sake in the Court kitchen and reboiling the finished product for Rinpoche's consumption.

Now, in Rinpoche's sitting room there was a service closet with a refrigerator, glasses, and trays. It had a curtain across the doorway operated by a pull string. I went upstairs to the sitting room with a new batch of boiled sake. I crossed to the closet and pulled the cord. The curtain opened to reveal a naked Rinpoche with a bottle of real sake at his lips. He just said, "Whoops!" I wordlessly closed the curtain and left him chuckling in the closet.

Number two slogan is ''Alert before you daydream."

One evening, about nine, I went to Rinpoche's bedroom. He was lying on the bed in his kimono groaning softly. "Sir, are you ill?" I asked.

"I don't feel well, Johnny," he murmured.

"What are your symptoms, Sir?" I asked.

"Well, I have this tight pain in my chest and pain in my arm. I also feel like I might have to throw up."

I did not have to hear any more. "Call Dr. Mike," I yelled down to the guard. I felt for Rinpoche's pulse, which was hard to find. "Sir, I think we should go to the hospital."

"It seems to have gone now. I feel fine," Rinpoche said, sitting up. He walked to the sitting room unaided and sat in his chair. "Pour me some sake, Johnny." I started to protest. He smiled and said, "No, no. It was just something I ate. I'm fine, don't worry."

I gave him his sake in the stemmed crystal glass and heard Dr. Mike come bounding up the stairs. He burst into the room, looked at Rinpoche and then at me, and asked what happened. I explained briefly and related what Rinpoche had told me. Mike went down on his knees next to Rinpoche. "Sir," he said softly, "how are you?"

He took out his stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. We took off Rinpoche's kimono and Mike listened to his heart and took his blood pressure. Rinpoche was so quiet and docile. I was beginning to think he might really be ill. Mike made a call and sent for an EKG machine. After it arrived, Mike attached the electrodes to Rinpoche and ran several test tapes. He studied them intently. He sent for a magnifying glass and studied them again. He rose from the table where he had been working. I could see the concern on his face as he turned to Rinpoche and said, "Sir, I think we should take you to the hospital. How are you feeling now?"

"My stomach feels upset and I have a pain in my chest and down my arm," came the reply.

Mike pulled me aside. "I'm going to call the emergency room. Get the car around front." He turned back to Rinpoche.

"Sir, we have to take you to the hospital. Your heart has an irregular rhythm on the EKG tape."

"Oh?" said Rinpoche. "How interesting."

Greatly concerned, we rushed Rinpoche to the emergency room, where he was placed on a gurney. Dr. Shelley, Rinpoche's former doctor, had been sent for, and she arrived shortly. Mike met her at the door with the EKG tapes in his hand. I heard them talking and then noticed her voice rise a little louder. "Well, Mike, didn't you know that Rinpoche has a normal skip in his EKG trace?" Mike stood there frozen to the spot.

Dr. Shelley came over to Rinpoche lying on the gurney. "Hello, Rinpoche, how do you feel?"

"Fine," he replied. "But I have an upset stomach."

''Any pains in the chest, neck, or arms?" she asked.

"No," said the innocent Rinpoche. She looked suspiciously at the stunned, open-mouthed Dr. Mike.

Rinpoche was given some Pepto-Bismol and sent home to his waiting glass of sake. Mike threw his hands in the air and exclaimed, "I can never show my face in that hospital again!"

Rinpoche the Trickster is what the Regent called him. All of Rinpoche's tricks carried with them the message "Wake up! Pay attention!" One particular trick he would do that freaked me out was to run his tongue down the edge of a razor-sharp samurai sword. Not only that, but his tongue would actually curl over the edge. It gave me shivers. Rinpoche would say, "You see, Johnny, you do it, but you don't do it."

Number three slogan is "Mindful of all details. Be resourceful in performing your duties."

While walking down a street in San Francisco, we passed a strip joint. Rinpoche insisted that we go in. It had theater-type seats with a small circular stage and colored strobe lights flashing. Two girls with G-strings were doing the bump-and-grind to loud rock music. We had been sitting there for perhaps only five minutes when one of the girls gave a scream and shouted, "Rinpoche! Rinpoche! I took Level One Shambhala Training!" She jumped off the stage and ran over to Rinpoche and plopped herself onto his lap. Rinpoche was delighted and cordially greeted the other girls as they came over to be introduced. The other patrons didn't seem to mind the disruption of the stage show. Perhaps they thought it was part of the act.

Number four slogan is "Fearless beyond idiot compassion."

During that same visit to San Francisco I pointed out to Rinpoche that there were visiting British warships in the harbor.

"Great," said Rinpoche excitedly. "Let's put on our uniforms and visit them, Major. Call them and say the Prince of Bhutan and his party would like to tour the vessel."

"Oh, God," I thought, "We'll all end up in jail."

When we were all dressed in our khaki cotton uniforms with Sam Brown belts and Shambhala medals, we actually looked quite authentic in our smartly tailored Gieves and Hawkes naval uniforms. We ordered two taxis and drove off to the docks. When we arrived at the end of the pier I could see at the gates a large crowd carrying placards. They were cordoned off by police and U.S. Naval Shore patrol. I wanted to turn back from the mayhem but Rinpoche would have none of it. We pulled up to the shouting, shoving, screaming crowd, where we could read the signs that said "Get Out of Ireland."

With Rinpoche leading the way, we got out of the cabs. The crowd looked at us and grew silent. They parted before us as we made our way toward the boat. The gate was opened and we walked through. No one asked any questions. As we went up the gangplank we were greeted by the cheery sound of the boatswain's pipes. We saluted in return. Rinpoche presented a traditional white scarf to the officer of the watch. The British naval personnel were very polite and showed us around the three war ships with Rinpoche asking questions about armament, engine speeds, crew comforts, and pay scales.

Next he'll want us to buy one of the damn things, I thought. As we left, I noted the name of the first ship we had boarded. It was called the Sheffield. Years later, in the Falkland war, it took a direct hit from an Exocet missile.

Number five slogan is "Warrior without anger."

Another time in California we were standing on a large cliff overlooking the ocean. We were dressed in our naval uniforms. A large, rolling, drunken Indian arrived. He asked for a handout, which someone gave him. Then he spotted Rinpoche.

"What are you doing with these white men?" he slurred. "Come on, brother, I want to talk to you." He put his arm around Rinpoche and started to tell him about the glories of the earth and the harmony with nature. Rinpoche didn't seem to mind, but we wanted to get rid of this guy. He was dirty, stunk of cheap whiskey, and was starting to get belligerent, pushing us away as we tried to reclaim Rinpoche. Luckily, his girlfriend showed up and coaxed him away so we could escape with Rinpoche back to our cars.

Driving back, we were congratulating ourselves on how we managed to get away from this guy and his drunken violence. Then Rinpoche, who had been silent through all this, said to me, "You know, Johnny, that Indian reminded me of you when we first met." I was shocked, and it wasn't until much later that I could mentally entertain our similarity.

Number six slogan is "Not afraid to be a fool."

We went into Mexico. Rinpoche was writing The Shambhala Kingdom Epics. "Let's put on our uniforms and go to the pyramids," he said. "Bring some wood, Johnny."

Up we climbed to the local pyramid ruins. Rinpoche lit a fire, put on the evergreen boughs, and did a Lasung ceremony. As we all chanted, the sky turned black. The thunder and lightning crashed around us and the downpour splattered red earth up on my uniform. The wind shrieked and, despite the rain, the fire flamed higher. It was like the rain was gasoline. Afterwards, we slipped and fell down the mountain. What a great war, I thought. We were bloodied by the elements. We carried the drunken Rinpoche home, down the blood-red mountain with the firestorm raging, pierced through with rainbow colors.

Barnstone was waiting with a pulque, a milk-white drink made by the Indians out of cactus.

"Want to go to a real whore house?" he asked. We jumped into the car and drove back up the same mountain. In the steaming heat, he pulled up to a cinder block building with a bar outside. The rooms inside were square with iron beds and a plain light bulb hanging down. The bathroom door was open and a woman in a greasy blue dress was sitting on the toilet pissing. Another woman with a short brown dress approached us. She had stringy black hair and amber eyes. She smiled. I could taste the blood-red earth. She smiled at me and said something in Spanish.

Barnstone translated, "She says, 'Do you want to fuck?"'

I was so shocked by the whole situation I almost fainted. I turned around and staggered toward the open door and vomited alcoholic cactus juice against the wall. An Indian wrapped in a shawl next to the building offered me something. I looked closely and saw it was a large green lizard.

"They are good to eat," said Barnstone.

I looked around to try to find some bearings. Where am I? Who am I? The most shocking thing was that this was all somehow so familiar.

We went to a bullfight, all of us in our uniforms. I was in naval white. We were seated in the balcony watching the show. In this particular bullfight the bull did not get killed. The crowd of people around us began looking over and whispering, and then somebody threw an apple core in our direction. Other missiles flew through the air-bags, Dixie cups, whatever they picked up. We collected Rinpoche and moved quickly up toward the exit and down the cement steps. Five or six Indians ran down after us. I turned to face them. The fellow in front looked at me, freaked out, turned around, and ran back up the steps. The others remained frozen. I had no explanation for their reaction, except that perhaps I looked like someone else, someone they recognized. Twice I made trips with Rinpoche to central Mexico and each time I was freaked out, not by the strangeness but by the familiarity. It was like living in a constant deja-vu.

I am in the bathroom with Rinpoche. We are both looking into the mirror. Our images are distorted into rainbow colors. Then there is only blue.

"How do you do that?" I ask.

"You just do it," he says.

Number seven slogan is "Invisible heavy hand."

The translucent couple is copulating on my head. From their heart centers glowing fluid runs down into their vagina and penis union, mixing. The fluid runs into the top of my head, washes into my whole body, flushing out all of my clingings, uptightness, pissed-off-ness, depression, anger, and jealousy, turning the blackness into light. I can't believe they care about me.

The fact is they don't care about Me. They care about Non­ Me, if you could call it "care." They have the energy of a newly born star, primordial care without pre-intention. It's so frustrating because I am so ME. How could I become non-me? It's taken all these years to build me, all the protection and strategies. I have to keep me safe, me, me, me. I'm sick of me.

I hear Rinpoche saying to a guest, "Do you know Johnny only speaks to me when I'm not, thinking?"

I feel like I'm looking into the rear view mirror of a car speeding forward. Where does that statement come from? Where is non-me hiding? I keep feeling like I'm moving forward and backward at the same moment -- walking through the door, watching myself move in the space, the ghost shadow of self, trying to keep up with the memory of movement, trying to keep the solidness of me. It's hopeless.

I scrub the kitchen floor to find relief, watching the soap bubbles burst, the air inside escaping into space. I pretend I'm holy­ stoning the deck of a ship, moving a stone the size of a Bible back and forth across the wooden planks. I feel the vessel move beneath my heavy body. I put my hand out to steady myself on the kitchen floor. The constant copulators on my head won't go away. I thought I had left them in the shrine room. Now they keep turning up in my daily and nightly endeavors. We are falling in love. Sometimes I miss them and call them back. Most often they just show up, washing me out, sending me back and forth scrubbing the eternal floor.

Number eight slogan is "Be precise without creating a scene."

Rinpoche was slated to give a talk in the auditorium of a West Coast city. That day he kept complaining about receiving constant radio messages in his head.

"What's it like?" I asked him.

In agony he held his head in his hands. "It's like having twenty different radio stations playing all at once in my head," he answered.

"Would you like an aspirin?" I asked with concern.

He looked at me intently for some time before gently answering, "No, thank you, dear." I felt helpless but I had my own problems with the couple on my head. They had taken to fighting about who should be the consort, him or her. Who's the fucker and who's the fuckee? I wanted to get them back on track. They were ruining my sex life. "Should I be on top or should she? Who's in control here?"

Dr. Mike and I escorted Rinpoche up the long steps to the Greek-style auditorium. He was moving like a zombie as we took him to the waiting chair on the stage. I repositioned the micro­phone toward his lips, placed the glass of sake on his side table, and took my seat in the audience. Rinpoche began his talk. His lips moved but no sound came to our ears. The event organizers rushed over to the audio equipment, methodically checking the cords and connections. Rinpoche's lips kept moving, but still no sound. The tech people started to panic, twisting knobs and banging consoles. I went to where Rinpoche was sitting and tapped on the microphone. The tap resounded through the speaker system. I looked down at Rinpoche. His lips were forming words, but there was simply no sound! I signaled over to Dr. Mike and together we carried the silent speaking Rinpoche out of the hall, down the long steps of the Greek theater, and into the waiting limousine, leaving behind a confused and concerned audience. Two miles down the highway Rinpoche's sound returned.

"What happened?" he asked.

An idea began to form and take root in my mind. Rinpoche was not crazy or a trickster at all. His actions seemed like he was simply playing tricks on people. But they all had the effect of making you look at things from a different angle or a different view, which was somewhat frightening and threatening to one's sense of self. He was meticulous and relentless in this catching the self off guard, which created anything from a wobble to an earth­quake in the seemingly solid reality of self. I was beginning to feel that I was living in a dream world. Waking and sleeping drifted into one another. The only thing that kept me grounded was Rinpoche's insistence on attention to small details: making tea in the correct sequence, tying his shoelaces the same way every morning, dressing or undressing him in the correct form. My fuzzy, foggy mind still could relate to putting his socks in the bottom drawer of the bureau, his underwear in the next drawer, shirts, then pants, then ties, and finally hats at the top.

A small thing occurred at encampment. Rinpoche, Max, and I had taken a shower together. Rinpoche pointed out to Max that Tibetan penises were bigger than Chinese ones. I dressed Rinpoche after drying him off, then I dressed myself. He looked at me across the room. I looked down at my shirt and saw I had forgotten to button up one button. I did it up and looked back at him and he smiled. We walked together across the field. I was holding his arm. I had the strange feeling we would be and had always been together. "Yes," he said to my thought. I also knew that his thought about the unbuttoned button had been transmit­ted in a similar fashion. In our talks together we decided to call these instances "messages." At the time it did not seem unusual.

In Woodstock, New York, I escorted Rinpoche to a meeting with about seven other Tibetan lamas. I was seated on a meditation cushion next to Rinpoche's chair. Everyone was speaking in Tibetan. After about an hour Rinpoche looked down at me and said, "Do you know what they are saying?"

"No, Sir," I answered. "You know I don't understand Tibetan."

"Well," Rinpoche explained in English, loudly and distinctly, "they are saying they don't want to give the real teachings to their Western students because then the students will take over."

There was complete silence in the room. I looked around, not meeting any eyes, and responded to Rinpoche. "Well, we don't do that, do we?"

"You bet we don't!" came his reply.

We left soon after that and on the way out I kept a sharp eye out in case I had to whack one of those monkeys. But as usual, everyone was very polite. In the car I asked Rinpoche, "Does that happen very often? Not wanting to give students the real teachings?"

Rinpoche took a sip of sake from a Dixie cup and said, "Quite often."

I realized again how fortunate we all were to be his students and how the dance of the slogans was victory over war.



30 Buddhist military attendants (Bodhisattvas) in Shambhala training.

31 A greeting with palms of the hands pressed together.

32 Art of War, Sun Tzu, Oxford University Press, 1963.
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Re: The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perk

Postby admin » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:01 pm

Chapter 9: Commentary

In the book The Practice of Dzogchen by Longchen Rabjam, translated by Tulku Thondup,33 there is a story of how "Patrul Attained Realization Through the Teacher's Yogic Power."

Sometimes great yogis give the high transmissions such as that of the realization of ''Dzogpa Chenpo" through various means and indications, and the disciple who is ready receives the introduction miraculously. There are no logical and intellectual reasonings or ceremonial performances, but just a skillful display of whatever is appropriate. Dodrup Chen Jigmed Tenpa'i Nyima writes about how Patrul Rinpoche was introduced to ''Dzogpa Chenpo" realization by Khyentse Yeshe Dorje (1800-?).

When Jigmed Yeshe Dorje, the Precious Excellent Incarnation of the Omniscient One (Jigmed Lingpa), was wandering to perform ascetic disciplines, he arrived one day where the Lord Patrul Rinpoche was staying and shouted: "O Palge (Patrul Rinpoche's lineage name)! Are you brave? If you are, come here!" When Patrul Rinpoche went to him, he held Patrul by the hair, threw him on the ground and dragged him around. After a while, an odor of alcohol was suddenly emitted and Patrul Rinpoche thought: "Oh, he is drunk. Even a great adept like him is capable of this kind of behavior because of his drinking. This is the fault of alcohol as discoursed upon by the Blessed One (Buddha). "At that very moment, Khyentse Yeshe Dorje freed Patrul from his grip and shouted: "Alas! you who are called intellectuals, how could such an evil thought arise (in you)? You old dog. "He spat on Patrul's face and showed him his little finger (sign of the worst insult) and then he left. Immediately Patrul realized, "Oh! I have been deluded." It was an introduction. And he resumed the (meditative) posture. (At that moment) Patrul realized the unhindered intrinsic awareness, (clear) like the cloudless sky. The dawn-like (clear) introduction (to the realization) given by Jigmed Gyalwa'i Nyugu had become (bright) like the rising sun. Later on, Patrul Rinpoche would say jokingly, "'Old Dog' is my esoteric name given by Kushog Khyentse."

Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche was renowned for his ability to consume large amounts of sake, which we would buy by the magnum bottle. He particularly liked Kiku Masamume brand with the large white chrysanthemum flower on the label. we had a number of Irish Waterford crystal glasses that he used. Generally, he would have a glass after breakfast and then continue throughout the day toward bedtime. At the height of his consumption we would go through three or four magnums of sake in a twelve-hour period.

This was more toward the end of his life, whereas when we were on retreat he would drink only in the evening. we were always invited to join him. However, one had to watch one's mind and not lose it in drunkenness. Rinpoche would give explicit instructions on how to drink without becoming confused, inebriated, or falling into sleep, which he also writes about in The Heart of the Buddha.34 I, myself, had the tendency to fall asleep. So I developed a method of sitting up straight in the chair to keep myself awake and also staying mindful to filling Rinpoche's glass when it was two-thirds empty. By concentrating on those tasks I was able to consume a relatively large amount of sake without becoming unaware.

I had never seen Rinpoche displaying the loss of attention that ordinary people display when they become drunk. And I was quite surprised one evening at a gathering of people when he started to roll around in a drunken stupor. As I half carried him upstairs he was laughing as usual and rolling around the stairs trying to throw me off balance when all of a sudden he stopped, stood up straight -- quite normally -- and said to me, ''Don't worry, I am never drunk." Then he went back to laughing and rolling around.

On another similar occasion, when his outrageous actions became of concern to me, he did the same thing. On the way to the bathroom, he stopped and said, ''Don't worry, I won't go crazy. "And then he resumed his outrageousness. In both these instances, of course, I was concerned and fearful not for Rinpoche, but for myself I was actually more concerned that I would lose my reference point. I had thought that I was taking care of him, when actually it was the other way around. He was taking care of me.

Rinpoche said, "When the master is more into samsara he can teach more. If he's into non-samsara then he can't teach anymore because he's into a blind kind of other world. Seduction plays a very important part. The master has to be seduced into teaching. Masters are recommended to completely enjoy sense perception, sense pleasure. Any high Maha Ati35 teachers, if they are high Maha Ati teachers, must be sybaritic. The more sybaritic they are the more love and compassion they have for their students. That's the whole point: they sort of bring themselves down instead of taking off to the whatever."

Rinpoche's use of "couldn't care less," which he used constantly in the later years, was the old dog quality of noncaring, which is the style of the Maha Ati path, in which you care but you don't care.

It is well known that Trungpa Rinpoche engaged in sexual activity with some of his students. When asked about this by a local reporter from the Boulder, Colorado paper, he replied simply that it was a good way to get to know people. This was on the very ordinary level, where sleeping with students involved no sexual activity, but perhaps talking, making up stories, reading Tin Tin or Asterisk comic books, and general laughter and play. There were other students who received more advanced Karmamudra instruction, leading to the possible realization of coemergent wisdom. Trungpa Rinpoche was always insistent on using one's passion as part of the path. He was also insistent that it not become diluted into frivolity or lust.

Sexual practice between people has become a great problem in Western society. Even more alarmingly, in America it has become associated with violence. The lust and pleasure of sex portrayed in pornography of all kinds is used in the worst materialistic way, degrading human beings below the intelligence of animals or insects. Children are constantly bombarded by the exponents of sex and violence. On the other end of the stick, the haters of love condemn any form of passion as evil. When a person who is a leading justice minister for the society spends a large amount of money to cover the naked breasts of a statue of the goddess, something is very wrong. Ignorance on both sides of the issue perpetuates a war against each other. And the flame of any real enlightenment is extinguished.

Before one rushes into any practice of Karmamudra, one has to have a solid basis and understanding of shamatha vipashyana36 meditation and especially tonglen practice.37 There must be a foundation of compassion firmly fixed within the heart. And one must seek a teacher for such endeavors.

Many of us, in search of salvation, peace, love, joy, gratification, or release from pain and suffering, may jump from bed to bed trying to find the ultimate partner, the ultimate "other" who will unite with us and solve all of our problems. I am sad to say, no such partner exists. Even the most gorgeous and magnificent body that you might think of could not do this. But it is possible that the union of two could be realized.

On a simple level, one has to see the other from the heart; that is to say, one thinks through the heart. One actually puts one's mind into one's heart. Then one might speak unashamedly with the voice drawn not from one's experience of oneself but from the vision of the other. One pulls into one's heart center the complete aspects of the other and feels the other very directly in all its display. One then generates love and continually sends it out toward the other. If doubt and discord arise because of past or present actions, one uses these as further inspiration to generate love. All beings respond to love. Therefore, the generation of love becomes one's path.

We could also consider this story, which is actually a commentary about primordial energy and, as such, is extremely powerful, extremely beneficial, and extremely dangerous, rather like holding nuclear fission in one's hand. When I was a young boy a girl in our primary school, Shirley Way, offered to let the boys see her vagina for various sums of money. I had a pencil sharpener and she agreed to let me see her vagina at the back of the house where the toilets were located by the playground. At playtime in the morning I gave her the pencil sharpener, as arranged, but I was too scared to actually show up for the viewing.

When I was a young man, in my teens, I had a job at night repairing restaurant gas stoves in New York City. My two coworkers were African Americans and we would wander through the Manhattan streets at night from restaurant to restaurant repairing gas stoves. Since I was somewhat younger than they, they would tease me about my limited sexual experience. One night one of them said, "Have you ever eaten pussy?" Seeing my shocked surprise, he continued, "I bet you ain't."

The other chimed in, "Oh, you have to eat pussy, man. You ain't never gonna get nowhere unless you have your face in it." They continued their dialog of the benefits and wonders of this practice, much to my shock, excitement, and horror, as an attack on my spiritual and moral purity.

In my early twenties, I acquired a position as a house manager of an apartment in the west Seventies owned by three business women in their forties. I was to keep the apartment clean, make the beds, do the laundry, and shop and cook for them when they came into town on business. Sometimes they would arrive all together and sometimes separately. Through unmistakable sexual advances, I began to realize that part of the job was also making love to them, which I was inclined to do, even though my manner in the art of lovemaking was somewhat clumsy because of my inexperience and immature passion. That is, I considered only my own sexual gratification.

But, gradually, they taught me very patiently how to make love to them, which included sucking their vaginas and clitorises. At first I was somewhat apprehensive and even terrified, but through their gentleness I learned to overcome my fear and I progressed quite well. However, after many months, my spiritual and moral fear arose. I felt ashamed of being like a prostitute, so, in a fit of moral righteousness, I rejected the whole situation and left, which was my habitual reaction to situations in which my personal ego was challenged. For, in order for John Perks to survive as John Perks, the character formation which I had invented, or which had been created out of my experience of good or bad, had to remain in tact.

It was not until my contact with Trungpa Rinpoche that I was able to see sexual encounters as being both ordinary and extraordinary, from the primordial point of view. I began to realize with my tongue that the clitoris was as sensitive as my penis, if not more so. I began to realize that the energy was directed into my mouth -- first from the stomach becoming like a valley and then expanding into a mountain before rushing in a river of great force into my body. I began to realize that I was dealing with energy that was beyond self­-attachment, that it was primal and existed in the universe everywhere; that it did not belong to a self; that it was rather like electricity, which does not have a self; that in order to experience it, self had to be surrendered.

Then there was this vision. We were in a prisoner camp, imprisoned by our own conceptual minds. An extremely old man appeared, dressed rather like a native of Tibet. He tried to wake up his son, who was asleep, but he was unable to do this. He explained to me that he had to take the top of a mountain back to the mountain. He held the object in his hands. There were marks on it like it had been chipped away, and it was gold, bronze, or brass and yellow. The top side was in the form of a bowl which was fluid, which meant that when you touched it, it changed shape in ripples although it remained round. One could see quite plainly that it was a living object. He asked me to go with him. Also going with us on the journey were a young girl and a young boy. Rather than taking a path we walked up a river. The girl became nervous of the depth of the water. So the old man placed the bowl in the river, whereupon the river became less deep so the girl could walk more easily. However, that action created many lights in the sky, with thunder and lightning and earthquakes which toppled the front of many churches and temples that we passed. I saw the monks and clergy falling out of the churches and temples.

I said, "So this energy is so powerful that it could topple buildings, institutions, and societies?"

And he said, "Yes, that's correct."

So I said to him, nd the prerequisite for using this energy is that you don't know anything?"

And he said, "Yes, that's correct, you know nothing. And from that, self-love arises."

I said, "You mean, love of self?"

And he said, ''No, love of non-self which arises like primordial energy and it exists that way. And that energy can be experienced. It is self-existing-primordial and without end. From it all things are created and all things are destroyed. The primordialness of the energy, which all beings have, is greatly feared and therefore covered up in myth, secret, and ritual. Nevertheless, it can be accessed by those who are fearless enough to seek it."

The vision and the story are one. It means all beings have the potential of becoming enlightened or realized! One has to have a fearless approach to working with this energy. Fearlessness means going ahead or going beyond one's own fear, going beyond one's own present realization. One doesn't create the situation; the situation is presented and one just steps into it somehow. It becomes obvious and one can see the expanse. One might withdraw because of fear of that expansion, but then life is such that an opportunity will arise again.

One's ideas of spirituality and morality could in themselves become obstacles, from both personal and societal perspectives. Even the Buddha must be transcended. By moving toward the pain, compassion, from which there is no reference point, remains. By experiencing the immense pain of personal open heart surgery, compassion for all beings arises. There is no returning. One becomes a nonreturner. The image of warriorship is your willingness to continue on the path.



33 The Practice of Dzogchen, Longchen Rabjam, translated by Tulku Thondop, Snow Lion Publications, 2002, p. 129-130.

34 Written about in "Alcohol as Medicine or Poison," Chapter 10, The Heart of the Buddha, Chogyam Trungpa, Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1991, p. 190.

35 "The Ati Yoga Yana -- 'ati' means 'ultimate' (Tibetan word, dzongpa chenpo); a notion of transcending any philosophy; a sense of openness and a sense of non-caring. Logical reasoning doesn't make any sense at this point. (The experience of final fruition.)" Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's talk, 1973.

36 Shamatha -- dwelling in tranquility; Vipashyana -- special insight. Basic Buddhist meditation technique.

37 Tonglen -- meditative practice designed to experience compassion for others.  
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Re: The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perk

Postby admin » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:42 pm

Chapter 10: The Last Journey


News reached us in the late summer that His Holiness, Karmapa, the lineage holder, was leaving the monastery at Rumtek in Northern India. He was going to a hospital in Hong Kong for exploratory surgery. Liver cancer was suspected. Doctor Mike would go on ahead to the hospital. I was to travel with Rinpoche if and when Mike sent back word that the situation was serious. Several days later Mike called from Hong Kong. I spoke to him briefly.

"Well, it looks like he's dying, Johnny," he said. Feeling uncomfortable discussing His Holiness's death and keeping my British stiff upper lip, I asked about the weather.

"It's damn hot and humid," came the answer from Mike.

''I'll pack summer stuff for Rinpoche and myself," I said.

"Say, Johnny, there are some great-looking girls over here," continued Mike.

"You get laid yet?" I asked. "No, but I'm staying at this house with some beautiful Philippino and Chinese girls."

"Right, right," I said, enviously picturing Doctor Mike in a steaming house with Asian girls, all naked and fucking. You could send this guy to the Arctic and within twenty-four hours he'd end up with pussy in his bed. "See you in a few days, then." I finished and handed the phone to Rinpoche so he could hear the news firsthand.

"Let's fly Japan Air first class," Rinpoche said to me as I headed off to pack the uniforms, medals, and suits.

This is going to be a great trip, I thought. There will be Japan Airlines first class, the best hotel rooms in Hong Kong, beautiful Asian women, and the great food. Wow! I'll be like a soldier on furlough from the frontline of Rinpoche's unceasing barrages. This time Mike and I will escape from Rinpoche and have a glorious time.

It was decided that Carl, one of the ministers, and Bob, a Kusung at the Court, would also go along. I was glad to have Bob along. He had been with Rinpoche for a long time. He was a wonderful schemer, extremely bright, and a talented man of the world. I knew that I could depend on him, like Mike, to help manage Rinpoche.

We left Boulder amid tears and sadness over the impending death of His Holiness. I was sad and tearful too, but also excited about the exotic trip ahead. We stayed several days in San Francisco before boarding the Japan Air Boeing 747 for the ten-­hour flight to Japan, to be followed by the flight to Hong Kong. Rinpoche and I were seated in first class. He wore one of his Savile Row suits and was traveling as the Prince of Bhutan. I was in the uniform of an army major, English style, but with the Shambhala insignia. Mike had given me Rinpoche's medication and some sleeping pills to keep him quiet. As we winged over the Pacific we were served Japanese sushi and lots of sake.

Rinpoche wanted to go to the bathroom and as always I went with him. We both went inside the aircraft bathroom so I could help him take down his trousers and raise them again after he was done. On returning to our seats Rinpoche loudly demanded my aisle seat and more sake. I became a bit alarmed. I had to get him to sleep before he began sending me to the pilots with messages about meeting with some head of government in Hong Kong. It had happened to me before!

"Time for pills, Sir," I said smoothly, as I handed Rinpoche two sleeping pills. Rinpoche took them easily and swallowed them with a big glass of sake.

"More," he said.

"More sake, Sir?" I asked.

"No. More sleeping pills."

"Well, Sir, Mike said ..."

"More," he commanded.

I gave him two more, twice the prescribed dose. He flushed them down with the last of the sake.

"Wheee!" exclaimed Rinpoche, as he took the empty sake bottle and threw it down the floor toward the front of the aircraft. It bounced off the feet of the formally attired Japanese stewardess. She came over and I half stood up in the seat.

"Sorry," I said. "The Prince would like some more sake."

The stewardess politely did a half bow and went to get the ordered sake. As she left, Rinpoche moved past me and out into the aisle with remarkable swiftness to the main exit door of the aircraft. I reached him just as he had taken hold of the door handle and was beginning to turn it.

"Sir," I hissed under my breath.

"What do you want?" He looked at me like I was crazy. "Let's go for a walk," he said brightly.

"Sir, Sir!" I exclaimed near panic. "We are at thirty thousand feet over the ocean in an airplane!"

"Oh," he said innocently. "I thought we were at the Court."

As I steered him back to our seats he noticed the stairs leading to the top deck of the airplane. "Let's go to bed, then," he suggested as he started up the steps. "Sir," I quietly explained. "Those beds have been reserved for other passengers." I finally got him back to the seat and sat him next to the window to prevent further escapes.

"More sake," he said. I rationed out another glassful and I tried to get him settled down. I was praying that the sleeping pills would finally kick in. He seemed to nod off. For the first time in hours I relaxed in my seat and stretched my legs.

"Major," he suddenly said, startling me, "tell the pilots to radio ahead and let the Emperor know that I will be one hour late for our meeting." There I was, back on the front line in an instant. I reluctantly got up out of my seat and walked toward the pilot's cabin, as if on my way to the electric chair. I hated having to do this. A stewardess intercepted me at the entrance.

"Can I help you, sir?"

I thought quickly. "Could I have a pillow?"

She found a pillow and I returned to Rinpoche, who seemed to be sleeping. I had only just sat down when he asked, "Did you send the message, Johnny?"

"Yes," I lied.

"Good. Then go ahead and also tell them to notify the High Commissioner in Hong Kong that we will meet on Wednesday."

Up I got again. I went over to the stewardess and told her that the Prince of Bhutan would appreciate it if the pilot would radio the British High Commissioner and let him know that the Prince would be unable to meet with him next week. To my surprise she just said, "Of course, sir."

When I returned to my seat Rinpoche was banging his head against the side of the plane. Bang, bang, bang. He would hit his head and then grind his teeth.

"Sir, Sir. Can I put a pillow under your head?"

He growled as I stuffed the pillow between his head and the wall. The gentleman in the seat behind us leaned over and asked, "Is the Prince all right?"

"Fine, fine," I answered testily. I was suddenly aware of the other first class passengers looking over at me, looking like they thought I was crazy. I felt totally paranoid in my uniform. An elderly woman was eyeing me suspiciously. Did they think Rinpoche was a real Prince? Ugly thoughts entered my mind. Has Rinpoche been talking to them while I was up front with the stewardess? He could have told them anything! Perhaps he intimated I was planning to hijack the plane or even that I was planning to overthrow the Bhutanese government! I was outraged. Why do these people think I am crazy? He's the crazy one!

I stabbed a look at him in the seat next to me. There he was, sleeping like an innocent child. Or more like a well-fed tiger, I thought sarcastically. At least things seemed to have finally settled down. The pills were working and he was sleeping with a soft rhythmic snore. Relieved, I switched off the overhead lights and waited a few more minutes before heading to the back of the aircraft to take a break with the boys.

Carl saw me coming down the aisle. He must have noticed my haggard look because right away he asked how things had been going up front.

"Jesus, I need a break. He's acting crazy again." And I detailed all the things I had been dealing with since the flight began.

"Here, have some coffee," said Carl.

"Here, have a drink," Bob offered. I took both and we sat chatting for about ten minutes. Then Carl volunteered to sit with Rinpoche for a while, which I readily accepted. I walked him up the aisle to the first class section and pulled back the dividing cur­tain. There was Rinpoche, upright in the aisle, supported on either side by a passenger and from the rear by a stewardess and smiling broadly.

"The Prince wants to make a speech to the passengers," declared the man on his left.

"It's okay, it's okay," I said hurriedly. "We'll take him now."

They looked at Carl and me suspiciously. Yeah, I thought, let them think we're going to assassinate the gentle Prince. "It's not a bad idea at that," I muttered to myself.

"That's it," I said to Carl in a peeved tone, as we dragged Rinpoche to the back of the aircraft. "That's it for his tricks." I was taking charge of this situation!

We reached a row of empty seats, where I pushed up the arms to make a bed for Rinpoche. Bob got a blanket and pillows. The gentle Prince settled down and snuggled into the makeshift bed, delighted by all the attention. He seemed to be getting to sleep right away this time, which satisfied me immensely. I'd done it. It had been six hours of this stuff and now he would sleep. Bob, Carl, and I would be able to stand in the aisle and talk, drink, and enjoy the rest of the flight. I silently congratulated myself on my fortitude and prowess in handling a difficult situation.

I glanced over to check on Rinpoche one last time. Something was not right. His stomach was bouncing up and down like Jell-o. I realized he was laughing! I looked more closely and saw he was winding a small ball of yarn. With disbelief my eyes followed the yarn from Rinpoche's hand to the sweater of the sleeping passenger in the seat in front of him. I made a clumsy dive to snatch the ball of yarn away from Rinpoche, waking up the passenger in all the commotion. He looked blearily down at the ball of yarn in my hand and then at his partially dismantled sweater, slowly recognizing the connection.

"Sorry," I said lamely. "I found this on the floor." I dropped the small ball of yarn into his hand. He looked at my uniform and said nothing, but he did move to another seat farther away.

"Let's have breakfast," piped up Rinpoche cheerily. Wondering about the time, I looked at my watch, but couldn't see the hands. I looked again, but it seemed like a foreign object. I peered out the aircraft window to assess the position of the sun and it took me a full minute to realize the window shade was closed. Finally, I raised the shade, only to find it was pitch black.

"Is it breakfast time?" asked Rinpoche with a touch of sarcasm.

I flushed with anger. "Yes, Sir, perhaps we could get the Emperor to serve it."

Bob ran off to get breakfast and Rinpoche called Carl over to him.

"I want you to get the first class stewardess back here so I can fuck her," Rinpoche said to him. Poor Carl began to protest, but Rinpoche wouldn't stand for it and so off Carl went on his mission. I was delighted to be off the hook and have Carl take my place. I was almost joyful. Rinpoche looked at me sharply.

"Get some sake," he growled, grinding his teeth.

I brought Rinpoche a full bottle and he drank it down as if it were water.

Down the aisle toward us came Carl with the demure stewardess in tow. Another helpless victim, I was thinking.

Carl came near and drawing himself up formally said, "Your Royal Highness, may I present Ms. Yamomuch. Ms. Yamomuch, his Royal Highness, the Prince of Bhutan." During this gracious introduction the Prince sat on the edge of his seat like Quasimodo about to leap from the bell tower of Notre Dame. He was swinging his arm back and forth, sake was dripping from his mouth, and his red eyes were rolling like a Mahakala.38 He ground his teeth and gave a primordial growl. We were all frozen in fear, including Ms. Yamomuch. I noticed his swinging hand was moving ever closer to Ms. Yamomuch's kimono. The next instant Rinpoche turned his head and looked at me with the piercing eye of a hawk. I was so bewildered by the look I could not even be sure he had turned his head.

The buzz of a thousand flies fills the space around me. I see us all frozen in place and Rinpoche is running around us in a counterclockwise direction. His hair is long and streaming out behind him as he runs. There we are, standing in the middle of a desert. I can see the sky, the sand, and the rocks quite clearly. Rinpoche is running around yelling crazily.

He made a move to reach up Ms. Yamomuch's kimono. I snapped out of it and the others jumped to pull him back. Carl stopped Ms. Yamomuch from falling backward into the plane aisle.

"Very nice to meet you," she said in a high, meek voice as she retreated back to her station. I flopped down in a seat, totally exhausted. This had been going on nonstop for hours. I had had enough, and I just passed out into sleep.

Carl woke me about a half an hour before we were to land in Japan.

"Where is he?" I asked, a bit anxiously.

"He's asleep," Carl reassured me. "He went to sleep right away after he met the stewardess. Is it always like this?"

"Most of the time," I answered.

"God help us," he stated.

We all walked off the plane in Japan like zombies, except the Prince. He was delighted by the prospect of having some real Japanese sake. We were at the Tokyo airport only a few hours until our flight left for Hong Kong. Mercifully, Rinpoche slept the entire way of the second leg of the trip and I began to relax and look forward to seeing Mike in Hong Kong.

I was physically exhausted, but elated also as I thought back to the vision I had seen during the flight. We were all frozen and Rinpoche was running around in this desert trying to pull us out of that. What had it felt like? He had a different body, younger, athletic, and with no sign of his paralyzed left side. He was naked and was running in a clockwise direction, or was it counterclockwise? (My dyslexia was causing me to become more confused as I thought about it longer, so I dropped the inquiry.) We were all in the center of Rinpoche's circle. At least I could see myself clearly. Carl, Bob, and others I only sensed as shadows or transformations. I thought about that: If I "saw" myself, then something (myself?) must have been observing me. That thought confused me even more. I switched to remembering the desert. It was flat with rocks scattered about. We were facing toward the horizon. On the left was a range of mountains. There were no plants. The sky was very blue. It looked like early dawn. I had a feeling that someone was watching me. I looked over to Rinpoche, but he was still sleeping. That's what started it! His look of piercing emptiness. The whole thing could have lasted only for a second of time. I would have to ask him about it. I began to feel jumpy and thought about having some coffee or sake. I chose sake.

We flew into Hong Kong between the mountains and down through the night mist and fog. Where the hell did the day go? It must have been day at some time. I tried to figure out the time sequence but could not. I only had a feeling that America was somewhere behind me. The Hong Kong airport was like a movie set in its sense of unreality. I just walked with Rinpoche. His right hand was holding on to my left hand. It was like I was supporting a moving rock. I was supposed to be helping him, the cripple, but everything seemed too weird and crazy. People were crowding, moving about in unknown •directions, and making sounds that didn't fully mesh with the movement. of their mouths. I was happy to be holding his hand, as I was freaking out again. I saw Mike standing in front of us, wearing his military uniform stained with sweat. I was so delighted to see him. While the others retrieved the bags, Mike and I stuffed Rinpoche into a waiting taxi. Rinpoche dozed off and I asked Mike about His Holiness.

"We'll see him tomorrow. It's not looking good, Johnny," said Mike. "How was the trip?"

I started to answer, to try and get my thoughts organized into words to describe the last (what was it) days? I just shook my head and answered, "Crazy."

"Ha, one of those," exclaimed Mike.

"Yes, one of those," I replied.

We pulled into the hotel and hauled the sleeping Rinpoche out of the cab. As we crossed the lobby of the hotel I had an image of what we must look like. Two military officers with English tropical uniforms and Sam Browne belts carrying between them a drunk or drugged ... what does Rinpoche look like to the people standing by? Maybe they think we are taking him up to a room to interrogate him.

We got Rinpoche upstairs to our room, which was actually two rooms with a pull-out bed for me. Rinpoche woke up for a few minutes to ask for a glass of sake. Carl asked him what name he would like the hotel to print on his matches. Apparently, this hotel offered the courtesy of printing your name in gold on their red matchbooks. Without hesitation he answered, "Lord Mukpo." Thank God, the Prince of Bhutan is dead, I thought. I tucked Rinpoche into bed. He giggled and I tensed up. Now what is he laughing about? Who is kidding whom here?

Carl and Bob were all excited about being in Hong Kong and Mike volunteered to take them out to some hot spots. I was glad to remain with Rinpoche, most of all because he was sleeping and I desperately wanted to sleep too. I no sooner got my tattered body into bed and was drifting off than I heard a thump in the next room. I knew what it was. Rinpoche had fallen out of bed. I ran in and found him sitting on the floor next to his bed.

"Where are we, Johnny?" he asked sleepily.

"Hong Kong," I said. He did not believe me, so I drew open the curtain on the window. It was dawn, and in the park across the way hundreds of people were standing and doing windmill type motions with their arms. It took me a few seconds to realize they were practicing Kung Fu or one of those Asian martial arts.

"See, Sir, it's Hong Kong," I said in triumph.

Rinpoche peeked out, looking frail. He was nude and bent over with his hands clasped modestly in front of him. It seemed slightly strange because we were way up on the twenty-first floor.

"Oh," he said, "look at all the people. I thought we were still at the Court and you had changed all the furniture around to play a trick on me."

I was totally amazed by his statement. Shocked, I began to protest, "Sir, me, play a trick on you?" Then I looked at his innocent round face and I started to laugh at getting caught yet again.
''Are you okay, Johnny?" he asked, looking at me in a queer way.

"Yes, Sir, yes, Sir," I replied.

"Then let's have some breakfast," he sang out joyfully.

Dip me in boiling blood, I mentally despaired. When am I going to get to rest? I ordered room service for Lord Mukpo and Major Perks. Rinpoche switched from sake to Chinese beer --­ four bottles. As we ate and drank I asked him about my vision on the plane. "Just think of it as gap," he said.

The unconscious mind responds to openings, opportunities, metaphors, symbols, and contradictions. Effective hypnotic suggestion, then, should be "artfully vague", leaving space for the subject to fill in the gaps with their own unconscious understandings -- even if they do not consciously grasp what is happening. The skilled hypnotherapist constructs these gaps of meaning in a way most suited to the individual subject -- in a way which is most likely to produce the desired change.

-- Milton H. Erickson, by Wikipedia

Later that day we drove up the hill to the hospital where His Holiness was staying. It was steaming hot and even hotter in the hospital, which was like the movie set of Back to Bataan. There were slow-moving ceiling fans that ineffectively shifted the hot air around. In the halls were rickety old beds holding all kinds of bodies. The rooms were jammed with patients. It all smelled like disinfectant and death.

When I was a surgical technician at St. Luke's Hospital in New York, we had to cut the leg off an old man because of gangrene. The leg was a mass of puss, blood, and oozing green stuff. The smell of rotting human flesh was so strong we had to spray our surgical masks with perfume so as not to throw up. After the operation we could not find the rotten leg. Eventually, we got a panicked call from the laundry that one of the women had fainted. It seemed our orderly had unwittingly picked up the leg with the surgical sheets and bloody gowns. The bundle had been thrown down the chute into the laundry carts where the poor woman had picked up the rotten leg. I was sent down to retrieve it and take it to the morgue.

This hospital was like that leg in its blatant assault on the senses. Not. much was hidden, and it had none of the comforts of American hospitals. Mike explained to us that His Holiness had had exploratory surgery about two hours earlier. The surgeon had felt around the liver, found it covered with cancerous nodules, and had simply sewn him back up. Nothing could be done for him.

I prepared myself as I entered his room to be looking at His Holiness's near-dead body. From behind Mike I could see the Tibetan thangkas on the walls. There were the pungent smell of incense and the usual chanting monks. And there was His Holiness, sitting up in bed, smiling at us. It was decidedly more shocking than seeing his dead body. I stood in the corner of the room, trying to keep out of the way while His Holiness and Rinpoche conversed in Tibetan. I took up my reverent stance with hands held together in front of me and head slightly bowed. I looked up and Rinpoche and His Holiness were laughing at me. I flushed red with embarrassment. They both smiled and His Holiness beckoned me over. I walked over in. front of him and bent down my head in the usual manner. As His Holiness's hand gently touched my head I started to sob uncontrollably.

"I hope so," His Holiness said in broken English. I continued weeping and backed away to my corner. I wanted more than anything to get out of that unbearable realm of death. It was only the dignity of my military uniform that kept me from running away.

We were all crying in the taxi on the way back to the hotel. Rinpoche was crying harder than any of us. He was so loud that he was drowning out the rest of us. Suddenly he stopped short and we looked at him.

"Well, it is traditional to cry, you know," he said, grinding his teeth.

Peter, a rich actor from New York, was over in Hong Kong at this same time. He was a student of Rinpoche, although I was not really sure because Peter was always buying his way into things he wanted. I, being very critical of his behavior, decided he couldn't really be Rinpoche's student. I once asked him what kind of skull cup he would buy if he ever took the Vajrayogini Abhisheka. His response was "chocolate," which I thought was a great answer. I remember at Seminary we were all eating mush and Peter had a stash of frozen steaks. At the time, I asked him if I could have the bones to chew on. He wouldn't let me. He might have thought I was kidding, but the fucker was so cheap he wouldn't even give me a bone. Rinpoche said that in order to get money out of Peter you would have to be enlightened. Rinpoche took pride in the fact that nobody could get bucks out of this guy. Even when Rinpoche was sick and we needed to get him a hospital bed, Peter wanted to sell one to us.

Anyway, he was here in Hong Kong with his father, where they had a business enterprise. Peter had invited Rinpoche to a party to meet his dad. He really just wanted Rinpoche, but he knew the rest of us would be tagging along. The party was in Kowloon, on the other side of the bay from where we were staying.

Rinpoche wanted us all to wear our uniforms for this occasion. It took me about two hours to dress him and get all his medals pinned on straight. All the while he was drinking some sort of Chinese liquor and saying "fucking Chinese" between sips. I knew he was thinking of how they forced him out of Tibet. Mike came in, dressed in a crisp uniform. I don't think I had taken mine off since leaving America, and it must have looked like I had been through the trenches of World War I.

Mike and I had to carry Rinpoche down the stairs because he was quite drunk and seemingly unconscious. We piled into the waiting cab and off we set for Kowloon. We were somewhere along in the tunnel under the river when Rinpoche abruptly yelled out, "Turn back!"

"Sir, we are in a one-way tunnel. We can't."

"Turn back!" he hollered at me.

Mike spoke up. "We'll turn back at the next exit." That seemed to calm him down and we eventually turned around and made our way back to the hotel. As we carried his prone body into the hotel Rinpoche came to, looked at us, and said, "How did this happen?" Mike and I just shrugged to each other and took him up to his room and put him to bed. Mike and Bob headed out to see the sights again while I stayed to watch over the sleeping Rinpoche.

Some time later there was loud knocking on the door. Bob and Mike were back, quite drunk, with two Chinese whores in tow. The girls were really rough-looking and I was not at all sure about I letting them in. Nonetheless, the whole group came in and woke up Rinpoche with their loud talk. He was delightful and sweet, like I a great welcoming host. He gave both the girls meditation instruction and they soon lost interest in Bob and Mike. They were in love with Rinpoche! He gave them money, all he had in his pockets, and eventually sent them off again with Bob and Mike.

Later that night I received a call from Peter.

"Sorry we weren't able to get to your party," I apologized.

"Well, it was called off at the last minute," said Peter. "We had to cancel because my father had a heart attack at 8:00 p.m."

That was just about the time we were in the tunnel, I realized with a jolt. I looked over in wonderment at Riripoche who was snoring peacefully in bed.

We returned to America several days later. It was decided that I would fly alone with Rinpoche on the leg from Seattle, Washington, to Halifax, Nova Scotia. In my paranoia, I felt the others were being nice to me, treating me like this because it was my last journey. They knew the I in me wouldn't survive. I was freaked out, but grateful that the end was near. I romantically saw myself being carried off, like Hamlet carried on his shield to the ramparts, with the solemn background music of muffled drums and booming guns.

I was getting Rinpoche ready to go to the airport for this last flight. While he washed and combed his hair I picked up the newspaper and read the headline "Sadat Assassinated."

"Sir," I blurted out. ''Anwar Sadat has been killed!"

I looked at Rinpoche in the mirror. ''I'll be next," he said, grinding his teeth.

"You're not going to die, Sir," I said, my panic rising.

"Oh, yes, I am," he smiled at me.

On this trip back to Halifax, Rinpoche was like a normal person. I was able to talk to him and ask him all sorts of dumb questions about Buddhism, which he answered with great patience. We chatted for hours, just like regular people. He discussed everything I brought up: politics, sex, women, Vajradhatu, Tibet, hunting, war, Celts, Druids, movies, America, the military, sake, Japan, England, the Court, horses ... anything! I was in the full bloom of simply chatting with Rinpoche. Some of the time we just sat and held hands. I had never done this before with him and I was in love with Rinpoche.

"Take me," said Rinpoche. ''I'm yours."

"I love you, Rinpoche."

"Could not care less," came the reply.

It was bleak, wintry, and cold in Halifax upon our return. We were waiting day to day for news of the death of His Holiness. Rinpoche was drinking almost nonstop. In fact, it became difficult to get sake in Halifax because we had drunk most of it. Rinpoche got up one night to vomit up blood in the sink. I called Dr. Jim, who was also the Vajradhatu ambassador in Halifax, to come over right away. I saved some of the vomit, which he took to have tested at the hospital. We got a phone call from Hong Kong.

"This is it," I thought. Rinpoche spoke in Tibetan, hung up the phone, and turned to me.

"We had better get packed, Johnny. His Holiness is being moved to a hospital m a place called Zion. It's in Illinois near Chicago.

On our arrival in Chicago we drove directly to Zion. Mike was already there with His Holiness. I entered the room and took my customary position in the corner. Mike helped the nurse change His Holiness's sheets. His body was frail and his back was covered with bedsores. He winced in pain as he was moved and then smiled at the nurse. His Holiness pointed to me and I thought maybe he wanted me to leave the room. But he smiled and one of the monks pushed me toward him. I couldn't help myself as I began to cry. His Holiness touched my hand and radiated warmth. He smiled at me as our eyes met. "Kusung Dapon," he said gently, then added in his broken English, "Nothing is happening." As I left the room I looked back at him. I was crying because he was so magnificent.

We stayed in Chicago only a few days. It was not clear how long His Holiness would live. The Tibetans talked as if he would not die. Mike just shrugged his shoulders in disbelief. Rinpoche was not well as we traveled back to Halifax and I was in a pretty freaked-out, disoriented state. A few weeks later Mike called to tell us the end was near. Rinpoche asked me to pack for the trip.

"Sir," I said despondently, "I can't go through this all again."

He looked at me and smiled.

"Okay, Johnny," he said. "I'll give His Holiness your love."

I turned away and choked, tears streaming down my face. Barnstone, another of the Kusungs, went in my place with Rinpoche. Several days later we heard that His Holiness had died.

"The mala is broken and the beads scattered," pronounced Rinpoche. I walked down the city street in the rain. I felt myself dissolving into emptiness with a broken heart.

I asked Rinpoche, "Why did His Holiness get cancer?"

And he answered, "Once, while the monks were setting up His Holiness's tent, someone trod on it."

I did not understand his explanation. But later, one night at the Court, I was out at dinner, and when I got back to the Court I learned that Rinpoche had been taken to the hospital in Denver. I rushed down to Denver to be with him and slept with him in his hospital room. I asked the Kusung on duty what had happened. He explained that Rinpoche had thrown himself headlong down a flight of stairs. In asking for further details, I found that the Kusung, rather than following the established procedure of walking behind Rinpoche up the stairs so that if Rinpoche fell he would fall on the Kusung, had instead taken Rinpoche's arm and pulled him up the stairs. At the top of the stairs, Rinpoche twisted himself around out of the Kusung's grasp and threw himself headlong down the stairs.

I then had some realization of why treading on His Holiness's tent could cause irreparable damage. It seemed as if in enlightened society, there is little room for mindlessness.



38 One of the most important benefactors and protectors in Buddhism who appears in an extremely wrathful form.
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Re: The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perk

Postby admin » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:53 pm

Chapter 10: Commentary

The Prince of Bhutan and his aide, Major Perks, made many journeys together. Most often the prince was dressed in an expensive three-piece suit and his aide in a military uniform tailored in the English tradition, although sometimes the Prince would wear a military uniform with the insignias of a field marshall. And, then again, we might be seen in naval uniforms, that of Admiral of the Fleet and his aide, a commodore.

It is rather puzzling to me that over all those years nobody questioned our authenticity or even asked for documentation. It was certainly true in a country like India that a uniform created an air of authority and as we walked through an airport the crowds of people would part before us. Other, genuine, military or naval officers would salute. I even remember an instance where we entered an elevator in a plush hotel in Delhi which was full of Russian naval officers. There was a moment's hesitation on both sides. Then they stood to attention and saluted our apparent superior rank and said in broken English, "British navy," even though the Admiral was clearly of Asian extraction.

There was something about wearing a uniform that inspired in me a sense of confidence and purpose, and I took great care in making sure that everything was polished and ship-shape. Many times, while traveling in America, people would ask to what military we belonged. Rinpoche would always answer, "Guess." Whatever they guessed is what we'd be, and it ranged from Israeli army to Taiwanese navy. It became so ordinary that I began to believe the whole thing myself. It was somewhat like being an actor in a very large play with a totally intuitive script.

What I really got hung up on was having to go to the cockpit and ask the pilots or senior stewardesses to radio ahead to some person like the queen or the prime minister or the emperor to cancel a tea or arrange a dinner party for the Prince. These tasks caught me between the illusion and the reality of the situation. It was not until much later that I realized the illusion not only of our game but of the whole game. From that point of view, one could see the actors working with a very predictable script.

Rinpoche talked often about the energy that a uniform created, not only in the human realm, but also in the realm of Drala energy, which became attracted to the quality of the uniform. (Drala is the god of war and patron of warlords and warriors in the Bon tradition, the pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet.) I began to see many mythologies entering the reality of what I thought was my existence. It created a very groundless situation in which I could be walking somewhat normally down a street and within seconds be engulfed in this groundlessness, so much so that I was not sure how to move my legs or how to walk.

The same kind of groundless situation manifested in circumstances where Rinpoche created what seemed to be a field of energy around himself, in which one was engulfed. It felt rather like being caught in a whirlwind of unexplained origin and then all of a sudden it would stop and leave you dazed and reeling in space. I would always look around because I was surprised that no one else but our immediate party seemed to notice that anything had happened.

On this particular journey that play of energy continued almost without a break other than when I would fall asleep from total exhaustion. There was no refuge place. I could not even take refuge in my confusion, because the energy created seemed to go beyond something that Rinpoche himself had organized. It seemed an immutable natural force, rather like he was stirring a pot which would continue to move under its own energy. I knew I was being shown something that I could not explain. And certainly, by this time, I had almost stopped panicking at every situation.

The hospital in Hong Kong was like a charnel ground. It had all the smells, sounds, and sights of the suffering of pain and death. The most shocking thing was to see His Holiness sitting in the middle of all of this, himself in the throes of pain and death, but sitting there smiling and being concerned with others around him. That was completely shocking. It was like entering a realm that I had never experienced or did not believe could exist on this planet. And yet, it was more real than any illusion of reality that I carried around with me.

With the death of His Holiness, I began to feel that I had to do something to perpetuate his and Rinpoche's world. I had no idea what to do or how to organize anything. I just had an overpowering feeling that I must do something to repay the enormous amount of love and compassion that had been given to me so generously and that I, out of ignorance and confusion, had almost taken for granted. Now there grew in my heart the determination never to give up on the visions, messages, experiences and love that I had received.
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Re: The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perk

Postby admin » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:02 am

Chapter 11: Hello, Goodbye, Hello


With the death of His Holiness, our world changed. From this time on Rinpoche began to manifest completely as Dorje Trolo. Dorje Trolo is a deity who is extremely fierce, riding on a pregnant tigress surrounded by flames. In Rinpoche's words, "There is no room for interpretations. There is no room for making a home out of this. There is just spiritual energy going on that is real dynamite. If you distort it you are destroyed on the spot. If you are actually able to see it, then you are right there with it. It is ruthless. At the same time it is compassionate, because it has all this energy in it."

I realized that Rinpoche had manifested as one deity or another during most of our relationship together. Dealing with the manifestation of a deity is dealing with a mind arising from space -- not attached to whatever we think of as good or bad. There is no way to manage such energy. One cannot organize it or placate it in any way. It just exists like a natural force. I picked up on Trungpa Rinpoche's energy as Dorje Trolo and realized that "yes or no" was not an option.

I was also still hanging on to vestiges of my ego that Rinpoche consistently undermined, short-circuited, or directly commented on. The effect on a personal level was that Rinpoche, the Admiral of the Fleet, set fire to the conceptual ship I had built. There were no lifeboats, no life jackets, and no way to control the blaze. The ocean was vast and there were signs of storm everywhere. A red, nude sixteen-year-old girl, Vajrayogini, danced around pouring gasoline on the flames. If one helped by jumping into the fire, one felt open, vast, and blissful. If one went against the energy, it felt like being encased in solid, hot glass. The whole situation was very electric and basically uncontrollable.

I passionately felt that I owed a great debt to His Holiness and in order to repay it I would have to do something that would directly help all beings. But I also felt that I had no ability to do such a thing. Adding to the emotional squeeze of being close to the energy of Dorje Trolo was the fact that Rinpoche's physical body was beginning to deteriorate. He often threw up blood. I would hold him bending over the sink while the blood splashed red in the white sink. I felt as if it were coming from me. My body reacted to the spectacle by retching. Against all odds we tried to limit his intake of alcohol. But as Dorje Trolo, he just used more, seemingly as fuel for energy.

A teaching tour was planned for Europe and we flew to Ireland on the first leg of that trip. Dr. Mike and I were able to keep his consumption down during the flight, even as he kept remarking how he was looking forward to a real glass of Guinness once we had landed. On our arrival in Dublin we went to the lounge to buy our first pints. Dr. Mike, dressed in his best clean uniform, sat opposite Dorje Trolo. As ordered, I served Dorje Trolo a large glass. of fresh Guinness. Holding it up he toasted with the slogan, "Guinness is good for you!" and downed the entire beer in one gulp. Dr. Mike and I exchanged glances of concern. Everything seemed fine until, suddenly, Dorje Trolo opened his mouth wide and expelled a geyser of Guinness all over Dr. Mike.

"Thanks a lot, Rinpoche," said Dr. Mike.

"Must be a blessing," I joked.

"Next time you can get blessed," he retorted. Off Dr. Mike went to the men's room to clean up.

Dorje Trolo just growled, "Give me another."

I did as he ordered, but stayed out of range of any further blessings.

We visited Newgrange, the prehistoric Irish mound. We made our way through its snake-like passage into the central chamber. Someone asked, "Do you feel any presence here, Rinpoche?" He looked at me, but I declined to offer an answer. He waited and, still looking at me, answered, "I guess not." During our travels, there was quite a bit of talk about Celtic influence and culture. I decided to remain silent, mainly because I was wary of getting caught up in another crazy scheme. Of course, I was fighting a losing battle. During another conversation in a pub someone asked about the Trungpa lineage and how it had begun.

"Well," Rinpoche began, "there were three idiots sitting by a river. One of them started the Trungpa lineage." There was a pause, then turning his eyes on me Rinpoche said pointedly, "You're an idiot, Johnny. Why don't you start a lineage?"

"Thanks a lot, Rinpoche," I replied.

"It must be a blessing!" piped up Dr. Mike.

I looked at him coolly as I went off to the men's room.

Behind me Dorje Trolo growled, "Give me another Guinness," passing the empty glass.

His Holiness's body had been returned to the monastery in Sikkim. Rinpoche announced that we would be going to India and then to Sikkim for a prefuneral visit.

"Why," I asked, "are we going to visit before the funeral?" It just didn't make any sense to me.

"It's an obligation I have," replied Rinpoche.

''An obligation?" I questioned.

"Yes," came the reply. "The lineage."

I still did not understand, hut was excited to be going to India and went off to pack.

There were about fifteen in our group and another five traveling with the Regent. We flew Air India from London. On this flight Rinpoche sat with the Regent in first class and I was seated in the rear with the other sangha members. I felt quite alone and resentful, as it had always been my custom to sit with Rinpoche on these flights. I was becoming more and more upset when I noticed a stewardess come down the aisle bearing a tray with a bottle of wine and a glass.

"Major Perks?" she asked.

"Yes," I replied, expecting almost anything.

"Mr. Mukpo in first class says you should drink this," she said, setting down the tray and pouring the wine into the empty glass. I was in love again!

We landed in the New Delhi airport and I went up to first class to help Rinpoche off the plane. The crew opened the door and Rinpoche peered out. "Look, Johnny," he exclaimed excitedly, "India!" Hot air rushed over me, carrying with it the sweat and excrement of a million bodies.

"Wow," was all I could manage as my body wilted and I grew faint. Rinpoche placed his hand on my elbow to steady me. He seemed delighted to be in India.

Once we were at the hotel he told me to put on my naval uni­form. He wanted to take me to the Red Fort where he used to buy desserts. "They are quite delicious." It was dose to 10 p.m. and dark by the time the taxi driver let us out at the Red Fort. I was sweating in my wool naval uniform while Rinpoche looked quite comfortable in his light grey suit. Rinpoche said a few last words of instructions in Hindi to the driver to have him wait for us.

We found the stall in the crowded market. Rinpoche ordered the desserts and asked me to wait for them to be prepared. I stood by the stall, trying to isolate myself from the teeming crowd flowing by. The smiling vendor eventually handed me the tray of round sugar balls and I turned to offer them to Rinpoche. He was not there! Not only was he nowhere in sight, the taxi was gone also! I looked through and across the billions of bodies moving like a human river and that old familiar panic rose in my breast.

Here I was, a tall white man in a foreign naval uniform in a sea of Indians. I couldn't speak a single word of Hindi. I couldn't even remember which hotel we were staying at. A few Indians were starting to look at me with curiosity, and there was still no Rinpoche. I felt in my pocket. I had a few English pounds in my wallet. In desperation I started to walk, without any sense of direction. Then a taxi pulled up beside me and Rinpoche rolled down the window and leaned his head out.

"Great, Johnny," he said, smiling broadly. "You have the dessert." He opened the door and I jumped in. As we ate the sticky dough balls in the backseat he asked, "Did you think we would leave you?"

"Yes," I answered a bit sullenly. "What would I have done?"

"Why, you could have started a dharma center," he replied with a laugh.

Dorje Trolo is back again, I thought to myself.

"It never went away," said Rinpoche, looking at me directly.

We took another flight to the foot of the mountains and then a long eight-hour taxi ride over winding dirt roads through jungles and up into the hills. Monkeys played by the dusty tracks. It was late at night before we finally arrived at the small hotel in Gantok. Some in our party were sick from the potent combination of Indian food and the dizzying ride. I felt strangely disconnected. I sensed a change was in the atmosphere surrounding Rinpoche.

This feeling had grown in me since the death of His Holiness, coupled with Rinpoche's recurring pronouncements of his own imminent demise. The awful impermanence that I could accept in concept but not in its stark reality was forcing my mind to freeze as it looked for a way out. To be in love is painful. To be in unconditional love with the ever-changing impermanence, always saying hello and then goodbye, always being in transformation, was more than I could bear any longer.

To protect myself I retreated to the safety of whatever illusion John Perks was. After all, I had done this throughout my life -­ returned to the safety of self. When Peter was asked if he knew Christ, he denied the fact to save himself. Now that Dorje Trolo was pushing me out into the open I was running for shelter into myself. Even my intellectual compassion for others went out like a match in a windstorm. I became sick and lay in the small, unheated, bare hotel room for three days, throwing up bile and not eating.

Rinpoche visited but it offered little solace. He himself was throwing up blood. It didn't help that he would drink chang, the fermented barley beer, or, even worse, the Sikkimese brandy that tasted like yellow turpentine. I wanted to save myself. He was involved in showing the way, willing to continue beyond what I saw as the end, even to the end of impermanence. I had some understanding but no realization, so like Peter I said "I don't know him." The Regent suggested that I go live in Nova Scotia, that I had served enough. This was at least a way out for me and I mentioned the idea to Rinpoche, who was noncommittal, just growling, "We will see."

The Indian ambassador to Sikkim visited Rinpoche. He was dressed like a character out of a Victorian novel, with a cape and an ivory-handled walking stick. He flourished a lace handkerchief with waves of the hand to accent his points of rhetoric during his conversation.

Rinpoche spoke to him in English. "I'm thinking of leaving my attendant here to start a dharma group."

The ambassador looked at me. I was horrified and before he. could speak I burst out with, "No, no it's just Rinpoche's joke."

To my alarm the ambassador said, "You would be most welcome."

I was silent and sullen when we left Gantok. On the long drive back I sat in the rear seat with Rinpoche for the first four hours. He was drinking and rolling around saying, "We should stay in India and help the people. You should stay here." The very thought paralyzed me with fear. He grabbed my case and took out our passports and the money. "Here," he said matter-of-factly, "we don't need these any more." With that, he threw everything, money and all, out of the car window as we sped along. Then he reached for the airline tickets, which I had snatched from his hand. I yelled to the driver to stop and we screeched to a halt on the dusty road. I jumped out and waved down the other cars in the party. We searched the roadside and finally found the passports. The money, about three hundred dollars' worth, had blown out over the ledge to a river that flowed below. I went back to the car where Rinpoche had returned to drinking.

"I'm really worried about you, Sir," I announced, feigning concern.

He looked at me for some time and then said deliberately, ''And I am worried about you."

I needed to save myself and asked Carl to take my place in the backseat with Rinpoche. I retreated to Carl's car. Later I asked Carl how Rinpoche behaved for the rest of the ride.

"Fine," was his tired answer.

"Did he say anything?" I asked, guilty about my desertion of post.

"Oh, yes," said Carl. "He made a point of saying over and over again, 'When students get fat like big ticks you have to pop them out into space'."

"Great," I thought, "fucking great."

During the long return to Boulder I became immersed in my own thoughts about moving to Nova Scotia. I was ready for almost anything different and I entertained numerous plans of escape. Halfheartedly I returned to the duties of the Court.

BACK IN BOULDER THERE WAS a lady whom Rinpoche loved very much. There was also a young man who had never slept with a woman. Both of these people were very close students of Rinpoche. In talking, Rinpoche expressed his interest in having this young man's first sexual encounter be a very positive one. It seemed to me quite normal when he proposed that his own con­sort spend the night with the young man. So it was arranged and came to pass. The following day I went into Rinpoche's bedroom to find him sitting on the edge of the bed, his head hung down. Sensing he might be sick, I inquired gently if everything was all right. I put my hand on his shoulder and his body lacked any energy or vitality. I looked into his face and saw that he had been crying, tears still rolling silently down his cheeks. Very concerned, I asked him what was the matter. He turned his deep brown watery eyes upon me and quietly said, "They spent the night together."

"But, Sir," I said in mild protest, "you set it up like that." He did not answer, but the tears continued. I managed to get him dressed, his body limp and unresponsive. He would not eat or drink. It was all tears. I called Michael Root, who lived close by, and explained that Rinpoche seemed brokenhearted and that I could not understand why, since he himself had suggested the rendezvous. Acting upon Michael's suggestion I drove Rinpoche over to Michael's house where we finally managed to give him a warm bath, washing his back with a sponge. Rinpoche still would not eat or even have his usual glass of sake.

Following a phone call Michael reported that the young couple had arrived back at the Court. Hearing that, Rinpoche perked up and said, "We must welcome them." Life returned to his body. He drank his waiting glass of sake and we drove back to the Court to prepare a welcoming meal. Rinpoche played the kind and gracious host to his lover and the young man. I did not fully realize at the time his enormous pain. In an act of compassion and kindness he gave up someone with whom he was truly in love to benefit another person. The fact was that he loved both of them and for their hap­ piness unhesitatingly took upon himself the resulting pain.

My plans for moving to Nova Scotia proceeded. Some friends purchased an inn on the shore of the Bay of Fundy which I was to run as innkeeper. Rinpoche hosted a going away party for us at the Court. He gave a toast to "Johnny, the Pioneer" who was going to Nova Scotia to set up the Court and the Kingdom all by himself. I was happy to be going and sad to be leaving.

In Nova Scotia I had to deal with the reality of the poor economic prospect of running an inn in a remote area far from the tourist routes. While others were successful at running small businesses I was not, and earning a living became quite a struggle. During this time I was invited by the San Francisco and Los Angeles dharmadhatus to come and give talks on "The Kalapa Court." A tour was planned where I would start in Los Angeles and then proceed to San Francisco. Afterwards, I would go on to Boulder to be in attendance to Rinpoche at the Sakyong Abhisheka that Khyentse Rinpoche was to give to Rinpoche. Then I would go on to the military encampment before returning to Nova Scotia.

My first performance in Los Angeles went fairly smoothly but in San Francisco I began to have visions. The first one occurred while I was shopping for a pair of Highland dancing shoes to wear with my kilt. I began to notice points of light sparkling over everything. I put on my sunglasses but they were still there. I relaxed and began to enjoy the display while I waited for my companions to finish their meanderings. I sat down on a bench with a friend.

As we sit in silence a wind begins to blow around us in a circle, coming from a great blue lake off in the distance. As if we are looking at a movie screen, images of people climbing a mist-­shrouded mountain appear. They are dressed in ancient clothing and carrying weapons: bows and swords. They are involved in some sort of struggle against materialism. I recognize myself as "Dancer at the Gates of Dawn." Voices give messages. A crystal city of light appears across a great ocean and immense longing overcomes me. Other voices speak and in a flash I understand the whole of the Vajrayogini Sadhana. I understand that I have completely invented everything: my persona, my life, the pain, the pleasure, the good, the bad. The whole thing has been an illusion, something I have made up, completely fiction. The "I" never existed except in the self-created ghost. Then, suddenly, the vision ends and I am again sitting on the bench. The wind stops also.

I turned to my friend and said, "What the fuck was that?" Tears were streaming down her face.

She said, "I saw you with two women dressed in red. One was quite old and one was quite young and they were standing right next to you. The whole thing seemed so loving I just started to cry."

What was immediate was the realization that I had caused immense pain to others through the propagation of my projection of myself. This self had been formed in the interaction of birth, mother, father, family, friends, and environment. Included in this realization was the painful truth that this "I" had done and would do anything to maintain the facade of that solid body of illusion. It would love, hate, fight, lie, flatter, conceal, be joyful, feign compassion, or anything else to confirm its existence. I was stunned by my recognition of this-felt not on an intellectual level but as total realization beyond logic.

Over the next few days, unexpectedly, other visions would spontaneously create displays. Many were of past life situations. These were particularly painful to experience because the amount of suffering was condensed. It was like eating or taking into one's body both the visual and emotional experience of a Nazi death camp. When the visions seemed to be unending I became con­cerned that I was indeed going crazy. I had no control over these visionary events and my few attempts to relate them to my friends brought only alarm and concern to their faces: In secret places I cried a lot. I was alarmed at this world I had entered, in which I had no control or direction and no role except as a spectator.

I followed my original itinerary and traveled to the military encampment in Colorado. I went as the Lord Chamberlain Dapon, Sir John Perks, knowing there was nothing that existed in any reality. I was more than pleased to see Rinpoche, to whom I related the entire experience, along with the voice messages that were addressed to him. I asked him directly, "Doesn't one have to be careful when traveling in this world?"

He replied, "No, being careful is hanging on. Just let go." He continued, "The visions are our connection, your connection to me and the lineage."

"People think I am going crazy," I protested.

"Johnny," he said, "some people will love what you do. Others will hate what you do and others couldn't care less. Don't pay any attention to any of it."

It was shocking to see the illusion of the reality of myself. While this had a lasting effect, I still experienced periods of my past reality. That is, I would still become attached to the reality of my ego for periods of time. For years Rinpoche had often asked me about other people in the sangha and how they were doing. In the beginning I would just say "Oh, fine." By saying that, I was of course also saying that I wasn't willing to get involved in the work of finding out what was truly happening to others. When Rinpoche's queries continued I realized I had to start to find out how people were faring and what was going on in their lives. That meant I had to have a relationship with someone else other than myself. Our talks about different people and their emotional and domestic situations expanded into having me act directly. I started to pay attention to others and I started to give up the safety net of self. My ability to do this was directly influenced by my revelation about the insubstantiality of my own self.

For the next few days I had no idea what to think or expect. At encampment I was not assigned any specific role and was left to myself for most of the month. The last event was to be a skirmish, the idea for which had in some strange way evolved from a story I had told Rinpoche.

In the Second World War my father was in the Home Guard, which was a British military organization made up of men who were either too old or too young to be in the regular service. He and his company staged a mock battle in the streets of Sidcup, where they "fought" a detachment of the Royal West Kents. Both sides threw bags of chalk as ammunition and anyone who was hit was out of the game.

Rinpoche had developed this "game" into a fine art at the Shambhala military encampments. During this particular skirmish messengers ran to and fro across the battlefield, passing orders from Rinpoche himself to both of the opposing groups. Rinpoche, attired in his field marshall's uniform, sat under an awning high up in the pine fields next to a large outcropping of stones. The runners would run up to Rinpoche, bow, and report information concerning the troop movements. Rinpoche would give orders to be relayed back to each side. To me, standing next to him, the highland fields felt very vast. It rained on us for a short time and out of the thunderstorm a rainbow appeared. Everything was an extraordinary display, yet normal. Another messenger approached and Rinpoche turned his head toward me. I bent down to listen to his instructions. He said, "Wilcox should win." Without comment I took over the command, issuing orders to the messengers from that point forward. Wilcox's group did win and it all happened very precisely.

After the encampment Rinpoche returned to Boulder and I returned to my faltering attempts at inn-keeping in Nova Scotia. Some months later he came for a visit. A group of us were sitting around him drinking Scotch and sake. We were dressed splendidly in Scottish kilts, jackets, sporrans, shoes, and the socks with red swatches. I was thinking about the Celtic issue and how Rinpoche continually brought up the idea that he wanted me to do something with Celtic people. Every time, I had brushed it off as a trick Rinpoche was trying to play on me. Suddenly, in the midst of my reverie, he jumped up, pointed at me, and said, "That's it!"

In confusion at having my train of thought cut through in that way I said, "You mean we should all wear kilts?"

"No," he prompted, "larger, bigger vision."

I thought of the largest thing I could. "Lineage," I said. He nodded, smiled, and sat down. He intended to stay longer at our inn but was overtaken by sickness and so returned to Halifax and then to Boulder.
Later, I realized that he had picked the Celtic Buddhist lineage for me to work on. It was not something I would have picked for myself. But somehow, quite skillfully, he had nailed me to a course of action which I had no choice but to follow. It was like holding a hot potato that I couldn't drop. I still held on to aspirations of sitting up high on a throne and being a famous teacher -- perhaps seeing people swoon at the pearls of wisdom that dropped from my lips. I had no idea then of the real work and relationships and concern for people that one is required to maintain in order to teach. Teaching is an experiential learning relationship that involves teacher and student -- each learning from the other. I had no idea about taking on the pain of others. All of this I was to learn later on.

During my months of living in Nova Scotia I had begun to act like a teacher, in a puffed-up sort of way. I liked the idea of guruhood, being served and cared for by one's students. Not that I had any students of my own! But that did not prevent me from beginning to create the illusion and mystique of being a guru. Because of this I received a letter from the Vajradhatu administration telling me to cool it and instructing me to pay attention to my meditative practice. It also informed me that I would no longer be involved in Court functions. I felt that I had been fired, sacked, kicked out. I traveled to Boulder to see Rinpoche. My life, my marriage, my job, and my station in life were all in disarray. In deep distress I cried, "What shall I do?"

Rinpoche looked me over and said, "You should become a servant."

I was shocked. Me? An important person relegated to servitude? "How?" I sputtered.

He repeated very clearly, "You should go out on your own and become a servant."

"But, Rinpoche," I protested, "I am the center of your life, and you are the center of my life."

He put his hand on my shoulder and said, "I adore you forever." I had an anguished feeling that he was saying goodbye. And walking away from the Court the old familiar cloud of aloneness settled over me.

In a numb daze I left Nova Scotia for Boston and found a job as a butler to a widowed lady on Beacon Hill. My family's bedroom window in the back of the apartment faced a brick wall only twenty feet away. That symbolized how I felt -- a solid structure facing me in my search for enlightenment. Working for ordinary people with their likes and dislikes was challenging, and my own resentments made things even more difficult.

I longed to be back at the Court and I telephoned Rinpoche several times requesting to be allowed to return. Finally, he sent a message to me via a sangha member that he wanted me to come to encampment as an ordinary trainee. I was shocked and upset by the news. I, who had been a director, a somebody, was being asked to be a nobody, nonexistent, and banished from the physical presence of my teacher. It was so painful I developed psoriasis with oozing sores all over my body. Even terminating my life seemed like a useless repetitive endeavor with no release. At last, Rinpoche called me himself and said, "Come home Johnny."

I rushed to move back to Boulder. Within a few weeks I had set myself up with a job in Denver and rushed to the Court, only to find I had been assigned a job as a trainee in service. I was utterly beside myself and spoke to Rinpoche in person about my anguish. He said clearly, "You have to go out and be on your own." I finally got the point and dejectedly turned to leave. As I reached the door he reminded me, "Keep it simple. Let the phenomena play." I returned to Boston and found a new job as manager of one of the Harvard clubs. I rented a house in the suburbs and started life all over again with my wife and son.

Within the year, news reached me that Rinpoche's physical health was deteriorating rapidly and I flew to Halifax to see him. By then he was in the hospital. He raised his arm in a fist salute as I entered the room but did not speak. After he was released from the hospital I returned to Boston, but within weeks I received an urgent call to return to Halifax. I flew in on a small Air Canada aircraft, which landed at the Halifax airport at 8:00 p.m., Saturday, April 4, 1987. As the wheels of the aircraft touched the runway I sang under my breath the Shambhala anthem. After passing through customs I was met by a friend. I asked him, "How's Rinpoche?" He replied tearfully that he had just been on the phone to the hospital and Rinpoche had died fifteen minutes ago.

We went to the Court where his body was already dressed and seated on a throne. He had his glasses on. As I looked up at him I was overwhelmed by the energy of his presence. My heart rushed toward him and I was so elated to see him it did not actually occur to me that he was dead. It wasn't until hours later that my aloneness hit me. I felt like an iceberg in a vast ocean. It was my innate habit when presented with traumatic events to shield myself from the pain at the very moment of the trauma. That habit was also destined to become obsolete.

Then I dreamt he had played a trick on all of us and was hiding out somewhere and was not really dead. It. was as if he had shown us all a glimpse of an enlightened world within which we could all exist. And then he had left and we remained with an intense yearning to live in such a world. I was again having to give up personal attainment, personal enlightenment -- which was meaningless anyhow because there was no personal enlightenment. Enlightenment had to benefit all beings. Out of that intense yearning and sadness, one had to begin again to establish an enlightened world -- the world that Trungpa Rinpoche had shown us.

Many students expressed relief at the final death of Trungpa Rinpoche. I was somewhat surprised at this. However, it was understandable from some point of view because Rinpoche did not let anyone off the hook during the last years before his death. And the intensity of the attacks on one's personal ego and reference points was constant and enormously personally traumatic. Ironically, his death changed nothing, because the very thought of him would bring back the intensity of his teachings. Nobody was going anywhere because there was nowhere to go back to -­ unless, of course, one was able to opt out of one's devotion and commitment by becoming engrossed in the material world or thinking that the teachings are based on personality and self­-aggrandizement.

Khyentse Rinpoche came to help the sangha and I was able to speak to him. I asked him about the visions I still continued to have. "Oh, that," he said. "I do that between 2:00 and 4:00 every afternoon." I laughed and was relieved. He had made it ordinary for me.

A few days later I was waiting to bid Khyentse farewell as he left to return to India. It was a drizzly, foggy Nova Scotia day. I was part of a large crowd of students on the street across from his house. Harold, the monk, stood next to me. Together we watched as Khyentse Rinpoche came out of the house, large and brilliant like the sun and radiating warmth. A host of attendants fussed about him. Harold looked at me and said, "You used to be such a part of that inner circle. Do you miss it?" A sense of desolation swept over me as I watched Khyentse Rinpoche waving from his departing car. Then I felt joy. I said to Harold, "Happy and sad." He nodded in understanding.
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Re: The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perk

Postby admin » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:09 am

Chapter 11: Commentary

During this time, when not attending to Rinpoche or matters of the Court, I was practicing the "meditation sadhana of the Glorious Coemergent Mother Vajrayogini." It was integrated in my everyday life like the sadhana had never begun nor ever ended. With Rinpoche throwing up red blood into the white sink, white on the outside, red on the inside, it was vast and spacious. In the middle of it is a lotus, corpse, and sun disk seat.

Look, look at your own mind.
Mind itself never existed.
This nonexistent mind
Is the great wonder of the variety of appearance.
Mind is merely appearance.
That mind of all sentient beings
Is the wisdom of great bliss,
Incomprehensible complete non-thought,
Appearing in the nature of that luminosity
For the desires of many sentient beings,
A variety of skillful means are sown.
By a variety of illusory activities
The warrior behaves like a lion,
Attaining the incomprehensible state.
This is the blessing of the Jetsun Mother.
The lineage gurus are like a variety of jewels
For the benefit of the worthy ones.

I repeated those lines over and over many times, having no realization of what they meant. But the series of visions in California dissolved my kleshas,39 enabling me to realize the blessings of the Jetsun Mother and the lineage gurus on a very experiential level Everything fell away at one point, even anything that I had understood about what was called Buddhism. The experience was so stunning that I became frozen, rather like having seen the head of Medusa. Rinpoche pointed this out to me. I longed for the comfort of just being in his company. I longed for our conversation without words. Like the moon, I longed to be in the warmth of the sun. I could teach, but I didn't know anything.

At this point, I think I could have stopped and become just a Pratyekabuddha person -- that is, someone who seeks enlightenment just for himself. Not that I was enlightened, but the path was continuing. What kept me from taking that route was the total generosity and unconditional love I had been given by my teachers, Trungpa Rinpoche, Khyentse Rinpoche, and His Holiness, Karmapa. My com­passion was very primitive and reserved for only a few.

Although it was shocking at the time, I later appreciated Rinpoche's wisdom in telling me to go out on my own and to become a servant. This was the training I received in how to serve others. Through many trials and tribulations I learned from the people and beings that I served how to make the offerings that they wanted, not the offerings that I wanted to give them. Thus I began to have more compassion for the whole situation -- any situation.

Sometimes people would ask me questions about what had happened to me. When I began to explain, I found myself explaining experiences in Buddhist terms, because that's what I had been taught. It was the only explanation that made any sense in relationship to the story. So Buddhism returned as a path. I had attended seven of the twelve or so three-month seminaries that Rinpoche had given. But because of my ignorance and confusion, I retained little or no knowledge of the teachings. So for the next ten years after Rinpoche's death, I read and reread all the seminary transcripts. I also studied and read many other related Buddhist texts. In the beginning, I advanced very slowly in my knowledge and understanding. But I would go over them again and again. Then, gradually, I found I could understand some of the concepts.

When I became angry, depressed, disillusioned, confused, or fearful of how to proceed, my teachers were always there in my thoughts and in my dreams. It was as if we had never parted. And through them I found the compassion that I had so much wanted to give to others and that had eluded me for so long.

Now I am an old man with long white hair and I walk with a slight limp, sometimes supported by a wooden cane. My personal secretary, who is also a student of mine, is typing this manuscript on a computer. we are sitting together in a small cottage overlooking Merrymeeting Bay, in the state of Maine. From within emptiness, in the sky before us, innumerable forms of the chief Jetsunma and her retinue descend. As they dissolve into the top of her head, joy and power increase. From their speech comes a garland of consonant mantras, red and white. As they dissolve into her throat, energy and power increase. From their heart comes a stream of bodhichita, of the nature of the five wisdoms. As it dissolves into her heart, the wisdom of bliss and emptiness is born in her being. The devis dissolve each into each and they become inseparable. That is the inner offering. Then in the supreme palace of mahamudra there resides bodhisattva Caryamati. That is only a name, only a sign, mere sophistry. just as all dharmas have no reality, my very mind is groundless, rootless, beyond the extremes of conditions. Although many things occur, realize the appearance and mind as the nondual ungraspable dharmakaya. That is a description of the indescribable fourth abhisheka.40

There is a world beyond the one our projections and habitual patterns manifest. we act rather like the dog with the blindfold. Rinpoche always said that if the blindfold were to be removed too suddenly one would die of a heart attack. The sight of the real world, the total groundlessness and spaciousness, would cause such instant, terrifying fear that our hearts would burst. There is still even in this dark age, an enlightened lineage of beings and you are being invited. to join with them. Perhaps you will have to surrender some of your stuff-whatever you've collected. But if you have within you the desire to explore, to see, to hear, to taste, or smell to experience the universe, then you should be like a patient with an incurable disease and seek a teacher to become your doctor. Please, do not waste a minute to begin that endeavor.

There are many groups of people that form around the idea of studying the Buddhist teachings without a teacher. This is rather like going to a restaurant and attempting to eat the menu. I realize that it is done with the best of intentions, but still the possibility of having your trip exposed or transformed without a teacher is at best zero. There is no possibility of lineage here, which is the continuum of the heart of the Buddha. From a morality point of view one could become a Brahmin, or follower of the rule, which is not the ultimate point of the Buddhist teachings.  



39 Kleshas are habitual patterns or neurotic clingings.

40 From the sadhana of Vajrayogini.
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Re: The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perk

Postby admin » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:50 am



The following days were somewhat like being in a slow-moving dream world where the boundaries between being awake and being asleep were quite fuzzy. Rinpoche's body was moved from Halifax to Karme Choling in Vermont, where it was kept in a casket of salt until the day of his cremation on May 26 of that same year. Hundreds, if not thousands, of his students were present. Personally, I still remained in a quasi-dream-like state. I wore my Shambhala naval uniform and I remember thinking my hair was too long.

During the cremation ceremony a rainbow formed around the sun. There were other lights that flashed in the overcast sky. There was cannon fire, bagpipe music, and Tibetan horns. I kept repeating to myself, It is over. But I could not formulate what "it" was that was over. Nothing seemed to have changed very much. Somehow, the ghost of Rinpoche was inside me and there was no thought of separation. Looking back, one might say I was suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. But I don't remember being all that stressed out. It was just that Rinpoche was in my mind all the time, wherever I was or whatever I did.

"The foundation of samaya41 is communication of the heart," Rinpoche would say. It seems that there has to be some heart connection with one's teacher. I remember my first meeting with Rinpoche. I felt a tremendous feeling of love just being in his presence. I don't know whether this was coming from him or from me or whether it just existed. The fact is that there was some undeniable connection which caused an openness of the heart essence. During my years with him, that connection remained as the ground even though my mind wandered from doubt to pissed-off-ness to anger. Those reactions were because I wanted to possess the teacher or to make logic out of his teachings.

While I worked with Rinpoche, his method was to focus my mind by having me pay attention to the myriad details of both the household in which we lived and his personal service. Every task had to be done in a specific way, whether it was making the bed, putting a new toilet roll in the bathroom, putting the exact amount of toothpaste on his toothbrush, combing or brushing his hair in a certain manner, handing him items, brushing his shoes, dressing him, cooking his meals, packing his clothes, or driving the car. Even answering his questions about what was happening in the mandala around him, or at least my perception of it, needed to be done exactly. I was in a very precise world.

Within that framework things could expand. Perception opened. Rather than organizing my world, the world existed and was sending messages. A plant doesn't organize the sun to send rays for it to grow, but nevertheless it receives the rays and it grows. It's quite a simple arrangement. There is some kind of openness beyond the obstacle of personal projection. Within that openness messages can be received.

My attempts to find some habitual pattern that I could count on in Rinpoche were all failures. Working with his mind was experiencing basic unconditioned space. At first this greatly alarmed me because I had no idea of how he managed to attain such a state. Through practice, study, and being his personal attendant I began to have flashes of realization that indicated my basic mind was the same as his.

Rinpoche rarely told me what to do concerning my relation­ships with others. However, he implied that I should relate to basic goodness. Since I was extremely sensitive to even the smallest comment he would make I didn't have to puzzle over queries. There arose in me a tremendous sense of longing which sometimes I felt could be satisfied by loving another. But my loving was too attached to my aloneness. I began to see how the interrelatedness of actions created a universe, and at times I experienced openness, softness, and the tremendous bliss of being free from habitual grasping.

People felt that I was crazy. Actually "crazy John Perks" became a joke. But since John Perks was a fabrication, then "just craziness" seemed to operate. It operated from the ground of not really having to do anything. Somehow the whole universe managed quite well without my consistent projection. I'm not sure how it managed to do this since I had previously thought I was the creator.

All the stories that I have written concerning my association with Rinpoche show that he was consistently undermining my reality and showing me that "form is emptiness and emptiness is no other than form."42 Sometimes I think that while my mind did not actually get it one hundred percent on the spot, my body retained the memory. And my heart was such that it could not give up or, for that matter, could not go back on itself. The heart was intermixed with the space of dharma, which was his mind.

After Rinpoche's death I traveled to New York City where I was interviewed and offered employment as a butler to Bill Cosby and his family. During my work for the Cosby family, thoughts of Celtic Buddhism still seemed quite remote and somewhat silly. I had images of being put ashore on some Celtic island, alone, wearing robes, and told to start a Celtic Buddhist center. Not knowing anyone or even able to speak the local language, this seemed to be a ridiculous project.

One day, while riding on the 5th Avenue bus, I looked down and saw a pair of black ebony hands with ivory nails. I realized at once that these were the hands of Maitreya Buddha, even though they were attached to the body of a middle-aged African­-American woman. I did not want to leave the bus and continued to look at her hands until she got off at 168th Street.

I began to see Buddha in other people at different times of day and night. This was like being haunted and would occur whenever I was just sitting or not involved in any activity. During nighttimes I continually had dreams of Trungpa Rinpoche, mostly that he was not dead but was hiding out with some other sangha in an unknown location.

Around this time, it was revealed to the sangha that the Vajra Regent, Osel Tendzin, had contracted AIDS several years prior and it had been kept a secret from the community. He had also had multiple partners and sexual relationships. The issues and feelings of deception caused tremendous emotional splits in the community. The political upheavals and enmity on all sides was pervasive, turning friend against friend. My relationship to the Vajradhatu community after Rinpoche's death was already tentative because he had instructed me to leave and be on my own. The situation with the Regent pushed me out even further.

While many old friends invited me to come and give talks at local dharma centers, they usually received letters from the Vajradhatu administration warning them against letting me speak. It seemed I was regarded as some type of renegade, for reasons which were unclear to me. I just assumed it was spiritual politics, as usual. Happily, those warnings were ignored by many of the local administrators. Nevertheless, any move that I made toward becoming involved with Vajradhatu was seemingly repulsed. It was as if Trungpa Rinpoche's mandate for me to go out on my own continued to manifest.

He had asked me to write about how we worked together. After my daily work with the Cosbys, I would retire to the one-bedroom West Side apartment where I lived with my wife and son and I would sit in the corner scribbling into countless notebooks with mottled black-and-white covers. None of it made much sense.

Once, a friend and I were measuring a room for a new car­pet. Standing, I held the tape to my heart. My friend on the other end said, "This is the lineage," and I had an immediate vision of the lineage going back to the Buddha. What my friend had actually said was "This is the length." I had another friend who went to consult a famous psychic, and as she was leaving, the psychic said to her offhandedly, "Oh, by the way, Celtic Buddhism is the right thing to do. People will think it strange at first, but it will last a thousand years."

Even with the felt presence of Trungpa Rinpoche and these continual visual and mental reminders of Celtic Buddhism, I stubbornly refused to do anything for many years. I didn't know how to start or even if I wanted to start. Even considering what to do about Celtic Buddhism became completely irritating. Once, in a fit of rage I threw a vase against the wall saying, "I refuse to do this until I have received certain signs." Within a week I received all the signs I had requested. The problem was that I felt that only people like Tilopa, Naropa, or Marpa start lineages, not an idiot like me who had little intellectual understanding of the dharma. Most of the time I couldn't remember whether there were three noble truths or four noble truths.

In 1989 I made a small attempt and registered the name Celtic Buddhism as a nonprofit organization. Then I didn't do anything for months. After a few more years I rented a room in an old office building, set up a shrine, and advertised with handout leaflets naming myself as the Venerable Seonaidh, which is Gaelic for Johnny. For several months I sat alone in the shrine room, and gradually people began to trickle in.

I gave a talk at the first Buddhist Conference in America. I found myself talking about Trungpa Rinpoche because I didn't know anything about Celtic Buddhism. Here I met the Zen Master Kobutsu, alias Kevin Malone. I made him a Celtic Buddhist lineage holder, hoping to dump the load on someone else. It didn't quite work out that way, as all he did was to encourage me to fulfill my reluctant mission.

Then I began to meet people who were actually interested in the Celtic aspect and its relationship to Buddhism. I began to give dharma talks based on the work of Trungpa Rinpoche. Together with my students, we relived the happenings and the teachings that Trungpa Rinpoche and I had experienced. In the beginning the aloneness was awesome, made poignant by loving relationships with students who I actually considered to be companions on the path to liberation.

Slowly, Celtic Buddhism is being established. For me it means rethinking everything that had occurred during my years with Rinpoche and all he had taught me. Every small detail has had to be examined and reexperienced precisely. There has been quite a lot of skepticism and opposition from traditional Tibetan Buddhist groups to the development of a new lineage. But when they were asked, some realized Buddhist teachers began to help, mostly by saying, "You were with Trungpa Rinpoche long enough; you should know what to do."

The technicalities of teaching -- all ceremonial aspects -- have been easy. What I lacked for a long time was the confidence to accomplish what my teacher and I had worked on together. But finally I have given up looking for confidence and just do it.

Because of my teachers -- Trungpa Rinpoche; His Holiness, Karmapa; and Khyentse Rinpoche -- I had a great attachment to Tibetan Buddhism. Because of my duty to Celtic Buddhism I had to give up my attachments. This was quite a painful process, which took many years to accomplish.

At the time of writing this book I have a small group of companions in this endeavor, most of whom I have now spent several years with. We are on the threshold of expansion. Together we have learned quite a bit concerning Celtic Buddhism. I consistently work with my recollections of Rinpoche's teaching and my experience with him in defining Buddhism and its relationship to the Celtic Buddhist mandala. We have started a center, the AnaDaire Celtic Buddhist Center, and plan to further our study and practice of Buddhism and its relatedness to Celticism and how the two could combine to help all sentient beings achieve enlightenment.

In the study of Buddhist dharma, our basis is the Prajnaparamita Sutra (the Heart of Sutra.) We always come back to Prajnaparamita. If one were to choose one practice and study it, the Prajnaparamita would be that practice. Other meditation practices we are involved in are shamatha vipashyana, tonglen, Vajrayana Deity Yoga, Chod, and Dzogchen.

In the Celticness we find a great field of shamanistic practices. We are working with these -- using dream, intuition, auspicious coincidence, and information of experiences where Buddhism was intermixed with local religious traditions.

In some sense we always have to go back to square one in our relationship to Buddhism or Celticness. Rinpoche always said to me, "Keep it simple." I always endeavor to do that while at he same time allowing my companions a large field of exploration for their personal experiences. In this lineage, personal path or individuality of personal path intermix with that of the sangha. Sometimes people are impatient with other peoples eccentricities on the path of enlightenment. Rinpoche continually used our eccentricities to point out the intolerance of others. At this stage our group is quite homogeneous, but when expansion occurs, problems will arise and one will have to relate to one's practice of meditation and heart of compassion.

We are called the Crazy Heart lineage of Celtic Buddhism -- "Crazy," because from the aspects of nonduality a person. might appear crazy to a logical mind. This would be rather like the reaction you might have if a flower started to speak to you. You would either think you were crazy or it was crazy. "Heart" is the connection with the lineage, which are the Buddhas and bodhisattvas (or enlightened beings) who have preceded us, are with us in the present, and will appear in the future. We are "Celtic," because our relationship to the experience of being alive was transformed into mythology, dream, art, science, history, literature, and spirituality as an essence that came to be known as Celtic, another cultural aspect that is interrelated with other groups of beings and their expression -- such as Tibetan, African, or Asian. "Buddhism," is because we are followers of the teachings of the Buddhas.

Personally, I have no fixed or clear idea about how Celtic Buddhism will finally manifest. My own personal feelings are that it should take a long time to form itself and then, I hope that having formed itself, it should benefit beings rather than become an inhibitor to their exploration of the universe. In other words, it should become the umbrella as well as the rain itself.

Rinpoche: "Johnny, have you ever been to Iona?"

Johnny: "Iona! You mean the island in Scotland? No, Sir."

Rinpoche: "You should go there after I die."

Johnny (alarmed): "You are not going to die!"

Rinpoche (reassuringly): "No, of course not; we will grow old together. Perhaps sometime you could go to Iona and read the Sadhana of Mahamudra in the cathedral."

Johnny: "Why?"

Rinpoche: "The air is very clear there. You will like it."

Johnny: "Okay, Sir. I'll do it."

Rinpoche: "Great! Let's drink to that."

They both drank sake.

In the summer of 2002 Johnny read the Sadhana of Mahamudra in the cathedral watchtower next to Saint Columba's shrine on the island of Iona. I realized again: Rinpoche manifested as Saint Columba and Johnny as Diarmait, his servant.


Iona is an island in Scotland. It is 3.5 miles long and 1.5 miles across.

Iona Abbey

The island only has two major settlements, Baile Mor and the Iona Community. There are about 170 permanent residents, but 500,000 visitors each year.

Ferry at the slipway

The monastic community on Iona was founded in 563AD by Colum Cille (St. Columba) from Ireland, who was driven out of his homeland, Ireland, in the 6th c. and settled on the Isle of Iona, with his monks; the nearest point to Ireland from which he could not see his homeland. This was the home of Celtic Christianity for six hundred years until King David suppressed Celtic Christianity in the twelfth century. Iona remained a major pilgrimage site until the reformation when the island was sacked and the community scattered. In the early twentieth century, the abbey was rebuilt and a new monastic community has begun here, providing much of the tourism for the island.

ancient cross in the churchyard of the abbey.

-- Iona, by

History continued to repeat itself throughout the ages. The sound of that loving relationship would never end.

In the glorious display of all beings,
stretching into the limitless universe,
never created, never ending.
From a billion suns,
which are the heart centers of all the buddhas,
resonates the sound of mantra. The gift of dharma,
given in total awareness,
love and compassion.
Seen in the fall of a leaf,
movement of grass,
crash of thunder,
unexplained flight of monarchs,
eyes of dragonfly,
foot of ant.
Through ignorance, anger, possessiveness, fear,
illusionary obstacles of all kinds,
simplicity of what was experienced,
lineage of continuous endless compassion,
 illusion of self is realized. Union of samsara and nirvana manifests.
there is nothing to understand.
There is only
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Re: The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perk

Postby admin » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:53 am

"Are these awards and appointments fact or fiction?" I asked.

"Both," he answered.



In the name of the Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby installs YESHE TUNGPA, JOHN A. PERKS as KUSUNG DAPON Proclaimed and Sealed at The Kalapa Court, the Seat of the Kingdom of Shambhala, by the profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Sakyong Mukpopa, the glorious Dorje Dradul, in the year of the Earth Horse of the sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the twenty-seventh day; March 5, 1978.



In the name of the Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, the Dharmaraja Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby awards YESHE TUNGPA, JOHN PERKS, O.L.K., M.M.M.H, THE KUSUNG DAPON for merit in the service of the Dorje Dradul's military THE IRON WHEEL OF THE KINGDOM OF SHAMBHALA Proclaimed and sealed at the Kalapa Court by the Heavenly-appointed Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Sakyong Mukpopa Dorje Dradul of the Kingdom of Shambhala, in the year of the Earth Sheep of the Sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the first day: February 27, 1979.



In the name of the Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, the Dharmaraja Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby admits JOHN ANTHONY PERKS, O.L.K. for outstanding contribution to the Culture of the Kingdom of Shambhala THE ORDER OF ELEGANCE OF THE KINGDOM OF SHAMBHALA Proclaimed and sealed at the kalapa Court by the Heavenly-appointed Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Sakyong Mukpopa Dorje Dradul of the Kingdom of Shambhala, in the year of the Iron Monkey of the Sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the first day: February 17, 1980



In the name of the Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, the Dharmaraja Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby creates YESHE TUNGPA JOHN ANTHONY PERKS, O.L.K., O.E. WARRIOR of the Most Radiant and Perky ORDER OF THE LION OF KALAPA PROCLAIMED AND SEALED at The Kalapa Court by the Heavenly-Appointed Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victoriouis Sakyong Mukpopa Dorje Dradul of the Kingdom of Shambhala, in the year of the Iron Bird of the Sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the first day, February 5, 1981



In the name of the Profound Brilliant Justs Powerful All-Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, the Dharmaraja Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby appoints YESHE TUNGPA, JOHN A. PERKS, O.L.K., O.E. to the office of CHAMBERLAIN PROCLAIMED AND SEALED at The Kalapa Court by the Heavenly-Appointed Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Sakyong Mukpopa Dorje Dradul of the Kingdom of Shambhala, in the year of the Iron Bird of the Sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the first day: February 5, 1981.



Bonnie Johnny Forever Meeting with you is a test of one's gallantry Meeting with you is so tempting That I want to grow old with you. So we could be strong together. Discovering such a bonnie Johnny Is equal to meeting living basic goodness. It is one of the best treasures that the Mukpo family discovered. We would like to welcome you as part of our family Please join and stay with us As the Chamberlain, the Kusung Dapon Or for that matter, just basic bonnie Johnny. May the Rigden Fathers protect you. Happy Birthday. Our love and affection to you on this occasion And for many years to come.

-- Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
March 13, 1981  



In the name of the Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, the Makkyi Rapjam Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby commends SIR JOHN A. PERKS for exemplary loyal service and historic contribution in the office of first Kusung Dapon of the Dorje Kasung of the Kingdom of Shambhala and hereby appoints him to the office of TSOMAK DAPON, COMMODORE Of the Purnachandra Division of the Dorje Kasung of the Kingdom of Shambhala PROCLAIMED AND SEALED at The Kalapa Court by the Heavenly-Appointed Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Sakyong Mukpopa Dorje Dradul of the Kingdom of Shabhala, in the year of the Water Dog of the Sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the first day: February 24, 1982.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, he spent much of his time at sea on his personal fleet of ships as "Commodore" of the Sea Organization, an elite, paramilitary group of Scientologists.[8][9] Some ex-members and scholars have described the Sea Org as a totalitarian organization marked by intensive surveillance and a lack of freedom.[10] His expedition came to an end when Britain, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Venezuela all closed their ports to his fleet. -- L. Ron Hubbard, by Wikipedia



In the name of the Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Rigden, his glorious Sakyong on earth, the Dharmaraja Dorje Dradul of Mukpo Dong, hereby designates SIR JOHN A. PERKS, THE KUSHAP KYI KHYAP for very devoted and outrageous service to The Kalapa Court GARUDA OF KALAPA PROCLAIMED AND SEALED at The Kalapa Court by the Heavenly-Appointed Profound Brilliant Just Powerful All-Victorious Sakyong Mukpopa Dorje Dradul of the Kingdom of Shambhala, in the year of the Water Dog of the Sixteenth Rapjung, the first month, the first day: February 24, 1982.  
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Re: The Mahasiddha and His Idiot Servant, by John Riley Perk

Postby admin » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:53 am

About the Author:

John Riley Perks, born in 1934, experienced in early childhood the bombing of England during World War II, which is written about in the manuscript. He went to university in England and immigrated to America in 1950. He started a commune and school in the Adirondacks which has been written about in the book Pagan Time by Micah Perks, published by Counterpoint in 2001. He met Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1973 and became his butler, attendant, and personal secretary for seven years. After this he became a butler for Bill Cosby for five years, Senator Jay Rockefeller for one year, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Acker for five years, and Mrs. Harris Farnstock [Fahnestock] for three years. Presently he is a Buddhist teacher at the AnaDaire Buddhist Center in Vermont and is currently writing a new book about Celtic Buddhism. John Riley Perks is married, has eight children, and lives in a cottage by the sea in Vermont.  
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