Thursday, February 07, 2008

Mysterious ways

Turn and face the strange
Kathmandu, Nepal

Well, I won't be back in India on 16th February, after all. Turns out my heart-homegirl and living legend Ani
Tenzin Palmo (nee Diane Perry) is getting enthroned as a Je Tsun Ma right here in K-town on the 16th.

That's right, all holy an' stuff....a first for a western woman.

Tenzin Palmo's mission in this lifetime has been to revive the lost lineage of TogdenMas (kick-ass, hardcore longhaired female yoginis). This lineage was lost after the Tibetan Exile in 1959.

I was fortunate enough to meet Tenzin Palmo last year at the Tashi Dzong Monastery masked dances in Himachal Pradesh. She is best known via the biography written by Vickie MacKenzie, Cave In the Snow, which is a sort of end-users' manual for following your heart.

Everyone told her she couldn't do it, it had never been done before...against all the rules and traditions, blah blah blah....and here we are 25 years later getting enthroned, for crying out loud.

When I met her (photo above), while bathing in her considerable aura, all I could think was: Amazing, that a woman who spent 12 years in a snowbound cave in the Lahauli mountains is so totally normal - more well-adjusted than most of us.


The burning eye
Now I'm going to go off on the mystical tip. My friend Robert hates it when I do this....but Kathmandu is like that sometimes.

Thus I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Gaya, at Gayasisa, together with a thousand bhikkhus. There he addressed the bhikkhus.

"Bhikkhus, all is burning. And what is the all that is burning?

"The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning, also whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact for its indispensable condition, that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hate, with the fire of delusion. I say it is burning with birth, aging and death, with sorrows, with lamentations, with pains, with griefs, with despairs.

"The ear is burning, sounds are burning...


"The nose is burning, odors are burning...


"The tongue is burning, flavors are burning...


"The body is burning, tangibles are burning...


"The mind is burning, ideas are burning, mind-consciousness is burning, mind-contact is burning, also whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with mind-contact for its indispensable condition, that too is burning.



Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hate, with the fire of delusion. I say it is burning with birth, aging and death, with sorrows, with lamentations, with pains, with griefs, with despairs.


"Bhikkhus, when a noble follower who has heard (the truth) sees thus, he finds estrangement in the eye, finds estrangement in forms, finds estrangement in eye-consciousness, finds estrangement in eye-contact, and whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful- nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact for its indispensable condition, in that too he finds estrangement.


"He finds estrangement in the ear... in sounds...


"He finds estrangement in the nose... in odors...


"He finds estrangement in the tongue... in flavors...


"He finds estrangement in the body... in tangibles...


"He finds estrangement in the mind, finds estrangement in ideas, finds estrangement in mind-consciousness, finds estrangement in mind-contact, and whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with mind-contact for its indispensable condition, in that too he finds estrangement.


"When he finds estrangement, passion fades out. With the fading of passion, he is liberated. When liberated, there is knowledge that he is liberated. He understands: 'Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived out, what can be done is done, of this there is no more beyond.'"


That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were glad, and they approved his words.


Now during his utterance, the hearts of those thousand bhikkhus were liberated from taints through clinging no more.

2 comments:

c said...

This is a long quote. feel free to delete/edit.

This is from the garuda purana, and explains the same thing as the above, although a brahman is in reality is an idealogical opposite of budhhist shunyata..

"45-48. This individual, leaving his own body, goes to the abode of Yama. What is the good of association with wife, mother, father, son and others?

The world of change is verily the root of misery. He who is in it is afflicted with misery. He who abandons it becomes happy,--otherwise never.

This world of change, which is the source of all misery, the seat of all calamities, and the refuge of all sins, should be abandoned at once.

A man bound in fetters of iron or wood may be released, but from the fetters of son and wife can never be freed.

p. 160

49-51. So long as the being makes attachments pleasant to the mind, so long shall the dagger of sorrow pierce his heart.

People are destroyed every day by the desire for great wealth. Alas! Fie upon the foods of the senses, which steal away the senses of the body.

Just as the fish, covetous of flesh, does not see the iron hook, so the embodied, covetous of pleasure, does not see the torments of Yama.

52-55. Those men who do not understand what is good and what is not good for them, who constantly pursue evil courses, and are intent on the filling of the belly, are destined for hell, O Bird.

Sleep, sexual pleasure, and eating are common to all creatures. Who possesses knowledge is called a man, who is devoid of it is called a beast.

Foolish men are tormented at break of day by nature's calls; when the sun is in the meridian by hunger and thirst; in the night by passion and sleep.

All those beings who are attached to their bodies, wealth, wife and other things, are born and die deluded by ignorance, alas!

56-57. Therefore should attachment be shunned always, It is not possible to give up everything. therefore should friendship with the great be cultivated, as a remedy for attachment.

p. 161

Attachment to the good, discrimination, and purity of the eyes--the man who has not these is blind. How shall he not tread evil ways?

58. All those deluded men who turn away from the duties of their respective castes and orders, and do not understand the highest righteousness, perish fruitlessly.

59-60. Some are intent upon ceremonies, attached to the practice of vows; with self enveloped in ignorance the imposters go about.

The men who are attached to the ceremonial alone are satisfied with mere names, deluded by the repetitions of mantras, oblations and other things, and by elaborate rituals.

61-62. The fools, bewildered by My magic, desire to obtain the invisible by single meals, fasts and other restraints, and by the emaciation of the body.

Of those who have no discrimination, what liberation can there be by bodily tortures alone? What great serpent is killed by beating the anthill alone? 1"

Linda (Sama) said...

very cool. I will have to link this to my blog. I'm all for kick-ass, hardcore longhaired female yoginis since I am one myself...:);)

BTW, seeing HHDL twice this year, of course, not for free -- in April and July he'll be in the good old Midwest. My teacher, Gelek Rimpoche, is sponsoring his visit in April. Rimpoche is the grand-nephew (great-nephew? can never keep those straight) of the 13th DL.