Monday, May 2, 2016

Dispatches from Taos,NM


June 9, 2015
 An Omen for What's 2 Come

We got pulled over at the ‘blinking light’ for a missing red lens in the rear brake lights. Also controversy about whether we were wearing seat belts and I was issued a ticket for lack of insurance paperwork. The whole episode set me off shaking and being unable to stop so that both the cop and Lilith queried me about what was wrong that I was shaking so. I felt calm inside but the confrontation with the law was untimely and precipitated nervous reaction. Sheriff Cordova asked if I had something to hide and I replied “no”. When he went to write the ticket, Lilith seemed very concerned and asked me what was wrong. I explained that it was the culmination of a traumatized week with the accident in Kansas. And the fact that I should probably be looking for a chauffeur in the foreseeable future. It seemed like my driving karma had become problematic and the universe was reminding me in situations such as this.
I, now, have to be more careful and my 'laissez-faire' approach to driving is no longer effective. The honeymoon is over with the driver’s wheel and with things to come. The inherent driving demons that I have quelled with 'mind over matter' can now possess me in my old age. Perhaps driving to the end of the block to buy some milk must now become a walk. Each measured step of my legs and feet must reflect my breath and heartbeat. The times are a’ changing. 

June 7, 2015
sourced from-

Meditation on Munchies
Eating popcorn. All of it. Just uncooked kernels remain that defy oral mastication. Nutritional yeast cakes the scraggly beard and melted butter glistens on fingers and lips. What was accomplished? A 'munchies moment’, or a spiritual exercise to call the Corn Maiden and receive the blessing of her magic? What food pops so consistently and transforms from yellow pebbles to starch snowflakes that beckon in flavor, texture and volume? Add flavorings, oils and salt and discover secret satisfactions of personal or shared enjoyment. Watching a movie, reading a book or quaffing beer becomes an automatic moment that stretches into timelessness as your hand(s) reach into the bowl of popcorn and deliver bunches of delight into the space between the teeth. Crunch, crunch; before swallowing the aromatic dough into the stomach. Finally eyes refocus when the fingers scrape the bottom of the bowl. The hypnotic passion for carnal consumption dissolves away when chewing the remaining kernels, deftly avoiding the tooth cracking hardness of uncaramelized kernels.Time to pop some popcorn?

June 7, 2015
Something like this. Sourced from-

Patrick L. and I returned from Chicago with no car and him a damaged chest and me a bad knee. We did not see or correspond with Maggie although the F. clan was welcoming and we made acquaintance with Jaimie and O’Ryan. Looks like Maggie will have to finally deal with her dark side in a public arena. Sic. Also, I was requested by Patrick F. not to complete the divorce process with Maggie until legal issues are resolved around finances and child custody. What a mess that has dragged on for more than 20 years. Now I look at my priorities and they need to be adjusted. I need to come to terms with Three Peaks and establish anthropomorphic logos that will nurture the goddess temple. Perhaps that has already been put into motion. Perhaps since I need help and help is coming. But starting to act rather than react is on the table. No one is leading this limited circle of neurosis. Turbulence. The breath of life. I must be a man, get it up and believe in myself. Laziness has produced progeny of entropy. Gravitas has evolved to infinite despair. It’s all illusion. Not real.  So let it go and turn a fresh page on this life. Accept good karma as an entitlement. You have earned it. Or not.

May 12, 2015

Side shot of entrance to Bouddha Stupa, Nepal  Source- D.W.L.

Another earthquake in Nepal. This is a sign that the gods are unhappy with us humans on earth and a portent of dark and evil things to come. The world is rapidly using up its good karma as we hurtle head long into the Kali Yuga. I keep up my 2 hrs plus spiritual discipline efforts that I acquired in the recent trip to India and Nepal. This spiritual insurance policy is a legacy from my gurus of the Tibetan tradition which I was unable to practice for twenty years due to my bad karma with the Goddess.

Dispatches from India

November 27, 2014

Yogis parked on the Ganges River ghats, Varanasi Source- D.W.L.

Decided to stay at the Puja Guest house after all. Varanasi is over whelming with visceral contact with street locals and the labyrinth of small alleys that one can be lost in after taking a few turns. I should acquire a taste for this urban puzzle in a few days. I must remember to take a quick trip to Sarnath to keep my pilgrimage agenda. I almost changed rooms because of the family right up against my barred and gated porch; to keep the monkeys out of the room of course. The family has 4 children, flying kites from their roof top domicile, yelling, screaming, mothers and uncles doing laundry while looking straight into my tiny room.

I must get on with my Department of Education college loan dilemma; huge payments beginning in 10 days and no seamless internet to take care of the business of forbearance. This could threaten my sabbatical and pilgrimage if they want to be brutal. It looks like I have absconded if they phone my suspended number or get no direct response from me that I intend to pay. Hopefully my computer will adapt to this Indian internet to complete an acceptable response.

I am looking at the title “Lost Tribe of the Dharma Children” for my first post-university book project. It is focused on the saga of ‘boomer generation" and their spiritual quest that dissipated towards the millennium. I am sure George W. Bush didn’t intend on starting WW3 when he invaded Iraq, as I didn’t intend on it when I voted for him in 2000. But things happen and ideals go adrift in the winds of karma. I believe the Boomer search for truth was genuine, for a while, but as we reach old age we find that a certain few of us snagged certain truths that sustain in a real unique personal way. For the sake of the future generations and our own spiritual legacy, these special truths must be celebrated and shared. We must come out of the wilderness of alienation and cynicism, and accept our tribal status. Be proud of our resistance to the siren call of electronic sleep and share enlightenment from the symbols we cherish.

 Excerpt from book:

Lalita Ghat, Goddess temple of Lalitā Tripurasundarī, where fire dance (Arti) is performed every night and prasad is served to the devotees. Source- Wikipedia
In the secluded grotto behind the Nepali Ghat, I found a stone slab to set my prayer cushion. The air was musty with the incense of temple altars, cow dung, and human ethers. An ancient olfactory assault on modern sensibility that emanated like sweat from the maze of Varanasi stone passages, innumerable air drafts drifting invisibly to merge with the fecund Ganga in her listless winter current. I pulled out my stained and travel worn Dharma text, as reference since I knew much of the prayer by heart. It would become an important prop to keep street mavericks from interrupting the half hour recitation when they launched into their repartee of wallet milking innuendo. I’d ignore them but if need be plat my eyes on the text page while reciting. They would get the message eventually and usually back away apologizing. After all Varanasi is a holy city, a city with many yogis who revere Shiva and the vast pantheon of deities that make the city their home. If worse comes to worse, I wind my dreadlocks into a top knot and with my grand beard look like a western Baba not to be trifled with. Varanasi has proven to be the true testing ground of 12 years of dreadlocks and 2 years of beard growth putting me into the character of a yogi persona. It what’s inside that counts but I have always wondered whether the locals would put up with me as a spiritual character.
I sit on the mat and fold my stiff legs into lotus posture. This is a work in progress and it won’t be long till the legs go numb and I have to shift into half lotus. Supposedly the next Buddha, Maitreya, will become enlightened while sitting on a bench or a chair. That will make it easier on future Western bipeds that are too rigid to sit properly on the ground.
I begin to recite the prayer. The Manjusrinamasamgiti, the Litany of the Names of Manjusri is a prayer that has served as my lifeline to samaya (promise)with the guru. This prayer recitation penetrates the net of Maya (the process of realization of illusion's net) that weaves our corporeal existence. The grand illusion that seduces us into believing we are real and that our suffering is real and that it really hurts. The prayer breaks the hypnotic weave of Samara, “tears the net of existence”, tempers the creations of Brahma (God) and provides an “island“ of relief from perpetual confusion on the path to Enlightenment. So I recite it three times a day and make the effort to keep the Bodhisattva view. My disposition has been fraught with so much chaos for so many years that it seems that I keep the actual vows by “accident”, to quote His Holiness Dudjom Rinpoche.
I sit and recite the prayer, aware of the ancientness of my surroundings. 5000 years of spiritual ceremony has blessed these rock hewn staircases and temples. Perhaps the Manjusrinamasamgiti was recited here in the 7th century by Buddhist saints like Padmasambhava or Manjusrimitra. I recite making an effort to listen to the words, visualize the syllables; instead of letting my imagination surf the nuances of the poetry and conjure distracting dramas or theater of imagination to feed an egocentric appetite. I must unblock my channels so that awareness of emptiness can develop in meditation. The prayer provides this frame of mind so I must not fill its clarity with emotional scribbling. Like a clear crystal wine glass, if the recitation manifests with appreciation of the pure sound, the mantra vibration will amplify and transform the ordinary understanding into enlightened awareness. The Buddha pronounced this teaching to be like a mantra that can transform the practitioner through the power of mantra sound. In other words one does not necessarily have to understand the words to be liberated by them.
When I received the prayer in Bodhgaya, India, in January of 1994, during the 5th Nyingmapa Monlam (world peace prayer), I was very distressed and looking for an antidote to debilitating and intractable karma. I needed a panacea to replace my Ronin status with my guru’s family and to protect the future of my wife and my 4 children (I now have 6). When we reached Bodhgaya, we were handed texts to recite during the Monlam, along with the thousands of monks, nuns and lay practitioners, and as soon as I recited the English translation of the Manjusrinamasamgiti, a door opened for me to the mind of my departed guru, HH Dudjom Rinpoche. I felt the relief of finding a pure samaya link to rely on so that my confidence in Buddha Dharma was rescued from debilitating cynicism. The recitation was a lifeline that gave me strength to keep my cool and to give me strength to get the family back home in Taos without serious casualty. In the weeks before in Thailand, I had become suicidal and getting to Bodhgaya had been a desperate measure in a long series of dangerous interactions. I had reached the end of my patriarchal zeitgeist; I had fallen from misogynistic confidence into the wrath of the Goddess. This prayer kept her at bay if I practiced it consistently.
After the half hour, when I reached the end of the prayer and completed the recitation of the mantra, a host of Hindu devotees, freshly bathed from the Ganga near the Cremation Ghat, poured around me as they headed to the Nepali Temple. Some pushed those in front of them up the stairs so that I was confronted head on by bewildered stares that had to decide if I was a sadhu or a bizarre tourist. Some touched my knee and then their foreheads and others rendered me a non-event and tried to avoid knocking me over as they slid past.
At the end of the herd of devotees, an Indian college student from Kerala sat beside me and extended his cracked Android camera on a telescoping rod and asked if we could have our picture taken. He said he was touring northern India and “hitting” as many temples as he could find. He described the calm and beauty of Southern India and that I should visit. The odd thing about him was that he spoke with an Australian accent. I thanked him for his attention, gathered my belongings and limped back to the cavernous guest house.

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