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Re: Tantra--Hindu, Himalayan Buddhist--problems
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 07, 2012 06:32AM

This text, Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, records an historic 21- day series of teachings given by a great rinpoche in the Gelugpa lineage (same as that of the Dalai Lama)


Make sure to read pp 229-130 at the very least.

This advice is given many days into the retreat, so by that time the audience would be very receptive.

Contrast this with the reminder by Professor Cantor:

When Dharma is Fake-Turning Citizens into Peasants"

These gurus want us to surrender the ability to look at power objectively.

In the Vajrayana or Hindu mindset, Power = Divinity. If you have power or are accorded Tulku or Rinpoche status it means you have a fortunate rebirth, and there's no quarrelling with karma. There is no way to discuss whether power is derived legitimately or dishonestly.

Power IS.

In the West, this mindset was modified through a long gradual process and in some cases, by catastrophes too great for divinely appointed ruling classes and clergy to remedy or explain--such as the Black Death pandemic of the mid 14th century---and the many serious epidemics which followed.

To ask us to surrender our ability to think consciously as citizens about the legitimacy of power, whether power is used benevolently or abusively, is to tell us to go back to being children..or peasants.

This cannot support spiritual progress--it just supports a guru or the organization he left behind.

Historian Norman E Cantor, said this about the difference 14th century people's (and I content this applies to Vajrayana Buddhists)mindset and our own, regarding attitudes toward power and leaders.

Edward III of England waged cruel and merciless war against France, bringing suffering and death to thousands. He beseiged the French city of Calais into starvation and
when six citizens from the city, staggered forth offering their own lives in a plea
that the surrendered city not be subjected to wholesale massacre, the king would have
had them killed, had his own queen not thrown herself at his feet and begged mercy.

Edward also raped an English noblewoman after sending her husband abroad on a mission to get him out of the way. He funded his wars by taking out hefty loans from a
series of Italian banks, and then defaulted on the loans causing a financial collapse in

By our modern standards, Edward III was a brute.

But here is what Professor Cantor tells us:

Quote: we may look back on the English king of the fourteenth century as a kind of destructive and merciless force, while to nearly all articulate and literate contemporaries he was a constitutional king and very model of chivalry and aristocratic honor, illuminates a gap between our world and fourteenth century Europe.

Fourteenth century people lacked the moral catagories that could transcend traditional political and social roles. They lacked a critical value system that judged rulers by consequenes and not the formal catories in which their behavior was structured.

In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made, page 39

But, in Vajrayana Buddhism, we risk having our modern citizens minds and the hard won capacity for analytical and critical thought replaced by a mindset that is without any means to evaluate rinpoches, gurus and roshis by consequences of their actions.

This stance is that a guru, rinpoche or roshi is some sort of enlightening force, an agent of awakening, beyond the reach of conventional evaluation rooted in a samsaric, deluded mindset.

All this does is make the teachers rich, make us submissive, disables our adult discernment, and turns us into peasants who know how to use computers.

All this servesthe interests of the Neo Brahmins and New Wage barons carving out their fiefdoms via Twitter, Pocasts, etc.

These Neo Brahmins and New Wage barons claim to be postmodern and 21st century but they're as preoccuppied with hierarchy, especially those who prate of Vertical Hierarchy as any medieval chancellor or scholastic.

They represent a regression, but all dressed up in modern garb to disguise it.

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Re: Tantra--Hindu, Himalayan Buddhist--problems
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 17, 2012 10:45PM

Mere experiences that get mislabeled as Illumination or Dropping


Someone was discussing Tolle on an older Google listserve and mentioned something.

There is a discussion on the Google listserve that raise intersting points


[]'A cessation of mentation as a result of intense concentration _may_ be
a precursor to Awakening in some "accidental" enlightenment
experiences..... (Echart Tolle** or John Wren-Lewis'), or in some
very thorough systematic approaches (like the Theravada), but it is
not Awakening itself: or, put it this way, it isn't a _necessary_
precursor to Awakening.

(((Corboy note::the author generously names Eckhart Tolle's but ET's hunger for money and publicity calls his alleged enlightement into question so far as I am concerned Corboy),

'In fact, Awakening is a BREAK in any form of
samadhi-like concentration (taking "samadhi" in its lesser meaning -
for it can also mean the Result itself, in some systems). It's at
complete right angles to anything you've ever experienced or imagined.
(I say this based on your writings - you may be playing a game of some
sort, but I am responding to your words as they stand.)

"It's like this: if you fix your gaze, the saccades (the little
jerkings about) that your eyes constantly unconsciously make cease,
and because the visual system normally sees things by noticing
borders, edges and differences
, the visual system "whites out".

"(Author turned aside to comment to discussion participants)This is taken advantage of in some Daoist practices, and some Dzogchen Longde practices, if I'm not mistaken - right Namdrol?)

***(Corboy note: very interesting as the Vajrayana practices aim at what is termed Clear Light.

If that CL is being produced by a mundane neurological glitch due to prolonged fixation of the eyes then this calls into question all the various white light experiences people and religous systems use to validate claims of enlightenment.)[/[/i]i]

"Since the whole mental system works in an analogous way, by noticing
differences, I believe something analogous may happen if the _whole
mental system_ is "frozen" in a concentrative state - it ceases to
experience anything at all. BUT THAT IS NOT AWAKENING.

(Corboy note: in the early days of Guru mahara-ji, a lot was made abotu 'white light' experiences. Ditto for clear white light being seen in some systems as a sign of advancement.

If this is merely caused by fixing one gaze and its only a normal neurological event that is given an excess of meaning that it doesnt actually have on its own, its scary to imagine people throwing lives and money into the lap of someone on account of a neuro-tingle)


A person named Daniel was doing sitting meditation and reported this

"it happens that for a long time I lose awareness of everything -- of myself, of time, of my mind, of objects -- everything.

I sit and it feels like 10 minutes have passed, when in fact one hour or more have passed. Is this alright ?

Am I doing something wrong ? It is almost as if I fell in deep sleep, except that I don't think this is the case because I had my wife watching me to see if this was the case, which wasn't.

"Blogger LV said...

You're hitting a state of non-perception. If possible, you need to find an experienced meditation teacher to get you past this obstacle. Your experience sounds exactly like it:

"The second state was one I happened to hit one night when my concentration was extremely one-pointed, and so refined that it refused settle on or label even the most fleeting mental objects. I dropped into a state in which I lost all sense of the body, of any internal/external sounds, or of any thoughts or perceptions at all — although there was just enough tiny awareness to let me know, when I emerged, that I hadn't been asleep. I found that I could stay there for many hours, and yet time would pass very quickly. Two hours would seem like two minutes. I could also "program" myself to come out at a particular time.

After hitting this state several nights in a row, I told Ajaan Fuang about it, and his first question was, "Do you like it?" My answer was "No," because I felt a little groggy the first time I came out. "Good," he said. "As long as you don't like it, you're safe. Some people really like it and think it's nibbana or cessation. Actually, it's the state of non-perception (asaññi-bhava). It's not even right concentration, because there's no way you can investigate anything in there to gain any sort of discernment. But it does have other uses." He then told me of the time he had undergone kidney surgery and, not trusting the anesthesiologist, had put himself in that state for the duration of the operation.

In both these states of wrong concentration, the limited range of awareness was what made them wrong. If whole areas of your awareness are blocked off, how can you gain all-around insight? And as I've noticed in years since, people adept at blotting out large areas of awareness through powerful one-pointedness also tend to be psychologically adept at dissociation and denial. This is why Ajaan Fuang, following Ajaan Lee, taught a form of breath meditation that aimed at an all-around awareness of the breath energy throughout the body, playing with it to gain a sense of ease, and then calming it so that it wouldn't interfere with a clear vision of the subtle movements of the mind. This all-around awareness helped to eliminate the blind spots where ignorance likes to lurk."


"Another type of wrong concentration is one that a modern practice tradition, following DN 1, calls a state of non-perception (asaññi).. I

n this state, which is essentially a concentration of subtle aversion — the result of a strongly focused determination not to stay with any one object — everything seems to cease: the mind blanks out, with no perception of sights or sounds, or of one's own body or thoughts. There is just barely enough mindfulness to know that one hasn't fainted or fallen asleep.

One can stay there for long periods of time, and yet the experience will seem momentary. One can even determine beforehand when one will leave the state; but on emerging from it, one may feel somewhat dazed or drugged, a reaction caused by the intense aversive force of the concentration that induced the state to begin with.

There are other forms of wrong concentration, but a general test is that right concentration is a mindful, fully alert state.

Any state of stillness without clear mindfulness and alertness is wrong."

(If one dislikes the term 'wrong' one can substitute the term 'misleading' as in a map giving inaccurate directions. Corboy)


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Re: Tantra--Hindu, Himalayan Buddhist--problems
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 24, 2012 11:36PM

Sir John Woodroffe aka Arthur Avalon Tantra Popularizer, Pied Piper?

Research note: If looking at reviews on Amazon, take care to read the reviews on and also (Amazon in the United Kingdom and Canada. The British and the ANZACs have had very much more experience travelling in India. Reviews on those sites are often more articulate and well reasoned than reviews on the Amazon in the United States.

Sir John Woodroffe, Tantra and Bengal: “An Indian Soul in a European Body”? by Kathleen Taylor.


Product Description
'Excellent, painstaking biography.' - Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

'Kathleen Taylor has not only produced a biography worth waiting for but also, as the title suggests, shed light on some wider issues regarding the study and practice of Tantra in Bengal in the early decades of the twentieth century.' - Contemporary South Asia


Working with Bengali mentors, especially his close friend A. B. Ghose, Sir John
Woodroffe became the pseudonymous orientalist Arthur Avalon, famous for his studies at the beginning of the twentieth century. Best known for for The Serpent Power, the book which introduced 'Kundalini Yoga' to the West, to the western world, Avalon turned the image of Tantra around, from that of a a despised magical and orgiastic cult into a refined philosophy which greatly enhanced the prestige of Hindu thought to later generations of westerners.

This biographical study is in two parts. The first focuses on Woodroffe's social identity in Calcutta against the background of colonialism and nationalism - the context in which he 'was' Arthur Avalon. To a very unusual degree for someone with a high position under the empire, Woodroffe the British High Court Judge absorbed the world of the Bengali intellectuals of his time, among whom his popularity was widely attested. His admirers were attracted by his Indian nationalism, to which his tantric studies and supposed learning formed an important adjunct.

Woodroffe's friend Ghose, however, was the chief source of the textual knowledge in which the 'orientalist' scholar appeared to be deeply versed. The second part of this study assesses Woodroffe's own relationship to Sanskrit and to the texts, and highlights his very extensive but gifted use of secondary sources and the knowledge of Ghose and other Indian people.

It examines the apologetic themes by which he and his collaborators made Tantra first acceptable, then fashionable.

(These may have been the rhetorical strategies used by the Hindu Renaissance reformers--Corboy)

Partly because of his mysterious pseudonym, Woodroffe acquired a near legendary status for a time, and remains a fascinating figure. This book is written in a style that should appeal to the general reader as well as to students of Indian religions and early twentieth century Indian history, while being relevant to the ongoing debate about 'orientalism'.


Note: Ramakrishna, who had a strong tantric component to his devotional practices was also patronized by the Bengali elite, though his eccentricities were at times difficult to tolerate. (Bharati, The Ochre Robe)

Corboy) It appears that the "Serpent Power" and 'Kundalini' books written by Woodroffe under the pseudonym, "Arthur Avalon" and mostly guided by his Bengali associate Ghose, were not only influential to Western readers but, in a grand irony, may have become influential in India for those Indians who were already westernized through British educations, unable to read or evaluate Sanskrit texts, yet had spiritual aspirations.

For it appears that Woodroffe, putting his trust in the guidance of a single man, AB Ghose, relied on secondary sources.

It is an irony that perhaps Gopi Krishna, a Kashmiri Shavite who wrote of his struggles as a yogi (Living With Kundalini) may have perhaps been influenced by the Avalon books. Krishna did not mention studying Sanskrit with any pandits. His description was of schooling that was meant to prepare him to take the Civil Service Examinations--and he took a job in the Raj era Civil Service, retaining his bureaucratic position into the years of Indias independance. He noted that his own father had had a bureaucratic position, though his father practiced yoga at home--and also ran into troubles.

The Bengali intellectuals of the late 19th Century were very active in the Hindu Renaissance movement.

Rabindranath Tagore was hugely influential in both his own contributions to Bengali literature and Indian Nationalism, but Tagore also took an interest in the Baul tantrics who at the time were considered disreptutable, and popularized their music and poetry, even to the point of declaring he was himself a Baul. (see Seeking the Bauls of BengalThis biography appears to be very much worth a peek. It has now become hard to find.

It appears that the Arthur Avalon books influenced members of the traditionalist movement--Julius Evola (more fascist than even Mussolini!), Coomaraswamy and Frithjof Schuon)

From UK



How many of those interested in the Tantrik dimension of Sanatana Dharma during the 1960s and 70's cut their teeth on those superb early 20th century translations and studies of 'Arthur Avalon' wondering all the while at that elusive Arthurian nom-de-plume? Certainly, compared with the horrible effusions of pop-tantric drivellings, 'new age' sex manuals and 'transgressive' crapulence of sorcery, witchcraft and occultism which crowd the shelves on this subject nowadays the works by 'Arthur Avalon' are quite exemplary in their crystalline clarity, offering really informed perspectives on the theory and practise of Shakta Tantra in the Hindu tradition - the introductory essays which preface the 'Mahanirvana Tantra' are unsurpassed in their brilliance as introductions to ther various aspects of tantrik philosophy and sadhana.

And the influence of 'Arthur Avalon's book 'The Serpent Power' upon the ideas of Baron Julius Evola
, who translated texts from Woodroffe into Italian for inclusion in the journals 'Ur' and 'Krur' in the 1920s-30s, is not to be underestimated. Kathleen Taylor's biographical and critical study of Sir John Woodroffe comes then as a very welcome portrait of this remarkable man who was in so many ways a typical figure of his day and place, that is to say British colonial India of the Raj where he was a justice of the peace, and in others a decidedly unusual individual with a powerful and keen aesthetic and mystical sensibility.

The influence of his musician wife, the accomplished Ellen Woodroffe is considered and Woodroffe's early life in Edwardian England at Frensham Heights covered in detail. The involvement of Woodroffe's son James, who ended his days living in a caravan on the South Coast, adds some surprising angles on the great man's life in India and in England.

The 'Arthur Avalon' pseudonym would appear to have been coined for his partnership in literary matters with A. B. Ghose and the spiritual fervour with which Woodroffe venerated his Tantrik guru Sri Sivacandra is described, amid accounts of musical and artistic gatherings at the Woodroffe residence in Calcutta, where the great man delved into the mysterious secrets of Tantrika sadhana under the guidance of wise Bengali savants and sages: an interesting description of a chakra-puja attended by Woodroffe and Alexandra David-Neel is to be found here and the photographic plates of Sir John, dhoti-clad at the Konarak temple and in English tweeds at Oxford are especially interesting as they depict a man of an essentially introverted temperament who according to a friend had the demeanour of a melancholy gargoyle in ordinary life but the aspect of a gleeful goblin when excited to good humour.

What is not to be denied is that Woodroffe, transcending the 'theosophist' occultist mush of his period, penetrated very deeply into the mysterious depths of the tantrik facet of Hindu spirituality and that his texts done in collaboration with Ghose and inspired by Sivacandra offer some of the very best introductions to this vexed area, clouded by so many inane misconceptions even in our own day.

Sir John Woodroffe stated that in analogy to the intricate and beautiful symbolic-ritual universe of tantrika-sadhana (so profoundly intertwined with classical Indian aesthetics as Abhinavagupta demonstrated and Ananda K. Coomaraswamy expounded*)the West already possesses a corresponding path of esoterism (or 'eso-exoterism' as the metaphysician Frithjof Schuon would term it) in the formal observances of ceremonial worship within orthodox Catholic Christianity.

Accordingly, although there were rumours that even after his return to Oxford Sir John offered puja before an image of the Devi in his house, he in fact followed his wife Ellen in converting to the Roman Rite and ended his days within the fold of the Catholic Church as a practising Christian.

Apparently the ambience of the Woodroffe family was not a happy environment on their return from the Indian sojourn, which along with health problems added to Sir John's introverted gloom and native taciturnity. Kathleen Taylor has written a fascinating and much-needed portrait of this luminary in the field of Indian esoterism and Tantra-shastra. Very highly recommended.

(Corboy note: Julius Evolva, Commaraswamy and Schuon were all aggressive exponents of an ideology that originated in the West, 'traditionalism' which had the bias that there is a primordial, perennial wisdom that is not to be found in modern cultures but must be sought for in ancient uncorrupted traditions that offer valid initations. This ideology biased Coomaraswamy's work and he must be read cautiously and with awareness of his commitment to the traditionalist ideology. For more see Professor Mark Sedwick's Against the Modern World:Traditionalism and the Secret Intellectual History of the Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press.)

By meow tomcat - Published on

Many academic studies, expecially in book length form, are difficult for the general reader to absorb because academic studies are sometimes excruciatingly specific and exact. Whereas the scholar has to quote Sir John Woodroffe (1865- 1936) and explain the context , most readers are content with a paraphrase or a general description. This work has over a thousand footnotes, which in academic circles is sometimes required, but with the addition of Sanskrit terms and Tantric references, this erudition may lose the general reader.

If the reader does not already know, Arthur Avalon was the pen name of Sir John Woodroffe and the author studies them separately as if they were two different people. This impressive research looks at Sir John Woodroffe in the context of his standing in British colonial society and with the Bengali intellectuals. The real authority behind Arthur Avalon's The Serpent Power and other works was Atal Bihari Ghose who was well versed in Sanskrit (whereas Arthur Avalon was not). Their working relationship is one of the highlights

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Re: Tantra--Hindu, Himalayan Buddhist--problems
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 24, 2012 11:43PM



Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of ReligionLike Woodroffe, Vivekananda was a defender of Hindu culture against the West's
criticisms as well as a severe critic of the West. And he too developed a ...

Sir John Woodroffe, Tantra and Bengal: 'An Indian Soul in a ...Woodroffe however had contacts with other disciples of the Swami later on, and
he was for a time President of the Vivekananda Society in Calcutta. Nivedita ...

Sir John Woodroffe Tantra and Bengal - Kathleen Taylor - Google ...The first focuses on Woodroffe's social identity in Calcutta against the
background of ... Partly because of his mysterious pseudonym, Woodroffe
acquired a near ... ... - Similar pages

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Woodroffe and Swami Vivekananda 5. Religion for the Age of Darkness: Tantra ... - 24k - Cached - Similar pages

Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religion ...Sex Scandal Secrecy and Censorship in the Works of John Woodroffe and
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Deodorized Tantra
Sex, Scandal, Secrecy, and Censorship in the Works of John Woodroffe and Swami Vivekananda

(p. 134 ) Chapter 4 Deodorized Tantra
Hugh B. Urban
University of California Press

This chapter examines the various attempts, on the part of both Western and Indian authors, to deodorize, sanitize, or reform Tantra. The most famous of these is the eccentric Supreme Court judge and secret t¨¤ntrika (practitioner of Tantra), Sir John Woodroffe, who is regarded as the founding father of Tantric studies.

His legacy of reform and sanitization of Tantra would be mirrored and echoed in various ways by a great many Indian authors, such as Swami Vivekenanda and the disciples of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

For both Woodroffe and Vivekananda, Tantra was something that was very much in need of censorship and reform¡ªeither (for the former) a moralizing sanitization, or else (for the latter) a form of suppression and denial. This chapter looks at sex, scandal, secrecy, and censorship in the works of Woodroffe and Vivekananda.

Keywords: Tantra, sex, scandal, secrecy, censorship, John Woodroffe, Swami Vivekananda, reform, sanitization, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Hugh Urban
Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520230620

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520230620.001.0001

Find in Worldcat
Go to page:
Search within book
Title Pages
Preface and Acknowledgments

Chapter 1 The Golden Age of the Vedas and the Dark Age of K¨¡l¨©
Chapter 2 Sacrificing White Goats To the Goddess
Chapter 3 India's Darkest Heart
Chapter 4 Deodorized Tantra
Chapter 5 Religion for the Age of Darkness
Chapter 6 The Cult of Ecstasy


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Re: Tantra--Hindu, Himalayan Buddhist--problems
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 24, 2012 11:47PM

To Walter1963 - your PM mailbox is full.

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Re: Tantra--Hindu, Himalayan Buddhist--problems
Posted by: walter1963 ()
Date: October 25, 2012 02:08AM

This text, Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand, records an historic 21- day series of teachings given by a great rinpoche in the Gelugpa lineage (same as that of the Dalai Lama)


Make sure to read pp 229-130 at the very least.

This advice is given many days into the retreat, so by that time the audience would be very receptive.

Contrast this with the reminder by Professor Cantor:

When Dharma is Fake-Turning Citizens into Peasants"

These gurus want us to surrender the ability to look at power objectively.

In the Vajrayana or Hindu mindset, Power = Divinity. If you have power or are accorded Tulku or Rinpoche status it means you have a fortunate rebirth, and there's no quarrelling with karma. There is no way to discuss whether power is derived legitimately or dishonestly.

Power IS.

The book quoted in my opinion is evil and will induce a lot of psychological issues into anyone who believes what is written and the label evil also applies to the monk who wrote it. Spirituality is supposed to ennoble and uplift a person not turn them into a cringing supplicant and neurotic obedient to some lazy, greasy fingered slob in a robe.

And to give this advice in the middle of a retreat is the epitome mind control.

The more I read of Tibetan Buddhism the more I am inclined to view it as a regressive and totalitarian thought control system.

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Re: Tantra--Hindu, Himalayan Buddhist--problems
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 25, 2012 05:58AM

Early Jesuit missionaries who visited Tibet were shocked by the many similarities they saw between Catholic liturgy and customs and those of Vajrayana Buddhism--to the point where one missionary thought the similarity was a diabolical one.

The explanation may be more mundane.

Nestorian Christianity entered Tibet and even Mongolia before Buddhadharma.

[] means Christian concepts of heaven hell, damnation and demonology may have entered the local mindset, and then were co-opted into Vajrayana Buddhism, accounting for the terrors of damnation that are used to scare anyone who presumes to question or challege the lamaistic power structure.

So the worst features of clerical Christianity may have been incorporated into Vajrayana.

Farther to the South, and in Japan, where Nestorian Christianity never penetrated, the Buddhadharma remained free from detailed and imaginative renditions of Hell--that concept so useful for emotional and mental terrorism.


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Note: In his memoir describing life as a Gelukpa novice, Nicholas Grozni, in Turtle Feet, the Making and Unmaking of a Buddhist Monk describes how an Introductor Buddhst Hells class was offered at the Tibetan Library and Archive in Dharamsala.


So, big irony that Westerners seeking surcease in Tibetan Buddhism are actually finding the worst of Christianity refracted back at them.

Clericalism and complex hell realms.


There is a even a monhtly ritual of confession for monks in the Gelukpa order.

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Re: Tantra--Hindu, Himalayan Buddhist--problems
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 25, 2012 06:22AM

It cannot be stressed often enough that the very persons who seemed to give Westerners our first glimpse of yoga or Hinduism were already themselves products of Western educations.

Vivekananda--first addressed the Congress of World Religions. He made Ramakrishna's maverick tantrism acceptable to polite Western audiences. Vivkekananda had no training in Sanskrit scholarship and he was a member of a Masonic lodge, which assisted him to communicate with Westerners who were also members of lodges, as many seekers were in the 19th and early 2oth centuries.

Arthur Avalon/John Woodroffe--associated with both Tagore and Vivekananda and was eager to present tantra in ways sympathetic and reassuring to otherwise uptight Westerners. Woodroffe, a Raj official (judge) had to hide out behind a pseudonym. It is possible that 'Arthur Avalon's' books influenced Lee Lozowick, Rudrananda and others.

Madame Blavatsky--grew up in the Baltic/Russian aristocracy. This sector of the Russian elite had ties to the Freemason movement all the way back into the 18th Century and Helena Blavatsky's own books, much of which plaigarized existing scholarship, became immensely popular in Europe and America. These books in turn were used as sources by Paul Brunton, a maverick Theosophist who popularized India and more modern gurus.

Blavatsky's books became source material for Gurdjieff, Rudolf Steiner, Alice Bailey and the New Age movements.

And YOGA and its famous postures it seems cannot be found in Indian archeological sources, except depictions of the lotus posture. No ancient depictions of the cobra movement or downward dog.

Turns out these postures which were turned into 'Yoga' were not ancient but came from the work of Neil Bukh and his 'primitive gymnastics'

which in turn were incorporated into physical fitness training for young men in the Indian Nationalist/Quit India movement--and done under cover of yoga.


Bukh's work was incorporated into patriotic and military training courses.

It aint Patajali at all.


But...a billion dollar tourist, fashion and pedagogical industry has resulted.

If God exists, its fifty fifty whether he is laughing or crying.

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Re: Tantra--Hindu, Himalayan Buddhist--problems
Posted by: walter1963 ()
Date: October 25, 2012 11:57AM

Avalon influenced everybody whose anybody in the Yoga scene. There wouldn't be Tantra and Kundalini fads without his works. His works are still the most accessible in regards to Tantra for the non-expert who doesn't read Sanskrit.

Vivekananda IMS only promoted Raja, Karma, Jnana and Bhakti Yogas. His stuff is quite mild compared to whats currently out there. He had no use for Hatha Yoga. Sadly the organization he left here in the U.S. reeks of cultism. Go to Amazon and read the reviews of his works and they come off like groupies.

In regards to Japanese Buddhism, Tantric Buddhism did reach Japan - see Michael Saso's work on it. Zen doesn't have the Tibetan garbage but it has a lot of Japanese influences as seen with fatuous notions like "direct transmission" which apparently is nothing more than a confirmation as to whom your new temple boss should be. It was all about power and authority, not satori or some sort of unique insight, at least the Western version is run. Suzuki was a past master of this, saying one thing in Japanese and saying another for his Americans students, supporting wars, etc. His successor was a total crook and egomaniac - so much for illumination.

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Re: Tantra--Hindu, Himalayan Buddhist--problems
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 25, 2012 11:49PM

Pre-Tantra---Bullying During One Man's Sutra Level Study

Nicolai Grozni lived two to three years in Dharamsala and studied at the Institute for Buddhist Dialectics. He had learned Tibetan, already had a Western college education and disciplined work habits developed for years studying classical music. He had won his first international piano competition at age nine.

So Grozni was tough enough physically to live three years in India, do it as a monk, on a low protein vegetarian diet, endured illness and mudwalled huts.

He did not study tantra but had set himself the immense task of learning the foundational teachings of textual analysis and logic, which, in the Gelukpa order are considered the preliminaries for high level tantra.

If you want to see page numbers on google books where "Geshe Lama Tseten" professor mindfucked Grozni during lessons you can start here and hear and read forward.

First encounter. This appointment was scheduled, and the tutoring had been arranged by Ani Dawa, Grozni's Tibetan tutor. So Grozni was not some waif off the street. The professor was being a schmuck.

Start here and read to the end. Thats where Grozni is left shaken, wondering whom to talk to.


Grozni emerged from this first encounter with his logic tutor feeling shattered.

He tells his friend Tsar, and Tsar's reply is this:


Fuck him...Whats so special about him anyway. He still has an ego, right?

Everyone has an ego. You could think about the ego as another form of gravity--it's a pull. The greater the sphere of influence, the greater the pull. Buddha's got an ego too.

"So what I am saying to you is dont let this Geshe's ego crush you. Even Buddha's ego can kill you if you dont keep a safe distance. Get too close and he will suck the life force out of you. pp 107-110 Turtle Feet by Nikoli Grozni

A series of insulting put downs administered to Grozni by this professor in public, in front of Grozni's friends.


The Professor walks off, and one of Grozni's friends, who has a background in theatre arts, says, he didnt understand what Geshe Lama Tseten said, but the guy was a great actor. He had the pauses, intonations and gestures down, perfectly.

Third encounter between Grozni and Geshe Lama Tseten.


A friend has noted to me how often people lose their bearings in India. Grozn's Eastern European friend, 'Tsar' blatantly says this.


"The first day I arrived in India and looked around, I felt like everyone was on drugs. What the fuck was wrong with all these Westerners walking around like a bunch of brain-dead fairies? Then it hit me — they had given in. They hadn't survived the pull."
In his memoir In Turtle Feet, Grozni tells his friend Tsar about
Tsar's (if he is indeed a real person and not a character created by Grozni) suggested that Grozni was taking people too seriously - especially taking Professor Geshe Lama Tseten too seriously. And here is Tsar's robust assessment.

After the first browbeating that Geshe Lama Tsetan administered to Grozni, Grozni was in crisis. After all, he had based his identity all his life on being a classical musician. He had given all of that up to go to Dharamsala and start at bottom as a student of Geluk Buddhism.

He had studied the languages and his textbooks with the discipline he had applied to playing piano scales, spending hours each day. And the Geshe had logic fucked him around, mind gaming him then kicking him out.

And the Indian emigre seeker scene may function in some ways like an LGAT. Too many people are available who will tell you to distruct your instincts. Grozni tells how one feels. And this is a tough guy who survived growing up in Communist Bulgaria, where he risked jail or worse writting anti communist graffiti on walls at night. And strong enough to live on slim diet for three years and share shanty rooms with snakes, rats, bugs.

Grozni tells us his state of mind after being dumped on by Geshe Lama Tseten--and who was considered renowned in his profession:


"I desperately needed to talk to someone, but the thought of trying to convey my frustraton to Ani Dawa (his Tibetan tutor and sponsor for ordination) made me cringe. I knew what she would say--that I had to be respectful of older monks and teachers and never argue with them.

Of course there was Lobsang who would take my side no matter what, but the problem with him was that he was a lot more interested in talking about sex and girlfriends than about matters existential and metaphysical.

"Damien was also someone I could go to, assuming I was willing to submit myself to a one hour lecture on the importance of trusting your guru and the rest of the crap thats administered to the thoughtless in every ashram across India

Page 97 Turtle Feet:

Eleven pages later, Grozni quotes Tsar and the therapeutic, no BS assessment of the situation quoted above.

Note: What also makes Grozni's memoir Turtle Feet: The Making and Unmaking of Buddhist Monk quite interesting are the descriptions of nitty gritty details: how one lives on a slim budget, the kinds of housing (porous to insects, rats and snakes) one can afford if one has limited funds, and the monthly grocery budget if one is on 35 dollars a month.

Grozni gives the shopping list and prices, and noted that on their budget they could not afford vitamins. Absent from their groceries were concentrated forms of protein such as dairy products, meat, and though they shopped for fresh vegetables, no green vegetables are mentioned on the list.

Eventually Grozni ended up in hospital with amoebic dysentary.

One person who reviewed the book on (the UK Amazon com reviews tend to be better written than the reviews on Amazon US, noted that Grozni's descriptions of Dharamsala and the expatriates living there were spot-on.

Note: This bullying as rite of passage is across traditions. This is not confined to the Vajrayana World.

Some persons who get assigned to badly run Clinical Pastoral Education Programs (CPE) get treated badly as part of their path to ordination in denominations that require CPE.

Some time, ask your minister or priest what they went through in CPE. If you are ever visited by a person who is a hospital chaplain, ask him or her if they are being treated well. Even if they reject your offer, they will, if they are suffering under a bully CPE supervisor or badly run CPE group, be, in their deepest hearts grateful that you asked, even if terrified to show their anguish and weep in front of another human being.

Some discussion of Clinical Pastoral Education here.


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