lauantai 23. marraskuuta 2019

How I Had Sex with Hookers, Broke My Vows and Hurt Everyone's Feelings

How I Had Sex with Hookers,
Broke My Vows and
Hurt Everyone's Feelings

Related reading published previously in this blog:
Culadasa John Yates: Sutrayana ”doesn't go far enough”.
The following piece of dialogue is copied from DharmaOverground-forum.
Kim: Recently, I've been wondering how this case is developing. I have wondered how Culadasa is holding up, whether anyone is still studying with him and whether anyone is reading his book anymore. His book was like the Bible in these circles until the allegations came out but now no one mentions it anymore.
Linda: He has started to do youtube videos again, at least, and he has viewers and people asking him questions.
Kim: He makes an interesting comment, at 12:18, here about recent events, particularly, having been very disappointed to his long term students recently.
Him saying that his long term students were immature + what we know of the whole thing, have given me the impression that this case doesn't fall under the category of "misconduct". It might be the case that he is still preparing a statement, possibly with a lawyer, or that he won't make public comments beyond that. I hope he would for cleaning the air but as I said it never seemed to me that it was such a big deal and that firing him seemed hasty of the group/board. I guess Culadasa refers to the immaturity of his old students because they weren't able to accept and see the events plainly. Also, having seen almost no enthusiasm about The Mind Illuminated in the internet since the news broke out, to me, seems another sign of immaturity of the larger community. Also, he seems to have lost weight and in overall doesn't look too healthy. These must have been very stressful times for him and those closely associated, incl. Nancy Yates.

It's a lot of guesses, impressions and if's but despite of everything I wish everyone involved much peace and clarity.
Linda: Oh, that's an entirely different interpretation. Interesting.

Personally I wouldn't want to work closely to someone who is completely unwilling to be compassionate about other people's perspectives. It doesn't matter how accomplished they are and how helpful their teachings are. I mean, I can still read their work and listen to their teachings selectively, but I wouldn't want them as my personal teacher. Obviously he is not the only one who is disappointed. He didn't mention that other side of the coin with one single word, but positioned himself as the victim. I don't know the exact circumstances about what happened, and sure, some reactions from some people who weren't directly concerned were probably over the top, but if he is concerned about seeing things plainly it might be a good idea for him to just accept that actions have consequences even for advanced meditators. And maybe, just maybe, people aren't immaturely losing faith in the dharma, but are in fact realizing that they just don't like dealing closely with people who lie to their close ones and then feel sorry for themselves and go all martyr about it when shit hits the fan. 
Kim: Culadasa has apologized for the harm so he is not without compassion or unable to understand other's feelings. He barely mentioned the topic very briefly in passing. This is not a comprehensive statement in any way, so I don't find it problematic at all that he didn't mention others more than he did. You know Linda, we still don't know the specs and we may never will but from what we know, I don't see erratic, abusive behaviour anywhere. Yet, he was kicked out from his position etc etc. I don't know any of these people and even if Daniel Ingram vouched (or something like that) for the board or some key memebers of the community, maybe they interpreted the situation in black and white fashion, lost larger perspective and crushed him. Considering what he has done for them, I can understand why he would feel like a victim.

I am a teacher myself and head teacher of the sangha that I have founded. I talk openly about sex, sexuality, sexual desire, porn, addiction and related things because they are part of everyone's life. I even make erotic art (among calligraphy and abstract expressionistic painting) and display it in the internet. By doing so I hope to disperse some really stubborn and harmful taboos that exist in dharma. I also teach tantric deity-related practices to transform sexual desire and possible addicitons (of any kind). I do not know if Culadasa has spoken about sexuality related matters as openly as I have. If he hasn't, like most dharma teachers, all this sex-stuff explodes on everyone's face in uncomfortable manner. Talking about "desire" and overcoming them in overall manner is not good enough.

(Imagined prospect starts)

If I put myself in Culadasa's place, how I
imagine what might have happened, I find myself sexually very frustrated due to lack of sexual activity in marriage. Also, I've had much hardship due to long lasting illness which takes away joy in life. For people who have never been properly ill, they can't understand how it is to live without joy. Also, I am still virile enough to have and enjoy sex (possibly without opportunity to do it with my wife). In that case, like him, I would seek the company of professionals. I understand that it might hurt my spouse but what can I do? I am not celibate, nor wish to abstain from sex for the years I have left. Am I going to watch porn and masturbate until I keel over? No, after this long illness and long life lived, that doesn't seem like an option that would make me feel good about my life. So, I find prostitutes, pay for their services and get at least some sexual satisfaction, even if it isn't intimate and emotionally connected.

Some time after I've gone to prostitutes, even made friends with them and gave money to support them, my students and wife finds out I've been doing this. Maybe they can't see my actions from my perspective and are unable to see my actions from the human perspective. I am accused of adultery, suspicious use of money and having broken my buddhist vows. I am seen as immoral and immature as a practitioner. People who I have helped, supported and guided, even provided, now condemn and excommunicate me. OK... I just wanted to enjoy life and have sex, and now this has happened. I understand people feel hurt and cheated but I am a human being, with human biology, needs and desires, that despite of life long practice I have not been able to overcome. People who I know well and who I have loved, reject me, and I am left alone by people close to me.

(Imagined prospect ends)

Now, if I really did that and was condemded for these actions, being the person and teacher who I am, knowing how much I have done for my students, I would tear them new assholes. If my humanity as a teacher was ignored due to spiritual fantasies and ideals, I would let my critisizers know exactly where they belong. From this point of view, based on my imagination, I can appreciate Culadasa's moderate comment how he has been treated. His demeanor reveals as much as his words do. I can assure you, my comment wouldn't have been as moderate.

However, as I said, I've talked about these things openly and because of this I doubt my students would treat me the way Culadasa's students have treated him. I have made it perfectly clear that despite of spiritual advancement, I am still a samsaric being and me, like all samsaric beings, make mistakes and are not perfect. Also, in Open Heart-style of dharma practice, we don't have vows other than Bodhisattva Vows. We are tantrics, not sutrics, and view and do things differently.


Open Heart Sangha,

torstai 21. marraskuuta 2019

Kadag - Immaculate Purity - and Advanced Guru Yoga

Kadag - Immaculate Purity -
and Advanced Guru Yoga

At an advanced stage of tantric guru yoga, there is no guru, no receiver and no blessing. Only immaculate radiance of pureness (skt. suddha, tib. kadag) is there. This pureness is selfless, there is no agent of any kind. For practitioners of guru yoga, it is not hard to get to see the selflessness of both the guru and oneself but when the blessing drops off as well, then the immaculate purity of buddhahood shows up in the open, as if a secret that has been kept for so long becomes suddenly utterly obvious. There are many gifts genuine gurus can give us, namely, growing in emptiness meditation and transmission through blessings, but accompanying the student to reveal her immaculate purity, is something that only mahasiddha gurus do and can do.

Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava

keskiviikko 20. marraskuuta 2019

Generosity of Benefactors in Buddhism

Generosity of Benefactors
in Buddhism

Throughout the history of buddhism, dharma-teachings have spread to new countries. Many times locals, often rulers and kings, invited dharma-teachers and masters to their lands to ask them to teach the dharma to people to establish better existential understanding among people and bring peace to the world. In return, kings, emperors and locals offered funds and resources for the dharma masters who in turn offered them to the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. In other words, these masters, assisted and supported by the community, built and established temples and training sites where monastics and laypeople could practice the teachings. The history of buddhism gives a strong account of this at every location it has spread.

One particular benefactor and possibly the most important figure in bringing buddhism to Tibet was King Trisong Detsen. He invited many masters to Tibet, from India, China and Korea, incl. Guru Rinpoche Padmasambhava who brought tantric teachings to Tibet from India. Without Trisong Detsen's vision, fortitude and immeasurable generosity, Guru Rinpoche and other masters could not have built the foundations of what was to become a dharma kingdom where buddhism and especially vajrayana buddhist teachings survived and flourished for over thousand years. Consequentially, innumerable amount of practitioners, both female and male, attained the state of buddhahood and bodhisattvahood. The amount of merit and benefit to all sentient beings, due to King Trisong Detsen's understanding of priorities, is beyond measure. Trisong Detsen himself attained buddhahood as a direct disciple of Guru Padmasambhava. He was one of the original 25 disciples.

Today I wish to bow deeply and express my gratitude to all benefactors of dharma throughout the history of buddhism. Your kindness has helped countless beings in the past, in present and will continue to benefit countless beings in the future. I bow to you deeply and venerate your vision as an embodiment of activity of perfect enlightenment.

Namo Guru Rinpoche



King Trisong Detsen

maanantai 4. marraskuuta 2019

God - Selfless Brillance

God - Selfless Brilliance

Angie: >I seem to be picking up that you perceive monistic nondual consciousness to be a higher state than unitive consciousness. To my knowledge, this idea of “ascent” is not held by the Christian contemplative tradition in the sense that one does not “ascend” in relationship but rather grows closer and more open to the Beloved. (Note the unitive rather than monistically nondual flavor of that last statement.)

Kim: -To be honest, I don't know who or what God is, although I pray and enjoy Him everyday. In my exp there is no God and there is no me either and yet it is not a state of suffering and confusion. Technically, I could describe God as: Buddhanature* + Love = God. I use the term buddhanature as described by tantric buddhists, namely mahamudra and dzogchen. I couldn't help myself but blurted out implying that my view is higher. No matter what I do, I cannot help making myself an ass... Anyhow, what I try to convey is that in terms of nonduality which basically means less of me, there is great depth and potential to be set free. As I said, I am not enlightened but in my exp God is not an experience who someone or even God her- or himself experiences. In my exp God is simplicity of being, clarity imbued with love without conceptual labels or interpretations. Everyone of us is free to have our own truths and interpretations, perhaps how I feel my life to be at the moment in day to day life could be termed, not as union or connection, but as selfless (nondual) brilliance.