About Bhumis and Prejudice
I've taken a long break of bhumi work. I haven't done bhumi analyses for... at least a year. I did so many of them, literally around 5000 during the past several years, so I got fed up and needed a break. Then, this past week I've noticed myself thinking of doing bhumi analyses again and today I thought of publishing a series of bhumi analyses of well known teachers. That didn't go well back in 2016... at all... For those who don't know what happened back then, I'll tell you.
In late Summer of 2016 I published couple of dozen photographs of well known buddhist and other spiritual teachers, all very public figures, with my bhumi analyses according to the Open Heart Bhumi Model. I've discussed this model with great detail in my freely available book What's Next? On Post-Awakening Practice.
I published the photos in my blog each with a bhumi measurement. The series included for example, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, other leaders and Tibetan buddhist teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ramana Maharishi, bunch of zen teachers, theravadans and so on. I'm trying to come up with the most fitting description how my "Bhumi Study Series" was received by the internet. The word that best describes it, is: shitstorm.
I had never witnessed aggressive religious fundamentalism before but I sure witnessed it back then. It came to me as a total surprise. My point of view was that I felt I was trying to make sense of the path and stages of the spiritual path from unawakened state to fully enlightened state, also known as buddhahood. Even though buddhism offers a number of path maps with stages, these are not used by anyone so the whole discussion about shifts or awakening experiences is a completely grey area. Out of many millions of meditators in buddhism, not to mention other systems, few know where they are on the map or whether they even are on the map. I had received this bhumi mapping system (that I've explained in my book) from my gurus, so I knew I had a solution. I was simply trying to help and offer a solution that worked for anyone, regardless of their chosen methods or paths. I really thought I was doing everyone a big favour. Fundamentalists didn't see it that way and a massive shitstorm broke. They hated it and instantly rejected it. In their mind, I had crossed a sacred line and discussed the levels of attainment of their precious gurus. That was something they weren't going to tolerate. It was too much for them so they instantly called it bogus, branded me crazy and banned me from their discussions.
I'm not going to lie and say that it didn't hurt. It hurt a lot. That was real aggression and I got lots of it. Had I been on sight, I'm pretty sure I would have been chased and attacked. At the same time these emotionally charged reactions confirmed to me what I had analysed in my thousands of analyses. Bhumi openings or their closedness, and the degree of purification of mind (i.e. bhumi perfection), is reflected in the actions of men, and since I was treated very meanly, it was and still is an indication that my analyses not only about the various spiritual leaders but also their students, were correct. For some time I tried to have a dialogue with these people, explaining how it worked etc. But as they weren't capable of it, I decided to remove the analyses from my blog and find a hole to lick my wounds.
I still find it hard to believe how and why(!) would anyone be so offended about 1. differences in view which in this case meant that even if attainments are not traditionally openly discussed, they still can be discussed, and 2. things that could be empirically tested, tried and learned. To me, who am a bit of an engineer, it was mind boggling why would anyone get mad about a thorough explanation how it all works... But that was exactly what I didn't understand about the samsaric mind before, at least not well enough, so I stepped right into it...
See, when you've invested all your life into any form of religion or spirituality that you think is going to take you ”all the way”, even if you don't know exactly how and when, and then comes in some bastard who maps your favourite religious leader very low on the spectrum, it can piss people off!!! Because of the time-money-energy-investment and religious belief, very few people who have been following this or that method for many years, are willing to admit that they've wasted their time-money and energy. Samsaric mind, even that of ”practitioners”, gets attached and attachment as dharma teaches us, makes people angry.
I can and do symphatize with that, as I feel I wasted most of my 8½ years of continuous retreat doing practices that were only distantly relevent, or actually not very relevant at all with my wish to get awakened. I wasted my best years because I believed as blindly as so many out there. I thought I was open minded the whole time but really, I was fixated, I was attached, I was a believer... I trusted without the slightest doubt training systems that ”had been passed down in an unbroken lineage since the founder of buddhism to our generation” and taught ”practices that were time tested” and therefore offered very reliable tools. I heard that sales pitch so many times and bought it without questioning... until several years and literally twenty-four-thousand hours of practice later... No, it didn't work as promised... My time-energy-and money was mostly wasted. I was pissed off about that for years myself!
Later when I started to talk about this with others, I met many people who had been disillusioned about the ”tradition” like myself. It was clear that there was something very wrong with how the basics were or weren't taught by the traditions. I say traditions in plural because the same problems exist everywhere. I base this not only on my own bhumi analyses but also in discussions with hundreds of practicioners and many teachers of various incl. Tibetan buddhism, zen, theravada, advaita and so on. It is actually interesting how some come to see the issues or problems in training methods, their teachers, their communities and their culture, while others don't. I think this has a lot to do with readiness or merit as it is commonly known. If you really want the truth, you can't settle for poor answers. A lot of people start with that pure need for knowing the reality but get distracted along the way, usually with all the externals such as forms and rituals, authorisations, hierarchiesand stuff like that, and end up fundamentalists, usually subtly.
So, anyway, that is what happened back in 2016 and that's behind me now. However, now that I've taken a break of bhumi work and feel refreshed about it, I cannot help thinking about the benefits of the 13 Bhumi Model. It is not particular to Pemako Buddhism or me. It is universal. We all have bhumis because we all have the same energy body with channels and centers. We all have bhumi centers that can be perceived. We all have bhumi centers that are either closed or open, and if they are open, they are on their way to be entirely purified, or perfected. Open Heart Bhumi Model is an excellent model, an excellent path map. It matters not what people think about it because it works... And it applies to everyone out there...
I wouldn't want to start another shitstorm but I do wonder how could I represent the bhumi model in a way that is attractive and interesting to people.
Much love and blessings. You are the real deal.
Kim Katami, 23.10.2020