sunnuntai 19. joulukuuta 2021

Sri Krishnamacharya's Early Astanga Yoga Blog

 

Sri Krishnamacharya's

Early Astanga Yoga Blog


This is a link to Anthony Grimm Hall's blog about the origins of ashtanga vinyasa yoga which is a form of physical yoga made popular by Krishna Pattabhi Jois. I am sharing the link to Hall's blog through my blog because Facebook doesn't allow posting the direct link.


The reason why I think Hall's blog is wonderful is because he has not only looked into the historical foundations of ashtanga yoga through Krishnamacharya's early presentations but also has brought a very creative and in a sense fearless presentation of asana and pranayama practice into the world of yoga postures and energy work.


This early, I would say original, spirit of ashtanga gives practitioners much more freedom to practice the postures in a way they want. This is according to the spirit of yoga because it is empowering.


-Kim Thubten Lingpa, 19.12.2021


http://grimmly1997.blogspot.com/

Grimmly2007-YouTube with hundreds of videos

Vinyasa Krama Yoga-blog

Anthony Grimm Hall's interview 

About Anthony Grimm Hall

After spending five years traveling and working my way around the world in my early twenties (see Susan Griffith's book Work your way around the world) I returned to the United Kingdom and studied Philosophy. After a few years as a Philosophy of Arts teaching assistant at Kent University I taught at a preparatory School before moving to Japan to teach English and work as a teacher trainer for five years. After taking up the Saxophone in Japan i returned to England to study as a Woodwind Instrument Repairer.

My 'Yoga story' is outlined in Kiri Miller's book, Playing Along published next month (Feb 2012) by OUP.

'Grimmly is an ashtanga (and later Vinyasa krama) student without a teacher--an impossible contradiction to many practitioners, but one that is getting more possible all the time. He lives in the United Kingdom and works as a repairer of woodwind instruments. In early 2007, Grimmly's flat was burgled and seven saxophones were stolen. This incident made him so angry, and then so irritated with his own anger, that he decided to take up some form of meditation. In the course of reading about meditation practices, he learned that "a lot of meditators were also doing yoga," so he looked for a yoga book at the library and found Tara Fraser's Total Astanga (Fraser 2006). As an overweight 43-year-old man, he was a bit embarrassed even bringing the book up to the circulation desk. On his blog, he wrote, "Going to a yoga class wasn't something I even considered. A guy here, outside London, might think about going to a gym to get in shape but not a Yoga class, probably not even an aerobic class".

Grimmly began learning the sequence of asana from the book, practicing every morning before work, and soon began to order instructional DVDs and search for YouTube videos to help him develop his practice. He started his yoga blog (Ashtanga Vinyasa krama at Home) in the summer of 2008, after about a year and a half of practicing at home alone six days a week. His posts often invoke a growing community of hidden "home ashtangis" like himself.

As Grimmly developed his home practice, some of his choices posed challenges to ashtanga orthodoxy. For instance, when Grimmly blogged about his decision to begin learning the second series of asana, one commenter told him that he should not be learning any intermediate asana before he could stand up from a backbend: "Then and only then you start to add intermediate to your existing primary. Your teacher would give you each new asana as he saw your progress. . . . Traditionally in India, yoga has been learned from teacher to student, not from a book or video. It's really not right to decide to give yourself postures".

After a year and a half of home practice, Grimmly finally decided to try attending an ashtanga class at a shala. He went two Sundays in a row and was "blown away" by the physical adjustments he received from the teachers there. But a week later, he explained that he doubted he'd go back: "All the time it's just been me on my mat, alone in a room early each morning, my practice...Somehow now, after visiting the Shala, it feels a little like I'm practicing for someone else...I feel more distant from my practice, less involved" (Grimmly 2008b). It's clear from other posts that Grimmly developed his practice using books, famous teachers' DVDs, YouTube videos, other students' blogs, and any other media resources he could find. He often writes about insights gleaned from these sources. Nevertheless, the "live" teaching at the shala somehow alienated him from his practice. While he benefited from the physical adjustments he received, he was willing to forego them in order to maintain a sense of agency and responsibility for his own development: practicing for himself instead of a teacher.

Grimmly and his fellow cybershala practitioners are creating new transmission modalities for ashtanga yoga, from reflective writing to side-by-side slideshows that might reveal hidden traces of corporeal knowledge".

from Playing Along, Kiri Miller (Oxford University press 2012)

In June 09 I came across Srivatsa Ramaswami's 'Complete book of Vinyasa Yoga' and spent the next year working out how best to combine Vinyasa Krama with my Ashtanga practice. I attended Ramaswami's 200 hour Vinyasa Krama Teacher Training course at LMU, Los Angeles July/Aug 2010. I now practice Ashtanga in the evenings and have an integrated Vinyasa Krama practice, asana (based on subroutines), Pranayama and Mediation in the morning. Last year I made home videos of each of Ramaswami's Subroutines and produced practice sheets. Over the last three months I revisited each subroutine, one each morning, writing up practice notes to accompany the subroutines in the evening. These subroutine practice sheets and practice notes form the core of my book, Vinyasa Yoga at Home Practice Book


 

Future of Dharma Arts in the West

 

Future of Dharma Arts in the West


Some time ago I was talking with my friend Gyempo who has custom painted some works for me. He lives in Bhutan. I had been messaging with Gyempo's brother Tashi who is a master woodworker who makes thrones and other decorative ornaments such as those in tb temples and monasteries. I couldn't reach Tashi so I asked Gyempo if his brother might be able to make me a big Mahakala mask. He seemed to chuckle to my question and replied that his brother is a woodworker, not a mask maker. How foolish of me to ask a woodworker to make a mask!


Asian dharma culture is abound with art. There is dance, music, woodwork, metal work, sculpting, painting, calligraphy, writing, poetry and probably other forms too. Dharma in the West is a completely new thing but it is somewhat established, and yet there is basically no training whatsoever available in any or most of these artforms. This is very much reflected with how places in the West look. They have way less expression. In fact, I could say that they look dull. Hmm, I wonder if this contributes to the fact that western buddhist groups feel kind of lifeless.


"Visiting Western buddhist centers felt like

I was back sitting in church. They were so puritanistic."

-Lama Vajranatha John Reynolds


I just wanted to bring this up just to bring your attention to this matter. I've spent my adult life, since 2003, studying buddhist calligraphy and painting (see links below) and I'm a keen collector of high quality dharma art that I buy from Asia.


-Kim, 19.12.2021


tiistai 23. marraskuuta 2021

Emotions of the Enlightened Mind

 

Emotions of the Enlightened Mind



Activities that are graceful, heroic, terrifying,

compassionate, furious, arrogant, possessive and

envious all without exception are perfect

forms of pure, self-illuminated wisdom.”

-Sahajayoginicinta, ancient female master of tantric buddhism


The moment I heard this quote, I jumped at joy! It is so spot on! I had never heard other scriptures or authors express this point like Sahajayoginicinta. The vast majority of authors explain how emotions become neutral. I've never seen any other author say how ”furious, arrogant, possessive and envious” emotions, that on the surface sound very samsaric, are expression of ”pure, self-illuminated wisdom”. This statement is really something else!


I didn't grasp this point until I ended my purification process. Before that point I didn't understand how all emotions, including the ones that used to make me contracted around the notion of self, could be self-illuminated wisdom. It sounded wonky and strange! But I see now how a fully enlightened person is emotionally completely free and actually expresses him/herself perfectly in response to prevailing circumstances or arising situations. After all mind phenomena is seen to be without a solid self, a mahasiddha keeps reacting to external circumstances not based on a notion of self but as an appropriate response. Both before and after enlightenment circumstances might be far from ideal and therefore emotions like depression and frustration keep happening both before and after enlightenment but... the difference between the two is great!


I was never attracted by the idea of becoming an etherically smiling buddha who was always fine with everything and never raised his voice. That sort of buddhahood never made sense to me. Perhaps in the perfect world, where the master in question never needs to worry about anything and only has kind and well-behaving people come to meet him, perhaps then it is fitting to have the expression of a peaceful buddha but to me, and I think to most people, that is an utopia.


In the history of vajrayana we have many accounts of wrathful behaviour of mahasiddhas (and this point has also been purposefully taken advantage of by bad teachers). In my experience, the life of a modern mahasiddha is no different.


23.11.2021



torstai 18. marraskuuta 2021

Buddhas of the Future

 

Buddhas of the Future


Fully enlightened people - mahasiddhas - of the future will be normal laypeople with jobs and families. They won't look any different from other people and their lives look the same as everyone elses, though internally their minds are entirely different from those of other people. But isn't it lovely to realise that finally being fully enlightened, being a buddha, being a mahasiddha, looks exactly like you do. Wow!!!


Kim Thubten Lingpa, 18.11.2021

lauantai 30. lokakuuta 2021

Full Enlightenment vs. Delusions of Secular Buddhism

 

Full Enlightenment vs.

Delusions of Secular Buddhism



My comment to Guru VikingPodcast episode 119.



I didn't have the patience to listen all of it but it did catch my ear Shinzen Young saying that he doesn't think doneness, i.e. buddhahood is possible. Sigh... another secular buddhist who lots of people look up to who is so unripe in his realisations that he directly contradicts himself with mahayana and vajrayana masters, while claiming to be a proponent of both. Stephen Batchelor, Culadasa Yates, Young... all singing the same tune. Two-three years before his passing Culadasa even admitted that sutrayana "doesn't go far enough", after 50 years of practicing it.

It is (much) better than nothing that there are teachers out there who have had one or few awakenings but compared to any nonphysical (or physical) mahasiddha, all these people are incredibly unripe. Then they in their "wisdom" of "many decades" of meditation with all the "top" teachers who themselves were unripe draw these genious conclusions... I remember Batchelor state, after his 8 years of being a gelugpa scholar monk, that guru yoga is bogus! See Why I Didn't Quit Guru Yoga.

It gets mindbogglingly stoopid when folks who didn't learn to practice well throw away the baby with the bath water, just like that. And that's another reason why tantric guru yoga is so precious because these silly conclusions end right there in the presence of someone who *is* done, a mahasiddha.

People of the world should really learn about the correct practice of tantric guru yoga and call masters - mahasiddhas - to them. Buddha, Jesus, Guru Rinpoche, Milarepa etc, any will do. It is easiest and simplest practice with no need for empowerment or any type of preparation other than being open to receive. It is easier than shamatha, quicker to learn than jhanas, no need to learn long prayers or mantras in foreign languages, and most importantly presence of a guru reveals our basic state or buddhanature, everytime without exception which is what jhanas or shamatha meditation can never accomplish. This is the gift of tantra that anyone anywhere anytime can make use of and receive. And importantly, this is also a way to get beyond unripe stages, where people who don't hang around with mahasiddhas get stuck. This is a way to raise the bar of dharma in the world.

People need to know that it is indeed possible to get "done", fully purified, entirely sinless, fully enlightened, to become a living buddha, just like generations of mahayana and vajrayana masters have said!



-Kim, 30.10.2021


perjantai 29. lokakuuta 2021

Drukpa Kunley's Statement of His Buddhahood

 

Drukpa Kunley's Statement of

His Buddhahood


Poem About Happiness

I am happy that I am a free yogi.
So I grow more and more into my inner happiness.
I can have sex with many women,
because I help them to go the path of enlightenment.
Outwardly I'm a fool
and inwardly I live with a clear spiritual system.
Outwardly, I enjoy wine, women and song.
And inwardly I work for the benefit of all beings.
Outwardly, I live for my pleasure
and inwardly I do everything in the right moment.
Outwardly I am a ragged beggar
and inwardly a blissful Buddha.


Translated by Keith Dowman, Divine Madman


 

 

tiistai 26. lokakuuta 2021

Universal Dharma with Jesus, Padmasambhava and Krishna

Universal Dharma with Jesus,

Padmasambhava and Krishna



The last couple of days have been interesting to say the least.



I've been meditating some and found out that my memory is perfect. I can remember the smallest details of life events and places anywhere from my past, including past lives. For example, yesterday, as I was seeing my past life as a monk on Mt Koya in Japan, I could vividly remember the atmosphere and the scent of the four seasons. I can remember everything from my body and outlook, to the light of lanterns in the evening, to the footpaths, to the splendour of life itself, how it was back then, and how it is now... I looked at my hands and feet and the reflection of my face. They look different and yet I know it's me, the same man, the same person. A different lifetime, different place, but the same purpose. Also, my ability to visualise has become perfect. It is effortless and entirely without flaws or distractions. What a delight... What a stunning perfume arising from the wild strawberries!



From a bit different perspective, recent days have made me come a full circle, in a sense. I remember countless times as a little boy, sitting on the edge of my bed alone, praying for my family, the villagers and for all living beings. I remember when doing this by myself the room became filled with the radiance of pure light and the air became thick with blessings. Countless times Jesus and other masters* came to soothe and support me. I remember being a small boy, in my small body in the middle of people and circumstances where there was immense heartbreak and pain. My eyes become filled with tears knowing how my masters from past lives kept me afloat, above the surface that I wouldn't become heavy and sink into the depths of pain.



*those of the mahasiddha family



A number of Pemako Sangha members have told me about their meaningful experiences with Jesus recently. Few received healings from him, one devoted buddhist friend made a connection so strong with Jesus that it made him a bit startled, and he wasn't sure how to deal with it. To me personally, after hundreds of sessions of guru yoga transmission from him directly, Jesus Christ, is as much a master of dharma as Padmasambhava, Vimalamitra or any other of the mahasiddhas. Historically, Jesus lived in the time when the continent of India, from north to south, to east and west was abound with tantric temples - shakti peethas –, practitioners and masters. And then, after years in India, he brought the gifts of yoga to his home land. The rest is history, unfortunately.



Anyhow, my point was to say that I have made a full circle from my early childhood to this day, understanding the role and importance of Jesus in my personal life as well as in the life of my students, and our dharma work together. As you know I have contemplated Jesus-centered method for several years but it dawned on me now that the solution is not to shift from one master to another. What will be done though is to give JC his own place in the limelight, so to speak, together with Padmasambhava, as well as Krishna, to form a trio who've not only had great impact on me and our sangha but who are also known by the world and who are therefore masters who many can relate and feel close to. Also, as a dharma universalist, I love the fact that having these three masters together – Jesus, Guru Rinpoche and Krishna – who most people regard as ”a christian, buddhist and a hindu”, completely shatters religious dogmatism. And that is what the world needs now.



The history of human spirituality is that no matter how hard they tried to keep the teachings ”original and pure”, they always ended up creating narrow minded dogmatic religions. When our basic nature is that of freedom and free expression, the samsaric mind of men always end up making it a tight cage filled with rules and regulations. It is like the classical saying that the way to hell is paved with good intentions. This is what needs to change because, we, the humanity, can't keep fucking up every given opportunity to bringing true peace and harmony on Earth. We need to learn to distinquish between pragma and dogma, between yoga and religion, between practice and belief, and with the heartmind of clarity and true love, keep shedding unnecessary limitations. The mind of men needs to change from thinking in terms of ”us and them” to ”all of us together”. This is true bodhicitta. This is yoga and only yoga can be a true religion that gives freedom, rather than takes it away! So, I think that our little group, should become an example of this and actively practice guru yoga with Jesus, Padmasambhava and Krishna, all three.



Remember, you are the real deal. You are not less or more than all the buddhas and mahasiddhas of the past, present and future. Potentially, you have the mind, heart and vitality of all the enlightened ones! So, please, for the sake of all beings, crack your coconut, split it in half and let the perfume of natural love spread to your loved ones.



-Kim, 26.10.2021





maanantai 25. lokakuuta 2021

How Liberation Works?

 

How Liberation Works?



I remember when I first saw Tenzin Palmo's video where she says that even buddha couldn't help people get awakened. It felt like fresh air... that someone would say exactly how it is and not sugarcoat it or talk nonsense.

It is extremely sad that dharma - practices of yoga - is made into a dogmatic religion. I can never accept that but I understand why this happens. Systematically the humanity keeps missing the point which ironically is also a testimony to the ineffectiveness of the practices people are given. So you have all these religious people upholding what they think is the teaching of liberation that actually binds and blinds them, and makes them mean! The next thing to do culturally, now that some sort of ethical foundation has been set by the old religions, is to remove the possibility of dogmatic fixation, so that pragma stops being made into dogma. Then yoga - the science of enlightenment - can truly thrive.

What!? To remove *possibility* of dogmatic fixation!? You got to be joking!!

No, I am not joking!

The problem of bad yoga, or practices that keep the mind in the delusional loop, is that they don't break out from the field of self-delusion. Having glimpses and few insights into selfless nature of mind is good for starters but this is really just an appetizer. In Pemako we have practices and a method that takes us way farther than just few awakenings and in fact all the way to full enlightenment (skt. anuttara samyak sambodhi). We have 5 people in the sangha at present who are "fully enlightened". Five people out of 80, and the number keeps rising higher.

What we have in our sangha is nothing short of a revolution on individual and communal levels. On individual level, this is revolution from the tyranny of the self-based mind leading to perfect liberation. It is freedom from all kinds of fixations, including freedom of religious fixation and dogmatism. At present, because there are 5 people in our community who are completely and permanently out of the loop of self-delusion, the rest of the sangha is positively affected by this, and the number of fully enlightened individuals - mahasiddhas - keeps increasing. Soon there will be 10, then 15 and so on.

The reason why this is the case in Pemako sangha is because we practice the dharma in a pragmatic, not dogmatic, way. We practice the dharma in an open minded and innovative manner just like secular sciences and arts are practiced. And it works! Due to the fact that our practitioners keep breaking out from the shackles of the samsaric mind on *daily* basis, because of our unique and unorthodox set of practices, is the reason why dogmatic fixation, narrow minded thinking, cult behaviour and whatnot that is raging in all religions, dies altogether in this community. Our unsual practices such as dynamic concentration, actually tames our inner demons so they don't germinate and grow into external actions in the world that would break and raise hell in our community. It is indeed exceptional to have a harmonious and peaceful community in this world, and it all boils down to the method that we practice and the fruits that it bears.

When I was a small boy I observed people and couldn't but think how screwed up they were. They were distorting everything and making themselves and others miserable that can all be summed up in two concepts: self-belief and self-delusion. These early observations about the state of people's minds and its effects on communal and societal levels were motivators when I started "the path of enlightenment". To me, practice was always about making the world a better place, the kind of place it would already be if people stopped screwing things up in between their ears!

When I look at how poor is the state of affairs in the world, I cannot but say that the avalanche already seems to be going downhill, rushing towards the bottom of the valley, causing immense destruction on its way. It has come to the point when we are loosing the planet itself and yet most people keep doing the same things as they always did, as if they were hypnotized. Seeing this happen I simply can't sit and do nothing about it.


Those who know me well know how anxious I've been about getting proper functional dharma practices out there, and I'm sure my anxiousness has contributed to theirs but this is the reason why. In Pemako we have perfect medicine, without any harmful side-effects whatsoever, and I am happy to see that it is getting out there but at the same time I fear if the medicine comes too late. The only way to stop that devastating avalanche is to replace the culture built on self-interest with self-liberation that automatically thinks about the benefit of *all of us together*, the wellfare of the planet and life on it included.

These are utopistic words but this is the only way for the world community to attain harmony and peace. Once again, I am not talking about creating a new religion that everyone should join. I am not talking about beliefs to accept and forms to follow. I am talking about internal peace and happiness.

I am talking about realising the fact that everyone in this world is perfect and pure, and free. You, me and everyone you ever met has the same potential for love and freedom as Jesus Christ and all the masters of yoga have. Within us all, there is perfect happiness that when recognised and embodied makes our minds sober which in turn puts an end to self-based confusion and selfish actions and their outcomes. No matter what nonsense religions have fed us, innately we have perfect potential to be really authentic human beings whose hearts are limitless and kindness is real!

But we need practices, we need exercise to realise that. We need a way to uncover, to reveal what at present is kept hidden by our belief in self-based existence. We need tools to break out and these tools I have given for anyone to use.



-Kim, 25.10.2021


torstai 14. lokakuuta 2021

Culture of Enlightenment

 

Culture of Enlightenment


Thank you Chris. It makes me happy to hear those words from someone like you who I know has developed some clarity and knows what the standards in the world of dharma are. I think like I have so many times said, skillfully or unskillfully, that the standards in the world of dharma are very poor. Shit, really.

My and our (!) next goal, now that that method is tested and proven, is to make a change in the culture of dharma. It is up to us to try to raise the bar higher, than where it is. And it shouldn't be that difficult to do if we all aim for it together.

It is not enough to leave this world as buddhas. We need to make sure that the teaching is so well grounded among our human brothers and sisters, that we needn't worry that the teachings will get diluted or disappear in a long time after we are gone. It is the teachings - the dharma - that has transformed our lives. We come in touch with our sober minded reality through these practices and it makes us truly discover who we are and who we always wanted to be. To us it is needless to say that we would have wanted to have these practices much earlier in life than we did and it is needless to say that if the practices were more widely spread, they'd make the world a much better place, the kind of place where we would have wanted to grow up in perfectly sober and clear - dharmic - environment.

The reason why my hair is on fire about getting the message out there is because if I can help alleviate the daily existential pain and suffering, it actually means that someone like me and you, who grew up in deeply traumatised, stressful and painful, needn't go through it like we did and then end up practicing bad dharma for years on end that didn't work!

I don't think there is anything more important in life than this.


-Kim, 14.10.2021

tiistai 12. lokakuuta 2021

Meeting Amma, the Hugging Saint

 

Meeting Amma, the Hugging Saint


Fb memories reminds me that 12 years ago I lived in a private house in Helsinki where Amma, the Hugging Saint, had stayed several times during her visits to Finland. I remember going to this house the first time and it felt like being imported to a different realm, that of incredible joy, clarity and bliss. I lived in that place for few months before going to India to her ashram.


Ah, I another thing I remember from that trip to Amma's ashram is that she gave a blessing to a method of yogic healing that I had learned from my gurus. I gave those yoga healings to clients as my volunteer work there in the ashram. Folks got rid of chronic pains in a single session and so on. Proper stuff.


I used to teach yoga healing too. I've had forms of healing and massage in my life since I was a little boy so all that is very natural to me but as I have focused solely on teaching and practicing tantric yoga for the past 10 years, I just haven't had time to do that. But I definitely want to transmit this art and set of skills to my students. It is a wonderful way to help others, practice active compassion and earn a living all at once.


So, Ammachi... I've spent hundreds if not thousands of hours in her physical presence, since 2003. I've received direct introductions into the nature of mind - darshans - from her from her through hugging countless times both at events and informal situations such as airports and I've sat next to her, literally 1 meter from her, many times until I could not sit no longer. I've had her bless objects to me that changed in energy in few seconds of her attention. I've received a mantra empowerment from her in 2006 and she has given me a spiritual name in 2009. I've had visions of her and I know perfectly well that she is a living and fully enlightened mahasiddha. Unique to her is her motherliness and embodiments of Devi, the Divine Mother. There is no doubt in my mind that she is one of few authentic masters alive in the world today.


I remember one time at her ashram when I went to get a hug from her. I had a shirt on that had a open collar so that part of my tattoos were visible. She started ripping my shirt off to see them better! For a moment I thought I had gotten into a wrestling match with the divine mother! LOL.


Thank you Amma for your compassion and for being there for me and for countless others. Your presence has been an indispensable source of yogic study for me during all these years.


-Kim Ashwin, 12.10.2021 

 



Meeting Zen-master Harada Tangen Roshi, The Old Buddha

 

Meeting Zen-master

Harada Tangen Roshi,

The Old Buddha


Back in 2005, I spent 10 days in Tangen Roshi's temple. I went to meet him right after my training in Sogenji with Harada Shodo Roshi. I chatted with Tangen Roshi, whose nickname was "The Old Buddha", a few times and one of those times took place in a formal setting called dokusan.


My time with him was short but his transmission, the effect of his presence and energy on me, never left me. I now realise that I met a real attained buddha in him, and therefore he was/is the only living buddhist mahasiddha I ever met in person.


Tangen Roshi was a rare exception. He felt very different to all other roshis - zen masters - who I met before or since. He looked different, like a very relaxed and joyful old cat and when he gave talks, he spoke very differently than the rest (many of his teishos can be found online translated into English). I have a calligraphy collection of about 200 works, including one Tangen Roshi's piece that he gave to me when I left. His energy indeed is different to most others.


In this short video documentary you can see him say that even after he's gone, you all can turn to him for support. Only a mahasiddha has the knowledge to being able to say that.


So... This evening I wanted to say this and express my gratitude to Tangen Roshi and my excellent karma to have met him in person. Like I said he never left me, despite of us meeting only in brief over 15 years ago.


He gave and I received. Still grateful beyond everything else for that <3

https://youtu.be/2Wao1x8gCgc?t=45

Kim



maanantai 11. lokakuuta 2021

From Beginningless Past to Endless Future

 

From Beginningless Past to Endless Future


I remember how I had breakfast this morning and I remember what happened yesterday. I remember my childhood and I remember my youth. I remember the time before I was born into this body and I remember how I had no physical body before this reincarnation. I remember my last life before this one, in Northern India, and I remember the live before that one in Japan. I remember my time with Padmasambhava and I remember many lives with different masters. I remember being a seeker and master myself, alternating my role from one life to the next. I remember over 7000 lives in a human body and I remember the time when there were no human beings on Earth at all.


We all have a beginningless past and we all have an endless future. Life continues and never ends. All of life is marked by the same aliveness. "All of life" is an endless vast whole happening right now. This is our body, though we are centered in these small bodies of ours. All of life is pure and sacred, and all life is equal. Everything is truly pure and positive. In this goodness all things and beings rest, from the beginningless past to endless future.


This is the love we are.


Kim, 11.10.2021

Removing Trauma from the Physical Body

 

Removing Trauma from

the Physical Body


Kim: It also makes sense how the scratches get into the physical cells there in the first place, from stress, trauma and all kinds of scary and anxious situations.


I was just wondering about the very first traumatic situations from early childhood, how they plant the very first seeds of painful selfing and how it builds up from there over time. Then a bit farther down the line comes tensing of the belly, shaky legs and panic attacks and so the energy system goes upside down in stressful situations. And then you start avoiding the stressful situations and the stress itself by various coping mechanisms. You just try to survive, scared of the world, scared of people. Or maybe you feel numb. Maybe you're not having panic attacks everyday and they may be mild when you have them but you have them nevertheless and they mess up your energy system everytime it happens. You just want to have a happy life and cannot understand why you feel anxious and scared so often because you've forgotten the early experiences and you have no idea what's going on in your psyche because you haven't learned even the most basic ways of keeping your mind healthy with various types of meditation.


In Pemako method we have different tools and practices to remove the self-based pain from both the mind and the body. Together with the deity practices of mahasiddha bhumi deities (list on the website), there is tapping of the body with mantras (very effective!) and these female deity practices called Dasha Mahavidya, that I borrow from hindu tantra. All in all, it looks like this formula works very well in the case of students like you who has already purified the 10 bhumis but is working on perfecting the ms bhumis.


Something that I've wondered recently is that I could give Dasha Mahavidya to the whole sangha, as I know there are people who have all the above issues and problems of trauma that affect them physically. I use hindu deities for this purpose together with buddhist ones because it makes the progress much faster than buddhist deities alone.

Shane:>I know I would have benefited a lot from having these mantras earlier on.

Kim: -Aa-ha! Well that is another interesting point that takes us all the way to the beginning of buddhism, and the reason why buddhism exists.

There is no end to methods that make people go round and round in meditative states and momentary experiences. Buddhadharma began because that had to stop because there is no other solution to solve self-based existence except to release self-based states, including those that make self-formations subside, into the body of reality (dharmakaya). But damn it, even in buddhist tradition those enticing states of gross bliss and vast planes of expanded consciousness crept right back in(!) and ever since until today a lot of buddhists are not actually practicing buddhism in the sense of liberating beings to dharmakaya but practice momentary states in samadhi, shamatha and jhana meditations. Too bad.

I don't blame anyone who wants to take a break of the mental wheel of repeated confusion (samsara) but it needs to be crystal clear that states of meditation are momentary experiences exactly like states of negative emotion. People are mislead to think that samadhi, shamatha or jhana meditations would solve existential issues. They can't and they don't so if you ask me, if you are in this for "real" and you wish to really know yourself as a living and breathing buddha, forget all practices that are based on gentle one-pointed concentration. I doubt that buddhism as a whole will ever be able to shake off this basic confusion that in my view ruins the tradition that started as a splendid system of diamond clear recognition, and keep wasting the time people put into these practices. This is madness and buddhism as a whole is definitely corrupt.

So, this is a long and winding introduction to your comment, "I know I would have benefited a lot from having these (hindu tantric Dasha Mahavidya) mantras earlier on".

Yes but hear me out... The reason why buddhism was started and grew out from hinduism is because there was a serious need for a method that would remove dualistic ignorance or selfing. The reason why gross bliss and those states of expanded awareness happen in samadhi, shamatha and jhana meditations, as they do in the vast majority of hindu methods, is because when self-based ignorance is still there in the bodymind, very charming states of bliss arise, and bliss like you know from getting high, drinking and having sex, is a trap. There is nothing wrong with sense pleasures but states of gross bliss are states of delusion made of gold! People think they practice the "dharma" but they are actually just rolling in their own shit, just like pigs do. Rusty chains, golden chains, you know.

So, the reason why I haven't given empowerments of hindu deities to my students is what I have explained above. Ignorance needs to be removed first so that you don't get trapped to self-based states in the form of gross bliss, and that is a task that takes ones time for few years at leastor more. But... if my students promise to practice both buddhist and hindu tantra, then I can consider giving shakti empowerments. But if I see anyone in Pemako sangha getting high on deities, I'll come back to haunt you even after I am dead!  


Kim, 11.10.2021


perjantai 1. lokakuuta 2021

And Then... Buddhahood Was Attained

And Then... Buddhahood Was Attained



I remember years ago when we had 2PF and all of a sudden everyone got awakened. We couldn't believe it! We wouldn't believe that we, everyone of us, just... got... awakened... because it came to us from afar, from more or less wild stories from books and classics, to us who were just ordinary city people. But it happened and we all felt in our being that life wasn't the same before and after. We felt permanently clearer and that was the beginning.

Then couple years later the first group of sangha members opened mahasiddha bhumis. Again, we couldn't believe it! We were amazed that suddenly we had stable recognition of the basic state, stable "rigpa". Those days I really tried to find out how common or rare this stage was but it turned out it wasn't common at all. In fact having stable recognition, even if the purification of the mind (1-10 bhumis) is still incomplete, is rare in the whole world, in all traditions combined. But we kept practicing guru yoga, generated genuine compassion, shouted mantras, practiced deities and we got there... Suddenly we had sable recognition and basic wakefulness - buddhanature - was not an enigma anymore. We saw and felt our lives with fresh eyes, clear mind and greatly softened heart. We knew we still were far from fulle enlightenment - buddhahood - but there was no doubt whatsoever in our minds that we were on the right track, so we kept going.

Now, again few years later down the line, our first batch of sangha members have started to arrive in complete attainment, or the so called buddhahood. Like with each previous meaningful signpost we weren't fully sure how it would feel after the event but we knew that our practices enabled steady development so with each stage it was just a matter of sticking with it - developing compassion and so on - until the signpost and the final attainment would be reached. And now we have. The avalanche, like a number of times before, has started and at this point everyone is kind of scratching their heads and asking if this is really possible. And once again (!) I can point out to the utter genious of the bhumi model and energy reading how anyone can tune in and check whether or not our sangha members have attained buddhahood, aka anuttara samyak sambodhi aka emptiness of all phenomena, or not. There was no need for beliefs before and there certainly is no need for beliefs now. Tune in and check. Then, follow the method and get enlightened yourself. Our first batch of buddhas in the sangha have demonstrated that it is perfectly doable, so just follow the steps, and practice Pemako.

All I want to say is that we did it... We found our way out! That is not a small feat. In fact, we have done something historical here, in the middle of common day to day living of the Western society. Ha... Go figure :)


Kim, 1.10.2021


 

sunnuntai 26. syyskuuta 2021

Living Buddhas in Pemako Sangha (updated 11/2021)

 

Living Buddhas in Pemako Sangha (updated 11/2021)



Dear Pemako Sangha and Friends,



Today I have the pleasure to tell you that seven (number updated 30th of November 2021) of my students has finished their purification process (bhumis 1-10). In other words, these people have reached what in buddhism is known as ”exhaustion of all phenomena”. In other words, they have attained buddhahood*.


*buddhahood and mahasiddhahood are used synonymously in this text. This refers of realising the emptiness of all phenomena, i.e. attaining perfect wakefulness for the sake of all beings.


I keep this message intentionally short just to tell you the rough sketch of what has transpired in our sangha during the past few months, and save the details for the second edition of my What's Next-book that I plan to publish in early 2022.


Saying that someone has attained buddhahood can sound weird, outrageous or highly suspicious in the ears of many, especially if one is not used to discussing attainments publicly but we practice pragmatic dharma and discuss attainments and practices openly. I understand that for those who are unfamiliar with our practices and path map, called the 13 Bhumi Model, these news might appear strange. However, to those who are familiar with the efficacy our method, and the regular reports of our sangha members and teachers, these are news received with joy. That our sangha members have attained buddhahood, is a sign that Pemako method does indeed deliver the ultimate result, along with results that preceed it that we have documented and reported extensively for many years.


To me personally, as the founder and head teacher of Pemako, these are awesome news. I have waited this for a long time, but I was sure that one day when the way has been paved, the day would come. And it did! I think that even if we are just a small group doing our own thing somewhere in the periphery of the world of yoga and dharma, the fact that our sangha members have begun to arrive at the end stop of mahayana buddhist practice, has some historical significance.


To have attained mahasiddhas anywhere in the world is very rare (for various reasons which I have often discussed) but to have Western-born mahasiddhas on the Western hemisphere, you could say, is something completely new and different in the modern history. Apart from ancient orthodox christian tradition, I don't think there has been mahasiddhas outside Asia during the past few thousand years and this is why I think we are witnessing a significant historical event. That we have fully enlightened members in our sangha, also gives a very different vibe and feel to our whole community and our activities in the form of courses and retreats.


I will keep the names and photographs of the mentioned persons within our sangha for the time being but will publish photos and extensive accounts next year in my book.


Thank you for reading.


Ton of blessings of clarity and love to all,



-Kim, 26.9.2021

 

See also: 

 

 

keskiviikko 22. syyskuuta 2021

Contemplating A Shift

 

Contemplating A Shift



Kim: If your deceased relative was a religious person, you should ask the founder or highest ideal of that religion to take the deceased person. In the case of baptised christians, for example, practicing or non-practicing, you should say a sincere prayer to Jesus, Holy Spirit or God. Then observe what happens or doesn't happen. As yogis we should make sure that the prayers work. Lip service is never good enough.


As buddhists, we are often given the advice to ask Amitabha, the buddha of light, to bless and help deceased people, and it is a good advice. However, I recently made an observation that it is best to pray and ask blessings from the figures of the religion that the person in question is familiar with. As christians, for example, are familiar with the face of Jesus their subconscious mind accepts and receives the blessings of Jesus easily, without any problems, while the face and energy of Guru Rinpoche or any other guru or archetype, such as Amitabha, that the person is not familiar with is rejected. This happens simply because the face is foreign, in other words, there is no karmic connection. We can speculate about this and say that Amitabha is not an archetype but our own true nature but this isn't exactly true because Amitabha is both an archetype and the nature of our minds. When we talk how we can help people who are dead or who are ill, for example, we need to understand that it matters who we pray to even if all gurus and deities are expressions of the same nature of mind. Meditators know this but non-meditators don't.


Recently I was in the following situation after I moved to a new building. The building where I live is mostly for senior citizens and as one might imagine there is lots of illness and even the energy of death in the building. I sensed this during the first couple of days after my move and like I always do to clarify stale energy, I chanted some Guru Rinpoche mantras into the building and the habitants to do some cleaning. I could sense that the building was affected by my prayers but the habitants weren't so I took a moment to observe why that was the case and I realised that the subconscious minds of the habitants are unfamiliar with who GR is. Once I realised that I turned to Jesus and asked his blessings which worked instantly. It blew through the house and everyone in it like a fresh Autumn breeze. This made me realise how precious the christian baptism actually is because it creates a fortunate karmic connection between the one who is baptized and Jesus, who is a fully attained mahasiddha. As I've long contemplated the suitability of tantric buddhism or the lack of it for the Western audience, this experience again spoke in favour for presenting yogic teachings in the West with Jesus as the head figure, rather than any foreign figure who the vast majority of locals have never heard of. Anyway.


I wish much love, light and blessings to your deceased relative and pray that his journey continues lightly and pleasantly in the guidance of great masters who he knows. Much blessings to him.


Karl: Lately I’ve been thinking about whether the establishing of Budehism or a Christian renaissance would be the most effective answer to the general degeneration of the West.

I used to think that Buddhism would gain a solid foothold here, but I’ve come to doubt that. Perhaps secular Buddhist practices, but they don’t seem to work very well in realising the actual purpose of Buddhism, to say it the least.


Also, if the law of action and reaction holds true in a conventional manner in society, we should soon see a mass reaction to the secularisation and subsequent deconstruction of traditional Western values. I’ve come to believe over the past few weeks that a revitilisation of a living Christian faith will be at the centre of that.


Anyways, just sharing recent thoughts regarding this topic, as your post was well timed with my own musings.



Ben K: Very interested in this conversation. My question is, though, ok pretend we want a new revitalized Christianity: how do you fit all of these effective tantric practices into that system? I just don't see how to do it without the rich lineage of mahasiddhas that all contribute to buddhist tantra being so effective. I mean look at how weak hindu tantra is today, because most of the lineages are dead now, even though they had all the same techniques (and more probably) that the buddhists have. But they lack the living lineage...


Karl: I guess it must be possible seeing that there are (seeming) accounts of rainbow body attainments in Christianity too (as well as in Hinduism and Daoism).

Also, a tantric system essentially only needs one mahasiddha to bring the juice into the practices, whatever form they would take.

And if, hypothetically, a Christian tantric lineage would manifest , I don’t see why other mahasiddhas wouldn’t support it, as long as it works.

That being said, I have no idea how it would look other than having Jesus at its centre, so I am just thinking out loud here.


Ben E: My own two cents is that anything too rooted in religions of the past will bring too much associated baggage into the future.

Something that avoids being boxed in as a religion would be ideal. The way a martial art is not a religion but a way of living.


Robert: Would you say a secular, more "sciency" approach to end our existential suffering could serve that rebound in the future too? What I mean is that I'm seeing a general belief in scientific methods to solve all our problems as rising in the collective mind. Which for all intents and purposes I think is a good development, but I'm curious whether those methodologies could ever serve for our existential liberation as well. I know the positivistic discipline of modern psychology already hosts terms for Atiyoga, Open Monitoring and Shamatha, Focused Attention (perhaps there are more), and studies are made upon these; what are their effects and so on. There's nothing to say tantra couldn't be observed and documented in a similar fashion, not to say the entire path through the bhumis could be studied scientifically. So the question is if repackaged ancient methods, stripped of their history and cultural context, if the data is significant, could gain momentum as a vehicle for mental health in the modern world, or are we also thirsting for the air of mystery that classical spirituality and religion offers when push comes to shove? So this post turned out way more complex than when I thunk it, but I hope the thought comes across


Karl: Perhaps, but I don’t necessarily see cultural baggage as all bad. It can, as illustrated in the OP, also bring familiarity into the picture.

Christianity is, whether we like it or not, very much a part of the Western psyche. In most descripitions I’ve come across of near-death experiences of Western people, for example, some form of Christian narrative is presented. Though, not in a dogmatic or narrow-minded way. And these are not from people who perceived themselves as Christian prior to the NDE, but mostly atheist.

While that is anecdotal of course, it does suggest (to me atleast) the importance of tradition and familiarity with regards to spirituality.


Ben E: I see your point. Although there are plenty of religions in the US besides christianity, such as judaism (where I come from), islam, and hinduism. I think the people who will take up spiritual practice in earnest don’t necessarily need something familiar to appeal to them.


Karl: Yes, I am overgeneralising when using the term «the West», but still, according to The 2020 Census of American Religion, 70 % of Americans identify as Christians. The numbers are very similar in Europe.

As for the latter point, I’m not so sure if categories sparking karmic affinitity are not necessary. Perhaps for some some people it is not so important. For myself, however, the familiarity with (originally Machig Labdron, and later) Guru Rinpoche and Yeshe Tsogyal, definitely helped propel my practice forward and past the initial doubts.

I’m not rejecting the idea that a non-traditional, non-religious approach would work well, I just don’t presently see how it would deal with these issues.



Kim: Here's my further thoughts about this.

First of all, Jesus was not and is not a christian, i.e. a follower of christian religion. If I think about a method leading to full enlightenment, centered around Jesus as the master, (like I've done countless times by now) I don't associate it with christianity at all and therefore would not present this method as a revitalised form of christianity. My personal experience of Jesus is what matters the most and this I would like to give to all those who know about Jesus but don't know him due to various reasons. The biggest one of those reasons is christian dogma and lack of contemplative know-how within that tradition.

Having said that even the most basic christian practice of prayer is in the style of call and response. If you call for Jesus's blessings, it is there instantly to be felt and received. This is what in yoga and tantra is known as tantric guru yoga. Contemplative christians, who are a minority among christians, practice tantric guru yoga with Jesus and other saints, and have done for ages.

It is true that there has been many christian contemplatives from the desert and orthodox traditions who attained what in tantric buddhism is called rainbow body. This is known as resurrection in christianity. View and practices to attain what Jesus is said to have attained has been kept secret but what I'd like to do is to explain Jesus as a master yogi and his attainment, and his example that all us can follow, to others.

Many years ago I was asked by my master to collect bits and pieces of wisdom practices and put them together in a system that people could practice. Now, we have it all figured out, the whole path from unawakened state to full enlightenment, but the problem is like I stated above that this teaching, now known under the buddhist banner of Pemako Buddhism, doesn't reach people effectively enough, and it is yet to be seen who any type of buddhism takes foothold in the West. I took this rebirth voluntarily to try to make a difference but even after 13 years of teaching full time, I spend most of my time alone when I would want to connect with many people and instruct them how they can become free. That is really the only thing I want to do but it is clear that if I remain under the banner of tantric buddhism, completely foreign to the vast majority of Westerners, this will keep imposing limits on my work and consequentially at the end of the day benefits will also be limited, when they needn't and shouldn't be. It actually feels against me to stay in this situation. I feel that it is my own true nature that is pushing me for change.

Secular teaching is not my thing but I think that the spirit of pragmatic dharma would go a long way with a method where Jesus was the main master. There is so much misinformation and sheer absence of knowledge of views and practices, results and attainments in christianity that it is a mess, so many people don't have even basic view and knowledge that something could be done about our sense of being lost or having no purpose in the world. In Pemako method we have pragmatised both the view and the practices, results and attainments and the effectiveness speaks for itself. It would not be much different with Jesus as the captain.

Jesus was a yogi who practiced with masters, received many transmissions and as a result had great compassion (bodhicitta) and attained full rainbow body. It is not possible to attain rainbow body without (tantric) transmissions, including atiyoga, which is why he must have had (tantric) masters. There you have it. Explaining this in pragmatic way and offering a method that would empower one to achieve the same as Jesus would have great potential in this world. There is not a single person here who doesn't know who Jesus is.

torstai 2. syyskuuta 2021

Freedom to Explore: Explanation of the Underlying Principles

 

Freedom to Explore: Explanation of the Underlying Principles


What is lovely about the natural state that it is natural at all times and conditions. In physical exercise, we tense muscles and relax muscles, we breath heavily and lightly, our heart rate goes up and down, and yet the natural state is the same. The reason why I mentioned Vajra Body exercise is because, when properly practiced, it makes the body very strong and very soft. The whole body, made of hundreds of muscles, becomes like a unified plate that is tensed all at the same time and relaxed all at the same time. We learn this "unified plate" as we do Vajra Bodies for some time. Embodiment, as I understand it, means that the mind state which here means the nature of mind (dharmakaya+sambhogakaya) is unified, or made one with the physical mind, oops, the physical body (nirmanakaya). I'll focus on the physical aspect of this as I have often written about it's yogic benefits, i.e. about the recognition of one's buddhanature.


What I mean by the unified plate of all muscles is that at some point in practice, both the strength of the muscles and the ability to contract them all at once feels like you are contracting one muscle, rather than separate muscle groups or parts of the body that are isolated from each other. Just like anyone can squeeze one's fist and have all muscles of the hand and fingers contract and relax at once, the same happens with the whole body. That is a signpost of having learned well Physical Dynamic Concentration, or Vajra Body like we call it in Pemako group.


At this point of the unified plate one's physical body has become very strong. You feel strong, healthy and vibrant throughout your days and whenever you feel the need to recharge yourself, you do some reps and instantly feel refreshed. With the tantric version, Vajra Body that uses empowerment mantras, your mind also becomes fresh and clear like the sky.


I always want to help my students understand what underlying principles of the practices we do so that they don't get caught up by technical formulas. Technical formulas are for beginners but once one advances and makes the practices one's own, i.e. gaines familiarity with them, the formulas can and should be broken down. Many don't understand this and remain caught up in rigid forms without ever understanding the level of principle.


There are countless types of physical exercise in the world. There is slow and fast movement, small and big movements, light and heavy movements (in terms of muscle contraction) and there are combinations of all these. Imagine how many kinds of physical movements there are... and all this is there for you to explore.


When we first learn PDC/VB, we learn to do it in the most simple form, in a stationery posture where you contract and relax the muscles as an isometric exercise. You both contract and relax in the same posture. I tell my students to try simple variations of postures, for example by changing the width and depth of the stance (wider or lower) or by placing the arms in different ways. That's were you have to begin with because you need to learn the basic form and get the foundational insights of the unified plate, to then be able to shatter the form. From there one is entirely free to bring movement into the exercise. Slow, fast, light, heavy, small, big and any combination of these. From the physical perspective, we are just squeezing and relaxing the muscles. There is zero mysticality in this.


What we also do in PDC/VB is to hold the breath and this also one needs to learn from doing the basic version but when you've done your ground work, you (should) already understand what the breath retention does from your experience. You know how it works and what it does. You know that holding the breath together with muscle contraction unifies your vital energy or prana. Vital energy is evenly spread around the body and this makes you feel balanced and energized.


So again to break the form, you don't need to do the breath retention always and you don't need to do it always the same way. If you know the principle already, me saying this will set you free. If you don't know the principle, stick to the basic form until your intuition leads you out from it.


With the breath part of the exercise we are simply bringing more vital energy into our subtle body and balancing it. That's all. Those in advanced stage can play and explore with this all they want. This is not a mystical experience either.


The same goes for the tantric element, or mantras. The mantras are used to establish the basic state through the deities received through the empowerment. If we use RBY mantras, there will be emphasis on purification of the ten bhumis. If we use Guru mantras, guru's blessing will be emphasized and consequentially our own basic state (dharmakaya and sambhogakaya) is revealed. If we use the seed syllables of the mahasiddha bhumis, A BA HU, the same happens. If we use mantras of wrathful, peaceful, passionate or healing buddhas, the effect will be accordingly but again new students should do the basic form until the basic discoveries are made. Oh yeah, don't forget that yogic practice in whatever form is all about making discoveries, finding new things that keep you motivated.


If you plateau, and samsaric mind cannot avoid this, things get boring and dull, your motivation suffers and maybe you don't feel like practicing for few months or years until you realise that the suffering is still there. One of the reasons why I teach dynamic practices is that they completely pierce through the ten karmic bhumis, like a space ship takes off with enormous power to make it past Earth's gravitational pull. The gravitational pull of samsaric tendencies is there all the time, from morning til night, which is why I tell y students to keep punching it, whether they do DC or PDC, aloud or silently. You need to keep pushing through the atmosphere to have your buddhanature recognised, so that you can practice vipashyana in the most effective manner. It's all about the two modes but if you loose the first mode, your practice becomes a pancake. Sit as much as you can and study these things through your own experience. Don't rely on anyone elses sayings or experience. It is you and not others whose mind your purifying, and it is entirely up to you whether or not you see this to an end or not. We have buddhas in our sangha, so the method is now tested.


So, anyway, I was talking about mantras in PDC/VB. As long as you have recognition of empty and joyful buddhanature, you already have mantras. If you loose recognition and get distracted or tangled up in emotional reactions, you use mantras to re-establish. That's it, nothing mystical. So, when you understand this, you can take liberties with mantras as well.


Here, I have described the practice of PDC and VB from the perspective of the three bodies: physical, energetic and mind.


May all beings be free, happy, healthy and prosperous,


- Kim, 2.9.2021













sunnuntai 29. elokuuta 2021

About Sex and Semen Retention

 

About Sex and Semen Retention



Semen retention was mentioned few days ago in one of the discussions. It reminded me of this video of this sifu who has become famous in the internet. Here are my own view and experiences of this matter.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vddn_m6_-vI


First of all, semen retention or sexual abstinence is not a requirement for awakening experiences or even full enlightenment (buddhahood). One can have a satisfying sexual life, have orgasms and ejaculate without it having any effect on awakening as it is understood on mahayana and vajrayana buddhism. In excess, however, like anything else, too much sexual activity will cause imbalance, lack of energy and energetical disharmony in the body.


A further point against abstinence from sex is the fact that across history those who refrain from sex, often hoping it to make one holier and purer, have become greatest sexual perverts and abusers. Based on this simple fact it is entirely misleading to say that being sexually active would be harmful or detrimental to one's spiritual or martial life.


One of my spiritual and martial heroes is Yamaoka Tesshu, a famous master of zen buddhism, swordmanship and calligraphy who lived in 19th century Japan. Tesshu was known, not in erratic sense, but he greatly enjoyed partying, drinking and having sex with women. He seemed to have a great appetite for the joys of life, while he was also committed to his spiritual, martial and art practices, as well as his work as an imperial advisor and as a familyman. He is said to have been a huge man with huge energy. I own a collection of Tesshu's calligraphies and can testify that none of his eagerness for drink or sex had a detrimental impact on his calligraphy (where the black ink stores his energy to this date). In fact, his energy is much fuller and more abundant than the works of many monks who assumably were celibates.


When it comes to sex, I have followed Tesshu's example. Since I was a teenager, I have never been a celibate except for one 5-week period, around the age of 30. That I have been sexually active has had no harmful effect on my realisation whatsoever. In fact, being sexually active has made my mind much more relaxed and emotionally balanced than I'd imagine I would have been without. Sex has also been fun (!).


Now, because I have not practiced celibacy and have been a steady ejaculator for the past 30 years, I do not have authority to say that the recommendation to remain a celibate wouldn't have all the benefits the sifu and other sources say. However, I can say is that celibacy, refraining from sex or ejaculations is not necessary for spiritual enlightenment (as it is understood in mahayana buddhism) because it simply isn't. The sifu on the video doesn't give any meaningful definition what he means by enlightenment but what comes to buddhist enlightenment, there is very little or no relation to sexuality at all. Dealing with sexual desire, on the other hand, is important but this is a practice of meditation that has no relation to sex, sex organs or such.


We can surely become fully enlightened beings and great martial artists by having a balanced and healthy life style.


-Kim, 29.8.2021