Rise of the Black Lotus
How to sit. This is from treeleaf.com, an online zendo. Printed out their chant manual and almost joined them yesterday. I was there but unconnected.
More House Buddhas, one from the kitchen. Two from my shrine, one belonging to my grandma.
The hotty Hotei, his name means “Cloth Sack,” and comes from the bag that he is conventionally depicted as carrying. Looks like this one has eaten his sack. He is usually identified with Maitreya (or seen as an incarnation of). The little wooden hand carving was brought back from China as a present.
The White Buddha is Kwan Yin a combination of Chenrezig and Tara (aka Buddha Babe - the Mother of the Buddhas) also popular in China.
The Chenresig is a simple cardboard cut out from my shrine and is the National Buddha of Tibet Free State.
Medex is a Buddha as bathroom handwash.
Purify yourself. Buddhahood is next to the Impure.
Buddha in the House
The dark Buddha is part of my Highest Buddhas, guarding the house from Christians, Dharma evangelicals and Mara.
In the garden the Buddha and Bodhisattva watches naked dakinis disguised as birds bathing in the pool, which is often empty of all but water.
The dragon along with the fly whisk is found in the toilet, guarding the good shit.
Are some Beings able to attune to the multiple consciousness of all sentient beings? Intelligences that simultaneously transfer and reside their being in all atoms of the universe might seem god like. Deities may of course just be an evolution of our own evolving primate species capacities. We may be god like compared to a monkey but can barely believe the Higgs Boson field is just one of many all pervading time space potentials. We are three dimensional primitives.
Traditionally god like qualities are considered so special that we are willing to sacrifice children, common sense or life as we know it, to attune with Cods will. Some so called evolutionists even contend that nothing above primate exists in human experience. Not sure what planet they are from?
Many of us are very much aware that the internal connection to qualities such as the names of Allah and the pantheon of deities from here to Timbuktu are reflective. The inner resonates and connects to the outer reality. Is the reality constructed like a Tantric deity, conjured and empowered and then reduced back to the imagination? Or is it real? Do deities correspond to real forces that transcend our current capacity to comprehend, adequately communicate and evaluate?
The current informed position is that such god like ultimate’s, are figments of the flying spaghetti monsters imagination. Could be. If however something more is even remotely possible it would be worth investigating. As yet theology is not a science of gods but about belief systems. Psychology and sociology may study what is happening externally but does not concern itself with the possibility of an external reality.
So we are left with the mystics, meditators and magicians who regularly investigate and quantify their investigations. Fortunately these mind mavericks may be capable of facilitating the new studies, language and means of exploration. That is if they can be bothered …
Went to visit Ganesha at the local Hindu temple. Ganesh was getting a good bath from the swami, had his coconuts and may even be allowed to visit the local park. He is a happy God. Then onward to the Buddhist temple. Ganesha was in the gardens, kids being introduced to Buddhism in the temple and meditators in the auxiliary house. A few pics.
Today I sat on the face of Jesus. I used an Argos catalogue and a copy of ‘Jesus The Man’, for my morning meditation ‘cushion’. Family members were complaining; sofa cushions are for sitting on, not for sitting on - something like that. I nearly did not meditate. I awoke in a particularly mindful state. It did not last. Such a state of mind is meditative in itself, so sitting or going about breakfast is the same thing as a formal sitting. However I am a sort of Buddhist and we meditate, so why not play the dharma game.
Sitting on Jesus is no more blasphemous than eating a holy toast with the image of Mother Theresa without anchor butter or kissing a piece of rock fashioned to an image of the Buddha. The ex prince Siddhi Goatarama never wanted statues of him during his life. Blame the Greeks for that piece of bodhi red herring. Now of course whole practices and vast effort, similar to the building of cathedrals or mosques, is devoted to man made fantasies of the Buddha over the rainbow.
Buddha was awake and enlightened. Boy do we have some stories of what that signifies. Perfection, omniscient knowledge and the usual birth miracles. It all makes Buddhahood into a graduation process, with tested degree of flawlessness along the way. Every school has its own priorities. I tend to favour the snooze to non-snooze school.
You can not be a bit awake anymore than something can be almost an orange. That is lemon thinking. There are however conditions under which we can have glimpses or moments of increasing awareness. This is why we practice. It is almost as if we ‘fake it till we make it’. Sound dishonest? Well ‘skilful means’, quite often means entering the dream state of others and guiding them up through the levels of ‘inception’.
Strange isn’t it, that the awake have to live in the realm of dreams in a state of wakefulness. Where else are they likely to go? Meanwhile those of us in a sleeping state, dream up conditions of the awake and what they should be like. Awake would be a good start. Maybe it is like the golden koi carp I saw in a local river. Too massive and canny for predators, the old carp just goes with the flow …
Hidden away in my brother in laws shed was the carcass of a dead cow. It was a home for spiders and other cocooned insects. Once it had been a functional leather jacket. I told him about the decaying cow and ended up shouldering a carcass. The jacket cleaned up nicely. Buddhism is a bit like that sacred jacket. Dharma only becomes useful once you swear it in. A retirement home for moths and butterflies is useful in a eco hippy way, I suppose.
Some vegan vogons may ask, should you wear cows, eat them, worship them? Should the jacket be buried with full vajrayana honours for a better life? Where is the meat now? That really is how the path to Buddhahood is presented. A jacket without an owner. A home for empty pockets and insects.
Are there people capable of and entering the path to awakening? Are we just sitting around in a shed, temple or monastery hoping the jacket will fit in some future dry cleaning? Forget the cow pats, the BS, lets get to the bone.
The essence of Buddhism is awakening. Only the awake are in a position to transmit, to know, to taste, to walk the path. That then is the way. Everything else is buttons too tight to open, shampoo cleaning away the mould and milking a dead horse.
Like most people I would not know a Buddha or awakened one from a vajra Pope, a Zen Mistress or a ten day marathon monk. I know a jacket when I see one. So we have to rely on the near ones, the people who have traveled, who are experienced and leathered.
They are a diverse bunch but tend through years of devoted practice to have a similar understanding and response. They have read the sacred sutras. They have sat beyond the boredom, emptiness, shining insight and dark nights of the unclothed. I trust their best advice, which in honesty they proffer as a sacred friendship.
However, bless their cotton socks, the advanced practitioners have almost forgotten or given up on the idea of awakening. ‘Practice is awakening’, they say. No it’s not. When people practice they are practicing. You think Buddhas practice? Of course not, they live the dream. Put that in your awakening and practice on it …
However beggars and potential Buddhas can not be choosers and so practice it is. Empty the space and insistence for action and achievement. Sit and practice ethics and virtue. I can live with that. That must surely be a rewarding and beneficial change?
So I will listen to the past attainers, the youtube monks, the geeks from books and forums. I will listen to beginners, for beginners mind is closer to Buddha awakening than the developed - strange but true. This is no anonymous cult of the dead cow, this is a vibrant working community, geared towards betterment at the least and awakening as a side effect.
I don’t need to go to the Himalayan kingdom of the yeti, yack and yantra. I can bring my ass to any sitting. I can meditate whilst walking or doing yoga on the Wii. I can be a new age Buddha, an ordinary person, on an extraordinary inner journey. Maybe Keanu Reeves can play me in the movie. Too much ego? Will have to work on that …
You know, I really can do this. Maybe I will have it emblazoned on the back of my jacket, ‘Buddha in Training’. Cue the ‘Rocky’ music. I am going to punch cows.