Monday, December 05, 2011

Crazy Wisdom? Or Just Plain Nuts?

I just posted a new article on the Suicide Girls safe-for-work blog. It's called Crazy Wisdom - The Story of a Drunken Sex Pervert Who Revolutionized Buddhism.

It's about a new film called Crazy Wisdom. It's a documentary about the life and times of Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche, the controversial Tibetan master who founded Naropa Institute in Colorado, the first Buddhist university in the Western world. Perhaps still the only Buddhist university in the Western world. He was Pema Chodron's teacher. He also set up the Shambhala Foundation. Trungpa's influence extends far and wide. I'm not even certain what his connection is with Shambhala Sun, for example. I keep running into organizations and people who have associations with Trungpa that I did not know about.

I gave the film a good review because I enjoyed it a lot. It has flaws. For all its openness about Trungpa's boozing and sex, it does gloss over a few things that I think are important. The filmmakers are followers of Trungpa, so it's to be expected they'd make a film that shows him in a mostly positive light. One could just as easily make a film that painted Trungpa to be evil, awful and nasty. In fact that movie might actually be a little easier to make.

Trngpa was mostly very honest about himself and the things that he did. I say "mostly" because there were some things he kept hidden. One of these was the advice he gave to his HIV positive successor Osel Tendzin that Tendzin would not transmit his illness to others as long as he did certain purification practices. This was nonsense, of course. And people have suffered greatly because of it.

Yet over all, Trungpa didn't present himself one way and behave another. Which is why I think he never was subject of any of the kinds of scandals some other Buddhist masters like Genpo Roshi, Eido Shimano, Richard Baker and the rest have been. Those guys' big mistake was the give people the idea that they were saintly in the conventional sense. Perhaps they never directly said they were, but they allowed people to build that sort of image around them. If anything Trungpa probably made himself sound worse than he really was.

Although I like the film, I'm still not sure about Trungpa himself. I know people who I respect and trust who knew Trungpa and think he was a terrible person. But then again, even these people will admit Trungpa wrote some good books and did some good stuff for a lot of people.

Oddly enough, just before I got the DVD screener of Crazy Wisdom in the mail from the producers for the purpose of writing the review, I watched a Discovery Channel documentary about Shoko Asahara, the cult leader responsible for the poison gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995. The documentary is on YouTube. I'll put part one at the bottom of this blog entry. You should be able to find the other three parts pretty easily yourself.

I was struck by the ways in which Chogyam Trungpa resembled Shoko Asahara. There are several extremely important differences between the two men. The biggest difference is that Trungpa was trained and ordained in a legitimate Buddhist lineage. Shoko Asahara just pretty much made his credentials up. And Trungpa was wise as well as crazy whereas Asahara was just crazy and had no wisdom at all.

Still, it would be easy for someone to be fooled into believing Shoko Asahara was also an example of crazy wisdom and to excuse his weirdness for signs of deep enlightenment. Trungpa was openly a boozer. Asahara made no secret of his use of LSD. Trungpa had a legion of uniformed guards who served as a kind of Buddhist militia. Asahara had all kind of bizarre paramilitary operatives in his cult. Superficially one could site a number of points the two men had in common.

And yet even before the subway gas attack, I got a very very bad feeling from Asahara and his group (they had a little shop near one of the train stations I used to use frequently and I went in a few times). I never got that kind of ill feeling from Trungpa. I felt a little odd about him, but I didn't get the sense of real dangerous insanity that I got from Asahara's material.

Which is to say that I think one has to go with one's gut in these matters. Sometimes the superficial intellectual view seems to be fairly even when looking at several different spiritual teachers. And yet in the pit of your stomach you can kind of tell which ones are bad and which are okay. That is, if you learn to recognize your own intuition.


Uno said...

um.. When did Richard Baker ever give anyone the idea he was saintly? I've never heard that accusation before. Most people, especially new Buddhists, make those kind of projections all by themselves.

mtto said...

University of the West There's at least one other Buddhist university in the United States.

Mr. Furious said...

Richard Baker certainly played to a certain perception of himself as chaste. While verbally he often may have demurred any idea of "saintlyness" his actions when the topic was brought up directly, his behaviors and actions and expectations certainly spoke something else entirely.

Personally, I think Chogyam was insane, but I agree with Brad that somewhere in his mind there was a dash of wisdom and insight. I've also been saying for some time that it's the hypocrisy of the various sex scandals that is the problem, not the sex itself. If one has positioned one's self as a leader, particularly a spiritual one, there is some authenticity and genuineness that is expected. Ikkyu is one of my favorite Zen poets and masters, but he was also unabashedly sexual, writing numerous poems about his visits to the brothels and various sexual escapade. The difference between Ikkyu and people like Merzel is that Ikkyu never pretended that chastity was part of the "package" of "enlightenment."

anonymous anonymous said...

"Another attitude to karma is that it is connected with rebirth, life after death—WHICH IS PURE BLIND FAITH. That approach brings a certain amount of psychological comfort: this is not the only life, but there are a lot more to come; other situations will come up so you don’t have to feel fatalistic any more. That kind of attitude to karma is not dealing with the root of the karmic situation but is purely trying to play games with it or else trying to use karma as a comforter. It is based on distrust in oneself. - Chogyam Trungpa, -Transending Madness-

Mmm Hmm said...

I'm tired of crazy wisdom, justifying terrible things under the guise of "freeing" people...

I'm impressed by somebody when they actually live the morality that they claim to speak about.
Am I demanding perfection? Where human beings are incapable of making mistakes?

But I want to at least have the impression that they are trying.

Mmm Hmm said...

Brad Warner said:
Which is to say that I think one has to go with one's gut in these matters. Sometimes the superficial intellectual view seems to be fairly even when looking at several different spiritual teachers. And yet in the pit of your stomach you can kind of tell which ones are bad and which are okay. That is, if you learn to recognize your own intuition."

If this were the case, then nobody would have ever picked the Genpos Trungpas or Bakers of the world.
(unless you are saying that if one did pick one, then they didn't recognize their own intuition.)

Intuition is faulty. Not some kind of obscured omniscience.

Apuleius Platonicus said...

He was a wolf in wolf's clothing. He was also a great Bodhisattva.

Daniel Oates said...

Thanks for tweeting this. I am going to be looking for this flick now. Nice to have the experience enriched with the comparison of someone who had received some guidance, to someone alone with no one to check him on his madness. As someone practicing alone, it encourages me to appreciate the guides I meet along the way, especially when we disagree.

Kobutsu said...

I spent eight years following Trungpa Rinpoche prior to becoming involved with Eido Shimano in 1977.

Your "take" of the difference between Trungpa and other teachers is quite accurate. While Shimano (and I understand other teachers) denied, lied about, covered-up and cultivated students as enablers (myself included for a time), But Trungpa was always right up front.

I remember being a Trungpa's "Tail of the Tiger" center in Vermont in the mid seventies and seeing a "sign-up sheet" hanging at the foot of the stairs to the second floor. I inquired of a senior student about the list and was told, in a completely caviler manner, that the list was a "sign-up sheet" for students who wanted to sleep with Rinpoche....

Quite a difference!

Mysterion said...

"I never knew until I came here [Hollywood] that somebody could be really nice to you for years and really hate your guts. Happens all the time here." - Jean Seberg

Life is life.

Food is food.

Sex is sex.

Defecation is Defecation.

Buddhism is Buddhism.

Don't confuse any two.

"Defecation is the only detachment that most occidentals accept."

All this baggage, full of shit. Everything changes.

Buddhism changed, is still Buddhism.

Anonymous said...

“In response to close questioning by students, he first swore us to secrecy and then said that Trungpa had requested him to be tested for HIV in the early 1980s and told him to keep quiet about the positive result. Tendzin had asked Trungpa what he should do if students wanted to have sex with him, and Trungpa’s reply was that as long as he did his Vajrayana purification practices, it did not matter, because they would not get the disease. Tendzin’s answer, in short, was that he had obeyed the guru.” Trungpa was wrong.

Who says that Trungpa gave this advice? Just Tendzin? Given Tendzin's actions that provides plenty of room for doubt, for me. I don't think you can write "Trungpa was wrong" with any degree of certainty. Did Trungpa confess to saying this? Was there a witness?

Anonymous said...

BRAD, YOU MIS-IDENTIFY STEPHEN BUTTERFIELD AS STEPHEN BATCHELOR. Batchelor was never, to my knowledge, connected to Trungpa.

Zippy Rinpoche said...

Omniversal awareness?? Oh, YEH!! First you need 4 gallons of Jell-O and a big wrench! I think you drop th' wrench in the Jell-O as if it was a flavor, or an ingredient. Where are the washing machines?

Brad Warner said...

BRAD, YOU MIS-IDENTIFY STEPHEN BUTTERFIELD AS STEPHEN BATCHELOR. Batchelor was never, to my knowledge, connected to Trungpa.

Batchelor is definitely in the film. And I'm pretty sure he's the source of that quotation. Though I'm gonna go and double check now.

Brad Warner said...

OK. I see now. It does seem as if Butterfield is the source of that quotation. Though Batchelor is in the movie. Unless Stephen Butterfield looks just like Stephen Batchelor!

I've contacted Suicide Girls to ask them to change the article. I already posted the correction as a comment.

Brad Warner said...

Who says that Trungpa gave this advice? Just Tendzin? Given Tendzin's actions that provides plenty of room for doubt, for me. I don't think you can write "Trungpa was wrong" with any degree of certainty. Did Trungpa confess to saying this? Was there a witness?

You're not the first to point this out. And with Tendzin and Trungpa both dead it's unlikely anyone will be able to confirm or deny this either way.

Still, there is definitely some darkness to Trungpa's legacy and his activities were often misunderstood. Or perhaps we can say they were understood in different ways than they were intended to be understood.

This is a very big problem in itself.

Broken Yogi said...

"Intuition is faulty. Not some kind of obscured omniscience."

This. The entire world, including oneself, is dukkha, "unsatisfying" and "full of error". One cannot ever be assured of making correct decisions in life. People who joined Aum Shinriko were following their intutiion. Many Nazis and Communists were following their intuition. Despite his own huge faults, Trungpa understood this. He had seen what the zealous communists could do by following their intuition. It didn't stop him from following his own, but it gave him the perspective from which one doesn't claim infallibility while doing so. Which isn't enough, really, by itself.

Anonymous said...

Right, so in the present day, making fact-like statements like 'Trungpa was wrong' (in regard to this particular situation) builds a false foundation of 'truth' for future reflection. In this way I believe you are adding to the darkness by assuming a 'fact' on top of conjecture.

Anonymous said...

Two peanuts went for a walk in Central Park. One of them was a salted.

Alan_A said...

"Then there’s the story I’ve heard from about half a dozen people about the time Trungpa forced a couple to participate in an orgy by ordering his uniformed guards to strip them naked against their will."

The couple was poet W.S. Merwin and his girlfriend. An account appears here:

Alan_A said...

Sorry, URL got cut off. The account appears on pages 100-101 of Jeffery Paine's Re-Enchantment: Tibetan Buddhism Comes to the West. It's available on Google Books.

Anonymous said...

"The biggest difference is that Trungpa was trained and ordained in a legitimate Buddhist lineage."This Shoko Asahara sounds alittle like Dogo Barry Graham

Seagal Rinpoche said...

Just as a felled tree grows again if the roots are unharmed, so suffering sprouts again until the tendency is rooted out.

john e mumbles said...

"Or perhaps we can say they (Trungpa's activities] were understood in different ways than they were intended to be understood.

This is a very big problem in itself."



IMO Trungpa Rinpoche always knew exactly what he was doing.

Fred said...

This is corrupt, bullshit Buddhism
Like Adi Da making his followers
fornicate while he wacked off.

If you can't drop the sexuality
you ain't no Buddha. And drinking
yourself to death in your 40's.
I threw Bagwan's and Trungpa's
books in the garbage.

Former Student said...

Da Free John was no Buddhist, nor was Bhagavan Rajneesh, assuming that is the Bhagavan you speak of.

Chogyam Trungpa was, however, not only a Buddhist, but an enlightened one, regardless of our opinion.

Anonymous said...

how do you know he was enlightened? (seriously) what does that mean?

Anonymous said...

"somewhere in his mind there was a dash of wisdom and insight"

You, sir, are a troll. LOL@"a dash."

Fred said...

To know and not to be, is not yet
to know.

Anonymous said...

It takes one to know one, son.

john e mumbles said...

Well worth a look:

john e mumbles said...

Sorry, not sure that link will work.

Google this:

Holy Madness: The Shock Tactics and Radical Teachings of Crazy-Wise Adepts, Holy Fools and Rascal Gurus

By Georg Feuerstein

kristien said...

Thank you Brad, for this positive review of this crazy wise teacher.
One can read more on the Crazy Wisdom Tradition at :

Broken Yogi said...

Da Free John considered himself the perfect Buddha of "Advaitayana Buddhism", the fourth and completing Wheel of the Dharma. He wrote a book about it called "Nirvansara". Somehow, it made no best-seller lists. I read it though. Interesting in its own way, and quite heretical.

His followers often pointed to Trungpa and the Tibetan "Crazy Wisdom" tradition as justification for his own excesses. Trungpa once met with some of Da's senior followers, who gave him a presentation and video on Da's teachings. He seemed to like it, apparently, extending the meeting from the 30 minutes originally allotted to some 90 minutes. They had megalomaniacal commonalities, those two.

Mysterion said...


The entire Richard Baker Roshi incident at SFZC has more undercurrents than Half Moon Bay.

That it has been put to rest is at long last an accomplishment or fait accompli.

"Sex" was the excuse but not the reason Richard was pushed out.

"Richard Baker and the Myth of the Zen Roshi" and read the PDF. It tells about 1/2 of the story - or maybe 1/4th on deeper thought.

The issue is laid to rest and best kept that way.

Jamal said...

Fred, Burning books am always a bad decision. Unless you wrote them.

Mysterion said...

John E:

I spend a lot-o-money based on your recommendations.

Holy Madness: The Shock Tactics and Radical Teachings of Crazy-Wise Adepts, Holy Fools and Rascal Gurus

being the immediate smoking gun...

Thanks for another heads up.


kristien said...

Dear Fred :

What are you angry about? You say :

“This is corrupt, bullshit Buddhism
Like Adi Da making his followers
fornicate while he wacked off.”

What if that very situation brought people to some sanity, or gave them freedom from their neuroses, to say the least?
If you for once can assume the Guru in a teaching mode during sexual activity instead of thinking he is indulging in sex (like you think an ordinary man would do)... it becomes an interesting consideration. In our western culture sexuality stays very much hidden, although one sees very open exploitation too. What I learned from Adi Da , me personally, is that sexuality is a force that causes great disturbances ( suppressions, diversions and exploitations) in ones life if not truly seen for what it is.
In the Company of a True Realizer, one can inspect one’s reactions, one’s fears one’s drives, one’s revulsions etc….
Why is that ?
Because, the Realizer in Person transmits the Ultimate Truth and Freedom from all of that and from anything else that binds us. In being one with Reality, all our problems have no meaning and no force.
My Guru, Adi Da Samraj, used many skillful means to bring his students in contact with their hidden agenda, while at the same time bringing them in contact with His free State of being . One of those means was sexual activity. After a while He did not use those means any longer. It was not necessary anymore, because we got the lesson We learned that it was His Being, His State of ultimate Freedom that enlightens the disciple. It is the effect of Good Company that allows the atmosphere to break open, to see what is our obstructions. Those sexual interactions were just done for the sake of instruction. Now it is clear that anytime when the student meditates in the Guru’s Company the student meditates on the Guru’s Realization, on Reality Itself. That is completely sufficient. All kinds of life problems arise daily, but in meditation on the Guru’s Free State of Being , by that Grace, one can stand prior to what is arising and one can act in freedom relative to it. That is the Truth.. and I am glad I can tell you this. Adi Da’s life work has led to this.
There is no need for any other means. Just this: you become what you meditate on. Meditate on the Ultimate Truth, sit in Good Company and slowly but surely you will be transformed and you will integrate those same qualities that you meditate on in your own life.

Mr. Green Jeans said...

When we see that everything has a cause and an effect we then have a choice and a responsibility. If the outcome was not so good, we try not to repeat it. But more than that we try and become a person who will not repeat it.


r said...

- “And yet in the pit of your stomach you can kind of tell which ones are bad and which are okay. That is, if you learn to recognize your own intuition.”.

- How did that work with regard to Barry Graham? (and his sitting frog)

kristien said...

If you want to read more on Adi Da’s 'Crazy Wise' Teaching method, here is an excerpt of His open letter:

“I Straightened My devotees out about sex.
No "lily-white" approach to dealing with sex can come even close to straightening anyone out.
My Wisdom-Teaching includes a Complete "Consideration" of emotional-sexual life — and that "Consideration" is an absolute Straightener.
There are all kinds of conventional social rules for controlling sexual behavior — but they are designed to serve the purposes of the social ego, and (therefore) have nothing to do with ego-transcendence or Spiritual Realization.
Merely to become a well-behaved social ego is not a sufficient basis for entering into the real Spiritual process.
The Great Tradition of mankind is, as a whole, unresolved and ambivalent relative to the entire matter of sexuality, and is even generally sex-negative in its orientation.
All such puritanical righteousness must be gone beyond — otherwise, one's emotional-sexual egoity is never truly inspected and dealt with.
In that case, attention remains fundamentally (even if unconsciously) bound in emotional-sexual dilemmas of all kinds, thereby limiting the degree of real Spiritual growth that is possible.”

To see the full letter go to ;

Khru said...

Dudes are just dudes: no matter how holy you might think they are...or not.

My 2 cents said...

He probably wasn't exactly "nuts". Rather just another drunk asshole on a power trip who knew how to make use of his "Buddhist" membership card to take advantage of naive followers. Nothing unusual, unfortunately.

2 cents moderated said...

The general idea could make sense in general, if you put it into proportion.

2 cents moderated also said...

- Khru, - just stick to criticizing the thread.

Anonymous said...

My 2 cents,

I'm not sure of taking advantage of naive followers, but yes, he was just a poor, drunk asshole. Hitler had also good thoughts, but does that make him a Crazy Wisdom dude? No, Hitler was fucked up, totally insane. And Trungpa was also fucked up. Come on, everyone can say and write wise things while being drunk or on drugs. There's nothing wise in it. It's just fucking pathetic.

Fred said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred said...


Brain washing and enlightenment
are 2 different entities. You are
spewing back his words that he uses
on the tapes.

A man of no distinctions leaves no
trace. He doesn't build
monuments to his ego, or
autograph vaginas.

Just so without clinging.

Fred said...

"When he was just 18 months old he was recognized as the reincarnation of a high Tibetan lama"

Here's the problem right off the
bat. If you are told that you are
a special " spiritual " person from
birth, why do the work to drop the
body-mind. Write books to justify
what you are doing, ie. cutting
through spiritual materialism,
which is just a defense mechanism
for an ego trashing the precepts.

Right conduct and right thought are
portrayed as attachment to
spiritual practice by the boy
wonder as he numbs out the internal
and eternal voices inside with sex
and alcohol.

gniz said...

Hey Brad, Looks like you've somehow gotten the Daisters (former followers of Adi Da Samraj) to come out of the woodwork on this one.

Maybe a few of them will become regular posters here, I always find their perspectives entertaining.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I hear about someone using sex to "free someone's mind", "liberate their ego" or however they phrase that particular con I usually think of Charles Manson.

"Sex was an important tool in Charlie's deprogramming, and he did tell us that as long as we had any inhibitions we still weren't dead, we were still playing back what our parents had programmed into us."

Fred said...

Transform yourself and the world
with a degree from Naropa U. with
a major in contemplative psych.,
and a minor in sexual intercourse.

Dr. Chanbug said...

I recall reading that Suzuki Roshi was friends with Trungpa. I really liked Trungpa's books, but then I really liked Brad's early writing too. Writing, like appearances, can be deceiving.

Mumon K said...

My conclusion is that it's really important a) to be ordinary, and b) to shed the orientalism.

So it was not with Trungpa, so it isn't with "Genpo."

I just realized... he coulda been a lost Marx brother.

Anonymous said...

What does an ex con immediately do after getting out of prison? He finds a girl whether a prostitute or some floozy in the bar, and he bangs her brains out. Now what do you think a repressed buddhist teacher from the east does when he gets out of the monastery and travels over to sexually liberated 1960's America? You got it, he finds some loose hippie bitches and he bangs the shit out of them. A breaks it off so frickin nasty that he has to create a whole new chapter of buddhism to accomodate all the new sexual perversion. Which isn't to say it's wrong or right, it's just a new chapter of buddhism and I can understand where these teachers are coming from. And that's as REAL as it gets.

Mysterion said...

This is good work, Brad. Proceed in all your days with candid honesty. (And metaphorically F*CK the moralists - who are hiding their own immorality behind a thin veil of 'goodness.')

Ever notice this line of teaching follows the "honesty" of Ikkyu (who I am far from alone in considering an authentic 'Venerabler Master' a.k.a. Roshi).

Once, Ikkyu went to a banquet in his ragged monk’s clothes and was not let in. He went back dressed in finery and was admitted. At this point, he took off all his robes and left saying: "The banquet is for the robes."

Ikkyu made and sold dolls in Kyoto to support his temple. In his spare free time he would mingle with the wild, poor fortune-tellers, wine merchants, prostitutes, and fishermen.

"A sex-loving monk, you object!
Hot-blooded and passionate, totally aroused.
Remember, though, that lust can consume all passion,
Transmuting base metal into pure gold.

Ten days in this temple and my mind is reeling!
Between my legs the red thread stretches and stretches.
If you come some other day and ask for me,
Better look in a fish stall, a sake shop, or a brothel.

Follow the rule of celibacy blindly, and you are no more than an ass;
Break it and you are only human.
The spirit of Zen is manifest in ways countless as the
sands of the Ganges.

Every newborn is the fruit of the conjugal bond.
For how many aeons have secret blossoms been
budding and fading?

With a young beauty, sporting in deep love play;
We sit in the pavilion, a pleasure girl and this Zen monk.
Enraptured by hugs and kisses,
I certainly don’t feel as if I am burning in hell."

Late in his life, Ikkyu did teach regularly in a place he called "the Thank You Hermitage." Artists of all kinds were drawn to him. He has been called the godfather of the Zen arts. He utilized calligraphy, poetry and painting for transmitting Zen teachings and had a profound influence on the 'Way of Tea' and also on Noh drama.


Matt said...

Sex is a common method of control in cults. Controlling someones sexuality is powerful tool. You can deny it, specify how, who or when you can fuck or make it a free for all to break down peoples "attachments". I've seen this first hand.

Trungpa has really inspired alot of crazy self styled guru wannabes that use his behavior as a template for exploitation and control in the name of the "dharma".

Mr. Furious said...


I have mentioned Ikkyu myself earlier in this "discussion." I agree that Ikkyu seemed to be one of the more, ahem, enlightened "masters."

I don't consider myself a moralist, although I do think it is helpful to live by some kind of code in this life. However, the difference between Ikkyu and other "Gurus" who immerse themselves in sexual acts is that I never get the impression that Ikkyu manipulated people or used his position as a "Master" to his advantage. In short, I don't get the impression that took advantage of people or "used" them. What people like Adi Da and Chogyam Rimpoche did was perverse. I know that's dualistic thinking, but so is choosing between an apple and arsenic. Sometimes dualistic thinking is simply pragmatic.

Mr. Furious said...

Or, going along with what "Matt" above me has said, I don't get the impression that Ikkyu exploited anyone. There is certainly a strong sense of exploitation in what some of these "Crazy Wisdom" gurus are up to.

anonymous anonymous said...

I'm looking for a teacher to help me recognize real intuition but first I need real intuition to find the teacher to help me recognize real intuition that would help me recognize a real teacher. Got it.

Dun Goofed said...

it's interesting to me...
That if Trungpa had lived in the Buddha's Day, he would have been expelled from the sangha for life.

The four parajikas (defeats) are rules entailing expulsion from the sangha for life. If a monk breaks any one of the rules he is automatically 'defeated' in the holy life and falls from monkhood immediately. He is not allowed to become a monk again in his lifetime. Intention is necessary in all these four cases to constitute an offence. The four parajikas for bhikkus are:

1. Sexual intercourse, that is, any voluntary sexual interaction between a bhikku and a living being, except for mouth-to-mouth intercourse which falls under the Sanghadisesa.
2. Stealing, that is, the robbery of anything worth more than 1/24 troy ounce of gold (as determined by local law).
3. Intentionally bringing about the death of a human being, even if it is still an embryo — whether by killing the person, arranging for an assassin to kill the person, inciting the person to die, or describing the advantages of death.
4. Deliberately lying to another person that one has attained a superior human state, such as claiming to be an arahant when one knows one is not, or claiming to have attained one of the jhanas when one knows one hasn't.

food for thought.

kristien said...

Brain washing and enlightenment
are 2 different entities. You are
spewing back his words that he uses
on the tapes.

Dear Fred,

Am I brain washed? Yes, no doubt about that. But at least brain washed by an enlightened being. How much better can it be?
Are you brain washed too? Maybe you do not realize that. Maybe you think that you are very original and authentic in your thoughts and therefore very discriminative….
I say, we are all under the influence of one another. So, better choose the best company you can get and be infused by what is the greatest of all…
I do not feel embarrassed by spewing out Adi Da’s words. They are His and I do not know much shit about Enlightenment anyway. So better give Him full credit then trying to play the smart ass.

Gummo said...

"Trungpa is little more than Taigu lite."

- Gummo

Itouchboobiesbecauseimholy said...

kristen said
Am I brain washed? Yes, no doubt about that. But at least brain washed by an enlightened being. How much better can it be?

Pray tell me,
How can you tell if someone is enlightened?

Fred said...

"How can you tell if someone is
enlightened? "

Fred said...

" How much better can it be ? "

If I was thinking, and I'm not,
it's just a spontaneous
manifeststation via this body,
perhaps you could be having sex
with the other devotees in front
of the Great Realizer.

Itouchboobiesbecauseimholy said...

That was more a question for kristen Fred.

(btw... have you ever read the things that you write? You have the stink of zen all about you...)

Mysterion said...

1,000 times I have said:

"If you don't like your master, leave her/him regardless of who s/he may be or think that they are."

Newt Gingrich has propagated the myth that he is "smartest man in the room" simply because HE IS NOT.

Dualism may not always be dualism... it may just be the alarm bell on your crap detector.

How ANYONE can fall for these fools is beyond me...

But then I'm still trying to figure out who really killed Goliath.

I still do not know...

Gummo said...

In other words, why are you guys still carrying the woman on your backs?

Khru said...

This is the best and greatest thread ever seen on Bradley's blog: some real tight bullshet enlightened crapola for sure.

chuck norris said...

Some gays were visiting the Vatican when the Pope was leading the Mass. As the pope came down the isle, one gay said to the other:

"I like his dress but his purse is on fire!"

Fred said...

"That was more a question for kristen Fred.

(btw... have you ever read the things that you write? You have the stink of zen all about you...)"

Thank you very much. Zen stink is
the best smell in the universe.

Timmay said...

No, the stink of zen marks you as a fool.

*said compassionately*

Fred said...

It's all mockery, monkey mind.

Anonymous said...

The Porno Buddhist endorses a sex crazed Rimpoche... Well kiss my grits. ;)

Broken Yogi said...


Look, even Da admitted in his later years that the whole sexual theater business didn't work, that it had been a mistake, and he abandoned it. Why come up with so many excuses for it? He also disassociated himself from the Tibetan "Crazy Wisdom" tradition. So many mistakes, so many excuses, why not just admit you love the guy and don't really know why?

Broken Yogi said...

And btw, "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism" was a great book. I just wish he'd written the sequel: "Cutting Through Spiritual Hedonism".

Mark Foote said...

hey Manny Furious, Cleary's translations work ok for me. The Foyan one, I like the line about two diseases- if I remember, they were "riding an ass while looking for an ass, and mounted on the ass unable to dismount". Foyan added, "better not to ever get on the ass, isn't it?", or words to that effect. I really like "Zen Letters, the teachings of Yuanwu", another Cleary translation. "When you finally arrive at towering up like a mile-high wall, you will know that there aren't so many things".

I've read that Kobun Chino Otogawa also trusted Trungpa, I don't want to overstate the relationship because I don't know the particulars, but Kobun had a chair at the new university and later a home there.

About the SNS and PNS, how about this (stealing my own comment from the full lotus thread on Tao Bums):

For me the lotus is all about the sacrum, and the activity induced as the cranial-sacral rhythm moves the sacrum, and how that activity feeds back into the cranial-sacral rhythm through the nerves on the sagittal suture.

The sacred bone, the seat of the soul. "Chi", which is literally breath, as is "spirit". Here's Jesus, from the Gospel of Mary:

"I said to him, 'Master, how does a person see a vision, with the soul or with the spirit?' The saviour answered and said, 'A person sees neither with the soul nor with the spirit. The mind, which is between the two, sees the vision...'" ("The Gospels of Mary" by Marvin Meyer (© 2004, pg 20))

"What is the mind of zazen?"- Issho Fujita.

The sense of place induced by the respiration of breath and the respiration of the cranial-sacral system, that would be the mind of zazen to me.

Let's see, I get this from Wikipedia:

The parasympathetic nervous system is a portion of the visceral (autonomic) branch of the PNS (peripheral nervous system). The regions of the body associated with this division are the cranial and sacral regions of the spinal cord. Specifically, cranial nerves III, VII, IX, X (Vagus nerve) and in the sacral region (spinal nerves exiting from the sacrum) the spinal nerves S2 to S4. Because its cells begin as cranial nerves and exit in the sacral regions of the spine, the CNS is said to have a craniosacral outflow.

And then there's this:

Sympathetic nerves originate inside the vertebral column, toward the middle of the spinal cord in the intermediolateral cell column (or lateral horn), beginning at the first thoracic segment of the spinal cord and are thought to extend to the second or third lumbar segments. Because its cells begin in the thoracic and lumbar regions of the spinal cord, the SNS is said to have a thoracolumbar outflow.

Roughly the regions of the cranial-sacral and pulmonary respirations?

Exactly what the Rev. means by balance in the SNS and PNS, I'm unsure, and he doesn't amplify as far as I can research his material online.

proulx michel said...

Just check this video, which is a bit hard...

Fred said...

If you are not attached to ego,
why drink alcohol until you pass
If you are sitting in emptiness
there is no ego state that needs to be altered with a depressant.

Similarly, when Da says that he is
not thinking, that the words are
arising and manifesting on their
own. It is a semantical trick.
There is energy invested in ego
when you ask people to have sex in
front of you, and you have anal sex
with one of your followeres.

The guru game is bullshit, and the
people needing to fill a hole in
their existence are enablers.

So neither crazy wisdom nor plain
nuts. Just an elaborate con veering
off the tracks.

anonymous anonymous said...

mysterion, Newt Gingrich is like you a Mason and also a Catholic who plays with Numerology and Astrology. Check out the date on this old column from the National Review.

Adi Trungpa said...

Hey Fred, did you have a bad experience as a youth with a pastor or something?

You sure have alot of judgement issues.

And the need to be "right."

Just sayin.'

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...

Thanks for the link, proulx michel. Most interesting.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonymous anonymous said...

mysterion, I didn't say that YOU are a Catholic who plays with Numerology and Astrology, I said that Newt was. However I did say that both you and Newt are brother Masons. Newt is rarely the smartest man in the room unless he is in a room with George W. Bush, seen here reading the "Pet Goat" to elementary school children.

Seagal Rinpoche said...

The bad news is you're falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is there's no ground.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
papa joe said...

horse's mouth: HERE

Anonymous said...

/r/equesting torrent, please.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

wow, searching for 'zen' on itunes brings up some very interesting movies!

George Wendt said...

Joseph who? That mailman guy from "Cheers"?

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

great examples of what Buddhism isn't and shouldn't be

the video is a great explanation of what Buddhism is not

Mysterion said...

Anonymous anonymous anonymous said...
mysterion... I did say that both you and Newt are brother Masons.

I am 99.5% certain that Newt is not now, nor has he ever been, a mason.

Unfortunately, TeX Marrs is merely another a low-life fear monger - selling shadows of ropes as snakes.

anonymous anonymous said...

mysterion, I heard of Newt's Masonic involvement on PBS so you could be right. Lester Maddox, Lyndon Johnson and Jessie Helms were proud Southern Masons but I am not. I am against secret societies in principal. Odd, you don't seem very proud of your membership and shared beliefs.

Mysterion said...

The initiation ceremony of Occidental Freemasonry is very parallel (in substance and form) to The Admission and Ordination Ceremonies of a Buddhist Monk

What do you mean by "proud?"

And what do you mean by "shared beliefs?"

Pride is another label for vanity and of 'beliefs' I have none (and Freemasonry requires none).

You must only 'profess' acceptance of an immortal soul (a liability in Buddhism) and a supreme being (that the cosmos is aware of itself - quantum physics).

Besides, despite the publicity, I know, even locally, several Freemasons, men and women, who are atheists. Tolerance - Freemasonry teaches tolerance. And tolerance is something many Christian Cults cannot tolerate (unless it is toleration of THEM)!

Anonymous said...

Which you don't have for them. So what?

Mysterion said...

Guided by Narrow Lights
"In 1964, Ladies Night featured a covered dish supper and Brother Lester Maddox as speaker."

He's also listed HERE.

Racism is part of the fabric of mankind - between blacks and darker blacks, between Afghanistan and Pakistan, between the colonialist and the colonized as well as within the colonized.

I recall that California became a fully integrated jurisdiction in 1979? I didn't join until 1999.

Is there racism in Masonry? I think it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Each state is its own separate jurisdiction - beholding to no other! We, in California, do a better job of being inclusive than some others. Every "race" is represented in our Grand Lodge Officers but that "race" is every bit as artificial of an invention as "semitic."

There is just one human race sharing a planet with one set of finite resources and a common future. What is clear is that the answer to future success is not to be found in religion.

I'm contributing to the stupid conversation said...

I lyke Pop Tarts!

Mysterion said...

Racism at three months of age?

Also reported HERE.

john e mumbles said...

The Man of No Rank was a Mason!

To work with the hands or brain, according to our requirements and our capacities, to do that which lies before us to do, is more honorable than rank and title.
-Albert Pike

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Hey, is that dog in the cartoon in the preceding article about to get his dicked sucked by that lady?

Facial Burp said...

Was Dogen's strict form of zazen taught in the Sixth Patriarch Hui-neng's Platform Sutra? The correct answer is, no. To reiterate, the importance of physical sitting is nowhere taught in the the Sixth Patriarch's Platform Sutra while formal sitting (zazen) remains the alpha and omega of Soto Zen. In his book, Eloquent Zen, Kenneth Kraft observes: "Huineng, for example, criticized immobile sitting and redefined zazen without reference to any physical activity" (p. 97).

Zazen for Hui-neng or tso-ch’an is treated much differently as compared with Dogen’s grasp of it which is too literal. Sitting (tso) for Hui-neng is entirely symbolic. It “means without any obstruction anywhere, outwardly and under all circumstances, not to active thoughts” (trans. Yampolsky). Tied to this, “ch’an” (J., zen) according to Hui-neng “is internally to see the original nature and not become confused” (trans. Yampolsky).

With Hui-neng’s zazen or tso-ch’an it is not limited to formal sitting in which a certain posture has to maintained in a particular way for a certain period of time. Hui-neng’s zazen can be practiced whether walking or sitting in a car commuting.

Anonymous said...

Mumbles, Please don't start quoting Albert Pike. Things could start spinning out of control very rapidly. Even Masons recognize the man was a loon.

I'm contributing to the stupid said...

I like Tacos.

anonymous anonymous said...

mysterion said, "We, in California, do a better job of being inclusive than some others."

You really have to love mysterion. Or maybe not.

Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred said...

"With Hui-neng’s zazen or tso-ch’an it is not limited to formal sitting in which a certain posture has to maintained in a particular way for a certain period of time. Hui-neng’s zazen can be practiced whether walking or sitting in a car commuting."

When someone says that they were
driving their car through
themselves, are they still
meditataing or doing zazen?

Anonymous said...

The Zennist, get out!

proulx michel said...

Ran K. said...

I am not on face book and do not want or intend to be.
Any other way to watch pm’s (5:40 am) video?

I don't think you need to be on facebook to be able to read it: I am under the impression that it is open to all.

But I may be wrong. Then, check with the computer of a friend who's on FB...

proulx michel said...

And speaking of Chögyam, you people should check this:

Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah blah blah.

Fred said...

Sure, we are all Tulkus at birth
before the cultural programming
begins and the conditioned self
is lost in the maze of maya.

Fred said...

Anons, do you have anything to say
that adds to the conversation on
a board discussing Buddhism?

R said...

Hi pm,

I tried before and as I recall it asked me to sign in.

Now I tried again (after reading your reply) and it seems to be OK. (- I also had some trouble with the Flash Player which is now OK.)

- It’s interesting you’re twice @ 5:40 am. -

- As for - “check with the computer of a friend who's on FB” - I did think of that before posting. -

- I’ll watch it anyway now, - thanks.

r said...

- Apparently, - sometime after the video starts it does ask you to log in.

But even if you don’t you can still hear the sound and see the picture faintly.

- Though again, - to be honest, - I quite lost interest after about 5 minutes.

Jamal said...

Meditation by just posture is not going to work. It is the attitude that is important. - Sakyong Mipham, Son of Chögyam Trungpa

R said...

As for the second video, - I read a very interesting story regarding, - but it’s in Hebrew and it would be a bit long to tell here.

Fred said...

A mister Brad Warner giving a
definitive answer to the question
of reincarnation:

Déjà vu said...

- Wow. -

Mysterion said...

Dogen was in error about the relationship between early (e.g. Gautama) Buddhism and reincarnation.

The Basic Tenents Of Buddhism (as taught by Shakyamuni) are:

The Dharma


and Karma

The Buddha gave many lectures before his death. His teachings are referred to as the Dharma.

The wheel in Buddhism because it depicts the cycle of life and death. Buddhists believe that after beings die, they are reborn or reincarnated.

While all positive thoughts and actions cause beneficial karma and may direct one into being reborn in a higher form, the consequences of one’s negative deeds harmful karma, may result in rebirth in a lower form.

This endless cycle of rebirth, called reincarnation, reflects the impermanent nature of human existence. source

Indeed, it was Dogen's view of reincarnation that brought his history into question. It's a little like driving a car for years without knowing that petrol (gas) stations exist.

Mysterion said...

Correction (botched cut and abridge job)

The wheel in Buddhism depicts the cycle of life and death. Buddhists believe that after beings die, they are reborn or reincarnated.


Fred said...

If there is no I, ie., it is a
momentary collection of thoughts,
emotions, etc when examined deeply
is shown to have no base existence.

How can this non-existent I, a
total fiction, be transferred to
some other body at death?

The Buddhist monk who before
drowning said " the no-self sitting
upon the Absolute on the other side
of Nothing " where was he reincarnated?

He wasn't because there is no self
to be reincarnated.

anonymous anonymous said...

I'm not sure why some people like mysterion believe in reincarnation. There is no empirical evidence for it. It is only a matter of belief.

john e mumbles said...

With all due respect, Fred, who the fuck knows?

And for Anon @ 8:44 PM, it's just like most of the detractors of Trungpa Rinpoche, Adi Da,et al, who haven't read much, or anything BY them, but have some knowledge of the gossip ABOUT them, if you read Albert Pike you may have a different opinion.

It's like this guy:

"I have one final misgiving about Buddhism—or rather, about Buddha
himself. His path to enlightenment began with his abandonment of his
wife and child. To me, “spiritual” means life-embracing, and so a path that turns away
from aspects of life as essential as sexual love and parenthood is not spiritual but anti-spiritual." -John Horgan, Scientific American 12/11

So let's dismiss outright everything anybody wrote of value who failed in some respect through someone else's eyes to live up to their definition of a decent human being.

Fred said...

I read Trungpa, Bagwhan Shree
Ragneesh, etc in the 70's and 80's.
and tossed their books last year.

"na me so atta"

Anonymous said...

Fred, this is it. You're welcome :)

captcha = brago

Fred said...

With all due respect John, the ego
has a dick attached to it and will
come up with 1,001 plausible
explanations of why it should not
give up sex.

anonymous anonymous said...

"We would unite every white man in the South, who is opposed to negro suffrage, into one great Order of Southern Brotherhood, with an organization complete, active, vigorous, in which a few should execute the concentrated will of all, and whose very existence should be concealed from all but its members."

- Illustrious Albert Pike 33°

"I took my obligation to White men, not to Negroes. When I have to accept Negroes as brothers or leave Masonry, I shall leave it."

- Illustrious Albert Pike 33°

Anonymous said...

crazy wisdom || just plain nuts
just plain wisdom || crazy nuts

anonymous anonymous said...

Crazy Wisdom?
Just Plain Nuts?

anonymous anonymous said...

Was Masonic Icon Gen. Albert Pike a member of the Ku Klux Klan?

john e mumbles said...

You guys are missing my point (do I have one?) - I am not defending their overt behavior, I am simply pointing out there is substance to the majority of what they wrote, which most will not read because of the other stuff.

Alot of people don't like Brad Warner because of his "attitude" and his extra-marital affair(s?); but alot of what he has written is well worth reading IMO...

BTW: I like Julius Evola's work, too, and Schwaller de Lubiz, George Bataille, and lots of other controversial figures, so what?

anon #108 said...

In the absence of an immaterial, eternal soul (for the Buddha does not appear to have been impressed by the notion), what is it that 'again becomes' (punar-bhava) or is 'produced again' (punar-janman)'?

Perhaps the Buddha simply meant that everything gets re-cycled. Perhaps he intuitively understood the First Law of Thermodynamics and conceived and communicated it in terms appropriate to the day and age.

Yes, that's what I reckon. That's what makes sense to me.

There again, as jem says, 'Who the fuck knows?' - I mean who the fuck knows what Gautama Buddha really said or meant - and who the fuck knows what happens after death? ...Come to that, who the fuck knows if the First Law is a fact?

Buddhists believe…
"God save me from the Marxists" - Karl Marx (allegedly).

anonymous anonymous said...

John, Albert Pike wrote a lot of contradictory things and I'm sure he was kind to his dogs..

But he was a black magician in the sense that helped some people at the expense of others using deception.

john e mumbles said...

Your Mom's a black magician.

anonymous anonymous said...

That was just a lucky guess.

john e mumbles said...

Nope, we black magician's not only have a guild, we are also in constant telepathic contact.

Split seconds before I posted, I checked with your Mom, and she assured me her dues are paid in full.

These siddhis reincarnate, by the way...

Brian said...

Trungpa was one of those people who had some good wisdom to offer. "Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism" is still one of my favorite Buddhist books of all time.

As far as being open about his life, his widow/ex-wife (who was separated from him in his final days) wrote a tell all book that pretty much gives you a look into what Trungpa was, and how she views his messed up life.

Are you familiar with his son who refused to accept his Tulku reincarnation and became a filmmaker instead? He also made a documentary about how he didn't want to be a Tulku and didn't want the monastic lifestyle of his brothers and half-brother.

A-Bob said...

Joni Mitchell wrote of Trungpa in the song, "Refuge of the Roads". She also talked of him in an interview excerpt below the lyrics.

CAPTCHA : mints : I kid you not

Mysterion said...

Anonymous anonymous anonymous said...
"I'm not sure why some people like mysterion believe in reincarnation. There is no empirical evidence for it."

I don't believe it. I allow it as one of the possibilities.

As for 'no empirical evidence', please read "Life before Life."

Jim B. Tucker, M.D. is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia. He is continuing the work of Ian Stevenson with children who report memories of previous lives. He is a board-certified child psychiatrist and serves as medical director of the UVA Child and Family Psychiatry Clinic.

Ian Stevenson is best known for carefully recording 20 cases of reincarnation - a body of empirical evidence which you claim does not exist.

The JAMA has periodically documented cases of 'life before life' since 1979. It is considered a medical curiosity (worthy of further investigation) under the topic of Child Psychology.

Mysterion said...

THIS is one case that did NOT meet the full criteria for reporting in JAMA.

92% of the claims made by the child need to be verified in the subsequent investigation to meet the criteria (e.g. like an "A" grade in college).

To date, only 2,500 cases have been investigated. Of these, half of the children had outgrown their memories - typically over age 7. Of the 1,250 cases that were investigated, about 1/3 could bat above .500 (e.g. a coin toss) and less than 400 appeared to have 75% accurate memories.

20 cases were 100% correct in the claims the children made and around 100 (slightly more than 100 - 103???) displayed 92% accurate memories of past lives.

103 out of 2,500 is NOT considered statistically significant - in terms of 'pure' (skeptical) science.

250 = 10%
125 = 5%

less than 5% is iffy....

Thus, there is not a preponderance of evidence to support reincarnation. Nor is there a preponderance of evidence to support the bible, UFOs, VooDoo, Feng Shui, or homeopathy.

ALL could benefit from further investigation of each of the topics above mentioned - especially those employed in the investigations.

Anonymous said...

When I read Brad's posts and books he reminds me of how similar to Genpo Roshi he is. He really does. It's like they were split at birth.

Broken Yogi said...

"How can this non-existent I, a
total fiction, be transferred to
some other body at death?"

It's called dependent origination. We don't have an ego now, but we do have craving, and craving keeps producing death and rebirth, as sure as shit follows that lovely meal you had last night.

Broken Yogi said...

If you are looking for scientific proof of the metaphysical reality of reincarnation, you are barking up the wrong true. Even so, Stevenson and Tucker did good work. Hard to expect kids to have perfect cognition of anything, but the accounts ring true. They aren't lab mice, unfortunately.

Also good are Weiss and Newton, and several others doing good work with regressions. Cumulatively, pretty solid case in the psychological/sociological sense, if not quite scientific.

Unknown said...

Re Adi Da.... ( nothing to do with Buddhism btw) all i can say is that i have never in my life met someone so committed to relieving suffering at the most profound level with the most profound work.. dedicating his whole life to it... us westerners have zero respect for the teachers of our time... true we must always discriminate and be intelligent. So then be intelligent... and study all traditions and study about great teachers ... study what Adi Da and other teachers have said in that context... and have respect for the teachers who have come in our time and in the past.. in the midst of a very dark time to try and shed some light on it.

Unknown said...

Well Done.
Trungpa passed from this world in 1987 and he is still the subject on conversation. I consider this a MAJOR achievement. This reminds me of an old story i recall hearing decades ago.

Devotee: Lord, who will attain to You faster? Those that love you or those that hate you?

Lord Shiva: Those that hate me will attain to me faster because they will think of me more often.

I'm sure most people will be the logic. If not, dismiss it.


Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

(bows to ed ed)

Takes one to know one.

Anonymous said...

that reminds one when asking rajneesh ' why do you find so many blue meanies around you ?.i surround myself with devils!. why is that ?.....

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