to the Editor
and Eating Meat
20, 2000 12:05 AM
said one should be vegetarian. In fact, at one point
his brother-in-law threatened to split with half the
sangha if Buddha did not make vegetarianism a requirement.
Even in the face of this kind of ultimatum, Buddha declined.
find that meat and alcohol both play an important part
in the various Tantric feasts (tsok or ganachakra).
The reasoning behind this is quite interesting and in
itself can be a very profound manner in which to approach
Thubten Rinpoche, a young Nyingma teacher working with
Lama Tharchin in California, told an interesting story
when visiting here in Hawaii once. He said that Tibetans
are quite fond of meat (not that the goal is to become
Tibetan). He said the style on the cold, high, arid
plateau is to hang raw hunks of butchered meat outside
unwrapped where they take on the characteristics that
Westerners would call "badly freezer burned"... just
the way the Tibetans like it! He said that just about
any social gathering would require the host to produce
a hunk of raw meat in just such a condition and that
everybody would sit around talking and using their knives
to hack and saw away at the carcass and snack on the
raw meat. He said it is a bit of a problem with Tibetans
new to Western culture in that they will occasionally
throw a hunk of raw, unwrapped meat into the freezer
and when they go to grind on it later, they get quite
sick; Western methods of mass butchering and attention
to hygiene in such a milieu being what they are.
a funny thing. On the one hand, desire is an expression
of the instincts and very necessary and appropriate
to insure the happiness and well being of any organism.
On the other hand, desire can lead to all kinds of suffering.
In the sutra style of Buddhist practice, desire is seen
as the big boogey that must be eliminated, and as a
result renunciation is a main part of the practice.
In the Vajrayana and Tantric style of practice, discipline,
effort, etc. are, of course, seen as very important
but it is generally felt that merely suppressing desire
isn't sufficient. One must get to the root of desire
and only by eliminating that can one achieve freedom.
Ignorance of the way things truly are is seen as the
root so the main kinds of practices in the Tantric style
are to chase the boogey of ignorance by cultivating
the wisdom of emptiness. In the Dzogchen/Mahamudra style
of Buddhist practice, one has cultivated discipline,
one has had the realizations of emptiness, things just
as they are has been pointed out by the teacher and
assimilated by the student. There is no longer anything
to be abandoned, nothing to be adopted. All things reveal
innate perfection in their own nature. Yet proper conduct
arises naturally, spontaneously, for the good of all
beings... even one's own self.
From the Dzogchen
Radiance From Photo
15, 2000 5:54 PM
The recent stuff on Master Charles has blown me away.
I agree that Alan Scherr's
article is extremely well written. The photo of
Master Charles hit me like a ton of bricks... I saw
a huge white aura around his head, and felt ecstatic
tingling through my body. I went to look at myself in
a mirror, and I was/am glowing with a special radiance.
Several folks have commented that I look ebullient,
joyful, content... WOW! Again, thank you.
Mike Horwitz, M.D.
Shakti in That Photo
14, 2000 2:57 PM
First, thank you for your extraordinary webzine. It's
a marvel, and all the more so for including pieces of
genuine poetic brilliance, such as Charlie Hopkins'
In response to the question [you asked on the Realization
mail list], I'm writing to let you know that
the picture of Master
Charles definitely produced an effect on me.
I live in Canada and have never met Master Charles.
However, I did meet Swami Muktananda many years ago
and have experienced the results of the encounter in
meditation ever since. Charles' picture is, for me,
very charged with Shakti, the emotional-energetic phenomenon
I experienced around Muktananda. With the latter, this
quickening, enlivening energy was so pronounced that,
to my great surprise, I once felt it through the wall
of a hotel before he stepped through the door to reveal
to me just where the oceanic surge of bliss was coming
I wasn't expecting him to appear. It was 10:30 in the
morning, no program going on. I just happened to be
outside the hotel-ashram when he took his morning walk.
My doubting Thomas mind had been suspecting Muktananda
of hypnotism, mesmerism, etc., but the fact that I felt
his Shakti -- to the point of almost swooning -- coming
through a solid wall, kinda impacted on my doubts.
Master Charles, if his picture is any indication,
seems to be a spiritual powerhouse. I know, I know,
we're all The Self ultimately, but gol darn'd if some
of us just don't seem to radiate the free-standing conditionless
condition more than others. Some of us hide our light
under a bushel. Some like Master Charles appear to have
the high watt bulb installed.
Peace and continued success with your beautiful web
Shakes: Does Kundalini Kill?
13,, 2000 9:57 PM
practice of Kundalini result in annihilation? In Nighttime
Shakes, Bonnie Greenwell writes: "Kundalini supports
the deepening of spiritual awareness, which ultimately
leads to peace and the end of the seeker." The end of
the seeker seems a bit extreme, or is it just a typo?
of the seeker" is a fairly common phrase that means
the person stops being a seeker. In other words, he
or she stops looking toward the future and desiring
objects or changed conditions. --Editor.
Tantra: Old and New Are Not at
11,, 2000 5:11 PM
Tantra, I would like to say that modern, western sexual
tantric practices are different from the traditional
ones of the Hindu and Buddhist world. This is easy to
that doesn't make any difference.
the West, most people who do spiritual practice see
sexual and romantic relationships as a vehicle for transformation.
In ancient India, things were very different. Marriages
were arranged and brides could be burned if they were
found not to be virgins.
it's appropriate that our spiritual teachers should
include some who explore sexuality as a spiritual path,
now that our cultures allow it in our lives.
Tantra and the new are not at odds with one another.
teachers might cling to the name Tantra and argue
that the other form doesn't "deserve" to use it.
Aversion of any kind always says more about the person
experiencing it than anything else. Doubly so for the
teachers. It might be nicer if the old Tantra school
focused more on how it was Tantra, instead of how the
new one isn't. It comes down to the meaning of the word,
and I think each has the right to define it for themselves.