Tag Archives | Buddhism

Open Source Buddhism with Al Jigong Billings

Picture courtesy Aaron Logan

Many Disinfo readers have probably seen Hermetic.com. Maybe you even got your first taste of Aleister Crowley, Austin Osman Spare or Hakim Bey there. What you might not know is that the site’s founder, Al Jigong Billings has given up the site to focus on what he calls “Open Source Buddhism.” In this interview Billings talks about what Open Source Buddhism is, how it differs from other contemporary Buddhist and mindfulness movements and how he gravitated from Neopaganism to Buddhism.

Via Technoccult:

Klint Finley: I know readers can check out your blog post explaining what you mean by “Open Source Buddhism,” but can you give us a quick “elevator pitch” for the idea?

Al Billings: Yes, I can do that. The basic idea is that if you are not part of a traditionally Buddhist culture or one in which Buddhism plays a role, you are not part of an inherited complex of ideas surrounding what is or is not “Buddhism” or the “Dharma.” This leaves those of us, in the “West,” for example, in a bit of a quandary.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Grisly Death At A Mysterious Buddhist Desert Retreat

Southwestern chic and cults are both very hot right now. The New York Times on a strange Buddhist sect which blends years of silence, the pursuit of riches, and perhaps ritual stabbings:

Bowie, AZ— The rescuers had rappelled from a helicopter to a cave 7,000 feet up in a rugged desert mountain. Inside, they found a jug with about an inch of browned water. They found a woman, Christie McNally, thirsty and delirious. And they found her husband, Ian Thorson, dead, apparently from exposure and dehydration.

The puzzle only deepened when the authorities realized that the couple had been expelled from a nearby Buddhist retreat in which dozens of adherents, living in rustic conditions, had pledged to meditate silently for three years, three months and three days. Their spiritual leader was a charismatic Princeton-educated monk whom some have accused of running the retreat as a cult.

The monk who ran the retreat, Michael Roach, had previously run a diamond business worth tens of millions of dollars and was now promoting Buddhist principles as a path to financial prosperity, raising eyebrows from more traditional Buddhists.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Dalai Lama Claims Chinese Agents Trained Tibetan Women To Kill Him

Dalai Lama

Photo: Lucag (CC)

Reports Dean Nelson in the Telegraph:

The 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, revealed he had been passed reports from inside Tibet warning that Chinese agents had trained Tibetan women for a mission to poison him while posing as devotees seeking his blessings.

The Tibetan Buddhist leader said he lives within a high security cordon in his temple palace grounds in Dharamsala, in the Himalayan foothills, on the advice of Indian security officials.

Despite being one of the world’s most widely revered spiritual leaders he has enemies in China and among some Buddhist sects.

His aides had not been able to confirm the reports, but they had highlighted his need for high security.

“We received some sort of information from Tibet,” he said. “Some Chinese agents training some Tibetans, especially women, you see, using poison – the hair poisoned, and the scarf poisoned – they were supposed to seek blessing from me, and my hand touch.”

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Anarchism and Enlightenment

Buddhist Anarchism

Illustration: H0utw (CC)

A reproduction of Gary Snyder’s 1969 seminal text “Buddhist Anarchism” found on The Anarchist Library:

Buddhism holds that the universe and all creatures in it are intrinsically in a state of complete wisdom, love and compassion; acting in natural response and mutual interdependence. The personal realization of this from-the-beginning state cannot be had for and by one-“self” — because it is not fully realized unless one has given the self up; and away.

In the Buddhist view, that which obstructs the effortless manifestation of this is Ignorance, which projects into fear and needless craving. Historically, Buddhist philosophers have failed to analyze out the degree to which ignorance and suffering are caused or encouraged by social factors, considering fear-and-desire to be given facts of the human condition. Consequently the major concern of Buddhist philosophy is epistemology and “psychology” with no attention paid to historical or sociological problems. Although Mahayana Buddhism has a grand vision of universal salvation, the actual achievement of Buddhism has been the development of practical systems of meditation toward the end of liberating a few dedicated individuals from psychological hangups and cultural conditionings.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Do What Thou Wilt Is The Whole Of The Law

Great Beast 666Aleister Crowley, an early 20th century occultist, asserted that “Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law.” (Crowley 1978). Crowley’s statement is the closest maxim I have found to be representative of human ethical theory. By acting upon this maxim, each individual is forwarding the well being of all humanity. This is because through the process of competing forces the most useful for that specific set of circumstances will arise as the victorious force. However, this does not mean that any issue contains any inherent ethical meaning, rather in the context of the specific “game” that is being played pragmatic value can be assigned.

Eastern philosophical theories highlight the illusory nature of human existence. For instance, if we look at early Indian traditions, we inevitably recognize that the world has no logical basis for being “real.” Early Hindu thought had various different darsanas, which ranged in thought on a variety of issues.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Sex, Sake and Zen

Portrait o fIkkyū By Bokusai[Site editor's note: The following is an excerpt from the new Disinformation title 50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know: Religion, authored by Daniele Bolelli.]

Most Westerners who become fascinated with Zen Buddhism are intrigued with its reputation as an anti-authoritarian, freedom-loving, individualistic tradition. Books by excellent writers like Alan Watts popularized an image of Zen as a very relaxed, go-with-the-flow type of religion. But even a brief visit to a typical Zen temple is enough to make us painfully aware of the difference between hype and reality. Life in real Zen temples, in fact, is often so structured, regimented and heavily regulated as to quickly dispel the romanticism created by much of the literature about it. Far from being a hippie rendition of Buddhism, Zen discipleship can be demanding and severe.

But sometimes even misguided stereotypes are born from seeds of truth. Enter 15th century Japanese monk Ikkyu Sojun, who was truly as free, wild and allergic to authorities as advertised.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Now More Than Ever We Need Mindfulness

Larry Yang

Larry Yang

Buddhist Meditation teacher Larry Yang writes at the Huffington Post:

As we already are feeling divisiveness of current politics and upcoming presidential elections…

As we feel into pain and complexity of people holding seeming irreconcilable values which actually harm each other, on topics like the economy, immigration and same-sex marriage…

As even people’s intentions for doing good in the world, whether through nonviolent dissent, or simple holiday shopping to provide for a family’s happiness is met with pepper spray and handcuffs…

Now more than ever we need our Mindfulness Practice.

We need the Freedom that Mindfulness invites for us — the freedom that we do not have to follow the unconscious patterns of acute reactivity. We need to remember that it is possible to notice deeply what is happening, understand it with some wisdom, treat it with some of the compassion inherent in our humanity, and move into responses and actions that are of benefit — that is, to move toward that which lessens suffering and creates happiness, not just for us as individuals, but us as a collective world.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Santa Claus: Dybbuk, Tulpa, Legend

FreakingNews.com

FreakingNews.com

What is it about this time of year that melts even the hardest disinfonaut scepticism? Sure, Santa Claus might be the old shamanic magic mushroom cult incarnate repackaged to dupe us all into developing a Pavlovian response to the Baron Samedi of consumerism that he has now become, but I’ve always suspected the rabbit hole went down deeper.

And then I came across this blog post by  paranormal researcher Jeff Belanger:

My friend Al told me he was struggling with telling his four-year-old daughter about Santa Claus. “It’s the only lie I’ve ever told her,” he said. I too have a four-year-old daughter and am currently in the thick of Santa Fever at my house, where we’ve been lauding Père Noël for the last three Christmases. He’s a legend I’m honored to propagate.

I study legends for a living. Monsters, ghosts, extraterrestrials, and ancient mysteries swirl around me like smoke from a smoldering campfire.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Little Lama from Columbia Heights, Minnesota

SamsaraAllie Shah writes in the Star Tribune:

It’s morning time and a little boy with a shaved head and a face shaped like the moon chants a Tibetan prayer.

His high-pitched voice echoes inside the Columbia Heights bedroom that his father has transformed into a lavish prayer room. In here, the 4-year-old forsakes his cartoons and toys to study scripture and learn to pray the Buddhist way.

Big for his age, he looks bigger still perched on an ornate chair draped in crimson and saffron robes. “Only for lamas,” explains his father, Dorje Tsegyal, sitting cross-legged on the floor at his son’s feet.

Jalue Dorjee, you see, is believed to be no ordinary boy.

Continue Reading