More sky burial, Tibetan tea and Tantric transformation

This is a holding post: I’m mid retreats and travel, so have much less time to write. I had to neglect Vajrayana Now for the last couple of weeks. I went to the Aro Apprentice retreat in California and was then traveling.

It’s good to see some more comments since I was away. I hope to reply to them after posting this – but I may not get the chance before heading into my next retreat, in which case, thanks to those commenters for their contributions.

I finish retreat on 17th November, so I will not post, or see comments, until then. But  don’t let that stop you!

In the meantime, here are some links:

More sky burial

Preparing the body
Preparing the body

From ‘The Collective Intelligence’ online magazine:

My Vajra brother Ngakpa Zhal’mèd sent me this link. The article is about the sacred meaning of sky burial in its cultural context.

Darth Cthulu discloses his allegiances

Darth Cthulu is the Halloween profile my boyfriend David Chapman used for his Twitter account. He is posting a series, Reinventing Buddhist Tantra, on his wordpress blog.

The new season of this series starts with the post, Understanding Buddhist Tantra by contrast.

If you find charts and tables useful, you may enjoy his point by point comparison of Sutra and Tantra and the subsequent discussion in the comments thread.

There’s much more to come in this series, so look out for new posts over the next few weeks.

Voices from the wilderness

Repa Dorje Odzer, a Kagyüd and Nyingma practitioner blogging in New York, posted an exploratory article on the transmission of his lineages in America. The article is On voices from the wilderness: “Where we go from here…”

He writes with sensitivity and respect. Here’s an excerpt:

In this way, I tend to wonder if we may have made the fundamental error of leaning too much upon the 18th/19th century classicism of monastic Karma Kagyu as a model for the entirety of American Karma Kagyu (the vast majority of whom are lay) in the 21st century. It sounds kind of absurd actually when I see it written out like that, and I don’t think that it is too much of a stretch to suggest that if this is the case, then perhaps we lose some of our credibility and accessibility with those who resonate with the sub-groups that feel at odds with the way the dharma is presented.  How are young people with little interest in India or Tibet, let alone their history, and who have little money to travel to India to feel connected?  What about some curious souls from the South Bronx, Brownsville, Oakland, Compton, or even large swathes of Suburbia who want to better understand their relationship to their experience of suffering to connect?

Dharma like Tibetan tea

And here’s a fun video of Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche talking about Buddhism translating across cultural boundaries. This came via the full contact enlightenment blog:

He’s like, ‘what do Tibetans put in that stuff?’ but personally, I love it. I even tried making coffee in the style of Tibetan tea one time. Just the once.

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