Okay, “Enlightenment or bust” might be a bit dramatic, but…

"Dang Zang" is an empty name. The blog has to do with the dharma; material related to Buddhist teachings (Tibetan style in particular, Kagyu in even more particular), meditation, gurus and lamas be they genuine or flaky, books and events. I do have a more personal blog, Pica Pica, and a site for my work.

Oh yes, it's by Alex Wilding


  • A Brexit puzzle 03/07/2017
    No, not the one about “why did we ever…?” This: Let’s think of an election, perhaps a general election. A vital part of our democratic process, of course. Usually it’s a two-horse race with a few also-rans, so let’s just concentrate on the two main parties, and call them left and right. One side wins, […]
  • Kathmandu trip 30/06/2017
    For the last few weeks I’ve been writing up “what I did on my holidays” in Kathmandu this April. It’s on this site, but not on this blog. You’ll find it at http://alex-wilding.com/the-kathmandu-report/  
  • Untitled 27/02/2017
    https://www.theguardian.com/…/grandmother-deported-from-uk-… How is this fair? How is this not vindictive? How is this not a failure to use discretion? How is this not a failure of compassion? How is this not a failure of common sense? How is this not narrow-minded? How is this not mean-spirited? How is this not pig-headed? Sorry, pigs, it’s just […]
  • Donny, Theresa and the Brexit effect 29/01/2017
    In her attempt to pretend that there is enough other “free trade” out there in the world to compensate for the financial hit to the UK (lower wages and higher prices, to you and me) that Wrexit will cause, we have seen Theresa May cosying up to a variety of questionable characters, most notably the […]
Sunday January 11th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Flakes and charlatans revisited

The other day I stumbled across something called “Tibetan Heart Yoga” being taught somewhere near here – in fact I think it was on one of the Google adverts here. “Whatever is that?”, I thought in blunter words. I’d never heard of it.

It turned out that this is the hybrid system launched by Michael Roach:(Picture Scott Vacek)
He started out as a good guy, but fell in love. Some monks fall in love and deal with it, of course. In his case he went into a 3-year retreat. Problem was, he took his “spiritual partner” Christine McNally in with him. He still wears monk’s robes, but this is OK, he says because the hours a day that they practised “special physical yogas” were a) hard work, and b) he perceived her as a divine being and “you don’t break your vows if you engage in high yoga with a divine being”. Do I need to say more? See the Diamond-cutter site if you really want more detail.

Or, on another tack try this from the so-called five Tibetan rites, who say that:

Two thousand years ago, Tibetan monks claimed that the aging process could be reversed. They developed the Rites, by condensing 21 yoga exercises into 5. What would easily take a couple of hours to perform, could then be completed in 10-20 minutes. It was not uncommon for Tibetan monks to live to be 120 years of age, while still enjoying exceptional health!

Err… the Tibetans are very proud of their religious history. There were no Buddhist monks there until just over 1200 years ago (in 779 or 781 CE). Try reading the story about how this system came to be “known”! If it were worth the candle, I could go on – it’s a juvenile mishmash of fantasy and popular hindu-based theosophy. I say nothing about whether it might work, at least up to a point, but it is a stupid and dishonest presentation.

Mind you, the guy I talked about in this message, Ronald Lloyd Spencer, is a whole league worse!

3 comments to Flakes and charlatans revisited

  • Va

    geshe M. roach isnt the 1st or the last “monk” to have a divine partner. Padmasambhava, one of the most influent master in tibetan buddhsim had a partner wich were his disciple as well (Yeshe Tsoyal). And Marpa another of te most inflent master in tibetan buddhist was married and had children…. Don’t do demagogy Alex. Dharma is way more vast than your intellect and your limited understandings.

  • Alex W

    Thank you for pointing out the limited nature of my understandings, and for reminding me of the vastness of the Dharma.
    The point is, of course, that neither Padmasambhava (at least as he is usually portrayed) nor Marpa (on any version of his story) pretended to be a “monk”. I’m glad you yourself put that word in inverted commas, as its usage is not always as clear as one might think.
    There is no objection as far as I know to Michael having sex with as many partners as are happily willing. What there is an objection to is someone who is having sex but who claims at the same time to be upholding the vows of a fully ordained monk.
    I don’t actually follow Michael’s activity – does he still make that claim?

  • Patrick

    Yes he is still running around in robes although everyone asks him to stop. He is also no longer allowed to teach at FPMT centers. Problem with tantric consorts is you have to be 8. level bodhisattva to be allowed to do this practice and you have to prove it by showing miracle powers like making a knot in a yak horn (one example that happened not too long ago). Roach is not able to show such powers. Since Roach ignores his gurus advice he has no Samaya and based on that he can not have any tantric attainments.

Leave a Reply