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

Archive

  • 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 […]
Tuesday January 19th, 2010. Posted by Alex W:

Karmapa’s visit to Europe

This news is well-known now, but I wanted to add my enthusiasm:

http://www.karmapa-in-europe.net/

Sunday September 27th, 2009. Posted by Alex W:

Catalogue

Bit by bit the project of making a basic catalogue of my Buddhist library is moving forwards – one bookcase is now done!

Case1

That’s 207 books so far. But have they done me any good?

Friday September 18th, 2009. Posted by Alex W:

Chime Rinpoche’s 70 th birthday

I mentioned Chime Rinpoche recently, for instance here. His students are organising a celebration for his 70th birthday, which will be held on Saturday 17 October (2009). Unfortunately I am too far away to be able to get there. I did attend his 50th birthday party in Ashdon, and still feel grateful to Piet (who was once on the staff at Marpa House) for making sure that I was aware of it.

So if any of his old students are not in touch with Marpa House but feel they would like to go, you might like to get in touch with them sharpish to get on the list!

Best wishes to Rinpoche, and I hope you all have a good time!

Friday September 4th, 2009. Posted by Alex W:

Who am I?

Thanks to Lorraine Vost for this picture from Lama Pema Dorje’s course last month:

P8160272

Submit your guesses in comments! (Oh, I had to change the setting for comments so that I have to approve them before they appear, as I was getting anything from a handful to a score of spam comments every day, but I will of course approve anything that is even 1/4-way reasonable.) You might need to click-to-enlarge to get the necessary detail.

I asked the same question about a different picture on Pica Pica, but the intervening years and the number of people make that one much more of a challenge.

Wednesday August 19th, 2009. Posted by Alex W:

Lujong – approachable Tibetan Yoga

Saturday last, at the Rigpa Centre in Sydney: Lama Pema Dorje gave the teachings on Lujong, for which I previously publicised a flyer.

On the Saturday morning there was a White Tara empowerment (from the pure vision of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo). It was explained that this was a valuable but not essential support for the practice. The practice itself is not too difficult (although some of the stretches are more than most of us could manage), and very invigorating. It seems there are some people who even make it their main practice.

I was impressed by the organisation. The event was not complicated, but the organisation was efficient and unobtrusive, and I got no sense that anybody was less welcome than anybody else. Buddhism is, of course, not free from cliques, but there was no sign of it here. Here is a picture of the Lama teaching:

LPD teaching

And one of him with his wife (Kunzang, I believe):

LPD and Kunzang

The event was held in the Rigpa centre. Their shrine is a mass of prints and photos, with not so many actual statues, but I was very taken by one rather dark Guru Rinpoche. Unfortunately the photo below doesn’t quite capture the feeling that I got from it:

GR statue Rigpa

Anyway, one of the main reasons for this entry is that these teachings, and Lama Pema Dorje Rinpoche himself, have a close connection to Padampa Sangye. A year or so ago, a translation of a biography of Padampa Sangye was published by Snow Lion (1-55939-299-1) under the title “Lion of Siddhas”, which I would like to recommend. You can click the picture to go to Snow Lion, where you can read more about it, or even order it:

lisili

It is in two main parts. The first is the biography itself which is kind of nice, although so thickly larded with miracles it would not be to everybody’s taste – you have been warned! The second main part comprises a feast of mahamudra instructions from Padampa Sangye. Well, perhaps “feast” is not quite the right word, as it’s probably best appreciated by dipping in for a few lines or a paragraph at a time and savouring them well before going back, so perhaps it’s more like a large box of Belgian chocolates.

Friday July 10th, 2009. Posted by Alex W:

More on Benchen

The comment from Tashi to my last post includes this link to pictures of a trip to Benchen in 2005 that I enjoyed so much I thought I’d “elevate” it to mention in a front-page post. (Correction: the link doesn’t seem to work, but if you go to http://www.benchen.org.pl/ and look through the gallery, you’ll find them easily enough.)

Interestingly, the Polish site includes pictures of the Chime Rinpoche of Benchen. I include below a picture including a stupa containing relics of his previous incarnation. I should make it clear that when I referred in the previous post to “Chime Rinpoche”, I was actually thinking of my first teacher, known in the West by his personal name of Chime, but more properly called the Radha Lama or Chime Radha Rinpoche. He is also from Benchen, but the commonality of name is a coincidence. Getting confused about this has been known to upset a few people in the past, and some odd stories (that I need not repeat) went round. But in fact both lamas are entirely genuine, both are connected to Benchen – they are just two different people.

Tashi’s friend’s pictures are far better than anything I ever took, and it looks like they had a great trip. For contrast, here are a few from 1992:

Chime (Radha) Rinpoche on the verandah at Benchen

Chime (Radha) Rinpoche on the verandah at Benchen

 

Me at the stupas - the one on the right is the "other" Chime's stupa

Me at the stupas - the one on the right is the "other" Chime's stupa

 

The plains of Amdo are wide open!

The plains of Amdo are wide open!

Wednesday June 3rd, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Tiananmen Square

Let us not forget. 20 years ago tomorrow. Here is one article in the Wall Street Journal.