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 […]
Thursday July 2nd, 2009. Posted by Alex W:

Broken bell thread – an omen?

I was chanting away this evening: bop, bop, bop on the drum – ting, ting, ting on the bell, when suddenly something fell into my lap, and the bell went silent. Yes, the thread had broken. Is it an omen? Am I going to die soon? Win the lottery?

Wednesday May 20th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Apropos the Harris Park centre

Or apropos the last post, I had earlier said I’d give a general report, so here it is: teachings clear, house pleasant, atmosphere very relaxed and friendly. All-round good.

That’s so boring, I offer a funny fact. Having mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago that the Australian Club website just might make one think that one had stumbled on an exclusive and very discreet brothel (quite incorrectly, I should stress), and having mentioned the Kagyu centre in Harris Park, the blog logs show me that yesterday Google directed someone in Sydney to this blog in response to a query for “Brothels in Harris Park, NSW”. What do you know!

Saturday May 16th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

The day that Mahakala broke the table

So a couple of posts ago I mentioned the course this week-end with Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche. Day one was today. For lunch we could choose the meat option (spag bol, I think) or the “vegitarian” option. Confident that the cooking would be better than the spelling, I booked for veg.

As we moved towards the kitchen, I asked Gary (one of the pillars of the new centre) if it counted as a Karma Kagyu centre. He wasn’t sure what I was getting at, and I explained I was commenting on the wish of “His Holiness Karmapa XVII” that all his monasteries and centres should stop preparing meat in their kitchens. Many a Tibetan monk has been dismayed by this, but they have done it. You do realize I was, though admittedly making a point, being fairly light-hearted about this, don’t you?

Well someone in front of me got their food, I got mine, and so did a couple of others. Then BANG. The left hand half of the table (with the cookies and bread on it) was spared. The right-hand half simply broke, dumping broken glass, crockery, bolognese sauce and veg sauce on the kitchen floor. Most people had to go out to local restaurants. Here’s a couple of pictures of the mess:

There have been jokes about Felicity’s powers – she is Rinpoche’s wife, and was the cook. So whereas you or I might look in a mirror and break it, the joke was that she only had to cook food and put it on the table to break it. There have been “sensible” explanations about “well the food was hot, of course, so it would break the glass, wouldn’t it?” (Of a purpose-made dining table, it should be said!) But we know the truth, I think, don’t we? Mahakala stepped in to say that the centre really should do what HH Karmapa said. That was the outer warning – next time will there be an inner warning, and a secret warning the time after? I shudder to think!

Wednesday March 11th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

The what me?

“Karmajohn” has given his permission for me to show you this picture, showing himself flanked by his good wife and my good self. I hope it acts as an antidote to the previous entry!

Or not?

Wednesday March 4th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Dental work after-effect

After some more “deep cleaning” I found my attempts yesterday evening to blow the bone trumpet (mouthpiece below) were seriously fuzzified by the anaesthetic. Bell, book, candle and drum were ok, so training continues.

Monday February 23rd, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Shock fake incense warning!!!

After lunch at Sri Lankan restaurant Janani in Homebush (mmmm… and not a whiff of coriander, aka poison parsley, as far as I tasted) yesterday, we bought some Nag Champa in the Sri Lankan grocery store next door (treasure trove for all that ground this and parboiled that and yellow and red coloured this that and the other). Here is the box I got not long ago from our local Leung Wai Kee Buddhist Craft and Joss Stick Shop, shown with the new one underneath.

Top: Bottom:

Which is the fake that’s pretending to be the other one? If you look closely (you might have to click the pictures to get a large enough version to read properly) you’ll see even the warning messages have the same wrong grammar – and even wrong spellings!

All I can say for definite is that the upper one, with the hologram, has the familiar, heady, heavy perfume I expect from that kind of incense. The other one has similarities, but with overtones of the savage tobacco my old Uncle Len – may he rest in peace – used to put into his aluminium-stemmed pipe and smoke on a Sunday afternoon in the living room of that house not far from the Hagley Road.