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 […]
Monday May 11th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche in Sydney next week-end

For reasons not known to me, the E-Vam website still doesn’t carry even the briefest mention of the new centre in Sydney. So here is the contents of the flyer for the coming week-end.

“Mindfulness Living”

Weekend Course with Renowned Tibetan Buddhist Teacher and Author Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche.

16 & 17 MAY 2009 Harris Park NSW

Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche was recognised as the ninth incarnation of the Traleg lineage at the age of two and was enthroned as Abbot of Tra’gu Monastery in Kham, Tibet. Rinpoche has undergone rigorous scholastic and meditative training under various Tibetan Kagyu and Nyingma masters in India. Rinpoche came to Australia in 1980 where he subsequently established Kagyu E-Vam Buddhist Institute in 1982. He regularly conducts courses and retreats and has travelled extensively in U.S.A, South East Asia and Europe conducting lectures and courses. Rinpoche is author of various books including the best selling The Essence of Buddhism and Practice of Lojong and has now established a number of Centres in Australia, New Zealand and U.S.A..

In this course Rinpoche will be discussing how mindfulness practice relates to all aspects of our life.

TIMES: Saturday 10am to 4 pm; Sunday 10 am to 12 noon

VENUE: 49 High Street, Harris Park, NSW 2150

COST: $65.85

Enquiries and Bookings: Yeshe Nyima Office Ph 02 9893 9008

Felicity: 0449579509, Email: yeshenyima@live.com.au

Pre booking is encouraged, Visa, Mastercard accepted.

Travel: Free Onsite Parking.

Yeshe Nyima is 3 minute walk from Harris Park Railway Station or 10 minutes walk from Parramatta Railway Station.

Lunch & Refreshments: available for purchase, complimentary tea and coffee.

Event proudly presented by Yeshe Nyima, Harris Park NSW.

I will report!

Friday March 13th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Firing up the crowd

Revisiting March 10:

Loud chanting of battle cries, lots of cameras – when people have suffered, it’s hardly surprising that younger demonstrators can get carried away by the urge to somehow, anyhow do something!

Wednesday March 11th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

50th anniversary of the uprising

Woke up before the 4:00 a.m. alarm to catch the bus down to Central Station for 5:00. The Sydney contingent was two full coaches plus a minibus. Dozing on the 4-hour trip to Canberra was slightly successful. Arrived late.

There were speeches outside Parliament House, a march to the Chinese Embassy, a touch of rabble-rousing chant, just enough to get some young ones to try to rush the police line, which makes for more dramatic footage. Chants like “Shame, Shame – China Shame”, “Stop Killing – In Tibet”, “Stop Torture – In Tibet”, some silence, some songs.

And that was it really. What’s the point? I think just being there to be counted usually has a point, though it’s obviously very indirect.

Monday March 9th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

The real me?

After serious discussion, as befits a Buddhist forum, on the Kagyu list at yahoo, concerning such matters as kangaroos, possums, drinking beer in singlets while talking about footie and wearing thongs (in the Australian sense of the term), not to mention the Australian meaning of Durex, Jamie (whom I suspect to be a whisky-swilling Scotsman) offered me this impression of myself, reproduced below. It is definitely not totally correct – my mala, for instance, is not red. Do my dear readers think it might be accurate?

I am considering blasting back with a picture of myself in full magnificence, but I’ll have to think about that a bit. Is such a picture possible? Can I manifest magnificence?

Monday February 2nd, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Namkhai Norbu

The famous Chögyal Namkhai Norbu is in Australia, and started his tour with a week-end “transmission” in Sydney – I won’t go into details here, but if you are interested they have an effective web presence. I’ve had a few of his books for many years, but this was the first time I saw him or took teachings. I’m impressed, both by himself and by the organization.

But one thing was quite bizarre, though entirely personal. If you had known him, you might see a certain resemblance, surprisingly enough, to my father. In the flesh, in the right light and at the right distance – I was sitting a little off-centre at a distance of perhaps twelve paces – the resemblance is uncanny. For about half the time it seemed like my father was up there, having somehow grown a grey pigtail, acquired the accent of a Mafioso and gained a profound knowledge of dzogchen which he was now imparting. I don’t want to suggest anything mystical by this – but it did feel weird!

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!