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

  • Busking in Italy 23/03/2014
    This post began as a response, on a closed Facebook group, to a question about busking in Italy. By the time I’d written it I realised that I have collected a fair amount of information and it might be worthwhile “putting it out there”. On the other hand, I am well aware that there are things Read more... Busking in Italy
  • A sign of the times? 23/03/2014
    The property market is not exactly bubbling here, any more than in many places, but a couple of days ago this notice appeared on a lamppost at the corner of the village: It says that this estate agency, with an office in Pontremoli, is looking on behalf of Russian clients for farms (poderi), houses (casali – a Read more... A sign of the times? […]
  • Frana 31/01/2014
    Frana? Yes, Italian for landslide. Much of the hilly landscape here consists of stones of various sizes stuck together by sticky clay. And when it rains and rains, the clay can go soft. So I took the dogs out this morning, and we found a funny thing on the way to the cemetery: Not far from the village, Read more... Frana […]
  • A couple of complete pieces 22/01/2014
    Having enjoyed the company of Jeanne the Resonator for a couple of months now (thank you again Sarah for such a beautiful present!), one or two friends have actually said, “Yes, but what about a complete piece?” Well, that kind of puts me on the spot, doesn’t it? So here are a couple. Firstly a version Read more... A couple of complete pieces […]
Wednesday October 28th, 2009. Posted by Alex W:

John Painter

I remain uncertain about “Biff Painter“.

I half expected him to ignore my query, but I got a clearish answer:

I first learned Gtumo as a Daoist inner heat practice from Li, Long Dao of Sichuan then later from Lama Trangu Rinpoche the Tibetan version of Gtumo practice, Medicine Buddha meditations and Mantra and Chod Ritual. This took place in various locations beginning with his visit to my school many, many years ago. I am afraid I was a very poor student.

And we see that he really did meet Thrangu Rinpoche once at least:

Painter Thrangu

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.

Sunday July 26th, 2009. Posted by Alex W:

Forthcoming events NSW

I’ve been busy lately, but have time now to report that

  • on the Kagyu side, Dekhung Gyaltsey Rinpoche will be here in August - if interested, check the Kagyu Samten Choeling site.
  • on the Nyingma side, Lama Pema Dorje Rinpoche will be here in August too. Here is a flyer about his visit to Canberra, Sydney, Blue Mountains and Bellingen, while this link is to a flyer specifically about the Sydney visit, where he will teach on Guru Yoga, Dzogchen and Lu Jong.
Tuesday June 9th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Talking of phones…

… and their use as meditation aids, as I did a couple of weeks ago, there is an iPhone app from apricle technologies – I think the company has just been formed for this product, but who knows where it will go.

Me, I have a phone that is four years old and does its job, and a Casio digital wristwatch, but those of you with more modern equipment might like to check it out.

Wednesday May 27th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

For the meditator who has everything they want…

No, not because she or he has transcended craving, but because they have got all the Buddhist beads, bowls, bells, burners for incense and other toys the local Dharma Supplies and Joss Stick shop has to offer. Something new – the Buddha phone!

You can, it appears “press the dedicated lotus-leaf button to load a private, customisable, animated altar. The idea is to allow Buddhists to perform their dedications and rituals conveniently when away from home. You can simulate incense burning, purification rites and play music to help you meditate wherever you happen to be.”

Sadly so far only available in Japanese.

Tuesday May 26th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Catalogue progress

Whoopee! The catalog project for my dharma books is creeping forward. I passed the third shelf on the first book-case the other day. In terms of length of shelving, that is one quarter of the library, so I should be finished by the end of the year, with any luck! It looks like the total will be around 500 books.

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!