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 […]
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.

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.

Sunday April 5th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Overdue catalogue

Over 40-plus years I’ve collected something around 400 Buddhist books of one sort or another. It’s getting hard to sort them, and sometimes hard to find one that I know is there. Yesterday I took the bold step of opening an Excel file to make a catalogue.

It’s a tedious job – I guess it would take at least a few days if I worked at it full time, so the reality is that it will take a few months. But the bright spot is that I got some coloured tabs to help the job:

One has to keep ones chin up somehow, and these should do the trick!

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.