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 […]
Friday March 20th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Irish Karmapa

A little while ago I made a brief entry on the theme of “There’s Nobody as Irish as O’Bama” after the successful American elections.

St Patrick’s day fell earlier this week, of course. Strong as my connection with Ireland is, I didn’t go out to join the jollity. In Ireland there is indeed plenty of merry-making, much of it alcohol-fuelled, but there is also a lot of church going, mass saying, visiting of family and friends, tea drinking, cake-nibbling, praying and so on – there is, in short, a balance. Here in ex-pat land (half the world it seems, though most of them are essentially just wannabee ex-pats) it tends to be little more than a booze-up with green trim.

However, as I was reciting the Mahamudra Lineage prayer that morning, as I have done (almost) every day since the early 1980s, I was blown away by the vision and realization that the 8th Karmapa too, Micky O’Dorje, was also to all intents and purposes Irish.

The Tibetans call him Mikyo Dorje, in case you weren’t sure. Above is the picture of him that hangs in my office.

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?

Tuesday February 24th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Jewish Buddhism

This is not original, but it is funny (I think so, anyway):

Sayings of the Jewish Buddha

If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?

Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?

Drink tea and nourish life; with the first sip, joy; with the second sip, satisfaction; with the third sip, peace; with the fourth, a Danish.

Wherever you go, there you are. Your luggage is another story.

Accept misfortune as a blessing. Do not wish for perfect health, or a life without problems. What would you talk about?

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Oy.

There is no escaping karma. In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited. And whose fault was that?

Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.

The Tao does not speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take sides. The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others. The Tao is not Jewish.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget to do this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as a wooded glen. And sit up straight. You’ll never meet the Buddha with such rounded shoulders.

Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers. Each flower blossoms ten thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals. You might want to see a specialist.

Be aware of your body. Be aware of your perceptions. Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness.

The Torah says, Love your neighbor as yourself. The Buddha says, There is no self. So … maybe we’re off the hook?