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 July 10th, 2009. Posted by Alex W:

More on Benchen

The comment from Tashi to my last post includes this link to pictures of a trip to Benchen in 2005 that I enjoyed so much I thought I’d “elevate” it to mention in a front-page post. (Correction: the link doesn’t seem to work, but if you go to http://www.benchen.org.pl/ and look through the gallery, you’ll find them easily enough.)

Interestingly, the Polish site includes pictures of the Chime Rinpoche of Benchen. I include below a picture including a stupa containing relics of his previous incarnation. I should make it clear that when I referred in the previous post to “Chime Rinpoche”, I was actually thinking of my first teacher, known in the West by his personal name of Chime, but more properly called the Radha Lama or Chime Radha Rinpoche. He is also from Benchen, but the commonality of name is a coincidence. Getting confused about this has been known to upset a few people in the past, and some odd stories (that I need not repeat) went round. But in fact both lamas are entirely genuine, both are connected to Benchen – they are just two different people.

Tashi’s friend’s pictures are far better than anything I ever took, and it looks like they had a great trip. For contrast, here are a few from 1992:

Chime (Radha) Rinpoche on the verandah at Benchen

Chime (Radha) Rinpoche on the verandah at Benchen


Me at the stupas - the one on the right is the "other" Chime's stupa

Me at the stupas - the one on the right is the "other" Chime's stupa


The plains of Amdo are wide open!

The plains of Amdo are wide open!

Wednesday July 8th, 2009. Posted by Alex W:


Home monastery of Sangye Nyenpa Rinpoche, Tenga Rinpoche and Chime Rinpoche. Looks a bit more spruce than when I was there in ’92!

Benchen 2005

Benchen 2005


The picture was sent out as a digital new-year card from Marpa House a year ago – thanks!

Wednesday April 8th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Two more fun stupas

The first one is from the net, source unknown, please tell me if you have copyright:

That is fun, isn’t it? Don’t forget you can click for a more detailed view.

The other one is at Benchen in Kham – my copyright this time! Photographed in 1992:

Saturday March 28th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

John Powers

John Powers gave a presentation in Sydney University yesterday under the auspices of the AABS. Entitled “Tortured Logic”, he dealt with the presentation of Tibet and of Tibetan Buddhism as provided by the Chinese Communist Party, as against its mirror image provided by the Central Tibetan Administration. Very informative, very clear.

John P is the author of what I think is one of the best introductions to Tibetan Buddhism there is. It’s called Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism, straightforwardly enough. I’ve often recommended it, as it is solid, sympathetic yet impartial, assumes no prior knowledge at all on the part of the reader but really does give you an introduction, not just a few hand-waving, good-feeling morsels. So it was nice to meet the author and see a sharp, open and greatly knowledgeable mind combined with a warm personality and an enthusiasm for communication. A real scholar.

Sunday March 22nd, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Thank you to the SMH

The Sydney Morning Herald is probably the best paper around here, although the word “radical” would be a tad excessive. But this morning they not only put a story (1m 45s) about a video entitled ‘China’s brutality in Tibet exposed’ into their video section (at http://media.smh.com.au/ – though I’m not sure how long they keep their video reports there), but they even featured it on the front page! (By the way, that link just goes to the general video area at the SMH – you would have to look for this particular report yourself.)

Their front page says:

Tibet: China’s brutality on film
The Central Tibetan Administration releases ‘China’s brutality in Tibet exposed’, a documentary film of what they say are Chinese atrocities on the Tibetans.

Even this bit is not perhaps quite advised for the faint-hearted, although the paper has not shown the strongest parts of the video. The CTA clip itself can be seen at http://media.phayul.com/, and this is definitely not for the faint-hearted!

Tuesday March 17th, 2009. Posted by Alex:

Stupa with wow factor!

It’s time to be cheerful. I came across this picture of a stupa in, I think, eastern Tibet:


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!