Vajra Sow

Dorje Phagmo, Vajra Sow, Diamond Pig?

-There is a famous iconic Buddhist manifestation of Buddha in a female form like that.

pig_01

There is also a legend that an important female Siddha and a head of a monastery in Tibet just would not be seen if she did not want to be seen and at any time would turn into an ordinary looking pig, hiding from any visitors. This gives us a very practical level of understanding of what “Nirmanakaya” could actually be. It is said that out of compassion Buddhas continuously manifest as buildings, roads, bridges, rain, sunshine, food, books, teachers, “dharma”. The idea does ask us in return to consider thinking of all these manifestations that we see as Buddha Bodies, even if we were to assume that some are not, there is still no way to tell which one’s are which! So, it could be better to stay on a safe side (and follow teachings on pure view, 5 purities and such).pig_03
-Surround your self with Buddha’s manifest bodies. This way one can’t go wrong. This one here is a homage to the idea of the “Year of the Pig”

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To the Shambhala Buddhist followers

Why I am writing this?

There is no end to reports and first hand accounts. It is so massive these days that anyone on the path (as a student or as a teacher) should outright hide, let alone display something even remotely resembling anything that can be called crazy wisdom. But what do I know, honestly if one is to hope for the pure view, it will not really come without challenges, for most of us, it seems.trungpa

What I am meaning to really say:

The whole world awaits you all. And it is impossible to go there if you do not take care of yourselves. So, please take care and do not wail in grief over the death of an idea. For as physicists say amount of matter and energy in this universe does not change. So, all these ideas never came or ever went. In conventional speech: Dream of Enlightened Society will reincarnate!

I have communicated with many of you online and in the past in person as well. You are regular human beings. If any of you even if it is after the years of service to your community have to leave it, this is totally normal dynamic. And happens to many.

In fact it happens in many situations, organizations, communities all the time. People leave, people arrive. What is more important is to remember that life is short. And within that short life one can not conceive of benefiting others if one is completely overcome by any one or combination of negativities. Thus it is important to be able to benefit oneself, while it is not too late and we must remember that in fact we are told over and over that this present moment is all we have. So, it is never too late. As in do it now.

For many it should be of greatest importance to utilize the idea of “The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side” because of the serious problem with the vision, many do not see grass / other side. Do not let your imagination fail you! This is our normal ego driven wish to better our situation, to study, to receive teachings, to contemplate on these, to actualize them in one’s sphere of being. In regards to the general knowledge of many people that I have observed, mostly online, there is a chance to benefit from study of any of the famous Tibetan Buddhist Traditions. There is a lot of books, sadhana texts, monasteries, masters in several countries. If there is something that you wanted to do, explore, find out about, this could be the perfect moment for that.

I understand that many, especially older generation want to talk about ideas of support and social justice. And while it maybe something that at the current time in this country will be effective. On the individual level it will never make us better followers of Lord Buddha, Guru Padmasambhava or any lineage masters of Kagyu, or Surmang at all.

Study, contemplation, meditation in order to really absorb the teachings, to become the teachings, to embody these, should never leave anyone’s sight.

These should always somewhat co-inside with the most fundamental idea of renunciation. A lot of societal values should be abandoned in favor of retreat from such. And it is never the same as throwing about phrases of “basic goodness” or “enlightened society” and then in a slightest moment of confusion becoming angry and red in the face, bar-fight ready to happen type of thing.

With folded hands, with a wish for complete perfect awakening for all of us in this, however dysfunctional it may seem family, sooner, or later, or always.

Signed:

Some one of utter un-importance, writing things down because it is possible to.

Named by parents: Alex, Named by a Nyingmapa master: Sherab Gyatso

Your friend, -is how I feel.

Sometime during this holy 1st month of the lunar calendar, may auspiciousness prevail, for all.

Thoughts on Buddhism on amazon

author_2018_BW

On auspicious 25th day of the 12th month of the lunar earth dog year What’s What has gone into 2nd edition, under new title “Thoughts on Buddhism” and it is bigger by about 50 pages as well.

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/172391083X

e-book: https://www.amazon.com/Thoughts-Buddhism-Stories-ebook/dp/B07N8SZV3H

Preface to the second edition

This volume was not planned but came together from various writing here and there, on the blogs and on social media. Then, when I saw that material accumulating is starting to look more and more as if there is enough for a book, the book came about. Initially as What’s What, 1st edition through Createspace Publishing in June of 2016.

thoughts_on_buddhism_on_amazonAs of autumn of 2018 Createspace is merging into Kindle Direct Publishing and it looks appropriate to update What’s What with a few pages in addition for the new, 2nd edition.

So, meanwhile, whole two years came and went, while life presented a very rare opportunity of almost retreat like, very restful time and it does not feel like 2016 was long ago and similarly not really yesterday, not anymore.

Special mention for Orgyen Cho Dzong Sangha of upstate New York, where for first time I was able to join in with Kyabje Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche, family and disciples at the end of summer of 2016. Especially fortunate is that Rinpoche’s son Namgyal Dawa Rinpoche saw it fit to offer a comment on this piece of writing and now I can include it as a review for 1st edition on the back cover.  It is a type of review that I personally like and it goes much a like what my friend Migmar Tsering said to me after reading a copy I gave him during Summer Retreat at Palyul Retreat center: “It is as if you a       re talking to me”. So, in some way, this is it, mission accomplished! -Simple, personal voice, without any status or authority but with a wish of positivity to increase, for everyone. Then, in a glory of miraculous displays Kyabje Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche displayed passing from this life on April 15th of 2018 and I have written a short obituary that offered me a chance to contemplate on situations like this, how do we feel when our Lama passes away? This short piece of writing is added to this current edition, may it all be virtuous and may our confidence be renewed if it wavers, unfailingly so!

-NY State September 2018

Picture is by Hyunju Lee at Jackson Heights NY,

while attending teachings of Palyul Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche

New in this edition:

Preface to 2nd Edition

Passage of Time

On Seeming separation from the Master

Short Glossary

Unexpected Result

By now I should have expected something like that. But every time something of s sort happens there is a slight feeling of surprise. As i wrote in more then one article here already, my father in-law without much interest or expectation has discovered to his surprise what i told him now and then, for years. I still view myself as somewhat of an artist and there was a time when I exhibited, sold and even answered questions, all in regards to my artwork.

Much has changed since then. America is where I am now and I read, write and speak in English with some degree of proficiency. Computers came and took over, pay ohones all but disappeared, together with music and book stores. Cell phones now are viewed as ultimate gateway to happiness (just think of azure coast line screen saver that one can get with a purchase of a $1,000 device that can do invariable more and more of the things that never needed to be ever done). All this is here not just for me but for many.

And so my father in law asked me on several occasions to paint his portrait, -that sounded really good to me. I have not painted for 18 years at that point but never thought that I have laid down the brushes, it’s just that I was not in the right place to do so. And so, I bought a few canvases, a pallet knife and investigated into new paint producers to add to the selection of now antique tubes of paint (all purchased in Pearl Paint in NYC – art materials point of pilgrimage that only exists in the realm of memory of so many).

My 1st attempt at the painting did not result in anything that I felt I could finish, although the composition came together neatly and character of the old man somewhat reflected in the moment. Still I was playing with the ideas, colors, brush-strokes too much after all these years and I had to abandon the canvas. Quickly painting just a prominent portrait with noting much in the picture in a way of distraction.

However when the old man came over he said that he is intending to take the half finished, half erased, half not meant to be canvas home and i can come and work on it there, finishing it as i please. I was amused, telling myself: “Guess what I will have to do something to finish this one as well, to some degree, he wants two portraits now”

And here we have it, yet another canvas lives to be signed as a finished work.

An actual signed return

IMG_20180528_181150I hope so, there were always plans to paint things, but when you pay astronomical rent, run a restaurant or have to merchandise 2,000 Lbs of cheese, all invariably 6, not five days a week, all these painting plans have no chance to take hold, none at all. Finally father in law after looking at many of my older canvases had a eureka moment: “you are classically trained artist”. I was like: “you can say that, in some past life, – I had not painted for about 18 years”. He could not resist and asked for a portrait. So, here it came to pass, I am painting again, not as “seriously” but obviously just as seriously.

Baby elephant mind

IMG_20180613_134219Title: Baby Elephant Mind. Media: oil on canvas. Size: 40 by 30 inch. #elephant #elephants #elephant_painting #painting_of_nature #sherabpainting

This is some of the best of everything. Legendary NYC art supply dealer of 20 years ago David Davis stretchers, -mine have Mercer Street address, it is from the time when they had a store in the basement of “Guggenheim Soho”, then canvas from fabric wholesaler (that does not exist for many a year) on Lower Broadway, and a finished painting that was started 18 years ago, all feels very, very special.

Man-Cave

I love, love idea of this term “man-cave”. If you twist it around enough and away from popular American culture, you arrive at most surprising things, as in somewhere there is “Vajrayogini Cave”, or a cave in which Milarepa meditated, or whole Maratica Cave where Guru Rinpoche the Padmasambhava meditated on Amitayus, demonstrating accomplishment of that practice. IMG_20180611_142805

Alas “man-cave” is usually in the basement of the house where one lives. ut ability to bring an occupation of life-long interest into that with healthy degree of solitude, that is just breathtaking.

Somewhere along the lines of the effort to make more room, while still in NYC I lost my easel. But then again, my best paintings were somehow painted on the floor.