A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Mountain Will Not Come To Joe Claus...

...so Joe Claus will have to go to the mountain.

I will be out of the blogosphere until Wednesday next. It is time for my four day trek to the Buddhist Monastery with which I am associated. I will meet and taking teachings for the first time from a lama who is very important to me personally. He is a tulku, or rebirth of a great former teacher by the name of Mingyur Dorje. [This is pronounced MIN-jur DOR-jay] Mingyur Dorje was what is known as a terton, or discoverer of hidden teachings and the particular practices he developed are called terma. Terma in general are said to be particularly helpful to maintain the Dharma during the present day, because they are adapted to the problems of present day individuals who are ever more distant from the time of Shakyamuni Buddha, himself.

Mingyur Dorje lived in the latter half of the 17th century and His Emminence Mingyur Rinpoche is his seventh rebirth. The Kagyu Lamas here in North America have relied strongly on the practices revealed by the first Mingyur Dorje as apt vehicles of practice for Western students. The more open of them have appeared on the Net, such as his Amitabha Buddha Sadhana. And they are, I can attest, very powerful tools for cleaing away confusion about the Buddhist point of view, which was certainly what we Western students suffered from when we first started practicing Buddhism in the late 1970's.

From the very first time I was taught to use one of these tools left to us by Mingyur Dorje I had a sense of my solid connection to it, and its aptness for me as a personal practice. There are varying degrees of this. We have other practices at my Dharma Center from other sources, and, fine as they are, they do not have this sense of personal aptness for me. Every one of Mingyur Dorje's terma practices that I have learned since have had this same confortable and familiar feel as the first one.

So I am looking forward to meeting his 20th Century manifestation. For, being a Buddhist, I know that I may not only be meeting him, I may also be re-meeting him, though I cannot say that my personal memories stretch as far back as to when that might have been.

If you want to understand what a trip up the mountain is generally like, you can look at one of my prior posts here. And, if you would like to do yourself some good through one of Mingyur Dorje's other termas, check out the link here [you'll have to scroll down to it]. The symbols of this terma are in a language said to be from beyond our human realm, they appeared to Mingyur Dorje in one of his meditative visions, and they help anyone who sees them to achieve a better rebirth in their next life.

I strongly encourage you to follow the link. After all, what have you got to lose?


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