Monthly Archives: April 2014

ritual sounds

Really enjoying listening to some Tibetan tantrik ritual music. I use it to accompany some of the sadhana work I do, or have it playing in the background when I am studying or writing. I have a few albums, but also found some links online with good material. For example, check out this link to a 19 minute sample of very powerful, evocative ritual sounds. Conch shell, human thigh bones, cymbals, drums… remarkable, unique sounds that have an otherworldly feel and transport me to deep realms.

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Alan Watts

“Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky. Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. The finger can point to the moon’s location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger, right?”  -Hui Neng, 6th Patriarch of Ch’an Buddhism

With a deep background in Advaida, Buddhism, and Taoism, the writings of Alan Watts are an excellent perspective into Eastern philosophy from the eyes of a Westerner. London born and then transplanted to the States, he had a deep interest in Eastern traditions from an early age. He was also an exceptional writer, with an ability to distill the wisdom he was taking in and express it for western readers in unique ways that are extremely lucid.

I am currently reading The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, and only a few pages in am already enjoying it immensely and finding a lot of good insight in his thoughts. A few gems:

“In the end one is committed to being a Christian or a Buddhist come what may in the form of new knowledge. New and indigestible ideas have to be wrangled into the religious tradition, however inconsistent with its original doctrines, so that the believer can still take his stand and assert, ‘I am first and foremost a follower of Christ/Mohammed/Buddha, or whomever.’ Irrevocable commitment to any religion is not only intellectual suicide; it is positive unfaith because it closes the mind to any new vision of the world.”

“For the use of words, and thus of a book, is to point beyond themselves to a world of life and experience that is not mere words or even ideas. Just as money is not real, consumable wealth, books are not life. To idolize scriptures is like eating paper currency.”

In discussing what type of book he might want to give to his children, Watt’s describes one that “would slip them into a new domain, not of ideas alone, but of experience and feeling. It would be a temporary medicine, not a diet; a point of departure, not a perpetual point of reference. They would read it and be done with it, for if it were well and clearly written they would not have to go back to it again and again and again for hidden meanings or for clarification of obscure doctrines.”

    We do not need a new religion or a new bible. We need a new experience — a new feeling of what it is to be ‘I’. The lowdown (which is, of course, the secret and profound view) on life is that our normal sensation of self is a hoax or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing — with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind that mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego.”

Watt’s ability to elucidate the details of this magnificent and all pervasive con job (or the intoxicating dance  and play of maya) are illuminating, and help to awaken one to a recognition of something that lies beyond our normal conditioned thoughts of self and individuality. His writings are a good companion to Wei Wu Wei (Terrence James Stannus Gray), another British philosopher  of Eastern traditions.

The emphasis that Watt’s places on experience is strongly appealing. Doctrines, traditions, esoteric wisdom, rituals – all of these can be means of playing with the moldable fabric of reality, but it is all too easy to fall back into the Great Sleep, or to simply never wake up in the first place.

I have worked with many esoteric groups over the past 20 years, and have seen first hand how easy it is to fall into complacency, and get caught up in rituals, tradition, dogma, high and mysterious sounding titles and grades,  and yes… books. We kid ourselves while we continue to dream without ever touching upon the single great secret.

Reading Watt’s is a breath of fresh air. As with the ideal book that he describes, after setting it down I find myself not “needing” to read more, but rather to get out into nature, to trek and climb mountains, to experience life.

 

Alan Watts

The Way

As celebrations for the Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law are commemorated, I give thanks to all of my teachers, past, present and future for their radiant light that they have shined upon the Way. The blessings of the guru are without doubt a precious gift, a manifold jewel.

ཧཱུྂ༔ ཨོ་རྒྱན་ཡུལ་གྱི་ནུབ་བྱང་མཚམས༔
hung orgyen yul gyi nubjang tsam
Hūṃ! In the north-west of the land of Oḍḍiyāṇa,

པདྨ་གེ་སར་སྡོང་པོ་ལ༔
pema gesar dongpo la
In the heart of a lotus flower,

ཡ་མཚན་མཆོག་གི་དངོས་གྲུབ་བརྙེས༔
yatsen chok gi ngödrub nyé
Endowed with the most marvellous attainments,

པདྨ་འབྱུང་གནས་ཞེས་སུ་གྲགས༔
pema jungné shyé su drak
You are renowned as the ‘Lotus Born’,

འཁོར་དུ་མཁའ་འགྲོ་མང་པོས་བསྐོར༔
khor du khandro mangpö kor
Surrounded by many hosts of ḍākinīs.

ཁྱེད་ཀྱི་རྗེས་སུ་བདག་བསྒྲུབ་ཀྱི༔
khyé kyi jesu dak drub kyi
Following in your footsteps,

བྱིན་གྱིས་བརླབ་ཕྱིར་གཤེགས་སུ་གསོལ༔
jingyi lab chir shek su sol
I pray to you: Come, inspire me with your blessing!

གུ་རུ་པདྨ་སིདྡྷི་ཧཱུྂ༔
guru pema siddhi hung

guru-rinpoche

As the root of all transmissions is Guru Yoga, so is the Guru the Root, Heart, Essence of Awakened Consciousness, the Radiant Void. I give thanks to the Guru, the union of all paths, the essence of the continuum of consciousness, the Speech in the Silence.

Lama

Lam! Thou Voice of the Silence! 
Glyph of Hoor-paar-kraat! 
The dwarf-self, the Hidden God! 
Gateway to the Aeon of Maat!
I evoke Thee! I evoke Thee! 
With the mantra Talam Malat, Talam Malat

OLALAM IMAL TUTULU!

OM AH HUNG

devi

Intoxicated with your dark eyes, whirling abysses of cosmic space

I worship the Greatly Beautiful One

She is dark as a black rock, wearing a jeweled crown.
The sign of a third eye is on her forehead, 
She, the Goddess with three eyes.
Like lotus petals, Her eyes are large, 
They shine like two bright jewels.
Her glance showers compassion. 
Three locks of matted hair adorn her.
Her face radiates contentment and,
She is gowned with much splendor.
Her raised left hand holds a sword, 
a human head in the lower one.
Her right hands grant sanctuary and boons to all.
Her tongue shows between her lips, 
the garland of skulls hanging to her feet
Bejeweled, of heavenly form, there is no skirt of human arms.
She stands on a lotus base, 
Her right foot on the chest of Shiva sprawled at Her feet.
Her other foot is on his right thigh. 
She grants freedom from fear. 
She the Goddess, is the expression of the ultimate Brahman. Meditate on Adya, the infinite, 
She who embodies the extreme beauty in form.

Slay the Slayer

“The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real.” – The Voice of the Silence, H.P. Blavatsky

Mahishaasura

Great Goddess, Slay the Slayer!

 

The Shadow Tarot

The Shadow Tarot is a magickal talismanic expression of art that gives visual representation to the guardians of the Tunnels of Set, evoking ancient and atavistic energies and opening portals to other dimensions. These hidden recesses in between the seeming reality of the dayside seep through strange lines and geometries; colors and shapes that seem alive, vivid with serpentine movement and a distant humming that molds consciousness into strange angles.

Shadow Tarot

This deck of cards was carefully and loving crafted by Linda Falorio and Fred Fowler of AnandaZone. From the description that comes with the deck:

“The method of producing the images was to paint the ancient magickal sigil probably of Sumerian origin or older, resurrected by Crowley in Liber CCXXXIof the Qliphoth of each dayside Path, then immerse in the energies for weeks or months via meditation/tantra.”

Tunnels of Set

Described by Kenneth Grant in Nightside of Eden, the denizens of these tunnels are evoked by means of special vibrations and color in combination with a ritual act of Will. The cards lend themselves to this work directly, being  visual representations of these nightside energies.

Exploring this realm of consciousness is essential to wholeness; to often that which lies seemingly hidden in the shadows is denied or suppressed by the dayside of consciousness, with resulting projections into the world. One need only read some political news, or attend exoteric religious celebrations, to be reminded first hand of how all of the many problems in the world are the fault of the “other” philosophy, political party, belief system or person.

Until the dark side, that which lies hidden and repressed, is explored and a true sense of accord is reached, the personality is not whole. This is the true work of regeneration, an integration of the entirety of consciousness.

the secret of everything lies in consciousness

From the standpoint of metagnosis, or true metaphysic, science is no less a superstition than religion. Both have led man to the morass of which he now flounders. Science has augmented fear of and for this world, while religion has deluded with vague hopes for the next. The secret of  everything  lies in consciousness. Until investigations are stripped of inessentials, scientific and/or religious, Reality will remain obscured. The only fact of which we have direct, immediate and continuous experience, is awareness of consciousness. So-called unconsciousness is non-existent. Outside consciousness nothing whatever exists for us.

The three vehicles of Awareness (as they appear from the waking state) are identified as body, mind and consciousness. When awareness is identified with the body, then the consciousness of ‘things’ is experienced. But when the stand is in total Awareness, consciousness is no longer experienced individually but cosmically, universally; not personalized but impersonalized. It is then as it always was and will be — the True Self.

… That which is usually considered to be a blank, a hiatus, is in truth all that we are, Consciousness Pure, sometimes called the Self…

1. If one looks through the sense organs, gross objects appear. This is the waking state.

2. If one looks through the mind, subtle objects (thoughts) appear. This is the dream state.

3. If one sees from Mind Quiescent, only the seer remains, and THAT is Consciousness. To the unenlightened, this state appears as sleep; to the enlightened  is appears as Reality.”

Kenneth Grant, Outer Gateways

sri