Category Archives: buddhism

traveling with spirits

I have a new blog post up at the Llewellyn Worlwide site: Traveling with Spirits

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like the reflections of birds flying over water

The student of Zen is confronted by a master who has himself experienced awakening, and is in the best sense of the expression a completely natural man. For the adept in Zen is one who manages to be human with the same artless grace and absence of inner conflict with which a tree is a tree. Such a man is likened to a ball in mountain stream, which is to say that he cannot be blocked, stopped, or embarassed in any situation. He never wobbles or dithers in his mind, for though he may pause in overt action to think a problem out, the stream of his consciousness always moves straight ahead without being caught in the vicious circles of anxiety or indecisive doubt, wherein thought whirls wildly around without issue. He is not precipitate or hurried in action, but simply continuous. This is what Zen means by being detached – not being without emotion or feeling, but being one in whom feeling is not sticky or blocked, and through whom the experiences of the world pass like the reflections of birds flying over water. Although possessed of complete inner freedom, he is not, like the libertine, in revolt against social standards, nor, like the self-rigtheous, trying to justify himself. He is all of a piece with himself and with the natural world, and in his presence you feel that without strain or artifice he is completely “all here” — sure of himself without the slightest trace of aggression. He is thus the grand seigneur, the spiritual aristrocrat comparable to the type of worldly aristocrat who is so sure of the position given to him by birth that he has no need to condescend or put on airs. – Alan Watts, This is It

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Typhonian Gnosis

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These are some of the most amazing articles. I have returned to them again and again over the years, and they never cease to inspire me and launch me into new gnostic vistas:

The Heart of Thelema

Going Beyond

The Typhonian Tradition

new arrival today

IMG_2625Received my proof copies of The Magickal Union of East and West today! NAT

The Magickal Union of East & West

The first 50 pages of the Magickal Union of East & West are now available for browsing via the Llewellyn Worldwide website. You are also able to pre-oder both the physical and electronic editions of the book via various sites. Contact your favorite book dealer and let them know you want to reserve your copy today!

Magickal Union East West

 

parampara

From Michael Staley’s essay The Fool:

“Initiation is not a matter of swallowing wholesale what this, that or the other illustrious person has said at some time or another, but of making it real, of arriving at your own understanding. We take influences from diverse sources, whether it be Grant, Crowley, Spare, Blavatsky, Gurdjieff, Ramana Maharshi – to name but a few – and synthesise their work via the catalyst of our own experience, creating thereby an understanding and a body of work that is intrinsic to us. People who come after us will do likewise, again from a diversity of sources. In this way, knowledge and experience is passed down, and this is one meaning of parampara or spiritual lineage. ”

Could not have expressed it better. This sums up my approach to the Mysteries, and explains the diverse range of influences that have gone into my own work.

The Magickal Union of East & West, The Spiritual Path to New Aeon Tantra explores the fruit of some of this work.

Its just this, and nothing else

However puzzling this may be, and however many philosophical problems it may raise, one clear look is enough to show its unavoidable truth. There is only this now. It does not come from anywhere; it is not going anywhere. It is not permanent, but it is not impermanent. Though moving, it is always still. When we try to catch it, it seems to run away, and yet it is always here and there is no escape from it. And when we turn round to find the self which knows this moment, we find that it has vanished like the past.

– The Way of Zen, Alan Watts

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some more Alan Watts

I am really enjoying reading Alan Watts, getting a lot out of his distillation of Eastern philosophy. A few more insights from The Book (on the Taboo Against Knowing Yourself)

If you know what you want, and will be content with it, you can be trusted. But if you do not know, your desires are limitless and no one can tell how to deal with you

Peace can be made only by those who are peaceful, and love can be shown only by those who love

No work of love will flourish out of guilt, fear or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.

There is a lot more in this book, far too much to cover in these few quotes that are of interest. A proper review of this book would be in order, but for now the quotes will have to suffice. If these are not enough to entice you, let me be blunt – read this book! You will not regret it, and may get something to take away from it that lasts with you.

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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

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 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

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Interview with POLARIS

The fine people at POLARIS (People Offering Light, Assistance & Resources In Spirit) conducted an interview with me, check it out and the rest of their site here:

http://www.polarisrising.net/index.php?%2Ftopic%2F540-interview-with-mystic-thelemite-gregory-peters%2F

Ascent of the Fire Snake

fire snake

“In the basal (muladhara) chakra, the Kundalini is known as Amavasya (new moon), for at that place the sun and moon are conjoined; hence the muladhara is a dark power-zone. The next centre, svadhisthana, is flecked with the sun’s rays, hence it is a region of twilight, i.e. mixed moon- and sun-light. The third zone, manipura, is likewise of a mixed nature. On attaining the stage of Anahata, in the region of the heart, Kundalini is bathed in effulgence, and continues to be effulgent until She reaches the place of the Moon (at the vishuddha), the Qoph centre. The Ajanachakra, which represents Kundalini in exaltation, is the Pure Palace of Serene Brilliance. And so the ascent occurs from darkness, through twilight to sunlight, and finally to the cool lunar region of eternal snows which is bathed in the perpetual radiance of the Shri Chakra itself.” – Kenneth Grant, Cults of the Shadow

Do not be distracted

“Being aware means knowing what is really possible. For instance, some people have the intention of dedicating their whole life to practice. The idea is good, but in many cases it turns out not to be realistic. These people want to escape from their responsibilities and from their actual conditions, but this way they do not learn to integrate practice in their lives and they do not work with circumstances. In reality, running away is never the right solution because even if you avoid unpleasant situations, you will tend to always repeat the same actions, even in different circumstances.” – Guru Yoga, Namkhai Norbu

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Pre-Order the Magickal Union of East & West

The pre-order page is up and running. Get your discounted orders in ahead of time!

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Order here: https://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738740447

Radiance of the Eternal Night

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The Great Goddess Herself in the form of Kali is a star traveller. She that moves beyond the realms of light itself is also beyond the confines of time; the first star walker that brought the fire of consciousness to the human race. We know Her in Thelema as Nuit, or Babalon, depending on Her many moods and boons. The Adept that has the siddhi of the Goddess resides in that base of pure awakened consciousness; to such a Victorious One, space and time are tools and the Devotee partaking of this magical grace becomes a traveller through space and time.
Jai Devi! Jai Kali!

Strategic Sorcery on the Oath of the Abyss (reposted)

Below is a repost of my recent interview at warlock asylum, with insightful commentary from The Strategic Sorcery blog of Inominandum. Do check out the rest of his blog for a wealth of great articles.

http://www.inominandum.com/blog/interview-with-a-mystic/

Coming in July 2014

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Guru Padmasambhava

Today marks the anniversary of Guru Padmasambhava, responsible for bringing the teachings of Vajrayana to Tibet.

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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

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These are images from a few of the monasteries in Nepal, where the Buddhist dharma has taken deep root in the Himalayan villages.

More on the invocation of Guru Padmasambhava may be read here.

New Aeon Tantra

New Aeon Tantra

the radiant void at the heart of tantra

Great Goddess

The dance of tantra is the dance of maya; a dynamic  microcosm of life with the panchatattva elements each symbolizing not only parts of our daily life and body, but the primordial elements, the building blocks of the universe. This dance of life will not fit into expectations or preconceived notions; while there may be general guidelines, the nature of this path is that it is unpredictable.

Tantra, whether Kaula or Vajrayana or beyond, is a dance and interplay of energy. At the heart of this energy is the void, Nuit. This is the same Heart of Thelema, a complex philosophy that embodies a western Tantra with the Great Void at the very core of the idea of True Will. Read more of this post

On Compassion, Community and Conflict

I have not talked about groups that I have worked with (yet), but here is a great post on some related ideas. Compassion is certainly a topic worthy of deep consideration.

The Blog of Baphomet

One of the three treasures of Buddhism is the Sangha. This is the community of practice. Those people around us who support us in what, in western magick, we might call The Great Work or perhaps the process of Illumination. As someone who thrives on close collaboration (the majority of the books on which my name appears are co-authored texts) and communal activity (since the age of fifteen much of my esoteric work has happened in groups) the Sanhga is essential to me. Of course it’s not like that for everyone; some folks really thrive on working alone, or perhaps with just one other person. More accurately, most of us (even gregarious me) will have periods in which we need solitary practice and other times when we want to come together with others.

I’ve been fortunate to work within many organisations over the years; ranging from The Order of Bards…

View original post 959 more words

Influences, part 2

Continuing from an earlier post that mentioned some of the guru/teacher figures that have been important in my own Work, in this post I’ll mention some of the traditions and philosophies that I find of personal significance.

Read more of this post

Influences

In my teens I was in a few bands. I played guitar and also would program our electronic drum machine. Seems we were always looking for a real live, human drummer to round out the lineup (harder to find than you might imagine!). One thing about being in a rock band is that you are always mentioning your influences in order to give a sense of where you originated from, what inspires your own music and creativity, and so on. This type of description would also be used to help find other musicians, such as a drummer! Basically, what are your roots? For our band the Brethren, we had some clearly defined influences: The Sisters of Mercy, Red Lorrie Yellow Lorrie, Fields of the Nephilim, Killing Joke… The idea was that given enough references to influences, you might attract the sort of fellow musicians and fans that are drawn to a particular sound or genre. In our case, that was “death rock.”

Read more of this post

A reminder…

Buddha

Do not believe anything (simply) because you have heard it.

Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

Do not believe in anything because it is spoken and rumored by many.

Do not believe in anything (simply) because it is in your religious books.

Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conductive to the good of and benefit of one and all then accept it and live up to it.

– Gautama Buddha, Anguttara Nikaya vol I