As a lifelong Buddhist, everywhere I look in Buddhaland, lately—covers of Buddhists magazines, posters for sale, cards, photos in Buddhist gift shops—I see the handsome, wise, young face of the 17th Karmapa staring out at the horizon. Okay, I get it—he’s a powerful, well-trained young man, he embodies the fragile future of Tibetan Buddhism and his previous incarnation, the 16th Karmapa, was a big deal, a powerful teacher who my parents’ teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (a powerful teacher in his own right) was himself genuinely and most humbly devoted to.
But last I checked, Buddhism is non-theistic. That means we don’t go looking outside for salvation. That means we regard the Buddha as—inherently—no different that ourselves. The Buddha himself said, “Look, I don’t have anything to teach, I’m nothing special, I’m just human.” And his early students said, “Please, please, show us the path that you have discovered from suffering to sanity!” And he said, “Oh, alright. Here you go. Meditate in this way. Contemplate compassion…” etc. But when I see my parents’ generation smiling like fools and bowing to the ground, I wonder where the dignity has gone. Talk to the Karmapa, be interesting and interested—that’s devotion. This groveling stuff was, in my experience of his visit to Boulder, boring.
We’re all Kings and Queens of our own lives, as SHAMBHALA: SACRED PATH OF THE WARRIOR details. So sit like a mountain, work with one’s own discursive mind, work for the benefit of others—and we’ll experience a vajra-like humbleness, a humbleness full of dignity and absent of groupie-like idol-worship.
PS: all this non-theistic stuff goes for yoga teachers, too.
hot on elephant
How I stopped Speed Dating my Passions & finally Committed. 235 shares New Moon in Scorpio: Only those who Believe in Magic will Find It. 4,550 shares She Smiles as she Cries: the Story of High-functioning Depression. 5,073 shares A Homemade Buddhist Ritual for Letting Go. 616 shares 10 Things to Know about Dating a Scorpio (& Why they Love Sex). 602 shares Living with C-PTSD Following an Abusive Relationship. 2,696 shares Why we must Break to Heal. 1,042 share November Energy Forecast: Love & the Twin Flame magic of 11:11. 1,249 share Stop Ignoring these Connections, they can Turn your Day (or Life) around. 937 shares To my Diego: 4 Poems by Frida Kahlo that Demonstrate the Exquisite Nature of Love. 646 shares