Guruphiliac: The 1000 Montana Buddhas

Friday, September 08, 2006

The 1000 Montana Buddhas

File under: The Siddhi of PR

We just found a fairly comprehensive look at Gochen Tulku Rinpoche, a Buddhist lama who's moved to Montana, and it ain't to raise him up some dental floss. It's to build a garden of 1000 Buddhas:
Visitors entering the garden will see a 300-foot diameter circle with six spokes, each supporting a roughly equivalent fraction of 1,000 2-foot statues of Buddha, with a circumference lined by 1,000 stupas, meticulously constructed shrines containing sacred drawings, scrolls of mantras, fruit and jewelry. Already in place, in the center of the circle, sits a statuary Yum Chenmo, the Great Mother, a smiling, round-faced woman 10 feet high and seated on a 13-foot pedestal.
Sounds pretty good, until they get into the "mystical" side of it:
Hidden from the eye, embedded in the sculptures, are the objects to which Rinpoche and his students attribute the greatest power. These are relics, including ringsels, pill-shaped objects “left behind” in the post-death remains of highly realized beings. Amplified by sacred architecture, Tsomo says, ringsels can infect people with Buddha nature simply by virtue of the power of the person who left the relic behind.
It's a quaint thing to think about, but any "infection" occurring is entirely on the part of the infected's own buddha nature. The spiritual bric-a-brac is just bric-a-brac. Any object imbued with magic power is made that way by the belief of the people who regard it as magical.

What we like about this article is the natural, yet just the right amount of skeptical approach the author takes. He clearly has an open mind, but he seems to be thinking in terms that less culturally-aware Montanans might use. It's a great attempt to make a bridge between the Rinpoche's Buddhism and the more common conservative Christianity that certainly dominates the religious landscape there.

We really enjoyed this bit with the anonymous land donor for the Rinpoche's garden:
One of Rinpoche’s students purchased the land for him, the student says, because Rinpoche “wanted to bring Buddhism to the West, and I couldn’t think of a better person to bring it.” (The donor requested anonymity, explaining in an e-mail that “in the Buddhist understanding of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ karma, the ‘positive karma’ or ‘merit’ as we call it, is diminished if we get credit for positive actions. This being a BIG one, it would make a big difference to me in my favor if I didn’t get credit for it.”)
Too bad seeing their donation as a "BIG one" just erased the "favor" this person imagines they have as a result of their good works. It's a typically kindergarten approach to understanding karma, as if there's a cosmic bank out there we're all making payments and withdrawals from with our good and bad works in the world.

Let's hope the Rinpoche's garden will put a stop to that nonsense, as well as bringing a bit more peace to the world.


At 9/08/2006 1:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a typically kindergarten approach to understanding karma, as if there's a cosmic bank out there we're all making payments and withdrawals from with our good and bad works in the world.

Would be interesting to know what your (more nuanced?) understanding of karma is.

At 9/08/2006 7:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mystical? "Ringsels" or simply crystals as they are known in my tradition (Taoist qigong) are hypothesized to be nodes that form in the fascia from internal energy flow. Over time the high flow of internal energy, caused by specific exercises, causes the fascia to harden and grow into a nodule.

These are seen in the x-rays of high-level practitioners. They have been studied in China. Their formation is desired and that is precisely why certain meditative exercises are performed.

It is interesting that in many traditions there has been no research into this.

Personally, I doubt there are any energetic properties once they are removed from the person but they are an external sign of physiological changes brought about through the practice of meditation.

At 9/08/2006 8:57 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

Would be interesting to know what your (more nuanced?) understanding of karma is.

I know that if you donate land for a spiritual garden, and then make a concerted effort to hide your identity because you are afraid you'll lose your good "credit", you've already lost what you were trying to preserve. In other words, the land donator made the donation for the purposes of gaining good karma. That's an act with a thought of a reward, which isn't selfless.

Karma is not really understandable in such a facile, linear way. Who knows why things happen? I don't think you can chalk it up to only the good or bad things you've done in your life previously, or even lives previously. Shit happens. You deal with it and move on, or you don't. Trying to find reasons why shit happens will not change its happening from happening.

At 9/08/2006 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"These are seen in the x-rays of high-level practitioners."

I can't believe people actually believe this bullshit. It's truly astounding and depressing, but that's what sites like this are for!

Thanks Guruphiliac for both giving me hope and headaches at the same time ;)

At 9/08/2006 11:01 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

I can't believe people actually believe this bullshit.

Yeah, I soooooo know what you mean.

At 9/08/2006 5:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey... this sounds like the Oneness Temple of kracki!!!
They also hide things under some points, and as u enter the temple your chakras will expand, one by one, and when u go out, u are done, u are enlightened!!!
And the best: there will be an empty throne, were every individual will see his personal God!!!!

What's next????

At 9/09/2006 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

III&I said
hey... this sounds like the Oneness Temple of kracki!!!

Did you do the process there? If so, I'd like to hear your account of it. Too many people are depleting their savings account going to that place.
¿En España el movimiento del kraki es tan popular como en los EEUU?

At 9/09/2006 10:11 AM, Blogger Inner Bliss said...

"Gonna be a dental floss tycoon" hehe.. loved the FZ reference. Didn't know you were a fan too!

At 9/09/2006 10:18 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

> loved the FZ reference
Thanks, Antarananda.

I can trace the advent of my interest in spirituality to the very first time I heard the track "Suzy Creamcheese" when I was in the fourth grade, although I have to admit at the time I was primarily fascinated by the fact that someone was using swear words on a record.

At 9/09/2006 10:36 AM, Blogger Inner Bliss said...

Lol, that's quite an interesting story!

Hey, BTW, with regard to the comment that one anonymous poster made about "nodules"... I suddenly recalled that UG Krishnamurti had mentioned something similar happened to him, so I looked it up online, and found this:

This is a fascinating read, because Nithyananda has spoken about an almost identical neurological "re-wiring" after his 9 month death experience - memory wiped out, having to relearn everything, etc.

Complete text here:

At 9/09/2006 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, yes, kracki is also popular in Spain, but spanish just a bit less egopowertrip, but still very inmature.

I have post many comments in this site about that trip of mine in Golden City. Only I was anonymous until I decided to have a name(just for quotations).
Unfortunately the K. movement was very popular in northen Europe since many years ago, and it also arrived to Spain in mid 2004.

At 9/09/2006 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

III & I , are you the one who posted the comments about the story of the Indians getting fleeced being true, and that Kracki said to your group that you would all become gurus?
if so, good for you that you posted that. Very little info where I am from is getting through the cracks about Kracki's power trip. But I guess it will start coming out soon.

At 9/09/2006 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes that was me.
I dont know if it will come out.... many will keep brainwashed for a while. And they like giving deeksha. they have become "special"

At 9/09/2006 1:58 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

> they like giving deeksha. they have become "special"
You've coined the whole reason for the success of deeksha. People want to feel special, so they go spend their $5000 to do so.

They are buying their own belief in themselves, and that's all they're getting, too.

At 9/09/2006 2:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He said(Kr), regarding a question of why he does not travel around, that his job was there , and there was no need for him to travel anywere, he just enlighten us, and we become like gurus and enlighten the world.
I don't think he was serious about it. he could be humoristic some times, but what is a joke and what isn't???
The whole thing is a big joke! And he is very smart.

At 9/09/2006 2:21 PM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

> And he is very smart.

Almost every successful con man is.

At 9/10/2006 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

III & I said:
yes that was me.
I dont know if it will come out.... many will keep brainwashed for a while. And they like giving deeksha. they have become "special"

You mentioned you know Cooper. Since the time you met him, have you gotten a chance to see his web site, mass emails, and billboard? It says "enlightenment now" and has a big picture of himself on it.

At 9/10/2006 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

III&I, in case you haven't seen, here is an example of what he is sending out:

Hi All,

We are on the front end of a world wide phenomena of awakening. I just heard the Dali Lama is going to Oneness University to meet with Bhagavan. Deeksha is the ONLY thing Maharishi will allow his upper TM teachers do. Many other big spiritual leaders have already been through the 21 day program or it's equivalent. Don't ask me who because this is a touchy thing and I don't want to betray any confidences.

We have lots of wonderful events coming up quickly so I am going to hold the reports until the next email."


III & I, Have you heard about any of this, i.e. the dalai lama and important spiritual leaders going to Oneness Univ. and meeting with the bagwan? It sounds highly suspicious to me.

At 9/11/2006 1:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon, hi, yes, I've seen cooper's web site.... for me is obvious that like 99 % of deekshagivers take themselves as saviours of the world. That's what the course is for.That's what Kr constantly says.

Of course, I notice Cooper's tone, but I find it no different from the rest of deekshagivers. I've seen the billboard, and yes, is too much. but I am not surprised. I tell u I've seen worse among deekshagivers.
I don't receive the mails. But probably u can tell him to erase you from his list, and u won't receive more deeksha stories.

About Dalai Lama, no idea. But yes, lots of spiritual teachers are joining Kracki. And I would not be surprised if is true.
The last I know is joining is the freacking Master Teacher of the Endeaveour Academy of the Course in Miracles, and that is skeary, he is better brainwasher than Kr.
Another big guru: Chalanda Sai Maa also took that process(personalized... they were making her all honours and pujas, and sitting her on a throne....)
Well, I guess this what the scriptures describes as Kali yuga,... they probably meant Kalki yuga!!!

At 9/13/2006 9:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

III said: I know I. Zaphiro, Arjuna, and others have gone there. Ron Roth, some african priest, some chamans from southamerica, a prominent(they say) sufi master,and probably many others.
Also the master teacher of the course in miracles, from the Endeaveour Academy is joining. he is a good brainwasher also.

So is there some real energy baghwan is transferring, or are all of these spiritual teachers deluded? Can someone answer?

At 9/13/2006 9:12 AM, Blogger guruphiliac said...

So is there some real energy baghwan is transferring, or are all of these spiritual teachers deluded? Can someone answer?

It's poppycock energy, and yes, if any of those teachers believe something is being transferred, they are certainly deluded.

At 9/13/2006 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So is there some real energy baghwan is transferring, or are all of these spiritual teachers deluded? Can someone answer?

Found a great response on Living Tantra:

"I can't comment on this movement, but there are a few points of View that are important. What is "it" that is being transmitted? And what is "transmission?"

Shaktipat means the descent of grace from teacher to student. Grace is the revelation of Reality in all of its fullness. Real Shaktipat can be focused and precise, like surgery. It can bring about sudden openings of View. Properly, Shaktipat refers to a multitude of forms of transmission, but in the West, we tend to use it to mean transmission by physical touch.

Obviously, people who been practicing for three weeks, or three years, are unlikely to have the profound understanding of Reality that is necessary to serve as a conduit for this type of transmission. Also, as far as I know, offering Shaktipat is not a technique that can be safely learned as some kind of spiritual toolbox add on. It emerges from the situation of realization.

I have often noticed that the practice of giving "Shaktipat" as it is more commonly done, tends to keep both teachers and students stuck at the level of physical sensation and spiritual drama. People get addicted to a certain feeling of intensity they mistake for spiritual accomplishment. It is not. Spiritual accomplishment is embodied understanding of Reality.

As for different kinds of energy being transmitted through Shaktipat, yes and no. The world is uncomplicated, but it appears in many forms. Body, Energy, and Wisdom are not different things; they are different modes of appearing of the one life process.

Most of us have a limited experience of body. Some few of essence appearing as energy. And even fewer can directly percieve and express the inherent wisdom of the life process. Anything anyone "transmits" will be at the level of their awareness. There are also dangers of coming into contact with other entities and karmic patterns of which one is unaware and/or unable to digest or protect oneself from.

When considering important questions such as the ones you pose, it's a great idea to read the words and stories of the Mahasiddhas and Jagad Gurus. The more sense we have of what we don't know, the wiser, and more cautious, we will be."

At 9/13/2006 10:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

III said: anon, hi, yes, I've seen cooper's web site.... for me is obvious that like 99 % of deekshagivers take themselves as saviours of the world.

By the way, does Kalki espouse vegetarianism? I was just wondeing cause Cooper teaches that none of that old kali yuga stuff matters, including vegetarianism. I was told, though, by a friend that Kalki believes that meat eating is one of the reasons for much of the suffering of the world and that karmically it is bad news. i thought it strange that K should say one thing and his "enlightened " devotees another.

At 9/15/2006 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't heard Kr saying that eating meat is bad, or the cause for human suffering.
I don't know about that.

At 9/16/2006 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

a punk rocker from Scotland

This applies to Bush as well as to the bullshit doled out by many of the spiritual teachers discussed here.

At 9/18/2006 8:21 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Add all the bullshit doled out by punk rockers from Scotland to Bush's bullshit and all the bullshit of the spiritual teachers discussed here and you are approaching the bullshit level of mistletoe!


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