“The Heart of the Buddha,” by Chogyam Trungpa

July 29, 2010

heart of the buddhaTrungpa Rinpoche was a deeply flawed man, but an inspiring teacher. A new book gives Suriyavamsa a chance to reflect on Trungpa’s genius, and on the visceral and striking teaching it gave rise to.

I remember studying with my teacher Sangharakshita in a group of Triratna Buddhist centre teachers a couple of years ago. He expressed his admiration for Chogyam Trungpa and, using Gurdjieff’s distinction between the narrow saint and the broad genius, considered Trungpa to be a flawed genius of intelligence, flair and imagination. Sangharakshita went on to encourage us all to become ‘geniuses’ – to be broad and other regarding, and to develop the many diverse talents necessary to spread the Buddha’s teachings.… Read more »

Chairgasm in the basement: My intro to tantric meditation

February 3, 2010

Neal Pollack: Faster Times

When I went to my first San Francisco Yoga Journal conference in 2009, I mostly found myself wandering around the Hyatt confused, frustrated, physically exhausted, and waiting for lunch. This year, I returned with a strategy, a curriculum of sorts. I’d barely do any physical yoga at all; with that, I’ve become all too familiar. Instead, I’d begin my journey into yoga’s subtler aspects, its deeper mysteries. It was time for an introduction to Tantra.

Most people, if they’ve heard of Tantra at all, would say, “Oh, yeah, that’s that thing Sting and his wife do before they fuck.” Until pretty recently, I’d have said the exact same thing. And now, … Read more »

Vajrapani: Breaking free

July 29, 2008

VajrapaniWrathful Vajrapani, the bold blue Buddha of energy, is helping Vajradevi to transform her demons.

A few years ago I was sitting in a London office one winter day as the rain came down in slick sheets. Lightning flashed across the low sky and, as the thunder suddenly crescendoed, a half-dozen car alarms shrieked out to the surprise of pedestrians. No-one had touched the vehicles. The unseen power of the thunder had set the alarms off. It seemed a mischievous reminder from nature of the power at her disposal.

It also brought to my mind Wrathful Vajrapani, the Bodhisattva of energy or power. This is the figure I took on as a focus of my … Read more »