Tag Archives: Buddhism

Turtles all the way UP!

deva

An Image, a Visage-as I’m wont to scrawl (pencil, watercolor, red wine and gold ink).

This is Devadatta of the Lotus Sutra. There are various views on Devadatta but he is often understood as a Villian, the Doer of Evil who, according to the Saddarma Pundarika, is promised Salvation and Buddhahood. Holding the heritage of a “right bastard,” this Promise presents a “Hope in Hell” for those who feel fully FUBAR. It’s one of several amazing proclamations in the Lotus Sutra. If Devadatta will make it, so can anyone else. But there is another proclamation. It is revealed that Devadatta was the One who originally taught the Human Entity who would become Buddha, the Enlightened One.

From the Stars, from SPACE, comes the Word. Despite the corruption of Time, Space is, at the End, what it was at the Beginning. “Divided,” as the Goddess Nuit says in the Book of the Law, “For Love’s Sake, for the Chance of Union.”

We might then view Devadatta as both Cause and Effect. The Connective Interlude is evident in our individual lives. From Hubris and Hatred to Shame and Despair, we are Devadatta. Shakyamuni, in his Final Revelation, offers the Lotus as the Grand Symbol of the Simultaneity of Cause and Effect. Application of this revelation is a form of Magic.

I recall reading a list of Magical Powers in Tibetan Buddhism. Each Power had a corresponding Stage of Enlightenent.

Which comes first, the Chicken or the Egg?

In my own experience, I’ve found the Quest for Strange Powers as an alluring achievement to be a Dead End Road. It’s only been when a certain Understanding-or Gnosis-has been entered that the Powers download. They arrive and we are amazed. We can teleport, shift through time, read another’s mind. But all of our previous ambitions have gone up in flames.

The New Ability flows along the Lines of Understanding.

With this image I endeavored to capture a Moment in Time wherein Devadatta Soulshifts, Space flowing into Time. The Sinister shimmers into the Sacred. The Damned becomes Daemonic.

Devadatta makes me reflect on Yeats’ classic line:

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity”

With Shakyamuni’s Revelation, the “Best” is restored, given a place on the Stage of Time wherein its long locked “passionate intensity” might be reclaimed.

We find this possibility in the Japanese doctrine of Ichinen Sanzen or “3000 Realms in a Single Moment of Life.”

In essence, this Teaching shows how our Life shifts from place to place on a “Map” of Being. One minute we are in a Realm filled with Contentment and Bliss, the next we are catapulted straight into Hell. We are granted reprieve in some diversion and the Wheel turns again.

Despite all of these transitions, each Realm, as mapped out in Buddhist Teaching, contains the others. This includes the Adamantine Core of the Buddha World. Because of this fact, any circumstance may serve as a Vehicle of the Great Way.
What is required is Consciousness and Attunement. How does one begin to cultivate these qualities? If you’re reading these words, your Path has already brought you to such a state. In the vast, sprawling Spaces of this Universe (and many others), the Awakening Mind within yourself is not unlike Nichiren’s metaphor of the one-eyed turtle who rises from the floor of the ocean once every thousand years. The chances of this turtle finding a floating sandalwood log on the surface of the sea and emerging with his head through its hollow is almost impossible. Nichiren likens this improbability to our incarnation as a human being and, through this human life, encountering the Liberation of the Lotus Sutra.

Were this a lottery, one would be a fool to bet in it. And yet it is the winning hand of one’s life. I’m reminded of an experience where I was in a bar, throwing darts. I had been recruited to play on a team, despite a total lack of skill or basic understanding of the game. Our team was down one person and so someone’s boyfriend was called in (fresh out of prison, as I recall).

He stepped up, threw a Hat Trick and when the machine went wild, he asked, with genuine shock:

“What did I do?”

He had to be TOLD that he kicked ass.

This is the Message of the Lotus Sutra. You are already kicking ass. But (to again reference that pugnacious monk, Nichiren), we fail to see our own eyebrows…and we fail to see the Buddha whose Dwelling is within us.

It’s not “Turtles All The Way Down.”

It’s “Turtles All The Way UP.”

And the Turtle is Gamera.

gamera

The Goal of Alchemy was purported to be the Transmutation of Lead into Gold. This might also be translated as Transforming the Shit of our Lives into the Diamond Mind of Bodhicitta, a glorious reminder that our present level of consciousness is, itself, such a rare and magnificent thing in this Multiverse. From this, we may jaunt, jump, volt or simply stumble from one Realm to Another in the twinkling of an eye.

So-! Devadatta. Cause and Effect. Waking up.

It’s happening right now. Nor is there any other place for this to BE.

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MINDCRAFT-HEARTCRAFT

temple

The Temple of Space Hoodoo in Minecraft

It was a dark and stormy night. More precisely, it was dark, cold and Space Hoodoo HQ was buried in a blizzard. Power down and internet cut.

What to do?

Build a virtual temple in Minecraft. After all, the laptop still has another two hours left before it goes the way of the hot water heater!

Having been immersed for some time in the world of “Spiritual Gaming,” there is a type of “carry-over” into all gaming exercises. It’s rather akin to applying post-meditational practice. For a period of time, one might endeavor to keep Mindfulness high in an office setting. One’s place of work then changes and the challenges of the “Cubical Labyrinth” shift to a Farmland Forray.

Same Mind, New Projections.

I initially downloaded Minecraft to play with my son. Despite the ease with which every kid in 2nd Grade seems to navigate through this virtual space, I’ve found the learning curve to be a bit challenging.

But it’s all part of the Game…which is to say a Spiritual Engagement with the Game.

My goal was fairly simple. Build up a sacred space to move about and be present within.

This goal was based on understanding that the ingame “Avatar” (the figure or character we identify with and help to move about) is connected to both ourselves from the Game Dimension and to what we might call our “Higher Self” in a more developed Space of Awareness and Function. The Gamespace provides a sort of Connective Field between these two “selves.”

Down the line, a multitude of selves will be linked in communication but to start, we ought simply consider the Avatar as a link between who we are as “players” and who we may YET BECOME through contact with a Being who has BECOME IT.
This is not an automatic process. It requires something of an “agreement” between the Mind and its Field of Projection and Input.

Once this is “agreement” is…well, agreed upon…the virtual space can be worked within to specific effect. If all phenomena reflects a projection of mind upon its funadmental void-nature, then the phenomenal manifestation of ANY gamespace is in the same category as the so-called “external world.” Different “laws” or “rules” apply-but, for our purposes (regarding the gamespace as a field for spiritual exercise), there IS no difference, save for the possibilities we can take advantage of there which may be more difficult in the “organic world.”

In building THE TEMPLE OF SPACE HOODOO, there was attention to detail, simple as it may be. A location was selected and cleared (this functioned as a “cleansing” in the same way we might smudge a home or sprinkle consecrated waters to purify the environment).

Building up the single room Sanctuary was done in the manner of erecting a Shrine, which is to say establishing a Contact Zone. One enters and ascends steps to reach the altarspace in this specific temple. This lifts the self into an awareness that “ordinary thinking” is left behind and a higher dimension has been entered.

In this particular dimensional space, I placed two altars of summoning with books of enchantment side by side. This is because, within this structure, Space Hoodoo is both Kyle & Jedrik as two terminals of the same “battery.”

books

Twin Tomes of Summoning

The altar faces toward the open door of the Temple. This is to allow the projection of the powers summoned into the larger world outside, what we call “ordinary life.”

That which is “summoned” is what we will call Space Buddhaa, the Buddhaa of the Future.

Previously, I had read several passages in the immaculate Sutra of Hui Neng, the Sixth Patriarch of the Dyanna or Zen School.

Therein, Hui Neng speaks of the Mahaprajnaparamita.

This term is actually quite simple. It means the Great (Maha) Wisdom (Prajna) of Enlightenment (Paramita). As one who preached the “Sudden Path,” Hui Neng sees this Profound State as being within every single person.

In fact, he says there is no other Buddha to be found.

This is why Spacebuddhaa says: “Contact your Inner Self…and say ‘Hi’.”

It’s a basic prescription for the Path.

Hui Neng goes on to say 3 remarkable things.

First he tells us:

“A foolish passing thought makes one an ordinary man, while an enlightened second thought makes one a Buddha.”

He repeats this:

“A passing thought that clings to sense-objects is klesa (defilement), while a second thought that frees one from attachment is Bodhi.”

And then he brings down the hammer:

“The Mahaprajnaparamita is the most exalted, the first and the foremost. It neither stays, nor goes, nor comes. By means of it Buddhas of the past, present and the future generations attain Buddhahood.”

son

Want Enlightenment? It’s in your HANDS!  

The Buddhas become Buddhas?

How can this be?

Simply, by dissolving the idea that one is not a Buddha and then knowing that “a Buddha” is “THE Buddha.”

The Dyanna School states that klesas are Bodhi. This is one of the “wild Zen teachings” but it can be misapplied. One can realize the True Nature of one’s Being while out on the town, getting drunk, getting laid. But just because one is doing such things doesn’t mean that one is realizing the True Nature of Being.

Hui Neng says that even meditation, entering the “Void” or doing all those wonderful things that give “merit” are fruitless unless one realizes their True Nature.

What does this have to do with Minecraft?

In this case, the structure I was able to build became a means to stay within this state of awareness.

The first realization one needs is that one is actually BECOMING A BUDDHA when aware of that “enlightened second thought.” You don’t think this. You feel it and you KNOW IT.

I had this experience while reading the text. Even as I absorbed Hui Neng’s words, my mind wandered into thoughts of a negative nature. I found myself being drawn into a deep dislike for a particular person. And then I just stopped. Not by strength of mind or some warm and fuzzy regard for the goodness inherent in all beings. No need for a bumper sticker “Namaste.” I just thought “OK, Kyle, whatever. You’re going to keep on disliking this person for a long time. Get back to it later. Listen to what Hui Neng is saying…”

huineng__great_master_of_buddhismf38e097a832a2c1e20fc

“Fuck Hate. Stay with the Sutra.” -Hui Neng

THIS was detachment. I wasn’t replacing repulsion with attraction. I was just letting it go because I had more important things to be focusing in on at the moment.

I became a Buddha right then and there. But, of course, I DID get back to the “first thought” later. And then I “fell from Grace,” becoming an “ordinary man” with all my klesas and crap.

That is until the “klesas and crap” were hit with the touchstone expressed in the words of Dih Ping Tze as he comments on Hui Leng’s words:

“To use the mind means to let the one mind (i.e. Universal Mind) manifest itself everywhere. When we let our mind dwell on piety or evil, piety or evil manifests itself, but our Essence of Mind (or Primoridal Mind) is thereby obscured. But when our mind dwells on nothing, we realize that all the worlds of the ten quarters are nothing but manifestations of One Mind.”

This simple self-remembering manifests the 10 world model of Buddhism. Each of the ten worlds contain each other. Thus, the “lowest world of Hell” also contains the Buddha World. To shift from world to world can be instantaneous.

It can be…SUDDEN.

My Avatar in Minecraft carries the same Name-Link as it does in Second Life: Hoodoo Pilot.

If both engines are running at the same time, this creates an interesting “Tri-Location” with the 3 of us operating in our respective dimensions. It should be evident that this multiplicity can be vastly extended.

The Minecraft Space, i found, asked the most intentionality on my part. It was critical to not just place an Avatar in a pre-fab space but to actually create the space in the way one would arrange a “Magical Temple.”

Upon completion of the Temple, I walked outside to view it and, instantly, the skies opened and rain began to fall. I was not simply joining with my Avatar as a link to Bodhi…HE was in direct communion with his environment. The rain fell as a cleansing benediction, a magical “housewarming gift” from the One Mind.

I then re-entered the Temple space and heard a hissing sound. Through the windows behind the altar, I could see a massive SPIDER crawling over the sands. For those who have worked with Voudon-Gnosticism, this will be seen as Ti Zaraquin, one of the Arachno-Loa, a Master Mind of Connective Systems on the Inner Plane.

Hook up: Successful.

spider

They said it wasn’t Voudon. I said “You haven’t met this guy!”

At this point, the area was charged up as a functional shrine. I sat in the other room and could see the altarspace with the pages of its twin-books fluttering like butterfly wings. This was the equivalent of chanting, slipping prayer-beads, making prostration. Kyle’s mind flickered between klesas and the “good thought.” But the chant continued in the virtual space, the chant which is one with One Mind (The Buddha), making no distinction between first and second thought.

The computer screen became a Sacred Image, “living legos” becoming the focus of Mind and retained in memory (its evocation ever experienced in “Present Space”). This is the second goal I wished to achieve by building this Temple. To encode it in Mindspace where it would be accessed even after “logging out.”

There is no difference between the Memory and Present Observation. Both evoke the same image into Awareness and the Image, if agreed upon, reflects the Bodhi which is Always in its state of “Thusness.”

It’s Mindcraft.

treasure

The Treasure Chest which always opens. Built outside Temple Space Hoodoo.

“May I draw your intention to the fact that only mind is mentioned and not heart in the translation of this sutra. The reason is that the Chinese character meaning heart and mind, is the same. Each time mind essence is referred to it means heart-mind. Keep this in your consciousness as you read the sutra. Learn to think-feel from the depths of your being. Discard sentimentality; feel the real.”

-Joe Miller, Foreward to the 1969 American Version of the Sutra of Hui Leng