this is the second time a museum of works has moved me to tears. the first was Dali’s in Figueres, Spain. both artists believed that ART was to be experienced, not viewed as static works like most museums create, but moving, ethereal, magical and evocative of environment. here are a few views from his space…
i perceive only a fraction of reality, my mind runs untrained through most of my day(s) and yet in the city of New York i came upon a moment of clarity. seems weird that in a city of chaos i’d have a sense of clarity!? it was Christmas evening in a restaurant dining on sushi that i overheard two people talking unusually loudly considering they were a foot from one another and i was sitting no further from them…both had an attitude of separateness, pride and unhappiness, which at first startled me on Christmas and then i realized how i was judging them and then again i realized how i could identify with their attitudes, perhaps not in that moment but somewhere in time i too have carried these attitudes!
just a few weeks ago in my Dharma class i had a moment or two of conviction in my attitude and was called on it in class! i did not realize it then but another week went by and someone else called me on my attitude and finally…well, the light went on and my mind kicked into gear…duh! OK, the veil of ignorance again is lifted even if momentarily it was long enough to get an “aha” and settle back into this humble body and mind. cringing at the realization that i am STILL a beginner in samsara and how illusive and impermanent clarity within the mind can be!
i wish that after three years of Dharma teachings it would translate into my junior year and i could feel good about myself that i would graduate to a “higher” level!!!! instead i get to see the nature of samsara…again. that self is not separate, pride only supports and validates self and unhappiness is suffering…my mind feels discouraged and yet with knowledge of Dharma i cannot turn away from truth, the truth of human nature is suffering. Hazel, you can judge others for better, worse, laziness, overachievers, liars…in the end it always comes back. just like the wheel of Dharma, in a circle, round and round we go, creating causes for karma in all directions.
the holidays, specifically Christmas, is a time for giving. on Christmas i was given an opportunity to “see” how insidious my mind can be. it was like “A Christmas Carol” where he travels to past, present and future….to witness missed opportunities and create a change for the better.
KORE Press and the team of grrrls came to my space yesterday for an informal meet and greet…their slogan “connects art with social movements” is what compelled/propelled me to investigate more about the group and meet their director Lisa Bowden. http://www.korepress.org/ and http://www.korepress.org/GrrrlsProject.htm
what a great group of women and girls…their minds felt like doors wide open, without the life experiences of age..like me with 50+, they do not hold onto views so tightly, motivated to make a difference in their world(s) this program offers a voice through writing…something i could learn from them!! actually i learn more from youth than i do at times from adults, merely because they still have OPEN minds!! they are like a breath of fresh air…fleeting…curious, cultural, intelligent and motivated!
we started the tour with them allowing me to introduce myself through my work and talk a little about the element of welding and the medium of metal in sculpture. i am a visual learner and that is how i express my perceptions of and in life. the tour then took them upstairs to see younger age works by my daughters in fashion…hopefully we can connect them with Mariko and perhaps do a small workshop together integrating their voice thru fashion wear.
time flew…next i discussed meditation and how it fits into my work and life. i begin each day with a 10-15 minute meditation, i use this tool for many purposes…first, because it is a part of my spiritual daily practice, second to quiet my mind (it is chaotic at best!), when i meditate even for shorter periods i liken it to “cleaning the slate” because in my mind i hold onto too many thoughts and views of what “i think” i should or should not do, many artists sketch, do arithmetic to scale works, document…i keep most images within my mind, so in order to allow the work to just come out naturally i meditate and then begin.
after our twelve minute meditation we discussed the effects they experienced and then proceeded to a very short demo in welding! by the time they left i was on a high of life!! they had motivated me beyond any words i can express…youth, can be a state of mind!
thank you grrrls and Lisa and Ann for the opportunity!
the asian welder
The Ruling Lamas’ Policies
By Western Shugden Society
As a forward to this review let me be clear with my intentions that I am a child in knowledge and truths, my spiritual practice into Buddha, Dharma and Sangha began approximately three years ago. I am a beginner on the path, but I see my path as always beginning. I have always been fascinated with humanity and their choice or belief in “faith”; it is why I spent years investigating what faith meant to me. My karma brought me to meet The New Kadampa Tradition, it is a tradition in the Gelugpa, founded by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, and a Tibetan monk exiled to England in 1977 and has been a practicing monk since the age of eight. This tradition is the pure teachings from Je Tsongkhapa and Atisha, presented for Westerners to gain understanding and wisdom from teachings and applied in daily practice to benefit countless beings with tools to develop happiness, peace, love and compassion. There are four Tibetan Buddhist traditions; Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug.
The reason for publishing and my reviewing this book was/is:
- To liberate millions of innocent practitioners of the Buddhist Deity Dorje Shugden and their families from suffering
- To restore peace and harmony between Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners
- To re-establish the common spiritual activities of Shugden and non-Shugden practitioners
- To free Buddhism from political pollution
Upon reading this book if I had no knowledge of the different Tibetan traditions of Buddhism I’d wonder what all this fuss and controversy was about especially since it cites the fourteenth Dalai Lama as the person behind the creation of all this “ political pollution”. However, I do have limited knowledge and needed to investigate why a book would need to be published to bring the Dalai Lama into such harsh and contrasting light and how a spiritual leader would allow politics to be a part of a personal and cultural journey of faith?
Initial reading of “A Great Deception” hit me square between the eyes with pointing fingers of blame and inappropriate attention to the Dalai Lama’s faults. I felt uncomfortable with reading so much one sided information pointing to one human being the cause of so much suffering…and the fact remains the Dalai Lama has benefitted so many beings worldwide.
However, like so many spiritual leaders in this world, the human being residing within with all its delusions has created more suffering and can undo all the progress for so many on a path towards liberation. Buddha has said not to judge another by their actions because it is not the “person” whom harms us but his/her delusions. This book points out the many choices of actions and words from the fourteenth Dalai Lama with supported facts gathered from various media and personal transcriptions. This book is not an intending bashing of the Dalai Lama but more to reach out to show the vast majority his hypocrisy and political intentions based on his power as a spiritual leader…a guise that creates so much potential suffering that allowing silence over this ban of the Deity, Dorje Shugden and his practice has come to the forefront of violence.
“A Great Deception” is written in chronological order and educates us into the hierarchy of all the Lamas and history into their Tibetan world. Did you know that the term “Dalai” came from Mongolia and that the title was first used on the third Lama? The fifth Dalai Lama was the first spiritual leader to integrate politics into the world of Buddhism and Tibet? The present Dalai Lama does not support a ” Free Tibet” but autonomy? These are but a few questions the book investigates and answers with documentation. There are to many references to the Dalai Lama in this book about his use of power in government, politics, money, communism, nepotism and violence that I have chosen to only highlight the issue of the spiritual issue in regards to the practice of the Dharma protector Dorje Shugden. The purported “evil spirit” Dorje Shugden, the Dalai Lama bans from all Buddhist practice, he himself practiced along with his Spiritual Guides up until he was fifty years of age? The Dalai Lama himself closed the doors physically and mentally to all Buddhist practitioners whom practice Dorje Shugden – is this freedom of religion? Those who do not abide his word are left without a refuge, teachings, food, medicine…
This book is damaging in the face of H.H. the Dalai Lama; however for Dharma to flourish worldwide one must come to an understanding of pure intention, pure motivation and pure teachings…one human being cannot change the history or lineage of teachings from Buddha in any one tradition without dialogue. It is incomprehensible as a lay practitioner to change Dharma midstream unilaterally because of personal or political feelings or motivations. The one thing Dharma has taught me is an open mind, open heart and pure intent. Without pure spiritual intention how can one progress on a spiritual path?
The reading of this book has brought more personal investigation into Tibetan history and investigation into the history of Dorje Shugden. As a practicing Buddhist I know that my teachers have always favored investigation because it will lead to truths if motivated by pure intent for spiritual growth. Karmically we will always be led to a faith we become loyal to, so again, my confusion as to why the present day Dalai Lama chooses to mandate ALL traditions of Tibetan Buddhism against personal practice of Dorje Shugden? Truth in histories is always unqualified; it is from our kind root gurus that we establish faith and our practice. If the Dalai Lama has chosen to dismiss his root guru’s wisdom and NOT practice Dorje Shugden then that is his freedom, however as a lay person I find that by all accounts he has broken his vow and commitment as an ordained monk and especially as a world figure in leading Tibetan Buddhism, by breaking in beliefs with his Spiritual Guides. One human being does not have this capacity to make a unilateral decision to change pure Dharma! Why has the Dalai Lama not chosen to meet with other lamas, gurus of his standing and geshes to talk and discuss this openly with love and compassion as he represents himself to be? Instead he has chosen the advice of an oracle and dictates a ban with divisive speech, violence and politics.
People from around the world may view H.H. Dalai Lama, or believe him to be enlightened, a Buddha; however even if half of this history or stories within this book are false or misinterpreted the other half of truths disqualify him as nothing more than a human being suffering in his own self-grasping and self-cherishing convictions. “A Great Deception” is a must read for those on the path to liberation because it reminds us of our humanness and why we chose this path to enlightenment, our equanimity and the suffering ignorance creates. All words are open to human and personal interpretation. Without the guidance and kindness from my root guru I would not be here today investigating truths. I pray for the present Dalai Lama for peace and compassion in heart and mind. I do not judge him because I do not know his mind, however I do judge his actions or lack of…for the exiled Tibetans I wish for harmony and pray that Dharma will once again find its true united voice…to cherish all sentient beings without exception as our kind mother.
There are a lot of sources on the internet to investigate the practice of Dorje Shugden and the controversy, here is just one link: http://wisdombuddhadorjeshugden.blogspot.com/2009/11/great-deception.html
Wikipedia is also another source..or just type in “Dorje Shugden controversy”….
The controversy has been going on since the seventies and has created such disharmony in my tradition that I was compelled to enter into this discussion. In the end my attention drifts back to my practice and that of my Spiritual Guides I rely upon….
“OFFERINGS” my latest exhibit and showing of new works…this is a view within a view inside the warehouse space where all the sculptures too big to reside within the gallery space are placed. the attendance was the lowest of any show and yet in my mind it was my strongest show of works!! cracks me up…although my fair city does not hold or value a plethora of conceptual and contemporary works it boggles my mind how any “artist” does not succumb to doubt and depression over time. i struggle with marketing, i know that is my weakest link and my space is not in the “desired” area of the city where people like to go or are too lazy to make a go out and investigate….and yet i plug along, because i don’t know how else to communicate or express myself to benefit myself and others. intellectually i know i can do other things directly to impact my world but my passions of communicating are in creating through a medium that does not seem to interest people…yes, this is from my own mind and yes it’s my karma, so i keep applying effort and i keep creating the causes for a future.
doubt and funk have entered my mind as of late and i know what i need to do however right now it feels necessary to just feel this…it is not an attachment i will hold onto for long, the grasping will release over time only to begin again when another condition arises…my world, my mental attitude, my works are impermanent…and yet my humaness (is that a word?) tires me…relax Hazel, i say to myself , hit the refresh button and begin again.
shadow and light play within the gallery…
a neon which hangs in front of an airplane side that has five windows…my installation and thought on “immigration” . each window holds an element; air, water, cosmos (space or emptiness), fire and earth. we are ALL migrating beings, every moment of everyday…changing, one cell dies to rebirth of a new cell, equanimity…we are all the same just with different aspects of self.
she speaks loudly! for previous looks into the progression you can hit the link… http://www.theasianwelder.com/2010/11/earth-speaks/
mother nature seems to be speaking to us everyday around the world…the natural disasters seem everywhere and devastating! if one were to take a look at what we as human beings living on this great planet are doing to her we ought not be surprised!