Posted inHenry's Messages

Message from Henry: Crazy Wisdom

March 15, 2016

The heart of the Buddha is lineage.


I recently read the strange and fascinating, The Mahasiddha and his Idiot servant, by “Sir” John Riley Perks, who was personal butler to Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Trungpa showered Perks, an Englishman, with many honors, courtly and military, bestowed by his self-styled Kalapa Court: “Commodore,” “Warrior,” “Major,” “Chamberlain,” “Knight,” etc., Perks was all of them and more. The “crazy wisdom” portrayed in the book has echoes of Carlos Castaneda, of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and of Monty Python, and involves a lot of late-night boozing, sex parties, and quasi-imperial British courtliness. Zen seems a bit dull by comparison. So far as I know no Zen organization has tried to seize a large island in order establish a mythical kingdom of its own, or encouraged sex parties and massive consumption of alcohol as paths to deep liberation.

Yet here and there the core teaching of the Mahayana shines through. Here is a quote:

“There is still, even in this dark age, an enlightened lineage of beings and you are being invited to join with them… Please, do not waste a minute to begin that endeavor.

“There are many groups of people that form around the idea of studying the Buddhist teachings without a teacher. This is rather like going to a restaurant and attempting to eat the menu. I realize that it is done with the best of intentions, but still the possibility of having your trip exposed or transformed without a teacher is at best zero. There is no possibility of lineage here, which is the continuum of the heart of the Buddha. From a morality point of view one could become a Brahmin, or follower of the rule, which is not the ultimate point of the Buddhist teachings.”

The heart of the Buddha is lineage.

That’s for real.


Message from Henry is from our March 15, 2016 Newsletters.

Image taken at Mountain Cloud Zen Center by Cherie Manifest, used with her permission.

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