AlexanderS wrote:Ole Nydahl and Hannah nydahl also deserves a mention.
I second that -
MrDistracted wrote:Yes, you are right. Actually I always meant practitioners from cultures which Buddhism has recently spread to, I guess the easiest thing to say was 'western'.
That's no excuse for my sloppiness.
I apologise to anyone I have offended by the title of this thread. This thread was only ever meant to be a positive contribution to this forum, somewhere to post a few inspirational stories.
I am sorry if it has turned out otherwise.
Please feel free to change the name/lock it
Aemilius wrote: Is there a word to replace "westerner" ? A word that would include african and south american buddhists? And also turkish or iranian budhists? Are they westerners as they are born west of India?
Jikan wrote:Aemilius wrote: Is there a word to replace "westerner" ? A word that would include african and south american buddhists? And also turkish or iranian budhists? Are they westerners as they are born west of India?
how about "convert Buddhists"? this would include persons who grew up outside of a Buddhist context (even within a traditionally Buddhist country, as in a Christian household in Korea &c).
The Khyentse Foundation's latest communique has an obituary of Gerard Godet, a western practitioner who showed signs of realisation at the time of his death, remaining in thugdam for a week:
http://khyentsefoundation.com/2011/10/p ... part-xiii/
And recently I heard about David Petit (husband of Lama Tsultrim Allione), who died last year and Tulku Sangngag was keen that his realisation was publicised as an inspiration for others, saying he was certain David had acheived liberation in the bardo of Dharmata:
http://us1.campaign-archive.com/?u=4883 ... 58098f3c7b
I was wondering if there are any more stories like this, of western practitioners who have actually shown signs of realisation at the time of death.
Of course, there are going to be many realised practitioners who don't show signs, and realisation is not just showing 'signs', but I find stories like this so inspiring as my habit of needing evidence seems hard to break at times...and this proves (to me) that it really can be done
(Mods....I hope this is the right forum for this, please move if necessary)
xylem wrote:I take inspiration from this woman who drives for hours to come see this one lama at our center. She loves him and lives out in the sticks where she's a solitary practitioner. Her husband waits in the pick-up while she receives teachings, they have lunch together and he waits again for hours as the teachings continue. You might think she was a hick with her country accent until she starts asking profound questions about the nature of mind and emptiness. Then she packs up and after being effulgently sweet and friendly to everyone-- gets back in the truck and back to the sticks.
Then there's the dude who had a stroke and who's brain is scrambled. He's got to be eighty. But he practices. Has a shrine. He calls begging for help getting to a teaching that he randomly heard about. He's old, feeble, and every step he takes is painful from diabetic feet and arthritis. We help him walk baby steps into the teachings. He demands that several of us get up out of his chair and on his feet when the lama enters the room. At lunch it seems that his cognitive deficits are done. He's radiant and shares with the sangha his visits to Buddhist asia in his youth. Then, back to the nursing home.
And then there's my dharma sibling who's schizophrenic. After some decades of practice, he still has delusions, but they're like having something unusual and unwanted in the trunk of the car. He carries it around but works with it. He's totally open with his disease with the lamas and the sangha. Everyone rolls with it because he does. Freak out. Offer lamps. Do prostrations. Freak out. Study madhyamaka. And so on. The schizophrenia is a distraction and a deviation like any of us have.
There are the people I know that retire and sell it all and go into retreat. Deep into retreat. I'm not talking Asian tourism retreat or American dharma center retreat. Deep retreat. Sell everything and buy a little studio or a trailer and just practice. Or give one's SSI check to one's lama's center and just live in a dorm room. No cruises, tending grand babies, elderhostel, shuffle board or bingo. Practice. Hard.
And there are those kids I see. Sometimes kids as young as 10 or 12 sitting next to me taking wangs and doing practice. Year after year. Seem to bypass the adolescent shit and just dig into practice. Young people in their late teens early twenties, when I was out whoring and drinking, coming to weekly dharma practice. Young people you have to take seriously like any dharma bro because they've put the time in on the cushion practicing, studying, taking teachings.
Paul wrote:Very near the top of the list for most inspirational and dedicated western practitioners ever is Erik Pema Kunsang. He met Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche on the top of a brick-lorry and the rest is history...
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