a reply to: ipsedixit
I have found this thread to be absolutely fascinating; a very honest, rugged & no-holds-barred grudging critique of what has apparently been a
remarkable adventure of personality warfare, a complex array of spiritual hurdles, agitators, battles & insight into the darker side of the spiritual
path you have embarked upon (and quite admirably stuck with despite these deep misgivings regarding the fuller nature of Vajrayana practice &
My overriding question at this stage is thus: Would you consider yourself as being on a path which is gradually leading away from the wider
community & theological construct which your faith practice has generated as you walked through your learnings? The Dharma Centre clearly has been a
full & constant focal point within your life, and having myself also been part of a hugely beneficial yet sometimes rigid & domineering spiritual
'household' (of a charismatic Christian church which has a large number of such households networked throughout the UK) - I understand some of the
feelings you have described, and I wonder whether you want to break away, or whether you perhaps feel that you went 'all in' many years ago, and thus
you are in some sense obligated to ride out the storms no matter what?
I get the sense that you are a repressed leader - clearly you are deeply thoughtful & able to discern the finer strands of personality & the actions
which shape us & give form to our inner selves, though naturally warped somewhat by the constraints of the world.. Do you foster ambition to one day
take over as one of the leaders, or even the principle leadership role in the centre? I believe, based on what you have discussed so candidly in this
thread, that you would cut a quiet revolutionary figure, tracing an arc which reshapes, in some aspects, certain practices & practicalities of the
Dharma Centre & its teachings, I expect in a wholly positive manner.
Would you say that these suggestions find root in your inner self? Otherwise, I suppose my question remains, as to whether you may instead choose to
walk away & seek elsewhere for the necessary bedrock upon which to build your house.
Although my beliefs diverge from yours in several places, I can see aspects of my experience peppered around the tales you have shared here. I am
confident that Buddhism scholars & practitioners have a clearer insight into the 'mechanics' of general spirituality. Despite having a solid
theological grasp on my belief system & the generally accepted wisdom & spiritual giftings which arise from committed practice, quite often I find
myself exposed to dark opposition which I can't quite get a handle on at a base level. And it is common that churches don't quite know what to do when
they see/ hear of events of the 'spiritual warfare' nature. In this respect I'm glad to have been weaned in a solid household church which sought to
practice 'First Century Christian Fellowship & Outreach', living in structured households, all of us having an informal vow of poverty, sharing all
things in common according to the basic needs we had at any time (clothing, toiletries, tools for work, transport, foodstuffs bought in bulk & shared
out equally, with the occasional treats thrown in here & there (a sneaky McDonald's on the way back from an outreach event, for example!) Truly a
beautiful thing, as the scripture says: "Behold how good & pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity!"
Despite my fairly solid personal convictions & theological understanding, doctrine, dogma etc - frequently I find myself stumbling around in the dark,
trying to figure out which type of elephant I just ran into, throwing together ad hoc psychic defences, and ultimately standing in faith like a child,
unable to fully comprehend what it is which is facing me down, although confident in the outworkings of faith to overcome. In this sense I am somewhat
envious of the pragmatic understandings & records, techniques & practices for the basic self-defence of one's attendant spiritual realms which are
found in several strands of Buddhism & Yoga (though as noted, my faith heritage & personal experience shows me that even when I cannot comprehend what
I'm up against, there is a general layer of protection & ongoing support which enables modest advancements in knowledge & action. All for the
purposes of love, grace, justice, mercy, humility to become boundless & freely present in the hearts of men & women around the world.
It is easy for common temptation to corrupt the unwary Christian, but it seems that the temptations of Buddhist pathways are somewhat more subtle,
perhaps revolving around pride in oneself, ambition to overthrow & dominate others, as you have described at length herein - seeking fame & glory
(like your Indian yogi upstart, playing with Siddhis for personal glory & so on). It is my opinion that all such gifts were intended for the human
race, but that our environment has been corrupted by those who were charged with our nurture & care - and as a result there is a very complex &
sinister web woven around & about our collective consciousness, with darkness seeking our destruction at every turn, once we attain to a certain state
of 'aesthetic siddhi manifestation'. As a result, in my own understanding, such things are off-limits, at least until our spiritual atmosphere has
been cleansed & refreshed!
Anyway, wonderful thread, thank you for its continuance..
I wish you all the good health, strength, clarity, insight, fellowship & intimacy you need & should hope for. Blessings.
edit on JanuarySaturday1901CST06America/Chicago-060055 by FlyInTheOintment because: general editing..