Archive for January, 2012

Abandon all hope Ye who enter here

Chapter three of the Lanka kicks-off with the three-fold nature of the “projection body”, or manomayakaya. “There are three kinds of projection bodies. And what are these three kinds? They are the projection body that experiences the bliss of samadhi, the projection body that realizes the essential nature of the dharmas, and the projection body that whose natural state is motionless.” (Red Pine, pg 167) The first is present when the waves of the vijnana are brought to rest, making FULL Read more [...]

You have Anointed Me

When a bodhisattva ascends into higher modes of advancement, the Tathagatas themselves appear to procure their progress: “Moreover, Mahamati, the tathagatas employ two kinds of powers for the support of bodhisattvas who come before them for instruction. And which two supporting powers? The power to appear in bodily form and speak to those in Samadhi and the power to anoint their foreheads.” (Red Pine, pg 130) Suzuki goes even further and refers to these as “sustaining” powers: “Further, Read more [...]

Dream Weaver

A study on the Lanka would be remiss without focusing on one of its more prominent terms: manomayakaya. Red Pine describes it as, “a projection body—because it travels quickly and without obstruction, like a thought…endowed with higher powers and spiritual masteries obtained in the Samadhi of the Illusory, the different projection bodies of bodhisattvas appear simultaneously, like unobstructed projections, in whatever realms they recall having vowed to bring those beings to perfection who Read more [...]

Children of the Buddha

Having been graced with a full understanding of the Noble Wisdom of self-realization, the perfected bodhisattvas (mature garbha, or bodhichild) enter into deep and unfathomable samadhis for the benefit of all sentient beings: “And they enter hundreds of thousands of samadhis, countless hundreds of thousands of samadhis. And as they do so, they travel to other buddhalands and venerate other buddhas and are reborn in celestial palaces, where they praise the three treasures and appear as buddhas Read more [...]

A Magical Mystery Tour

Rabbit horns and Gandharvic Castles in the air; the mind, will and consciousness; the five dharmas and modes of reality; long and short, is and isn’t, I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob, ect—all are nothing more than a magician’s conjuring trick, designed to keep the great Ferris Wheel of Samsara turning round and round. Red Pine states, “Just as a magician fabricates forms that people imagine as being what they are not, thus does our repository consciousness produce our world of objects Read more [...]

And the Truth shall set you free

After inundating the Blessed One (Buddha), as well as the reader, with an incessantly long litany (108 questions) concerning literally everything under the Buddhist sun, Red Pine states that the Buddha “mercifully” (for both Mahamati and the reader) attempts to put to rest the obsessive workings of the meandering mind. It’s all “mind-stuff”—projections of an overly active cognitive apparatus (conceptual consciousness) trying to appease its voracious habit-energy since beginningless Read more [...]

All the world’s a stage…

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. Those lines from Shakespeare’s, As You Like It, bring to mind how Red Pine illustrates the vast array of images that comprise Chapter Two of the Lanka, or Mahamati’s Questions: “Worldly things are produced by the magician of the mind to decorate the stage on which the play of life and death is performed.” Read more [...]

Blessed Be: A New Lanka

For a Lankavatarian, the arrival in the mail of Red Pine’s new translation of the Lankavatara Sutra was like receiving the Holy Grail. This long anticipated release was well-worth the wait. Readers will not be disappointed as this contemporary rendition, through the skillful writing ability of Bill Porter, breathes new life into what is considered a difficult text. I found myself being mesmerized as soon as I opened the book. Often I find myself skipping through a book’s preface to get to Read more [...]

Coming soon…

I can remember on a warm day this past August being excited after pre-ordering a copy of Red Pine’s (Bill Porter) newly translated edition of the Lankavatara Sutra. This was long in the making as he had been working on this translation for many years and so there has been eager anticipation as to its release. Originally, the publication date was set for late February, 2012. About a month ago I received an alert from Amazon that it would now be available by the end of January; then a few days Read more [...]

Melancholia

Writing about Colin Wilson’s, The Outsider, recently reinforced for me a main pericope within its pages—that this “Outsider” is someone who sees “too deep and too much” into the nature of reality and as a result suffers from a lingering existential crisis. Wilson’s main protagonists are prominent figures in literature like the early Romantics, Blake, Keats and Wordsworth; also with philosophers like Nietzsche, and artists like the dancer Nijinsky and Van Goth the painter and visionaries Read more [...]
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