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#3341 - Tuesday, November 4, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz

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  • Jerry Katz
    #3341 - Tuesday, November 4, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights ... Jeff s blog is featured.
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2008
      #3341 - Tuesday, November 4, 2008 - Editor: Jerry Katz

      The Nonduality Highlights - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NDhighlights 

      Jeff's blog is featured. http://fullthangka.blogspot.com/
      Jeff is a top 1000+ Amazon reviewer with a Vine designation which means that they like his reviews so much that Amazon.com sends him books to review, at no charge.
      Featured are three different categories from Jeff's blog: a movie review, his art, and a reflection.

      Here's how Jeff describes himself and his blog:
      Photo: Jeff
      "In search of a new path, a 40-something with no previous art training heads to Kathmandu to study thangka at a Tibetan art school. Along the way he meets people, reads books, listens to music, meditates, and writes about it here. What a life."


      Movie review: Words of My Perfect Teacher (2003)

      Portrait of an ordinary guru

      [To read this review with links intact and YouTube video embedded, visit http://fullthangka.blogspot.com/2008/07/movie-review-words-of-my-perfect.html]

      This is a film about a Buddhist guru and his western followers, a Canadian engineer, an English
      fortune teller, and an American filmmaker (the same who made this movie). What you'll find at the
      end of nearly two hours with this group is that the guru is the most normal person among them.

      This is especially remarkable for a man who in his native Bhutan is revered as a god and who, if he
      let it go to his head, could lord it over his western students, who being in need of someone to
      tell them how to manage their lives have already given over to him much of their own intellectual
      and emotional independence.

      The guru, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche (aka Khyentse Norbu), is in Europe and North America one of
      the most well-known teachers of Vajrayana Buddhism, the form of the faith practiced in the
      Himalayan countries of Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, and north India. He is believed to be the
      reincarnation of a famous teacher and comes from a family with a long line of famous teachers. It
      is not his pedigree, though, that has earned him notoriety, but his films. He began his movie
      career working as an assistant on Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha (1993), before going on to
      make The Cup (2000), and Travelers and Magicians (2003).

      Khyentse Norbu finds himself, though, somewhat reluctantly stuck with the job of guru. “I hate my
      profession,” he laments. “So much hypocrisy, pretense, so much cultural hang ups. I wish I'm just
      an ordinary person.” So, ordinary is how he acts, to the great consternation of his students. He
      cooks his own meals, he drinks, he goes to football games, he shows up late, or not at all. As the
      Canadian computer engineer remarks, “If he's enlightened, why doesn't he act like an enlightened

      View the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UJoE5o5e98

      Shot in the early years of the new millennia, filmmaker Lesley Ann Patten introduces us to Khyentse
      Norbu while in residence in London, following him to the World Cup in Germany, the United States
      immediately following the attacks on the New York Twin Towers, and finally to Bhutan where we see
      the guru in his greatest splendor, attended by throngs of devoted worshipers. Along the way, Patten
      makes a detour to Los Angles to explore the guru phenomenon with two unlikely subjects, Gesar
      Mukpo, a recognized reincarnation and the son of one of the first Tibetan gurus to teach in the
      west, and action-movie star Steven Segal, also a recognized reincarnation (of more dubious
      distinction). Mukpo would rather play basketball than guru and gives Patten a quick course in
      recognizing bogus claims to enlightenment. A good teacher, he says, invites challenges to his
      authority; it shows the student is growing. Segal notes that the thousands that have challenged him
      did so only because of their vapidity. (The subject of finding authentic teachers and the dangers
      of the guru-student relationship come up later in the DVD bonus material, a 30 minute interview
      with Khyentse Norbu.)

      The film concludes with the guru going into a three month meditation retreat and the students
      returning to their homes in Europe and North America. Director Patten got enough material to
      complete her film, a remarkably fresh portrait of a modern Buddhist teacher, and everyone seemed to
      have enjoyed their time in Bhutan. None of the students, though, declare their independence or seem
      to have come away wiser or more capable of managing their lives.

      • Director: Lesley Ann Patten
      • Studio: Festival Media
      • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
      • Run Time: 103 minutes
      Read the review with links intact and YouTube video embedded: http://fullthangka.blogspot.com/2008/07/movie-review-words-of-my-perfect.html

      Saturday, October 25, 2008 Week 5:
      Settling into a groove My first few weeks in Kathmandu I moved around quite a lot and was involved
      in a number of activities outside school. This past week I began at last to settle into a routine,
      drawing at school in the mornings, painting in the afternoons either at school or in my room.
      Evenings I spent reading, or listening to lectures (I'm continuing a series from Bhikkhu Bodhi on
      the Majjhima Nikaya, as well as starting Matthieu Ricard's Happiness).
      That means there is not a lot to write about. Which is fine, really. I think most of you coming
      here do so for the pictures more so than the words. So here are a couple, my latest completed
      painting and one I will begin working on this weekend, both examples of the auspicious symbols.

      Sunday, November 2, 2008
      Preserving the Truth
      Attentive readers will recall that I am presently working my through the Majjhima Nikaya
      http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/index.html. Yesterday I came across a discourse that
      seems like it might have been written only recently and that resonates quite clearly in a world
      surfeit with ideologues and demagogues.
      In the sutta, a wise young man of 16 asks of the Buddha, “How does one preserve truth?”
      The Buddha replies:
      If a person has faith, Bharadvaja, he preserves the truth when he says: 'My faith is thus'; but he
      does not yet come to the definite conclusion: 'Only this is true, anything else is wrong.”
      If a person receives an oral tradition, he preserves the truth when he says: 'My oral tradition is
      thus'; but he does not yet come to the definite conclusion: 'Only this is true, anything else is
      If a person reaches a conclusion based on reasoned cogitation, he preserves the truth when he says:
      'My reasoned cogitation of a view is thus'; but he does not yet come to the definite conclusion:
      'Only this is true, anything else is wrong.”
      If a person gains a reflective acceptance of a view, he preserves the truth when he says: 'My
      reflective acceptance of a view is thus'; but he does not yet come to the definite conclusion:
      'Only this is true, anything else is wrong.”
      In this way, Bharadvaja, there is preservation of the truth; in this way he preserves truth; in
      this way we describe the preservation of truth. But as yet there is no discovery of truth.
      Majjhima Nikaya Sutta 95, Canki Sutta
      ~ ~ ~
      Visit the Jeff's writing and art at http://fullthangka.blogspot.com/
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