Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds /Milk Tea Alliance

Everything is Buddhanature

Nothing is separated from Buddhanature, because there is no separate ‘self-existence’ in anything. Everything that exists intrinsically is a part of or emanates from Buddhanature; therefore, everything is pure Buddhanature  just as it is.

Buddhanature is emptiness/connection-wisdom and constitutes all conditioned existence.

The problem with teachings on emptiness is that they often give you “the stick” i.e. “emptiness” and “no self”, without the carrot, i.e. “therefore everything is pure Buddhanature.” Put the two concepts together and you have something to be happy about as a Buddhist.

2 comments on “Everything is Buddhanature

  1. prajnacenter

    Shaun, Are the short hits you post at your site under the name “rough garden” a sort of blog within the larger ENGAGE website? One of my dharma names is “Vajra Anger” (from Trungpa Rinpoche’s Sadhana of Mahamudra: “Vajra Anger, the flame of death, burns fiercely and consumes the fabric of dualistic thoughts”?). I’m wondering if you might entertain a blog within your site named “The Angry Buddhist”? Jim P.S. By the way, are your parents former Trungpa students, maybe–being in Halifax, and all? (By the way, looking at your reading list what bothered me about Trungpa Rinpoche was not the fucking, drinking, smoking–what I’d call “tabloidy” stuff–but the politics, not to mention “economics.” Also, it wasn’t just that he mastered a “colloquial English”–Larry Mermelstein, whom you may know, Head of Nalanda Translation Committee [very apolitical, following Trungpa, a big fan of Churchill {{!}}, but a good friend], determined recently in conjunction with Asian translators that it is virtually impossible to translate Trungpa’s English back into Tibetan–unlike the works in English of, for example, Thinley Norbu, other major Vajrayana Buddhist teachers who were/are still very Tibetan in their mind-sets–because he had actually absorbed thoroughly the Western mind, a reflection of the fact he was never going back: that’s the absolute tragedy of the Vajra Regent situation: Trungpa wanted the Kagyu/Nyingma lineage to go forward embodied by a Westerner, not by another “slanty-eyed ‘Magic & Mystery in Tibet’ gook”! Trungpa actually said that at the Vajra Regent’s empowerment. I know, I was there. And it’s reprinted in one of the classified texts.

    • roughgarden

      Hi Jim: The shorter posts are my own as part of the whole mix of Engage! I occasionally right longer pieces and I’m about to publish a few. “Roughgarden” became my creative moniker a few years ago when I was living in Fredericton, NB (btw, I’m from the States, originally, Providence, RI by way of New York City and Massachusetts; my parents were Roman Catholics).

      “Roughgarden” is actually the last name of Dr. Joan Roughgarden, the evolutionary biologist who wrote Evolution’s Rainbow, on the sexual and gender diversity of species beyond male/female. Roughgarden is herself a transsexual woman; I’m a transgender man. “Roughgarden” is a common English last name so I don’t feel like I’m stealing anything. It denotes my interest in first of all, gardening, and the “roughness” refers to what I feel is the rawness of my work; it’s always a ‘rough sketch’, never finished. Third, it denotes my passionate devotion to all species, the environment, ecology, especially evolutionary ecology, which I have written on myself.

      I think Chogyam Trungpa became enamoured by the British aristocracy early on, when he got to the UK. I think he saw in their class status and formality something akin to what he was used to experiencing as the ruling Lama of several monasteries in Tibet, that kind of power and deference.

      Although his early students were hippies, he obviously disdained the hippy ethic and then forced everyone to wear suits and military uniforms. That sad legacy has now come down as a culture in Shambhala that attracts overly-controlled and over-controlling upper-class snobs who are socially and politically conservative–except for excessive drinking and nooky on the side, which is another upper class trait. Everyone else is expected to conform to that ethic, and as an obviously transgender queer, I obviously can’t and won’t do that.

      That ethic permeates the other major sangha in Halifax, Nalandabodhi, which is made up 95% of people who used to be in Shambhala. So that same upper-class over-controlled tighty-whitey ethic dominates the culture of that sangha too, and it’s oppressive. It’s the main reason why I left. I feel like a total freak, being a transgender flaming faggot from an Irish-Italian working-class background in that sort of culture.

      The whole concept of making people sit perfectly still without making any noise for hours on end is really a a form of social control practiced by the upper-class, not based on Buddhist spirituality. I have quotes from Dilgo Khyentse that say as much:

      “When engaging in meditation practice, we should feel it to be as natural as eating, breathing and defecating.  It should not become a specialised or formal event, bloated with seriousness and solemnity.  Mediitation transcends effort, practice, aims, goals and the duality of liberation and non-liberation… Therefore we should simply sit.  Simply stay in your own place, in your own condition just as it is.  Forgetting self-conscious feelings, we do not have to think “I am meditating.”  Our practice should be without effort, without strain, without attempts to control or force and without trying to become ‘peaceful.’ “(Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche, “Dzogchen Practice in Everyday Life.”)

      I’m going to write a whole scree on the class-based culture of “sitting” and how that is one of the key elements that eliminates the working class and non-white minorities from Buddhist practice and Buddhist organizations.

      Now about “The Angry Buddhist”, yes please submit things; rather than set up a separate column, I can set you up as a regular contributor and author. I am one among many angry Buddhas; it’s what gets me to write stuff. But then I look back at my writing and I see that it has clarity, reason and balance, with overtones of compassion, so something else is getting through besides anger. “Anger is an energy!” (Johnny Rotten, the Sex Pistols.). And that’s all it is.

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This entry was posted on 2015/01/04 by and tagged .


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