Charles Luk (1898-1978) Ch’an Buddhist Scholar.

‘In the mean time Charles Luk was training in the Tibetan Buddhist (Vajrayana) lineages of Kagyu and Gelug under one teacher – the Tulku of Xikang – namely the Venerable Hutuktu, who was of Mongolian ethnic origin. Xikang is of course Xikangsheng (西康省) which is sometimes written as ‘Sikang’, and translates as ‘Western Abundance Province’. Now no longer in existence, it was once a province of easternTibet(Kham) controlled by the forces of the Republic of China. Today, part of this former province is in eastern Tibet, whilst the other part is in the western Sichuan province. This area, although comprised of a Tibetan majority, is known for its small Mongol ethnic grouping. During this time, Charles Luk was initiated into the secretive technique known as Phowa – or the method of the transference of consciousness at the point of death, to a Buddhafield (i.e. rebirth) of one’s choice. His other great Buddhist teacher was Ch’an master Xu Yun (1840-1959) – from whom he inherited the dharma of the enlightened lay-person which is believed to go back to Vimalakirti – an enlightened contemporary of the Buddha.’

Master Xu Yun (1840-1959) – Present Awareness.

‘Buddhism was tolerated however, despite some historical ups and downs, but leaving home to become a monk has always been a difficult affair. It still was in 1858 when master Xu Yun decided to leave home and pursue the Buddhist monastic path. As his father was a government official, Xu Yun was expected to follow in his footsteps, get married and produce a son to keep the family name of Xiao going. Even though he had expressed spiritual inclinations to his father, his father would not give permission for him to leave. Instead his father arranged for a Daoist teacher to come to the family home and teach Xu Yun internal and external qigong – or ‘energy work’.’

The Mahayana Transformation.

‘Collectively, the schools of early Buddhism are often historically referred to as ‘Hinayana’ so as to distinguish them from the emergence of the Mahayana. Whereas the Mahayana becomes historically recognisable around the 1st century CE in India, the Hinayana schools are seen to decline around four centuries later – in the 5th century CE. This demonstrates that both types of Buddhism coexisted for hundreds of years (inIndia) and there are records of monasteries containing monks who adhered to either tradition – living and practicing side by side. The emergence of the Mahayana created the conditions for earlier Buddhism to be viewed as ‘narrow’ and in some way ‘incomplete’. As the Mahayana interpretation represents a substantial expansion and elaboration of the teachings contained within earlier Buddhism, this sets the agenda for the historical interpretation of history with regard to what may be described as the ‘perceived’ developmental history of Buddhism as a distinct academic entity.’

Tantra: Enlightenment Through The Ordinary.

‘Tantra (तन्त्र) is a Sanskrit term that translates literally as ‘weave’ – but more specifically refers to the ‘weft’ of a loom, or the horizontal threads that are ‘weaved’ through the lengthwise warp threads. Indeed, the Sanskrit term ‘tantravaya’ refers to a ‘weaver’. The term ‘tantra’ can also be used to refer the ‘thread’ that is actually ‘weaved’, and is related to the Sanskrit term ‘tanti’ (तन्ति) which translates as a ‘cord’ traditionally used to tether calves. Furthermore, the verbal root ‘tan’ is defined as to ‘stretch’. This description of a practical handicraft has become adapted to describe a specific practice that links the practitioner to his teacher, to the Buddha, and to the goal of enlightenment. There is a common ‘thread’ that weaves its way through time and space, and which also links the practitioner as existing in the deluded sphere, to that of the unconditioned enlightened sphere.’

Jhana: The Buddhist Search For Focused Equanimity.

‘The physical material of the universal itself is not necessarily morally corrupt as it exists, but rather is made so by a mind projecting a distorted meaning onto, and into it. However, as the karmic fruits of an individual actually ‘pull’ a physical world into place, even morally inert matter is designed, through circumstance, to create experiences relevant to the karmic root actions themselves. Early Buddhism envisages 31 such states of existence that are only transcended through the experience of enlightenment at the point of the death of the last karmically inspired physical existence. Until that time, the mind appears to ‘burn’ with sensation and obsessive thought patterns that inspire actions that inevitably lead to further effects. This mechanism that sees the mind fabric intimately entwined with the physical world, has to be prevent from functioning in an unquestioned manner. The power of habit moves in one perpetuating direction, as like a piece of metal drawn to a strong magnet. Habitual tendencies appear ‘normal’ because they are familiar. Delusion is a comfortable state that ‘hurts’ those residing within it. The pain of delusion is never associated with the ‘delusion’ itself. The human will (cetana) is the Buddha’s key to suffering and its over-coming.’

The Invalidation of the Worker – A Study of Disability in Capitalist Society

‘The label of ‘invalidity’ is as unjust, as it is immoral. It has no basis in fact, and is the Bourgeois expression of immense ignorance, developed through greed and avarice. Disabled workers, although subject to the immense pressures of social constraints, should, where possible, educate themselves beyond the Bourgeois cul-de-sac of illogicality that defines their life situation.’

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