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Tuesday, February 19, 2013


The shakti of the Karmapa lineage has had a role in my spiritual development. I knew next to nothing about Buddhism when I visited the Tibetan Monastery at Woodstock, and brought back a photo of the Karmapa and a little card with the reproduction of a thangka of White Tara on it. 

Whenever I thought of the Karmapa, my mind immediately stopped and became very empty and still, like a (good) darkness falling over it. I framed the photo of Ogyen Trinley Dorje and made a little altar for the beautiful photo on my desk at the ashram (I still have it on my altar at home).

I dismissed the possibility that I had more than one guru. If I were to meet HH the 17th Karmapa, I would first tell him that my guru is Chidvilasananda.

Anyway. The two lineages, one Hindu (Kashmir Shaivism) and one Tibetan Buddhism (Karma Kagyu), seemed unrelated and quite distant. 

Then I am reading on a website Nityananda the Living Tradition that the Karmapa in his 16th incarnation met and knew Muktananda:

HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa
Rangjung Rigpe Dorje
"Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924-1981) The spiritual head of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. He visited Baba at his Ganeshpuri ashram and also met with him at the Ann Arbor ashram in 1974. The two had great love for each other."

I shrieked and laughed and laughed and shrieked when I read this! Oh, life is delicious, the shakti is delicious, the highly creative Shaktiji at play!! 

The cat came running over, his eyes huge, as though he wanted to play too. "What is it?" his eyes said. "Me too!!"

~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~ ... ~

I remember that the (image of the) 16th Karmapa seemed familiar to me right away. Perhaps pratyabhijna recognition, or from a past life as a Karma Kagyu devotee, or through our common link of Muktananda. The shakti transmitted to me through the lineage perhaps mingled with some of the Karma Kagyu shakti. The shakti is one. All is one. There are no rules when it comes to Paramashiva and his highly creative shakti devi side. In this way, God can create the most fun and enjoyment for Himself.

I didn't realize there were two 17th Karmapas at first, and when I did, I thought I had chosen the other one (I had confused one for the other). 

HH the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa 
Ogyen Trinley Dorje

*I do not mean to sound insensitive to the high duty of those who are meant to identify and protect the Karmapa lineage. At the same time, I know that Shiva would have no trouble being the same being in two lives "at the same time." Both are receiving the transmission of the highest teachings and living a life of service. The Karmapa lineage has had such difficulties in the distant past. My own guru's lineage has "scandals." 

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