it’s a thing! this kind of kink is painful playful stories to chronicle. 2 temples, too many stories. power dynamics, seniority, subversive and sublimated sexuality, repressive traditions and religiosity, intimacy hidden and overt.
thanks to my dear friend in barcelona, i’ll be writing and pitching these tales to an exciting new mag. love you maria josé ❤ always inspiring me to flip out the holodex and stay slutty with words.
on another hand, it’s not been fun getting hit and then having seniors deny all wrongdoing…been casting off the box of “Taiwanese” an attachment I’d never loosen without this environment and challenges. I had a love and romance with the notion of Taiwan from amazing spiritual relationships in tennis and Buddhism. But this year and specifically this temple with it’s intense all Hokkien words, elders, and very pro-Taidu stance have made me seriously step into a dissonant realm of relating to Taiwanese’ness. going to go off to the eastern shore and sit with all that’s happened the last few months and try to make sense and recalibrate forward.
Notes from last convos with friends in this time of departure into retreats for the next years. Will see about updates when I get my phone to speak with my sister in Kenya occasionally:
I’ve been told by many monastics that my activism will have to take a backseat for a long while…and that my friendships and social engagement aren’t compatible with this monastic life…it hasn’t been done before but I hope to remain deeply engaged even if not often in conversation but in a new deep feminine communication with friends…like this isn’t the era of the lonely male sage anymore, but the era of shared wisdom in feminine channels.
Please pray for courage, wisdom, steadfast vision and feminine honoring androgynous Buddhism to stay and grow through me and writing🙏🏼
I guess what I’m feeling is that a real truth or principle is accessible but has depth. You amount you get out of it at a given time is the amount you’re ready for…
reflecting on education these days. a friend called out this monastery for being the University of Phoenix with its recorded lecture style of dumb unintentional learning. really, it’s the patriarchy’s clever handhold on the teacher position, delaying local women teachers from stepping up, and using digital means to fortify the male dominated strata.
what is the place of traditions that have decimated the gatekeeping roles of queer beings with regards to holistic health and the urgent needs of the world now? feeling this question deeply as my body reacts against the meaningless upholding this older initiation system…found the following from a day of falling down the rabbit hole:
The principle danger to this reunification, which is happening in many places, not just the lands of the Hopi, this danger is that we will go into the future seeking to reanimate the past, whether it is by occupying ourselves with an older initiation system, or in believing that we can heal the illnesses of the natural world, and of our communities, by going back to nature, or by holding on to tradition.
Everything dies. The future is always born out of processes of destruction. The dark age is necessary before there can be attempts to found an age of light. The rejoining of the pattern of integration and the pattern of initiation is meant to produce something new.
Knowledge of the ethereal realm, or to put it another way, etheric consciousness, will change the way we see our interrelationship to the world of Nature and the Cosmos.
For example, the Hopi tradition, along with many other traditions, has tended to see history and evolution as cyclical, as containing patterns which constantly repeat. The reality is, however, that these processes are spiral in nature. Yes, there is a circle like process of return, but that return is intended always to occur at a higher stage of development.
In a concrete sense this means that what is crucial to maintain out of the pattern of integration, is not a specific way of simple living, and a specific system of ceremonial life. But rather, that the life of a community integrated with the surrounding world is most healthy when it is simple and when it is filled with ritual. These “qualities” of the Circle are then most supportive of inner growth.
Likewise, inner growth is sterile if it is not productive in the world. If all that inner growth does is separate us one from the other, or from the world of nature as if that was no concern of ours, then this inner growth is limited. The ”qualities” of the Cross are only fruitful if they engender sacrifice directed at the redemption of the social and natural worlds.
Thus, the reunification of the Cross and the Circle is not a return to a prior condition, but rather a gateway to a future possibility. It is not what the Elder and Younger Brothers were once upon a time, but what it is that they can be together in the present and beyond. At least for some time to come, each day is potentially a day of purification.
falling asleep around midnight and breathing in the stake lodged sharply in my throat and waking into whirling seascapes, only by afternoon i return to walking on sealegs on land
a dear dear friend, returned to his pacific shore, telling stories of his naturopath doctor’s visit and the crying as he uncovered the sinews if lost solace running through his work and love and wheat longing in a return to his mother.
bless these friendships that weave a way through water🌊
I heard from a nun who heard from a monk who travels frequently to teach in Asia, that last year 2018, the Yangtze/Yellow river turned completely clear for a day. The last time this happened, Sakyamuni Buddha was born. Could it be, the monks whisper, that a sage has been born?
Hearing this story, I remembered the prophecy of the 7th fire. And the Hopi prophecy of the coming of the True White Brother, from this land…
Been drinking Ca++ for a month and had a trial of sprained and swollen wrists, detoxification that rendered digestion a bit…off for a couple of weeks. These “fun” powdery folk medicines only available in the nun networks. Though now out of production due to the Fukushima incident contaminating the oceans.
I’ve been taking this sick leave to extendedly contemplate…what I hope to get done here. Even tucked away on bedrest, the mercurial weather patterns are in full effect. I imagine the horror of dried out riverbeds that line the train tracks along the eastern shore. These imbalances that have no redress…in this “spiritual community.” The pointless cultivation and weeding of gardens here, when the world is burning. Jarringly, this strange continual comfortable control… when this next decade, barring drastic pivots and decolonizing land and water relations, quelling industrial destruction, we as a species are choosing between catastrophe and maneagable crisis…I really wonder why, why, why? Where? How?
Discussing the 2/28 and white terror history of Taiwan and an inevitable re-merging with mainland and our chinese future with professor nun with the lion eyes. It would seem that Taiwan has been at the flippant mercy of western utility. The southern strategy…not sure how that’s going. She mentioned how strong the women were here, and simultaneously how much weaker the men were. We discussed the lack of focus of Taiwanese, perhaps due to a history of constant colonization, a refusal to recognize our roots: indigenous/Chinese/Hakka. The lack of great masters of Buddhism of Taiwanese heritage–everyone that became notable was a Chinese refugee. Perhaps an internalized idea that Taiwanese are good for laboring and perhaps this translates into a penchant for 培養福報 and self corralling into a more vicious form of Confucian patriarchy.
Patriarchy is no substitute for a healthy masculinity. It’s a farce. So what about the masculinity that militant Buddhist discipline requires…what could come in a compassionate inquiry in that sphere? As angry as this twins deportation has made me, one reflection I’ve discussed with two of my dearest friends has been seeing my own masculinity soften in this environment these months. That’s valuable work too. So how can I examine myself and the environment and work for interdependent improvement?
In lieu of the many weeks that have passed, a short update on one of the most dramatic days yet in temple…
The twins left after being denied again for progressing along the path. This attrition of young people…on taken indigenous land from local Amis tribes…with non native trees barely thriving…all these temples that are emptying out due to patriarchy. I have to believe that the youth, the feminine, the related, no matter how spoiled and arrogant we are called, have an innate sensibility to respond to what’s alive and what’s crushing us correctly with anger.