You'd think that by this time pretty much everyone who does any kind of a "spiritual" practice might have heard of the dreaded Frederick Lenz. Many of us in the blogosphere have written of the Frederick Lenz Foundation and its notorious ties to some of the big names in Western Buddhism, including, it would seem, Dennis Merzel and James Shaheen of Tricycle fame. It's really sad that this is the case: Tricycle should come with a warning label or something. They were originally started, I think - I could be wrong - with money from the Rockefeller Foundation or something like that. That's not much of a problem for me: There's no sense in not using money that pretty much everyone knows was ill gotten for good. The issue though, is that unlike the Lenz Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation never really peddled defenses of the infamous activities of the Standard Oil company. Get it?
(BTW, as a guy with dozens of patents to my name I bristle at the notion of referring to Lenz's bilge as "intellectual property," but alas, it does fit the definition.)
But it appears there are still teachers out there - who don't seem to be associated with Lenz Foundation largesse - who are actually "teaching." One of them is Tony "Shiva" Chester.
Shiva was born as Tony Chester. The experience of God awareness at age five set his life on a path of esoteric exploration and spiritual evolution. With his teacher’s grace, he crossed a threshold into enlightenment at age 36. His path remains full of unexpected epiphanies, visions and a deep awareness of the divine.
Shiva is a powerful teacher who consciously transmits sacred energy in his seminars, retreats and pilgrimages, and personal interactions. His approach is eclectic and draws from various religions and philosophies. A Westerner, he grounds the mysteries of the ancient world in a modern and often humorous way.
Doesn't this tell you all you need to know about this man?
Ok, now that I've gone all H. L. Mencken on you here's some stuff that should be more uplifting:
- Read this article on how the newly homeless in Japan are coping with their situation. I'll be trite and say it's way better than Woodstock, despite the devastating impact on their families. It's interesting to contemplate how those two communities compare to each other.
- Apropos of absolutely nothing else related to the above except perhaps "Asia," if you've ever wondered how to get a real Japanese shinsakutoh (新作刀) nihontoh (日本刀) - as in if you were saying:
- "You must have big rats if you need Hattori Hanzo's steel.”
- On the other hand if you aren't particular about the sword being made in Japan, there appears to be an excellent forge in Zhejiang province. I wonder if it's significantly cheaper.
- It appears that the rebels are gaining ground in Libya. The short answers are as to why this is not George W. Bush's Iraqi war are: 1) They're trying to prevent what happened in the 50s in Iran. 2) We're on the right side here. Personally I'm ambivalent about this because even with the reasonably good intentions of some on this (and make no mistake it is a fact that oil figures prominently in this), its unknown how it will play out. Karma and all that you know.