The Fourth Turning

This is Reb Zalman, a’h, speaking at Naropa University on April 9th, 2014, just before his passing, sharing thoughts on updating of traditions. Whether Jewish, Buddhist, or JUBU, his words are very powerful. The “Town Hall conversation” video can be watched here on Naropa’s Youtube page. [Transcribed and Edited by Gabbai Seth Fishman]

The Fourth Turning

Table of Contents:


Making a Space
Remembering Rinpoche
A Fourth Turning of Buddhism
Re-Programming Tradition
The Four Noble Truths
Source of Compassion
Awakening Awareness
Organismic Reality Map
Art, Music, Celebration
From a Conversation with Reggie Ray
Inner Part
Tune In Subtle Vibrations
Body Types
Hothousing Spirituality


Charles G. Lief, President, Naropa University:

“Welcome to our Naropa community gathering, another ‘course’ in our ‘feast’ of fortieth anniversary celebrations.

“I’m supposed to welcome Reb Zalman, but it’s funny to welcome him to a place that’s his own. I’m acknowledging that Reb Zalman has come home again, something that always delights us.

“Reb Zalman this year is celebrating his 90th birthday.” [Applause]

“In his 90 years, it’s hard to know what to pick from the highlights, because there are so many. But it’s important to say that what Reb Zalman has done in his life, particularly in bringing the streams of Judaism and the creation of the Jewish Renewal movement to the Buddhist tradition here at Naropa and also around the world through dialogue with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, and through work with a number of other Tibetan teachers over the years has created a powerful ‘alchemy’, something which we have taken inside some of Naropa’s departments and their programs. We have benefited from this work and, we are building upon it, deepening it and taking it further.

“In 1970 I was at the Tail of the Tiger, now Karmê Chöling, a Buddhist meditation center in Vermont. I was nineteen years old. A Rabbi arrived and tried to talk the people who were Jewish into leaving and coming back, (I’m not sure what to), but to leave. He wasn’t all that compelling. But I realized, today that had it been Reb Zalman who showed up, I’m not exactly sure if I would have been here talking to you today. Or else, I might be Tzvi, teaching here as a Rabbi!”

Reb Zalman:

“I would have just said to hyphenate it.”

President Lief:

“Reb Zalman’s staging and choreography of this event beautifully tells a most important message that the mind of Reb Zalman and the mind of our founder, Trungpa Rinpoche are one.

[NOTE: Stage consists of two chairs and table between on which stands a vase with a bouquet. Reb Zalman sits at right, wearing a Tallit. The second chair is empty with a Tibetan prayer garment draping across the top. Far left, a fan and a picture of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Background, a tapestry with the Naropa seal above and sky blue below separated by a violet band.]

“And so, with that, welcome home Reb Zalman and please address us.” (Applause)

Making a Space

We did the bow and now I would like you to sit with me for a few minutes in silence to tune in to making space for the task for which we took a body this time around and to see what, in today’s presentation, would help you with that.

So we will focus on this a little bit in silence and also honor the founder. (I’ll tell you more about him later.)

OK. Here we start.

(Ninety seconds of silence)

AMEN! Om manipadme hum

[NOTE: Here Reb Zalman turns to face the picture of Rinpoche, smiles, and says, “Now these good things.”]:

Remembering Rinpoche

Thirty-nine years ago, summer, (it was when you got married), I was here in the summer to teach. It was an amazing summer. And I had the opportunity of being with Rinpoche.

He had an amazing range. There were times he was in very deep and profound places. And there were times when he just loved to joke around.

Here on Friday night in the hall in which we were, I, with my hasidic outfit, fur hat and coat, he sitting quietly and all of a sudden he said:

“My son asked me whether there is a God, and I said, ‘No,’ and my son went, ‘Whew!'”

Then he looked over to me, as though to say, “Nu? Are you going to take me up on that?”

I said:

“Rinpoche, the god you don’t believe in, I don’t believe in either.”

Why? Because that’s where both of us really were: He was breaking the mold; I was breaking the mold.

There was a moment when I needed something from him, something very, (how would I say?), magical/liturgical.

We came into his office and he took the dor jin, the writing implements that were there and from there, he drew a blessing for me.

So the range over which I experienced him was amazing.

When he taught, I always had the sense that he was in touch with what he was saying and not just with the ideas, not just with the concepts of it.

So Mazel Tov, Rinpoche! You did a good job. We are still here keeping your legacy alive.

A Fourth Turning of Buddhism

A detour: You know, at 90, I don’t have to be giving an academic “lecture” with footnotes, [Audience laughter].

I’m entitled to share the fruits of my reflections with you and that is what I’m going to do.

There was a meeting in Vancouver and I was there with Bishop Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

[NOTE: The meeting was in April, 2004. Here is a link to Reb Zalman’s talk from that gathering.]

I was trying to have some alone time with His Holiness but, it was very difficult to make it happen. Whenever it looked as though I had him alone, there were four or five people in the room. So it wasn’t possible to say very much.

Among the things I asked at that time, was the following:

“You were just at Madison Square Garden initiating the people into the Kalachakra Mandala.

(It’s like saying he was taking people into the prayer of Yom Kippur.)

“What did you have in mind? What were you trying to raise?”

He didn’t want to get into any “woo woo” stuff with me at that time and said,

“It was just that I had the opportunity to teach for three days and that’s what I wanted to do.”

Then I asked him:

“Isn’t it time that you should proclaim the Fourth Turning of the Buddhist wheel?”

The first one is the Theravada, the basic teachings of the Buddha.
Second is Mahayana in China and Japan.
Vajrayana in Tibet.

If we were to go back over two hundred years ago to Tibet, white people were not very welcome at that time there.

And here comes the Dalai Lama and, he is teaching everybody and brings it into the world.

So I felt it was time to proclaim the Fourth turning of the Wheel.

He said to me:

“For this, you need to have Gautama himself.”

which was a very beautiful and humble statement to make. But, had we been alone, I would have said:

Tensyen gowsyo (?), don’t push it away from yourself! It’s your job to do.”

Because, there is something happening and, I want to say that he did it:

He took Vajrayana and he added to it the Shambhala training and along with that, that good word we use before Shambhala training, what is it? Vatrudatha.

So what is it that he did?

Re-Programming Tradition

In Dharamsala, when I talked with the Dalai Lama,

[NOTE: The meeting from October, 1990, documented in the powerful book by Rodger Kamenetz, The Jew In The Lotus.]

from time to time, he  would turn back to the Geshe sitting behind him, explain to him a bit, discuss, and when the latter nodded, the Dalai Lama said to me:

“They’re Orthodox but, they agree with me.”

It was his way of saying that he still had to look to people’s perceptions and make sure that they would not see him as changing the tradition.

Along came Rinpoche here. He didn’t worry about being seen as changing the tradition. His interest was in making the mind/soul “software” available; and, I’d say also, (I hope you don’t mind my saying), he was interested in creating an “update” to the tradition.

He was not afraid to learn from other Buddhist traditions. I remember when he had this golden thing which he wore at his waist which he sort of “purloined” from the zen tradition. But it’s okay! I’m the same kind of a gonif in Judaism too.

Why was an update necessary in our time? Because something happened when we saw the picture of earth from outer space.

For most people of religions, that moment took away the notion of triumphalism, the thought all of them  had had previously:

Jew: “Mashiach will come and all the goyim will find out that they were wrong and we were right all along.”
Christian: “There will be the Second Coming and you Jews will find out the truth of ‘Why didn’t you listen to me the first time?'”
Muslim: “The Mahdi is going to come and he’s going to show those who did not surrender to the teachings of Allah.
Hindu: “When the last Avatar shows up, we will be proven right.”

So it goes. All religious people, whatever their religion, said something similar before; and now, it’s no longer tenable to say it in this way.

For we know that we are cells of the larger planet. And this new view, seeing ourselves in this larger way, demands that we check all the other ways in which we handled our religion.

This morning, I had a conversation with a techie from Nuance Communications about my Dragon speech-recognition software. I wanted them to change a part of the program. And he told me he couldn’t do it. Why couldn’t he do it? Because the design of the software that they had created didn’t allow for that.

But wait a second: Why is software called “soft”-ware? Because unlike firmware/hardware, you can change it through reprogramming.

That’s the whole business of what we’re talking about; you can change it only if you understand the “system files”.

[NOTE: Reb Zalman uses this analogy frequently: Eg., cf., “Integral Halachah, Transcending and Including“, pp. 45ff., and “Credo of a Modern Kabbalist” which whole book shows how to open the “system files” so carefully that at end, a Jewish whole is left intact despite the “update”.]


If you have experienced what the books are saying about what kind of a mind you have to have, then you can update the “software” of the tradition.

The books tell you that if you follow greed or if you follow something similar, the likelihood is you are not going to get to the truth. How wonderful it is to know these words!

But then, if you go deeper and you find out what’s going on inside the regions of possibilities that are dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, nirmanakaya, you can go to these places. And Reb Tzvi can teach you about the S’firot and the worlds, etc. how in kabbalah we talk about it.

There are some people who know the words of that, (and the words are good words), but they don’t understand how it came about that we had the words.

One of the stories we have about the person who was the last great voice in the Kabbalah, Reb Isaac Lurie, is that one Shabbos afternoon he took a nap, and when he got up from the nap twenty minutes later, his disciple, who stood next to him asked, “What did you dream” and he said, “It would take me twenty years to teach you what I saw in my dream.”

Why is that? Because the soul can handle paradox: That which for the left hemisphere looks like a contradiction is a big “Aha!” for the right hemisphere; that’s how they fit together. How one hemisphere operates is so different than how the other operates.

If you know those words about which the books speak from having experienced them, then you know what the words mean.

And then you can go into the “software” of the tradition and you can change things.

And you can bring them up to date.

So that people, in Boulder, e.g., will be able to learn at a school and even now, attain as close as they can to that awareness, to that level of vibration! How wonderful that is, Rinpoche’s legacy.

The Four Noble Truths

While I was preparing this, I asked myself to look again at the “Four Noble Truths”. When I say “Four Noble Truths,” it’s as if one has them laid out for one already like the food at a buffet.

But when I unpacked them and then told myself I wanted to look at them all together, it was such a shock!

I got to the place that there is no end to suffering and that the cause of suffering is our ignorance. And then I asked, how come, why is it that we got to such ignorance?

Source of Compassion

Because every time we went to school and we dealt with our parents, they were sharing with us how to present ourselves decently in public.

So, we learned that even if it is in a less than conscious way, we must work at the presentation of self, the way in which we present ourselves to the world regardless. And that’s how we grew an ego. And that’s how we identified ourselves with that creation that we have created, i.e., those ways we present ourselves to the world.

When someone tries to shatter that mask, we get very upset. But part of the homework of anyone who works on the inside with this in Hasidism, Kabbalah, in Buddhism, Hinduism, or Sufism, (wherever you go to do the work), when you work on the inside, you can’t help but dismantle that kind of ego a bit.

And when you see that suffering you feel when someone tries to shatter that mask, and someone will try, because everybody attacks that picture that we have of ourselves, that self-made being,

(There was the person who said about someone, “He was a self-made man and he worshiped his maker!”

I tell you that when I think of Abraham and breaking the idols, I think, “That’s what we’re talking about,” i.e., if you work on the inside, you have to break those idols of, “This is how I should present myself to these people, this is how I should present myself in that situation.” And so, it has to change.)

when you let the suffering of ignorance hit you, (most of us are so well-protected), but I felt it gave me a real zetz / kick in the pants, a real break from the way I had felt it and I thought: Wow! So many people are suffering in this way! So many people need to learn how not to suffer!

And if I open my heart to that, I dig what a bodhisattva is all about, what a lamedvavnik is all about in our tradition, someone who has compassion for those who are born and who have to die and whose life is not easy.

Awakening Awareness

And when you get to see that there is a way out of the suffering, and you govern your awareness through right-understanding, right-aspiration, right-effort, right-speech, right-conduct, right-livelihood, right-mindfulness and right-concentration, then it’s really important not to “fall asleep” in this work.

When my daughter was a little girl,

(And you know how kids are? They don’t want to fall asleep! They want to involve you in conversations so that they can stay up a little longer. And my children knew how to get my number: They would raise these philosophical or religious things!)

at that time, Shalvi asked:

“Abba, when you’re asleep you can wake up, right?”


“When you’re awake, can you wake up even more?”

I was so wonderfully shocked by this question! And of course I want to say that, yes, I believe in that!

If I didn’t believe in that, it would be like me going to the way of thinking of Camus and Sartre who said that it was like nausea and like no exit.

The fact that I can say that, yes, one can wake up even more, and that I believe in the reality of that and, from time to time, I have a memory of its having happened in moments when I woke up more;

(At the time, I’m not even thinking that I’m waking up, but afterwards: “Oh yes! There I was and now I was awakened to a place far beyond!”)

When one reaches that place, how important it is!  When it hits one all at once, it is very powerful!

I think if you can allow yourself just to go back to those truths and look at them again, and see that it isn’t as bad as you thought it would be but it’s not as easy as you had hoped it would be, I think it will be well worth it. And, though difficult, this whole thing is wonderful.

Organismic Reality Map

I think our mother, the earth, is waking up too.

There was a certain person,

[NOTE: Reb Zalman doesn’t say who he has in mind, but it is possibly a reference to his teacher at Boston University, the late Rev. Howard Thurman. Zalman has said at several times that Rev. Thurman introduced the notion to him that the way a growing edge functions in trees is a metaphor for new growth in religions. E.g., see here.]

who helped me a great deal in updating the reality map to which the magisterium, the core lessons, of Judaism has to be reconnected.

The way it was in past times, religions always wanted to connect with the map of reality. But when the map of reality was no longer working and you had to say to the stewards of traditions that we need a different map of reality, then they would say, “You’re a heretic!” and burn you at the stake.

The truth is, though, that from time to time, just as a snake has to shed its skin, so every tradition has to give up the picture of reality that it has had.

And so, too, we have to invite the picture of reality that’s coming in for us now, a picture that includes a quantum understanding. And the picture is no longer using the machine model; it’s the organismic model. These, instead, explain things a lot better and help us to be able to see earth and understand that each of us is a living cell in the planet.

One has to make a real shift inside and go away from how people saw themselves after the Renaissance, Humanism, when we were saying: “We are the highest that there can be in consciousness.” All the mystics in all the deep traditions have told us that we are only the bottom feeder when it comes to the sea of consciousness and that there is higher and higher and greater and greater.

So now, we recognize that as cells of the global brain, we are helping the planet to wake up.


What’s it like when I’m waking up? Well, if it’s like when I’m awakened by an alarm clock, I’m not so happy because it’s coming with a shot of adrenaline and a sense of being disoriented with respect to where I am.

But there is a nicer wake up when it begins with: “Oh what a beautiful morning” and one looks outside the window and sees a great sunrise and it’s gentler and wakes one up more gradually.

And this “gradual” thing is happening because we are participating in the waking up which is not sudden. And thank God the awakening is not sudden. If it were, we couldn’t hack it. But we’re being gradually, gradually, gradually woken up to greater collaboration, to greater connectivity with each other even if it has to take a Zuckerberg doing it with his social media. What’s happening with it is necessary because when families were, at one point, connected with each other in tribes and all other ways, but now, with social mobility, our social fibers have gotten very, very short. So it is important to find ways to connect more and more.


If we want to help the planet heal, we have to recognize that we loused the planet up with the left hemisphere of the brain and we forgot to check in with magic, with the archetypes, with becoming re-enchanted with the world.

So everything was based upon utility. A person would go into a forest and say: “What a nice forest. There are such and such many feet of lumber here!” That’s the left brain.

The right brain says, “Oh! How amazing! All the leaves, the needles of the trees, it’s  all life life life life life…” And the boing-ing, the echoing of that thing becomes a part when you are also including the right hemisphere.

Art, Music, Celebration

I think that’s what’s so important about art.

I once had a student who was telling me how dry the Buddhism was for him.

He had a big guitar and I said:

“Take it out give me a C major.”

He plays, strum, strum, strum (he goes and gives me the chord.) I sang:

“Born in India in a royal place”,

and asked him:

“Why haven’t you yet made ballads of this sort?”

What do you think they did in Tibet before? They had poetry of that sort. They would sing them around the campfires. That was the way in which you would first of all, take the right hemisphere and allow it to be happy, and secondly, when all the people drummed together and were in rhythm together, you allowed the limbic brain to move out of “I” into “we”.

All these things were wonderful things that were done and I think I’m missing them; that there isn’t enough of celebration.

(Eve once showed me a cartoon about a Monk who was sitting and the Abbot is asking, “What are you  weeping for?” And he points to the book and says, “It says ‘C-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-e!’, not ‘Celibate’!”)

And I feel that we need a little more of this celebration of tradition with new music and art.


Hi! I forgot something. Where is Rotterdam? Where is she? Hi Charlotte! I forgot to ask you for a little sake, but it’s okay! Imagine I have a nice glass here and I say:

L’Chayyim Rinpoche. L’Chayyim, L’Chayyim!” It’s wonderful!

From a Conversation with Reggie Ray

Having said what I said about celebration, I want to go to a place that I had a wonderful conversation with Reggie Ray about:

If you look at the substrata of the teachings of Gautama, you know that he was in India. He was hanging out in India. He was doing what an Indian sadhu did until he proclaimed his teaching, but you could say he was a great teacher in Hinduism and he was also reincorporated in their pantheon.

When the teaching had to get to China, it couldn’t do it so well with the “spices” of India. So there was Lao-Tzu and there were those wonderful teachings of Yin and Yang, etc. And then, they worked it out together so that the Chinese Buddhism retained its original flavor.

When it came to Japan, there was Shinto, the religion from before. And since they didn’t want to say you could only have Buddhism and not Shinto, they integrated them with each other: Buddhism was coming from on top and Shinto was coming from the bottom and so, they created the right amalgam for Japan.

And in Tibet, Buddhism was blended with Bön, (how wonderful it is).

Inner Part

I had a conversation the day before yesterday with a young man who was telling me of his involvement in a Sweat lodge in preparation for Passover (general laughter).

Although it seems funny on the face of it, ask yourself what the inner part of the preparation is rather than the outer.

Traditionally, the practice for readying oneself for Passover was going to a Mikveh to take a purification bath before Passover. There are similarities in a Sweat lodge.

For this young man, the Sweat lodge was accessible and meaningful.

I could imagine that when they were sitting around and saying those very serious prayers which people do when the stones are hot and the water turns to steam and it gets into one, he was doing his Passover homework and saying, “Dear God, I still have some unleavened stuff inside of me that I have to get rid of, habits that I haven’t broken,” and so forth.


Whether it’s Judaism or Christianity or Hinduism or Buddhism, and with the focus on the inner part, I feel that the first step for the updating of traditions will be a place that allows for the aesthetic to create new songs and music.

For example, I could imagine a one-man-show reciting the Dhammapada in English.

I could imagine music that would be about Avalokiteśvara.

I could imagine that there would be some classical music in celebration of Kwannon, the goddess of compassion.

I could imagine all of these.

And I feel that unless these kinds of things will come out, then it may turn out that he created a one or two generation phenomenon, and he wanted it to be more; he was very eager for that.

[NOTE: Reb Zalman builds on the illustration of the young man’s Sweat lodge with these imaginings of music in new forms. When the traditions are updated in these ways, still preserving the inner process, they will extend the life of the new traditions. Music is a first step for extending the new energy. And there should be places that foster new forms making it easy and comfortable to bring them.]

His son, God bless him, the Sakyong, is doing good work; and he’s making sure to keep it the way his father had.


But I had a friend who was very good at Rolfing, and he did seventeen treatments on me. At one point, Ida Rolf wanted to make him the heir of Rolfing, but she didn’t want him to add the innovations. So he quit and did the Heller work.

I think if someone wants to put Rinpoche’s work and keep it only in formaldehyde, capturing exactly how he had it, that would be wrong. He broke the mold and he did what he needed to do and there will be more stuff coming.

But there are some people who are motivated sometimes in changing religious things by going into conventional, politically-correct thinking. That’s not the basis from which one can make these changes!

Tune In Subtle Vibrations

If I wanted to create a new computer Operating System, before I’d start putting the system and apps on it, I’d have to understand the environment in which I’m creating, what the CPU is like, and what the basic machine language would have to be.

So it is with this work as well. If the new comes from real experiences, then what happens is one reaches a level of more subtle vibration than we had before. And the mirror neurons of the people one talks to tune into one’s own mirror neurons. Even if one is not talking very much, for that moment, they were able to touch that too.

And if you tell them: “With respect to the old words that you know, what they are really pointing to is that about which I’m sharing with you right now, that which you are feeling from my sharing.” And so, you can see that from that place, one is able to create innovation that would really be true.

Body Types

There’s another error people make. Eve is very much convinced that lots of people don’t pay attention to it and it has to do with the nature of individuals and whether they are sattvic, rajasic, tamasic, (I could go on and on with the terms), ecto, endo and mesomorph, etc. And it’s really important to know how people are in the body and different ways to teach them so that they, being in their bodies, can better process the lessons and be changed by them.

For example, look at the wonderful work that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi did and what he was able to achieve with the jocks. They knew the TM practice very well, to sit down for twenty minutes and recite the mantra; and they did this. I don’t know if they were able to get to higher levels of vibration with that, but, something happened to them that marshaled the kind of thing that’s good at jogging, that’s good at being in the body in the ways they needed and produced things for them: It marshaled it and created consciousness along with it. That’s wonderful.

And there are some other people who are good at singing songs and telling stories. When I was with my friend Shlomo Carlebach, he would work a wonderful magic with people. I think of him as a genius of “virtuous reality”. He told you stories and as you heard them, there was a longing in your heart to live like the hero of his story who had done extraordinary moral, beautiful, loving work in the world. That’s important too.


There are such stories in Buddhism. I’ll tell you two I know and really like a lot. One is from Japan; the second is from China:

A guy comes to a Rōshi and says:

“I’m a Samurai!

“They say that you can teach me about Heaven and Hell!

“Do it!”

The Rōshi looks at him:

“You? A Samurai?

“You’re not even a Rōnin! You are way down on the list!

“How could you demand this of me?”

Enraged, the Samurai raises his sword.

“That’s hell!”

Undone by his words, the Samurai bows deeply.

“That’s heaven!”

What a wonderful story! You see? At this moment, you got what Shlomo used to do, in a way, recognizing that when you are in your broken ego, as it was broken for this Samurai, and the soul was able to come out, how wonderful that was!

A second story:

The Patriarch wanted to make sure the sutras would get printed in China.

And it’s very hard to print in Chinese in wood blocks. You had to carve them in mirror writing, etc.

And he needed to get money together.

He got the money together.

And just as he was about to go and have them done, there was a flood. (We know what that’s like in Boulder.)

And he took the money and he helped the victims of the flood.

Again, he went around, collecting money, collecting money, until he got it together. He is ready once again to print. And this time, there’s a famine! And he goes ahead and helps the victims of the famine.

Finally, the third time around, he’s able to get them printed.

And those who know say that the first two editions were better!

But notice right now what happened inside of you! There is an awakening of heart and compassion and even the humor of that, too, and that is so wonderful!


At one time, I would be very clear to talk about Paradigm Shift. But I have a feeling it’s not working that way. Let me explain:

A Paradigm Shift we could feel would mean that it was shifted quickly enough for us to perceive.

I went back to look at what they call “the Axial Age” in the history of ideas and it really took about four hundred years, from 600 BC to 200 BC, for a shift to happen globally in humanity.

There were Socrates, Plato, Aristotle; there were Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel; there was Zarathustra; there was Mahavira; there was the Buddha; there was Lao-tzu; there was Confucius and so some “blip” had come down. And the other people in the world weren’t able to receive it right away.

However, these were able to see it.

They stuck with it; they meditated on it; they elaborated on it; and from there, they derived that which the beacon of the earth-mind was trying to inspire in humanity to such an extent that everyone eventually had to shift away from the way in which they had seen things to see them differently.

So Paradigm Shift at that time didn’t happen overnight and won’t now, either; the mind and reason go very fast; life is much, much slower.

So I want to say to those of you who feel that the changes that are needed aren’t coming quickly enough, that things are going back and forth, when you look at history, it makes sense that this is how it is going.

At one point, I wanted to write a book under the name of “Meditations Between Contractions,” which title was based upon when a baby is about to be born: When the contractions are coming, the mother can’t think much about it; she is too busy. And the analogy was that we are going from crisis to crisis.

But in either case, in between, there is a time for a little Shabbos, there is a little reflection-time so that we are able to remember, “But it’s getting better.”

It IS getting better! But it hasn’t shown yet above the horizon.

I want to urge you to have patience with that.

Hothousing Spirituality

What can we do to hurry that process? I want to tell you something: Every time I spoke here at Naropa, I raised an idea that I’m going to raise again:

We need an empirical laboratory for going over the skillful means of how to use the mind, and meditation, and contemplation in a much more direct, powerful way.

And there is, now, also some help:

Some of you think that asking for mechanical or other help is not a good idea. But I want to see what happens when someone gets a strobe light that blinks at the right rate for getting me into the theta wave and there going into my meditative thing. I want to see where it would take me. Maybe with that, I could get to do in twenty minutes what I need.

But if you are going to prescribe to people three months, six months, a year or years of meditation, we can’t afford it.

So I would like to see that there gets to be a possibility to somehow, in coordination with other groups, with other people, (like, e.g., the Institute of Noetic Sciences), to say:

“Together, we want to create an Institute for the Empirical Study of Skillful Means to hothouse spirituality for people in the planet.”


Oy! I have so much more to say!

But my battery is out; I don’t have much more energy.

I just want to say this about blessings:

(I am thinking of him holding the dor jin from that time!)

Think of the obstacles you have for waking up for spiritual growth, for growing in your compassion for others and now think of what you would need to remove some of your obstacles, to have them removed, what you would need so that they can be gone and you will be able to do this so much better.

And I’m going to pray that this happens! And that all those….

(when I spoke with His Holiness, he was so much into angels),

so I will sing the angel song:

B’sheim Hashem B’sheim Hashem Elokei Yisrael,
Mimini Michael mismoli Gavriel,
Milfanai Uriel meachorai Rafael,
V’al roshi v’al roshi shechinas El


I never graded on a curve here because, I believe ALL OF YOU are ABOVE AVERAGE!

(RZ gives “namaste“, my heart to yours)

“Transform yourself, Transform the World” Naropa 40th anniversary

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