jeudi 6 juin 2013

Un nouveau site sur le bouddhisme tibétain

« Les lamas tibétains sont arrivés la première fois en occident avec l'occupation du Tibet par les Chinois dans les années 1950 et 1960, et depuis l'Occident a été en contact direct avec la culture tibétaine et le bouddhisme. Cela ne devrait pas nous distraire du fait que le paradigme historique continue d'avoir une grande influence : les Occidentaux voient toujours le Tibet soit comme un reflet d'eux-mêmes ou comme le symbole de leurs propres aspirations. Cela est particulièrement vrai pour les médias, la presse, le cinéma et à la télévision. D'une part, l'image négative du Tibet persiste : les critiques de la gauche accusent toujours les adeptes du bouddhisme tibétain de pratiquer une sorte de catholicisme, où le Dalaï Lama fait figure de pape. De l’autre côté, le mythe du Tibet qui était apparu à la fin du siècle précédent persiste aussi : pour les théosophes et James Hilton, le Tibet reste toujours le lieu où la connaissance ésotérique est préservée. Plus les Chinois détruisent la culture tibétaine authentique, et plus l'Occident aime ce Tibet mythique. »[1] Loden Sherab Dagyab

Le nom du nouveau site est "Tibetan Buddhism in the West", avec des grands noms tels Jay Garfield, James Blumenthal, Jeffrey Samuels, Jeffrey Hopkins et d’autres

Lost Horizon (accès libre) de James Hilton

Extrait de chapitre 7 sur les étonnants pouvoirs acquis par un capucin luxembourgeois du nom de Perrault. Le grand Lama raconte :

"The whispering ceased for a moment, and to Conway, stirring slightly, it appeared that the High Lama had been translating, with fluency, out of a remote and private dream. At length he went on:

"Like others who have waited long on the threshold of death, Perrault had been granted a vision of some significance to take back with him into the world; and of this vision more must be said later. Here I will confine myself to his actions and behavior, which were indeed remarkable. For instead of convalescing idly, as might have been expected, he plunged forthwith into rigorous self-discipline somewhat curiously combined with narcotic indulgence. Drug-taking and deep-breathing exercises—it could not have seemed a very death-defying regimen; yet the fact remains that when the last of the old monks died, in 1794, Perrault himself was still living.

"It would almost have brought a smile had there been anyone at Shangri-La with a sufficiently distorted sense of humor. The wrinkled Capuchin, no more decrepit than he had been for a dozen years, persevered in a secret ritual he had evolved, while to the folk of the valley he soon became veiled in mystery, a hermit of uncanny powers who lived alone on that formidable cliff. But there was still a tradition of affection for him, and it came to be regarded as meritorious and luck-bringing to climb to Shangri-La and leave a simple gift, or perform some manual task that was needed there. On all such pilgrims Perrault bestowed his blessing—forgetful, it might be, that they were lost and straying sheep. For 'Te Deum Laudamus' and 'Om Mane Padme Hum' were now heard equally in the temples of the valley.

"As the new century approached, the legend grew into a rich and fantastic folklore—it was said that Perrault had become a god, that he worked miracles, and that on certain nights he flew to the summit of Karakal to hold a candle to the sky. There is a paleness always on the mountain at full moon; but I need not assure you that neither Perrault or any other man has ever climbed there. I mention it, even though it may seem unnecessary, because there is a mass of unreliable testimony that Perrault did and could do all kinds of impossible things. It was supposed, for instance, that he practiced the art of self-levitation, of which so much appears in accounts of Buddhist mysticism; but the more sober truth is that he made many experiments to that end, but entirely without success. He did, however, discover that the impairment of ordinary senses could be somewhat offset by a development of others; he acquired skill in telepathy which was perhaps remarkable, and though he made no claim to any specific powers of healing, there was a quality in his mere presence that was helpful in certain cases.

"You will wish to know how he spent his time during these unprecedented years. His attitude may be summed up by saying that, as he had not died at a normal age, he began to feel that there was no discoverable reason why he either should or should not do so at any definite time in the future. Having already proved himself abnormal, it was as easy to believe that the abnormality might continue as to expect it to end at any moment. And that being so, he began to behave without care for the imminence with which he had been so long preoccupied; he began to live the kind of life that he had always desired, but had so rarely found possible; for he had kept at heart and throughout all vicissitudes the tranquil tastes of a scholar. His memory was astonishing; it appeared to have escaped the trammels of the physical into some upper region of immense clarity; it almost seemed that he could now learn EVERYTHING with far greater ease than during his student days he had been able to learn ANYTHING. He was soon, of course, brought up against a need for books, but there were a few he had had with him from the first, and they included, you may be interested to hear, an English grammar and dictionary and Florio's translation of Montaigne. With these to work on he contrived to master the intricacies of your language, and we still possess in our library the manuscript of one of his first linguistic exercises—a translation of Montaigne's essay on Vanity into Tibetan—surely a unique production.


[1] "Tibetan lamas first arrived in the West with the occupation of Tibet by the Chinese in the 1950s and 1960s, and the West established direct contact with Tibetan culture and Buddhism. This should not distract us from the fact that the historic paradigm continues to have great influence: Westerners still see Tibet as either a reflection of themselves or as a symbol of their yearnings. This is especially true in mass media such as the press, film, and television. On the one hand, the negative image of Tibet persists: Leftist critics still accuse devotees of Tibetan Buddhism of practicing a species of Catholicism, wherein the Dalai Lama is worshiped as a ›pope.‹ On the other hand, the myth of Tibet that arose at the end of the previous century also persists: The Theosophists and James Hilton still count Tibet as the place where esoteric knowledge is preserved. The more the Chinese destroy authentic Tibetan culture, the more the West loves this myth of Tibet."

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