Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Buddhism for Vampires" (Halloween)

David Chapman (; Wisdom Quarterly HALLOWEEN SERIES
COMING SOON, BREAKING NEWS: Peaceful Buddhists go on murderous rampage.
European vampires were killed and given a special postmortem meal -- a stake. Here a female had a brick placed in her mouth to prevent her from feasting on blood (Daily Mail).
WQ has been sitting on this Bon/Black Magic exposé. For Halloween, we introduce B.F.V.
Cheater and Sap vamps (Life&Style)
“Buddhism for vampires? That’s silly. Buddhism and vampires don’t have anything to do with each other -- or do they?”

Surprisingly, vampires have played a significant role in Buddhism in Asia for centuries. They are not a Western invention.

Contemporary vampire fiction -- “preternatural romance” -- provides tools for presenting aspects of Buddhism that are otherwise difficult to communicate.
Vampires in Buddhist history
Vomiting blood (
There is extensive vampire lore [that preceded and was incorporated] within traditional Buddhism. This has been summarized in “The Tibetan Book of the Undead.” Apart from its intrinsic interest, this history makes it clear that one cannot dismiss “Buddhism for vampires” as bogus.
...No one can say this is an illegitimate topic or some kind of Western commercial distortion. One can combine Buddhism and vampires as a cheap gimmick -- but I believe it is possible to explain Buddhism accurately in the language of the undead. In fact, I believe some aspects of Buddhism are best explained that way.

Vampires, ambiguity, and paradox
Vajrayana is a mix of Bon and Buddhism
Buddhism, at root, is a method for facing the paradoxes of life and death with curiosity, appreciation, generosity, and joy. Its starting point is the experience of ambiguity. The natural tendency is to polarize: to say “this is this and that is that; I love this and hate that.” But experience is unavoidably undefinable.
Reality refuses to fit into categories; it is always in flux. When “this” inexplicably turns into “that,” and you love or hate the “wrong” thing: that is paradox. Rejecting ambiguity is, according to Buddhism, the primordial error, and source of all unhappiness. Paradox is resolved through non-duality: allowing the horns of a dilemma to co-exist.
"China accuses me of being devil" (Dalai Lama)
What has this to do with vampires? Consider the basic paradox of the undead. To paraphrase the great Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna, they are not alive, nor dead, nor both, nor neither. The undead are, as contemporary Buddhist philosopher Stephen T. Asma puts it, “liminal beings.”
China really dislikes Dalai Lama and Buddhism
“Liminal” means “on the threshold”; a defining feature of monsters is that they are neither one thing nor another. This is just the fundamental Buddhist paradox of emptiness and form, reflected in a pool of blood. More
"But who's more Gothic and Vampiric than us?"

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