Going Beyond : Buddhist and Cathar

self-knowledge 1

I have recently written a book based on my experience of Catharism while living in the remote Pyrenees, south-eastern France. The title is ‘Veil’ and it is in fictional format, but actually it is a work of creative non-fiction. In other words, it actually happened to me and to my partner at the time. You can watch the short video explaining a little more about it in a general sense here. But in the wider context of Buddhism I would like to elaborate.

As mentioned in the articles I have made into a portfolio on this site, and am busy making into a non-fiction book to be released in July this year, 2015,  called Buddhists and Cathars and the People of the Earth, I have been chosen to lead a revival of the Medieval mystical sect of Christians known as Les Bonnes or Les Parfaits. Many people may consider that I have jumped ship and am turning my back on my Buddhist training and benefits, but this is not the case as I am not a benefit-seeker.

To qualify that term ‘benefit-seeker’ a little more, I am not looking for personal benefit from my spiritual seeking. I live in Japan where I am surrounded by Buddhists who pay homage to numerous and varied deities and put great energy into practising and donating simply in order to receive benefits for themselves and their loved ones.  This way of seeking is rooted in superstition and goes way back to the original religion of Japan, Shinto. A clapping of hands accompanied with a bow while standing in front of an image, or the throwing of a coin into an offering box placed before the deity, is meant to bring good fortune in a land where fortune-telling is still a valid way of looking into the past and the future. Of course, this kind of activity is wonderful as long as we are not attached to it. The deities and holy energies exist unconditionally to balance and harmonize – we do not need to bribe them by begging and offering. If we are not separate from them, we merge into that balance and harmony.

Of course, this kind of superstition is practised across the world and the world’s religions. Humans in their fearful helpless mode, recognise that there is something greater and so as they navigate samsara, the world of transience and suffering, they offer money or food and drink in return for constant and helping power. I have ceased to do this recently because instead I offer myself and my human life in all its aspects. I no longer need a witness, a public moment of dedication, and I make no distinction between myself and all beings, my life and that of all sentient beings.

Beliefs are a type of thought, and I have ceased that kind of thinking, because I have woken up to the fact that my so-called beliefs make me either separate from others, or bring me closer to those with the same beliefs. In either case, I exclude someone by such a thought. Beliefs serve to separate us from others and from the spiritual/invisible world. As the Cathar Creed for The Church of Love, strongly advises, ‘It’s members shall know each other by their deeds and being, and by their eyes and by no other outward sign save the fraternal embrace.’

The Cathars were Buddhists, just as Moslems are Christians, and Sikhs are Taoists. There is no difference between these subdivisions! Can you remember or imagine a time when the human race started out and had only one faith; it is said that in this Golden Age, the gods were not separate because they walked among us. Diversity and pluralism create too many options to choose from until the point where everything becomes splintered and we feel we are forced to choose. Some choose not to have any beliefs, but surely that also creates a separation. I am the Buddhist and Cathar teachings. I embody them.

I do not choose. Instead I listen. Buddhist and Cathar teachings found me, and they are merely a means whereby. In other words, they have brought me to this very place where I can say I simply ‘am’ like the trees and flowers, the animals and other natural organisms.   I no longer use my thoughts to contrive beliefs according to a particular guru or doctrine. I am cradled in my being. My altar or butsdudan (Japanese home altar) is my life. I live it, breathing and smiling and loving unconditionally.

The Buddha taught me that I must go beyond all form, all thinking. I have no need for benefits to be bestowed. One teacher asked me why I believed in the Buddha and his power, and I answered that I just did. He said, ‘but the Buddha is beyond all form, so please stop blocking your own formlessness by imposing images. Turf all images and thoughts away to take up your proper place standing in the Cosmic Stream.’ He had realised ’emptiness’ at the time, and I had not.

Going beyond! Disposing of all blocks so that the friction which causes us to stop, to get stuck, does not occur. This smooth eternal flowing of being and beings, without beginning or end, is beyond Nirvana, the ceasing of all craving.  It is beyond words, so I must not say more.

My gratitude is eternal to all my teachers whatever they taught me. But now there are no more lessons because my mind and my body are not separate from the Great Truth.

incense smoke

 

6 thoughts on “Going Beyond : Buddhist and Cathar

  1. new desert says:

    Hello dear Linden,

    This is Gilles again. Reading your article, I find it interesting that, as a Cathar in a previous life, I practiced Buddhism in this lifetime. And yet, a Japanese type of Buddhism (Nichiren Daishonin). I even have my own butsudan at home, although it got “streamlined” since I stopped practicing Buddhism.

    There is definitely a reason why we connected this year.

    In terms of the “revival” that you are talking about, anothet name comes to mind. I believe his Facebook name is “Catharisme d’aujourd’jui.” I will put you in touch with the person, whom I don’t know well.

    Love & much Light my dear Sister

    Till we speak again!

    • lindenthorp says:

      Hello brother Gilles,

      Lovely to be in contact with you in this way. Thank you for responding to me so beautifully and spontaneously.
      Yes, it is indeed interesting that we both practice (d) Japanese Buddhism – there’s a huge karmic connection there. I too spent a year, while living in Pyrenees-Orientales, as editor for a huge American organization called BIONA working with a Nichiren Buddhist, Steve Klick. It was indeed a crucial part of my opening, and Steve was really cued into me. That was my Cathar period that pervades ‘Veil’ too.

      The Buddhist Masters are superb guides leading us beyond the teachings to perfect oneness. Very important part of the process of once more taking up our positions as holy beings ourselves. Both you and I realized that it was easy to get attached, but Les Parfaits bring us back to our true nature which is to embody all the words and doctrines. We don’t need to practice anymore because we are performing with every breath!
      I can picture you sitting at your butsudan chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

      So, yes my dear one, we have taken the same path and now we embody as one. It is indeed ‘perfect!’

      May your wisdom lead you in every way towards the glories beyond the veil.
      Speak again soon
      With love
      linden

  2. new desert says:

    Thanks, dear Sister,

    for your lovely and gentle answer.

    You made me smile with your vision of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo – a chanting I pursued for hours and sometimes days!

    it is interesting, as you said, how people are attached to religious practices for the sake of safety and security; not knowing these two attributes come from from within.

    I read a beautiful post today from a young Swedish woman which goes in the very diretcion I am talking about: looking within for answers, and not to some “gurus” outside ourselves.

    The Parfaits, ou les “Bons Hommes,” as you like to call them, knew the way and practiced it beautifully.

    Here is an excerpt from her post:

    “If our sole intention and attempt is to utilize the law of attraction on a mere ental level, desiring to attract material possession as a measurement of safety and security, we have not reached the level of Spiritual Maturity or understanding of seeing the Self from a multidimensional perspecrive. The material world will always be in a changing season, and as we are a physical being, we are in the need of materialism to survive and thrive in this world, but with the balance of the understanding, where all manifestation are sourcing from.”

    Here is the link to Catharisme d’Aujourd’Hui – all in French!

    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006168765828&fref=ts

    I believe the person, based in Carcassonne, has a website by the same name.

    I’ll be happy to connect the two of you.

    Love & light my dear

    Gilles

    • lindenthorp says:

      Hi Gilles, Thank you for your thoughtful further response. I’d be interested to read the whole post that you quoted from – do you happen to have book,asked it? I’d like to retweet it on my site.

      Thank you so much for the link and yes, I’d love to visit that site and make contact. I have been there once or twice before I remember. Very good and highly pictorial which made me yearn to be there again.

      Yes, I agree, that we are always deferring to experts and adepts, and thus gradually and exponentially losing all contact with our true nature and innate wisdom. This credibility thing drives me crazy – just one big cop-out. I love the early Christian Mystics on this, especially Sylvanus – 1st century.

      ‘Knock on yourself as upon a door, and walk upon yourself as on a straight road. For if you walk on the road, it is impossible for you to go astray. And if you knock with this one (Wisdom), you knock on hidden treasures.’

      and

      ‘You were a temple, (but) you have made yourself a tomb. Cease being a tomb, and become (again) a temple, so that uprightness and divinity may remain in you.’

      …..For everything which is visible is a copy of that which is hidden.’

      We have turned deaf ears on such divinity, so this is what Les Parfaits wanted to make us hear again.

      Wonderful to share with you my dear. Stay close.

      Je t’embrace! Linden

      On Tuesday, June 9, 2015, Nirvana Linden wrote:

      >

  3. new desert says:

    Hello dear Sister,

    how are you today?

    Thanks for yet another lovely response. What you shared of Sylvanus is very beautiful and so true! The true compass is found within and one may realize that after some “spiritual mileage!”

    I certainly did after I “retired” from Buddhist practice.

    I’m pasting the link to Sara Isabelle’s article. She likes to write about the wound, a topic which is meaningful to me.And what she says is very wise.

    https://worldsofcomfort.wordpress.com/2015/06/08/law-of-attraction-vs-law-of-distraction/

    I have another resource re the Wound, if you’d like, from a depth / eco-psychologist named Bill Plotkin. He wrote a great book (and a couple more) about Nature and the Human Soul. His book really appealed to me in 2011-2012 precisely when I was working on my Wound with my coach. Lots of work, as you well know.

    http://nurturingthegiftofseeking.org/2015/01/12/exploration-of-the-sacred-wound-in-bill-plotkins-book/

    Lots of Love, dear Sister@!

    Gilles

    • lindenthorp says:

      Thanks for the links Gilles. I’ll be interested to know more about the wound – A fairly new concept to me within this area of self-knowledge.

      Glad Sylvanus touched you. Christianity certainly has deteriorated as it spread, putting down layers of indoctrination which covered over our natural faith and divinity. The gnostic gospels resembled the Buddhist teachings in many ways – urging that each of us was a Christ and that we could become models or beacons for others. That God was a Door through which we could walk.

      So, beloved brother, we’ve had a great start in our lives – Christian and Buddhist. Now ‘the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemical act for conscious change of the ego into a voluntary return to the whole.’ (church of Love Creed)

      With all love, the alchemy of mind, and the tenderness of divinity
      Linden

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