Got Blanket Absolution yesterday. And, it felt so good, I became a 12-year-old again. Ready to face the world with a clear conscious and a pure heart. The last time I felt this good was when I was 21. Sitting in the bleachers in a base camp, somewhere in the rear of a “battlefront” in Vietnam. Near Cu Chi. Attended Mass. A Catholic priest, doubling as a chaplain, performed the ceremonies, granting us “grunts” blanket absolution for all the wrongs we committed, as well as those we wanted to commit. In our minds. Like, lusting in our hearts, as former US President Jimmy Carter admitted to Playboy Magazine in an interview while campaigning for the 1976 election. The mere thought itself can be a sin, is what some Christians believe. That’s why it’s so important to keep our thoughts good, away from the negative, the “bad.
Got the newest absolution from a Buddhist service, where some 30 attendants chanted Tibetan verses seven times each for purifying our body, speech and mind. Felt I was back in St. Ludwig’s Roman Catholic Church, Brewerytown (PA), when Latin was the preferred method of saying Mass. (The only way, in many American churches.) Also, reminded me of attending a prayer meeting with Muslims at the Coatesville (PA) VA Medical Center two years ago. Tthe spiritual leader read and prayed in Arabic. Understood none of the words, but the service uplifted my Spirit nevertheless. Got criticized by some of the Christian veterans who fed into the national hysteria against a people for what a few followers — fundamental extremists — did on 9-11. They’re the same veterans that hate Mexicans crossing the border, and believe that another group of Semites are leading an International Conspiracy in our World. The Venerable Losang Samten, spiritual leader of the Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia, performed a ritual called the Vajrasattva mantra that helped purify “obscurations,” both the root of a problem, and the problem’s more lasting effect, called the “imprint.” You can remove garlic from a jar, but the imprint of the garlic, the smell (or stink!), will remain. One’s “habit” is harder to break than the action of that habit, is what the venerable Rinpoche said.
“In addition to personal practice, the Vajrasattva mantra is regarded as having the ability to purify karma, bring peace, and cause enlightened activity in general,” according to Wikipedia. “Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, The Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche announced a project, Prayer 4 Peace, to accumulate one billion six syllable Vajrasattva recitations by practitioners around the world. The six syllable mantra (OM VAJRASATTVA HUM), is a less formal version of the one hundred syllable mantra on which it is based but contains the essential spiritual points of the longer mantra, according to lama and tulku Jamgon Kongtrul.
Don’t know much about all of this, I’m a recovering Catholic, Vietnam Veteran, Buddhist who dances the Sufi Dervish Whirl while studying Kabbalah, who knows a good thing when he sees it. Or feels it. Like yesterday at the Vajrasattva-Retreat-Farmhouse-with Venerable-Losang-Rinpoche. I climbed the perimeter to a rustic pond catering to ducks and herons; jumped from rock to rock; and marveled at a waterfall only a Disney animator could have created for faeries, before lowering myself to the ground so that a friendly dog could sniff and lick my face as if I was a kid again feeling “fancy free.” Free of all sin and obscurations. Being Pure of Body, Speech and Mind can get me acting this way.