Beginnings of a Metal Manifesto: The Buddhist Connection

What is the meaning of a wrathful Buddha? We see all these wrathful images of Buddhas (gesturing around the temple). But in truth wrathful Buddhas have nine qualities. Their bodies are wrathful, heroic, and frightening. Their voices are laughing, threatening, and fierce. But mentally they are loving, peaceful, and powerful. Like all enlightened beings, their minds are peaceful, compassionate, joyful, and wise. If a being is wrathful on the outside and also angry in its heart, then it is a real monster — not a Buddha. Wrathful Buddhas look wrathful for a purpose: for pacifying, for taming negative forces.

[From Tulku Thondup’s Talk in India 2003]


SO, I’m thinking forward now. About my bigger piece. And how it will be about Metal (as in, Heavy Metal) and Buddhism (as in om mani padme hum). I struck upon this idea upon walking into a Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. I’d been in monasteries before, and had seen many images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. But this time was different.

//Went to find a good concise definition for Heavy Metal… ended up on an hour long trawl of Led to another look at Racist Music. Led to this post at my main blog: Hate Rock, Racism and Heavy Metal.

To be continued…



I gingerly held on to my seat as we bounced through marmot holes and over patches of grass, feet perched solidly on the footrests of my host father’s motorcycle as we sped through the night. The cool air soothed my skin, each molecule a reminder of the authenticity of the moment, and my very mortality. The motorcycle’s lone headlight danced its way across the steppe; I leaned back, resting my hands on my knees, and gazed up at the endless starry dark. My stomach full of боодог (boodog, Mongolian roasted goat), сүүтэй цай (suutei tsai, milky tea), айраг (airag, fermented mare’s milk) and архи (arhi, vodka), I smiled at the uniqueness and beauty of this experience, and drank in the Mongolian night.

[From Delgerhaan Homestay]

On Poop

There are some things people just don’t like to talk about.

No matter how close a friend or significant other, poop perpetually exists as taboo, reserved for only medical emergencies (or kinky sex? Let’s not go there). If it exists at all.

When a group travels beyond the realm of bacterial familiarity, into a land where gastrointestinal integrity is no longer taken for granted, a special bond is formed.

Anyone who has traveled to a distant land can attest to the magic that is travelers talking about their GI lives. At home, people talk about work lives, sex lives; but in Mongolia, we had whole soap-operas worth of material and drama pertaining to nothing more than diarrhea and its many relatives.

A: Hey Kevin, how was your day?
K: Good, but I haven’t shat in 3 days! I’m gonna go try now…
A: Damn! Well, good luck! Give ’em hell!

[10 minutes later]

A: Well?
K: Great success!!
A: Hallelujah!

Such a situation was quite plausible, if not normal. This extreme take on a traditionally sensitive subject (flexibility borne of necessity and increasing familiarity with said subject’s less desirable territories) exposes the opposite extreme in which we are perpetually trapped back in the 1st world. Sure, once a healthy rhythm is established, and things stop being interesting, it fades from view…

On Water

They can slowly grow from humble beginnings, like a forest of frozen dew crystals. Or catch experiences in mid-air, like the glistening stalks of grass along a frozen lakeshore — caught in the surf’s nightly descent into solidness. Or they can be free to meander about, a skin-tingling mist, pulling in passing rays and exposing their true colors.

And in a moment of beautiful creative mania, they come pouring out in a deluge as though from a ruptured vessel.

And yet, they are not so essential, as those life-giving molecules of neutral-clear tastingness.