Buddhism and Thelema

Self Realization

Posted by <Xnoubis> on February 26, 2000 @ 08:43 AM
from the east-meets-beast dept.

There is a growing interest in the cross-fertilization of Buddhism and Thelema, as evidenced by the works of Sam Webster, San Francisco's Thelemic Sangha, and the author's own Scales of the Serpent.

[Portions of this article previously appeared in the Thelema Lodge Calendar.]

I first became aware of the works of Sam Webster when I read an article in Gnosis magazine called “Pagan Dharma.” In it, he draws parallels between the Pagan (which for him appears to include the Magical and Hermetic) worldviews on one hand, and the traditions of the East, particularly Dzogchen and Tibetan Tantra, on the other.

…the Dzogchen practitioner seeks the inherent purity in all things, and integrates with the experience while not seeking to change anything about it. This is in accord with the Pagan contra-gnostic view of the immediate goodness of the here and now.

With these similarities in mind, he observes the persistent problems that crop up in western magical practice, and suggests that we might look toward these eastern schools for potential remedies. In this article, and a follow-up essay published in Pangaia, he outlines three techniques adapted from the East that have proven effective in guiding and grounding practitioners in ritual work, Taking Refuge, Generating Boddhichitta, and Dedicating Merit. Taking Refuge involves strengthening contact with the Enlightened aspect within us. By Generating Boddhichitta, we bind our practice to the innate perfection within the moment. In Dedicating Merit, we offer the results of our work to the benefit of all beings, grounding our magick in compassion.

Looking back over our history, I suspect that in the frightful need to transmit the how the Western Magical Tradition lost the why. In the face of oppression and ridicule the practice of magick was nearly, but not successfully, exterminated… Yet by generating compassion we can invoke the inherent power of the entire Universe driving us all toward our inherent enlightenment to strengthen and fulfill our magick.

I found this perspective to be one of the most exhilarating approaches to magick that I had ever read. When the opportunity came a few years later to attend one of his ritual events, I jumped in immediately, and found the experience every bit as rewarding as I had hoped.

An adaptation from eastern techniques that felt particularly useful to me was the practice of Tibetan Deity Yoga. Sam borrowed this elaborate method to use in association with Ra-Hoor-Khuit to form an original ritual that I feel is destined to become a mainstay in future Thelemic tradition. In brief, Deity Yoga involves visualizing the approach of a deity, making offerings and praise to it, visualizing the deity with the greatest possible clarity, becoming identified with it, and meditating upon its aspects. Then various yogic practices are employed, including mantra and the visualization of the Wheel of Dharma. Finally, the images are dissolved and a ceremonial closing takes place.

In practice, I found this to be the most powerful magical technique I had ever experienced. So when it came time for me to adapt my //Liber Arcanorum// workings for a group setting, the first thing I did was to drop the underlying structure (based on the Golden Dawn Z documents) like a hot potato in favor of this exciting technology.

Most recently, I've discovered the Thelemic Sangha, meeting monthly in nearby San Francisco to perform their stirring devotional ritual The Diamond Sapphire, a unique blending of Thelemic and Buddhist archetypes and ritual forms.

The underlying symbolism of the entire ritual is that of the union of the human and the divine, the opening up of enlightenment or cosmic consciousness, or the opening of the ruach to Briatic consciousness. The ritual is centered around the symbolism of the Hexagram as the union of Fire and Water, and the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.
– Gregory Peters, Rivers of Fire, Water and Air, a commentary on The Diamond Sapphire

The author of The Diamond Sapphire, Gregory Peters, includes among his affiliations initiations into Shingon, Pure Land, and Kagyu Tibetan Buddhism.

To subscribe to their sangha93 mailing list, send a message to sangha93-request@lists.best.com with the word “subsingle” in the message body (or the word “subscribe” to receive the digest).

No doubt there exist further examples of the influence of Buddhism on Thelemic thought. Many people, for instance, have been struck by the resemblance between The Angels' Message to Humanity by Gerald and Betty Schueler (a very good book marred by an appalling title) and the Kalachakra initiation. But this synthesis of Buddhism and Thelema suggests a host of questions, including:

  • Is Thelema actually a secret Tantric Buddhist Cult?
  • How come Crowley did not know the difference between a Dorge and a Purbu?
  • Would Thelema have developed differently if Crowley's experience with Buddhism had been through Tibetan Tantra, rather than Theraveda?
  • If Compassion is the vice of kings, and all Thelemites are kings, and we are told that vices are Hadit's service, should we not cultivate the mastery of compassion? What would this mean? Love is, after all, the law.
May the merit accumulated by this group be dedicated to the liberation of all sentient beings, under the radiant kiss that is Nuit, Hadit, and Heru-Ra-Ha.
“I take refuge in the Three Jewels. I will liberate all beings and lead them to enlightenment. Thus, I will perfectly generate the mind dedicated to attaining enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.”
“This shall regenerate the world, the little world my sister, my heart & my tongue, unto whom I send this kiss.”
– From the sanga93 mailing list welcome message

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The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them.

Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by <Kali524> on Sunday February 27, @02:31PM

You wrote:

“If Compassion is the vice of kings, and all Thelemites are kings, and we are told that vices are Hadit's service, should we not cultivate the mastery of compassion? What would this mean? Love is, after all, the law.”

I'm still picking up my jaw off the desk. I realize that this is a question, and not an answer. It may, however, be one of the most important questions I've encountered in my short six years of reading on Thelema. The compassion passage is one of the most frustrating that I encounter. I actually get worked up every time I read through that part of the book – maybe it's a meta-process designed to show the psuedo-compassionate the chinks in their compassion? Who knows. – and this way of formulating the deeper issues is most helpful.

Thanks for elucidating yet more of the Talmudic issues of the Law.


Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by <Xnoubis> on Sunday February 27, @07:26PM

Maybe compassion is the defining vice of kings. To feel separate from others doesn't seem kingly. Nor does feeling united with the All. But to experience existence as one among many and to feel along with them, that seems royal.

Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by Tim Maroney on Monday February 28, @08:51PM

I've encountered that interpretation before. the problem I have with it is that it seems to fly in the face of the context of “compassion is the vice of kings.” It seems reasonable enough if that sentence is considered singly, but here is how it actually appears:

18. These are dead, these fellows; they feel not. We are not for the poor and sad: the lords of the earth are our kinsfolk.

19. Is a God to live in a dog? No! but the highest are of us. They shall rejoice, our chosen: who sorroweth is not of us.

20. Beauty and strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us.

21. We have nothing with the outcast and the unfit: let them die in their misery. For they feel not. Compassion is the vice of kings: stamp down the wretched & the weak: this is the law of the strong: this is our law and the joy of the world. Think not, o king, upon that lie: That Thou Must Die: verily thou shalt not die, but live. Now let it be understood: If the body of the King dissolve, he shall remain in pure ecstasy for ever. Nuit! Hadit! Ra-Hoor-Khuit! The Sun, Strength & Sight, Light; these are for the servants of the Star & the Snake.

End of quote. It seems to me there is much one would have to explain away to ignore the framing provided by even just 2:21, and the surrounding verses make the meaning even more explicit.

This is not to imply that there is any one absolutely correct interpretation, only to observe that viewed in context the suggested interpretation seems discordant.

Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by Sam Webster on Tuesday February 29, @11:47AM

People from a Christian culture often think compassion is about being 'nice' to people. However, wrath or ferocity is seen as far more compassionate that being peaceful in the Vajrayana perspective, since it acts to cause change. Thus the descriptions given in vs. 2:18-21 above are the essence of compassionate action. Stamping down on the wretched and the weak is being compassionate. They should be destroyed and thus liberated from their suffering state. As to whether or not this destroys the person is dependent on the skill the magickian brings to bear and the willingness to face the consequences. Only a fool would go around killing people as that would violate, “force not, king against king”.

If we compare these verses to Vajrayana Tantras we find that such descriptions of deity actions are commonplace. In fact, as descriptions of the behaviour of tantric yogin (read magick-users) these are mild. Chewing on the hearts of babies come to mind from a certian Dakini practice. When in diety yoga, 'stamping down' would be visualized as Ra-Hoor-Khuit standing with one foot on a wretched person and another on a weakling. Doing this in life is compassion, “a rooting out of the weeds, a watering of the flowers”, but the view it requires is that of Boddhichitta, or else it degenerates into mere sociopathy. Indeed, different views will get different interpretations, thus the nature of this conversation. Thanks for bringing up the topic.



Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by Tim Maroney on Tuesday February 29, @07:14PM

That's certainly a more complete addressing of the verses in question. I wonder how it can be reconciled with traditional Buddhist precepts of avoidance of harm to sentient beings, though. Given the imagery you note with respect to wrathful deity forms I expect that there must be some direct reference in Buddhist literature to this seeming contradiction.

BTW, has anyone looked at the Vajra Project of the Temple of Set? I just came across it today at the dmoz.org Temple of Set category. It's at http://members.tripod.com/~SetMes/index.html .

Sample quote:

“As a former Tibetan Buddhist monk specializing in the practice and teaching of the Vajrayana, it has been my sincere pleasure to create a vehicle for these unique and powerful techniques, so that they might further speed us towards our goal of Apotheosis through Xeper.

“My current focus ties in with my Work in the Order of the Black Tower, establishing a deep and mature level of communication with Set/Shiva via his emanation as 'MahaKala' the Great Black Destroyer of Time.”


Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by sam webster on Monday March 06, @04:48PM

I'll refer you to “Ruthless Compassion” by Rob Linrothe (Shambhala 1999). It tracks the development of the “wrathful destroyer of obstacles” in esoteric buddhism (tantra). In the teachings he cites, her refers to the “eliptical language” used with the Yidams, often teaching the apparent opposite of the traditional teachings.

This is one of the reasons why such teachings, like thelema, are so dangerious. As in “There is great danger in me; for who doth not understand these runes shall make a great miss. He shall fall down into the pit called Because, and there he shall perish with the dogs of Reason.”

The problem here is to understand the real meaning which involves the appropriation of the power of the 'negative' in the service of compassionate action.


sam webster

Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by <Simon> on Tuesday March 07, @09:41PM

93 Sam,

Long time no see. I have to agree with you on this. If you recall, I have been saying the same thing since the late '80s. The Book of the Law might as well be an instruction manual on how to relate to your Yidam. I haven't seen a copy of Ruthless Compassion, but it is available from Ibis Books, should anyone be interested.

Re: Vajra Element of the Temple of Set
by <Umze> on Friday August 18, @07:43AM

The new URL for this group is:


Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by <Diancecht> on Wednesday March 01, @07:46AM

“force not, king against king.”

Here is an interesting quote. Having the time on my hands that I think I should extend: in sight of 'black and white' one black king vis-a-vis one white king…stir up any bells? It is so possible in the scene that one of the two must be an imposter, not a true king. How is this so? In black and white one is mortified, and one beyond. Then in this line of thinking it would be improbable that two true kings can be placed against each other at all. More importantly should one never forget that: “The rituals of the old time are black.”


Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by Karma Sonam Yeshe Gyamtso on Sunday April 23, @11:10PM

Indeed, the Vajrayana tradition sees the Bodhisattvic actions of compassion as those of total freedom…liberating the strong and the weak through the actions of Passive and Active compassion, as is warranted.

The Bodhisattva holds to NO FEAR, even in the face of countless aeons in the process of spreading the Light of Truth and the Word of Liberation to all Sentient Beings.

In reference to the Bodhisattva:

What is there to gain and what is there to lose

With things that are empty (of true existence) in this way?

Who is there to pay me respect?

And who is there to abuse me?

From what are pleasure and pain derived?

What is there to be happy or unhappy about?

When I search for the ultimate nature,

Who is there to crave and what is there to crave for?

The Bodhisattvic Ideal is one of Liberation…and not just for one's pathetic, frail and fragile personae (i.e.Mask-ego)… but for the liberation of that which holds one's ego (individuated self) from experiencing the Truth on One's inherent Divinity and Totality.

There are two faces to the Bodhisattva… one Compassionate and Passive…radiating love and compassion and the other Wrathful and “Actively” compassionate… the Destroyer of Obstacles, the Remover of harmful obscuration and samsaric producing kleshas…and in no way is this force… passive and self-denigrating.

Bodhisattvas act as Facilitators of healing and action! They embody Wisdom, Compassion, Understanding, and Radiant understanding … Dark Destroyers of Ignorance, Fear and Laziness! They are the Leaders to awakening and illumination.

In their active compassion aspect…the bodhisattva acts as a protector of the law… a mahakala.

“Mahakala is the chief dharmapala, that is, protector of the Buddhist teachings. Mahakala protects the practitioner from deceptions and from distractions. He represents the four energies of pacification, attraction, magnetism and repulsion. His wrathful expression is the energy of cutting through powerful obstacles. His third eye expresses the wisdom of omniscience. The five skulls signify victory over the five emotional obscurations.”

Also here is one definition of a Bodhisattva:

Bodhisattva, Sanskrit term meaning “ONE who is destined for, or whose essence is,ENLIGHTENMENT.”

The term originally referred to the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, during his previous births and the part of his career before his Great Enlightenment.

In Mahayana Buddhism, the term refers to the individual who has passed through ten stages (Bhumis) to spiritual perfection, but out of compassion chooses to delay the final reward, nirvana, to work for the salvation of all other sentient beings, especially by transferring merit to them.

Bodhisattvas are usually conceived as personifications of particular virtues of the Buddha.

Thus, Manjusri, with his book and sword of knowledge, represents the Buddha's wisdom, and Samantabhadra his happiness. Avalokitesvara, the Lord Who Looks Down, personifies compassion. Maitreya, the bodhisattva of loving kindness, is recognized by Theravada Buddhists as the future Buddha.

Also here are the 37 practices of the Bodhisattva:

Remember…practice makes perfect! :)

First Practice

The possession of this human base, this precious vessel so difficult to obtain, in order to liberate others and ourselves from the ocean of samsara, allows us to hear, reflect, and meditate day and night without distractions. This is the practice of the bodhisattva.

Second Practice

Towards our friends and those we love run the waters of attachment, towards our enemies burns the fire of aversion; in the obscurity of ignorance, we lose sight of what should be abandoned and what should be practised. Therefore, renunciation of ones's country and home is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Third Practice

When we abandon our harmful surroundings, our illusions diminsh, and because we have no distractions our practice of virtue develops spontaneously, leaving us with a clear mind, Our trust in the Dharma grows. To live in solitude is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Fourth Practice

One day old and dear friends will separate, goods and riches obtained by great effort will be left behind. Consciousness, a guest of the body, this temporary dwelling, will depart. From this moment on, to renounce all attachment to this life is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Fifth Practice

If we have harmful companions, the three poisons are increased, our reflection and meditation becomes degraded; love and compassion are destroyed. To abandon dangerous company is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Sixth Practice

To rely on a spiritual friend who has eliminated all illusions, whose competence in the teachings and practice is complete, and whose qualities increase like the crescent moon; to cherish this perfect guru more than one's own body is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Seventh Practice

How could the gods of this woeld possibly liberate us, being themselves tied to the prison of samsara? Instead let us take refuge in that on which we can rely. To take refuge in the Three Jewels is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Eighth Practice

The intolerable suffering of the lower realms is said by the Buddha to be the fruit of karma, therefore never to commit unwise deeds is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Ninth Practice

The happiness of the three worlds is like the dew on the tip of aa blade of grass, disappearing in an instant. To aspire to supreme, immutable liberation is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Tenth Practice

Since beginningless time, our mothers took care of us with tenderness. What use is our own happiness when they still suffer? To generate bodhichitta in order to liberate infinite beings is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Eleventh Practice

All suffering, without exception, comes from the desire for happiness for oneself, while perfect buddahood is born from the desire to make others happy. This is why completely exchanging one's happiness for that of others is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Twelfth Practice

If, in the grip of violent desire or cruel necessity, an unfortunate person steals our possessions or incites someone else to steal them, to be full of compassion, to dedicate to this person or body, possessions, and past, present and future merit, is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Thirteenth Practice

Even if we are beaten or tortured, we must not allow any aversion to arise within us. To have great compassion for those poor beings who, out of ignorance, mistreat us is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Fourteenth Practice

If, without reason, certain people slander us to the point where the entire world is filled with their malicious gossip, to praise their virtues lovingly is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Fifteenth Practice

If in the company of several people, one among them reveals a fault that we would have liked hidden, not to become irritated with the one who treats us in this manner but to consider him as a supreme guru is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Sixteenth Practice

If someone whom we have helped and protected as our own child show only ingratitude and dislike in return, to have towards this person the tender pity a mother has for her sick child is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Seventeenth Practice

If someone who is your equal or someone who is obviously your inferior despises you or out of arrogance attempts to debase you, to respect him as your master is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Eighteenth Practice

When we are abandoned, overcome with sickness and worry, not to become discouraged but to think of taking on all the wrongful actions committed by others and suffering their consequences is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Nineteenth Practice

When we enjoy a good reputation and the respect of everyone, the wealth of Vaishravana, to see that the fruits of karma are without substance and not to take pride in this observation is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Twentieth Practice

Unless the aggression of our inner adversaries ceases, the more we fight them the more they multiply. Similarly, until we have mastered our own mind, negative forces will invade us. To discipline the mind through love and compassion is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Twenty-first Practice

The nature of sense pleasures is like that of saltwater: the more we drink, the more our thirst increases. To abandon the objects towards which desire arises is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Twenty-second Practice

All that appears comes from an illision of the mind and the mind itself is from beginningless time without inherent existence, free from the two extremes of manifestation (eternalism and nihilism) and beyond all elaboration. To understand this nature (Tathata) and not to conceive of subjects and objects as really existing is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Twenty-third Practice

When we encounter an attractive object, or something that pleases our mind, we see it as beautiful and real, but actually it is empty as a summer rainbow. To abandon attachment towards it is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Twenty-Fourth Practice

Various sufferings are like those experienced from the death of an only child in a dream. To take as truth that which is only a false appearance is uselessly to exhaust the body and mind. When we meet with unfavourable circumstances, to approach them thinking they are only illusion is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Twenty-fifth Practice

If he who desires awakening must sacrifice his own body, his precious human life, what need is there to mention external objects to abandon? This is why practising generosity without hoping for a reward or a 'karmic fruit' is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Twenty-sixth Practice

If, lacking ethical discipline, we cannot realise our own intentions, to want to fulfil the vows of other beings is simply a joke. To keep rules and vows, not for a temporal and samsaric goal but in order to help all sentient beings, is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Twenty-seventh Practice

For a Son (or Daughter) of the Buddha who desires the rewards of virtuous merit, all adverse circumstances are a precious treasure for they require the practice of kshanti (patience). To be perfectly patient, without irritation or resentment towards anyone, is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Twenty-eighth Practice

Even the pratyekabuddhas and the shravakas who are concerned only with their own liberation make great efforts to obtain virya (energy). To perfectly practise energy, the source of all qualities for the benefit of all beings, is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Twenty-ninth Practice

In understanding that vipashyana in union with shamatha completely destroys kleshas (desires, obstacles), to meditate on the dhyanas which are beyond the four realms is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Thirtieth Practice

Without prajna, the five preceding virtues cannot be called 'paramita' (excellent, perfect) and are incapable of leading us to buddhahood. To have the right view which perceives that the one who acts , the act, and the one for whom we act completely lack inherent existence is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Thirty-first Practice

Not to analyse our actions and feelings allows desire to arise. To examine our errors and faults in order to separate ourselves from them completely is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Thirty-second Practice

Never to criticise others or speak of the errors that those who are on the path of the Mahayana may have committed is a practice is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Thirty-third Practice

In order to receive offerings and be surrounded by respect, we fight among ourselves in a spirit of competition to the detriment of our attention towards study; our meditation slackens. To abandon all attachment to the gifts of those who care for us is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Thirty-fourth Practice

Harsh speech disturbs the mind of others, and our practice feels the effects of this. To abandon all coarse and vulgar language, all harsh speech and all idle chatter is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Thirty-fifth Practice

As we are accustomed to acting under the rule of our passions, destroying them demands great effort. Mindfulness of these (opposing forces) is the weapon that allows us to repel them immediately. In short: whatever we do, in whatever circumstance or conditions, always to be attentive to the situation that presents itself and to the reaction that it awakens in our mind; this, with the motivation of amending our behaviour for the well-being of all sentient beings, is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Thirty-sixth Practice

To dedicate the merit that results from our efforts to obtain buddhahood, towards illumination through the wisom of the view of emptiness of the three realms of action and in order to overcome the suffering of infinite beings, is a practice of the bodhisattva.

Thirty-seventh Practice

The thirty-seventh practice is the explication given by Lama Thogs-med bsang-po of his work and his dedication of it.

Basing myself in the teachings of the Sutra, the Tantra and the Shastra, I have grouped these Thirty-seven Practices of the Sons of the Buddha for usage and for the benefit of those who would like to follow their path.

Because of my limited understanding and my inadequate knowledge, this compostion lacks the poetry and elegance of the language that the scholars revived, but as these teachings depend strictly on the Sutra of the Supreme, I think that they reveal the practices of the bodhisattva free of errors.

By the merit that I have obtained through this effort, as well as through the power of the two Bodhichittas, the relative and the ultimate, may all sentient beings, without remaining within the limits of samsara and nirvana, become like Avalokiteshvara.

In the Blessing of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and in the precious names of Nuit, Hadit, and Heru ra ha,

Tashi Delek!

Karma Sonam Yeshe Gyamtso

Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by El Nigma on Thursday January 18, @08:48AM

Doing my will's my law,

Crowley wasn't subtle about loving Buddhism and Tantrik. Its hard to understand some things he's written without a clue in these, why some are not in the suggested reading, I can't tell you. May not have been in print and available at the time?

Not being a pro at either school, Thelemic or Buddhist, I can say I find deepenings in the meanings of Thelemic texts understanding some Buddhism, and the Thelemic path (which I had first, and by my definition still have) gives me good groundpoints in Buddhism.

A lot of his mystery and a lot of his wisdom seems to take its ground in this, but I won't try fitting a square plug in a round hole in places it does not mix. I'm of a school that is very tolerant of other religions, RHK as I've understood him is not. NOT. He can go on being intolerant in his own bad self, long as he respects My will, which since that is his beliefs to do so, does. . Anyways, enough personal view there.

To continue on the Buddhist/Tantrik subject-

Liber A'Ash (Liber CCCLXX) is imho a very Tantrik text

eg. Think of the Tantrik sacred sex on the charnel grounds (where they burn corpses) on verse 22

eg. look at this while reading verse 34 - 36


Upward pointing are male triangles, downward pointing (sound familiar, Priestesses?) female or yoni triangles.

And Liber LXV chapter III -

61. I have gone down, O my God, into the abyss of the all, and I have found Thee in the midst under the guise of No Thing.

No Thing being the nature of the mind (being Emptiness), and again mentioned as No-Thing in CCCLXX.

93 23,
El Nigma/Phlogiston

Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by Ataniell Rising on Tuesday March 19, @12:28PM

I have done a number of devotions to the Japanese Goddess Kannon. Kannon is a goddess of compassion; but piss her off and she grows 998 extra arms, with something sharp at the end of each one.

Compassion is Truth, among other things, and who would say that Truth is always gentle?

I know that in my own life, healing has often come to me through painful, even violent experiences.

93! Ataniell

Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by nigris (333) on Sunday March 26, @08:02PM

slaves divide kindred into slaves and kings.
kings engage compassion as a vice because artificial.
the master merely does their true will and cares
not whether interacting with a slave or king.
the master is beyond self-consideration of king
or slave, having operated by the principle of
Agape and the power of Thelema. kings are pinned
to the pillar of Power/Will/Wisdom, slaves are
pinned to the pillar of Mercy/Love/Compassion.
both are pinned, the master has the Middle Way.


Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by El Nigma on Tuesday January 23, @01:04PM

Nicely put.

93 23,
El Nigma
Simple things for simple minds

Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by <Alexander> on Monday February 26, @10:40AM

Sogyal Rinpoche in his excellent book “Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” has offers a guru yoga practice essentialised to be applicable to people of any religion.

He also elucidates how compassion is essential to tantra and transformative work as a whole. This is particularly relevant, perhaps, for Thelemites who are attempting to active potent energies for transformation without necessarily engaging the intention that it be for the best of all. To do such is, to me, basically sane.

He also has a “Phowa” practice, for transfering consciousness at the time of death into the enlightened state. Again, it is applicable to people of any religion.

All the best,

Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by Padma Dorje on Thursday May 31, @10:09PM

My first religious tradition was thelema, I'm
now a nyingma practicioner and live in a
dharma center and study with a tibetan lama
here in Brazil. Sorry about my bad english.

First of all, I told my lama about my involvement with Crowley and thelema, and said that sometimes I felt he was a mahasiddha and sometimes just a sentient being in the field of compassion. I still feel that way, and my lama told me that maybe Crowley had some real spiritual achievements, from what I told him.

I found everything that pleased me in the thelemic writings in vajrayana buddhism, and much more. My practice of thelema was much loose, and the methods prescribed by Crowley, too hard to follow. I only had this huge intelectual toy to play with, no way to get to the real thing. Besides that, I never found a legitimate holder of Crowley's teaching, and was not pleased even with the books of his closests successors.

So when I found a vajrayana and dzogchen tibetan Guru, I prostrated to him. I actually visualize Crowley prostrating with me in my preliminary practices.

I noticed the dorje confused with the phurba in “The Book of Thoth”. Also, the tarot cards depict a Hayagriva deity phurba, not a Vajrakilaya one, notice the horse head above it. Crowley maybe had some contact with nyingma art, in the himalayas.

One small comparative point, just in “silent meditation”, look at Liber E - those meditative practices are torture, not meditation. By the time I studied thelema, I never could stay still for a whole hour, much less with plate filled with water on the top of my head. I tried, but it didn't work to stay still even for a few minutes. I didn't even know how to sit properly, in the first place! So it was very frustrating to do that practice without a living teacher to instruct me. When I found my guru, slowly I learned how to sit and the proper frame of body, speach and mind. Now I can easily sit still for a couple of hours, nevermind the plate, blargh.

For the ritual, vajrayana is complete. I attend two per year seven day rituals called druptchen, these are complex meditative schemes based on saddhanas for a specific deity. Never heard of something like that in thelema.

As to dzogchen, of course zen and taoism may look similar to it, and thelema has similarities to taoism, but dzogchen is a very secret practice, and people are being accused of sustaining a “McDonald's Dzogchen”, which is not the real thing. So I don't claim to understand what the dzogchen practice is, and much less to compare it with thelema. To begin with, in the thelemic tradition I have only faith in Crowley has a great spiritual practitioner, maybe a bodhisattva.

So how it can be compared to dzogchen? Did someone achieve a “rainbow body”?

I stronly recommend to those who are thinking about buddhism and thelema, the book “Buddhist Masters of Enchantment”, by Keith Dowman and Robert Beer.

As for thelema, sometimes I still talk about it, and read some of the “Book of Lies”. I sold all my Crowley books. In fact I feel that is really
difficult to find true teachers in both traditions, I had the great merit of finding a perfect vajrayana/dzogchen teacher, one of the last ones who learned everything in Tibet before the invasion. I have another lama for which I work who has a physics PhD, and for those of you who have scientific oriented minds (like Crowley did), I recommend “Choosing Reality” by Alan Wallace.

As for compassion and thelema, I was very self-centered when I studied thelema, but I thought thelema had similarities with buddhist ideas and taoism, which I liked very much. But there was no method for dealing with this self-centered attitude, and compassion had some intelectual hindrances in those books.

So I wish anyone who reads this to find a
true spiritual teacher in thelema or otherwise,
and that his efforts in the practice amounts to
temporary benefits and ultimate freedom to him
and everyone.

Padma Dorje _
[Eduardo Pinheiro] (”)
ICQ 3246923 MU! (-“-)
[email protected] (_`/._)
http://dharmabum.tw.st Ni! ^^^^^^^^^
[+55(0xx)51] 9848.8269 / OM MANI
d e d i c a t i o n o f m e r i t ______/ H R I

“Throughout my countless experiences until this one,
every single phenomena that I have come upon,
including these words and whatever comes after this,
I offer to all beings.

Through this virtue may all beings achieve
complete freedom and temporary satisfaction.

May all suffering cease while compassion flourishes.

May I vividly experience the dreamlike quality
of each phenomena, instantaneously awakening to its
innate display of wisdom.

May I swiftly reach complete, effortless freedom so
that my unhindered ceaseless expression benefits all.”

Prática de Tara Vermelha diariamente às 19h
Estrada do Caminho do Meio, 2600 - Viamão/RS 90515-000
Caminho do Meio (51) 485.5159 - http://bodisatva.org

Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by AShTarot Cognatus on Friday July 27, @01:54AM


I have send a request to sangha93 mailing list, but it doesn't work. Please, can someone help me with this?


AShTarot Cognatus

Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by AShTarot Cognatus on Friday July 27, @01:55AM


I have send a request to sangha93 mailing list, but it doesn't work. Please, can someone help me with this?


AShTarot Cognatus

Re: Buddhism and Thelema
by Karma Sonam Yeshe Gyamso on Wednesday August 01, @04:53PM

Greetings AShTarot Cognatus,

The Sangha93 mailing list has been shutdown. It was needless to say a very, very quite list.

However, if you are interested in further communication with a thelemic sangha, there is still the Heru Ra Ha Sangha which has Mass on Sundays in Golden Gate Park. For more details please see the following link:


Also, if there is anything I can help you with regarding this topic, do not hesitate to write me at [email protected]

93, 93/93

Rey De Lupos