How have Wisdom’s Goldenrod members fulfilled the Dalai Lama’s suggestions for the group?
PB, at the end of his essay: “What Can We Do for Philosophy” writes:
“Those students who are alive in these dramatic epoch-making times should know better than to regard the fact as accidental. Karma has put them on this planet, which means that the superior wisdom of their own Overself has put them here precisely at the present moment because it is charged with tremendous significance. That these nobler religious, mystical, and philosophic ideas will inevitably and eventually assert themselves sufficiently to influence the further course of humankind’s mental history, is certain. Anything they can do within their different capacities and varying opportunities to accelerate such a process, it is their sacred duty to do.”
This year (2022) members of Wisdom’s Goldenrod have once again been reviewing what we have accomplished all these years since Anthony passed in 1984 and what projects are interesting for the future, in light of the advice given to us by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the mandate (above) that PB presents to students of philosophy.
Avery Solomon observes:
“There are many activities individuals and smaller groups have done in the last four decades that I believe fit HH the Dalai Lama’s suggestion that WG form “a more academic branch of the group:”
“that could accomplish academic activities such as publication, translations, seminars, conferences and so on” …
“reach out to the philosophical world” …
“make contact with other philosophers, professors, university lecturers, arrange seminars and conferences, purely for academic works.”
Although there has not been a coordinated single “academic” group within WG, if we review what has been accomplished, we will see that there has been and are outreach/interdisciplinary directions. It may be good to remind ourselves that there are many WG members who have been implementing His Holiness’ suggestions in diverse ways.”
WHAT WE HAVE DONE:
Some of our community (over 40 of us under the direction of Paul Cash and Timothy Smith) spent six years organizing, editing, and publishing The Notebooks of Paul Brunton in sixteen volumes (Larson Publications was created in the process).
The Paul Brunton Philosophic Foundation was formed to preserve, publish, and promote PB’s legacy. There are approximately twelve board members (at present) who have accomplished many different projects, and these can read about on its website: www.PaulBrunton.org. Under the direction of PBPF board member Timothy Smith, he and PBPF employees completed the huge task of scanning, organizing, and editing all the unpublished PB material. The physical papers are now stored at Cornell University’s Kroch Library and the digital version is also available (www.PBarchives.org). In addition to completing the archive, the PBPF has other initiatives to make PB’s writings better known through new publications, the two websites, and social media (PBPF posts to Instagram and Facebook almost every day— over 19,000 people).
Micha-El (Alan) and Gran Berkowitz have been very involved in the diffusion of PB’s work in South America, in both Spanish and Portuguese. Currently five PB books using material from the Notebooks have been published in Portuguese and a number are in preparation in Spanish. A Paul Brunton website (www.paulbrunton.com.br) offers his teachings in Portuguese and Spanish. A PB study group is held weekly with approximately 20 students who are devoted to PB and who are studying the 28 Ideas one by one. There is also a tri-lingual Paul Brunton You-Tube with over 1,000 subscribers – primarily from the U.S. and Brazil but also with individuals world-wide. The You-Tube channel, titled ‘Paul Brunton Official’ has over 100 videos focusing on PB’s work, students’ experiences with PB, and about PB himself. Finally, a non-profit foundation titled ‘A Philosophia’ has been established in Brazil with the goal of disseminating PB’s work.
Larson Publications (USA) was originally founded by Robert Larson. In addition to publishing, distributing, and promoting PB’s Notebooks, have published numerous other books on spiritual themes. Also, Larson has published several books on special topics from The Notebooks of PB such as The Short Path to Enlightenment (which has been acclaimed by Adyashanti, Gangaji, and Mooji). Another one of these, What is Karma, has been donated to over 35,000 prisoners. (See www.LarsonPublications.com)
In 2009, Robert Larson had an inspiration for a website featuring a PB daily note—and it has grown to over 3300 Notebook selections published in 19 languages! His website(www.paulbruntondailynote.se) has had over a million total visits in 12 years. Also from these translations came a collection of PB notes titled Realizing Soul, and Robert has a plan for meetups and a new website based on it, called “PB Peace and Freedom.” It contains a digital/audio study guide to the Paul Brunton translated material. Anthony went to Sweden and engaged in provocative dialogues were the basis for the first book of Anthony class transcripts, Looking into Mind.
WG members formed Snow Lion Publications which published over 300 books on Tibetan Buddhism and culture during a 30-year period. More than a dozen of these are by or about the Dalai Lama. This publishing project continues with Shambhala Publications since 2012.
Sidney Piburn was the main inspirator for major Tibetan Buddhist projects in upstate NY. When they met, the Dalai Lama recognized him as “an old friend,” and, on Sidney’s request, the Dalai Lama embarked on his first tour of the US in 1979. The Dalai Lama spent time at WG that year and again in 1991. Because of Sid’s interest in Tibetan Buddhism and culture, he was able to connect with numerous authors and was the principal editor for Snow Lion Publications. He also was responsible for the establishment of Namgyal Institute of Buddhist Studies and spearheaded their first curriculum (which featured classes by Tibetans and western Buddhist scholars). Sidney also participated in the Tibetan Resettlement project that initially brought 40 Tibetan refugees to the Ithaca, NY community—to live, work, and bring other family members when they could. Prior to Namgyal Institute, Sidney and others also started Gaden Tenzin Ling which hosted Zasep Tulku Rinpoche.
The WG editorial committee compiled and edited three books of transcripts of Anthony Damiani classes, and also prepared Anthony’s Astronoesis for publication (Larson published these). The WG archive committee has now transcribed 400+ classes, and are ordering Anthony‘s archives for future use and preservation. Soon a collection of essays, and an edited transcript of Anthony’s last visit to Ohio will be ready for publication.
In 1994, WG started Summer Studies weekend intensives on a variety of key philosophic topics. This has become a four-season event organized by Helen Perl. These weekends are continuing on Zoom and attract between 50-80 people from around the world.
Andrew Holmes was the principal architect and construction foreman of WG’s four buildings (He supervised all of WG neophytes in the way of building). He has taught Buddhist classes in NY as well as the Monterey Peninsula where he lived for many years. While in California, he helped Juji Sunim remodel his Korean Temple and organize large dharma teaching events. Andrew also assisted with the launch of the now successful Gyuto Monastery in San Jose, CA. Devon and Andrew formed a not-for-profit (Sera Jey Support Committee) to provide food (and some dentistry) for over 3000 undernourished monks in India. Marie and Andrew have printed over 500 thangkas for the Dalai Lama to give to donors and he has assisted Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca with several of their projects.
In 2007, Kira Lallas’ began organizing weekend talks and seminars at WG to reach a wider audience. Avery Solomon continued these occasional weekend seminars for 12 years, then shifted to online meetups once a month for a couple of hours, with a more diverse audience. In addition, Avery has travelled to teach numerous times in Sweden, Florida, and Columbus, OH. He has also been a participant in some Mind and Life Conferences—these explore connections and possible research directions between western scientific disciplines and Tibetan Buddhism. This series of conferences is presided over by the Dalai Lama and held in various cities in the West as well as in India.
Michael Wakoff, Avery Solomon, Micha-El (Alan) Berkowitz, Victor Mansfield, and others, have given talks, participated in conferences, and given papers at academic events in the US and Europe.
Patricia Carlson was Executive Director of Gratefulness.org to further the work of Brother David Steindl-Rast, revered Benedictine author and teacher. Patricia served as Spirituality & Practice’s Program Director and leads online retreats.
In 1999-2000, Victor and Elaine Mansfield received a grant from Infinity Foundation and organized the Religion and Human Rights・conference at Wisdom‘s Goldenrod in collaboration with Cornell University‘s Religious Studies Dept. Presenters: Dr. William Vendley, Secretary-General, World Conference on Religion and Peace International; Father Raimon Panikkar, Spanish Roman Catholic priest, proponent of Interfaith dialogue and scholar specializing in comparative religion; China Galland, award-winning author and a Professor at the Graduate Theological Union; and Let Davidson (therapist and student of Papaji). Jayne Demakos integrated music into each of the presentations.
Vic was an astro-physics professor at Colgate, authored several books, and he also gave classes on Jungian Psychology and Buddhism (as it related to quantum mechanics). Vic’s last talk at Colgate on Quantum Mechanics included H.H. the Dalai Lama as a co-presenter (2008).
Richard Platek gave an inspiring course at Cornell on Sacred Numbers in early 1970’s. A few WG members attended, as well as others who went on to academic positions, like Avery Solomon.
In 2001 Patricia and Robert Carlson hosted South American Shamans Ipupiara and Cleicha Toscano Peixoto for their workshop at Wisdom’s Goldenrod and healing sessions at the home in Ithaca New York.
Interfaith Service (March, 1991) with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Immaculate Conception Church, Ithaca. Organized by Cornell University, the Church Deacon, and Jayne Demakos, the Music & Artistic Director for Immaculate Conception.
“Bridging World: Interfaith Dialogue, Prayers for World Peace,” (Oct., 2007) with H. H. the Dalai Lama, and variety of religious and community leaders. Held at the Ithaca’s State Theater. Designed and produced by Cornell University, Namgyal Monastery, and Wisdom’s Goldenrod (Jayne Demakos, and Christi & Jeff Cox).
Anna Bornstein organized the first visit of the Dalai Lama to Stockholm, and out of the several seminars she designed to prepare students for his visit, grew her vision for “The Dream of the Good,” a four-part (Stillness, conflict resolution, existential discussions, Qi-gong) plug in program for public school students, that has received national recognition and implementation in Sweden. This program was introduced to the Great Britain parliament by one of the Swedish parliamentarians.
Additionally, Anna Bornstein as well as Johanna Goehner translated PB books into Swedish and German for publication.
We have had visits from many great teachers including Paul Brunton, HH the Dalai Lama, Raphael, Khamtrul Rinpoche, Serkong Rinpoche, Ganden Tri Rinpoche, Amoda Maa Jeevan, the Korean Abbot Sunim, Fan Xiulan, Joanna Macy, Khongla Rinpoche, Gelek Rinpoche, Geshe Gyeltsen, Herbert Gunther, Allan Wallace, Richard Tarnas (author), Nor Hal, Robert Bosnak, Levent Bolukbasi, and a number of others.
Paula Jacobs also invited Adyashanti, Mukti, Loch Kelly, Jeannie Zandy to the area and to visit WG.
Om Gupta, founder of Digicomp Research and inventor of the DR70 astrological computer, helped change the course of history, and you can read the interesting story here: https://www.computerhistory.org/collections/catalog/102746921
In the 90’s WG invited famous astrologers Robert Hand and Robert Schmidt to a few wonderful weekend meetups to discuss Plotinus and Cosmology/Astrology.
Linda Ruth organized and taught a multi-year “school of astrology,” reaching many people with these cosmological ideas. She also re-visioned the 360 degree symbols for a forthcoming book.
In the mid-90’s, Jayne Demakos facilitated Thich Nhat Hanh inspired mindfulness practices at WG and elsewhere.
Mark Scorelle posted numerous quotes from PB and many non-dual teachers nearly every day for more than 20 years on a list-serv.
Timothy Smith has his own ongoing philosophic classes and astrological teachings from his home, and has students and clients from around the world.
Several notable books have been published, written by Elaine Mansfield, Joscelyn Godwin, Christi Cox, and Leslie Cohen. Christi Cox formed Meeramma Publications, and was the principal publisher for Mother Meera in the 1990s, and hosted her at WG.
WG members organized a number of performances of sacred chants by Tibetan Monks (from the Gyuto and Gyume Tantric Colleges) at Cornell University. The first in 1985 had 600 people in attendance.
WG has continued to offer different classes most days of the week (Plotinus and other Greek philosophers, Buddhism, astrology, Jungian psychology, yoga, and more than one PB class), which have been continuing since Anthony passed away. Classes are presently being offered online and include participants from around the globe.
The WG community has a large number of musicians and artists who offer concerts and art shows in the surrounding Ithaca area and beyond. As one musician said, “I always think that everything I do musically carries Anthony Damiani’s work and spirit in some very real way.”
And there have been and are many, many other efforts, projects, and teachings offered by the group’s individuals to make for a better world.
“A school should exist not only to teach but also to investigate, not to formulate prematurely a finalized system but to remain creative, to go on testing theories by applying them and validating ideas by experience.” (PB—1.4.111)