Hugh Curran and Celtic Buddhism

A few days ago, I stated that I would remove these posts if Hugh Curran agreed to remove his comment from IrishCentral. For a while there, I was thinking that I had been a little harsh and should perhaps remove the last few posts anyway.

However, I have just been looking at an interesting site on Celtic Buddhism (http://www.celticbuddhism.org/lineage.html) and I have changed my mind. It turns out that Hugh Curran is (and I quote) a Lineage Holder of the Crazy Heart Lineage of Celtic Buddhism, a weird offshoot of Tibetan Buddhism incorporating elements of Celtic fakery. (For example, they’ve erected a stone circle at their centre, though almost all scholars are agreed that stone circles are pre-Celtic.) Another of the Lineage Holders is a talented but eccentric Irish-language poet, Gabriel Rosenstock, who was formerly a follower of an egregious ‘crazy wisdom’ guru called Heartmaster Da. Another thing which made me do a double-take was the claim that two of the Lineage Holders were the mystic G.I. Gurdjieff in a former life. Yes, two of them … Interestingly, they have a picture of a man called Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche on the website, who seems to have been instrumental in the founding of Celtic Buddhism. You can see Trungpa above, dressed in a kilt. You can also learn more about Trungpa on Wikipedia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%B6gyam_Trungpa

According to some, he was a man of great spiritual force but he indulged in some unusual and distinctly non-Buddhist ways of mortifying the flesh, such as drinking vast quantities of alcohol, smoking mountains of fags and snorting lashings of cocaine.  Bizarrely, he once drove a sports car through the front window of a joke shop in Dumfries after imbibing vast amounts of Celtic spirituality. (I wonder if that was the Greater Vehicle or the Lesser Vehicle …) There’s also an unpleasant story about how a couple refused to get naked at one of his gatherings. This man ordered his guards (why does a holy man need guards?) to strip and humiliate a woman who was crying and begging people to call the police. For her own good, apparently, so that’s alright then … He also appointed a man as his successor who went on to infect a number of people with HIV (he knew he had it when he infected them.) And then there’s the rape allegation against this successor. You can read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96sel_Tendzin

I am certainly not suggesting that Curran was ever involved in this kind of sordidness. Neither Trungpa nor Tendzin were directly involved in Celtic Buddhism, which was founded by a pupil of Trungpa’s on his advice and recommendation. But it seems bizarre to me that anyone would expect good fruit to come from a diseased tree and the origin of this new lineage seems pretty corrupt and rotten to me. Curran says that I know nothing about his Buddhism. Ain’t that the truth! This doesn’t sound like any sort of Buddhism I’ve ever heard of, apart from the definition given in A Fish Called Wanda: the guiding principle of Buddhism is every man for himself. So, maybe the charge of hypocrisy is misplaced but not in a good way!

In other words, I think I got it right the first time round and that Curran is probably a silly and pretentious man. There’s a reason why he gravitated towards a liar like Cassidy. As I said, all sorts of phoneys are attracted to Cassidy and his daft book. That’s why I am taking the offer off the table. So, Curran, please keep your misleading and foolish little comment on IrishCentral and me, I’ll keep these comments here. People can make up their own minds who’s lying and who’s telling the truth.

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