When we have the good fortune to receive lamas at our center, it is only natural to share that information and especially the names of the lamas with others. From an ordinary journalistic point of view, it adds credibility to our news story. And from a Tibetan Buddhist point of view, it is considered a blessing even to read or hear the name of a realized being, so naturally one would want to share the name of such esteemed visitors with others.
Oddly, this is not what William Cassidy, akaTenpa Rinpoche (self-proclaimed) does. If you review the posts on his blog Digital Tibetan Buddhist Altar, the common thread throughout is a complete lack of citation. Cassidy expends great effort to build an illusion of authenticity, but provides not a shred of valid evidence. In other words, much ado about nothing.
In his recent post entitled “On Location” he claims to have lamas visiting to bury vases, and conduct a sang, but does not name them. All the photos of people in this post either have their heads cropped out or are taken from the back so their faces are not visible. This is very strange. Why wouldn’t he show their faces? Name them? Why the secrecy? Above one such photo, he offers this reason: “Below is a documentary photo of the documentary photo. The reason why I do this is because I feel compelled to protect the privacy of guests, and since we ain’t selling anything, who cares?” It looks like just another case of Cassidy’s smoke and mirrors.
We had to take a moment to make note of the fact that despite his continued claims to be “closed” in observance of the Nyingma Monlam, “Tulku Urgyen Tenpa Rinpoche,” the name under which convicted felon William Cassidy publishes the blog “Digital Tibetan Buddhist Altar,” could not resist gloating over the “accuracy” of the earthquake predictions he made in his astrology post for 2010.
In his post on January 21, he leads with this statement: “An uninformed relationship with the elements caused many to experience some considerable misery this past week. As predicted, the water element went to excess in many locales, with resulting disturbance of the earth element. So how did we see this?”
Some considerable misery? It would be difficult to describe the devastation in Haiti; we will not even attempt it here. If you are not already keenly aware of the suffering this event has brought on hundreds of thousands of people, we will refer you to CNN as just one starting point. You will also find information via the same link to ways you can help–something Mr. Cassidy completely neglected to mention while he was busy dazzling us with his brilliant interpretation of the elements.
In fact, if you explore his blog, you will see his response to the devastation and massive human loss was to publish and tweet an “amulet for protection from earthquakes”–a bit late it seems–and again, no mention of the suffering of so many, and no reference to any way to help. And this is a man who claims he is a “tulku”–a reincarnate Bodhisattva deliberately taking birth for the benefit of beings.
As we have outlined extensively here, his track record is that of an unsuccessful con man. What qualities does he display, even now? Rather than offering any sign of compassion for those impacted by the event he predicted, he brags about his prowess as a Tibetan/Chinese Astrologer.
Cassidy does continue in his post to discuss related “imbalances” that manifest as various forms of insanity or mental instability. But his rambling interpretation of whatever Dharma he has read, but clearly not accomplished, makes us wonder how close to his own assessment he is himself.
Last month he announced his intention to “wind down” his blog and go on an extended retreat. Then he said he was “closing” in observance of the Nyingma Monlam and would resume on the 26th. Then even that small break was interrupted by his compulsion to throw in a little gloat over a disaster he predicted while “closed.”
Whether it’s playing both sides of a lawsuit, as he did in the Binion Trial, conning a bunch of Buddhists in Arizona, or even making promises on his own blog–we can see that William Cassidy can be counted on for one thing–he is NOT a man of his word.
The recent blog post of William Cassidy on DTBA, “Insulting the Dakini,” is so “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” that we wonder whether he is entirely mentally competent. Except for that interesting, sad possibility, the post is almost not worth commenting on. (Cassidy likes to call himself “Tulku Urgyen Tenpa Rinpoche,” the nom de plume for his blog, although he is entitled to neither of those titles.) We suspect that his primary purpose in writing the post must have been to tweet the title.
He shouldn’t have bothered. The post is long (at 4,281 words, it more than doubled in a rewrite!) and rambling. The logic is strained and specious. The only redeeming qualities of the post are the extensive quotes from a teaching by Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, which offer a respite of real Dharma and a refreshing break from his convoluted prose. In addition, also refreshingly, the blogger quotes Thinley Norbu Rinpoche extensively. But the blog post is about “the Dakini,” and is clearly aimed at one, even if unnamed. So, here are the Dakini’s real words, the teaching from which the Cassidy blog quotes. And, in case you are inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt that these words were “ghost written,” here she is delivering the original teaching—without notes!
Cassidy ends his post with an extensive list of behaviors that “insult the Dakini.” Some of these are highly targeted and intended as actual insults, and some are actually well-known tendencies of those–Westerners especially–who misunderstand the essence of “crazy wisdom” in Vajrayana Buddhism. So that there will be no doubt, the essence is not the “crazy” part: it’s the “wisdom” part, that is, the display of the enlightened mind. As someone who has abrogated these very “insulting” behaviors to himself, Cassidy is an authority on bad behavior by Westerners. His blog does indeed continually insult the Dakini; in fact, it adds insult to actual injury.