Healing Pluto Problems

In honour of Pluto going direct on 11 September 2009, I thought I’d share some thoughts about Donna Cunningham‘s book, Healing Pluto Problems, whose title I’ve borrowed for the title of this post.

I picked up this book on Neith’s recommendation. It is not as heavy-going as Judy Hall’s Hades Moon, which I’ve written about here and also like for different reasons. Rather, Cunningham’s book contextualises Plutonian issues (deep transformation, sex, death, guilt, resentment and so on) in terms of the things one can do to mitigate their effects, whether one is the Plutonian or on the receiving end of one. And it could well be both — Plutonians tend to attract other Plutonians.

Being a Plutonian herself, Cunningham exhibits great empathy for the depth and intensity of Plutonian feelings. If there are ‘problems’ with being Plutonian, it is not the natures of Plutonians that are put on the line, only a lack of understanding (and resources) in wider society to address them. The book does not victimise Plutonian native either — each one is required to take responsibility for their own actions and feelings, and the author is quick to point out that the unevolved can quite easily turn their Plutonian power on others and themselves.

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Down the (rabbit) hole


I came across this poem in Sogyal Rinpoche‘s The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying (1992) (Will say more about the book another time).

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Vimalakirti I thought I’ll take a break from my Hades Moon for a bit.

My Buddhist group is currently studying The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti: A Mahayana Scripture (alternatively known as the
Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra). We covered Chapter One* last week called ‘The Purification of the Buddha-field’, which led to a discussion of what that ‘buddha-field’ might be.

Originally, I thought it might be something akin to an aura, but looking at the formal definitions, which describe it as a ‘field of influence’ (of a buddha or bodhisattva) that transcends time and space, I realised it is something far more abstract. Robert Thurman describes it as being akin to a ‘buddha-verse’, as in ‘uni-verse’, which makes the concept a bit easier to grasp.

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Hades Moon

hades-moon I spent this new moon in Gemini (quincunx Pluto) weekend reading Judy Hall’s
Hades Moon: Pluto in Aspect to the Moon
. The book is powerful and carries a strong Plutonian aura. While I was (am) very drawn to it, I had to put it down a number of times and actually go into short, but deep, naps, as if my unconscious needed the down time to process everything I was taking in. I ended up reading with while handling a small quartz tumblestone crystal in my hand. In metaphysical healing, quartz is said to help with harmonising inner and outer energies, along with dissolving built-up energies.

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Doing enlightenment

warnercover I just finished reading Brad Warner‘s Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate. He has an easy, conversational style and I managed to finish it in about a day and a half.

Basically Warner presents a no-nonsense view of life as a Zen teacher and cuts through the hypocrisy of the construction of Zen practice as airy-fairy and lost in the clouds. Using his own experience of death, divorce, punk rock and Japanese monster movies, he takes the reader through a hard-nosed account of how even Zen teachers can have a hard life like everyone else, and struggle with suffering like everyone else. Zen teachers are not above suffering, if anything, they face it even more squarely in the face. The humour and self-deprecation in his account makes it totally believable, and sympathetic, and in many ways a positive reminder that Zen is about doing, as much as it is about being.

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Sheldon Kopp’s Eschatological Laundry List


At the end of his book, If You Meet Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!, Sheldon Kopp offers ‘A Partial Register of the 927 (or was it 928?) Eternal Truths’, 43 items in total. This list exists elsewhere on the World Wide Web, but still worth reproducing here:

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