[Buddha-l] gCod on Dutch Radio

Blezer, H.W.A. H.W.A.Blezer at hum.leidenuniv.nl
Sat Jun 12 06:30:07 MDT 2010

Dear inhabitants of the cremation grounds of thoughts and of Buddha-L space,

In response to Erik's earlier announcement, let me add that the Saturday broadcast on gCod is in English, with Alejandro Chaoul, probably known to some of you. Alejandro practices and teaches gCod himself. He recently published a book on Bon gCod (http://www.snowlionpub.com/pages/N87_4.html). The interview with him on gCod is only part of today's hour-long broadcast.

Tomorrow's broadcast, is mainly on Bon Zab gcod (The Profound Chöd); it has a bit of a human interest approach. Zab gcod is a liturgy 'discovered' by a treasure discoverer from Nyag rong, Nyag gter gSang sngags gling pa (b.1864) and his famous consort bDe chen dbang mo (b.1868, Donatella Rossi wrote on her), both from Nyag rong, Eastern Tibet. Their tradition is part of so-called New Bon.

There also are some excerpts of nuns in Redna Menling (Dolanji, HP, India) performing the mKha' 'gro'i gad rgyang (The Far-Reaching Laughter of the Dakinis); a brief liturgy arranged by Shar rdza bKra shis rgyal mtshan (b.1859-1934). He was a teacher of mKha' 'gro bDe chen dbang mo. The only reason I am speaking about this, is because I happened to be involved in helping Benno van den Bogaert and Rudi de Bleser recording the nuns' performance, in Redna Menling, in 2008, and subsequently advised them to include the rare Zab gcod performance in their recordings, which they did.

There are precious few people who still know how to perform that hauntingly beautiful Zab gcod ritual, which makes it even more special. Me me mKhas mchog rdo rje, Meme (or grandpa) Khemchok Dorje -- now about 78 -- still knows Zab gcod and locally is famous for his performance. He is one of the last surviving disciples of Khyung sprul rin po che (1897-1955), from Gur gyam in Western Tibet. He was taught by the latter; Khyung sprul Rin po che in turn was taught in mDo smad, probably from (someone close to) the mentioned couple of discoverers.

Meme Khemchok most kindly agreed to perform Zab gcod for us. He is probably the only person in exile who knows how to do this. I am not sure about China, maybe some very old person that studied with Khyung sprul Rin po che or someone from Nyag rong still knows. We felt it would be good to share part of his performance on the radio, with a wider audience. Fred Gales, free lance sound reporter, took on the challenge, for the BOS.

If the technical quality of the recordings will allow it (which we now doubt), the recordings may appear on DVD, some time.

With kind regards,

Henk Blezer

[Buddha-l] gChod on Dutch radio
Erik Hoogcarspel jehms at xs4all.nl  <mailto:buddha-l%40mailman.swcp.com?Subject=%5BBuddha-l%5D%20gChod%20on%20Dutch%20radio&In-Reply-To=> 
Sun Jun 6 10:03:58 MDT 2010 

a member of this list, Henk Blezer, wil be interviewed about different 
kinds of gchod (གཅོད) in Buddhist and Bon traditions on Dutch radio on 
Sunday 13th at 22:30 - 23:00 local time. Those who understand Dutch can 
listen to it on the Net at http://www.radio5.nl/ . Perhaps Henk will at 
one time give outline of what he had to say for others on the list? 
There will also be sound recordings of a kind of gchod that has nearly 
The other day I showed my students a movie called 'Aghori', picturing 
the life of this kind of 'gothic punk' sadhu. One of my students asked 
if he had a license for living on the cremationground and smearing the 
ashes of burned beloved ones on his body. This illustrates the distance 
we have between our society and the classic Indian one. The foundation 
who organizes Henk's interview also has a program (the Boeddhistische 
Omroep Stichting, the same address on the 12th at 15:02 - 16:00) about 
Dutch gchodpa's going to churchyards at night to to do their ritual. I 
think they will need a license... and a reality check.


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