Are any of you Atheists, like me, needing a break from reading and writing about Christianity? Or perhaps you are a Buddhist or a Christian who would just like to meet other kids on the block. Well, why not take a vacation and focus on Buddhism for a short while. Why not join me in one of my new explorations. I have just started reading an interesting, well-written Buddhist site called “Approaching Aro” which explains a colorful Buddhist sect called “Aro”. Aro is a Vajrayana Buddhist sect and a peculiar version at that — more in later posts. Buddhism, in one taxonomy, is largely divided into three major sects are Mahayana, Theravada and Vajrayana sects. I will let your read this wiki article for an intro to Vajrayana, but let me say that Vajrayana itself is a vibrant, complex, magical version of Buddhism, and Apo is a further unique Western lineage of this sect.
The writer of “Approaching Aro” is David Chapman who has a PhD in computer science and has been a business man and scientist. David is an apprentice in this system of Buddhism and does an fine job explaining his chosen Buddhist practice. I first ran into David on some other Buddhist sites where I admired his questions and comments. And since then, I have found him to be an excellent facilitator of dialogue with a sharp, kind analytic mind — thus my interest.
“Approaching Aro” has a unique layout. It is written like a book instead of as a date-driven blog. It has an expanding table of contents on the left. As David adds pages, he fits them in this content outline. (I have been doing something similar on my site, but my main presentation is date-driven). So to follow David’s site, it is best to subscribe to e-mails for new additions to this e-Book. I have done that, but I will also be starting from the beginning and reading “Approaching Aro” like a book and commenting on it like I have other books. So please join me on the comment sections of Chapman’s blog if you’d like to read it with me. But please note, David states that the intended audience of his blog is Buddhists. He has another blog called “Meaningness” for the non-religious or for the religiously faint-at-heart. 🙂
The photo above is the only photo I can find of David Chapman. I find such a photo strange and almost boastful, delusional, pretentious or outright wacky. But after reading his blog, I totally doubt any of those adjective apply to David. Nonetheless, I wanted readers to know that I may share their initial reactions to the picture. David also uses this pic as his avatar. To further illustrate David’s weirdness (a compliment in my sick world), David also has another blog which uses the analogy of vampires to explain Buddhism: “Buddhism for Vampires“. Speak of weird! So, his pic, the vampire thing and the apparent cultish quality of Aro made me initially very skeptical of his writings but my explorative readings to date have revealed David Chapman’s thoughts to be very intriguing. But remember from my history it should be clear that I am very susceptible to cults, superstition and much more. So my readers probably already know to take my insights with a heavy dose of salt. 🙂 Stay tune to posts about Aro.