No traitor the salmon
He returns to his home
When you’re tired of searching there
You’ll find the answer here
4th century Welsh
Perhaps the most influential lama of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition in the 20th century was H.H. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Towards the end of his life he read the story of St. Columcille and saw in it an opportunity for Buddhism to make a fresh start in the West, free from eastern cultural trappings. At Trungpa Rinpoche’s suggestion, John Perks – seven years Trungpa’s personal attendant – took up this task and in 1989 officially founded the Celtic Buddhist Lineage.
The name Columcille means ‘dove of the church’ and Columcille’s father was a Druid. Columcille went on to found a monastery on Iona in the 6th century, an island known originally as Isla nan Druideach, Isle of the Druids.
The inspiration behind the Longing Look, a branch of Celtic Buddhism, originates from a vivid dream (akin to a terma*) in August 2010. In the dream, this name was discovered in an open book lying on a table in the inner sanctuary of chapel shaped in the form of a dove.
The Longing Look weaves this terma-like inspiration into the Celtic Buddhist lineage, emphasizing the Druidic/shamanic influence in Columcille’s story and bringing focus to a Celtic spirituality that can otherwise seem too general. The Longing Look offers a modern form of Buddhism with an explicit link to the natural European landscape, in alignment with the mindset of our common European ancestors. The Celts, once spread across the whole of Europe, were also in contact with the East. Their songs still sing in our blood today if we but listen, encouraging us in the search for peace.
Despite the pressure of modern life, it is still possible to find the door to peace. This door is easier to find in what the Celts called ‘thin places’ in nature and in ourselves, where the local gods can touch us in the heart and guide us to an experience of the vastness of the Spirit, to an experience of the infinite openness of our true selves.
“The seed-idea… is to form an informal, mobile tribe (clan) of spiritual warriors that brings together those who hear a Celtic song singing in their blood, as well as those who simply feel an affinity with nature. It does this to encourage and inspire others in the minority practice of meditation and of leading a focused spiritual life.” Andrew Peers
♦ Andrew Peers is Anglo-Irish and spent over 20 years in Trappist monasteries in England, Ireland and the Netherlands. In 2011, after experiencing the dream, he left the Trappists and traveled to the home of Celtic Buddhism in America. He later returned to Europe to work as a meditation teacher in the Celtic Buddhist tradition and to ‘live the vision’. He combines this work with a great passion for writing.
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