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Lions Roar : November 2006
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2006 74 The Vomit of a Mad Tyger The Spiritual Autobiography of Allen Ginsberg In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of “Howl,” the Shambhala Sun presents this exclusive auto- biographical talk by the late poet and cultural icon Allen Ginsberg, narrating his spiritual journey from Blake to the Buddha. We’ll begin at the beginning, because what I’d like to do is trace what spiritual inklings I had that led to interest in Tibetan Bud- dhism and guru relationship. I was in love with a high school fellow who went off to Columbia College when he graduated a half-term before me in Central High School in Patterson, New Jersey. So I decided to go to Columbia College instead of Montclair State Teachers College, where all of my family had gone. Out of some kind of devotion I broke away from the traditional pattern of my family but I didn’t have money, so I had to take a scholarship entrance exam. On the ferry between This is an edited version of a talk given by Allen Ginsberg at an annual Jewel Heart Re- treat, led by Gehlek Rinpoche, in Middleville, Michigan, on August 8, 1993. The title of the talk was spontaneously suggested by Gehlek Rinpoche and members of the audience. PHOTOBYMYLESARONOWITZ