One Lucky Turkey!

13

Gratitude

From the newly released book Reincarnation Through Common Sense. All author profits sponsor wisdom. Please see http://www.fearlesspuppy.org

    

      Most folks are grateful when something unusually pleasant comes along, great pain ends, or somebody does them a favor. People seem to save gratitude for special occasions.

     The people who live at this Temple are grateful nearly all the time for whomever they are with and whatever they are doing at the moment. They remember what a lot of us have forgotten. Even when life seems to suck, there is probably something as well as someone in our life who deserves gratitude. That someone may not have physically done anything for us. They may only have encouraged us, or wished us well. But a good thought is easier to catch than a bad cold, and a good thought can carry a person a very long way. Encouragement and good wishes aren’t the small potatoes they appear to be at times.

     Gratitude has a powerful potential to multiply into a series of good events. I’m grateful for that, but then again I’m grateful for a lot of things. I’m too broke to get into the poorhouse and just a couple of weeks past suicidal, but things are improving rapidly. A very highly respected spiritual leader has invited me into his community—no money down. Professional altruists care for me and a whole village feeds me. I’m doing very well for a dead guy. So when a wild errant thought still tells me that leaving life may be a better idea than staying with it, there is a pleasantly heavy load of gratitude balancing that errant thought.

      I lean on it.

     My debt of gratitude is owed to everyone who has put their generous effort into helping keep my boat afloat and teaching me how to adjust my sails to the wind. This debt will not be repaid by my untimely demise. That would make all their noble efforts wasted. And so, morbid thoughts must be replaced with better ones such as gratitude.

     I guess whatever thoughts replace suicide are an improvement, but gratitude is special. Gratitude itself is so pure and good that it doesn’t care if I use it as a crutch. Gratitude doesn’t care what form it is used in. It’s just grateful to be working.

     I’m grateful that it’s working too.

 

From the newly released book Reincarnation Through Common Sense. All author profits sponsor wisdom. Please see http://www.fearlesspuppy.org

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What Does Matter

What Does Matter

(*This piece is from next year’s book, Voices of Reason From the End of the World. It is the lead chapter in a section that pays respect to great teachers and influences. It is dedicated to George Carlin. We’re lucky in America. There have been and still are many comedians that infuse heavy doses of wisdom into their humor, but “Uncle George” was always at the top of that mountain. I, and so may others, give thanks for the fact that he was on Earth—and for the little bits of his brilliance that rubbed off on us.)

http://www.fearlesspuppy.org

 

            Thank you, Mr. Carlin. You brought us laughter, truth, integrity, courage, and conscience—and you did each of them better than most folks do any one of them.

 

            Just so there are no misunderstandings, I would like to officially state something right here at the beginning of this section. Almost none of the people (there are a few exceptions) who are complimented here as teachers and influences actually know, or ever knew me. I’m not trying to make believe that I am in some kind of buddies club with every genius on Earth, or that I have personally met and had social what-to-do with any of these people. I go to lectures, classes, concerts, get the books, and watch them on the computer, HBO specials, or PBS—just like nearly everyone else who has been smart enough to seek them out or lucky enough to stumble across their information.

            I have an active imagination. Even video contact can affect me strongly at times, but that’s where the “relationship” ends.

            What is the big deal with this meeting-a-famous-person shit, anyway? A few people have become a lot more known than the rest of us. Sometimes this happens because we admire a person’s genius, talent, or merit. Just as often, it happens through no actual accomplishment on the part of the famous person! It often happens because shill marketing and media conglomerates with paper assholes are selling the public an image, and an artificial relationship to it. These media and marketing folks work for corporate pimps that collect big bucks from this artificially manufactured hero-worship. This hero-worship results in bizarre purchasing habits on the part of consumers who have been hypnotized into believing that their imagined connection with the “hero” is concrete, meaningful, and has some connection to the product for sale.

            Being famous is no big fucking deal. It is even less of a big deal if your major accomplishment is that you’ve met one of these celebrity heroes, whether they are of the real or artificially manufactured variety. Celebrity itself is often bullshit. Celebrity by association is even more so. There’s no end to the respect I have for the people who are mentioned in this chapter, but I wouldn’t brag about meeting or knowing them personally (if I’d ever done so). Meeting someone means less than a rat’s ass.

            Brag about meeting, say, Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama? I don’t think so! I’d brag if I spoke and acted as nobly as Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama!

            No, on second thought, I guess I wouldn’t.

            Regardless, meeting or knowing someone else doesn’t make you, yourself, an improved or more admirable individual. That happens when you are actually being, doing, or somehow taking part in something admirable.

            I feel so strongly about this that the following true story is one of my all time favorite moments in life.

 

            It was a beautiful autumn day in the mid-1980s at Hugo’s bar in scenic Northampton, Massachusetts. After an all day effort to deplete the world’s beer supply, a sudden flash of inspiration came to me. Over the course of the following several months that inspiration developed into a successful statewide charity project. It got a lot of attention and publicity from the press because it involved high-level politicians, famous musicians, major league sports teams, unions, volunteers who didn’t get paid at all, and a hot button issue. Above all, the project went well because none of the money passed through our volunteer group but instead went directly from contributors to very well established and reputable charities. There was no possible question-of-trust factor. (More details are available in the About the Author section or at http://www.fearlesspuppy.org, if you are interested.)

            Several months after the project I was back at Hugo’s, again doing my part to help society drain free of its alcohol content. I made this effort many times during the 1980s. A guy (decent sort) who infrequently frequented our watering hole came through the back door. He was known and well liked by one of the regulars at our table. We invited him to join us. Decent-sort-Mike was then introduced to several people who were famous for not being able to remember names.

           

            Mike downed half a beer and suddenly turned wide-eyed. He stared at me for a few very long seconds. It was the kind of stare that made me wonder if he was on some powerful drug and I was showing up as a freshly tapped keg in his hallucination.

            That wasn’t it. The mad stare was his sudden recognition of a person whom he knew had experienced the proverbial fifteen minutes of fame.

            “You’re that guy from the newspapers. You’re great!” said decent-sort-Mike.

            I had to reply, “Don’t be fucking ridiculous. I’m a drunk from Hugo’s, just like you are.”

            The light went on in Mike’s more than slightly bloodshot eyes. It was that deeper kind of understanding that rarely happens, even between people who know each other very well. He got it.

            A big slow “Wooooow!” came out of his mouth.

            Mike suddenly realized that he could have done that charity project, and would have received the same attention from the media if he had. Instant insight told him that anyone could have done it. It was all just about getting up and doing it. I did kick my own drunken ass into the process but that didn’t make me any more of a superman than him. The only difference between us was that I put that situation’s potential to actual use. We bought each other beers and talked for hours after that with no further misunderstandings.

 

All of us humans have the same potential to be incredible.

Who you’ve met or know doesn’t matter.

Who you choose to be
and what you choose to do with your life
is what does matter.

 

All author profits sponsor Buddhist Nuns, Monks, and other Wisdom Professionals Details at http://www.fearlesspuppy.org

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Voice Of The People?

Can We Change the Media? We Can Change the Media!

http://www.fearlesspuppy.org

 

      I’m trying to promote the sales of two books because all author profits sponsor Wisdom Professionals (beginning with Tibetan Nuns and Monks). It’s a lot of work for no pay but I believe very strongly in the quality of the books, and of course in the cause—as you can tell by the way I spell Wisdom Professionals with caps.

     The promotional process includes, among many other things, interviews. There are several places on the Internet to find lists of radio and TV interviewers. These interviewers want to discuss certain topics and are looking for folks who have information that fits into those categories. There are also lists of print reporters looking for information on the topics they have been assigned by their editors, or topics they have chosen to freelance.

      I’m grateful to all the folks who organize this and make it easier for media people to find the information they want. Their lists can also make it easier for people who have a story to find a venue that allows them to tell that story.

     But I have to admit to needing a stiff drink or two after every trip through one of these lists. I look at them the same way I look at a dog that licks my face directly after eating dried turds out of the cat box. Sometimes one shower isn’t enough to wash it off. Most of the topics listed are mind-numbing drivel. What our media feeds its public makes the whole world appear to be Open Mike Night gone wild at the corner of Tequila and Meth.

     Now, of course, I’m not talking about the “regular news.” Not much of what is on these lists pertain to that. The talking heads that color our perceptions of and reactions to staged wars, real fires, Emmy award-eligible politics, predictable corruption, illusory economics, selectively reported/racially profiled criminal activity, and other macabre distractions have their scripts composed by greater powers.

     No, I’m talking about the groundwork that mediates our psychological landscape—the mind melting goo that softens our brains up enough so that we can eventually fall prey to the bigger stuff. The reporters on these lists seem, for the most part, to be collecting the type of information that we find in popular magazines, tabloids, the sillier talk shows, “reality” shows, and the like.

 Calling All Women Who Struggle With Excessive Sweating! (CBS Television Distribution)

Pet Parents Quotes for Ladies’ Home Journal (Ladies’ Home Journal)

Most Unusual Concierge Requests (National Publication )

These are not the most bizarrely inane listings! They are very ordinary.

       So many things in the world need attention. Bullshit is not one of them—and yet it seems that this sort of nonsense gets much of our daily attention while productive matters that could actually make life better starve in obscurity. Where are the reporters who ask for information from experts on cooperation versus competition? Emotional intelligence? How to live better with others? How to live better with ourselves? How to upgrade health and happiness in the modern workplace and in the home? Where are all the eager investigative beavers that gather valuable information about the advantages of using basic golden-rule morality as business ethics? Why love and compassion are so important in every imaginable venue?

       They are not to be found on the most popular media lists. This bothers me. So I’m staring to write to a few of these young reporters every day. I pick the ones looking for the most ridiculously functionless content and send them each the letter below.

      This may irritate a few people and get me blocked from a listing service or two. That’s OK. The Law (of Karma) works in mysterious ways! Maybe out of all the letters I send, one or two will land on the right reporters who take it to heart. Maybe those reporters will go on to higher ground and then cover, and uncover, material of conscience. They may do this in an entertaining and conscious manner that will be a wonderful catalyst for the growth of world wisdom. Stranger things have happened! No one knows where the next Deepak Chopra or George Carlin will come from.

      What everyone does know is that if we keep eating turds out of the cat box, we’re going to get even sicker—and anyone who reads a newspaper, watches TV, or hears the radio knows that we’re sick enough already.

      Want to join the effort? Send the letter below or anything like it to an appropriate reporter, DJ, interviewer, editor, station manager, or wherever you think it fits.

      We know politicians don’t listen to the public voice, but maybe people who aren’t getting such a high price for sacrificing their integrity will. I hope we can reach some.

       Meanwhile, please buy a book. There are nothing but 5* reviews at Amazon for both Reincarnation Through Common Sense and Fearless Puppy on American Road. All author profits from book sales sponsor… Well, you know what they do. If not, please see http://www.fearlesspuppy.org

Open Letter to Media Friends

Hello, **NAME**!

        Please don’t misunderstand. This isn’t preaching or attempted teaching or anything like it! I’m not writing to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do or be. Being no smarter or cleaner than the next guy, I wouldn’t presume the moral authority to tell anyone anything. This is just a request from a friend.

        You are obviously a talented person or you couldn’t function at this level. With that talent comes a privileged and rewarding responsibility. This responsibility is entwined with your ability, like a car is with the road. One serves no purpose without the other.

        If you take the high ground and use your talent to focus on constructive issues, yes, it will help little do-gooder causes like mine and it will help the world at large—but that’s just a pleasant byproduct. The authentic responsibility is to your self. I doubt that I’m telling you anything you don’t already know. Even when you feel great, you can recognize a discomfort within. You know there’s a piece missing and that something is not quite right. Be grateful for that temporary and very fixable discomfort! It means that you are still in touch with yourself, that your heart is working well.

        Could the problem simply be that you know you are better than this material you are working on, and that you are frustrated by dealing with nonsense?

        In a world that’s falling apart on so many fronts, is spending your precious time and intellect doing an inane feature like this your best move? The only things that matter anymore are the things that help. Does this feature help? Does it substantially lighten the suffering of anyone? Will it help anyone understand how to become happier—or how to help someone else do it? Does it make you happier?

          I’m not talking about conservative/liberal, left/right, pro/anti, or any other form of directional, opinionated leaning. We’re just talking about choice of focus.

         *By spending yourself on wisdom, justice, and love, you become those things. If you spend your time in the cultural dumpster, you’ll start to absorb that odor instead.

          I look forward to the day when we all scrape the less productive layers of cultural nonsense off of our deeper and more meaningful concerns. When we do that, things will start to improve drastically—and when you do that, you will do great things for us all as well as for yourself.

Be well. Your Pal, Tenzin (Doug “Ten” Rose) http://www.fearlesspuppy.org

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