The Process

Howdy from Kathmandu! I hope you are happy and healthy. Is life going well where you are? If you have time and inclination, please answer.              

Schools here are open again. The children and teachers all wear masks. Restrictions have loosened a bit to allow just a few more tourists into Nepal. This minimal increase in traffic is not enough to fix all the serious economic problems, but it is a bit of an improvement for many of the local businesses.        

This week’s 1000 words are from the book Fearless Puppy On American Road. They are ostensibly about the process of hitchhiking. I have hitchhiked so much that it has become my metaphor for life. I hope you enjoy the metaphor.       

A human mind works best when trained to be coherent, clear-sighted, and capable of self-organization while also being creatively free range. It is a very serious advantage to have a cohesive partnership going on between intelligent thought, creative process, and productive action. Otherwise, your thoughts and life can end up like so many positively inspired political and environmental efforts do—nobly motivated, fueled with great dedication, and a joy to be involved with—but not altogether coherently coordinated enough to reach the great level of success that such noble motivations deserve. It seems that great intentions and strong effort can’t get the job done themselves. A successful process has to be mastered and implemented.                                       Please be well and stay well. Love, Tenzin***

p.s. As always, if you find these weekly bits bothersome, let me know and I’ll stop sending them to you. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—click one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered. Thank you! FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                           THE PROCESS         

There is a process to hitchhiking. Much of what holds true for the hitchhiking process often holds true for other parts of life as well.        

First, you’ve got to decide that you want to get somewhere other than where you are. Then you have to raise the energy and determination to actually leave your present location. All trips start with a determination that’s serious enough to get you off your butt and moving. You might have a very specific destination in mind or it could just be a direction. Regardless of the destination, you will probably have to overcome some stagnation, lethargy, patterned behavior, and also risk some stability, in order to get anywhere.

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” Frank Zappa         

After that, you have to pack what you’ll need. It’s always best to reach a balance in packing. Obvious essentials such as flashlight, towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, emergency food and water need to be included. But you may have to walk miles in rough weather from a place you get stuck in. The difference between a thirty-pound pack and an eighty-pound pack could end up being the difference between comfort or exhaustion/heat stroke/frostbite and even death. But then again, so could a half-pound sweater that you thought unnecessary and left behind. Pack wisely.          

You’ll also want a map. Other folks have been to the places you want to get to and have traveled in the directions you want to go. Maps exist for nearly every piece of road in the world. They all use universal symbols. No matter where you are from or what language you speak, everyone knows that a bigger dot means a bigger city and that a thicker line connotes a major highway. You can journey uninformed in unfamiliar territory, if you like. You can even make your own trail or road through wilderness. Folks used to do it all the time in the olden days. Folks used to suffer much greater hardships and die younger back then too. Luckily, many of those people made maps of the roads they built or discovered. Reading those maps can save us modern folk a lot of time, energy, and disaster. A map can help you to live longer and more comfortably than people did in the olden days.           

It is best to start a long hitchhiking trip from the on-ramp of a highway. Don’t stand right out on the highway itself. There are good reasons why this is illegal. It is not only dangerous for the hitchhiker, but also for the highway traffic. The chance of getting crushed into eternity by a seventy mile per hour vehicle paying strict attention to its own process is a lot greater on the highway itself than on the entrance ramp. Any driver entering a ramp at twenty-five miles per hour is going to be immediately aware that you are on the shoulder looking for a ride. That driver will have a greater ability to pull over without killing you, his or her own passengers, or the folks in other vehicles than a seventy mile per hour highway car would.           

Get to the highway or main road as quickly and easily as possible. Standing on a barely traveled road in a rural area where the drivers are unfamiliar with you might last long enough for you to become vulture food. Hitching on a main city street is usually unproductive and can be dangerous as well. The highway or main road is probably close enough to where you wake up so that you can get a ride from a friend, take a local bus, or even walk to it.            

Once you are wisely packed and on an entrance ramp to a main road, you’re going to need patience. You can be properly packed and intelligently discriminating about which cars you get into. That’s brilliant. But it does not change the fact that on some days you will get passed by hundreds of cars and have to wait several hours before anyone stops to pick you up. And it doesn’t change the fact that a driver who initially seems like fun may turn into a downer, or danger, after a half hour’s acquaintance.             

Most of the time good luck will favor you. It will most often be a good person that will bother to pull their car over to help a stranger. You still have to be vigilant, discriminating, and patient—full time. That way you’re prepared for anything. Prepared does not mean paranoid or even afraid. It means aware. Have fun! Traveling should be a joyful process. If you think every car pulling over for you will have an axe-murderer driving it, you should take the bus. (Unfortunately, your odds of meeting that axe-murderer won’t drop much on the bus.)              

If you live through many years of hitchhiking, you will eventually get what is called “a feel for the road.” You’ll have better instincts for the best times to be on which roads, what sort of equipment to carry, whose car to not get into, and so on. Rides will seem to come more easily. This is still no time to let your humbly positive attitude or awareness fall asleep. Whether you are novice or adept at all this, neither human driver nor divine force owes you a ride—nor are either under your control. Be pleasant and grateful to the person that finally does stop for you. It is not your benevolent host’s fault if you have been standing in freezing rain for two hours.             

At its best, hitchhiking is a joint venture where you and your hosts benefit each other. In such instances, taking the ride can be a joy. If you’re not grateful, if you are arrogant, or if you are not aware of each situation you get into—any ride can certainly be otherwise.I hope it is obvious to you that these procedures can apply to any number of life’s processes besides hitchhiking.   

Pick a place you want to get to.             

Prepare wisely and diligently.             

Read a map.             

Hit the road comfortably, but with your eyes open.             

Have fun. If you aren’t having fun, you may be doing something wrong. Stop. Figure out what it is. Fix it. Get back on the road.
                     p.s. No matter how far you have gone down the wrong road, turn back.

Many thanks to our wonderful friends at the Pema Boutique Hotel for their help and support.
***The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.        
***If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story—and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world! 

The Cherry On Top Of The Fruitcake

Hello from Kathmandu! I hope you are happy and healthy.    

 It may not surprise you to learn that I am considered just a bit unusual or even strange in certain parts of the world, and very strange or even bizarre in some other places. Thailand is one of those places.     

This week’s eight hundred or so words is from the book Reincarnation Through Common Sense, and is about a half year spent simultaneously in heaven and hell. I was living in a small Buddhist monastery/nunnery in extremely rural southern Thailand. The hosts that rescued and cared for me accounted for most of the heaven part. As is true for so many folks, the thoughts bouncing around in my skull accounted for much of the hell part.      

What my robed hosts thought to be the most fun during this experience was that I already knew how to laugh in hell.       They taught me how to get out.                                    

Thanks for reading and clicking. Be well. Love, Tenzin   “The most revolutionary act that a person in this country can perform is to be happy.” Patch Adams         ***p.s. As always, if you find these weekly bits bothersome, let me know and I’ll stop sending them to you. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—click one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered. Thank you!

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG

 FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE                                             

The Cherry on Top of the Fruitcake          

Many tourists act a little wilder while on vacation in a foreign country than they do at home. This is even more pronounced in Thailand where there are so very many opportunities to do the wild-and-crazy. The locals around here are usually very tolerant of tourist behavior, but they talk about you. This is true anywhere. It doesn’t matter whether you are in Thailand, Paris, or at the North Pole. If you are from out of town and a little different, at least a few of the locals are going to bust your chops. Gossip of this type happens whether you are wild and crazy or not.          

There may also be some finger pointing and giggling. Most of the finger pointing is just good-natured amazement, especially in a place like rural Southeast Asia where the locals find a zoom lens camera about as miraculous as we would find a working intergalactic starship with transporter beam. Mild shock about foreign customs or bafflement with advanced technologies is harmless. But those are not the topics here. The topic here is what to do when something that is actually malicious comes your way. This topic is headlined by the concept of (figuratively, of course) “staying in your own canoe.” It includes letting bad stuff that flies in one of your ears fly as quickly out the other. Remembering these two notions can be strong support beams for an unshakable perseverance in the face of adversity, insult, or even danger.           

In spite of heavy competition from my fellow travelers for the position as cherry on top of the international fruitcake, I have become known in southern Thailand as “THE Crazy Alien.” Most of my fellow non-locals who get any special attention from the natives are simply drunk, loud, and usually between 20 and 40 years old. The locals expect this. But when they see an American person who is a bit older, they suppose that he is like the Americans they see on TV. So when they look at me, they see something that falls very far out of their frame of reference. Here is a person they cannot explain. He is not at all normal.            

He is living in a Buddhist Temple on a foreign continent without studying Buddhism. He cannot communicate in or understand the native language. No one within miles speaks English. He has no money at all, has no home waiting for him anywhere and no way to get there if he did. And he is writing a book about a culture and religion that he is slowly learning very little about. When the book is finished, he has plans to get back to America somehow and (with no business connections or related experience at all) sell novice writing for lots of money. He will then donate all the money to build combination educational/spiritual resorts that are entertaining destinations for guests. The main purpose of these resorts (even more so than benefitting seekers and guests) will be to perpetually return huge profits that will fund an increase in the number of Wisdom Teachers in the world. The purpose of that increase is to help, to as great an extent as possible, alleviate suffering in human beings and in all other living creatures affected by humans. His long-term goal is to build enough of these resorts to acquire enough profits to make it financially possible to increase the total number of Wisdom Professionals in the world by one percent.
Logic dictates that the odds of his success may be roughly the same as the odds of one person winning a multimillion-dollar lottery jackpot prize twice in the same week.            

The Head Teacher and most respected member of this rural Thai community has given all the compassion of Mother Teresa to the foreign lunatic, including hospitality and privileges usually afforded only to people wearing robes. The American cherry-on-top-of-the-fruitcake person works on the writing in his isolated cabin with the intensity and introspection of a lone monk, taking occasional breaks to hang out in silence with the real monks and nuns. He writes with pens found on the street, on napkins and scrap paper scavenged from the nearest Internet cafe twenty miles away. He stops only once or twice a month in order to completely fall off the other end of life’s pendulum by acquiring massive doses of expense-free alcohol, ganja, and lodging from friends that manage fancy tourist resorts on the beaches near that Internet cafe. Even the folks living and working in the resort towns are not used to seeing behavior like this—not even from the most certifiably loony and highly medicated tourists. I must seem even more bizarre to those of my neighbors who have never been out of this two hundred resident hamlet adjoining the Temple grounds, and are unfamiliar with those tourists.
It is very lucky for me that Thai folks respect crazy more than Americans do.           

Sometimes I wonder exactly what they think of me—but not often.           

Every moment spent thinking about what other people are thinking about me is a moment I’m not thinking about what I actually need to be thinking about. It would surely suck to be on my deathbed watching someone else’s perceptions of my life flashing before my eyes.            

I don’t have the time to worry and wonder if other people think I’m nuts. I have books to write and Wisdom Teachers to sponsor.  But I do have a sense of logic. It is easy to see how what I’m doing might look strange to others. It is even easy to understand why some folks might think me a bonafide lunatic.            

Maybe I am one.           

But if you are reading this, maybe I’m not.

Many thanks to the friends of Fearless Puppy at the Pema Boutique Hotel for their wonderful help and support.***The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.         ***If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story—and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!

Fearless Puppies On New Year’s Day

The Tibetan New Year has begun. The festivities will continue for several days. Below is a mere thousand words about it, plucked from a longer chapter in the new book that describes the season.        

Everyone in Nepal is very hopeful that the new year will bring great improvements to conditions here and around the world. I suppose that everyone everywhere is the same kind of hopeful. My personal hope is that everyone everywhere will remember that noble hopes aren’t worth a damn thing unless real effort and involvement accompanies them. Hope and prayer can be lovely additions to intelligent action, but they are disastrous as substitutes for it. Nothing fixes itself. I am also very hopeful for your uninterrupted happiness and good health.           

“Without action, Buddha’s blessing is not worth much.” HH The 14th Dalai Lama 

Be well. Love, Tenzin and the Kathmandu crew   
***p.s. As always, if you find these weekly bits bothersome, let me know and I’ll stop sending them to you. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—tap one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered. Thank you! FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE
                                                                                         Losar Day           

Today is Losar, the Tibetan new year. Traditional activities include visiting relatives, going to a temple with family, and public festivities. The celebration will continue for several days.            

Nikky, Wangmo, and the staff, along with several of their family members, are assembled in the lobby. They are dressed like royalty. Everyone is even more smiley and sweet than usual, if that is possible.          

The streets are lined with people in their finest and most colorful regalia. Even Walt Disney would have been in awe of the spectacle.         

My positive-energy-projection-toward-the-street shtick is now being done daily from the front window counter of the hotel. I don’t even have to think about it. It happens on automatic pilot during breakfast.          

After breakfast, I head toward the Stupa to watch as the entire massive structure is painted.          

It has been cold and raw since my arrival in Kathmandu, but today the sun has come out in force for this festive occasion. So have folks from all over Nepal and the world. A twenty year old named Milabuddha sits next to me on a bench by the Stupa. He lives in a village hundreds of miles away. Mila starts a conversation with me, then takes a selfie of us on his phone. The friendliness of the people here continues to astound me. It will be very interesting to travel elsewhere in Nepal and see if this friendliness is a national habit. Being in the Stupa neighborhood is somewhat like being in church. Visitors practice their most noble behavior here.          But for the people that actually live here, their most noble behavior is a way of life—and the animals are just as amazing as the humans! A couple of dozen dogs surround the Stupa. Most (certainly not all) are among the most conscious, mellowest, sweetest animals in the world. They seem to belong to no one and everyone. These canines often act more human than many humans do. They have a sharp intelligence and a kind of radar—a sense of premonition.          

A white one sits himself in front of the bench that me and Milabuddha are seated on. A man walks in our direction and starts to approach a woman two benches away with his hand out. The man looks more hungover than hungry. He has an air of snarling surliness about him that I can feel from a distance. He isn’t doing anything loud, crazy, or even noticeably different than other folks—but the energy radiating from him seems to stand out like a sore thumb in this otherwise serene atmosphere. The white dog feels it too. He bolts up and darts himself between that man and the woman sitting on the bench. White dog barks as if his master’s house is on fire! The man backs off and walks away quickly. The dog continues to bark at the ornery man’s heels for twenty yards or so until both are well out of range of the benches. White dog then simply lays down silently by the Stupa. This creature seems to spend most of its time in a meditation, as do all the canines in the area. These animals lay around as if they are reincarnated saints that have earned the right to relax in heaven for a lifetime—unless there is a situation that calls them to action guarding the area’s good energy.        

Several hundred of the most well fed pigeons in the world have their own corner of the Stupa grounds. Locals sell grain to people that spread it around for the birds to eat. Any form of human caring for any form of life is considered a source of blessing here.          

On the way home, I stop at Thar Lam Monastery to visit the temple that sits halfway between the Stupa and the Pema Boutique Hotel. The monks are having New Year’s badminton and volleyball tournaments! The young adult monks are playing. The elder and child monks cheer from the sidelines. I sit down on a curb, near a few elders in chairs. My legs are in the street. I am immediately approached by a young black dog with markings that resemble a white necktie. The dog licks me until I fall off my narrow seat on the curb! She keeps licking as I lay on the ground. The monks are laughing at me—almost as hard as I am laughing at myself. The dog seems to be laughing too.         

Midway through the volleyball game, I go into the temple. It is a beautiful structure with a gorgeous interior containing giant iconic Buddhist statues. The walls are painted with scenes from the historical Buddha’s life. There are offerings of yak cheese, cookies, fruit, and many other goodies stacked everywhere in obvious preparation for a later ceremony. After enjoying a few hundred breaths in the temple, I head back to the hotel with a big smile on my face and the love of fearless puppies in my heart.        

Much of humanity thinks that a power beyond itself will drop from the sky to help save our species. Few people are coherently concerned, consciously aware, and common sensible enough to realize that the only way our planet will become a better planet is if we each, individually, do away with the bullshit we are addicted to and put in the mental work necessary to become better people. I may be in the ten square block area of Earth containing the highest concentration of people that are aware of this fact. There is a very palpable density of love and goodwill in the atmosphere here. It is fostered internally by individuals. This internal mental work, this fostering of goodwill, is not done as a self-serving mechanism. It is motivated by a love for, and done on behalf of, everything that lives on the planet. The term for the all-inclusive target of this concern is usually translated into English as “all sentient beings.” The Tibetan phrase is “sem chen”—mind possessor. Taking into account that animals, plants, and insects, as well as humans, are thought to have a consciousness, this motivation covers a lot of ground. It is an extremely powerful force within the nuns and monks. It also plays a very recognizable part in the lives of the neighborhood’s residents. And it is obvious that even the area dogs, in their own way, are involved in the process.        

My experience of being here is akin to that of a thirteen-year-old baseball fanatic who suddenly finds himself living in a bed-and-breakfast planted right in the middle of the Cooperstown Hall of Fame.          I have spent almost all of my life in America. In America, many people that see soldiers in uniform approach them and say, “Thank you for your service.” The soldiers are considered heroes worthy of respect and admiration.          My heroes are not professional killers. My heroes are professional altruists that are dedicated to producing saner, kinder, more compassionate opportunities for all living creatures. My heroes are walking in robes on the streets of Kathmandu, and I am lucky enough to have a guest room planted right in the middle of their neighborhood.

***The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.        
***If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story—and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!

A Perfect Place

Happy Bob Marley BD (it was Feb. 6), Tibetan New Year (Feb. 12) and Valentine’s Day week! I hope you and yours are happy and healthy. Communications from America say that things are a little less crazy now that the election is over. That’s good. Even the most pro-American Asians were thinking we went a little wacky!            With any luck, folks in the USA will continue to take deep breaths and calm down. With a little effort, things will become less hateful and more loving as both the reds and blues start to realize that working together is the only way things will ever work at all. With that sentiment in mind, this week’s 1000 words are from the Fearless Puppy On American Road book, and about a time and place that remembers the more beautiful part of the American experience.            

Once something changes, it can never go all the way back to what it was. In many ways, that is a good thing. We can preserve some better parts of the life we already had while allowing room for new and improved ideas. Insisting that both those new ideas, and the parts preserved from the old, are employed as actual improvements that benefit the vast majority of us has become the non-negotiable, essential responsibility of each and every citizen. Like it or not, it seems we will have to stay actively, consciously, and intelligently involved in order to insure success.                    

Please be well & stay well. Love, Tenzin and the Nepali Crew                                     ***p.s. As always, if you find these weekly bits bothersome, let me know and I’ll stop sending them to you. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—tap one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered. Thank you! FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                                                             Rural Vermont               

Helpfulness. Tribalism at its best. Everyone works together on everything. Lives depend upon each other in temperatures well below zero.            

Hitchhiking is no longer just getting from here to there while barely knowing my host. Nearly every ride establishes or increases a friendship.            

More cows per square mile than people, more open space than cows, and more forest than open space. Pronounced seasons and cycles. Cold, white winters. Muddy springs. Vibrant green summers pulsating with life that knows it only has a few months to do what needs to get done. Rainbow autumnal foliage so brilliant that guests come from continents away to view it. Streams clean enough to drink from.            

Eggs come from happy chickens—not from the cruelty of large “animal production” warehouses.             Everyone waves hello to anyone driving by.            

There’s always time to speak with whomever you meet at the General Store or Post Office. There’s always time. No hurry. Life comes first. Being is more important than doing (once the doing gets done).             The only store in town is the size of five closets but has everything—food, hardware, videos, clothing, beer, and more. A giant empty cable spool acts as a table around which to enjoy coffee, home- made donuts, and the company of neighbors. A best friend makes maple syrup. Everyone grows incredible gardens.             

I have spent a lot of time with four other people and five beers staring into the open hood of a pickup truck that was not in need of repair.             

Wood keeps you warm three times—once when you chop it, again when you carry it in, and the third time when you burn it. Overflowing abundance lives here. Some folks want more. Few need more.              Theater groups that produce professional quality plays thrive in the forests of nearby vest-pocket towns.              The purity and clarity of omnipresent Nature rubs off on its human inhabitants. Crime, violence, and assorted hatreds appear only in newspapers and on TV stations. No one here has seen those things in person.              The Town Treasurer has a sign on his office explaining, “It’s very hard to get away with anything in a town this small.” Live and let live. If it hurts no one, it’s legal.             

Resourcefulness is a way of life. Anything you need can be built from left over parts of things that you don’t need anymore. If you don’t know how, someone will show you. They’ll be happy to help—even happier if you bring a beer to say hello and thank you.             

Deer hunters and trout fishermen deny slaughterhouses and corporate supermarket chains their abuses and profits. Unprocessed foods, hard exercise, low stress, clean air, and clean water deny the medical industry their profits from unnecessary surgery and drugs.             

Awe inspiring natural beauty excludes land developers and their profit-over-people motivation. Their concrete and steel are not welcome here. The industrial decay that would lead to profits for a large assortment of unethical folks in fancy suits is denied entry by the conscious decisions of simple, intelligent farmers in overalls.             

There will never be a Wal-Mart or a crack house here. There are many guns. They are never used for anything but hunting food. People are constantly helping each other to build a barn or house, dig out snow and mud, care for the children, cook, clean, weed the garden, and feed the animals. Anything that can be done at all is usually done by a group, even if it’s actually a one-person job. Folks enjoy each other’s company. Except in the most extreme circumstances, everyone deserves inclusion.              

Parties get thrown together instantly for no other reason than that someone feels like being the host.               On a Tuesday, my friend Mike told me that he was having a party at his house on the following Saturday.              

“What’s the occasion, Mike?”              

“The occasion is that I just came up with the bright idea of having a party. I’ll get out a side of venison and buy a keg of beer. Tell everyone you see to tell everyone they see. If anyone wants to bring more food and drink, that’s good. If not, we’ll be fine with what we’ve got, I figure.”              “

OK, Mike. I’ll get everyone but the assholes informed.”              

“Inform the assholes too, buddy! Who knows? Maybe if they got invited to more parties, they’d figure out how to act better and wouldn’t be such assholes.”              

It was hard to argue with Mike’s logic, but then again it is hard to argue with much of anything in a clean, friendly village.              

During those years of having a home community and base station, a lot of work got done elsewhere. Rest time there made hitchhiking across nearly every inch of road in Northeastern America possible. I probably hitchhiked as many miles regionally during this period as the number of miles that were traveled in all the previous cross-country trips. Each full month of whistle stops working for environmental groups and charities included many towns and cities. It included talking to independent business folks all day about various causes, sleeping wherever possible, and celebrating whenever plausible. At the end of road tours like that, staring at mountains in between long naps was more of a necessity than an option. It is a lot easier to burn yourself up on the road when you know that a perfect place to revive is waiting for you.               The focal points of the road binges included Greenpeace, Citizen’s Awareness Network, and self-organized efforts to help support a Mexican orphanage, raise awareness and funding for American homeless folks, and help the victims of a very severe African famine. The results varied. My little part as a team member in the environmental efforts worked consistently for over a decade at each. The orphanage and homeless projects I organized worked minimally. The famine relief effort worked very well. It involved a governor, two senators, labor unions, school systems, businesses, major league sports teams, rock bands, and more. Thousands of people in the Northeastern section of America gave massive help.                

This is a short chapter, but it covers a long period of years. Eventually, my good friend who allowed me this cabin in paradise had to liquidate his properties. This put me back out on the street at age fifty. But for a while, my life was as close to normal as it had ever been. It included long term friends and neighbors.                 Those years seem to have gone by very quickly. ​
***The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.        
***If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story—and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!

Angels From Hell In The Land Of Oz

I hope you are happy and healthy. We are winding down the 13th lunar month here in the Boudha Stupa neighborhood of Kathmandu, Nepal. The year of the Male Metal Mouse/Iron Rat 2147 is about to end. On February 12, the Tibetan new year of the Female Metal Ox 2148 begins. In honor of the occasion (and for a little lighten-up from the heavier, more esoteric writing of the past few weeks) the next few weeks will be nothing but fun. This week’s excerpt is from the Fearless Puppy On American Road book. It is a small part of the chapter about my season and a half playing a biker on the TV show OZ. I hope it is as fun for you as it was for me. Be well. Love, Tenzin   

***p.s. As always, if you find these weekly bits bothersome, let me know and I’ll stop sending them to you. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—tap one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered. Thank you!

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                                               Angels From Hell In The Land Of OZ      
      

Welcome to a TV set like no other—Oswald State Penitentiary.       

The first day on location scared the shit out of me. I would have had a more comfortable entrance into show biz had they cast me as lunch in a lion’s cage. OZ was shot on the entire sixth floor of a building that took up a full city block on Manhattan’s lower west side. A month’s rent for the space could likely feed a small nation. The whole floor was dressed up like a prison. Real cells with bars had been built into the walls. There was a common room, dining hall, infirmary, chaplain’s and warden’s offices, institutional kitchen, basketball court/exercise yard, and much more.       

Also present were three hundred of the spookiest looking people ever assembled in one place. Over two hundred of them wore prison uniforms. Thirty or so wore prison guard uniforms. A narrator, warden, chaplain, the featured stars, and a few nurses rounded out the cast. The narrator, warden, chaplain, and nurses were professional actors with years of experience. So were most of the main characters that had speaking roles. Very few other folks were. Most were people who, like myself, just answered a classified advertisement. If we walked into the agency possessing “the look” that the agents thought would fill the position, we got hired. Our look earned us pretty much the same job as the painted background scenery. We had to go where the director told us to go, and be silent.     

The agents were very good at their job. The majority of these extras had a lot of personal history that fit in with their look, and with the show. Many of the men that played gay prisoners kissed each other even when the cameras were off. A lot of the extras who played felons, gang members, junkies, and assorted criminal types were currently, or had been—felons, gang members, junkies, and assorted criminal types in real life.         

The casting department put me with the biker group. It was a select position. Unlike the gang bangers, skinhead racists, and other assorted cliques (not to mention the main general-prisoner population group), there were only about a half dozen bikers. This meant that every time a scene was to be shot that slated the biker group in it, we’d each get more individual face-in-the-camera time than the members of larger groups would. More exposure could mean that someone from the film industry might spot you, like your look, and give you a chance at some real acting.           

The possibility of making the big time never impressed me much. Having fun was most important. But during the first day, my main concern was getting over the heebie-jeebies. It didn’t take too long for me to get relaxed, thanks to my association with the biker crew. Most of that had to do with Tattoo Mike. Tattoo Mike had earned his name for obvious reasons. The biggest (and only the biggest!) of the Muslim characters would joke with him, “Glad you came in today, Mike. I needed something to read.”         

Finely crafted wording and designs covered nearly the entire body of this biker/actor. He had a tattooed necklace of skulls that summed up his body’s art museum. His long, dark beard finished in two braided strands resembling inverted horns. You didn’t have to meet Mike in a dark alley to be scared of him.           

Looks can be accurate and deceiving at the same time.           

Any so-called sane person who had been conditioned by a lifetime of media imagery would have run like hell from this man. I sat down next to him. It was the best move I made during my short show biz career.           

Don’t get me wrong here. You surely would not want to see this person pissed off! That would be ugly. But on the set, Mike was a gentleman’s gentleman. He was soft spoken, generous, and helpful to all. He had the air of a man with nothing left to prove to himself or anyone else. Mike knew that in any situation where intimidation was required, it was already accomplished. All he had to do was be present. But on set he made every effort to counteract the fear that his presence might cause in others.         

Introductions and conversation came easily. A few minutes in, I confessed about my nervous condition. “To tell you the truth, Mike, the set almost scared the shit out of me as much as the cast. At first, walking in and seeing the cells with bars, and then the guards—I mean the actors in guard’s uniforms! See, that’s the thing! The whole place is so real looking that it’s spooky.”           “Yeah, I know,” he winked.       
            I’m sure he did.       
            “C’mon,” he continued. “I’ll give you the tour.” We walked through various cell blocks, guard towers, weight rooms, etc. “The more you look around, the more real it seems, eh?”       

I nodded in silence. The production crew were masters of their craft. The place truly was way too real to be comfortable in.       

While walking back to the holding room, we passed through the kitchen section. Filming was in progress. Mike made the sshhh! sign with a finger to his lips. An absolutely chiseled brick house of a man who looked very familiar was screaming at a fellow actor and the camera. “I run the fucking kitchen. Nobody eats in this damn place unless I say so!”         

My eyes bugged out as I whispered, “Holy shit!” Mike gave me a “what’s up?” look. We walked over to where we could talk without disturbing the shoot. “Mike! Is that Sylvester Stallone? He’s on this show?”         

“Ha!” Mike laughed. “Well, that’s an easy mistake to make, man. There is a resemblance there. No, that’s not Stallone. That man there is a lot more dangerous than Stallone. He plays the head of the Mafia population in this make believe joint. In real life, he’s a Golden Gloves boxing champion and has two or three black belts in different forms of martial arts. He had to kick a famous karate-movie star’s ass on the street one night. Chuck didn’t want to do it, but the guy just kept pushing him. If possible, Chuck walks away from stupid people. A guy like him doesn’t want to fight people unless it’s in a ring. Street combat is too dangerous for opponents. The competition can get hurt very badly in that situation. He’s also my chief.”          

This surprised me. “Your chief? Neither of you looks Native American.”           

Mike laughed through his reply. “Not that kind of chief, Ten. Chuck is my road chief, and the president of the New York City chapter of the Hell’s Angels.”           

“Well, if he’s your chief that means that you…”           

Mike confirmed his status with a nod and a wink. “I’m a real one! Hey, it’s not just me. Many of the players on this set have had a lot more experience living their parts than acting them.”           

Just then, “Mother,” the two-hundred-and-fifty-pound head of Oswald State Penitentiary’s gay pain-and-abuse faction sauntered through. “Hey Mikie, who’s the fresh meat? Y’know Mikie, I’d really like to run my tongue around the bottom of your balls for half an hour or so.”           

Tattoo Mike gave that nasty Mother a stare that could have frozen a raging forest fire. Mother slithered off cautiously.            

Mike introduced me to Ron the Muslim, Terry the Homeboy, and Hector, along with several of his Hispanic Knife-Fighters. Through them I met much of the rest of the crew. Once I got to know these folks, most weren’t scary at all.            

Others were even scarier than they had originally appeared.

***The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the Fearless Puppy website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Entertaining TV/radio interviews with and newspaper articles about the author are also available there. There is no charge for anything but the complete books! All author profits from book sales will be donated to help sponsor an increase in the number of wisdom professionals on Earth, beginning with but certainly not limited to Buddhist monks and nuns.        
***If you missed the Introduction to the new book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier, or would like to see several chapters of it that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You will be reading it as it is being created! Just like you, I don’t know what the next chapter is going to be about until it is written. As the Intro will tell you, this is a totally true story—and probably the only book ever written by and about a corpse journeying completely around the world!