The Treasures At Our Fingertips

Hi! I hope you are happy and healthy. What’s new where you are? Life in the big city of Kathmandu rolls on. This place has many wonderful qualities. Air quality is not among them. Smoking cigarettes here is redundant.  Within a month or so, I will be moving to where there are more trees, more quiet, a lake, and less pollution.        

I’ll miss the many wonderful people that I have met here in Kathmandu.       

The following are two very, very short pieces. Some folks tell me that both are a little abstract. Considering that the whole world seems to be painted in a bizarre shade of paisley these days, I don’t suppose that a bit of abstract will hurt anything. The two pieces are in the spirit of a couple of guys that taught many people what the phrase “walk your talk” means. The first is about overcoming obstacles that prevent us from being who we want to be. It comes from the book, Reincarnation Through Common Sense and was inspired by Archan Den. He was the head monk of the forest temple in Kok Ta Hom, Thailand that took in a very troubled man from Brooklyn, New York and allowed him an unconditional half year of living among saints. Archan never asked me to, nor did I while there, study Buddhism. The one job he gave me was “Make your self comfortable.” That half year turned me back into a human. The second section is from the book Fearless Puppy on American Road. It was mostly inspired by Kunsang Dechen Lingpa Rinpoche. He is the Tibetan Lama and mystic that I have seen more often than any other. He has been dead for a decade or so. I still see him sometimes. I have met many other very wonderful Lamas before and since, but Kunsang Dechen Lingpa Rinpoche was just the right one for me to meet at just the right time.          

In spite of the fact that both pieces were written by a nearly 70 year old juvenile delinquent, I hope you will enjoy them. Thanks very much for reading, and for the backlink clicks.                                                                             Please be happy, Tenzin 

“All talking will become sheer nonsense, if one cannot elucidate the Truth.” Milarepa

***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 when you click. Thank you! FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                              Would You Rather Be a Finger or Part of a Hand?            

Waiting for God or Congress to fix things won’t work. The Collective Human Attitude cannot change until the attitudes of the individuals composing it do. This has been proven many times.           

Great Masters have come and gone. We immortalize their words and images. But the actual purpose of their teachings was to inspire us toward functional applications of those words in real life situations. Unfortunately, much of humanity seems to mislay those functional applications as consistently as a teardrop in the rain.         

Why?          

It may be true that some people are just too damn lazy to change their minds. The bigger problem is that many of us are too stressed out, distracted, and preoccupied to concentrate on the process of making this a truly better life for our selves, and a better world for everyone. Inhumane stress levels numb us into surviving under comfortably fossilized lies instead of living with truths that might be disturbing in the very short run, but will save us in the long run.          

The inhumane stress levels that modern people suffer are largely fueled by two pieces of drastic misinformation. Nearly all of us have been brutally misled regarding the qualities defining our most critical human directions—the purpose of life and the meaning of success.          

A more functional definition and a consistent practice of these terms are necessary in order for us to maintain peace and decency on an individual level. Only after plenty of that has been accomplished can peace and decency arrive, survive, and thrive at the community, national, and planetary levels.          

The bigger masterpiece can only be painted by combining the brush strokes of all our little self-portraits.          

All the great teachers, religions, and spiritual traditions seem to be nearly unanimous in their on-paper notions of the terms “purpose of life” and “success.” Their notions—unlike the general public’s questionable and constantly wavering standards for doing Earthly business—usually nail it.                 

The purpose of life is to not only achieve health, love, and happiness but also to assist whatever else is alive to do the same. Personal success is defined as developing the individual decency and courage to promote that universal well being, and building the skillful means to turn that brilliant motivation into actions that are realistically helpful to self and others.            

Great ideas! Of course, the big problem is the “on-paper” part. Installing these notions from the on-paper version into actual practice seems to be a rare happening among humans.
               No One can save humanity now. Salvation has been circling the planet for a long time. It has no place to land! We can provide that landing pad by personally moving toward what we are asking for, by actually becoming dynamic peace and cooperation, and by leaving a lot of old bullshit behind.               

It can be difficult for a person to independently redirect his or her focus. Millennia of outdated conditioning and our present-day hypnosis by modern media only scratch the surface of what needs to be overcome. But we have to start somewhere.              

The best place to start may be to simply make ourselves comfortable with our selves.              

It is a sad fact that the pressures of life in our modern world make being uncomfortable in one’s own skin a very taken-for-granted condition—a condition that often seems like it is an insurmountable obstacle to so many people.               There are very few insurmountable obstacles in life. What may seem like insurmountable obstacles at first are more often just challenges. We can victoriously rise above almost any challenge by just making a consistent, stable, relaxed, focused, determined effort to do so. This is true whether that challenge comes from the darkest corners of the world—or the darkest corners of our own minds.                              

“There are no problems. Only solutions.”  John Lennon                                                         

The Ties That Bind/The Treasure That Heals         

I am not a qualified teacher of anything except English as a Second Language—and am not very good at that. I have always been a haphazard and rebellious student. In high school, I threw pencils at the backs of teachers and attended more drug parties than classes. I’m not going to try to tell you things that I have no spiritual or intellectual authority to tell you—except for this one thing. Here’s the reason.       

Years after high school, I fell in love with a teacher. Not in the romantic sense, of course. He might more likely and more accurately say that I fell in love with what was coming through him. As a result, I might have paid attention to what he was saying in a different way than most folks pay attention in class. I may have picked up some of his unspoken thoughts well enough to fashion words around them. (There might also be some residual LSD notions of my own that have survived from long gone decades and are mixed in here.) So here goes.           

We are all connected. There is a singular fabric of life that contains everything that is living. This bigger picture is more real than our little individual ones. We are each a part of one big unit as surely as, and more profoundly than, we exist as independent individual humans.        

Choose any of the well-known cloth metaphors: cut from the same cloth, threads running between us, woven into the fabric of… They all have truth to them.        

There’s a thread that ties you to your mother. There’s a lesser one that ties you to the grocery clerk. You and I have a strand that connects us. There are other threads—and they may be a lot less visible but believe me, there are other threads—that tie you to every other living creature on Earth. You have never met most of these people or other living creatures in the flesh. You never will get to meet most of them. There is still a connection so true that your wireless provider would kill to figure out its technology.        

There is also a connection between every person (including you!), and some powerful esoteric energies. We may not be aware of these connections and energies. They exist nonetheless.        

One of my stronger threads ties me to an energy represented by a mythical bird that can rebuild its life from the ashes of its own destruction. This energy teaches how to transmute poisonous experiences into success and benefit. Relative to this, there seems to also be a thread running between my self and some very wise people who can translate, even to a relatively dense human being like me, exactly what that mystical bird symbolizes. These wise folk can make a complex concept more easily understandable.        

Millions of people everywhere are consciously enjoying these types of connections. Folks of every conceivable nationality, occupation, and spiritual tradition receive transmissions of energy and information from who or whatever their teachers may be.        

These teachers offer this information openly. They send it out like the sun sends out its warmth and light—but have no control over whether folks choose to receive that warmth and light or shiver in the shadows. The quality of attention paid by the student is at least as important as who the teacher is.       

Teachings may come through exemplars such as Jesus and Buddha, or through a pony’s ass or an alfalfa sprout. The lesson to be learned is within the student. Anything or anyone is potentially a catalyst, a vehicle, that opens up a deep mental circuit for us.       

The frames of reference, language, and nuance that all these catalysts are carried on can vary greatly according to the needs of the individual student. They consider the unique receptive abilities and disabilities, the habituations of cultural programming, and the reflective tendencies of the student. The presentations may all be different, but the root nature of the non-verbal information and energy being transmitted are the same.        

The common denominator among the people I know to have received these sorts of transmissions seems to be a simple but active motivation. If you have a deep inclination to transmute harm into help and be of benefit to others—whether they live next door, on the other side of the world, or in the Twilight Zone—you will eventually be connected with the sources of energy and information that will assist your effort. If your motivation is less altruistic, you may be in for a bumpier ride. Contact with these sources seems to be a matter of continuously asking for it through action as much as word, then persevering (maintaining direction, strength of conviction, and determination) until assistance arrives.          

Another thing seems apparent. Teachers aren’t only teachers. They were, and usually continue to be, students themselves. In Lincoln, Vermont, I saw evidence of a very strong thread running between a modern-era Lama/mystic and a legendary teacher of a thousand years ago. Almost everyone with any knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism is familiar with the famous teacher of a thousand years ago. The modern-era teacher is nowhere near as well known.           

My text book research of this modern teacher says that Lama Kunsang Dechen Lingpa Rinpoche is considered to be a “treasure revealer.” I have to disagree with my own research. All personal experience tells me that the man, himself, is a treasure. p.s. There may also be a connection running between what we commonly know as time-and-space, and a pathway to detour them—but that’s another story.      

Many thanks to our wonderful friends at 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!

Not There Yet

I hope you are happy and healthy. I am still in Kathmandu, currently coming back from a severe dog bite, a few weeks of loose-stomach problems that fried my brain with dehydration, and attempting to recover from it all with construction noise in the apartment beneath me that sounded like an industrial jack hammer performing a lobotomy through a skull with a thick steel plate in it. The experience has turned me into a mildly shell-shocked, part-time short-tempered asshole. I have now moved back to the lovely Pema Boutique Hotel, into a room that is quieter and more amenable. Rapid progress is being made both mentally and physically. Meanwhile, the following seems to be an appropriate post—and will be a piece within the new book-in-progress. I hope it gives you a good laugh. Laughter, as the old saying goes, may well be the best medicine. Back to more about Love, Dharma, Nuns, and Lamas next week.
                                                                  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—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 when you click. Thank you! FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGEREINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGEFEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                                           NOT THERE YET            

A friend of mine in America told me he was interested in finding out more about Buddhism. I directed him to the closest meditation center, and told him which day and at what time to catch the best meditation for beginners.          

We spoke again a week later. He told me, “The meditation was cool. Some of the people were nice—but some weren’t so nice at all! I thought they all were supposed to be Buddhists, and be like mellow and friendly all the time!?!”           

I asked him, “Does everyone who goes to your church act like Jesus all the time? People go to these places because they want to become something that they haven’t already become. They want to get somewhere, but they aren’t there yet. If everyone was already there, there wouldn’t be much need for churches or temples or mosques or synagogues—and for that matter there wouldn’t be much need for police forces, armies, jails, mental institutions, or many other unfortunate things.”           

His eyes opened wide with sudden revelation. It never occurred to him that everyone going to a Buddhist center was not a Buddha! He is not alone in this innocent ignorance.            

Many folks take it for granted that people within their own faith have, to say the least, not attained the exalted spiritual stature of their icons. They figure that falling short of the spiritual high mark is a sign of normalcy, and that being forgiven for this comes with the package. But for some reason it is harder for many folks to accept it when adherents of other faiths aren’t successfully living up to their own creeds. In my experience, this judgment is heaped upon the Buddhists more than it is heaped upon the followers of any other faith. Perhaps it is Buddha’s serenity, reputation for unsurpassed wisdom, and the mystical, exotic nature of the East that makes people in this troubled world think that every sheep in the flock is actually wearing The Buddha’s wool.           

I think I can help here. I think I can do my little part to put an end to that misconception. Here is something that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am definitely a not-there-yet Buddhist. These are a couple of short bits from the very short section (only these two pieces!) of the new book-in-progress. I call the section, Better Pissed Off Than Pissed On. You may notice that both bits are in a general style and rhythm that I have to thank Jeff Foxworthy for.                                                                                 

for my “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” friends                        You Might Be A…

If you are a woman (or a man with a wife, girlfriend, mother, or sister that you love) and you like a guy who says he can “grab pussy” and get away with it because he is famous         

You might be a schizophrenic

If you love, pray to, worship, revere, or even just respect the Prince of Peace but support carpet bombing that murders thousands of innocent goat herders who don’t even know where America is on a map while it is trying to kill a few psychotic fanatics                    

You might be a schizophrenic

If you think that using the words Democrat or Republican puts you on the just and moral side of any argument         

You might be a schizophrenicIf you think that unnecessary oil pipelines or any other ventures proven to poison the water of your fellow citizens are fine and dandy as long as your personal drinking water is pure                     

You might be a schizophrenic (and are obviously a self-centered asshole)

If you think it is a good idea to spend all your country’s money destroying strangers overseas while your own country’s infrastructure collapses before your very eyes, then either you don’t know what “infrastructure” means or         

You might be a schizophrenic (and are probably a bit slow-witted too)

If you tell me I can’t speak whatever way I want to speak about a country that constantly brags about “giving” its citizens “the right” to free speech         

You are very obviously a schizophrenicIf you worship a God that hates the same people you do          You are the text-book definition of schizophrenic

If you are writing about how life in America has gotten schizophrenic instead of having fun and helping to make things better in whatever way you can         

You may be discovering just how contagious schizophrenia can be                                                                                                                 

Go Fuck Yourself
If you think some mythical cartoon character from someone else’s ancient imagination is going to ride in on a white horse or fly in on a cloud at the last minute to save us from the results of things we knew all along were wrong but kept on doing anyway,

go fuck yourself.

If you care when The Cowboys are torturing The Redskins on the football field but don’t care that it happened in real life,

go fuck yourself.

If these phrases are part of your life: “Ethics don’t apply to business,” “That’s just the way it is,” “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,”

go fuck yourself.

If you would step over a hundred hungry and homeless people to get to a charity benefit at the country club,

go fuck yourself.

If you like Black music, clothing, slang, style, and cool, but you distrust or despise Black people whom you pass on the street—even though you have never personally met those individuals,

go fuck yourself.

If you’ve never given a moment’s thought to the difference between being self-centered (in the negative sense) and being centered in self (in the positive sense)—well, that happens. A lot of us just don’t get exposed to those kinds of notions. But if you don’t think about it now,

go fuck yourself.

If you work all day at a job you don’t like to make money you don’t need to buy things you don’t want in order to impress people you don’t really care about,

well, you’ve already fucked yourself.

If you are the kind of person who would put a venomous chapter called “Go Fuck Yourself” in what is otherwise a perfectly good book,

go fuck yourself.

Many thanks to our wonderful friends at 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!

Women’s Health, Rights, Justice

Hello from Nepal! I hope you are happy and healthy. This week’s post is different than any before it, and different from any that will come after. It is the only post in the series that is not written by me. Why would an author that is promoting his books and the charity project related to them post writing by someone else? Because the writing below is that important, and I can’t tell you what it is about in as informed a manner as the person that wrote it. That person is the organizer of the women’s health project addressed in the article below. Her name is Thinley Wangmo Lama.

      Many social issues are just now starting to get the attention in Asia that they have enjoyed in the West since the 1960s. Women’s health concerns, rights, and equality are among the issues topping that list. I hope you will join Wangmo and the many other dedicated people in Nepal, and throughout Asia and the world, that are making great efforts to right the inequities and injustices that women have suffered for thousands of years. A closer look will reveal that every living thing–not just our mothers, sisters, and wives–have suffered severely from the lack of respect that our worldwide culture often directs toward women. The fact that more attention has been given to providing men with artificial erections than has been given to providing women with authentic healthcare shows a criminal lack of common sense and common decency in our society. Unless that lack is addressed and remedied, there is little chance for the survival of our species. Until the kind, compassionate, nurturing aspects of the feminine presence gain as much prominence in our earthly function as the constructive, productive, destructive drives of the masculine presence, we don’t stand a chance.

       Please join Wangmo and the concerned people around the world that are taking steps toward helping these needy women on the Tibet/Nepali border to stay alive and healthy. By doing so, you are also taking a big step toward repairing a very long-standing social injustice that has done great damage to us all.  

Thank You. Be well. Love, Tenzin

EcoPadProject Limi Valley, Humla

  • Project Introduction  

This is a project to raise funds for Limi women who don’t have easy access to sanitary pads.

Our aim is to donate eco-friendly washable cloth sanitary pads (EcoPads) for approximately 250 women living in the remote village of Humla, Nepal called Limi.

We also aim to generate a positive attitude towards periods among the Limi community in Kathmandu and Limi Valley. We hope to make them comfortable to talk about periods in a shame-free way.

  • How did we start this project?

This project took birth during the COVID-19 pandemic when we heard about the situation in Limi regarding the food shortage due to lockdown. Access to Limi is immensely restricted because of its challenging topography and lack of transportation infrastructure.

For the people in Limi, it takes a minimum of 2 to 4 walking days to reach a market area. During that conversation, the sanitary pad topic came up! How are the women managing without the supply of pads? Periods do not stop when the supply stops. After much discussion, we realized that the Limi women still face serious challenges when it comes to managing their periods. It is still considered taboo and a matter of embarrassment.

Women should not feel shameful for something like Periods that occur naturally and should not be put at a disadvantage due to this.

So, we could either do something about it or just let it be as always. We simply decided to do something about it! Period!


Background: – Menstrual Hygiene in Limi

 
Most of the women in Limi Valley still don’t own underwear and those having underwear feel shy to even dry it out in the open. Periods are rarely discussed openly and considered “impurity” coming out from the women’s body.

Like most of the women in any village area, the women in Limi have been using pads made of old/used clothes and only recently they have started using disposable sanitary pads. However, they consider sanitary pads as a luxury item and not a necessity. Of course, considering the costs of sanitary pads in the market, the people in the village would rather spend the money on food supplies.

On one hand, the pads made of old used clothes are uncomfortable and unhygienic. It can cause vaginal health issues and infections. On the other hand, the disposable sanitary pads are usually out of stock and not easily accessible due to the remote location and such pads lead to non-biodegradable waste.

As per research, disposable sanitary pads are partly made of plastic and can take as much as 200 years to decompose.

Therefore, looking for a long-term sustainable solution, EcoPads seems like the best option. An EcoPad can be reused for up to three years if washed and dried properly.

  •  Why EcoPads?

1. Reusable

EcoPads can be reused for up to three years with proper care. However, it is essential to wash the EcoPads properly and dry them under sunlight.

2. Cost-effective

EcoPads are cost-effective over time. Most women re-use their EcoPads for at least three to five years, which means about three years of not having to buy disposable pads each month!

3. Environmentally Friendly

Let’s take Nepal into consideration. The majority of women in Nepal use disposable pads. On average, a woman uses 15 pads per month, that’s around 8000 pads over the course of her lifetime. That’s just the waste from a single person. What about the whole of Nepal?

Now, do the math and add in people from countries all over the world. That is a crazy amount of garbage.

4. Health Benefits

The manufacturers use artificial fragrance, synthetic ingredients, and plastic in disposable pads which can cause allergic reactions. You will notice that the cloth pads do not irritate your skin when used correctly.

5. No issue of running “out of stock” for a remote place like Limi

It takes a minimum of 2 to 4 walking days to reach a market area for the people in Limi. The disposable sanitary pads usually go out of stock, so by using EcoPads, this problem can be solved.

  • How this PROJECT is going to work?

Step 1: Collect Donations to buy EcoPads

Step 2: Conduct workshops in Kathmandu – #Normalizeperiods and generate awareness about usage of ecopads

Step 3: Buy good quality EcoPads. 

Step 4: Go to Limi Valley – Target Date: August 2021 – Distribute the EcoPads for free and stay there for few weeks:-

1. Conduct workshops – Make them aware that periods are normal and not to feel shy about it.

2. Focus on the younger girls. Talk to them about periods in a shame-free way and teach them how to manage their periods.

3. Ask the men in the family to be more supportive when the women are menstruating. 

4. If possible, teach them how to make their own EcoPads so that they can be self-sufficient.

Step 5: Select a few volunteers at the local level to evaluate the project outcomes. If successful, distribute the next batch of EcoPads within 1-2 years. If not successful, visit Limi again to evaluate the situation.

  • What do we need?

1. We need your donation to buy these EcoPads. There are approximately 250 women in Limi Village who are menstruating. Each woman needs at least 10-15 pads for healthy use.

Since this is the first time introducing ecopads to the Limi women, we plan to give only 5 pads at the initial distribution.

The average cost of a good quality EcoPad is Rs.200/- Therefore, we need around NPR 2,50,000/-

2. We are also planning to donate one EcoPad each to Limi women living in Kathmandu. There are approximately 200 Limi women in Kathmandu. Therefore, we need around NPR 40,000/-

3. We need additional money for traveling expenses to Limi village, air cargo/ shipping expenses, and to pay the volunteers. Therefore, we need around NPR 2,50,000/-

In total, we need around NPR 5,40,000/- (USD 5000/-) to make this project possible.

Therefore, with your support, our long-term goal is to donate EcoPads to this area every 3 years so that we can provide them a healthier life and fulfill this very basic necessity of every woman.

 Please Donate

Let’s unite for our women who are our mother, sister, aunt, cousin, and relative. Let’s unite for women who are in need.

Please donate as much as possible within your capacity. No amount is small or big. Every contribution counts.

Maybe this means not eating at a cafe once, or not indulging in a Starbucks Coffee this week, or not buying a new pair of shoes this month. We request you to donate that amount for the welfare of women living in Limi. 

Together we can make this happen.

Donation Details:

Please donate through their GoFundMe platform gf.me/u/zmgqi4

Kindly share this on your social media pages.

Fearless Puppy Website Blog    

Fearless Puppy On American Road/Amazon Page

Reincarnation Through Common Sense/Amazon Page

Fearless Website

It’s Weird To Be Rich

NOTE: As an apology for this week’s post, and in the hope that it acts as sort of a countermeasure/antidote for you, the post itself will be followed by a recent post from the Truth or Consequences, New Mexico USA Dharma Center. (No joke! That’s the real name of the town!) It wasn’t signed, but these things are usually done by an officer of that group–my good friend and former landlady, Jan Main Born. (Again, not kidding. That’s her real name.) Thanks and much love to Jan and everyone there–and of course to you.

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

The following is from the new book-in-progress.        

Some folks have accused my writing of occasionally being “too real.” That is very understandable. Many of us have been steered away from real all of our lives by the wool that is constantly being pulled over our eyes—so not everyone is able to recognize, much less deal with, real. Sometimes real really hurts. That doesn’t mean it isn’t there.          

Other folks think I have been too upbeat and happy during this whole past year of disease, political manipulation of economics, and other assorted disasters. They think I have not been real enough. This little piece will likely put an end to those complaints. I hope you enjoy it anyway.   Be well. Love, Tenzin   And, to those of my friends that worry about folks with wavering emotions, please don’t. I promise to be back to cheery and that the writing will make you smile next week.
***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

                                                      IT IS WEIRD TO BE “RICH”      

I spent several teen years begging on the streets for survival and much of my adult life working for causes that didn’t return appreciable, if any, paychecks. I’m not complaining! Much of it was fun and all of it was educational. There were decades of adulthood spent sleeping on other people’s floors or spare mattresses. I often drank the beer, ate the food, and smoked the weed of benevolent friends—and was always the poorest person in any town that I entered. My work, as well as my life, has been more “dependent upon the kindness of strangers” than was Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Friends were always happy to be part of the work that was getting done. I was always grateful for the help that allowed me to do the work.     

Of all the culture shock that I should be feeling here on the opposite side of the world from my homeland, the part that jars my system the most is being a rich guy. Of course, it’s altogether relative. With $445 a month of so-called Social Security income (and just a bit of savings), I would be living well below poverty level back in America. And, although I am a rich guy among some people here, I certainly am not one as compared with the Tibetan community that occupies much of this neighborhood.       Tibetans make up a good portion of this Boudha Stupa area but less than nine percent of the population of Nepal. Much of the remaining ninety-plus percent of indigenous Nepali people, and even more so the non-Tibetan and non-Nepali immigrant groups, are not as financially fortunate as the Tibetans seem to be.        

This is certainly true for the labor force that works within but lives outside the Stupa area. They work in restaurants, shops, construction, and have carts in the streets from which they sell fruit or vegetables or kitchen utensils or Q-tips or anything else that can make them a few rupees profit.        

Many people came to Nepal from India to enjoy greater opportunities. They became well respected members of the community. Many others came because begging and other street hustling rackets are more productive here. These folks are the most annoying and aggressive operators. They train their children to be very cute, pitiable, and profitable. They are raising career beggars. These street and tin shack people are a large financial step below the local workers. In America, the street people and I would be in a very similar financial situation. Here, I am considered wealthy.        

Oddly enough, the amount of money I have is not what immediately influences their decision. They have not seen my bank balance. What they have seen is my skin color.        

During pre-corona-scare years, the street people got used to having many tourists from Europe and America visit Nepal for a week or two. They have seen so many foreign vacation dollars fly by and around them that many locals think everyone white is rich! Relatively speaking, they have a point. Anyone that can afford the price of the plane ticket to get here actually is rich, compared with the folks on the street that are trying to live off of what trickles down from the visitors.          

Many street people are polite—but some beggars (and street merchants) can be rudely aggressive in their efforts to widen that trickle. The hardcore beggars ask and don’t stop asking if you say “no.” They keep talking to you and often tug on your sleeve as they follow you up the street. Some bark “Money! Money! Money!” in your ear for a length of two or three blocks. Others very loudly interrupt while you are in mid-conversation with friends. They continuously caw in your ear like a crow on crack. Their hope is that you will give them some money so they will just shut up and go away. These folks have, what we would call in Brooklyn, a “crawling up your ass” modus operandi. In most of Brooklyn, these people would get the shit beaten out of them very quickly.          

Myself, and the fellow beggars I have known in America, always realized that once a prospective contributor says “no,” our time is more productively spent moving on to a new and hopefully more receptive target. The Indian/Nepali beggar hasn’t yet figured out this little point of practicality—and shows no concern for any points of street etiquette.          

As a guy who, besides personal panhandling experiences, spent four decades begging money for environmental groups and assorted charities, it is extremely bizarre and unsettling for me to be hit on a dozen times a day by folks that are trying to shine my sneakers, or extort money in exchange for them just leaving me alone. An invasive and aggressive persistence is only an asset in rare situations and occupations. Begging is not one of those—and even legitimate, dedicated, altruistic soliciting for a very worthy cause has its limits.          

And there are certain variations of aggressive persistence that need to be ended immediately. The perpetrators need to be punished (if you believe in that sort of thing) and mandated into rehabilitation facilities.          

Most locals that give to street beggars contribute five or ten rupees. During my first four months in Kathmandu, I would give a twenty rupee note to everyone that asked. I’d pocket fifty of them at a time, hand them out until they were gone, and then go get some more. I like being helpful, twenty rupees is only about eighteen cents, and it kept me in a friendly state of mind on the street. Some of these street folks looked like they were doing fine. Others were obviously missing parts of their body or mind. Others were alcoholics. Whatever their story, it seemed that if they were out there asking, they needed to be helped. Many homeless people worldwide suffer as much from the inequities of economic systems as they suffer from personal bad luck, bad habits, or bad decisions. There is a big difference between a humanely based war on poverty and a government instituted war on poor people that is based in a cold, perverse economic policy.            

I like, respect and often defend my fellow street peeps. Some are more fun to be around than others, but they all remind me of just how slim and temporary that line is between material wealth and material poverty. Street experience taught me a long time ago that plumbers, carpenters, single mothers, innocent orphans, even doctors and professors, can end up sleeping in an alley right alongside junkies and alcoholics. Half the world is only one bad break or decision away from being street people.             

Early in the fifth month after my arrival here, a young and attractive woman was begging near the Stupa. One side of her face was severely black and blue. Out of the corner of my eye, I barely noticed the man hovering about twenty feet away, darting glances at her. I gave her thirty rupees instead of twenty. I later learned that she was intentionally beaten by that hovering man, in the hope that the signs of abuse would evoke more sympathy and higher contributions from tourists and local working folks. There was no way to know if the man was her husband, pimp, boyfriend, or owner.         

I don’t give anything to any Kathmandu street people any more. It’s about more than just the aggressive, annoying thing. Many of the horrible things seen in the Slum Dog Millionaire movie actually happen here in real life. It may be a lot more widespread and severe in India, but some of the same cruelty exists in Kathmandu as well.        

I feel badly about not helping those of my street brothers and sisters that are regular people in legitimate need, but there is no way to tell which folks are on the level and which folks are part of a beggar’s cartel—or something that is much more abusive and disturbing. I have to step on my natural instinct to help, in order to no longer support the many levels of social and individual pain trying to grow stronger on these streets.       

Our US government’s savage actions and TV’s exaggerated imagery have fostered quite a bad international reputation of the American people. But, as is true in most countries, individual citizens are often a lot nicer than their government. American people can be generous. We can be quite compassionate and forgiving as well. This is especially true of Americans that have had some training in and experience with real forgiveness and compassion. But if I ever again see a young woman with a black and blue face, and a man hovering close by with his eyes on her begging hand, I might just screw up, forget what Buddha taught me, and kick the living fuck out of the guy. He not only beat a defenseless woman. He also iced the heart of a warm man.
      

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! 
FROM THE TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES DHARMA CENTER

I read and reread the stories of our lineage holders.  In another setting they would be called, “Saints”.  Their human struggles are so intriguing and helpful to our own paths.  So, I picked up “The Life of Marpa” again, and noticed on the opening page a curious phrase, “Tsang Nyon Heruka”, later explained in the Introduction (which I confess I usually skip).  He is the actual author of the book!  He signed his name in his writings as “King of the Herukas”, and was known as the “Mad Yogin of Tsang”.  He wrote the Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, and Mila’s bio, Rechungpa’s Bio, and The Life of Marpa.  When they say, “translated from Tibetan”, they are translating the Mad Yogin of Tsang’s original work!  Biographies are called namthar in Tibetan, which means “complete liberation”, which tells us why biographies are so important for us to study, as “merely seeing or reading this biography can awaken enlightenment.”
It was popular in the late 1400’s to study with the monastic crowd for a while, then go off to the caves and really do intensive practice.  Most were known as Crazy Yogins and other colorful names.  The Mad Yogin of Tsang lived from 1452-1507 c.e.
So, during this Crone Phase of the Moon, it seems appropriate to share Milarepa’s “Song of a Lunatic”.  Milarepa met with an accomplished yogi (Dampa Sangye) from India.  They exchanged their experience through songs, as was Milarepa’s style, but not Dampa Sangye’s.  With some convincing, Mila convinced his peer to sing, and he sang about “Relieving All Sorrows”.  Mila was pleased and happy, but Dampa Sangye was surprised at Mila’s nakedness, and he suggested that Mila cover up his private parts.  Dampa Sangye asked, “What?  Are you a lunatic, or what?”  So, Milarepa sang “The Song of a Lunatic.”
“To all Gurus I pay my homage.I take refuge in the Gracious One,I pray you, dispel my hindrances;Bring me to the right Path, I pray.Men say, “Is not Milarepa mad?”I also think it may be so.Now, listen to my madness.The father and the son are mad,And so are the Transmission and Dorje Chang’s Succession.Mad, too, was my Great-Grandfather, the Fair Sage, Tilopa.And my Grandfather, Naropa, the great scholar.Mad, too, was my Father, Marpa the Translator;So, too, is Milarepa.The demon of the intrinsic Bodies Four makes Dorje Chang’s Succession crazy;The devil of the Mahamudra made my my Great Grandfather Tilopa Crazy;The demon of the secret Awareness made my Grandfather Naropa crazy;The devil of the Tantras Four made my Father Marpa mad;The demons of Mind and Prana have driven me, Milarepa, mad.The impartial Understanding itself is crazy;So are the free, self-liberating Actions,The self illuminating Practice of No perception,The Accomplishment without Hope and Fear,And Discipline without Pretension.Not only am I mad, myself, I madly afflict the demons.With the Gurus’ Pith Instruction I punish all male demons;With the blessing of Dakinis I harrow female demons;With the he-devil of Happy Mind I enter the Ultimate;With the she-devil of Instantaneous realization I perform all acts.Not only do I punish demons, I also suffer pains and sickness – The Great Symbol hurts my back.The Great Perfection afflicts my chest.In practicing the Vase Breathing, I catch all kinds of sickness -The fever of Wisdom attacks me from above.The cold of Samadhi invades me from below.The cold fever of the Bliss Void assails me in the middle.From my mouth I vomit the blood of Pith Instructions.Lazily I stretch, thrilled by the Dharma Essence.I have many sicknesses, and many times have died.Dead are my prejudices in the vast sphere of the View.All my distractions and drowsiness have died in the sphere of Practice.My pretensions and hypocrisy have died in the sphere of Action.Dead are all my fears and hopes in the sphere of Accomplishment,And my affectations and pretenses died in the sphere of Precepts.I, the yogi, will die in Trikaya’s Realm.Tomorrow, when this yogi dies, no fair shroud will he see, but the subtle, divine Revelations.His corpse will not be bound by hempen rope, but by the cord of the Central Channel.His corpse bearers to the cemetery will not be nose-wiping sons, but his blessed Son of Awareness.Not by the gray, earthy road, but along the Bodhi Path the funeral parade will go.The Gurus of the Whispered Lineage will lead the way.The Dakinis of the Four Divisions will be the guides.The corpse will not be brought to the red and massive hill, but to the hill of Adi Buddha.The corpse will not be carried to the cemetery where foxes play, but to the Park of Skill and Wisdom.It will be buried only in the Grave of Dorje Chang.”
The yogi from India was quite pleased with this song, and they enjoyed a Ganachakra Feast together.
Text from, “The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa”, Volume Two, Translated by Garma C.C. Chang, Shambhala Press, 1962, pages 610-613.
The Mad Yogin of Tsang piece is from, “The Life of Marpa the Translator: Seeing Accomplishes All”, Nalanda Translation Committee, Shambhala, Boston and London, 1982, Introduction pages xix-xxiv.