Genius Clowns and Silver Tongued Uncles

Hello from scenic Pokhara, Nepal!
          I hope you are happy and healthy. What is going on in your part of the world?          

There will be a lot to tell about this lovely town, but I have to do it before I can write about it! That report should be ready next week. This week please enjoy two bits from what may be the most important section of the new book in progress. Here is the first piece and then some more from the Tribute To Teachers section in that soon-to-be new book.          

The prophetic George Carlin has been without question one of the major influences in my life, and the lives of many others. He used a no-nonsense, tell it like it is, often crude, pull no punches, blue collar approach to what he saw going on in the world. He often envisioned, then clearly and accurately commented on, events that didn’t actually happen until years later—as well as having cutting edge interpretations of the present.  He was our canary in the coal mine, and much more a comic genius with immense foresight than a simple class clown.                     

Leo Buscaglia was favorite uncle to the world. Among the many brilliant strokes of pure honesty to come out of his mouth is the line mentioned as the title below. He asked a friend with a sour look on his face, “How are you?” The friend answered with an unconvincing. “Fine.” Uncle Leo replied, “Why don’t you tell your face!?!” Leo Buscaglia was filled from head to toe with good-willed honesty. He could say things like “Why don’t you tell your face?” without being insulting. His good intentions and love of humanity always shined through whatever little sting might result from his honesty and accuracy.            

I hope you enjoy my two little tributes to these incredible modern masters.                                              

Thank you for reading, and for clicking the backlinks. 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

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EREINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

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                        No Misunderstandings, Please/What Does Matter
Thank you, Mr. Carlin. You brought us laughter, truth, integrity, courage, and conscience—and did each of them better than most folks do any one of them.
       Just so there are no misunderstandings, I would like to officially state something right here near the beginning of this section of tributes to teachers. Almost none of the people (there are a few exceptions) who are complimented here as teachers and influences actually know or ever knew me. I’m not trying to make believe that I am in some kind of intimate buddies club with every genius on Earth, or that I have personally met and had social what-to-do with any of these people. I go to lectures, classes, concerts, get the books, and watch these folks on HBO specials, YouTube, or PBS just like nearly everyone else who has been smart enough to seek out these human lighthouses, or has been lucky enough to just stumble across them. I do have an active imagination. Even the repetitive contact with videos can affect me strongly at times, but that’s where most of these “relationships” end.       

A very small number of people have become a lot more famous than the rest of us. Sometimes this happens because we admire a person’s genius, talent, or merit. But just as often, it happens through no actual accomplishment on the part of the famous person. It often happens because shill marketing and media conglomerates are selling the public an image, as well as an artificial relationship to that image. These marketing and media folks work for corporate pimps. The corporate pimps and their companies collect big money from these processes because these methods result in bizarre purchasing habits on the part of consumers. These bizarre purchasing habits materialize when consumers become hypnotized by vast avalanches of enticingly designed commercial messages into believing their imagined connection with the celebrity is not only real and meaningful, but also has a connection to the product that is for sale.        

But even truly meeting or knowing someone admirable doesn’t make you, yourself, an improved or admirable individual. That happens when you are actually being, doing, or taking part in something admirable.         

Why do people make such a big deal about this associating with/meeting/knowing a famous person thing, anyway? Brag about meeting, say, Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama? I don’t think so. I’d brag if I spoke and acted as nobly as Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama!        

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

I feel so strongly about all this that the following true story is still, thirty-five years after the fact, one of my very favorite moments in life.           

 It was a beautiful autumn day in the 1980s at Hugo’s bar on Pleasant Street in the lovely town of Northampton, Massachusetts. After an all-day effort to deplete the world’s beer supply, a sudden flash of inspiration came to me. Over the course of the following year, that inspiration developed into a successful local, and then statewide, charity project. It got a lot of attention and press because it involved high-level politicians, famous musicians, major league sports teams, labor unions, volunteers who didn’t get paid at all, and a hot button issue. Above all, the project went well because none of the money passed through me or our little volunteer group. It went directly from contributors to very well established and reputable charities. There was no possible question-of-trust factor. (Details in news articles at fearlesspuppy.info, if you are interested.)           

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

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

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

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

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

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

He got it.           

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

Mike suddenly realized that he could have done that charity project and would have received the same attention from the media if he had. Instant insight told him that anyone could have done it. It was all just about getting up and doing it. All I did was kick my own drunken ass into the process. That didn’t make me any more of a superman than Mike. The only difference between us was that I put a situation’s potential to actual use.
   

  We bought each other beers and talked for hours with no further misunderstandings.

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

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

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

“Why Don’t You Tell Your Face?”
With love and thanks to the world’s favorite uncle, Mr. Leo Buscaglia
       

I ask how you’re doing and you tell me you’re fine, but you’re staring out off into space. The look in your eye tells me something’s awry. You’re not sitting in your favorite place. You appear to be thinking that to speak your true feelings would surely result in disgrace. If you’re feeling fine, I’ll kiss my own behind. If you’re happy, you should tell your face!      

  No one feels perfect all day and all night, and if you’ve got a problem then you’ve got a right to share it with people who care ‘bout your plight and can help you recover, recycle your sight.            

But you don’t.            

You just sit there with that frown covering you.            

Seems kind of silly.        

If someone sincerely asks how you are, that’s a sign of your luck and their grace.     

They can help wash your clothes and straighten your wrinkles, pull joy through the holes in your lace. So do not sit there with your head up your butt wishing you were in some other place. Open up the damn door when your friends come knocking. Let them help you stabilize when you are rocking. You can’t tell them anything that will be quite as shocking as “If you’re happy, why don’t you tell your face?”                                      
 

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!

Lifeguards From Denmark And Zennessee

Hi from the road! Am on my way from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Nepal. Pokhara is a city, but reputed to be much smaller, cleaner, and more nature-y than Kathmandu. It has a big lake and is said to have a small town feel to it. I’ll let you know soon just how much of that is true.        

This week’s first bit is from the Fearless Puppy On American Road book. It was another lucky, happy rescue that happened within days of the surprisingly happy drug overdose death, revival, withdrawal symptoms, and meeting with Garuda described last week.         

The second short section is from the Tribute To Teachers chapters that will be in the new book. There are a couple dozen of these tributes. This one is a homage to Zen master Stephen Gaskin (based for many years in Tennessee) and his views on anger. Inspired by him, I have invented my own unusual but very functional way of defusing anger. It is offered at the end.          

I hope you can find the breezes of active tranquility that blow through both of these somewhat sketchy bits. I hope that only the most pleasant breezes blow through your sketchy bits as well.        

Thanks very much for reading, and for clicking on the back links.  Please 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 when you click. Thank you!

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                              Bucked Up by 3 Danes        

Three twenty-something year olds from Denmark give me a ride back to Earth in a rented car. They are going to Cleveland. Ollie, Dank, and Teak are on their way to school.        

It seems that Denmark gives some of its citizens an educational scholarship period. All expenses are paid. A Dane can choose to attend a university or any other form of education that will lead to that person becoming a happier, more productive member of society.         

I have to guess that there are fewer per capita heroin addicts in Denmark than in my own country.        

The crew hosting my transportation has just returned from a half year of advanced scuba training in Thailand. Round trip airfare, room, meals, and tuition were all paid for by their government’s education department. These education programs are funded by as large a percentage of Denmark’s tax dollars as America spends on its military. The Danes opted for a functional society.         

These citizens of Denmark are enjoying a training and employment cycle of their own choosing. The incidence of fatal heart attacks is very low in Denmark. In the U.S. there are more fatal heart attacks at 9 a.m. on Monday morning than at any other time. I shit you not! Look it up. Many folks would literally rather die than go back to work after their weekend. This, it seems, doesn’t happen when you choose your career on the basis of personal and societal satisfaction as opposed to being trapped in a frustrating pursuit of financial necessities.         

The Danish group is on its way to Cleveland for a second phase of education—hotel and resort management. Back in middle school, these pals had the idea of opening a diving resort together. Now they’re learning how. Soon they will actually do it.         

They have traveled far from home. They have seen incredible sights and lived through unusual situations. They were bolstered and supported by their plans for potential futures, by each other, their families, and their nation—a nation that had enough faith in them to sponsor the road to their dreams.          

Every few minutes one of the guys would manufacture a false complaint and squeak out a fake whine. “I’m tired.” “I’m hungry.” “I’m thirsty.” The guys took turns pitching make believe snarls and complaints one after the other. Each was followed by the same chorus in response. It very quickly became obvious that the complaints were just a vehicle, an excuse for the Danes to shout out the chorus that responded to those complaints.           

“You’ve got to be strong. You’ve got to buck up. You’ve got to get happy and shut the fuck up!”           

The chorus was always followed by laughter. Within a few minutes, I joined my hosts in the chorus. Eventually I got into the game enough to offer a whine to usher the chorus in. Mine wasn’t as false as the others, but I didn’t tell my hosts about that.           

My “I’m a junkie!” got a good long laugh from the Danes, followed by the usual response.

“You’ve got to be strong. You’ve got to buck up. You’ve got to get happy and shut the fuck up!”           

Many repetitions traveled with us for hundreds of miles. As many times as we sang that refrain, it never got stale. A fresh laugh followed each.            

I’ve sung that little song to myself at least once a day for the past fortyty years. A fresh smile still follows every chorus.           

“You’ve got to be strong. You’ve got to buck up. You’ve got to get happy and shut the fuck up!”             Words to live by.            

Thanks, scuba men. Thanks, Denmark.
                                                            

Anger

The book Chapter One and its author have been life preservers for many. I am one of them. Thank you, Stephen Gaskin.
             I used to get angry a lot. It was more fun than depression and seemed a functional way to vent feelings that could have turned uglier or even dangerous if repressed. We’ve all had a lot of good reasons to get angry, including:           

trusting someone and then being betrayed by them.          

doing something stupid (self-directed anger).          

being powerless to prevent injustice.           the dog eating your work or school project.          

a lover drinking up the rent money or sleeping with the neighbor.          

being sober and having a drunken stranger throw up on you.          

hiring a broker who invests in a dive-bombing stock.          

having your last dollar stolen, heart broken, a disrespect spoken…                                                   

The list goes on endlessly.
           There’s one good reason to not get angry that overrides all the reasons that make anger appear logical. Anger is toxic. Unlike other types of poisoning, anger is often more of a danger to the person firing than it is to the person being fired at—but it is damaging to everything anywhere near it. Adults, children, animals and anything else within vibratory range can feel someone else’s anger. Anger releases chemicals in bodies and brains that damage the health of participants and innocent bystanders alike.           

Everything that other people love about us and most of what we love about ourselves runs away when anger shows up. Almost any other emotion we can feel is an improvement over anger and its consequences.
          

“He made me angry!”          

 It may seem that way, but it is not really true.          

We allow ourselves to be angry or we don’t allow it to happen.          

Compassionate tolerance toward and patience with the sources that piss us off are good substitutes for anger. Forgiveness is very productive, even when approached from a selfish angle. It needn’t necessarily be done for the sake of the person who has been a jackass to us. Forgiving someone else prevents us from poisoning ourselves with anger. There is no sensible option. Once you are already wronged, why breed more harm? A simple decision to stop the bleeding often works better than any other decision.            

Appropriate countermeasures are definitely necessary in many situations. But if those countermeasures are based in anger, they are probably not appropriate.

This is an inside job. We can’t deny the existence of anger that has risen, but we can tell the anger to leave as soon as awareness of it arrives. It is best to tell it politely. Getting angry at anger doesn’t work very well.            

Calmly waving anger away may not be easy, at first. It takes some practice. Attention to our own thoughts, actions, and attitudes allows us to be aware of the anger as it is rising. Then we can practice releasing it as the bad choice that it is. With enough of this mental practice, anger will start showing up much less often. When it does arrive, it won’t stay as long as it used to.          

As Mr. Gaskin says, “The trick isn’t to not act angry, the trick is to not be angry.” Trying to deny or bury existent anger invites explosive failure whereas simply putting attention on something better could succeed quickly, and will succeed eventually.          

Stress or exhaustion can thin out patience in even the best of humans. Anger gets hold of a person more readily when that person is stressed or exhausted. Most folks try to stay as relaxed, content, and rested as possible. That’s not good enough. We may need to redefine our arbitrary and subjective definitions of “as possible.” Staying relaxed and rested “as necessary” is required.          

The extra patience afforded by a relaxed mind and a rested body can mellow out a volatile situation quickly. It helps us step away from life’s most dangerously toxic and downright unpleasant state of mind.                                                        

One Way to Fix It           

I rarely get angry anymore. Depression never was and is still not a smart option. Now I use a mechanism.            This method works!           

Using the method that I am about to describe reminds me that every action, and feeling, and thought is my own choice and creation. It reminds me that I am not a prisoner or pawn of anyone or anything that tries to anger or negatively influence me. It also reminds me that I am the captain of my own emotional ship, and just how important it is to exercise the serious obligation to myself and everyone else to adjust my sails so that they are pointed in the right direction—that direction being away from anger and toward happy sanity.            

Nowadays, if I feel anger trying to make a disturbing entrance into my life, I immediately stop whatever else I’m doing and dance the Mexican Hat Dance while tickling my own, or another consenting adult’s, genitals with my left hand. (But not in public.) While doing this I also whistle Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony through one nostril.               I like to go fishing with my free right hand, especially if there is a body of water nearby.   
             If not, casting the line into the living room rug works just as well.                       

Doing this keeps me out of trouble.            

It is almost impossible to be angry in that position.

Got a better idea?           

I’ll bet you do.

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!

Is Big Bird a God?

Hello! I hope you are happy and healthy.
            I have heard and am paying attention to those friends that have said things like, “My husband and I love the writing, but my brain hurts after reading it.” I will post more strictly upbeat, happy, fun bits of the books for at least the next month. There will be minimal scathing rants about social injustice, or so-called obscenity, or deep philosophy—and more Puppy-ness. Here we go.            

A lot of strange things can happen after you are pronounced dead at the hospital, brought back to life by a rebellious second doctor putting a post-mortem second shot of adrenaline in your heart, and then very shortly after regaining consciousness decide to manage your own heroin withdrawal without help.            

I met Garuda. This trip through the Twilight Zone bounced between being deeply into and all the way out of conventional reality. The experience would actually be eligible for a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most fun ever had by a human being during heroin withdrawals, except for the little physical and psychological torture inconvenience. That “inconvenience” actually was not as much of a problem for me as it usually is for folks. It was gracefully overshadowed by the rest of the experience.           

Garuda can be quickly but only semi-accurately translated into Western as the Asian Phoenix. Mine was a little different. It very rarely presented itself in any conventionally described Garuda form. It also changed forms at will. In the interest of keeping these posts within the thousand-word range of quick and easy reading, here are a few random paragraphs plucked from the twenty-plus page section in the book Fearless Puppy On American Road that describes the entire experience. Thank you very much for reading, and for clicking on the backlinks.                                                                     Stay happy please, Ten***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
REAL?       

Ever been kicked in the crotch by a horse? Neither have I, but it seems that it might be a lot of fun compared with the effects of heroin withdrawal.                        

Some details have been forgotten and some particulars may be restructured, but this book is pretty much a true story. Except for this piece here. Maybe.       

You might call it real. Maybe not. Then again, who knows what the word “real” actually means?       

A lot of folks think that real is what materially exists and can be registered by the five senses. If you can see, feel, taste, smell, or hear it, that’s considered real by most people. But there are other schools of thought on the subject. Some folks think that our material definition of reality is just a collectively agreed upon hallucination.

A breeze comes up. It blows dust in my eyes.

Wipe eyes. Blink.

Opened eyes after blinking see that the highway has disappeared.      

Angelic sky blue surrounds me. Totally surrounds me. I am standing on it, as well as in it and under it. There is no solid ground but the blue is as secure to stand on as any of the Earth’s densest terrain. It is, oddly enough, also as comfortable to move through as Earth’s atmosphere.      

A strong but pleasant beam of light sprays right through me, treating me as a transparency.     Something nonphysical within me is being cleaned up enough to be wherever it has arrived.   

Whoever my hosts are, they want me to be here but don’t seem to want the bunch of garbage that has traveled with me.       All this is much less than clear. Ordinary sense is on vacation.      

Thousands of large white birds become visible. Each brilliant wing in the flock is composed of tiny feathers, alternating silver and crystal. Each tiny feather is as sharp as a razor. The wings begin to flap as the birds take flight. As they do so, a wind chime symphony at the volume of soft jazz is manufactured by the clank of silver against crystal. The symphony ends as the birds land in (and on) the blue.       

“We are Garrruda. Welcome.”        

It is somehow apparent that these thousands of birds are actually one combined energy. This energy displays a presence and beauty the likes of which I have never seen before. It is easy to believe myself in the presence of a Goddess.
        I feel as if two trains of thought are traveling my mind at once. One of these trains is so smart, happy, and healthy that it seems borrowed. The other is the ordinary mind that I have been using for the past year or two.
        “OK,” I think to my selves. “A little stranger than usual, but it’s a pleasant strange. This is not my first altered-state experience. We can deal with this.” I make my selves comfortable.
         My lower self is having a cynical day on Sesame Street. It thinks, “I wonder if I’m ever going to get a straight answer out of Big Bird and company here!”          

I think of another question. “What, please, is Garrruda’s purpose?”         

“Aha!” sing all the birds in a singular melodic voice that is accompanied by a symphonic flapping of wings. “That is an easy question to answer. Garrruda is here to protect you!”         

“Well, thank you very much. But protect me from what?”         

“Garrruda is here to protect you from your lower self. We are here to shelter you from that which informs you that you may never receive a straight answer from Big Bird and company.”        

Garrruda gives a soft giggle, this time in multiple voices. It is accompanied by a glance containing such a gentle compassion that it melts my embarrassment.
        “Every once in a while you get a residual, shall we say, subconscious drive-by shooting from the psychological remnants of that experience. Sometimes that bad memory, which aggregated to your psyche so long ago and associates success with punishment, attempts to surface as you are approaching a door of success. The memory is a defense mechanism. It is based upon previous conditioning. It thinks it is your friend. It is warning you not to succeed because, according to this little piece of history, you will be hurt if you win.”         

The memory is a bit unnerving. “Yes! I recognized that problem many years ago and actually remember talking myself out of it. This memory was told that it was a bad piece of information and was not a valid thought for me to live by. I dismissed it.”         

The birds smile and flap their wings. After an angelic ten-second wing chime sonata of silver and crystal, Garrruda speaks again. “When you recognize and repair dysfunctional conditioning in such a manner, you are at one with me. Byuncovering your obstacle and dissolving it, you are protected from being less than your better Self. This process requires nothing but the courage for objective self-examination. This process is a secret to many, but common knowledge to Garrruda. Through internal awareness of the root causes of our obstacles, we can cut those obstacles out. We thereby prevent being bound by them. This is the formula for psychological liberation and happiness.”         

Garrruda smiles and wraps its wings around me. Thousands of razor sharp feathers caress me without inflicting any pain or injury. An electrical charge of well being saturates my body—and then goes deeper than that. My whole life is being energized, not just the body. The sensation is like breathing pure oxygen straight from the tank. Oddly enough, there is also a feeling of being encased in water.          

Within an instant, I find out why.          

As Garrruda opens its wings, it dissolves. It disappears slowly, fading from bottom to top with its benevolent smile being the last part to vanish.                                                                      

* * *                                                         Jonah’s Frying Pan         

The bird is gone altogether and I am indeed encased in water. The blue that made up Garrruda’s world has maintained its color but become liquid. It seems odd to be breathing in water and odder yet to not be worried about it, or anything else for that matter. An all-pervasive comfort surrounds me. Everything seems better than fine—and exactly the way it is supposed to be.          

A multicolored fish joins me. It appears to be about ten feet in length and weigh nearly three hundred pounds. My new friend has a very pleasant nature, a happy demeanor, and a smile as wide as a row boat.

***Believe it or not, the chapter gets even stranger and more fun from here on!
          

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!

Light and Breezy

Greetings from Nepal. I hope you are happy and healthy.  The air quality in Kathmandu has cleared just a bit. For the past week it had gone from bad to worse due to a dry winter and accompanying wildfires. We earned the dubious honor of being the most dangerous place on Earth to breathe.        

With great admiration and respect for humanity, I continue to see folks move along through trauma after trauma with strength and perseverance that most often includes a smile. It is a shame that all that strength and perseverance has to be mustered up to deal with trauma after trauma. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to spend all that energy fixing things that are already broken instead of dealing with so many increasing and additional troubles? The continuing propaganda, gaslighting, manipulation, misinformation, and intentional confusion provided the public, as well as the very real plagues, ecological disasters, political mismanagements, and other malfunctions influence almost everyone’s mood.  So much energy is spent rising above bullshit that shouldn’t exist in the first place.        

As they say in the old country, “This too shall pass.” Meanwhile, I guess there’s no common sense in doing anything but trying to create, within and without, the positivity we’d like to be swimming in.        

Tourist traffic is still sparse, but there is talk of that changing soon. Many of the small businesses here are struggling to stay afloat. While many of the less expensive hotels go out of business, the upscale hotel construction continues everywhere. Controlling interests continue building up to the gentrification of the Eastern hemisphere that is happening in coordination with the de-gentrification being forced upon the West.          

I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia for three months before coming to Nepal. Here are some short excerpts from what will be the Cambodia section of the new book. They were written before the world got so complex and heavy. To me, they are a welcome bit of light and breezy. I hope you find some light and breezy here too. Thanks very much for reading and for clicking on the backlinks.
                                            Be well. Love to all there, Tenzin

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                                                                                        The Local Market     

The local neighborhood market is a miniature version of the downtown Night Market, but with a very noticeable lack of bars and massage parlors. There is a lot more concentration on food, clothing, and cosmetics. Cosmetics are a big thing in Cambodia.      

This is a neighborhood venue that caters to a few long-term tourists, but mostly to locals with families. Fresh produce, meat, and live fish are available. The live fish sit on wet tables until someone buys them. At one of these fish tables, two live ones jump off the table and onto the floor right in front of me—and start walking down the floor! I shit you not. These fish have feet! There are no toes, but where a dog or cat’s front legs would be there are flipper/feet type appendages that allow the fish to actually walk!                                                                  

The Peace Cafe             

One of the cleanest and most beautiful bits of jungle in the neighborhood is the Peace Café. It sits about a half mile up the road and across the river from The Royal Dragon Apartments where I live. Gorgeous exotic fresh flowers of various purples and oranges grace each table. The place is spotless and the servers are in uniforms. As soon as a customer sits down, the server arrives with a smiling face and a cold, wet, very refreshing mentholated towel.              The food is some of the best in Southeast Asia or anywhere else. The Peace Café is strictly vegetarian. They don’t even use eggs. But they can make vegetable dishes taste like anything! Their vegan version of the nationally famous Amok fish rivals the original. They also offer meditation classes.             

If this sounds more like a fancy uptown restaurant than an ordinary mom-and-pop place, you are right. The prices reflect it. But that only means that a two dollar meal downtown (that would cost fifteen dollars in most of America) costs four dollars at The Peace Cafe. It is worth it. The atmosphere, as well as the food, reflect the value of the place.           

There is a card displaying a wisdom saying on each table at the Peace Café. Here is a sampling.              If you are depressed, you are a living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.              There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.              If you want peace, stop fighting. If you want peace of mind, stop fighting with your thought.                                                        

Death Defying Dragon Drivers       

I grew up in New York City and have since been in major metropolitan areas around the world. Cambodian drivers are by far and away the craziest and bravest I have ever seen. It is a miracle that half the population doesn’t die daily in traffic accidents! Tuk-tuks, motorbikes, some cars, and the occasional truck weave around each other with very reckless abandon. It is common to see someone driving on the wrong side of the road as if it is their personal one-way street and the opposing traffic is part of a video game obstacle course. Like Grand Theft Auto, drivers seem to treat the driving process as a form of entertainment instead of a potentially dangerous form of transportation. Rules are fluid. Folks have no trouble bending them. I have seen tuk-tuks going north while motorbikes go south in the same lane. As this goes on, a car tries to use the very same space to go from east to west. The situation is a bit more tame but still prevalent in my little suburban neighborhood. Downtown is flat-out batshit crazy. Pedestrians are always at risk. Looking both ways before crossing may not be enough.                                                                       Laughing Girl        

A few blocks walk from the Peace Café is a free standing hut restaurant with seventy-five cent coconuts. They chop the top off and stick a straw in one for me. A few blocks past that, down a side street, is a stand with a dozen kinds of natural juices. Half of the juices are made from fruits I have never heard of before. I get the Aloe Vera. Downing both juices would give a good rush all by itself. The monstrous amounts of sugar that Cambodians put in everything possible adds to the jolt.         

On that same side street, a block past the juice place, is a thirty foot tall, ornately carved, stone gateway. This is most often a sign that there is a temple, probably with an elementary school attached to it, behind that gateway. The gate itself is an incredible piece of art containing finely crafted scroll work as well as images of goddesses, elephants, and crocodiles. If a singular craftsman of his day did this, it may have taken a whole lifetime to finish.          

Getting closer affords a view of three orange-robed monks walking in the distance behind a hundred screaming children at play in a schoolyard. My juice buzz and I wander through the gate into a hectic schoolyard full of the sweet, noisy chaos of happy children, and then on to the serene silence of the temple/monk-residence section. Wandering into a small side temple gives a big surprise. Half of it is cordoned off into sections of orange robes hung over rope lines acting as room dividers. Three or four monks are actually living in this shrine!          

The main temple is much bigger. It is spotless and beautiful, as most of them are. It is considered a blessing to clean the temple. Monks and locals alike take very attentive care of the area. After a half hour of meditating/day dreaming in the temple, I go back to the school area to write up some notes. There are a few stone steps behind a woman that sells ice cream from a cart by the schoolyard. She has a crying three-year-old daughter with her. The child is perched in a basket on the handlebars of the bicycle that hauls that cart around.           

Many times, all that children need is to be distracted from their crying for just a minute in order to completely forget what the crying was about in the first place. (It can work with whining adults too.) I stroke the child’s hand while giggling and smiling at her. She starts giggling back. Giggles turn into uproarious laughter and the kid is on a roll! I’m ready to play. I start laughing and smiling right back at her. A half-dozen kids waiting for ice cream think this is hilarious. They start laughing along with us. This goes on for twenty minutes. Every few minutes the baby takes a break. As soon as she catches her breath and starts to laugh again, I give her a big smile and laugh in return—and then everyone waiting for ice cream breaks into laughter as well.            

At six feet and two inches tall, I may be the biggest, whitest thing this kid has ever seen in her short life. She may be the sweetest person I have ever met in mine.                                  

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!