The Bizarre Costa Rican Pura Vida Metaphysical, Metaphorical Death and Reincarnation of the Fearless Puppy

How is life going where you are? I hope you are happy, healthy, enjoying yourself, and enjoying the company you keep.                  

From the Costa Rica section of the new-book-in-progress, here is the very beginning of what might be the absolute strangest “vacation” ever taken by a human being! This short section will be in the beginning of the book. It actually happened15 years ago, but is an essential premise to the current around-the-world-after-diagnosed-death trip that will make up most of the new book.          

The current trip and the book about it are both being seriously stretched out by virus related tragedy and the accompanying politically manipulated mandates. At times it feels like someone else is pulling this story’s strings.
        

At other times it feels like someone else is pulling everyone’s strings.        
                               

Thank you for reading, and thank you for clicking on the back links.                                                                    

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 PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

The Bizarre Costa Rican Pura Vida Metaphysical, Metaphorical Death and Reincarnation of the Fearless Puppy
        

There is an important definition of reincarnation that does not involve physical death. It is described well in Reincarnation through Common Sense, the book between Fearless Puppy on American Road and this one. The very short version of it says that the concept of reincarnation can be seen from an angle that has nothing to do with migrating souls entering new physical bodies. We are each constantly being reborn within this very life. Each time a person changes his or her mind and acts on it, the change is added to that person’s makeup. He or she becomes, to a certain extent, a new person. Just how new we become is up to the person doing the becoming. It can be a slight and temporary change or a bigger and much longer lasting one. The change can have a minimal effect on one singular person or affect the entire world and change history.        

Every slightly new person has the option to turn their recent revelations into solid habits and convictions. That can take time and consistent reinforcement. It involves both instant recognition and continuing process.        

This definition of ongoing reincarnation is the root system of evolution. As we change the thoughts that produce our actions, we influence our development not only as individuals but also as cultures and as a species. The evidence suggests that evolution can happen a lot more quickly, pleasantly, and efficiently when it is  consciously directed.       

I need to start practicing my own personal reincarnation and consciously direct it pretty damn quickly. This “calling” I feel is not a spiritual direction. It is time to shape up or die in the more literal sense. Like so many folks my age, I have been indulging excessively on several fronts for decades. This pleasant stupidity cannot last  much longer before the physical degeneration invites death to pay its visit. Death will, of course, happen to us all anyway—but the evidence says that with a little bit of conscious effort and change, it can be delayed.        

So it seems that in order to put off physical death, I have to achieve a more spiritual and psychological death—a slaying of many old, destructive habits and a dismantling of the attitudes responsible for them.        

This job calls for the “Nothing to it but to do it” approach. This approach starts with the immediate understanding and ongoing recognition that all destructive habits, attachments, and restrictive relationships with anything or anyone are, and have always been, self-manufactured. That’s right. I built these habits with my own thoughts and actions. Of course there have been bad influences and societal coercions, but no one ever tied me down and forced me to take part in unhealthy activity. I carry the responsibility of having orchestrated my own physical decay, so it only makes sense that I can orchestrate attitude adjustments that will produce the right changes in habit to allow an increase the number of years I get to stay on the planet.         

As with everything else my generation has accomplished or failed at, I’ll do this orchestrating in an excessive way. Several near-lifelong habits are now being instantly evicted including: cigarettes, fried food, coffee, sugar, forty years of daily ganja, and near-daily alcohol consumption.          

Just to make things interesting, I will also quit a decades-long mission that included raising funds for worthy well-established ecological groups as well as inventing and then implementing independent charity projects of my own to help  various causes. Joining these on the temporary chopping block are my significant other, friends, country, and a few other things that I can’t remember right now due to dizziness from the withdrawal symptoms that are already starting to kick in. I don’t want to permanently quit doing the charity projects, having friends, intimate relations, or ganja. Those changes will be temporary. But an iron logic dictates that cigarettes, fried foods, alcohol, sugar, and a few other health liabilities need to be drastically reduced immediately, and should probably be eliminated altogether in the long run.          It all begins right here and now, writing this while sitting on a plane to Costa Rica. No doubt several other changes are waiting to accompany the withdrawal symptoms that the initial full-bore cold turkey onslaught is already producing. Life on Earth, and in the sky, is starting to look and feel like a cartoon.           

There are usually nine months between conception and birth. Since this is a rebirth of sorts, it seems fitting that I stay in Costa Rica for that length of time. The total experience should be a lot more fun than the withdrawal symptoms that bring me to it. There are good reasons to spend time in Costa Rica besides reincarnation. Most reports about this country are positive. All the shining reports seem to stem from and revolve around one major factor.         

Costa Rica may be the only country in the world that has been without a standing army for the past fifty years. They haven’t dealt with any deadly combat, threatening enemies, or the highly dramatized media-induced paranoia that usually accompanies even the emptiest of military threats. Fear-based, defensive tendencies are not part of the national psyche. This lack of fear (admittedly made possible by a major US military presence) fosters a practical, humane, working consideration for all living things. Costa Rica puts its resources into more intelligent processes than the ones most countries allow to occupy their policies and suck up their budgets.        

The country has a ninety seven percent literacy rate, an unparalleled respect for nature, and a thriving ecotourism industry that financially and functionally supports that respect. While CR has only one-quarter of one percent of the world’s total landmass, it contains a full five percent of the biodiversity on Earth. Habitats range from rainforests and volcanos to beaches and mangrove swamps. Strong environmental laws protect twenty five percent of the country.The enlightened national conservation system is considered an international role model.This, in combination with the lack of military concerns, makes Costa Rica perhaps the most comfortable and securely protected nation on the planet.          

Looking at nature as something to cherish rather than conquer has been a benefit to the Costa Rican humans as well as to the environment that contains and sustains them. The people here are as beautiful as the natural surroundings. This is understandable. The war consciousness embraced by most of the world has been replaced by ease, security, and self-respect as well as the ever-present fondness for nature. This shiny cultural package produces more smiles than fear. If a culture doesn’t focus on fear, the odds drastically increase that the citizens within will stay happy. Happiness shows up on people. It keeps them from aging quickly. There are relatively mild drug and crime problems here, especially in the capitol city—but for the most part Costa Rica is a happy, democratic, prosperous, and politically stable nation in the midst of a very unstable region.          

Some of Costa Rica’s autonomy comes from the fact that at the time Columbus landed there in 1502, and for centuries after, Guatemala City was the main base station of Spain’s​​​​​    empire in the Western Hemisphere. Spain didn’t want to bother much with anyplace as far away and as sparsely populated as Costa Rica. Colonizing folk never liked to work their own land–especially in the torrid heat and humidity of Central America. Costa Rica didn’t have enough natives for the conquerers to enslave, so it was mostly left alone. Lack of colonial socialization allowed the native people to maintain and develop their own unique and very pleasant way of life. That pleasant way of life included a democratic nature. Freedom has almost always been a big part of living in the Land of Pura Vida (Pure Life).                                     

more from both Costa Rica and Nepal soon

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!

Defeating The Bait & Switch

How’s it going there? All is as good as it can be here in Nepal—considering that we are still locked down. The lake and mountains are still very beautiful, most folks still have food, and the police seem to be very understanding. But there’s not much happening and so not much to report.        

The latest in a long series of delays puts the end of lockdown at June 14. Hopefully that really happens. More live-from-Nepal chapters will appear shortly after. Meanwhile, here is an oldie but goodie from the Fearless Puppy On American Road book. Most folks that have read it tell me it’s funny. If this is your first read, I hope you get a good laugh from it too.        

It is offered now with a different intent than in years past. This time it is not only the true story of dealing with a troublesome person at work, but is also posted in the spirit of remembering that individual humans are not the only ones baiting and switching us. Institutions, industries, and systems—whether they are informative, corporate, political, educational, cultural, religious, entertaining, or medical—are just as good or better at it than any singular human.                          

Thanks very much for reading, and for clicking the backlinks.                                             

Please stay well and happy. 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

                                       Defeating the Bait-and-Switch          
       We’re having a little trouble at my workplace. There is a mean-spirited person dragging my co-workers down to her level. She’s an expert at the bait-and-switch move. I smile, refuse her bait, and stay undistracted—but several members of our crew have fallen victim.      

What is the bait-and-switch move? Several different psychological maneuvers call themselves by that same name. The one I’m specifically referring to is the oldest trick in the book. It is most often done without the perpetrator’s conscious awareness. That’s right! More often than not, the folks who do this aren’t even in touch with themselves enough to realize that they are doing it. (It is occasionally more intentional and malicious.)     

  Let’s say that you are Party B. Your boss, a co-worker who wants to climb the ladder of success over your dead body, a new customer, an old acquaintance, an ex, or whoever else you want to think of is Party A. (If you are already saying, “Hey I’m the A. Let that other pain-in-the-ass be Party B,” that’s great! Your chances of avoiding the pitfalls of the psychological bait-and-switch move are very good!)       

You are a nice, friendly, kind, and cooperative person.        

Party A and others like him are nasty, sarcastic, wired-up people who live to annoy and manipulate. They love to pull on your chain and wouldn’t climb off your back if you bought them a diamond-studded rope ladder to do the climbing with. These people may suffer big and truly heart-rending problems in life but behave so badly that they regularly earn more rejection than compassion. Many chronically dissatisfied folks act as if it is their job to insure that everyone else becomes as miserable as they are. Again, this is often not a product of conscious evil intent as much as an unconscious bit of emotional lava spilling out of an abused volcano that has never been hugged enough. But if you’re getting burned to the core by flowing lava, the historical origins of the volcano’s problems cannot be your primary concern.       

As usual, you try to be nice to everyone. You speak to Party A as you would to anyone else—intent on a happy and harmonious relationship. But Party A doesn’t know how to handle this. The painful rip in the fabric of this person’s reality tells him or her that it’s a dog-eat-dog, me-or-you, take-advantage-before-being-taken-advantage-of world where an aggressive defense is the highest priority. This attitude often results in behavior that is nastier than a pickled egg fart collection in a tightly sealed chamber.      

You step up your efforts to make peace. Day after day you are kind and polite to this person, hoping your good attitude will prove contagious. Mr./Ms. A stays deaf to your most cordial approaches and continues to dump bucket loads of emotional garbage and irritating drama into your life.     

It may take a few days, weeks, months, or years but sooner or later it happens. You lose it. After what seems like countless eons of dealing with this situation in a civilized manner, you just can’t take it anymore. You give Party A a rebate on the ration of bullshit that he or she has been shoveling in your direction. After five or ten minutes of yelling and snarling, you stomp away with your blood pressure raised and your day ruined. You are now as stressed, aggravated, soured, angry, and miserable as Party A has always been.      

This is you now! The painful attack on your peace of mind is no longer singularly directed from an external, defensible source. It now grows from an internal base that is a lot more dangerous to you. The nastiness of A, formerly a minor influence outside of your psyche, has eaten away slowly but steadily at your patience and compassion. It has succeeded in boring a hole right through your previously harmonious state of mind. The result is a weakened mental structural integrity, now being further eaten away by your psychologically triggered, newly acquired chemical imbalances. Physical problems arise from the chemical problems. Your stomach may hurt, your head may ache, and your happiness is in pain.       

As this happens to folks like us, Party A people will likely be laughing their asses off!  As the old saying goes, “Misery loves company.” Misery now has the company it loves. As mentioned before, they may have had a conscious plan to do some damage —but it is more likely that they are just blindly lashing out and unaware of the real cause or result of their actions. They are happy anyway!            

 A subconscious mind can be a dangerous thing. That’s why so many of Earth’s wise folk have spent so much of their time very busily moving their subconscious depths to the conscious surface.       

So now, anyone walking into the place where both A and B are present would be fooled. It would appear that Party A was a B, and that Party B was an A—and in fact, until B regains basic composure and simple sanity, that has become the sad truth of the situation. B has now effectively taken over the job that A was doing and is now getting on his or her own nerves! Party A doesn’t even have to be around. B will still have a nervous concern about what A might do or say next. B will now suffer from self-engendered attitude attacks as well as any external attacks that A might still be generating. B may also be burdened with a self-loathing caused by embracing an inferior mindset as well as the embarrassment of losing composure in public.                                       

The bait-and-switch is complete.     

 But believe it or not, there is an even worse scenario! Some folks are just too kind-hearted or timid to explode upon their aggressor. In most of these cases, a B person completely internalizes the stress of dealing with the A person. The resulting internal malfunctions can range from a nervous condition and assorted mental problems to migraines, stomach ulcers, and in the long run even heart problems or cancer.                                       

I refuse to get involved with any of this.It seems best to stay happy and realize that what I want me to be is more important than what any negative external influence wants me to be.                                    

I don’t rent out space in my head to bullshit.       

Disengagement, a simple non-cooperation with the game, seems to work well. I find that chronically toxic human irritants either vanish quickly or start adding some respect to their communication once they realize that you are someone who will not take the bait.        

When you run into someone that wants more than it is possible to give; when challenged by an insatiable black hole of negativity that cannot be filled; when you feel the vacuum from that hole starting to suck you into it, perhaps the best way to win the game is to not play.                                                                        

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!

My Family Of Crows

What’s going on where you are? I hope you are happy and healthy. Lockdown is still going strong here in Nepal. We are legally allowed out from 6 to 9 a.m. for shopping at the few food stores that are open. With nowhere legal to go, most local people are more compliant about spending the rest of their time in the house than they might otherwise be. Some people including myself go out for walks at other times when there is nothing legally open but pharmacies.        

Even during sanctioned shopping hours, it is rare to see more than two dozen people during an entire one mile walk down Lakeside. Nineteen of them are likely to be white people! The locals have close families that are used to spending a lot of time together. Most expats and trekkers have just a few friends here, no kitchen, and no family within several thousand miles. We also seem to have a respect for but less dramatic fear of the virus than the locals do. Expats and trekkers believe smaller percentages of what the media tells us than the locals believe. We are more used to and therefore a little less influenced by the manipulative dramatic nuance in media. We are much more likely to take it all with a grain of salt when served our institutional sources of information.        

Most folks keep their masks on when outdoors. This often has more to do with cooperation or compliance with legality, and compassion for the fears of others, than it has to do with an actual fear of the virus. There are so few people on the street that one rarely finds him or her self inside the recommended six-foot social distance from another person! So in many cases the masks are a polite decoration.                

The Nepali folk come out unmasked in the early evening and play badminton without a net on the side streets, kick a soccer ball around, or play other games in their back yards. A few families that live on the same block may cluster a bit, but they don’t stray far.       

The concept of family is different here than in the USA. American crows, however, are very similar to the Asian variety. Families and crows are both looked at below. I hope you enjoy this little bit from the new book-in-progress.                       Thanks very much for reading and thank you for clicking the back links.                                                                 Be well, 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

                                               My Family Of Crows
                                                          FAMILY        

Family means something different in Asia than it does in America. They take the concept more seriously here. The difference seems beneficial most often but it can be restrictive and detrimental at times. When I grew up in Brooklyn, most families including my own resembled a badly managed zoo where lions, rhinos, jackals, mongoose, and the occasional cobra were all thrown together willy-nilly in the same cage. Independent thought and a rebellious spirit were at war with tradition and conformity throughout most of American life during the 1960s. This struggle was perhaps most evident within our individual families. Many thirty to fifty-year-old parents would regularly beat and scream at their ten to twenty-year-old children, whose goal in life was to get as far away from their parents as quickly as possible.          

Many teenagers considered at least one or two of their family members to be negative examples. A lot of parents showed us how not to be. Most adults of that time had a prejudicial, narrow minded attitude toward black people, gay folks, and most other subdivisions of humanity that they were not personally members of. Beside the racial bigotry and a second-class-citizen attitude toward women that was woven into almost every aspect of life, there was a general lack of happiness displayed to many urban children of that era.            

Our parents’ compulsive striving for material possessions and status often happened at the expense of love and sanity. This caused many to suffer ill moods, ill health, and obsessive behavior. It made some parents appear to their children as embarrassing housemates related only through a biological accident and a temporary financial necessity. This lack of any admired in-house role models to emulate drove a lot of young folks into new lifestyles.         

What has been publicized as “America’s greatest generation” was no kinder to its parents than it was to its children. This was the generation that invented putting grandma in an old-age home almost as soon as grandpa died. Farming out the old folks was unheard of during previous generations. There are still very few old folks homes in Asia. Grandparents live with their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren until they die.             Married Nepali couples may move into a house of their own but many continue to live with their families in the same house where they grew up. Others build a house close by. This can do some wonderful things for the stability of everyone in the family. Old folks are more comfortable with the idea of being old when they are constantly loved, cared for, and respected by the family. Children often feel more secure among a whole tribe of loving relatives. Neighboring and cohabiting aunts, uncles, grandparents, and even cousins often act as second mothers and fathers, giving the child a broader range of practice in relating to adults. Mother and father enjoy a little more alone time and some help with the strenuous job of parenting.          

On the down side of all this togetherness is the problem of obedience often bypassing freedom and creativity. There are many instances where the future profession, spouse, and living arrangement of a child are very heavily influenced if not altogether decided by the parents. Within such a culture of obedience it is rare that a young adult will tell his or her parents, “I’m going to work and live where I want to and marry whoever I fall in love with! This is my life, not yours!”            

As is true of so many aspects of life in Asia, an impending American-style 1950s/60s shift is in the air regarding family structure. The violent separation between generations hasn’t shown itself very much—yet. But there are signs. Youngsters live on the Internet as much as they live in their homes. They are becoming entrained to some ideas that are very different from the ideas that have been dominant within Asian families for millennia. Some of these notions are an improvement. Many are not. It is wonderful to have access to an unending stream of good information about nutrition, hygiene, spiritual awareness, and so many other aspects of a constructive education—but graphic violence and some very unloving varieties of sexual conduct as well as a lot of flat-out bullshit and harmful misinformation on almost every subject are just as easy for a youngster to find. Children tend to make exploratory choices. The past few decades of Internet access have offered more things outside of home and family to explore than had been available in the previous two hundred thousand years of human history combined. Information acquired from some of these explorations will be acted upon by many children. Some of these actions will put many young adults at odds with status quo.            

I guess there is no valid objective generalization to be made when it comes to whether a tighter or looser family structure is the better method. Neither is always better or all ways worse. Like most other things happening on human Earth, the success of a family depends upon the individuals that form it and the cultural variables that influence it.            

All our family members, like all other humans, make us happy—sometimes because we are able to stay with them and sometimes because we are able to get away from them.                                                    

Crows Like Brown Bread                 

I am looking at the lake from the balcony while having breakfast at noon when Heckle and Jekyll land on the railing. I don’t actually know what their names are in Crow language. Technically, the Hekyll and Jekyll that my new ebony-winged friends are named after weren’t even real beings, much less crows. They were TV and movie cartoon Magpie birds that made their first appearance in 1946 and their last in 1981. But resemblance between the two sets of birds is so strong that those cartoon names seem to fit these recently arrived friends.                  

The crows look over at me with desire and hope in their eyes, then let out a series of loud caws that were easily translatable to English as, “Can a brother get some of that nice brown bread you have there?”                 

I break off a piece for my boys (perhaps girls?) and put it on the railing about a yard away from the birds. Jekyll is afraid and flies off quickly but then circles back around to sit behind his partner. Hekyll, the obvious Alpha, takes a hop backward on the rail without ever turning head or body around to stick the landing. He sticks it anyway. If it was an Olympic event, the judges would give him a score of 9.9. Within two seconds he becomes a speeding blur that lunges forward and snaps up the bread. He gives me a cautious look. Seeing that I have no problem with him or his hunt, Hekyll sits right where he is and eats his breakfast while I eat mine—and while Jekyll looks jealously on.                 

I try to get Jekyll even but Hekyll is too quick! I put another piece of bread on the far side of the railing behind the two birds and close behind Jekyll. With the speed of lightning Hekyll flies around Jekyll and snatches up the bread. He eats with a complete lack of concern or respect for his sky mate. It makes me wonder if all crows are like that or if some share.                

After a few more pieces of bread that give Hekyll a full belly and Jekyll a contact high, the guys are pretty comfortable with me. I duck into the room for a minute. When I get back to the balcony, they have cleaned up the scraps that were left on my plate and flown off. But I can see them both. They are hanging out with three adult cows that are blocking most of both lanes on Lakeside Road right in front of my hotel. Lockdown traffic is close to nonexistent and the people around here love cows at least as much as they love people, so the cows are in no danger. And of course, neither are Hekyll and Jekyll.                  

From this second-floor balcony it looks like Jekyll is telling the patiently listening cows the brown bread story while Hekyll picks his teeth. 

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!

Lockdown Resiliency–Nepali Style

How is life going where you are? I hope you are well.          

The latest from beautiful Pokhara, Nepal follows.          

It’s a given that we’re all going to get a little pissed off and frustrated occasionally under current circumstances. That only becomes a real problem if we forget that like all poisons, anger and despair are much better spit out than swallowed. We have to face the facts. Global change and planetary stability are not within our immediate control. The good news is that personal change and mental stability are not only completely within our own control, but also make us more adept at influencing external change and better at dealing with the effects of worldwide malfunctions. This piece of the new book-in-progress is about recognizing and facing undeniable difficulties, spitting out what isn’t serving us well, and moving on to more comfortable and fertile ground—Nepali style.            

At the risk of being redundant, here for the umpteenth time is one of my favorite quotes. “The most revolutionary act that a person can perform in this country is to be happy.” Patch Adams.             

I’m finding that even if I don’t care at all about being revolutionary, and regardless of which country I am in, practicing the maintenance of common sense, clear vision, and internally generated happiness is still the smartest thing to do.                              

Breathe very deeply. It helps! No joke. 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 PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                     Lockdown Resiliency—Nepali Style                

“Why can’t we just use all the money to fix shit?!?” Jon Stewart  
         

We are obviously living in a troubled world—but trouble often brings resilience, resilience sponsors resourcefulness, resourcefulness facilitates survival, surviving hard times inspires confidence, confidence can be the birthplace of success, success gives rise to gratitude, gratitude often feeds emotional abundance, and emotional abundance will foster happiness. I’m no Pollyanna. We have a row to hoe that is even longer than that sentence. But humanity has survived and in many cases artistically responded to mass-murdering tyrants, slavery, famines, floods, fires, televangelists, wine in a can, petroleum products in our food, life-size inflatable sex dolls, and Andrew Dice Clay.  We will also survive this nasty virus, and the cartel of mentally ill people that are currently facilitating human suffering for personal satisfaction and material gain.                     

There are many things happening in Asia right now that resemble the America of fifty years ago. Many people here are more innocent and naïve than Americans have been for several decades. They are more trusting of their government, news media, and popular institutions. They are more likely to believe and hope than they are likely to critically think or doubt. This can be a very sweet way to live. There are some very good reasons why the phrase  “ignorance is bliss” became one of our more popular expressions during the past century. But folks around the world, certainly not just in Asia, are rapidly discovering that certain types of bliss can be dangerous as well as delusional.            

Faithfully accepting that there is a “buddy” God who is on your side to the point where he will slay your enemies for you can make life very comfortable for a while—as can blindly believing that politicians work for the benefit of all the people, all the police always protect and serve the entire public, all doctors have the improvement of your health as their primary motivation, parents always know what is best for their children, the news media reports the unbiased truth, schools teach you what you need to know, legitimate business is always legitimate, banks protect your money, the government protects your interests, the church protects and mediates your relationship with Creation, and of course advertising always gives an honest representation of the product for sale. But like any house that is built on a foundation of bullshit, a collapse is imminent. Unfortunately, any systemic collapse will take a lot of the folks within that system down with it.            

Such a collapse is in progress throughout the world right now. Our institutions, economies, and personal belief systems alike are facing the guillotine. Many of us are having trouble releasing our life-long ways of thinking, living, and believing while trying to simultaneously hold on to them. We are stepping on the gas and brake at the same time, and our engines are understandably smoking as they melt.              

This is a strange world we live in and it is getting stranger all the time. Thank goodness people are still people! Some folks may be reacting to their fears more than they usually do, but most of us are as loving and trustworthy as ever. In contrast, most of our global information systems have become a cruel and manipulative joke. Bullshit has now become the prevalent norm, truth is rare, and everyone has suddenly become expert on subjects they know nothing about. Fractions of truth that warp badly under the strain of their division from the whole picture, exaggerated fears that long ago crossed the line between constructive caution and flagrant intimidation, and some very unrealistic wishful thinking have morphed into unfounded subjective beliefs that masquerade as facts while folks panic themselves into irrationality.            

Regardless of any and all theories about the causes and origins of viral disease, or about the motivations of those pulling society’s strings, the results are obviously tragic.          

The reports tell us that India is getting hit as hard by the virus this year as the Western Hemisphere was hit last year. It is often true that as goes India, so goes Nepal. The deaths and many other sad results are due at least in part to an actual plague—and in at least as great a part to the mind-bending results of the way the Corona situation at large has been steered. There is a one-plus-one-makes-three effect that has intensified the problem. Media dramatization fosters fear as corporate/governmental socioeconomic mismanagement and manipulation foster a loss of the control we used to have over our own lives. This produces stress. That lowers the ability of our immune systems to fight off illness. This then strengthens the communicability and effects of the virus, increasing the spread and potency of disease, which then further increases stress. These elements feed each other in an endless loop.             

That being said, a couple of very simple, basic understandings have kept life fun and productive for me in spite of dire global circumstances, a liver cancer diagnosis, and being the foreign round peg that doesn’t exactly fit into the domestic square hole for nearly the past two years. The first is that human beings have, from first breath to last, the obligation to work for positive change within our own minds as well as within our own culture. I’ve found that if the inside of my mind isn’t quite right, everything outside of it suffers. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone that knows me whether life is more fun for them when I am being a jackass than it is when I am taking their happiness as well as my own into serious consideration. Ask your neighbors if the mood in the ‘hood benefits or suffers when you throw trash, be it physical or emotional, into the streets.                                

The other thing that keeps me from occasionally wanting to bite down on a big blasting cap or just walk around all day with my head buried in my own little bullshit is remembering that, in the long run, there may end up being a lot more silver lining to this cloud than we can possibly see now.  Precursors of better days are obvious in the lighter, more hopeful, more encouraging, and even amusing sides to the horrid world situation. I see them in action every day during this current lockdown. Our resiliency, and the human ability to adapt and survive in any situation, is astonishing! Our manners can sometimes be very sweet as well. Even the most stubborn among the folks in this town that harbor a blind and total disbelief in any damaging abilities of the virus wear their masks out of respect for their fear-ridden neighbors, as well as a respect for the legal ordinance.              

Food stores and essential services are only legally open from five to nine a.m. But a whole Speakeasy/Roaring Twenties style culture has been spawned by creative shop owners and patrons. It is now noon. I knock three times on a sheet metal gate, then wait behind a nearby brick wall as the shop owner behind that gate prepares my carrot juice. With a mindset of invisibility that I remember using during trips through Spanish Harlem to buy heroin from Mr. Lopez in 1972, I slide back around the wall long enough to pay for the juice through a small opening in the sheet metal—and then slide back behind the wall to drink it. While all this goes on, I notice that several other people are also on the street, also on the way to their Speakeasys.             

We respect the understaffed police force and the job they are trying to do. Everyone tries to stay out of their range and not force them into a situation they would have to respond to. Such situations are uncomfortable for everyone. It seems that, at least to some extent, the police respect and understand the public’s needs as well—especially the needs of the area’s remaining tourists that live in hotel rooms without kitchens.            

After juice, I head from my south side ‘hood to the north side of the lake. A friend of mine from Kathmandu lives on the north side. I want to say hi, make sure that he is well, and take home a bread from the Speakeasy cafe/bakery there. There are several police blocking the main street. They don’t want citizens to be wandering any further than necessary to get essentials and so have set a blockade to cut Lakeside Road in half right at its center point. I slide around the blockage through a back street and then a side alley with the stealth of a smuggler on a pirate ship in a Jimmy Buffett song. I meet up with my friend in the alley. We have breakfast behind the closed sheet metal door of the nearby café. I buy a bread, then leave through the cafe’s back door. That rear exit feeds back into the alley and I retrace my steps home.            

For dinner, a restaurant close to my hotel has a similar arrangement. I knock on the window. The manager slides it open. A waiter takes my order and the window closes again. I move away to a nearby stairway while they cook where I’m sheltered from street view by a giant tree. When dinner is cooked and bagged, I slide money through the re-opened window, grab the bag and hide it in my little backpack. Myself and the waiter both smile, nod, and say thank you. I head home to enjoy dinner. No one has been put at risk. I get to eat. The restaurant employees and their families get to eat too.             

No one knows what the future holds for humanity. Our history runs from mass murder to divine benevolence. Our most extreme participants have ranged from Stalin, Cheney, and Pol Pot to Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama. But I have to think that if confused residents and business folk that are functionally under house arrest in a small tourist city without tourist traffic, in a third world country that has limited resources even under the best of circumstances and now suffers closed borders in addition to its closed businesses, under what may be the most bizarre and debilitating conditions our planet as a unit has ever seen, can figure out ways to keep most of the population fed and at least part of it employed while not doing any harm, then there is certainly reason to believe that we can fix everything that is broken.                    

The Pokhara story continues in the weeks to come. 

“If you need a sign to remind you to laugh, are you alright?” Sara Schaefer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJUhlRoBL8M

Eric Idle – “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” – STEREO HQFIND ME AT https://twitter.com/DoryStentorian De-dum-de-diddly-dum-de-dum…www.youtube.com

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!

The Society For Creative Maladjustment

Hello from scenic Pokhara, Nepal! I hope you are happy and healthy. What’s new where you are?        

We are on temporary virus-related house arrest here. They say it may go on for a week or two. They said that last year during the first lock down. It continued for several long months. This situation sucks, but also has positive value. It leaves everyone here with the choice of either becoming a walking whining factory, or finding the silver lining in the clouds and being happy. This is a no-brainer! Time to enjoy the quiet and do the extra things that time will now allow.        

Fortunately, most folks here look at being miserable on the inside due to miserable circumstances being forced upon them from the outside as a non-option. Many Nepalis consider happiness to be a serious social obligation to the local and global communities, as well as an obligation to their own immediate family and self. This notion is a regular part of everyday life, but even more pronounced now that the immediate family and the self will be stuck indoors with each other for who knows how long.        

I still have some pre-lockdown Pokhara material that will be polished and posted soon. Meanwhile, please enjoy another little bit from Tribute to Teachers, my favorite section of the new book-in-progress.        

I’m pretty sure that everyone alive is familiar with the folks mentioned here. No further introduction to the modern masters that inspired this piece is necessary.       

Thank you for reading, and thank you for clicking the backlinks. Please stay well and stay happy. Most other options will be less pleasant for you—and much less pleasant for everyone around you. Love, Tenzin                                   

“It’s all in your mind.” George Harrison

p.s. The same crew as last year is again called to action in order to feed the hungry families that are again isolated from their incomes. Please help if you can. If you can get us the support, the crew can defy lockdown for long enough to deliver the food. Thanks very much for whatever you can do. https://www.gofundme.com/f/keep-kathmandu-from-starving?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf%20share-flow-1&fbclid=IwAR2f5767GP3_ydBmbGmSnWXkKwGjT6tVsL3-KEpPRE8Ajb6BYxbc-bHFE3w

Keep Kathmandu From Going Hungry, organized by Zak AldridgeHello friends, a brief intro: I’m Zak, a language student from NY and recent Columbia U… Zak Aldridge needs your support for Keep Kathmandu From Going Hungrywww.gofundme.com

***p.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

                                THE SOCIETY FOR CREATIVE MALADJUSTMENT

Based on a speech by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Dedicated to him, the Giraffe Society, human Giraffes everywhere,and to the Giraffe that lives in each of us.
         

Most institutions, including government, religious, and economic ones, share a stance that profits when the public craves stability and fears change; when the public clings religiously to as many aspects of status quo as possible and to all the things that are considered “normal.” These institutions promote as well as embody a deep aversion to diversity, change, and progressive thought. Their main priority and concern is always the defense of their place at the top of the social hierarchy. Even while they are manipulating the most drastic social changes throughout the general population, the stability of the power structure that controls that population remains as solid as a mountain. Those on top of the cultural food chain will often do whatever it takes, no matter how cruel or how kind, to maintain their positions and possessions.In a vain, ridiculous, and doomed quest for permanence, status quo attempts to avoid the growing pains and paradigm shifts required by progressive change. One very popular method used to accomplish profitable stagnation is to downplay anything new and better. Status quo has tagged brilliant folks throughout history with some pretty dubious titles in an attempt to trivialize the importance of what these people had to say. We’ve heard “fruitcake,” “crazy,” “heretic,” “lunatic,” “revolutionary,” “hippy,” “traitor,” “on the fringe,” “dangerous,” “weirdo,” “loose cannon,” and “commie” every now and then, but the label most often used in polite society to describe those who would rock the boat is “maladjusted.”         

Status quo itself is something that lives in a glass house and really shouldn’t be throwing stones. Fear, bigotry, war, poverty, and poisoning the biosphere as well as its inhabitants are all stones with which our established systems could easily and justifiably be hit. Many popularly accepted societal trends are certainly not well adjusted. The same could be said of the people who blindly follow these trends. Not so long ago, our society considered owning other people to be well adjusted.         

It is unfortunate that so many of our better, kinder, more humane citizens suppress or even amputate their feelings in order to fit in and gain acceptance. They are often frozen into non-action. They accept the unacceptable in fear of being ostracized, ridiculed, or facing other social penalties for being thought maladjusted. This frightened, impotent intelligence may be even sadder than the brutal ignorance it complies with.Some folks believe that even the most intense degrees of human suffering can be tolerated—as long as they themselves are not the particular folks doing the suffering. Most of us are better than that. Most of us cannot comfortably adjust to seeing others suffer brutality. Some of us are courageous enough to speak out in a maladjusted manner against such injustices.         

Look at the folks who were considered maladjusted by most of the people who shared their era! Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Saint Francis, John Lennon, Huxley, Copernicus—there’s no end to the list. Isn’t it amazing that more people aren’t excitedly running toward becoming creatively maladjusted rather than being frightened away from it?         

When Mother Teresa first began on her mission “everyone thought she was cracked.” (This quote is from Father Gabrich, a fellow Albanian expatriate and a fifty year friend of Mother’s. He said the first Mass given in the first rooms where Mother Teresa began her care of the sick and poor.) There are now very few people of any religion who do not recognize her as a Saint. She bucked the traditionalists with an inner strength that a “well adjusted” person cannot access. She didn’t just sidestep, but actually defied conventions of the very church that her life was based upon. Mother did so with a revolutionary attitude that leaned on ferocious courage and dismantled even the most liberally minded ignorance. She made the world a better place by sticking her neck out.                       

It’s not just famous people that do the creatively maladjusted thing. The Giraffe Society recognizes people worldwide who stick their necks out for the good of us all. They have a long list of regular folks just like you and I that are charter members of their own special branch of Dr. King’s Society for Creative Maladjustment.           

An older couple walks to the bank. They have spent most of their long lives fighting off frosty winters in the northernmost reaches of America. They are going to their bank in order to transfer accounts to a sunny retirement spot and arrange for the sale of the home they will leave behind.           

Before they can get to the bank, they meet a cold, hungry, homeless man with a heart-wrenching true story. They listen. The couple never makes it to the bank that day. Instead, they take the man back to their home.           

The couple’s next trip to the bank is to refinance the mortgage on their house, not sell it. They open a homeless shelter in that house and never move south. Their sunny retirement spot is now internal. They have never been happier.          

  They are publicly acknowledged and awarded membership in the Giraffe Society by virtue of their spiritual membership in Dr. King’s Society for Creative Maladjustment. At one time, the suffering man they met on the way to the bank was a member too. He got lost, had some bad breaks, slipped downhill, and had his membership lapse. He has pulled himself back together, now helps to manage the homeless shelter he inspired, and is once again a member in good standing of The Society—and society at large. He got by with a little help from his friends.            

It can be said that many of the Monks and Nuns I see every day here in Nepal are full time members of The Society for Creative Maladjustment. They live without many things that you and I consider essential. There are folks among us that see these choices as signs of maladjustment, but the result of these sacrifices increase the ability of the Nuns and Monks to help other people. It helps them to focus on things they believe to be more important than physical comfort. They practice this focus with an inspired altruistic intent, inspiring dedication, and no thought of reward—aware that every action contains its own inherent automatic reward or punishment that is inseparable from that action. Both instant and long-term karma are facts of life. (“Your karma is not what is happening to you. Your karma is how you experience and respond to what is happening to you.” Sadhguru)            

Reading and talking will only take us so far. Only the doing gets a thing done.Thinking, talking, or reading about doing is like trying to scratch an itchy leg through leather pants. It is a start, but doesn’t get the job done. People have talked about wanting to live on a peaceful, happy planet since the beginning of people. It hasn’t happened yet. The only chance for the survival and happiness of our loved ones, ourselves, and future generations is being defined by what we are doing to increase cooperation, happiness, well being, sanity, love, inclusiveness, and respect for each other right now.            

The Society for Creative Maladjustment has shampooed the red carpet in anticipation of your arrival. This society’s door is always open. When anyone joins, everyone gets stronger. Any and all approaches to a better world—whether they are scientific, spiritual, economic, or political—must pass through this door eventually. There is no sensible option to the compassionate cooperative effort that is inspired by constructive, creative maladjustment to the world’s evils.

“Every society has its protectors of the status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”   Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Among the most remarkable features characterizing Zen we find these: spirituality, directness of expression, disregard of form or conventionalism, and frequently an almost wanton delight in going astray from respectability.”   D.T. Suzuki

“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.”    Ceasar Chavez    

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

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!

Angels From Hell In The Land Of Oz

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

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                                                                               Angels From Hell In The Land Of OZ      
      

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looks can be accurate and deceiving at the same time.           

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Others were even scarier than they had originally appeared.

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