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

***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 PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE
                                                                                        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!

Not There Yet

I hope you are happy and healthy. I am still in Kathmandu, currently coming back from a severe dog bite, a few weeks of loose-stomach problems that fried my brain with dehydration, and attempting to recover from it all with construction noise in the apartment beneath me that sounded like an industrial jack hammer performing a lobotomy through a skull with a thick steel plate in it. The experience has turned me into a mildly shell-shocked, part-time short-tempered asshole. I have now moved back to the lovely Pema Boutique Hotel, into a room that is quieter and more amenable. Rapid progress is being made both mentally and physically. Meanwhile, the following seems to be an appropriate post—and will be a piece within the new book-in-progress. I hope it gives you a good laugh. Laughter, as the old saying goes, may well be the best medicine. Back to more about Love, Dharma, Nuns, and Lamas next week.
                                                                  Be well. Love, Tenzin
***p.s. As always, if you find these weekly bits bothersome, let me know and I’ll stop sending them to you. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—click one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered when you click. Thank you! FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGEREINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGEFEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                                           NOT THERE YET            

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You might be a schizophrenic

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

You might be a schizophrenic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You may be discovering just how contagious schizophrenia can be                                                                                                                 

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

go fuck yourself.

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

go fuck yourself.

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

go fuck yourself.

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

go fuck yourself.

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

go fuck yourself.

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

go fuck yourself.

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

well, you’ve already fucked yourself.

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

go fuck yourself.

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

Women’s Health, Rights, Justice

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

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

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

Thank You. Be well. Love, Tenzin

EcoPadProject Limi Valley, Humla

  • Project Introduction  

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

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

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

  • How did we start this project?

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

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

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

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


Background: – Menstrual Hygiene in Limi

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

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

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

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

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

  •  Why EcoPads?

1. Reusable

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

2. Cost-effective

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

3. Environmentally Friendly

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

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

4. Health Benefits

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

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

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

  • How this PROJECT is going to work?

Step 1: Collect Donations to buy EcoPads

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

Step 3: Buy good quality EcoPads. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • What do we need?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Please Donate

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

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

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

Together we can make this happen.

Donation Details:

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

Kindly share this on your social media pages.

Fearless Puppy Website Blog    

Fearless Puppy On American Road/Amazon Page

Reincarnation Through Common Sense/Amazon Page

Fearless Website

It’s Weird To Be Rich

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

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

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

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

Other folks think I have been too upbeat and happy during this whole past year of disease, political manipulation of economics, and other assorted disasters. They think I have not been real enough. This little piece will likely put an end to those complaints. I hope you enjoy it anyway.   Be well. Love, Tenzin   And, to those of my friends that worry about folks with wavering emotions, please don’t. I promise to be back to cheery and that the writing will make you smile next week.
***p.s. As always, if you find these weekly bits bothersome, let me know and I’ll stop sending them to you. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—click one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered. Thank you!

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG

 FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                      IT IS WEIRD TO BE “RICH”      

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cherry On Top Of The Fruitcake

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

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

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

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

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

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG

 FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE                                             

The Cherry on Top of the Fruitcake          

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe I am one.           

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

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

Fearless Puppies On New Year’s Day

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

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

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

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

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE
                                                                                         Losar Day           

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Perfect Place

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

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

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

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                                                             Rural Vermont               

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What’s the occasion, Mike?”              

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

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

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

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

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

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

IN ONLY @ 1000 WORDS—Clarity, Communication, Politics, and Religious Arrogance

Hello from the Himalayas! I hope you are happy, healthy, and enjoying the winter. Things are just beginning to possibly change for the better. There are logical reasons to think that 2021 will be a better year than 2020 was and, in a few months, Spring and the new life it brings may witness some progress in the human condition. From out here, it looks like we will have to remember at least two things in order to have any chance of that progress taking hold.        

1—Staying active on behalf of the lessons we’ve learned is essential. The Himalayas didn’t briefly become visible again by accident. It happened because people and their machines started pumping less crap into the atmosphere. The environment is certainly not the only issue at hand—but if that issue isn’t addressed immediately, there won’t be any other issues. 2—Many of us see life through the wool that has been pulled over our eyes, and attend to illusions and delusions more than we attend to the world we would see without them. No matter how unpleasant reality is in spots, we cannot allow ourselves to be frozen into inaction by externally manufactured and dangerously manipulative bullshit, or internally manufactured fears and frustrations.      Please be well and stay well. Much love, Tenzin      p.s. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—tap one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Goggle rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered. Thank you!

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE (About Author section)

“The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something and tell what it saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion all rolled into one.” 
John Ruskin
              IN ONLY @ 1000 WORDS—Clarity, Communication, Politics, and Religious Arrogance                  An excerpt from the book Fearless Puppy On American Road        

Mary and I have hitchhiked over fifty thousand miles together by now. We are not judgmental or prejudicial, but have put in enough observation time and earned enough experiential education to recognize some patterns in humanity.                                                                              

Three Types of Communication

When you are hitchhiking, there are three types of communication that you can have with your host. These are: a shallow conversation, a deeper conversation, and silence. Silence speaks for itself. It can range from uncomfortable through comfortable, and on to transcendent. The shallow conversation mode may have more of religion and politics in it. Many people seem to think that just choosing these topics to speak about qualifies the conversation as being in deep mode. I have to disagree. Regardless, politics and religion seem to be the most popular subjects in human dialogue.     

The evidence of fifty thousand miles worth of listening suggests that many folks may not give these subjects as much thought as they should before they open their mouths about them. That doesn’t seem to stop many of my fellow humans from talking about these subjects for hours on end—and thinking that their personal opinions should become global mandates.  I can sum up what I’ve learned from listening to several thousand hours of conversation on these subjects in two very short chapters.                                                                    

Defeating Organized Religious Distortion        The quality of attention paid by the student is more important than who the teacher is. A kind Christian is better than a harmful Buddhist. A kind Buddhist is better than a harmful Christian. 

Jesus is not going to keep you dry if you piss into the wind.     

(Almost) every religion is waiting for someone to come save us. Jesus is going to come back and save the Christians, Messiah is going to come save the Jews, etc. My guess is that all this divine saving comes later. There seems to be a lot of saving that needs done by us amateurs before the professionals get here.     

Some folks think that Salvation will never come. Some folks think that it’s already here. It seems more likely that Salvation has been circling the planet for a very long time but can’t find a suitable place to land! Unless each individual human on Earth starts taking on the serious tasks of saving both themselves and their fellow humans, we will disappear as a species— with or without God’s help.     

There have been many examples of how very capable we are of getting the job done, if we would all just get about doing it.                                                                                 

Ending Political Malfeasance      Some politicians may be less full of shit than others. Maybe not. Maybe some are just better at hiding it. As a rule, politicians get to be more full of shit as they climb higher up the political ladder. Some start out full of shit. Some actually start out with the altruistic intention that would be necessary to do the job correctly. After a period of time, they also succumb to the necessity of playing the game, and the self-interest that has become the basis of political systems.     

The self-interest of the rich and powerful in every society seems to have consistently required the compromise (or martyrdom) of that society’s authentic leaders. Couple that general coercion and threat with the more personalized temptations (money, sex, power, cars, control, etc.) offered to those who would be public servants and leaders, and the result is the sacrifice of moral priorities by those climbing up the ladder and…     

Actually, all of the above is a very shortsighted observation. None of these malfunctions are the fault of individual politicians, even the most despicable ones. It is the duty as well as the right of the public to install the systems and representatives that we want to be governed by. Politicians are indeed full of shit, but the public is responsible for that. We let the situation get out of control and we are the only ones who can potentially reel it back in.     

Politicians don’t rate praise or blame. We do.      

Supposedly, the government is in the process of saving us from several varieties of terrorists. No one has quite figured out who is going to save us from the government, and from the power brokers that bend government to their will. It seems it will have to be us.     

Part of what we built works great. Part of what we built badly needs fixing. It is delusional to think that a few politicians can fix what took several hundred million people to build—and run down.                                                                                    

And The Very Next Ride…       From New Orleans we got a ride with an annoyingly loud evangelist preacher. He was driving his brand new Cadillac to Houston for a big revival meeting that would reap him “many souls and dollars to do HIS work, Amen.” The man was wearing enough money in diamond rings to feed a small nation.     

After about an hour of his self-righteous attempts to convert us in the name of his Lord (who, it seemed, also had a very good credit rating, no concern for humanity, and the ability to prattle on at a pace that would scare the shit out of an auctioneer), we asked to be let off at the next exit.   

“But I’m going all the way to Houston,” said our host, who it seemed had mistaken himself for The Host.   

“Thank you anyway, but we won’t be going with you.” We got out of the car and walked to the nearest town for coffee. Mary showed me what the preacher had inspired her to write during her silent hour in his luxury car’s back seat. She was so impressed by the arrogance of one of his statements that she quoted it as the title.                                                           

“I Think What God Meant to Say”    “You think you know everything, in general. This seems to interfere with you knowing anything specifically. You crisscross the country as quickly as delusions cross your mind, as quickly as mindless platitudes fly from your mouth. You maintain a facade of happiness, but it is only a vehicle for salesmanship. You strive to control the weak and gain stability through materialism. Your pace is too fast, false, and graceless for the normal human to want to learn from. Your only visible value is teaching by negative example. You are what not to do. You are who not to be.     

“You are trapped in the quicksand of your own outdated bullshit. How could you be expected to re-examine preconceived notions when you run so quickly past thought in order to reach manipulation? You don’t have the time or heart to pay attention to your own conscience, much less anyone else’s needs.      Professed internal wholeness is belied by your fragmented external judgments and condemnations. You relay pretentious truths of minimal depth with maximum coercion. I heard them all a thousand lifetimes ago!     Business gets done. Profits, not prophets, have made you pay them a heavy price. It’s not my way.  Go on by yourself!”

Mary was a very smart woman. She was also an exceptionally kindhearted, patient person and rarely had a bad word to say about anyone. I think the few paragraphs above are as ill as she ever spoke of another living thing.       

***The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through Amazon or the website, where there are sample chapters from those books. Very 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!

We Don’t Crack!

Stupaville Don’t Crack

There is a popular expression in Black America that goes, “Black don’t crack.” The concept, of course, is that after suffering centuries of every imaginable brutal abuse, in a country they physically built but were never allowed to feel at home in, Black folks as a unit have developed an unbreakable resiliency.
The great comedienne Wanda Sykes recently produced a line that gave us a laugh, but is actually too true to be called a joke. Speaking of the president who has fanned the flames of race-related tragedies and so many other American disasters during the past few years, she said, “I can’t believe this motherfucker cracked black! That’s not supposed to happen! He actually cracked black!”
The situation in Nepal is at least as bad, economically and medically, as it is everywhere else. But Stupaville still don’t crack! This roughly ten square block neighborhood that I live in contains at least five large monasteries housing well over a thousand monks and nuns, as well as one of the holiest structures in the Eastern hemisphere. There are a whole lot more Buddhist monks, nuns, and monasteries, as well as Hindu Temples and holy people, in the surrounding city and mountains.
I’m guessing there are about two thousand or so people that aren’t monks or nuns who live in this Boudha Stupa section of Kathmandu, Nepal. They go to work or school every morning like the rest of us. But they all have a bit of happiness and decorum about them that the monks, nuns, and overall cultural influences here are responsible for.
Some of these people have lost their jobs and homes as well as loved ones. Many businesses are closed permanently and for sale. The main income for most business in this relatively affluent neighborhood has previously come from the tourist traffic. That tourist traffic has been nonexistent for almost a year.
It is amazing how many local people still walk around with the kind of internally generated happiness that can only come from a deep faith in the inevitable. They also maintain a strong sense of cooperative community among themselves, and are more grateful for their remaining advantages than they are grieved about those advantages they have lost.
This ability to not crack in the face of severe adversity is even more amazing when you consider the circumstances. Nepal has been a fourth world country for a long time—way before the economic, social, and political manipulation of the coronavirus was even a twinkle in Pfizer’s eye. A vast majority of the folks here live without heat all winter in concrete buildings that could easily function as meat lockers. Lack of refrigeration and a less than consistent electrical service are wide spread, so the people are often chilled much more thoroughly than the meat they will be eating. Many folks were malnourished for a long time before this recent crisis, in spite of the fact that food prices are a fraction of what they are in the Western world. Tuberculosis and many other very unpleasant diseases are by no means a rarity, and the air pollution in Kathmandu is among the worst in the world.
But there is a strong sense of community in Stupaville and, I am told, throughout Nepal. This is an incredible accomplishment considering the history of the area and the diversity of the native population. There are many different sects stemming from the various kingdoms that used to occupy the Kathmandu Valley, as well as the surrounding hills, many centuries ago. These kingdoms often made brutal war as they conquered each other in the olden days. Now most of the descendants of these various small kingdoms keep up with their historical cultural heritages while coexisting peacefully with the descendants of the other tribes.
Although the country is Hindu by a very large majority, other groups are made to feel at home. There are also an exiled Tibetan Buddhist community (much of it here in Stupaville), a healthy representation of Christians, and some Muslim devotees. There seems to be another New Year’s Day celebration here every other month! Each culture has its own. But there is no apparent friction, and a good deal of very visible mutual respect between the tribes these days. People of all sects greet each other with a “Namaste” and the palms of both hands joined in front of their chests. The popular translation of the word Namaste is “I recognize the Divine within you.”
There is no need for any of these groups to have a __ Lives Matter campaign. Police brutality is relatively infrequent and equally distributed among all the people when it does happen. Beggars work several streets in Stupaville. Some are in real need of food. Others just want to get drunk again. Several are scamming to pay the mortgage on a condo in India. Some can be aggressive and follow a potential contributor for blocks, hoping to break him or her down. In previous seasons, when tourists jammed every street, a beggar could make a lot of money by employing this annoying persistence.
Not everyone contributes to them, but I haven’t heard anyone yelling “Leave me alone and get a job, you bum” even once during the near year that I’ve been here. The folks with homes and jobs are polite, if not helpful, to their beggars as well as to each other. Folks here seem to universally recognize that the divine lives in all creatures, no matter how well disguised it may be at times.
The world seems to be changing more rapidly and severely than ever before. It is certainly changing more rapidly and severely than it ever has during our little lifetimes. Whether the Boudha Stupa neighborhood will ever become a Wanda Sykes joke is an ongoing question. But life here in Stupaville, at least for the time being, is still a celebration that stays strong enough to carry around joy in the present and a sweet hope for the future.
I hope it is where you are.
***If you missed the Introduction to the book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier and contain the above chapter, or would like to see several other chapters that are available for free online, go to the Fearless Puppy website Blog section. This is a book in progress. You are 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 making a complete journey around the world! **The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through the website or Amazon. (See all the 5 reviews there!) There are also sample chapters from both books at the website. Very 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.

How To Get Your Prayers Answered

This short excerpt is from the chapter
How to Get Your Prayers Answered
in the book Reincarnation Through Common Sense
I feel a little uppity and out of place entitling a chapter “How to Get Your Prayers Answered.” Everyone who has ever lived has asked this question at least once. It is unlikely that a person like myself could find any important information about getting prayers answered while rooting around through decades of deep intoxication and a few layers of insanity—and rarely saying a conventional prayer or even believing in the concept.
It seems I may have gotten lucky.

There are three steps to getting your prayers answered. They are:
~1~
Set your hope, wish, prayer, aspiration, desired intent exactly where you want it, worded so that it is short, focused, and sticks to basics.
If your wish includes doing harm, or is of no benefit to others, restructure it. For a first step example, “I hope that nasty bastard dies painfully and that I never meet another asshole like him” probably won’t work too well. “I hope to never meet nasty people from now on and that everyone else has the same good luck” is a much better fit, but not quite good enough. The desired result needs to always be framed in present tense positive achievement. The “I hope…” sentence should be structured to say something like, “I meet nicer people and am one. I welcome help with this.”
If you really want to make big points within this system, say something like the following, and really mean it. “I meet nicer people and am one. I hope that all people, especially that one who has recently acted so nastily toward me, become decent and happy. I thank everything in existence for help in making this happen.” Use whatever you feel comfy with in place of that “everything in existence” bit. God, any representative or representation of God, The Universe, The Force, The Collective Unconscious, Nature, Fate, The Field, The Buddhafield, The Laws Of Physics and the Quantum Field, The Void, Great Spirit, Great Beyond, or whatever name you have for your Bigger-Than-You thing.
The language of positive direction and a benevolent intent are extremely important! Use them. The potent effect of positive language can be seen in Mother Teresa’s comment, “I won’t go to your anti-war rally. If you ever have a peace rally, call me.”
~2~
Empty your mind of everything else.
Don’t treat this step lightly! It is not as simple as it sounds. Most folks can’t sit for a single minute without having an unsolicited thought pop up. Clearing mental clutter will take some work, but it can be very enjoyable. Relax through any initial bits of impatience.
Here’s why this step is so important.
Everything comes from nothing. Whatever you want to put anywhere starts with it not being there yet. Consider that nothing always comes before something. That’s why it can truly be said that there is no thing as real as nothing.
Any background is the birthplace of whatever stands out from it.
Then consider that there can only be 100% of anything and so there can only be 100% of your mind. If 90% of it is rattling around on things other than those that you want in your line of focus, other than fulfilling the prayer—well, you can do the math. The percentage of random thought prattling around in your head needs to be reduced as thoroughly as possible in order to have most of consciousness available for getting your sought after on-purpose intentions fulfilled.
Thoughts will arise, but don’t pay attention to them. Pay attention to the awareness that is recognizing them. To stabilize this ability will take patience, confidence, and consistent effort—especially at first. Practice makes perfect. The more you do it, the easier it gets. There are tried and true methods that have been proven to work. My Temple mates and their ancestors have been using some of them for thousands of years. I strongly recommend a tried and true method because employing your own unassisted mind to clean out the clutter spawned by that very mind would be similar to hiring soldiers to end the concept of war. The cemeteries are full of dead soldiers who would like to tell you that this logic is fatally flawed.
Finding a good teacher with whom a good working rapport can be established is extremely beneficial to your mind-clearing process. The quality of attention paid by the student is more important than who the teacher is—but not by much. Finding a knowledgable, dedicated teacher and bringing all of your attention to the learning process are both very important.
Being overanxious can work against a person who is picking a coach, teacher, or guide. It’s a wonderful thing to get help with this mind-clearing part of the prayer-fulfilling process. But just because one is well motivated and anxious to start doesn’t mean that the first person to come along with a robe, divinity degree, or crystal ball is the right teacher. Try a few sessions each with as many teachers as you care to, and with an open mind. It may take a week or years. When the right time, person, and system for you arrive, it will be obvious.
“We should be very careful who we establish a relationship with as a teacher. First we should check him or her out and allow him or her to check us out. If this doesn’t work out, don’t push it. It is always better to develop a relationship that we can trust, rather than getting into one we are not sure of. This is essential advice. The student and the Lama have to have a strong faith and trust in each other.” Lama Karma Rinchen ~3~. For step 3 and the thread that ties everything together, see Chapter 72 in the book Reincarnation Through Common Sense.