Angels From Hell In The Land Of Oz

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

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





                                                                               Angels From Hell In The Land Of OZ      

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looks can be accurate and deceiving at the same time.           

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Others were even scarier than they had originally appeared.

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

Why The Monks And Nuns Are The Way They Are

I hope you are happy and healthy and enjoying what seems to be a bit of recent improvement in conditions. If we want our conditions to improve more consistently in the future, taking some tips from the monks and nuns will be very helpful. How do you feel about maintaining a confidence and security that enable you to always look at life on Earth as a friend that you are traveling with, and never as a threat to be defended against? How do you like the idea of having an internally generated sense of well-being and happiness that is immune to assault by external circumstances? How about the notion of being a consistently kind and caring person to yourself as well as others—and eliminating doubt, fear, compulsive behavior, guilt, envy/jealousy, and anger from your life?                     
        Yep! That all sounds good to me too. That’s why I think the two chapters from the book Reincarnation Through Common Sense that are entitled, “Why The Monks And Nuns Are The Way They Are—Parts 1 and 2” contain some of the most important things I have ever observed and written about. These chapters total 17 pages and there are another 8 pages about similarities between the system in southeast Asia and the system from Tibet. But with due respect to the short attention span world that we live in, I will post excerpts that contain only @ 1000 words. The first of these is below. The second will follow next week. If you are interested in the rest, it can be found in the book. More party-heavy, less esoteric excerpts from all three books will appear online in the following weeks.       
         I am damn sure not going to become a monk and I doubt that anyone who reads this is going to become a monk or nun either. But there are a lot of things monks and nuns do full-time that, if adopted even very part-time by us regular humans, can turn a hellish life into a decent one and a decent life into a more heavenly one.    Be well. Love, Tenzin    
***p.s. As always, if you find these weekly bits bothersome, let me know and I’ll stop sending them to you. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—tap one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered. Thank you! FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 




Why The Monks And Nuns Are The Way They Are—Part 1                                                                                                  
                                                                                        THE BIG BRAIN THING

“In the cultivation of the mind, our emphasis should not be on concentration, but on attention. Concentration is a process of forcing the mind to narrow down to a point, whereas attention is without frontiers.” J. Krishnamurti      
         The locals visit our Temple often. Some come on to the grounds screaming, crying, angry, depressed, or otherwise agitated. After a half-hour of talking with our Wisdom Professionals, the formerly forlorn usually leave smiling. Why do so many people come here to see the robe wearers, and why do all these visitors leave feeling so much better than they did upon arrival? Why are the residents of this Temple so much fun to be around? What makes the Monks and Nuns who they are? There must be some reasons I’ll never know, but a few are obvious.      
          The first is The Big Brain thing, and the team spirit it entails. The second is reincarnation—but this is certainly not the kind of reincarnation you are used to hearing about. These two factors meet at so many crossroads that it can often be hard to separate them, but let’s try to talk about one at a time, beginning with The Big Brain thing.       
          Everybody’s got a brain and a mind. Many people consider these to be different words for the same thing. Technically, the brain is just a biological organ while the mind is something deeper and more inclusive. But in case it makes you more comfortable to do so, we will use these words interchangeably here. It won’t hurt anything. The words soul or spirit might be more accurate, and consciousness is actually what we’re talking about—but some folks think of these terms as abstractions. We can use the more familiar words “mind” and “brain” for now. Many people seem to find those terms more familiar and easier to understand.      
          It is widely known that any human uses only a small percentage of his or her mind/brain at any given time. Exactly how much gets used and what those percentages pay attention to have always been very important matters.       
         The Monks and Nuns believe that each individual carries a deep responsibility to focus the greatest possible percentage of their mental facility on the best, kindest, most loving, and most wisdom-heavy attitudes and functions they can produce. Fulfilling this responsibility is not optional but mandatory for them, as it probably should be for all of us. They recognize this responsibility as a necessity because it affects individual, familial, societal, and planetary relationships—as well as our survival as individuals and as a species.       
         Directing the use of our minds toward constructive positive ends is not an esoteric or saintly activity to be practiced only by cloistered Wisdom Professionals. It is a very practical and logical activity that can influence every human’s personal life. Material and emotional satisfaction are most comfortably born from a base of mental satisfaction. Happy and compassionate people feel prosperous, regardless of financial income. They don’t often steal from or kill each other.       
         Whether conscious of it or not, we always think of an action before we do it. There are big advantages to thinking consciously. The residents here know that any action should be avoided if it doesn’t help and that blind emotions bubbling up unrecognized from subconscious depths lead many folks into destructive actions. There are no blind emotions here. By quieting their own mental turbulence, these robed folks clearly see what they are thinking, and then steer it. Everything they do is done on purpose. Nothing gets away from them.       
         The sub/unconscious type of thought, and the actions resulting from it, are usually fueled by instinctive reactions or habitually programmed mental-reflex reactions. These are all too often based on the memory of past trauma or fear of the unknown future.       
         The most basic sub/unconscious thoughts are survival instincts and callous self-interest—animal reflexes. All of us live partially under the direction of such instincts. Our DNA has carried these instincts since caveman days. They are a physiological part of us. They cannot immediately be erased, but with proper attention the nastier parts can be transcended.       
         Our subconscious minds have inherited yet another batch of characteristics and instincts through the training and information we have been given by schools, churches, parents, governments, TV/media, and so on. These are the conditioned reflexes, the behavioral patterns we have observed and absorbed since birth.        
         These biological and historical patterns coexist as what can be called “the little brain.” A lot of human actions can more accurately be called knee jerk reactions. The subconscious mind has such an entrenched pre-recorded program of how-to-be and what-to-do in it that we often react to situations without giving any thought at all to our reaction. Many people spend most of their lives controlled by mental patterns that they are not even aware of.        
         But we have all floated into The Big Brain Thing on occasion. When you and a lover feel like one body, when you feel your child’s pain as if it is your own, when you display “superhuman” physical strength/perseverance/clarity of thought in an emergency situation—at these times we go beyond so-called normal human parameters of feeling and function. We wander semi-consciously into Big Brain mode.        
         The Monks and Nuns live there. Their conscious focus is on the mind and life that we all share in our involuntary coexistence with all other creatures—animal, human, and divine. They are of the opinion that the similarities and relationships between us all are more deserving of attention than the differences. They believe that the mutually beneficial goals that this Big Brained point of view dictates outweigh personal goals in importance.       
         Oddly enough, it often turns out that personal goals are much more easily attained when universal goals are given priority!       
         The concept that all of humanity shares a mutual existence and sort of a universal mind containing great power that properly trained individuals can tap into, somewhat resembles Carl Jung’s Collective Unconscious theory—except with the Temple folks it is conscious, the idea had already been around for several thousand years before the great Mr. Jung was born, and it is considered fact, not theory.        
         The drop/ocean metaphor is often used to explain it. Most of us think of ourselves as an individual drop of humanity. The people here in the Temple think of themselves as an integral part of a vast ocean that contains all living things. Both views have some truth in them. This “ocean attitude” may seem a little esoteric or even a bit weird to many of us, but it has advantages. All individual problems and personal pains recede somewhat when you pay attention to the bigger picture. The freedom and security that the power of an all-inclusive ocean offers are much greater than the freedom and security available to a single drop of water, or a singular human.         
         Like most of us, the Temple residents have good intentions. But they are more committed and loyal to those intentions than most of us are to ours. They make that commitment functional by donating their motivation for achievement toward improving life for all of their fellow-creatures, as well as for themselves. They constantly work on improving their little drop (self), but that process is always based on how their drop can become a better drop in order to become part of a better ocean (how improving their lives can improve all lives). They are dancing on their own legs, but a much bigger force than any individual is always playing the tune. All ways.       
         To put it another way, these Wisdom Professionals have trained their little brains very thoroughly in the concern for all little brains. This keeps them tuned to the same wavelength as that bigger force that both contains and is concerned with the well being of all the little brains—The Big Brain. They have, through dedication and strong effort, actually become a conscious cell in and therefore a bit of a co-creating partner with The Big Brain. Call it God, or Dharma, or The Force, or the Collective Unconscious, or the Unified Field. Whatever you would call an all-inclusive divine resource, they are now part of it. Perhaps we all are, anyway! But they are aware enough of their inclusion in the bigger system, and practiced enough in that system’s processes, to be able to direct themselves to coordinate with it. They consistently, consciously practice moving their minds in an internal direction that benefits everything external as much as possible. Loyalties and actions are at least as concerned with the ocean at large as they are with their own individual drop. This affiliation with the Big Brain governs the lives of the Nuns and Monks and all the choices they make. It directs them as surely as any commander directs his or her troops.

***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 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:
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.”
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.

Why The Future Looks Good/The University Fights Back

Tashi Delek and Namaste from Nepal! I hope you are happy, healthy, and that your neighborhood is free of zombies. The following short piece is an excerpt from the Costa Rica section of the new book, and is dedicated to Zak Aldridge, Amelia Perkins, Leah Ashton-Facin and all the other young people that are busily pounding the dents out of our damaged humanity. Thank you for giving this jaded geezer hope for the future.
Have an enjoyable ascent back into the daylight, everyone. Fearless Puppy /// Doug Ten Rose

Why The Future Looks Good/The University Fights Back
There are young folks around the world, including those here in Costa Rica, who are rejecting fear to embrace love, life, and celebration. Sadly, there is no reason to think that they won’t eventually follow the lead of generations before them by selling their birthright for material trinkets, a false sense of security, and conditioned reflex responses to everything. History often turns out to be more shit than poetry, doesn’t it?
I have faith in them anyway. I have to. It is faith in the young that keeps so many otherwise skeptical old bastards like myself alive and personable. Without it, a lot more of us would be in bell towers with rifles.
I had the privilege of meeting some of these up-and-comers on “The Street of Bitterness.” My landlady and several others referred to one of the University’s bordering streets by this unusual name. I went to a bar on that street looking for intelligence, and found it in a group of students that were stoned, drunk, laughing, and groping each other before noon.
Alfonso was a nineteen-year old soccer scholarship student at the University of Costa Rica (UCR). He owned an abundance of common sense, a strong sense of the cosmic, and an even stronger ability to have fun. “University life itself is the actual crucifixion. Where we are drinking is called the Street of Bitterness, named after the Stations of the Cross. This street has been called that for as long as anyone can remember. The system crucifies our creativity with regressive, conservative attitudes. The good parts of an institutional education are often overshadowed by the indoctrination and obedience-training aspects of it. We come to the bars on this street and drink in order to reverse the direction of the steps that lead up to that crucifixion. We wash away the brain washing with alcohol, to sort of rewind as well as unwind from both the process and the results.”
I asked whether he thought the university’s overall climate felt progressive or reactionary. Alfonso replied, “Both! The administration is more on the side of big business, but the student body itself is much more progressive. The problem for us is that the progressive students are always spread too thin. There are so many protests! There are so many meaningful concerns that a lot of the students become too burnt out to get involved in yet another issue—even when the most urgent ones arise. We sort of get ourselves too watered down, and must somehow learn to be more selective about where we put our energies.”
What an amazing insight for a nineteen year old to have! It would be very nice to be able to think that this guy was an average college student. I had, after all, randomly chosen to speak with him and his friends. The only real qualifications for being approached by me were that the group was close to campus and publicly buzzed before noon. But these people, and especially Alfie, were unusual. He had already spent several months on a full soccer scholarship at the University of Florida, but decided that the benefits weren’t worth living away from his beloved Costa Rica.
This large sign covers the entire front window of one of the most popular among many pizza places on this beautifully infamous street.
“Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a family. Choose a big fucking television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose Jesus and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching some mind numbing, spirit crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food in your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your miserable last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the few selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself.”
I may complain about the rain in Costa Rica, but never about the Costa Rican sense of humor. This is some very bright darkness from a neighborhood whose average resident is twenty years old!
To me the University of Costa Rica is the capital of this nation. Of course, my little opinion is gleaned from one day of bar hopping off campus. A full four years of matriculation might change that point of view.
Alfonso kept pumping out intelligence that any elder would consider well out of the normal range of a drunken teenager.
“There is a broad difference between social classes here, more so than in America where there is a lot more of a middle class. I am kind of in the middle here. It is a rare situation. I can have friends that are very rich and others that are very poor. This gives me more opportunities to grow and learn. I have a great deal of freedom in many ways. I drink on this street, then work doing research for a law firm for a few hours, then classes, and then study. I work very hard but still feel very lucky—and I have a lot of fun.”
“So many people want to change the world, but a sad lack-of-power feeling frustrates them. I think I have to just be nice and be as much an example as I can of what a better world would be. Nobody changes the world—not directly. We can only change ourselves. In doing that, well, that is how we change the world. These people who think they will change the violence in the world with violent means are fucked up! That is just a way to become what you hate! The only way to change the violence is to change everything you do in your own life to being as non-violent as possible in every aspect and situation.”
These were privileged kids who were using their privilege well. They all loved being where they were. They all loved doing what they were doing. Each had a sense of social responsibility and was very grateful for their opportunities.
I highly recommend a visit to the nearest campus bar for every older person. You may meet some shallow, vain youngsters consumed with unenlightened self-interest—but if you are lucky, you will get to meet people like Arturo, Alfonso, Vivianna, and Andrea. If not, maybe you should try another bar or another campus. It is worth a few-drink investment to find these people. Parts of the conversation may seem a bit laughable, but there is enough genius, hope, decency, and love of life present to encourage any elder. Even the most ornery of jaded old geezers that has been beaten from one end of this massive world’s most bitter streets to the other can appreciate the glow of unmolested hope.
You can trust me on that.

Solving Darkness

Happy Solstice! Let’s hope that as more and more light comes into each day for the next half year, more solutions than mishaps come to light as well. Knowing how to repel darkness helps a lot too!
This is a short excerpt from Ejection Eddie, a ten page chapter in the book Fearless Puppy on American Road. In it, Eddie gets ejected from several places that humans are usually never thrown out of, including the US Army draft board during the Vietnam era, a secured lock-up ward in a psychiatric hospital, and a jail.
Certain hitchhiking rides have delivered me to realizations as well as physical destinations. Ejection Eddie was one of these.
“Welcome to my vehicle. I’m Ejection Eddie. Who are you?”
I felt a funny punch line coming on, but it didn’t seem smart to joke around with a guy who called himself “Ejection” until I knew why he did so.
I got right to it. “Everyone calls me Ten, but that’s obviously not the name on the birth certificate. Your mom didn’t pick the name Ejection for you, did she? Do they call you that because you have one of those James Bond car seats that ejects passengers?”
Ed answered with a pleasant smile and friendly tone. “Indeed not, my friend. There has never yet been a need to eject anyone from this vehicle—and judging by your relatively pleasant demeanor, my streak of uninterrupted hospitality won’t have to end here. However, my mom did have something to do with both parts of my name. Of course, she was directly responsible for the Eddie part. She was also indirectly responsible for the first of my no doubt record-breaking streak of ejections, from which the Ejection part of my name was born. She put me into a mental hospital at the tender age of seventeen because I smoked pot. The hospital eventually threw me out. I have, in total, been ejected from two mental institutions, the U.S. Army draft board during the height of the Vietnam War, a jail, and several lesser venues that ordinarily pride themselves on maintaining long term possessive relationships with their clientele.”
The nurse said that she would give my note to the newspapers. Whether she ever did is questionable. Armed guards brought me back to the jail. They deposited me in my own special isolation cell, probably figuring that my next move could be to incite a riot. Within a few hours of my return, the head of the whole county’s jail industry/system came to my private digs. At her request, the guards left us alone in the cell.
She got right to the point. “You’re making a lot of noise for just one guy. What’s going on?”
She got the full Eddie account of the problems I had witnessed in her facility, including my little personal problem of being locked up for seven days without access to a lawyer. A lawyer seemed necessary to repair the nonsense responsible for my being in this hellhole. She listened.
“I’ll see what I can find out,” she said as she left.
Forty minutes later, guards came to my cell and escorted me to the front desk. They advised me that I was free to go.
I asked if they were toying with me. “Hitchhiking is still my only way out of here. Are we going to have to go through all this again down the road?” I asked. Hey, you never know what these guys could be setting you up for.
The guard answered with such a seriously apologetic tone that he couldn’t have been lying. “All police personnel have been notified about your case, sir. You can, within the legal limits, go to wherever you want to go, using whatever means you want to use to get there, and do whatever you want to do within this county. We’re not going to bother you again, sir.”
I smiled. “Thanks, brother.”
The guard looked up and smiled back at me. He seemed touched by the fact that after all that had happened, perhaps the most difficult prisoner of his career would be calling him brother.
He spoke to me in a gentle tone. “I am going to think about some of the things you said while you were here. A lot of it was right, I think.” The guard returned my shoelaces and belt as he offered his free hand for me to shake.
I shook his hand. “Thank Bobby Sands, my friend. He’s the one who gave me the hunger strike idea.”
“Who’s Bobby Sands? We don’t have any Bobby Sands locked up in here. Where’s he from?” asked the puzzled guard.
As he opened the last set of doors between the jail and my freedom, the guard promised to read up on the man considered a saint by many Irish folks (although he is certainly not as popular with others).
About a hundred yards after my release, a police car pulled over. From its open window, the officer asked, “Which way are you going, Ed?”
“Headed into town, officer. Same place as eight days ago.” The officer nodded. “Hop in. You’ve got a ride.” And that, my friend, is the story of how Ejection Eddie got thrown out of the military draft, two mental hospitals, and a jail—and how he earned his name.
I was struck by his stories and told him so. “Ed, no one I’ve ever met has even gotten into that much trouble, much less been able to get out of it!”
Ejection Eddie’s simple response impressed me as much as his stories had. “It’s not magic, buddy. Of course, you have to keep your eyes open for life’s little snares. You can avoid most trouble just by doing that! But sometimes a situation can blindside you, even when you have had your eyes open! Like a moth caught on the edge of a spider web, you have to keep flapping those wings until you escape. You can’t panic—and you definitely can’t get discouraged and give up. If you rationally, energetically, and consistently (but patiently) keep moving toward your freedom, you can escape from almost any trap. Creative confidence and dogged perseverance can make you free. Lack of faith in your own ability, surrender of your will power to another, or panic replacing logic and common sense will make you into a spider’s lunch.”
Doug “Ten” Rose may be the biggest smartass as well as one of the most entertaining survivors of the hitchhiking adventurers that used to cover America’s highways. He is the author of the books Fearless Puppy on American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense, has survived heroin addiction and death, and is a graduate of over a hundred thousand miles of travel without ever driving a car, owning a phone, or having a bank account. Ten Rose and his work are a vibrant part of the present and future as well as an essential remnant of a vanishing breed.

Parting Thoughts From The Laughing Dead

Parting Thoughts From The Laughing Dead
Our truth, happiness, practicality, and objectivity all suffer from ancient dogma as well as modern advertising. Behavioral codes that are no longer relevant and fairy tales that never were have been deeply rooted within our psyches since we were too young to own the logic that would dismiss them.
Much of what we’ve been told all our lives is bullshit. It is part of a very old formula devised by a few greedy, arrogant pricks a long time ago in order to keep the majority of humans submissive, productive, and under control. History and morality have both been bent to support the purpose and reflect the ego of tyrants. For example: Lincoln didn’t start the civil war to free the slaves, Columbus did not “discover” America or prove the world round, there is no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy, greed kills more people than cancer, no brand of cologne will get you laid, there are better solutions than war to almost any disagreement, targeting civilians instead of soldiers is always inexcusable, no sin is original, no one can “give you” the freedom that you were born with, no God is on your side any more than he would be on any other side, and Earth doesn’t need us—not as stewards or anything else—we need Earth to survive.
Neither John Wayne, The Buddha, Allah, nor Jesus is going to ride in on a white horse at the last minute and save us from all the dumb shit we’ve done. Sex is not a sin but overpopulation is. You don’t need most of the shit you own and you certainly don’t need any more. JFK was not killed by Oswald. Violence never works in the long run. Gentle kindness and compassion are not just for the weak—and actually can only be mustered by the very strong. There is no (external) boogieman. You are in total control of your own responses to every situation whether you know it or not, and whether you exercise that control or surrender it—and this is the only thing you are in total control of. Hope and prayer are insufficient substitutes for constructive and appropriate action. Culture controls your children more than you do. Our education system is not an education system. White folks started the tradition of scalping Indians—not the other way around. Praising Jesus and supporting war or racism is a more obvious sign of schizophrenic hypocrisy than painting walls with your own shit. What are depicted as wart-covered witches stirring cauldrons were actually beautiful female herbal healers in pre-Christian matriarchal European tribal culture. Most of what we call food shouldn’t be touched without gloves, much less eaten. The number of people dying from treatment by doctors pushing “properly prescribed medication” is fast approaching the number of people dying of diseases. Much bigger criminals than those incarcerated are making major money from the prison industry. Odds are that he who dies with the most toys is probably a shallow scumbag rather than a “winner.” All wars are economic at their root, no matter how well they are disguised as moral or religious. Ego does not need to be destroyed but transcended. Most of what we think is real, simply is not.
If we do not wake up to the fact that we, and only we ourselves, are both the monster under the bed and the angel flying over the headboard; if we don’t take action as a unified force of humanity that is based on the equanimity of its members; if we don’t start withholding our cooperation and compliance, whether willful or unwitting, from the systems that we know are a detriment to both nature and people, we are very surely and profoundly fucked.
On the bright side, human potential is unlimited. We certainly have the ability to jack up the more beautiful houses we’ve built, move these off the collapsing foundations of nonsense that so many of them currently teeter on, and reset them on solid ground. Got tools? Fearless Puppy On American Road can help. Have a nice day!
1–Most of the trouble we occupy our minds with simply does not exist. No one can possibly overcome that which does not exist! Sure there’s a lot of bad shit in the world, but most of the things we stress about on a daily basis just simply aren’t there in present-tense real life. These horror movies we keep creating in our minds are not facilitating happiness. You can’t control the world, but you can train your mind well enough so that you are comfortable in it. Sane, practical, happiness will substitute very nicely for stewing over what some asshole at the office did, wanting to cry because your so-called leaders are substandard humans, being hurt by an intentional or even unintentional insult, or giving yourself an ulcer reliving past betrayals and fearing future sufferings.
2–Human hearts and minds are what improves human culture–not the other way around. Our culture has been driven to the demented state it now occupies by the less agreeable facets of demented human hearts and minds. It is only when vast numbers of individuals change them selves, as individuals, that the culture has any chance of changing itself as a culture. Even from a selfish point of view, it makes sense to train your mind! There are so many things in the world that are out of our control. Possibly the only thing that is actually within our own individual control is the way we each experience our own life.  Whether you are getting stabbed or kissed, only you get to decide whether to smile or cry about it–to be  happy because of or in spite of the circumstances. Add to all this the painfully obvious evidence that constantly fixing things on the outside while rarely attending to the inside just doesn’t work. We have almost “fixed” the planet into extinction. Humanity’s only hope of survival lies in the individual mental, emotional, and spiritual efforts that its members invest on their own behalf, as well as on the behalf of others.

Short But Sweet

Mr. Mee and Ms. Kumnung
Mr. Mee and Ms. Kumnung are my best friends in the Temple. He is a Monk student. She is a Nun’s assistant and lay disciple. That means she does all the things a Nun student would do but is not planning to actually become one. Neither Mee nor Kumnung drink alcohol, have sex, eat after noon, or partake in many of the things that most of us would consider daily habits, pleasures, or even necessities. They are both happy.
They are like parents, a brother and sister, and friends to me. They help me with my language handicap and never call me “farang.” We eat together and breathe together. When one of us leaves the Temple grounds, we miss each other. I go out from the Temple grounds often. They rarely leave at all. In spite of my financial destitution, I always share tobacco with Mr. Mee and make special efforts to get sweets for Ms. Kumnung. She smiles when I come back from town, whether I’m carrying sweets for her or not. I would miss a hundred meals just to see that smile once.
Mr. Mee is the James Brown of our Temple home. Just like the late, great “hardest working man in show business,” he is constantly making an effort. With tools that would be considered more of a liability than an asset in the Western world, he gets everything done. Raking, hoeing, planting, painting, studying, and cleaning—he does it all and more. There is no lawn mower here. He mows the large lawn with a scythe and scissors.
Neither of these people ever complains about anything although more often than not there are no sweets, and some days we have no money for rolling papers. Mr. Mee and I often make our cigarettes from shreds of calendar paper and donated tobacco.
Mee and Kumnung always try to understand me. This takes all their patience, but they somehow never run out of it. There is very little I wouldn’t do for them and it seems they each feel the same way toward me.
Mr. Mee has enough scars on his arm from heroin addiction to have scared the shit out of Kurt Cobain and Lenny Bruce.
Ms. Kumnung has both heart and lung malfunctions. She takes more prescription medication than any nursing home resident I’ve ever met.
Mee and Kumnung are married. They shared the same bed for eight years before coming to the Temple to sleep apart.
I guess they think things are better this way.
FROM THE BOOK REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE “Reincarnation Through Common Sense is a true-story travel adventure book about rural Asian Buddhist Monks and Nuns adopting a very troubled soul from Brooklyn, New York. Westerners have written many books about living in Asian temples. None are like this crazy true story! The main character’s life runs through death into reincarnation without ever leaving his body. He describes this process in a manner so intimate and natural that you’ll think you are having coffee on a bar stool in the temple with him. For simplified street explanations of complex Buddhist thought, and an experience unique in comedic drama, spirituality, adventure, and sheer creativity, buy and read Reincarnation Through Common Sense.”

I Start From Here (1st chpt. new book!)

Many folks tell me that I am the happiest person they’ve ever met. I’ve had a nightmare childhood, several chronic disabling problems, and a couple of terminal illnesses—so the doctors told me. But at least three of the doctors who told me I’d be dead by now have died themselves. Others have just been flat-out wrong with their diagnoses, prescriptions, and predictions. It just goes to show you that a formal education isn’t always the most important thing.
Back when medicine was a profession instead of an industry, I may have believed those doctors. I may have been more polite and died out of respect for them. Experience has taught me that polite and compliant aren’t always the right course of action.
But nearly fifty years later, now that half of our American doctors have shown a diseased integrity that only used car salesman and high-level politicians were previously famous for, I usually don’t show up at their doors at all. Better results have come from taking care of myself.
But I recently made a mistake on this account and did a long-term medication given me by a Naturopath who didn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. It resulted in what looked to be a fatal aggravation to an already problematic liver. Two doctors said I had liver cancer. The “specialist” said I had six months to live. That was in October of 2018. Do the math.
After half a year or more of heavy meditation, highly focused breathing, Rick Simpson oil, apricot seeds (laetrile/B17), Chaga mushrooms, steam rooms and hot tubs, high potency Milk Thistle, lots of vitamins, herbs, raw juices, and of course dietary adjustments and lifestyle changes, I’m still here and having fun. Vampire pimps for the pharmaceutical industry didn’t put this smile on my face. I’m not going to let them take it off. I thank The Universal Whatever for these natural remedies.
It’s not that I completely distrust medical personnel and their methods. There are some good doctors and many great nurses. Several close friends are nurses. I am very grateful for their kindness. Doctors deal with diseases. Nurses deal with people. A nurse can sometimes help fix what a doctor screws up.
All that being said, and conquered diseases notwithstanding, I still must admit to being an old man. If you have read Fearless Puppy on American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense, you know that my aging bones have a lot of hard miles on them. Logic dictates that I be put out to pasture to enjoy the better memories. But if you have read those books, you also know that the out-to-pasture thing is not going to happen.
I’m going to make a voyage completely around the world. Everyone tells me that no one my age, especially no one with a rapidly disintegrating skeletal structure and a diagnosed terminal illness, should make such a journey. But we all have to die sooner or later, and I have a mission to accomplish before I do.
Several friends who have been abroad lately tell me that there is no place else on Earth as morally bankrupt, lacking integrity, crumbling apart from the inside, and as intimidating and repulsive to its neighbors as America. There is plenty of evidence to support their claims, but I still don’t like to believe them. I have to go see for myself. If it is true that no place sucks quite as badly as America does, I want to find out why. What are other places doing that we would benefit from doing ourselves? And more importantly, why are we not doing those things? What things are the other places doing that don’t work for them? Why aren’t they fixing their own messes? What are the ways people keep smiling, laughing, and loving life while fighting to repair a world that is mentally as well as physically ill, often disgusting, and may very well have a more severe terminal illness than I do? How do folks keep the fun happening in the midst of all the tragedy?
I’ll report back to you from each location, for your entertainment. But if you read anything that seems even more important than entertainment, feel free to use it. There may be some unusual information in these reports that you will find helpful. Don’t worry if people look at you like you’re crazy while you use unusual or unpopular information toward social, or even harmless personal, benefit. Any small move in the direction of saving any part of humanity from falling through its own inconsistencies is a wonderful thing—even if the bulk of humanity itself thinks you and your information are wacky.
The only people who ever change the world are the ones crazy enough to think they can do it. Being “crazy” in the eyes of others often means that you just have a different way of seeing things than they do. That can be a very good thing just as easily as it can be a very bad thing! Sure, Hitler and Idi Amin were crazy. But Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Jesus, and Copernicus were also said to be crazy, by many people who intended the word as an insult. Those critics didn’t realize just how helpful so-called “crazy” can be, if managed with a loving intelligence.
The medicines helped a lot to fix the cancer, but the real reason I am not dead yet is because I am a little crazy. Maybe I can explain that better with this little story I heard from a brilliant Indian mystic. “On a certain day, one cow asked another, ‘So what is your opinion about the Mad Cow Disease?’ The other cow responded, ‘I don’t give a hoot! I am a helicopter’!”
The ancient Chinese mystic Lao Tse put it this way. “There is no fear of tiger’s tooth, no danger from rhino’s horn. There is no place for death to enter.”
Understand? If not, no problem. I’m pretty sure it will make perfect sense to you by the time you finish reading this book.