Dreaming Of Chad And Herb

I hope you are happy and healthy. What’s new there?  Life in Nepal is still somewhat restricted, but it is still great.             My recurring dreams of Chad and Herb have returned. This is a very short chapter, but whenever I wake up from these dreams it always seems like I’ve been involved with them for centuries.           

I first had these dreams decades ago and wrote about them in the book Reincarnation Through Common Sense. I guess they will continue to bounce around in my brain until I become worm food.            

 I’ll leave the door to that brain open for a minute here. Come on in! Take a walk around. Meet Chad and Herb.             

Thanks very much for reading, and for clicking the backlinks.                                            Stay well. Love, Tenzin

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

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                    DREAMING OF CHAD AND HERB
                                                          

Chad            

Most of the folks you meet here are very pleasant. The natives are notoriously happy people who smile more often than not. Even those with ulterior motives are pleasant while overcharging you. Those who aren’t after what you have are a joy to be with. Most of the foreigners here are having fun. They are good company as well.                                     Every once in a while you meet an asshole.              

I was hanging out with my buddy Sepp at his resort’s bar. After more than a few beers we were feeling pretty good so the loud, obnoxious man who suddenly appeared uninvited at our table didn’t disturb us—at first. The problem was not that he invited himself to the table. Almost everyone here has the holiday spirit and is enjoying a similar buzz. Invitations are not required and most travelers are communally welcomed wherever they sit.                                                      There are exceptions.        

Chad was one of them. There’s no sense in telling you his country of origin. Assholes, like saints, come from everywhere. His voice sounded like screeching fingernails across a blackboard. He knew everything and everyone who ever existed anywhere. Chad actually said this. “Everybody wants to be like me, but I’m the only one who can make it work!”
                           Chad didn’t have the chops to make being that cocky work.        

Chad knew that some folks didn’t appreciate his presence. He didn’t care. Even Chad’s racist, sexist, bitter, chronic slandering of nearly all his fellow humans was overshadowed by his arrogance and total lack of humility. Chad only stomached other people in order to have more time to remind us of just how terrible everyone else was and how great he was.          

It was hard to stomach Chad. In Brooklyn, Chad would have gotten his ass kicked in five minutes or less. But Asia is much more polite and tolerant than Brooklyn. Places catering to tourists carry tolerance to an even greater level.           Dogs don’t have a human sense of protocol. Chad did not have to harass the resort’s resident dogs in order to get a reaction from them. They barked and snarled at him just for being Chad.         

Chad rattled on about all he knew that he was sure we didn’t, and about the wonderfulness of “The Chadster” and the very few people like him. I was getting a headache from this annoying prick. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath while trying to keep my composure and remain humane.           

When my eyes opened again, I was in bed. First daylight was coming through the window. Chad had been a dream.      

Something was telling me to be very careful to never move in the direction of
                                                   Chad-like behavior.                                                         
                                                   

HERB             
          

Most of the folks I’ve met here have been very pleasant. The natives are notoriously happy people who smile more often than not. Even the few with ulterior motives are pleasant while they overcharge you. Those who aren’t after your money are usually a joy to be with. Most of the foreigners here are having fun. They are often good company as well. It is rare to meet someone so decent that they shine above even the best of the rest.                         Herb was at the bar drinking slowly. We could tell he was not used to vacation quantities of alcohol. Nonetheless, the drunker he got, the more pleasant he seemed to become. The difficult experiences he spoke of were each framed in terms of the silver lining around the cloud. Herb actually said this about a betrayal he had suffered. “That one really hurt but I learned a lot from the experience. I can’t imagine what that poor guy must have gone through in life to make him so angry at everything!” If a lunatic threw a rock at his head, Herb would probably tell of the inspiring hallucination that he enjoyed during the concussion and then try to think of ways to get helpful counseling for his attacker.            
       Herb’s soft but energetic voice transmitted a calming strength that was as contagious as laughter through a crowd of children. Everyone felt it and was grateful. Folks kept buying him drinks that he obviously didn’t need, just so he wouldn’t leave. The dogs came over to lick his hand, purr like kittens, and then lay at his feet. He would pet them and say, “How you doing, sweetheart?” in the same tone that he used to speak with humans.             
        Herb didn’t overdo the horror stories, but he hadn’t had an easy life. Some folks are the privileged few. They get to grow up surrounded by loving kindness in an idyllic environment. They can easily grow into good qualities. Herb didn’t fit that mold. Herb had worked for every progress he made. This gave his character a very recognizably different dimension. He had an experiential wisdom to go with his kindness. Herb’s eyes afforded anyone that looked into them a no detours trip through hell and on up into heaven.             
         After a few hours and several beers with this amazing person I was feeling very good. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath to drink it all in. My eyes opened. I was in bed watching the sun rise across my window. Herb had been a dream.   

Something was trying to tell me to be very consistent in practicing        
Herb-like behavior.
 

(Make all the 420 references you like. They’ll fit.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be well. Love, Tenzin

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

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

more from both Costa Rica and Nepal soon

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

My Family Of Crows

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

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

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

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

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

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

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG

 FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                               My Family Of Crows
                                                          FAMILY        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crows Like Brown Bread                 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Nice Slice of Paradise on the Nepali Riviera

Hello and love from the Himalayas! How are you? What’s going on there?
        Pokhara is described below, so no sense being redundant here. I hope you enjoy this initial report about Nepal’s wonderful lakeside city and gateway to the world’s greatest mountain ranges. There will be much more to tell about it in the weeks to come. If you have any questions about this area, or whatever, let me know. Maybe I can find the answers.
         Thanks very much for reading, and for clicking the backlinks. Be well, Tenzin

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

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

POKHARA
 

The Road From Kathmandu To Pokhara
       

The road to Pokhara from Kathmandu is only one hundred and twenty five miles long but takes almost six hours to travel. After more than a solid year in the big concrete city of Kathmandu, the ride through mountainous jungle bordered by river seems like a ride through ecstasy. The road is nothing but curves! The longest straightaway of the entire trip lasts only twenty yards.        

Dusty brown earth accents the lush green vegetation rising into the skies. It is more greenery than I have seen in one place since leaving Vermont a year and a half ago. Twenty foot wide shelves are carved into several of the mountains, giving a stairway-to-heaven appearance. Some of them accommodate crops. They may also help prevent landslides.               

One out of every half dozen vehicles on this busy two lane highway is a truck spitting out toxic black fumes so noxious that the vehicle would be impounded, with its driver fined and likely arrested, in many countries on Earth.        

Small towns and smaller villages pop out of the mountainsides every five or ten miles. As is true throughout small-town Asia, there are some very nice houses but at least as many tin shacks with no running water or plumbing.        A river follows the road for most of the distance between Kathmandu and Pokhara. In places it flows well enough to accommodate rafts and kayaks. In other spots, and especially in the tributaries, exposed stone river beds let everyone know that it has been a dry winter—and monsoon season is still a ways off. Nationwide forest fires are a serious problem. Smoke sits over most of the mountains. It joins the truck fumes in making the air very unpleasant if not downright dangerous to breathe. Luckily, I coughed up a little extra money for a Jeep with AC instead of coughing up a lung.       

With only an hour left in the trip, a severe thunderstorm accompanied by violent wind pops up very suddenly. It mercilessly bounces the few motorcycles off the road whose drivers aren’t smart enough to pull over immediately. Luckily, no one appears to be seriously hurt. Even the deluxe size Jeep I ride in gets blown around a bit! Visibility is at no more than a car’s length for half an hour, but this doesn’t stop the berserk drivers from continuing to pass each other on blind curves. Even near-zero visibility, explosive thunder, lightning massive enough to be in a National Geographic photo, and water flowing from the sky in thick sheets instead of drops can not slow down a Nepali driver!        

The storm finally stops about a half hour outside of Pokhara. The air is more breathable and the terrain more visible. Everyone in this nation hopes that the rain has also put out some of the wildfires.        

My car pulls up to the hotel where a cordial staff helps unload too much stuff and haul it all up to my room. The view from the balcony is stunning!                                                       

Yumpin’ Yimminies! Those are Mountains!?!         

The hundred hotels within view do not diminish the natural splendor that surrounds them.

They are dwarfed by it.

On the north side of the hotel is a beautiful lake nestled between emerald hills. I wouldn’t swim in it, but it provides a view as sweet as any in Ireland or Thailand. Composing the horizon on the south, as well as much of the east and west, are breathtaking mountain ranges. Massive snow covered behemoths of rock and earth whose tops have been jaggedly carved by nature for millennia hug the sky. They tower over the rest of life with such a silent majesty and total authority that all of civilization below resembles an ant farm by comparison. These mountains make much of the Rockies look like foothills, and Vermont’s Green Mountains look like large speed bumps. I stare slack-jawed at the glorious Himalayas for a half hour, then head into town.       

The lakeside main drag of Pokhara looks a little like Waikiki’s ocean front main drag in Honolulu, Hawaii, but it is so much sweeter, smaller, cleaner, more diverse, and prettier that the comparison is short-lived. There are restaurants that feature international as well as local cuisine. Many of these have live music several nights per week (temporarily suspended due to virus-related government restriction on public gatherings). There are travelers from many different countries around the world. Most of the international travelers here use the city as a base station for trips into the mountains. They are more accurately called trekkers, rather than tourists.          

There is a very noticeable difference between the vibe in Pokhara and the vibe in Kathmandu. Pokhara is also a big city, but the more natural and less man-made aspect of the physical environment seems to keep the population moving at a more natural pace. There is less hectic motion, less hustle and bustle. Of course the people here are also going places and doing things, but it feels like that action is taking place in a California or Cape Cod beach town. The action in Kathmandu feels a lot more like it is taking place in Brooklyn or Boston.            

Kathmandu, especially in the monastery-filled Boudha section where I spent last year, is a rich spiritual environment in spite of the physical environment. Pokhara is a rich spiritual environment because of it. Winters are mild and summers hot in Pokhara. It is, or so it seems after only one week, among the more beautiful places in the world that I have ever lived.            

Paddleboats and row boats are for rent on the lake. You can flow solo and row for yourself, or you can have an oarsman do it for you. The sun rises up from behind the distant Himalayan snows in the morning. At twilight it sinks down behind the hills that caress the lake. A Hindu spiritual service is performed every evening on the lakefront’s shore. This “Araati” ceremony is complimented by one strikingly beautiful background containing a brilliant bloodshot orange sunset and vibrant green hills, and by a second background exactly as beautiful that shimmers as a reflection in the lake. Three priests dressed in their finest ceremonial red and gold swirl massive fiery…                      

The Pokhara story continues in the weeks to come. 

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

Is Big Bird a God?

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

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

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

Garuda can be quickly but only semi-accurately translated into Western as the Asian Phoenix. Mine was a little different. It very rarely presented itself in any conventionally described Garuda form. It also changed forms at will. In the interest of keeping these posts within the thousand-word range of quick and easy reading, here are a few random paragraphs plucked from the twenty-plus page section in the book Fearless Puppy On American Road that describes the entire experience. Thank you very much for reading, and for clicking on the backlinks.                                                                     Stay happy please, Ten***p.s. As always, if you find these weekly bits bothersome, let me know and I’ll stop sending them to you. If you find the reading at all enjoyable, please—it literally takes only seconds—click one or more or all of the highlighted backlinks following this paragraph. This simple process is completely without risk, cost, or difficulty. All it does is bring you to the site that is highlighted. Each click is a big help in pushing Fearless Puppy up in the Google rankings. Whether you browse the sites or close the windows immediately, your help has been delivered when you click. Thank you!

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE
REAL?       

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

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

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

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

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

Wipe eyes. Blink.

Opened eyes after blinking see that the highway has disappeared.      

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

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

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

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

“We are Garrruda. Welcome.”        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Within an instant, I find out why.          

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

* * *                                                         Jonah’s Frying Pan         

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

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

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

Many thanks to our wonderful friends at Pema Boutique Hotel for their help and support.

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

The Process

Howdy from Kathmandu! I hope you are happy and healthy. Is life going well where you are? If you have time and inclination, please answer.              

Schools here are open again. The children and teachers all wear masks. Restrictions have loosened a bit to allow just a few more tourists into Nepal. This minimal increase in traffic is not enough to fix all the serious economic problems, but it is a bit of an improvement for many of the local businesses.        

This week’s 1000 words are from the book Fearless Puppy On American Road. They are ostensibly about the process of hitchhiking. I have hitchhiked so much that it has become my metaphor for life. I hope you enjoy the metaphor.       

A human mind works best when trained to be coherent, clear-sighted, and capable of self-organization while also being creatively free range. It is a very serious advantage to have a cohesive partnership going on between intelligent thought, creative process, and productive action. Otherwise, your thoughts and life can end up like so many positively inspired political and environmental efforts do—nobly motivated, fueled with great dedication, and a joy to be involved with—but not altogether coherently coordinated enough to reach the great level of success that such noble motivations deserve. It seems that great intentions and strong effort can’t get the job done themselves. A successful process has to be mastered and implemented.                                       Please be well and stay well. Love, Tenzin***

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

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                           THE PROCESS         

There is a process to hitchhiking. Much of what holds true for the hitchhiking process often holds true for other parts of life as well.        

First, you’ve got to decide that you want to get somewhere other than where you are. Then you have to raise the energy and determination to actually leave your present location. All trips start with a determination that’s serious enough to get you off your butt and moving. You might have a very specific destination in mind or it could just be a direction. Regardless of the destination, you will probably have to overcome some stagnation, lethargy, patterned behavior, and also risk some stability, in order to get anywhere.

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

After that, you have to pack what you’ll need. It’s always best to reach a balance in packing. Obvious essentials such as flashlight, towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, emergency food and water need to be included. But you may have to walk miles in rough weather from a place you get stuck in. The difference between a thirty-pound pack and an eighty-pound pack could end up being the difference between comfort or exhaustion/heat stroke/frostbite and even death. But then again, so could a half-pound sweater that you thought unnecessary and left behind. Pack wisely.          

You’ll also want a map. Other folks have been to the places you want to get to and have traveled in the directions you want to go. Maps exist for nearly every piece of road in the world. They all use universal symbols. No matter where you are from or what language you speak, everyone knows that a bigger dot means a bigger city and that a thicker line connotes a major highway. You can journey uninformed in unfamiliar territory, if you like. You can even make your own trail or road through wilderness. Folks used to do it all the time in the olden days. Folks used to suffer much greater hardships and die younger back then too. Luckily, many of those people made maps of the roads they built or discovered. Reading those maps can save us modern folk a lot of time, energy, and disaster. A map can help you to live longer and more comfortably than people did in the olden days.           

It is best to start a long hitchhiking trip from the on-ramp of a highway. Don’t stand right out on the highway itself. There are good reasons why this is illegal. It is not only dangerous for the hitchhiker, but also for the highway traffic. The chance of getting crushed into eternity by a seventy mile per hour vehicle paying strict attention to its own process is a lot greater on the highway itself than on the entrance ramp. Any driver entering a ramp at twenty-five miles per hour is going to be immediately aware that you are on the shoulder looking for a ride. That driver will have a greater ability to pull over without killing you, his or her own passengers, or the folks in other vehicles than a seventy mile per hour highway car would.           

Get to the highway or main road as quickly and easily as possible. Standing on a barely traveled road in a rural area where the drivers are unfamiliar with you might last long enough for you to become vulture food. Hitching on a main city street is usually unproductive and can be dangerous as well. The highway or main road is probably close enough to where you wake up so that you can get a ride from a friend, take a local bus, or even walk to it.            

Once you are wisely packed and on an entrance ramp to a main road, you’re going to need patience. You can be properly packed and intelligently discriminating about which cars you get into. That’s brilliant. But it does not change the fact that on some days you will get passed by hundreds of cars and have to wait several hours before anyone stops to pick you up. And it doesn’t change the fact that a driver who initially seems like fun may turn into a downer, or danger, after a half hour’s acquaintance.             

Most of the time good luck will favor you. It will most often be a good person that will bother to pull their car over to help a stranger. You still have to be vigilant, discriminating, and patient—full time. That way you’re prepared for anything. Prepared does not mean paranoid or even afraid. It means aware. Have fun! Traveling should be a joyful process. If you think every car pulling over for you will have an axe-murderer driving it, you should take the bus. (Unfortunately, your odds of meeting that axe-murderer won’t drop much on the bus.)              

If you live through many years of hitchhiking, you will eventually get what is called “a feel for the road.” You’ll have better instincts for the best times to be on which roads, what sort of equipment to carry, whose car to not get into, and so on. Rides will seem to come more easily. This is still no time to let your humbly positive attitude or awareness fall asleep. Whether you are novice or adept at all this, neither human driver nor divine force owes you a ride—nor are either under your control. Be pleasant and grateful to the person that finally does stop for you. It is not your benevolent host’s fault if you have been standing in freezing rain for two hours.             

At its best, hitchhiking is a joint venture where you and your hosts benefit each other. In such instances, taking the ride can be a joy. If you’re not grateful, if you are arrogant, or if you are not aware of each situation you get into—any ride can certainly be otherwise.I hope it is obvious to you that these procedures can apply to any number of life’s processes besides hitchhiking.   

Pick a place you want to get to.             

Prepare wisely and diligently.             

Read a map.             

Hit the road comfortably, but with your eyes open.             

Have fun. If you aren’t having fun, you may be doing something wrong. Stop. Figure out what it is. Fix it. Get back on the road.
                     p.s. No matter how far you have gone down the wrong road, turn back.

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! 

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!

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                                               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 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.
BEGINNING OF CHAPTER
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.”
ENDING OF THE CHAPTER
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.

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.