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.

INTRO to Great New Book!

INTRODUCTION
My name is Tenzin Kharma Trinley. In English that means “The Activity of the Buddha Teaching.”
There are only two reasons that I haven’t killed you or several people just like you yet—Sergeant Pepper and LSD. I grew up as Doug Rose, the lone Jewish maniac in a Sicilian Mafia neighborhood. At fourteen years old I became the only person to ever take Killer Tortoricci’s best punch and not go down, as well as the only person to ever back down a half dozen mafia kids at knifepoint. This earned me enough respect to survive the rest of my childhood, and the nickname “The Crazy Jew.” The neighborhood folks looked at me as an emanation of Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, the legendary Jewish gangster famous for violent insanity, altruism, and the idea that has since become Las Vegas. I was surely on the road to becoming a contract killer at about the same age that puberty kicked into high gear.
As all this was happening, I was also busily trying to kill myself. In my teens I was brought to a hospital, supposedly already dead from a drug overdose. They gave me a shot of adrenaline in the heart. It didn’t work. One doctor pronounced me dead. Another said no. He gave me another shot. That one worked.
Non-Sicilians on the fringe of the mob never did well in the long run—not in Brooklyn in the 1950s and 60s. Even the organization’s best friends, if not full blood Sicilian, could count on eventually being used as a fall guy to take the rap for a full blood Sicilian “family” member. I was saved from this and many other deadly fates by hallucinogenic drugs and a collection of thirteen songs.
My diet-pill-and-tranquilizer-addled parents listened for years to their unstable child whine about getting a dog. They finally gave in with the promise that in two weeks we would drive from Brooklyn to the Long Island Bide-A-Wee animal shelter and adopt a canine. I had big plans for the animal. Its name would be Assassin. I immediately built a dummy of old clothes stuffed with newspapers. The plan was to teach the animal how to attack and kill humans. I impatiently prepared for the day when Assassin’s training could begin.
As my plans were taking shape, fate kicked the shit out of them. I guess it would be more accurate to say that fate knocked me into a whole new world where plans like mine simply weren’t relevant. Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album was released and I started doing LSD during that two weeks of waiting to adopt the dog that would have become Assassin.
The dog was instead named Sergeant Pepper. She became the gentlest, kindest dog in the neighborhood. She was also a big hit with all the neighbors because in the 1960s, my German Shepherd/Boxer mix was the only female sergeant in existence. She was especially popular with the old folks, who laughed until they near wet themselves at the concept of a female sergeant. They would cross the street through heavy traffic to place a hand near Sargie’s head. She would bump her head up into that hand, begging for petting. Everyone obliged with a short laugh and a long smile.
The dummy I had built for Assassin’s practice was eventually used for a harmless Halloween prank and then destroyed. Well, harmless except for being thrown out of a fourth floor window with a scream, in an attempt to scare the shit out of that pain in the ass, Mr. Perlmutter, as he walked by below. It did. He peed himself.
I have spent the rest of my life as a wannabe do-gooder instead of a short-lived hitman. Long and painful work has been spent in an effort to more completely convert the violent and crazy tendencies into kind and considerate habits.
Now, over five decades later, I have almost completely dissolved the personality of that deranged teenager. It took a lot of cross country travel without ever driving a car, a lot of study without classrooms, and some do-gooder efforts and charity projects to benefit others—often while remaining homeless myself. It also took a consistent faith in no describable thing and a consistent determination to go any place. There was no cell phone full of friends’ numbers and no bank account for backup. This was not always a rewarding modus operandi. Evolution was not a smooth path for me. Mistakes were made. There were several slips, falls, and blatant fuck-ups. There still are some. But they are now a lot fewer and milder than they used to be. The whole process is described in the books Fearless Puppy on American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense. You can also find out something about it in the About Author/Media section’s TV/radio interviews and newspaper articles at the website.
The best explanation of how I turned myself from a semi-crazed animal into a more or less decent human being is contained within this old Cherokee legend.
A boy asked his grandmother, “Why are some people so good and some people so bad?” The eighty-year-old Cherokee woman answered, “There are two wolves that live inside every person. One is good and one is evil. These two wolves are constantly fighting with each other for possession of the person’s spirit. They may find occasional places to compromise out of necessity, but essentially they are always at war with each other.” The grandson responded, “Which wolf wins, Grandmother?” Grandmother smiled and gently stroked the boy’s face. She powered her gaze right through her grandson’s eyes and into his heart as she answered, “Whichever one you feed, my love. Whichever one you feed.”

Back To Less Important Business

The children have been fed through the severest emergency period, lockdown is partially relaxed here in Nepal, and families in the village we were feeding are doing a little bit better. The remaining smidgeon of money that was in the kitty of our food drive has been properly distributed to food and medicine for two desperately needy local families. (Romash and friend, pictured above getting ready to deliver.) There are many families throughout the city that are still very much in trouble, so we will keep the GFM page open and take care of those folks as contributions to do so roll in. As always, we will continue to report to you in prose and photo about the great good that your generosity accomplishes. Our crew is, at least part time, getting back to their previous lives. That means that I am once again an author writing a book about a laughing corpse who travels completely around a decaying world in search of truth and fun. Here is a very short piece from March. It describes the beginning of the long, severe lockdown in Nepal. Oddly enough, nearly everything in it is still very much current (except of course that the numbers are much higher than one by now). ***And again, thank you very, very much to all the compassionate donors that have helped, and those who will continue to help, to keep our neighbors from starving! https://www.gofundme.com/f/malnourished-nepali-children-need-help
Trapped In Heaven/Free In Bondage
Want to know how to be blissful and free while shackled to where you are? I found the answer (again) while trapped in The Boudha Stupa’s wheelhouse in Kathmandu, but it can happen anywhere.
Just three short days after moving into The Pundarika Cozy Apartments to enjoy my last two weeks in Kathmandu while finalizing plans for a Spanish adventure, Spain closed. It seems like most of the world closed with it.
The corona virus has spun the planet into panic. Everything is closed. Everyone is out of work. Early reports say that it will become a lot more serious. So far, what we have seen here involves a lot more social engineering and cultural manipulation than disease. A lot has been done about successfully controlling human behavior. Nothing has been done about successfully controlling a virus.
“Never waste a crisis.” —Winston Churchill
The manufactured fear, real economic impact, and spooky sociopolitical consequences are already proving to be worse than the actual disease. Nepal has one reported case so far. That person was isolated and cured weeks ago. Nonetheless, the government has officially mandated social distancing to the point of locked down isolation for its citizens. There is no projected end date to this process. Communication with the Western world tells me that reactions and overreactions to this virus are just as pronounced there. A real disease exists and it can be dangerous. But media exaggeration, dramatization, and fear-mongering seem to be serving a diabolical purpose that has nothing to do with a virus. Call me a conspiracy theorist, label me paranoid, and send me for counseling but I’ll bet anyone that wants to take the bet—there is a sociopolitical plague and an impending degeneration of freedom in the works that a virus itself could not produce.
Anyway, I am trapped here in heaven and loving it, so far. I’m not loving the fact that people around the world are getting sick and some are dying. I’m not loving the the way so many people are drinking fear as if it is champagne during Prohibition. There is nothing lovable about the economic butt kicking being suffered by so many people that have always been a paycheck or two away from being homeless and hungry, or the restrictions already put on personal freedoms, or the strong possibility that those restrictions will expand in the near future. What I am loving is that sheer dumb luck has landed me on a fragrant garden island floating in a sea of both bullshit and real shit. Yes, there is a nasty storm all around. Yes, the storm is complete with viral monsters, social maelstroms, a typhoon strength manipulation of the public that is painful to watch, and tidal waves of debilitating insecurity and fearful insanity. Common sense has become a victim of both the hype and the disease.
But life here in the Boudha Stupa area is a bit more fun than most reports of life elsewhere. When your dimension is collapsing, it is a real plus to be surrounded by folks who are already halfway into another dimension.
Joseph Campbell said that when a person is no longer directed by and mentally immersed in the history of his or her carnal body, but is rather directed by and immersed in the Consciousness that informs that body, then the suffering of that ego driven carnal self no longer has anything to do with this person’s experience of life. Although conditions outside of self stay the same, a change of perspective, perception, and focus can actually make the suffering disappear from the way we experience those conditions.
Identifying with the dimension of consciousness cancels a lot of problems that we employ by identifying with our so-called normal egoistic frame of reference. Mr. Campbell said that it is as if the shackles fall off while never leaving your wrists—like being free in bondage. A common old expression states a similar notion as, “head in the clouds with feet on the ground.” George Harrison nailed open the door to all this for us by saying quite often that, “It’s all in your mind.”
A very high percentage of the people here understand and live by these ideas. There are over a thousand monks and nuns in this small neighborhood. They spend more time dwelling in that Universal Consciousness than in their carnal, ego-based history. They radiate what the Buddhists call Loving Kindness. It is considered to be the base station of both human and universal nature. The entire population of the neighborhood absorbs a lot of what the robed people radiate. That general public then radiates love and support back to the monks, nuns, and each other as well as toward any and all living things.
This kind and loving way of life makes sense, and it is nothing new. It has been voiced in one form or another by sages, shamans, and other emotional scholars around the world for thousands of years. Generating a state of Loving Kindness and psychological freedom by identifying with the Universal, instead of identifying with the strictly and restrictively personal, has major advantages. It provides the practitioner with great inner strength as well as a ticket to ride with happy freedom’s essential sibling components—altruism, compassion, and universal connectedness. These qualities are the building blocks for a happier life.
Knowing that a mind free and strong enough to transcend conventional, mundane thought is the base station for happiness is not enough. Just knowing about this state of mind is a very different thing than consistently practicing and actively embodying it enough to internalize its benefits, and become skillful in sharing those benefits with others.
It doesn’t take a shaman to see that we are on the edge of some very deep shit, folks. It is more important now than it has ever been to practice the transcendence that will actually bring transition. Knowing about it won’t save us. Embodying it, becoming it, and then consistently being it, will.
Knowing that we need food to live will not keep us alive if we don’t shop, cook, and eat.
MORE TO COME ON Nepal, photos of ancient spiritual and historical sites, people, culture, then the continuing trip around the world, and more—if you want it. If not let me know and I will take you off the mailing list right away.
***If you missed the Introduction to the book that will be titled Temple Dog Soldier and contains the above chapter, or would like to see several other chapters that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section at www.fearlesspuppy.info or contact me directly at jahbuddha13@hotmail.com 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 about and by a corpse traveling around the world!
**The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through website and email, as 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, if you choose to buy them! (***You can also get them right from Amazon. See all the 5 reviews there.) 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 exclusive to Buddhist monks and nuns.

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED SO FAR

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED SO FAR
This trip has, so far, brought me almost exactly half way around the world from where I started. It has been great fun, adventure, experience, and offered wonderful insights into different cultures. But it hasn’t taught me much about humanity that I didn’t already know. It has confirmed a lot that I already suspected.
People everywhere and anywhere are a lot more similar than different. Most are trying to be decent and happy, but all have different definitions of what “decent” and “happy” mean. There are a small number of seriously self-centered assholes, but even they are also just hunting happiness in their own warped fashion.
The nice people can be awfully cruel at times. Cruel people are occasionally nice.
No one gets out alive but most folks act as if death only happens to other people. There is very little real consciousness of mortality going on.
Actually, there is precious little consciousness going on at all. Folks seem to do a lot of life habitually and without any deep awareness of their thoughts or actions. Very few realize how many choices they have. Many folks seem busier strangling life’s opportunities with irrelevant and often inaccurate historical misinformation than are actually taking advantage of those opportunities. They don’t realize that a lot of what is called tradition turns out to be no more than peer pressure from dead people, and that it lacks any valuable or even real substance. They seem swept away by the current of life, like a body trapped in the current of a wide river. They don’t realize that there are banks on both sides of any river that we can swim to, climb ashore, and find golden new possibilities waiting for us.
Most people have been hypnotized by the commercial and political nuances of their culture into believing that their remedy is somewhere outside of themselves. Those misleading nuances, like the people themselves, are more similar than different no matter what culture they travel through.
Many folks get trapped for a lifetime in these external pursuits of well-being. Few realize that all solutions are within. Many are aware that there is something wrong but just can’t figure out what that something is.
The historical Buddha is often misquoted as having said that “Life is suffering.” But the word “dukkha” that he used is more accurately translated as “dislocated” or “out of joint,” in the manner of a dislocated shoulder or collarbone. Many folks give lip service to the well-known fact that love is the answer. They mouth it often. They feel it a little more on Sundays and at Christmas, but have trouble putting it into consistent application during the rest of their week—and the rest of their living. They know where the best stuff is but are disjointed, dislocated from it.
Pain will happen in life but suffering is often optional, or at least adjustable. Reconnecting with The Bigger Thing eliminates the dislocation from it. That re-established connection often supersedes and modifies the previous connection to suffering. It doesn’t matter whether one tags the “Bigger Thing” as Jesus, Allah, Buddha, Xenon the Invader, The Field, The Force, or Self. Drive any car you want that will get you to the destination. Regardless of which teacher or system is used, the quality of attention paid by the student is a good deal more important than who the teacher is. Consciousness needs to be intentionally tuned in to and is therefore, on several levels, self-consciousness.
More people every day are starting to realize we are at a crucial point in history. They can figure out later that those tag systems were almost all symbolic and very little was literal. They can wait just a bit to come to grips with the fact that they have to do the internal work in order to enjoy more humane qualities, not wait for someone or something supernatural to do it for them. But Earth is very near immediate crisis mode. Even paying serious attention to a truly positive “belief” can do nicely as a vehicle on the road to improving life right now, saving the environment as soon as possible, and an objectively sound wisdom in the future.
That wisdom in the future will include the courage to simply say, “I don’t know.” Admitting that we don’t know a lot of things will eliminate the need for blindly believing in unfounded, unrealistic stories that dead people just flat-out made up a long time ago. Believing in fairytales can give us a false sense of an actually nonexistent security. It disfigures objective reality.
Many of these stories were control devices designed to tame and civilize, or intimidate and rule, unruly populations. Others may well have been meant symbolically and are still brilliant metaphorical lessons. But history shows that over a period of centuries, a lot of material that was meant to be metaphorical got concretized, bent to individual purposes, and sloppily translated. Look what happens in three minutes to a message running through a chain of ten kids playing Telephone! Give that process a couple of dozen centuries, or even months, and what fragments of the original message remain may no longer have any resemblance to the actual original message.
The good part is that everybody wants to get love and life right, even if they are not consciously aware of it. That desire may see very little practical application in the modern world at times, but an increasing number of folks are realizing that they do want to be improved, happier, nicer versions of themselves. Many are searching. There is hope.
Every day, I see more people waking up. But also every day, another poor jackass is born and hypnotized from birth to think his life is so important that yours doesn’t matter at all. These are the guys who manufacture the separations that keep humanity from becoming itself. Things like sexual, religious, national, and ethnic differences are given such great importance in the physical/material world! There is nothing, in mundane existence, wrong with the pleasures that these differences afford. There is not much wrong with the limited feeling of inclusion that these little clubs we belong to can give us—as long as they’re not at the expense and degradation of any other little club. But these likes, dislikes, preferences, accidents of birth, and so on have no place in the world of consciousness, and it is insane to let them overpower the total inclusiveness that pure consciousness entails.
I have seen a lot of human inconsistency everywhere while traveling around the world. There doesn’t seem any sense in being an optimist or a pessimist. I’m a realist. It appears that we can go either way. Everything can work out just fine or humanity can become extinct in short order. Most folks are nice. Everything depends on whether those nice folks can muster the inspiration, power, and intelligence to make the few nastier people see reason. That’s going to take some doing because in order to help anyone else do that job efficiently, the nice folks will first have to do a version of it on themselves. The mechanics of The Bigger Thing dictate that things work the way Gandhi did. A mother came to The Mahatma and asked him to get her sugar-addicted child off the sugar. Gandhi told her to come back in two weeks with the boy. She did. Mahatma talked to the boy and the child stopped eating sugar from that day on. The mother asked, “Why did you have me wait two weeks?” Gandhi answered, “Two weeks ago, I was on sugar!”
The nice folks will also have to be careful to not become just like those nasty people. It happens sometimes. People have often killed tyrants and then become tyrants. Revolution, by dictionary definition, means you end up back where you started from. Evolution, on the other hand, puts your way of living somewhere else.”Somewhere else” would, in almost every nonphysical sense, be a good place for all of humanity to move to—especially that nastier fraction of humanity.
We are a unit. Whether you are basically nice or nasty, like man or woman ass, are born black or white, or are from the Eastern or Western hemisphere, we now have no functional choice but to realize the depth of what the American patriot Patrick Henry said in the 1770s. Regarding the revolution against England, he advised his compatriots that “we must hang together or we will surely hang separately.” Now that we are facing the extinction of the human species on so many fronts—environmental, warrior/political/nuclear, a potentially fatal overpopulation and draining of resources, and more, Patrick Henry’s words are more important to live by than ever.
***If you missed the Intro to this third book (that the above piece is from) and would like to see it, go to the Puppy website blog section, or WordPress, or send an email request to jahbuddha13@hotmail.com This is a book in progress. You are seeing it here as I write it! And as it says in the Intro, it is a totally true story and may be the only book ever written by a corpse!***The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author, as well as sample chapters by, very entertaining tv/radio interviews with, and newspaper articles about him are available at http://www.fearlesspuppy.info

One Lucky Turkey!

13

Gratitude

From the newly released book Reincarnation Through Common Sense. All author profits sponsor wisdom. Please see Fearless Puppy

Most folks are grateful when something unusually pleasant comes along, great pain ends, or somebody does them a favor. People seem to save gratitude for special occasions.

The people who live at this Temple are grateful nearly all the time for whomever they are with and whatever they are doing at the moment. They remember what a lot of us have forgotten. Even when life seems to suck, there is probably something as well as someone in our life who deserves gratitude. That someone may not have physically done anything for us. They may only have encouraged us, or wished us well. But a good thought is easier to catch than a bad cold, and a good thought can carry a person a very long way. Encouragement and good wishes aren’t the small potatoes they appear to be at times.

Gratitude has a powerful potential to multiply into a series of good events. I’m grateful for that, but then again I’m grateful for a lot of things. I’m too broke to get into the poorhouse and just a couple of weeks past suicidal, but things are improving rapidly. A very highly respected spiritual leader has invited me into his community—no money down. Professional altruists care for me and a whole village feeds me. I’m doing very well for a dead guy. So when a wild errant thought still tells me that leaving life may be a better idea than staying with it, there is a pleasantly heavy load of gratitude balancing that errant thought.

I lean on it.

My debt of gratitude is owed to everyone who has put their generous effort into helping keep my boat afloat and teaching me how to adjust my sails to the wind. This debt will not be repaid by my untimely demise. That would make all their noble efforts wasted. And so, morbid thoughts must be replaced with better ones such as gratitude.

I guess whatever thoughts replace suicide are an improvement, but gratitude is special. Gratitude itself is so pure and good that it doesn’t care if I use it as a crutch. Gratitude doesn’t care what form it is used in. It’s just grateful to be working.

I’m grateful that it’s working too.

From the newly released book Reincarnation Through Common Sense. All author profits sponsor wisdom. Please see Fearless Puppy

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