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 Treasures At Our Fingertips

Hi! I hope you are happy and healthy. What’s new where you are? Life in the big city of Kathmandu rolls on. This place has many wonderful qualities. Air quality is not among them. Smoking cigarettes here is redundant.  Within a month or so, I will be moving to where there are more trees, more quiet, a lake, and less pollution.        

I’ll miss the many wonderful people that I have met here in Kathmandu.       

The following are two very, very short pieces. Some folks tell me that both are a little abstract. Considering that the whole world seems to be painted in a bizarre shade of paisley these days, I don’t suppose that a bit of abstract will hurt anything. The two pieces are in the spirit of a couple of guys that taught many people what the phrase “walk your talk” means. The first is about overcoming obstacles that prevent us from being who we want to be. It comes from the book, Reincarnation Through Common Sense and was inspired by Archan Den. He was the head monk of the forest temple in Kok Ta Hom, Thailand that took in a very troubled man from Brooklyn, New York and allowed him an unconditional half year of living among saints. Archan never asked me to, nor did I while there, study Buddhism. The one job he gave me was “Make your self comfortable.” That half year turned me back into a human. The second section is from the book Fearless Puppy on American Road. It was mostly inspired by Kunsang Dechen Lingpa Rinpoche. He is the Tibetan Lama and mystic that I have seen more often than any other. He has been dead for a decade or so. I still see him sometimes. I have met many other very wonderful Lamas before and since, but Kunsang Dechen Lingpa Rinpoche was just the right one for me to meet at just the right time.          

In spite of the fact that both pieces were written by a nearly 70 year old juvenile delinquent, I hope you will enjoy them. Thanks very much for reading, and for the backlink clicks.                                                                             Please be happy, Tenzin 

“All talking will become sheer nonsense, if one cannot elucidate the Truth.” Milarepa

***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

                                                              Would You Rather Be a Finger or Part of a Hand?            

Waiting for God or Congress to fix things won’t work. The Collective Human Attitude cannot change until the attitudes of the individuals composing it do. This has been proven many times.           

Great Masters have come and gone. We immortalize their words and images. But the actual purpose of their teachings was to inspire us toward functional applications of those words in real life situations. Unfortunately, much of humanity seems to mislay those functional applications as consistently as a teardrop in the rain.         

Why?          

It may be true that some people are just too damn lazy to change their minds. The bigger problem is that many of us are too stressed out, distracted, and preoccupied to concentrate on the process of making this a truly better life for our selves, and a better world for everyone. Inhumane stress levels numb us into surviving under comfortably fossilized lies instead of living with truths that might be disturbing in the very short run, but will save us in the long run.          

The inhumane stress levels that modern people suffer are largely fueled by two pieces of drastic misinformation. Nearly all of us have been brutally misled regarding the qualities defining our most critical human directions—the purpose of life and the meaning of success.          

A more functional definition and a consistent practice of these terms are necessary in order for us to maintain peace and decency on an individual level. Only after plenty of that has been accomplished can peace and decency arrive, survive, and thrive at the community, national, and planetary levels.          

The bigger masterpiece can only be painted by combining the brush strokes of all our little self-portraits.          

All the great teachers, religions, and spiritual traditions seem to be nearly unanimous in their on-paper notions of the terms “purpose of life” and “success.” Their notions—unlike the general public’s questionable and constantly wavering standards for doing Earthly business—usually nail it.                 

The purpose of life is to not only achieve health, love, and happiness but also to assist whatever else is alive to do the same. Personal success is defined as developing the individual decency and courage to promote that universal well being, and building the skillful means to turn that brilliant motivation into actions that are realistically helpful to self and others.            

Great ideas! Of course, the big problem is the “on-paper” part. Installing these notions from the on-paper version into actual practice seems to be a rare happening among humans.
               No One can save humanity now. Salvation has been circling the planet for a long time. It has no place to land! We can provide that landing pad by personally moving toward what we are asking for, by actually becoming dynamic peace and cooperation, and by leaving a lot of old bullshit behind.               

It can be difficult for a person to independently redirect his or her focus. Millennia of outdated conditioning and our present-day hypnosis by modern media only scratch the surface of what needs to be overcome. But we have to start somewhere.              

The best place to start may be to simply make ourselves comfortable with our selves.              

It is a sad fact that the pressures of life in our modern world make being uncomfortable in one’s own skin a very taken-for-granted condition—a condition that often seems like it is an insurmountable obstacle to so many people.               There are very few insurmountable obstacles in life. What may seem like insurmountable obstacles at first are more often just challenges. We can victoriously rise above almost any challenge by just making a consistent, stable, relaxed, focused, determined effort to do so. This is true whether that challenge comes from the darkest corners of the world—or the darkest corners of our own minds.                              

“There are no problems. Only solutions.”  John Lennon                                                         

The Ties That Bind/The Treasure That Heals         

I am not a qualified teacher of anything except English as a Second Language—and am not very good at that. I have always been a haphazard and rebellious student. In high school, I threw pencils at the backs of teachers and attended more drug parties than classes. I’m not going to try to tell you things that I have no spiritual or intellectual authority to tell you—except for this one thing. Here’s the reason.       

Years after high school, I fell in love with a teacher. Not in the romantic sense, of course. He might more likely and more accurately say that I fell in love with what was coming through him. As a result, I might have paid attention to what he was saying in a different way than most folks pay attention in class. I may have picked up some of his unspoken thoughts well enough to fashion words around them. (There might also be some residual LSD notions of my own that have survived from long gone decades and are mixed in here.) So here goes.           

We are all connected. There is a singular fabric of life that contains everything that is living. This bigger picture is more real than our little individual ones. We are each a part of one big unit as surely as, and more profoundly than, we exist as independent individual humans.        

Choose any of the well-known cloth metaphors: cut from the same cloth, threads running between us, woven into the fabric of… They all have truth to them.        

There’s a thread that ties you to your mother. There’s a lesser one that ties you to the grocery clerk. You and I have a strand that connects us. There are other threads—and they may be a lot less visible but believe me, there are other threads—that tie you to every other living creature on Earth. You have never met most of these people or other living creatures in the flesh. You never will get to meet most of them. There is still a connection so true that your wireless provider would kill to figure out its technology.        

There is also a connection between every person (including you!), and some powerful esoteric energies. We may not be aware of these connections and energies. They exist nonetheless.        

One of my stronger threads ties me to an energy represented by a mythical bird that can rebuild its life from the ashes of its own destruction. This energy teaches how to transmute poisonous experiences into success and benefit. Relative to this, there seems to also be a thread running between my self and some very wise people who can translate, even to a relatively dense human being like me, exactly what that mystical bird symbolizes. These wise folk can make a complex concept more easily understandable.        

Millions of people everywhere are consciously enjoying these types of connections. Folks of every conceivable nationality, occupation, and spiritual tradition receive transmissions of energy and information from who or whatever their teachers may be.        

These teachers offer this information openly. They send it out like the sun sends out its warmth and light—but have no control over whether folks choose to receive that warmth and light or shiver in the shadows. The quality of attention paid by the student is at least as important as who the teacher is.       

Teachings may come through exemplars such as Jesus and Buddha, or through a pony’s ass or an alfalfa sprout. The lesson to be learned is within the student. Anything or anyone is potentially a catalyst, a vehicle, that opens up a deep mental circuit for us.       

The frames of reference, language, and nuance that all these catalysts are carried on can vary greatly according to the needs of the individual student. They consider the unique receptive abilities and disabilities, the habituations of cultural programming, and the reflective tendencies of the student. The presentations may all be different, but the root nature of the non-verbal information and energy being transmitted are the same.        

The common denominator among the people I know to have received these sorts of transmissions seems to be a simple but active motivation. If you have a deep inclination to transmute harm into help and be of benefit to others—whether they live next door, on the other side of the world, or in the Twilight Zone—you will eventually be connected with the sources of energy and information that will assist your effort. If your motivation is less altruistic, you may be in for a bumpier ride. Contact with these sources seems to be a matter of continuously asking for it through action as much as word, then persevering (maintaining direction, strength of conviction, and determination) until assistance arrives.          

Another thing seems apparent. Teachers aren’t only teachers. They were, and usually continue to be, students themselves. In Lincoln, Vermont, I saw evidence of a very strong thread running between a modern-era Lama/mystic and a legendary teacher of a thousand years ago. Almost everyone with any knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism is familiar with the famous teacher of a thousand years ago. The modern-era teacher is nowhere near as well known.           

My text book research of this modern teacher says that Lama Kunsang Dechen Lingpa Rinpoche is considered to be a “treasure revealer.” I have to disagree with my own research. All personal experience tells me that the man, himself, is a treasure. p.s. There may also be a connection running between what we commonly know as time-and-space, and a pathway to detour them—but that’s another story.      

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

Not There Yet

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

                                                                           NOT THERE YET            

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You might be a schizophrenic

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

You might be a schizophrenic

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You may be discovering just how contagious schizophrenia can be                                                                                                                 

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

go fuck yourself.

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

go fuck yourself.

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

go fuck yourself.

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

go fuck yourself.

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

go fuck yourself.

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

go fuck yourself.

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

well, you’ve already fucked yourself.

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

go fuck yourself.

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

It’s Weird To Be Rich

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

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

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

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

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

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                                                      IT IS WEIRD TO BE “RICH”      

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cherry On Top Of The Fruitcake

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

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

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

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

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

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The Cherry on Top of the Fruitcake          

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe I am one.           

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

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

Why The Monks And Nuns Are The Way They Are

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

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

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

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

Short But Sweet

Mr. Mee and Ms. Kumnung
Mr. Mee and Ms. Kumnung are my best friends in the Temple. He is a Monk student. She is a Nun’s assistant and lay disciple. That means she does all the things a Nun student would do but is not planning to actually become one. Neither Mee nor Kumnung drink alcohol, have sex, eat after noon, or partake in many of the things that most of us would consider daily habits, pleasures, or even necessities. They are both happy.
They are like parents, a brother and sister, and friends to me. They help me with my language handicap and never call me “farang.” We eat together and breathe together. When one of us leaves the Temple grounds, we miss each other. I go out from the Temple grounds often. They rarely leave at all. In spite of my financial destitution, I always share tobacco with Mr. Mee and make special efforts to get sweets for Ms. Kumnung. She smiles when I come back from town, whether I’m carrying sweets for her or not. I would miss a hundred meals just to see that smile once.
Mr. Mee is the James Brown of our Temple home. Just like the late, great “hardest working man in show business,” he is constantly making an effort. With tools that would be considered more of a liability than an asset in the Western world, he gets everything done. Raking, hoeing, planting, painting, studying, and cleaning—he does it all and more. There is no lawn mower here. He mows the large lawn with a scythe and scissors.
Neither of these people ever complains about anything although more often than not there are no sweets, and some days we have no money for rolling papers. Mr. Mee and I often make our cigarettes from shreds of calendar paper and donated tobacco.
Mee and Kumnung always try to understand me. This takes all their patience, but they somehow never run out of it. There is very little I wouldn’t do for them and it seems they each feel the same way toward me.
Mr. Mee has enough scars on his arm from heroin addiction to have scared the shit out of Kurt Cobain and Lenny Bruce.
Ms. Kumnung has both heart and lung malfunctions. She takes more prescription medication than any nursing home resident I’ve ever met.
Mee and Kumnung are married. They shared the same bed for eight years before coming to the Temple to sleep apart.
I guess they think things are better this way.
FROM THE BOOK REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE “Reincarnation Through Common Sense is a true-story travel adventure book about rural Asian Buddhist Monks and Nuns adopting a very troubled soul from Brooklyn, New York. Westerners have written many books about living in Asian temples. None are like this crazy true story! The main character’s life runs through death into reincarnation without ever leaving his body. He describes this process in a manner so intimate and natural that you’ll think you are having coffee on a bar stool in the temple with him. For simplified street explanations of complex Buddhist thought, and an experience unique in comedic drama, spirituality, adventure, and sheer creativity, buy and read Reincarnation Through Common Sense.” https://www.amazon.com/Reincarnation-Through-Common-Sense-Doug/dp/0692019529

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.

Pandemics And Root Canals and Hornets, Oh My!

August 18, 2020

                           Pandemics And Root Canals and Hornets, Oh My!
If you are anything like me, then after eighty days in near-solitary confinement watching your species go insane with panic over this century’s bubonic plague while powerful sociopaths culturally engineer and blatantly gaslight democracy out of existence—you need some diversion. After seeing Murder Hornets invade Washington State while socially crippling racism and mindless riots vent lifetimes of both righteous indignation and misdirected anger as they swallow your homeland’s last remaining shred of integrity—you need some excitement! How about finding a working dentist that has First World dental knowledge, in a Fourth World country, during a lockdown where people are afraid to even shake hands much less put those hands into each other’s mouths? Doesn’t a bunch of root canals sounds like just the ticket while waiting for this whole thing to turn the corner and actually become the zombie apocalypse we’ve all been anxiously awaiting? Can you think of a more fun-filled activity, during a time in history when clinical depression is considered a normal reaction, than a procedure many sadists view as their go-to form of torture? Well, I certainly can’t!
It seems my teeth can’t either. The few natural teeth left in my mouth have gone rogue. They scream like mindless infants among the many silent, space-age implants housed in the rest of my jawbone. The pain has distracted me from both the hash pipe induced hibernation and the golden meditations. It is one of the very few things that could ever inspire me to attempt what seems to be the impossible—finding a high level professional with a strong knowledge of cutting edge procedures and sterile, modern equipment in a country where I don’t know a single word of the native language. This dentist needs to be willing to risk exposure to potential plague by diving into a foreigner’s mouth. The foreigner is from the nation with the world’s highest plague-related death toll. This has to happen in a world that has completely shut down, and in a part of that world where the phrase “strong knowledge of cutting edge procedures and sterile, modern equipment ” has never been part of the vocabulary.
Sometimes you get lucky. Doctor Samdup at Mon Lam dental clinic has an Internet presence that includes an email address. He answers emails quickly, and opens his office for emergencies even during a pandemic. During our first meeting, he shows more than enough dental knowledge and humanity to inspire my confidence. He seems to be a wonderful and very talented person. Dr. Samdup’s office has only one other employee. His younger brother, Chungdak, is his dental assistant since the dentist lost his actual assistant when she returned to her village as lockdown began. Chungdak seems to know his way around a dental office pretty well. Tibetan refugee families, and Nepali families in general, are very tightly knit. He has no doubt been watching his elder brother very closely since birth.
There is a high risk in this situation, but it doesn’t involve the dentist. It is with the administration that controls the opening and mandatory closing of businesses, such as the  laboratory that makes the crowns. There is a five day wait after the root canal procedures before lack of infection is verified. This verification allows the remains of the teeth to safely accept crowns. The lab makes the crowns during that five day gap. Teeth lose core strength when the central nerve (root) is extracted. Nothing is left in the middle but a vacant canal. Teeth in that condition, without strong permanent crowns offering a protective cover, could shatter. If there is a sudden forced shut down of the lab, the results could be disastrous. Decisions such as whether or not to shut businesses down are often made on-the-fly amidst the uncharted waters that have engulfed our lives in 2020.
Many administrative authorities around the world, within government and business alike, have shown confusion about what appropriate Corona procedure is and how to implement it. Actions that affect everyone everywhere are sometimes instituted by very small groups of folks doing guesswork in offices and boardrooms. They can’t be altogether blamed for this. Political and social as well as medical functions are all on new ground.
Some authorities also show more concern for the control and social engineering of their constituents than for the well-being of those people.
We all suffer a shortage of accurate information, not just government and business. There also, at times, seems to be a lack of knowledge as to what to do with accurate information, even if it appears in a very recognizable form.
Authority often has an unfortunate abundance of confidence without clarity. To be fair, so do many folks that aren’t in authority. Confidence, when tainted by pride and ignorance, will not allow its host to admit just how little he or she actually and accurately knows. This can result in some half-baked and counterproductive decision making.
All these factors are currently making life on Earth very unpredictable.
Again, sometimes you get lucky.
The lab stays open and everything goes smoothly. Two short weeks after first entering the Mon Lam dental clinic, I discover that it is possible to have fun getting four root canal procedures done, as well as a tooth pulled. Doctor Samdup seems to have the heart of Mother Teresa, the knowledge of a scholar, and the skill of a top level dental surgeon.
Those of you residing in the Western world will think this is a misprint. It is not. Four root canals, four crowns, and one extraction costs a total of  less than five hundred U.S. dollars here. The same procedures and prosthetics anywhere in America would cost somewhere between five and thirteen thousand dollars. It is very unlikely that the dentist performing these procedures in America would be any more talented than Dr. Samdup of the Boudha section of Kathmandu.
There are a lot of older foreigners with dental issues here. I recommend Dr. Samdup to all of them.
Holy Shit, I Really Am Dead!
Here is something even more bizarre than root canals during a zombie apocalypse! I have been severely, abnormally sensitive to cold for many years. Some friends say that I was spawned by a lizard, cobra, or other cold-blooded reptile. When most other people wear shorts and a T-shirt, I am in a sweatshirt and cap. In addition, I often claim to be already dead and that this book is being written by a corpse. As you know, doctors said the death part would happen by now.
These light-hearted comments have just tripped over their own feet. As it turns out, both of these chuckles seem to be a very different type of funny than anyone could have ever suspected.
Having seen and experienced more trauma than most people do in several lifetimes, I don’t freak out easily or often. But I am a little freaked now.
The monastery café that serves free lunch to trapped tourists is required by the government to keep people at least three feet apart while waiting in line at the steam tables, make sure each person keeps a mask on except while eating, and keep each person seated at a different table. Management is also required to welcome diners by putting a thermometer to the skin of each person before they are allowed to enter the first gate.
If you have a fever, there is another series of procedures.
Fever is not my problem. Usually, my friend Mr. Dawa or the lovely Ms. Diki just press the thermometer up to my head and say, “you’re fine.” Then I proceed to the mandatory hand washing and line waiting. Last week Dawa showed the thermometer to me. It said 90 degrees. I advised him to get a new thermometer as either his was broken or he was talking with one of the undead. He held that thermometer to his own and several other people’s heads. The readings were all between 96 degrees and 99 degrees. We have tried this little experiment five times during the past two weeks. Each time my temperature runs between 88 and 94°. This is cross-checked each day against several people, and always registers them between 96 and 99°!
There is no apparent explanation for this. It now appears that this book actually is being written by a corpse. For all my joking about “the zombie apocalypse,” I never thought of myself as one of the zombies!
A Nice Thought
“We suffer a serious disease as well as all the terrible human mismanagement, political and economic manipulation, fear mongering, gaslighting, social engineering, and other assorted criminal greed that is flying into our lives on the tailwinds of this virus. What if these are the abusive parents of the beautiful happening that we’ve been talking about and waiting for all of our lives? Could all this madness just be the last dying gasp of the old paradigm and its disappearing architects? Is their organized confusion and grasping at regressive straws just a sign that the old ways are fading to make room for a new, more compassionate, much more common-sensible sanity—a sanity that may come to us as soon as the dust from all the insanity settles? There may be some real ugliness in the tunnel, but the light at the end of it could be the birthplace of a near-utopian legend. As we keep our inner lights burning brightly right now, no matter how dark it temporarily seems to be outside, our better possibilities gather strength on their road to becoming tomorrow’s realities.”  Tenzin Kharma Trinley
MORE TO COME ON Nepal, photos of ancient spiritual and historical sites, people, culture, 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 contain the above chapters, or would like to see several other chapters that are available for free online, go to the Puppy website Blog section at http://www.fearlesspuppy.info (If you only have time for a bit, scroll down 6 or 7 pieces to the most important bit. It is titled What I Have Learned So Far.) 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 a dead man’s journey around the world!
***The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through the

http://www.fearlesspuppy.info website, 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! 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.

HER BRILLIANT RESPONSE!

She says she tries to stay happy regardless of how bad the world news is. He asks if she is insensitive to other people’s pain. She answers, “Empathy doesn’t have to include stupidity. No one else’s suffering is going to decrease because I also suffer. Whether it is someone else’s misfortune or my own, being miserable about it is not going to help—and the only things that matter right now are the things that help. It seems more productive and helpful to sharpen my ability to have happiness come from inside, rather than having it being dependent upon the environment. If I accomplish that, and someone feels me radiating happiness and catches a little bit of it, that seems to make more sense than my catching someone else’s fear or despair. Also, every person in the clutches of fear or despair provides a victory for the assholes that purposely manipulate our information and emotions in order to trigger crippling negativities and profit by them. I will not comply. They can’t have me. I have me. The Universe has me. Most of the living things on Earth have all my devotion, time, money, effort, attention, concern, and love. My teachers have me. My beloved friends and family have me. The assholes cannot have me.” www.fearlesspuppy.info