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 




                                                              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.         


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!

Parting Thoughts From The Laughing Dead

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


Moving On
In spite of the beauty and history, the friendliness of the people, and what may be the most inexpensive cost of living on Earth, it is time to leave Cambodia.
After a week or two in Nepal to break up the long trip, Spain is the next goal. The cost of living is bound to be more expensive in Spain, but I speak the language enough to carry on basic conversations with the locals there. The frustration of conversations ending with a first smile instead of beginning with one can cause devastating loneliness, even in a strong-minded traveler. A sixty-eight year old person is isolated enough when going around the world alone. Most individual world travelers are much younger. They are zip lining and night clubbing. The older ones usually travel in tightly knit tour groups. Not being able to speak with locals hammers a big, uncomfortable nail into communication’s coffin and can put a damper on an otherwise joyful trip.
On To Nepal
You may remember my friend Neil from the Netherlands, described in an earlier chapter. Before leaving for home, he advised me that help getting through customs and security at the Siem Reap airport was available through his connections. He sets it all up from Holland by phone. I get a ride to the airport in a Lexus from Neill’s Cambodian business partner, and am guided through check-in and customs by one of his friends that works at the airport. Neill continues to be a godsend, even from several thousand miles away.
It is great flight with wonderful crews on Silk/Singapore airlines. A Nepali couple fill the two seats next to me on the second plane. They are very sociable. We speak for hours as if we have known each other for years. Dayal and Orina live in Pokhara, about five and a half hours outside of Kathmandu. Oddly enough, their city has just been highly recommended to me. A good friend in America with Nepali traveling experience emailed just the previous day to say that, considering my health concerns, I should leave Kathmandu as quickly as possible and get to the lakeside Himalayan beauty of Pokhara. I tell Dayal and Orina to expect me within a couple of days. They are very happy about that and looking forward to my arrival.
A Terrible Beginning To A Wonderful Experience
Kathmandu, Nepal has the certified worst air quality on the planet Earth. Oxygen has color and texture here. The temperature is currently running between thirty and fifty degrees colder than Cambodia. I reserve a hotel room near the famous Boudhanath Stupa, and am guaranteed three times in three different emails from the manager that it has efficient heat.
When I step off the plane after the all day trip from Cambodia by way of Singapore, a hotel representative and driver are waiting with a sign that says, “Mr. Tenzin. Mandala Hotel.” So far, so good. Upon arrival at the hotel, I find that they have no heat in the rooms. The manager is gone for the night, so there is no way to confront him. It is too late to get anywhere else. Being out of options, I crawl into bed figuring death is imminent but at least my exit will be peaceful. Death ignores my invitation and sends suffering to take its place. All night shivering while fully dressed replaces sleep. Fiery anger with the dishonest manager is brewing in my cauldron. Anger is almost always poison, but in this case it may have raised my blood pressure enough to save me from illness.
When the manager that sent me the “we definitely have heat” emails comes in the next morning, I give him a massive tirade of shit and feel no guilt about it. It is loud and severe! Employees are staring around corners and folks look in from neighboring shops to catch the show. The word “fuck” is used more times in this five minutes than I have used it in any other five minutes since my early teenage years in Brooklyn. I tell the guy that if I die from this episode, Italians from New York are going to visit him. To his credit, he finds me a hotel with heat and has his people help carry my bags to it. The Pema Boutique Hotel is what I pictured the Mandala would be like. It is heated and clean. They are both about the same price, but the Mandala has cost me a lot more in terms of health problems and aggravation. It takes two days and gallons of hot tea to thaw out my lungs and get rid of the chill.
There are valid reasons why this situation is so serious. For the first time since twelve years old, I haven’t had any ganja for four days in a row. This has me more than a little tweaky. The forty-two hundred feet altitude and 30some degree low temperatures here would be a shocking change to anyone’s system compared with the sea level altitude and 70some degree lows that I just came from hours ago. These problems are piled on top of jet lag and the ever present fact that doctors had already labeled me a walking corpse a full year before starting this trip around the globe. The in-room heat most Americans take for granted is a real concern here in the third world.
The situation is well remedied in the next venue. If you are ever in Kathmandu, do yourself a favor and stay at The Pema Boutique Hotel on Phulbari Street. The place is as nice as any in the Stupa area and the staff is incredible. I’ve been in hundreds of hotels, motels, and hostels during my life, but never at one staffed with better people than those working here. Nikky is the manager. He does everything possible to insure the health and comfort of his guests. Power went out in the whole ten block Stupa area and Nikky spent a half hour rigging up the heater in my room with extension cords and batteries. Wangmo is Nikky’s sister and seems to be the hotel’s administrator. I immediately take her presence as a good omen for a few reasons. She is kind, honest, clever, and has a giant Beatles sticker on the front of her computer.
The food here is good and the service is great. This is due to a fine cook and wonderful staff that is fronted by two very special people. Bishnu is the young lady usually at the front desk. She is lovely, efficient, speaks English fluently, and has a patient smile that never fades. Passang is the 20some year old go-to guy. He is the main waiter in the restaurant, the room service person, and the main housekeeping person. He works fifteen hours a day, six days per week, without ever losing his happy, personable, pleasant attitude. I think of him more as a younger brother than a hotel staff member. The staff is rounded out by Tashi and several other young ladies. Each is as beautiful in character as they are in physical appearance.
Daytime In Magicville
With the preliminary disaster behind me, I step out into a spiritual paradise. The giant Boudhanath Stupa is in the middle of it all. A Stupa could be very loosely described as a dome-shaped Buddhist monument containing holy relics. The word Stupa is literally translated from the Sanskrit language into English as “heap.” Stupa structures actually pre-date Buddhism as burial mounds for relics as well as people. There are many levels of symbolism associated with the structure. All the earthly elements are represented. The building has a solid square base that represents earth. The hemispherical dome represents water. A cone shaped spire above the dome represents fire. There is a lotus parasol and crescent moon at the top representing air. Giant eyes painted on the dome represent the all-seeing wisdom ability of Buddha. The nose represents Nirvana, the liberation from suffering. It is in the shape of the Nepali character for the number 1, signifying universal unity. A whole book could be written about the various representations and interpretations of Stupa symbols! Perhaps the most important of these is that Stupas are considered to be a representation of the enlightened mind of all the Buddhas.
The Boudhanath Stupa is thought by many to be the mother of them all. Many folks feel there is a magic in the structure itself. Others feel that the building’s power stems from generations of human energy being fed into it. Reverence, devotion, prayers, and aspirations have been inspired by and fed into this structure for over a dozen centuries—and not just by visitors, pilgrims, and local passersby. Many spiritual professionals wearing robes live in the several monasteries surrounding it. They have been on the job for their entire lives. There is no denying the intensity of the structure itself, the intensity that radiates between the building and its devotees, or the energy that permeates the entire surrounding neighborhood.
On the grounds are a few hundred people, nearly a third of them monks and nuns, walking around the structure in a clockwise direction. Many of them are working rosary prayer beads and reciting mantras as they walk. A mantra is a short phrase containing the message associated with a particular deity. Continuous repetition of this phrase not only instills its qualities into the person speaking it, but is simultaneously directed toward the benefit of everything alive. For example, “Om Mani Padme Hum” is the mantra associated with Chenrezig, the deity of compassion. Continuous repetition of it fosters compassionate tendencies within the person pronouncing the phrase as well as sending those tendencies out into the world. There are varied opinions about which end of this equation is actually in play. Some think that a compassionate energy is actually projected into the atmosphere in the manner of a positive spell being cast. Others feel that the person pronouncing and absorbing these positive thoughts then passes the benefits on to the world through their actions, which are upgraded due to a strong association with the mantra’s message. The evidence I have seen supports the possibility that both opinions are true to at least some extent. To exactly what extent may depend upon the length and depth of experience, and the strength of motivation, in the practitioner.
I join the walk around the building.
The sound of monks chanting, blowing giant ceremonial trumpets, and beating drums seems to be coming from everywhere. It is. There are temples in all directions. The air is thick with an electrical vibration of elevated consciousness and compassion that I can physically feel as a swelling in my heart. It also feels like I am walking in slow motion as if through deep water, but with a lightness and lack of labor. This otherworldly experience seems out of my control. It is overpowering enough to draw tears from my eyes. A child brushes against me. According to his father’s watch, I have been walking around the Stupa in a trance for an hour. There is no way to tell how many times I have gone around it, but the crowd has grown since my trance began. A sea of people from around the world, many clothed in outfits that match the red-wine colored robes of the monks and nuns walking with them, flow around the Stupa structure. They are both engulfed in and creating the massive vibration, like the current within a river.
The flow of people that surrounds the Stupa is itself surrounded by a ring of shops. Most of them deal in Buddhist artifacts, masks, paintings, and Nepali souvenirs. Streets feed into that ring of shops from every direction. Like the spokes of a wheel, they branch out to create the neighborhood.
I float up to one of the rooftop Stupa-view cafés in the primary ring of shops. There is no way to be sure whether or not it is the same one filmed in the Keanu Reeves Little Buddha movie. Imagination tells me that it is. A strong cup of coffee there helps bring me back to Earth a bit—but certainly not altogether.
Love and Medicine For Breakfast
I will try to describe the rest of the Kathmandu experience in terms that are as grounded as possible. I don’t want to sound like a person whose LSD experiences never wore off. But the truth is that the baffling energy of the Stupa and the folks that frequent it spreads throughout this whole neighborhood and doesn’t seem to ever fade or weaken. The Pema Boutique Hotel is only a few blocks up one of the adjoining streets that act as spokes in the neighborhood wheel with the Stupa as its central hub. If you are anywhere within that wheel, you are engulfed in and become part of its motion, as it seems I have.
Next Morning
The next morning starts with the breakfast that is included in the price of the room. It might be the best breakfast available anywhere. Guests are offered a choice of American, Chinese, or Himalayan breakfast sets. I go with the flow and pick the Himalayan. It contains more food than one person could possibly eat and includes porridge (oatmeal) with honey, nuts and raisins, tsampa (a traditional Himalayan barley flour dough), a scrambled egg, a bit of well flavored spinach, Indian bread, mildly curried potato soup, fruit juice, and the option of cappuccino, coffee, or tea.
I eat seated at the front window counter of the hotel with a full view of the action on the street. The folks passing by are a very beautiful collection of humans. Besides the regular type of physical beauty, many seem to have a glow or radiance about them. Many are working their prayer beads and reciting mantras on the way to the Stupa. An old lady walks by with a limp. I project Medicine Buddha mantras in her direction.
There is no way to tell if the old lady feels it, but it feels so good to me that I continue to do it toward everyone walking by on the street. About halfway through breakfast, it clicks in that most of the people already look healthy. They don’t really need Medicine Buddha! I had been listening to the Beatles singing All You Need Is Love on the computer in my room while getting ready to come down for breakfast, and so switch the mantra to the “Love, love, love” phrase from the song.
Yes, folks, I realize that an ex-junkie from Brooklyn, New York sitting in a window in the middle of Asia casting love spells on everybody passing by in the street sounds a little fucking nuts—but that’s what this neighborhood can do to a person! And the more you think about it, the less strange it sounds. Being in a war zone will likely turn anyone defensively violent and keep them in a constant state of fear. The nicest of people can turn into a raging beast when life-threatening danger is in the air. Being in Stupaville fosters the attitude of projecting positive energy at any and everything that is alive. This sort of thing only sounds weird to most of us because we have spent much of our lives being on guard, stressed, and competitive instead of loving, comfortable, and cooperative.
The positivity in the atmosphere is largely, but certainly not solely, about the influence of all the monks and nuns in the area. Every one here, not just the spiritual professionals, is warm, friendly, and helpful—even when it doesn’t involve any obvious profit for them. It is also very apparent that the girls and women seem less nervous around white men than they are in Cambodia. Maybe this is true because they have seen more of our spiritually oriented gentlemen, and less of our bombings and sexual tourism.
But as much as I love Nepal and want to see more of this country, it is time to go. It is very chilly and wet at this time of year, the concrete buildings radiate the cold, the electricity cuts out often and takes the heating systems with it, it isn’t altogether safe to eat a salad, the air quality is as dangerous as the weather, and there is no access to the dietary needs, vitamins, medicinal supplements, and other resources necessary for an old ailing Westerner to stay alive. Spain has constant sunshine, warmer temperatures, more reliable electricity, healthy Mediterranean food options—and I speak enough Spanish to hold a conversation with locals. I will certainly miss what, in less than a week and in spite of all its material shortcomings, has become my favorite place on Earth. It would be wonderful to return in the warmer season, but for now it seems like this old man’s survival is dependent upon getting to some warm sunshine and greater resources. If I had discovered Nepal when eighteen years old, my last fifty years would have been spent right here. But old age brings with it a degree of physical fragility and restriction, as well as the wisdom to recognize and obey it. A person in my condition may go to sleep here and, if the electricity cuts out during the night, might wake up with a long painful illness—or not wake up at all.
There is a distinct line between courage and stupidity. I am going to erase that line. Those two commonsensible paragraphs above about leaving immediately for Spain were written last night. They still make a lot of sense, but I can’t bring myself to leave Nepal. Every time I walk out on the street, my brain experiences a joyful explosion and I start laughing at nothing just from being around the people here.
Of course this Stupa neighborhood is a particularly consecrated area, and likely unique within Nepal as well as being unique on Earth. Even the rest of this city is probably quite a bit different. The Stupa is universally regarded as an international treasure, is a certified World Heritage landmark, and one of the holiest places in the world for Buddhists and Hindus alike. Besides that, it is now Losar (Tibetan New Year) week—so the vibe is likely stepped up even a notch further than usual. Every time the thought of leaving pops up, I cry like an abandoned baby. Part of that feeling, and the rest of my personal emotional circus, is no doubt the result of not smoking ganja for an entire week for the first time in fifty years, culture shock, and all the other variations in life that are being dealt with. But there is a lot more to it than that. Every day I go out and kiss the sky like Jimi Hendrix. Every night I punch up plane and hotel reservations for Spain, but can never bring myself to push that last button and finalize them. Whether it is a case of courage or a case of stupidity, I’m going to be here a bit longer. If I die before finishing this book, or even the next section of it, know that I love you and have loved being able to write for you. This will be true no matter where in the world my body gets left behind. But this feeling, like all feelings, is a little stronger here in heaven.
Losar Day
Today is Losar, the Tibetan new year. It includes going to temple with family as well as public festivities. The Tibetan New Year’s celebration lasts for several days. When I hit the lobby for breakfast on this Losar Day One, Nikky, Wangmo, and much of the hotel crew, along with several of their family members, are present and dressed like royalty. They are even more smiley and sweet than usual, if that is possible. The streets are lined with people in their finest and most colorful regalia. If Walt Disney was still alive, even he would stand back in awe of the spectacle.
My positive-energy-projection-toward-the-street shtick is being done from the front window counter of the hotel without even thinking about it anymore. It happens on automatic pilot. After breakfast, I head toward the Stupa and watch as the entire massive structure is painted. This happens every New Year’s Day. It has been cold and raw since my arrival in Kathmandu, but even the sun has come out in force for this festive occasion. So have folks from all over Nepal and the world. A 20some year old named Milabuddha sits next to me on a bench by the Stupa. He is from another part of Nepal. Mila starts a conversation and then takes a selfie of us on his phone. The friendliness of the people here continues to astound me. It will be very interesting to travel elsewhere in Nepal and see if this friendliness is a national habit. Being in the Stupa neighborhood is somewhat like being in church. Visitors are on their most noble behavior.
But for the thousands of people that actually live here, their most noble behavior is way of life—and the animals on the Stupa grounds are just as amazing as the humans! A couple of dozen dogs, by far and away the most conscious, mellowest, and sweetest animals in the world, surround the Stupa. They seem to belong to no one and everyone. These canines seem more human than many actual biological humans. They also seem to have a sharp intelligence, a kind of radar and sense of premonition.
A white one sits himself in front of the bench that me and Milabuddha are on. A man walks in our direction and starts to approach a woman two benches away with his hand out. The man looks more hungover than hungry. He has an air of snarling surliness about him that I can feel from a distance. He isn’t doing anything loud, crazy, or even noticeably different than other folks—but to me the energy radiating from him seems to stand out like a sore thumb within this otherwise serene atmosphere. The white dog feels it too. He bolts up and darts himself between that man and the woman on the bench. White dog barks as if his master’s house is on fire! The man backs off and walks away quickly. The dog continues to bark at the ornery man’s heels for twenty yards or so until both are well out of range of the benches. White dog then simply lays down silently by the Stupa. This creature seems to be in a meditation, as do all the canines in the area. These animals lay around as if they are reincarnated saints that have earned the right to relax in heaven for a lifetime—unless there is a situation that calls them to action.
Several hundred of the most well fed pigeons in the world have their own corner of the Stupa grounds. Locals sell grain to visitors who spread it around for the birds to eat. Any form of caring for any form of life is considered a source of blessing here.
While I’m sitting on the second floor deck of a temple building facing the Stupa, a monk comes over to talk with me. He tells me that the crowds are a lot thinner than usual for Losar this year due to the Corona virus threat. We speak about how this is just one link in a long chain of well-publicized pandemic threats that included Swine Flu, West Nile virus, Henta, Bird Flu, SARS, and so many others. I guess out loud that these maladies may be largely manufactured, or at the least exaggerated, by the media and their associates that profit from public fear. These human vultures know that scared people will pay blindly for imaginary protection from manufactured enemies. Folks in Cambodia had also complained about the sparse tourist traffic this year. They also blamed it on the disease scare (as well as on the potentially volatile political situation there). For whatever reasons, tourist traffic in Asia seems to be way down this year. The merchants, manufacturers, people who count on visitor fees and contributions, cab drivers, and so on are all suffering the result.
On the way home, I stop at Thar Lam Monastery to visit the temple that sits halfway between the Stupa and my hotel. The monks are having New Year’s badminton and volleyball tournaments! The adult monks are playing as the elder and child monks cheer from the sidelines. I sit down near a few elders to watch and am immediately approached by a young black dog with markings that make it look as if it is wearing a white necktie. The dog licks me until I fall off my seat on the narrow curb, and keeps licking as I lay on my back on the ground. The monks are laughing at me almost as hard as I am laughing at myself. The dog seems to be laughing too.
Midway through the game, I go into the temple. It is, as most of them are, a beautiful structure with a gorgeous interior composed of giant iconic Buddhist statues. The walls are painted with scenes from the historical Buddha’s life. There are offerings of yak cheese, cookies, fruit, and many other goodies stacked everywhere in obvious preparation for a later ceremony. After a short solo meditation, I head back to the hotel with a big smile on my face and the love of fearless puppies in my heart.
Much of humanity thinks that a power beyond itself will drop from the sky to help save our species. Few people are coherently concerned, consciously aware, dedicated, motivated, and common sensible enough to realize that the only way our planet will become a better planet is if we each individually put in the mental work necessary to become better people. I may be in the ten square block area of Earth that contains the highest concentration of people that are aware of this fact. There is a palpable density of love and goodwill here that is fostered internally by individuals. This internal mental work, this fostering of goodwill, is not done as a self-serving mechanism. It is motivated by and done on behalf of the entire human community. It is extremely powerful—and it seems that even the animals are involved in the process.
My experience of being here is akin to that of a thirteen-year-old baseball fanatic who has suddenly found himself living in a bed-and-breakfast planted smack in the middle of the Cooperstown Hall of Fame. I have spent almost all of my life in America. In America, many people who see soldiers in uniform approach them and say, “thank you for your service.” The soldiers are considered heroes worthy of respect and admiration. My heroes are not professional killers. My heroes are professional altruists that dedicate their lives to producing saner, kinder, more compassionate opportunities for everything that lives on this planet. My heroes are walking on the streets of Nepal, and I have a campsite in the Hall of Fame.
***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, or check out fearlesspuppy at, or send email requests to 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 the only book ever written about an around the world voyage being made by a corpse!***The books Fearless Puppy On American Road and Reincarnation Through Common Sense by this same author are also available through the website, as are free 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! 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. 

Great Fun For You! Help And Wisdom For Us All!

            Crazy Wisdom and Great Fun For You! Perennial Wisdom and Big Help For Us All!

You can give many gifts for the price of one! Buy many copies of Reincarnation Through Common Sense and Fearless Puppy on American Road now and you will not only have perfect gifts for everyone on your list, you will also be sponsoring the growth of world wisdom as well!  ALL author profits are donated to increasing wisdom. An increase in wisdom is the best chance we have to give ourselves, and leave our children, a world that’s worth living in. Twenty 5* reviews on Amazon don’t lie! These are great reads that sponsor a great cause. It’s the best gift idea this year! See the exciting and very entertaining background and details, and get the books at Fearless Puppy

 Above are links to Fearless Puppy and Reincarnation’s 5* reviews on Amazon.

Below, a link to a video interview with the author.



Psychic Politics Buffet-style

I’m Buying! Psychic Politics Buffet-style All You Can Eat Free Picnic Right Here. The following picnic is brought to you by Reincarnation Through Common Sense Fearless Puppy

 Part 2 of the 5 part Epilogue—Erasing the lines

There is often a line between what we would like to believe and what is in front of our eyes. There are similar lines that separate psychedelic, psychic, and psychotic. These lines can be very thin at times. Let’s erase them for a few pages.

My friend John is a wonderful person, but he has some weird moments. John himself will admit that he’s often buggier than a June picnic.

John, myself, and a dozen other folks were actually at a picnic together several years ago in June. The group was growling its concern about the corporate takeover of the world and the impending New World Order. They griped about how we will all soon be dependent for food and clothing upon one conglomerated parent company that will owneverything. More complaints and fears included the death of individualism and artistry, profits being given priority over people, destruction of the environment, dissolution of the middle class, degradation of human rights, and so on. Each rave was at least partially valid, and the list was endless.

John broke in with, “Yeah, isn’t it great! The bad guys are doing it for us! Those selfish bastards are uniting the whole world!”

Everyone looked at John as if he was made of green cheese.

So did I.

Over a decade later, I finally get it. Every effect has a cause that precedes it. That effect, over time, can become something very different from the motivation that sponsored its cause.

Most people have an us/them, good guys/bad guys point of view. The condition they see does exist, but only as a temporary distortion. In the long run, everyone is “us.” Like it or not, we really are all in this together. That being said, we must still admit that a small handful of disproportionately empowered people are currently calling the shots for their own benefit while the majority of civilization gets short changed. Programmed impotence, stress, and various forms of techno-hypnosis have rendered the majority too numb to fight back. Both sides of this social equation represent the worst humanity has to offer. It does so in very dangerous ways. Our democracy is wounded by human greed on the one hand and human weakness on the other.

“Democracy is like a tambourine. Not everyone can be trusted with it.” John Oliver

Mr. Oliver is ironically funny and correct. My picnicking friend John was right too. “They” are doing it for “us.” The profits-over-people group, whether they are New World Order robber barons and dishonest bank executives or just morally bankrupt citizens, are causing world unification for their own selfish economic purposes. But as a positive effect of that poorly motivated unification, the gender versus gender dysfunction/race against race horrors/nationalist and religious wars that we now suffer will have to endThey have no choice. A unifying technology and globalizing economy have already become the central part of planetary culture. Racial, sexual, and national biases are already suffering a troubled survival on their way to obsolescence.

John did forget to mention the darker half of the picture. This has all been happening in a very harsh manner, so far. War, poverty, disease, environmental destruction, toxic fear, repression, and other miseries are the tragic byproducts of the deadly levels of materialism, stress, and greed that motivate those who control much of our material world.

Our remaining joys and freedoms will suffer debilitating dementia within our lifetimes if these motives and methods continue to overpower better instincts. Focus on being smarter and happier, and helping those around us to become smarter and happier, needs to be exercised immediately. Beginning this process may be as simple as realizing that if we are not having plenty of harmless fun, we are fucking up.

Happiness can only become more popular than fear if we make it so. Nightmares can only be cured by waking up.

“One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.” Salvadore Dali

Following through on this idea that we truly can make life a better ride will require some courage. Attitudes and priorities will have to change in order to accommodate more fun, happiness, and cooperation. Change is almost always accompanied by growing pains, even if that change is for the better.

Planetary unification is becoming ripe enough for adoption by saner folks than the scoundrels who are creating it. As “we the people” inherit this global unity, we also inherit the responsibility for global care. Actually, it was always ours. For a long time we entrusted much of the job to government inefficiency, overburdened agencies, and nearly nonexistent corporate ethics. We hired the fox to guard the henhouse. Now, almost everything has to be cleaned up and that cannot be done later. An attitude of immediate necessity is essential to developing a saner policy of living while living is still a possibility. We need to decide pretty damn quickly that we want to stay alive as a species. We then need to live by the belief that a sane and moral accomplishment of that survival is the unquestioned priority over all other concerns—including material gains and financial profits.

All this global care has no choice but to start as individual effort. Cleaner drops are still the only way to make cleaner oceans.     Fearless Puppy