San Jose, Costa Rica–Spiders on Acid

I hope you are happy and healthy.      

It is the beginning of the full blown “monsoon” or cloudy/rainy season here in Nepal. I like rain as much as the next guy but this is ridiculous!      

Costa Rica certainly has its own severe rainy season, but I remember a lot of sunny days there. From the new book in progress, here is a report on the capitol city.               

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

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

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                    San Jose, Costa Rica—Spiders on Acid     
          

Did you ever see that National Geographic episode about the effects of drugs on wildlife? One very impressive experiment featured a lone spider. Researchers gave the unsuspecting little arachnid a bit of LSD and waited to observe behavioral changes. They got their show. The web spun from this wedding of spider and hallucinogen resembled an Escher staircase after a visit from a psychotic bulldozer.       

Welcome to San Jose, Costa Rica—the city that appears to have been built by spiders on Acid! It is home to a bizarre architectural schizophrenia unparalleled anywhere in the known universe. An average downtown street can house a white stately-columned mansion next to a dilapidated red, yellow, and black Rastafarian restaurant next to a rococo masterpiece of a building in powder blue that neighbors an orange grocery store that shares a wall with a soot-charred auto repair shop that borders a massive post-modern glass-front high-rise office building adjoining a cemetery that is fenced in protectively by shiny barbed wire while the ornate church on the same grounds sits with doors wide open and its gold crosses unguarded against possible thievery.       

A fellow traveler from America struck up a conversation with me while we waited in the immigration line at the airport a few days ago. He was making his fifth trip to Costa Rica. I asked him for the most important fact he would tell a first time visitor who had nine months to spend in the Land of Pura Vida (Pure Life). He replied, “Stay out of San Jose. It’s the asshole of Costa Rica. The rest of the country is beautiful.”        

Of course, he didn’t know that I was death-deep into a fun-loving withdrawal and reincarnation experience, making San Jose the perfect place for me to be. There are plenty of great opportunities to die here, and just as many wonderful opportunities to be reincarnated. (***This is explained in last week’s chapter post. If you missed it, it is available at the Fearless Puppy website blog section.)       

There is discomfort in this withdrawal experience, but no major problem! I’ve certainly had more severe withdrawal experiences in much less hospitable places.  Quitting a half dozen mildly addictive substances in a cozy apartment will be a lot easier than quitting heroin as a homeless person was thirty years ago.         

Things felt pretty bleak upon entry to San Jose but by the third day, the Tico (that’s what Costa Ricans call themselves) hospitality has me feeling good. The Passion Flower/Saint John’s Wort herbs and stepped-up meditation time has helped as well. The assorted withdrawals are already starting to lighten up a bit as they run their course.        

The landlord couple seem, for the most part, like very nice people. He works for the Costa Rican government’s foreign service. She comes from a rich family of successful clothing manufacturers. This couple adopted a pregnant street dog whose back legs were destroyed by a car. They built the crippled dog a set of strap-on rear training wheels. The couple take the dog, Bonita, for regular wheel-walks. They kept one of Bonita’s pups and got the rest farmed out to good homes. Knowing that these people do things like that makes it hard to think ill of them for owning (what should be) a criminally excessive number of cars. I still don’t like the lord-of-the-hacienda tone they use with their laborers or the way they flaunt their privilege and entitlement. The gap between the social and economic classes is more severe here than it is in America. It seems that even the nicest of rich folks treat the help like shit. I’d rather not get used to seeing that, so I hang out with the help. That slows down the damaging overdose of self-esteem that too often directs Mr. and Mrs. Bossypants. They are more polite to my friends when I am present.         

Looking around San Jose for a few days reinforces my first impressions. It seems an odd mix of hip, pretty, small-city bits thrown into a blender with what the less inviting neighborhoods of post-apocalyptic Cleveland will probably look like. Some sections of San Jose seem like a lovely little country town at first glance—but not for long. Watching the bizarre traffic flow that is responsible for the barely breathable air makes it hard to think of any part of this city as a country village.           

But the East End of San Jose comes close. It rocks! There are Japanese, Argentine, Italian, and Caribbean restaurants within two blocks of my apartment on Fifteenth Avenue. The Caribbean place has live Calypso music on Thursday and Friday nights. There is a community Cultural Center featuring a large theater nearby. The neighborhood also houses an architectural university, a language school, a Brahmin meditation center, a kindergarten school, a bowling alley with pool tables, a public elementary school, several eateries serving local cuisine, and a vegetarian tea house/restaurant featuring freshly squeezed fruit juices. The latter has a yoga and massage school attached to it.          

It is likely that I will be less clever than usual for a few weeks while the initial withdrawal poisons move out and adaptation to new environments take place. Today is no exception. I try to give the juice-bar lady 20,000 Colones (@$40 US) for a juice. She insists on only 2,000 Colones (@ $4) and takes fifteen minutes to explain the monetary system to me in Spanish with sign language. The same friendly honesty may not be available throughout the city, but the folks in this neighborhood are wonderful. My relatively high rent is just as much a payment for being in this area as it is a payment for the apartment itself.          

San Jose’s “asshole of Costa Rica” reputation is only relative to the extreme beauty of the rest of the country. It is no worse than any other big city in any other nation. Much of it is pleasant, some of it is culturally wealthy, and certain parts are beautiful–but the the core downtown area known as El Centro defines hell as a street corner. It has all the nasty dilapidated buildings, broken glass, garbage in the streets, rats, and fractured sidewalks of the worst neighborhoods anywhere. It also has a large assortment of dangerous looking characters that keep tourists and residents alike a little nervous.          

The city has many monuments of historical interest as well as several great little parks featuring pretty flowers, an assortment of trees, and some interesting people to watch. I saw one of these interesting people reciting a poem to a dog and another attacking a tree with its own dead branch.         

The National Museum on Second Avenue houses one of the most amazing pre-Columbian artifact collections anywhere. Housed in a restructured military fort, the building itself says a lot about Costa Rica’s peaceful temperament. Jade, carved stone, very well-preserved wooden and gold pottery, jewelry, rare antique musical instruments, and other cultural treasures trace the Tico people’s history back through time into an era long before European conquest began in the West.            

The Plaza de Cultura in the museum area can be the most entertaining spot in town. Street musicians, artists, and other assorted characters including soap box preachers and prophets entertain the public with 1960s Greenwich Village style free expression. Coincidentally, the main action is on Fourth Street—as much of it was in 1960s Greenwich Village. One animated man on Fourth Street worked very hard to convince me of something. I told him that my Spanish language skills were not at all good enough to follow his monologue. This preaching prophet or Amway salesman or political candidate or whatever he was refused to believe that. He kept rambling on. His other-worldly eyes, possessed tone of voice, tattered formal dress, and a body odor that would scare rats out of a dumpster were all wasted on me. I thought better of my instinct to remind him that cleanliness is next to godliness and left quickly. It guess I will never get to find out what he was so excited about.                      

Several casinos are available to the gambler. These are usually in the same buildings as the whorehouses, for those interested in that type of gambling.           

Costa Rica is a consistently religious and sometimes spiritual country. Catholicism is the main religion and cathedrals are spread throughout the capitol city, as they are in most of Latin America. But Costa Rica also has the highest concentration of Buddhist activities in all of Central America, noticeable Brahmin and Jewish presences, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and several other factions of Christian. Herbal spiritualism akin to the Wicca tradition is strongly present. There is also a good deal of New Age activity here. Yoga centers, Pilates, and various other forms of spiritually related exercise systems are very popular. Legitimate massage and acupuncture are available. There are even tiny smatterings of Goth and Satanism.             

San Jose’s central market takes up a few full city blocks and offers every type of meat, fruit, vegetable, clothing, and medicinal herb available in the country. There is a much smaller organic market on Saturdays at Collegio Mexico.             

The National Theatre is the architectural pride and joy of San Jose, and the nation. It is definitely worth a visit. Belgian architects did the structural designing and Italian decorators put the flourish into this masterpiece of a building. It seats a thousand people and still hosts live performances. There are Renaissance style paintings on high ceilings above large open interior spaces, cut crystal chandeliers, indoor fountains, museum quality sculpture, and furnishings fit for royalty. The whole building, both inside and out, looks more like a royal palace than a theater.              

There is no end to the number of day-trips a person can take from the city. Within striking distance are hot springs, volcanoes, jungle canopy zip-line rides, beaches, and a beautiful, unique array of flowers and wildlife.             

 In spite of its problems and being referred to as “the asshole of Costa Rica,” San Jose can be a wonderful city that has as much to offer as any major city in the world. If you can stand to be in any place that has too many people living in it, you would enjoy parts of this one. If you are hallucinating and a bit dizzy from a metaphysical, metaphorical death and reincarnation of your own manufacture, I highly recommend adding San Jose to your cartoon for a week.                                         
                                         next week back to Nepal

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

My Family Of Crows

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

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

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

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

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

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

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG

 FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                               My Family Of Crows
                                                          FAMILY        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crows Like Brown Bread                 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Nice Slice of Paradise on the Nepali Riviera

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

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

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

POKHARA
 

The Road From Kathmandu To Pokhara
       

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yumpin’ Yimminies! Those are Mountains!?!         

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

They are dwarfed by it.

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

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

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

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

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

The Pokhara story continues in the weeks to come. 

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

Genius Clowns and Silver Tongued Uncles

Hello from scenic Pokhara, Nepal!
          I hope you are happy and healthy. What is going on in your part of the world?          

There will be a lot to tell about this lovely town, but I have to do it before I can write about it! That report should be ready next week. This week please enjoy two bits from what may be the most important section of the new book in progress. Here is the first piece and then some more from the Tribute To Teachers section in that soon-to-be new book.          

The prophetic George Carlin has been without question one of the major influences in my life, and the lives of many others. He used a no-nonsense, tell it like it is, often crude, pull no punches, blue collar approach to what he saw going on in the world. He often envisioned, then clearly and accurately commented on, events that didn’t actually happen until years later—as well as having cutting edge interpretations of the present.  He was our canary in the coal mine, and much more a comic genius with immense foresight than a simple class clown.                     

Leo Buscaglia was favorite uncle to the world. Among the many brilliant strokes of pure honesty to come out of his mouth is the line mentioned as the title below. He asked a friend with a sour look on his face, “How are you?” The friend answered with an unconvincing. “Fine.” Uncle Leo replied, “Why don’t you tell your face!?!” Leo Buscaglia was filled from head to toe with good-willed honesty. He could say things like “Why don’t you tell your face?” without being insulting. His good intentions and love of humanity always shined through whatever little sting might result from his honesty and accuracy.            

I hope you enjoy my two little tributes to these incredible modern masters.                                              

Thank you for reading, and for clicking the backlinks. 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 PAG

EREINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

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                        No Misunderstandings, Please/What Does Matter
Thank you, Mr. Carlin. You brought us laughter, truth, integrity, courage, and conscience—and did each of them better than most folks do any one of them.
       Just so there are no misunderstandings, I would like to officially state something right here near the beginning of this section of tributes to teachers. Almost none of the people (there are a few exceptions) who are complimented here as teachers and influences actually know or ever knew me. I’m not trying to make believe that I am in some kind of intimate buddies club with every genius on Earth, or that I have personally met and had social what-to-do with any of these people. I go to lectures, classes, concerts, get the books, and watch these folks on HBO specials, YouTube, or PBS just like nearly everyone else who has been smart enough to seek out these human lighthouses, or has been lucky enough to just stumble across them. I do have an active imagination. Even the repetitive contact with videos can affect me strongly at times, but that’s where most of these “relationships” end.       

A very small number of people have become a lot more famous than the rest of us. Sometimes this happens because we admire a person’s genius, talent, or merit. But just as often, it happens through no actual accomplishment on the part of the famous person. It often happens because shill marketing and media conglomerates are selling the public an image, as well as an artificial relationship to that image. These marketing and media folks work for corporate pimps. The corporate pimps and their companies collect big money from these processes because these methods result in bizarre purchasing habits on the part of consumers. These bizarre purchasing habits materialize when consumers become hypnotized by vast avalanches of enticingly designed commercial messages into believing their imagined connection with the celebrity is not only real and meaningful, but also has a connection to the product that is for sale.        

But even truly meeting or knowing someone admirable doesn’t make you, yourself, an improved or admirable individual. That happens when you are actually being, doing, or taking part in something admirable.         

Why do people make such a big deal about this associating with/meeting/knowing a famous person thing, anyway? Brag about meeting, say, Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama? I don’t think so. I’d brag if I spoke and acted as nobly as Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama!        

  No, on second thought, I guess I wouldn’t.                         

I feel so strongly about all this that the following true story is still, thirty-five years after the fact, one of my very favorite moments in life.           

 It was a beautiful autumn day in the 1980s at Hugo’s bar on Pleasant Street in the lovely town of Northampton, Massachusetts. After an all-day effort to deplete the world’s beer supply, a sudden flash of inspiration came to me. Over the course of the following year, that inspiration developed into a successful local, and then statewide, charity project. It got a lot of attention and press because it involved high-level politicians, famous musicians, major league sports teams, labor unions, volunteers who didn’t get paid at all, and a hot button issue. Above all, the project went well because none of the money passed through me or our little volunteer group. It went directly from contributors to very well established and reputable charities. There was no possible question-of-trust factor. (Details in news articles at fearlesspuppy.info, if you are interested.)           

Shortly after the project, I was back at Hugo’s, again doing my part to help society drain free of its alcohol content. I made this effort many times during the 1980s. A guy (decent sort) who infrequently frequented our watering hole came through the back door. He was known and well liked by one of the regulars at our table, so we invited him to join us. Decent-sort-Mike was then introduced to several people who were well known for not being able to remember names.             

Mike downed half a beer and suddenly turned wide-eyed. He stared at me for a few very long seconds. It was the kind of stare that made me wonder if he was on some powerful drug and I was showing up as a freshly tapped keg in his hallucination.             

That wasn’t it. The mad stare was his sudden recognition of a person whom he knew had experienced the proverbial fifteen minutes of fame.             

“You’re that guy from the newspapers. You’re great!” said decent-sort-Mike.             

I had to reply, “Don’t be fucking ridiculous. I’m a drunk from Hugo’s, just like you are.”             

The light went on in Mike’s more than slightly bloodshot eyes. It was that deeper kind of understanding that rarely happens, even between people who know each other very well.            

He got it.           

A big slow “Wooooow!” came out of his mouth.           

Mike suddenly realized that he could have done that charity project and would have received the same attention from the media if he had. Instant insight told him that anyone could have done it. It was all just about getting up and doing it. All I did was kick my own drunken ass into the process. That didn’t make me any more of a superman than Mike. The only difference between us was that I put a situation’s potential to actual use.
   

  We bought each other beers and talked for hours with no further misunderstandings.

All of us humans have the same potential to be incredible.

Who you’ve met or know doesn’t matter.

Who you choose to be and what you choose to do with your life is what does matter.
                                     

“Why Don’t You Tell Your Face?”
With love and thanks to the world’s favorite uncle, Mr. Leo Buscaglia
       

I ask how you’re doing and you tell me you’re fine, but you’re staring out off into space. The look in your eye tells me something’s awry. You’re not sitting in your favorite place. You appear to be thinking that to speak your true feelings would surely result in disgrace. If you’re feeling fine, I’ll kiss my own behind. If you’re happy, you should tell your face!      

  No one feels perfect all day and all night, and if you’ve got a problem then you’ve got a right to share it with people who care ‘bout your plight and can help you recover, recycle your sight.            

But you don’t.            

You just sit there with that frown covering you.            

Seems kind of silly.        

If someone sincerely asks how you are, that’s a sign of your luck and their grace.     

They can help wash your clothes and straighten your wrinkles, pull joy through the holes in your lace. So do not sit there with your head up your butt wishing you were in some other place. Open up the damn door when your friends come knocking. Let them help you stabilize when you are rocking. You can’t tell them anything that will be quite as shocking as “If you’re happy, why don’t you tell your face?”                                      
 

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

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

Is Big Bird a God?

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

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

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

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

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE
REAL?       

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

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

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

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

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

Wipe eyes. Blink.

Opened eyes after blinking see that the highway has disappeared.      

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

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

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

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

“We are Garrruda. Welcome.”        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Within an instant, I find out why.          

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

* * *                                                         Jonah’s Frying Pan         

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

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

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

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

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

The 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!

A Perfect Place

Happy Bob Marley BD (it was Feb. 6), Tibetan New Year (Feb. 12) and Valentine’s Day week! I hope you and yours are happy and healthy. Communications from America say that things are a little less crazy now that the election is over. That’s good. Even the most pro-American Asians were thinking we went a little wacky!            With any luck, folks in the USA will continue to take deep breaths and calm down. With a little effort, things will become less hateful and more loving as both the reds and blues start to realize that working together is the only way things will ever work at all. With that sentiment in mind, this week’s 1000 words are from the Fearless Puppy On American Road book, and about a time and place that remembers the more beautiful part of the American experience.            

Once something changes, it can never go all the way back to what it was. In many ways, that is a good thing. We can preserve some better parts of the life we already had while allowing room for new and improved ideas. Insisting that both those new ideas, and the parts preserved from the old, are employed as actual improvements that benefit the vast majority of us has become the non-negotiable, essential responsibility of each and every citizen. Like it or not, it seems we will have to stay actively, consciously, and intelligently involved in order to insure success.                    

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

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                                                             Rural Vermont               

Helpfulness. Tribalism at its best. Everyone works together on everything. Lives depend upon each other in temperatures well below zero.            

Hitchhiking is no longer just getting from here to there while barely knowing my host. Nearly every ride establishes or increases a friendship.            

More cows per square mile than people, more open space than cows, and more forest than open space. Pronounced seasons and cycles. Cold, white winters. Muddy springs. Vibrant green summers pulsating with life that knows it only has a few months to do what needs to get done. Rainbow autumnal foliage so brilliant that guests come from continents away to view it. Streams clean enough to drink from.            

Eggs come from happy chickens—not from the cruelty of large “animal production” warehouses.             Everyone waves hello to anyone driving by.            

There’s always time to speak with whomever you meet at the General Store or Post Office. There’s always time. No hurry. Life comes first. Being is more important than doing (once the doing gets done).             The only store in town is the size of five closets but has everything—food, hardware, videos, clothing, beer, and more. A giant empty cable spool acts as a table around which to enjoy coffee, home- made donuts, and the company of neighbors. A best friend makes maple syrup. Everyone grows incredible gardens.             

I have spent a lot of time with four other people and five beers staring into the open hood of a pickup truck that was not in need of repair.             

Wood keeps you warm three times—once when you chop it, again when you carry it in, and the third time when you burn it. Overflowing abundance lives here. Some folks want more. Few need more.              Theater groups that produce professional quality plays thrive in the forests of nearby vest-pocket towns.              The purity and clarity of omnipresent Nature rubs off on its human inhabitants. Crime, violence, and assorted hatreds appear only in newspapers and on TV stations. No one here has seen those things in person.              The Town Treasurer has a sign on his office explaining, “It’s very hard to get away with anything in a town this small.” Live and let live. If it hurts no one, it’s legal.             

Resourcefulness is a way of life. Anything you need can be built from left over parts of things that you don’t need anymore. If you don’t know how, someone will show you. They’ll be happy to help—even happier if you bring a beer to say hello and thank you.             

Deer hunters and trout fishermen deny slaughterhouses and corporate supermarket chains their abuses and profits. Unprocessed foods, hard exercise, low stress, clean air, and clean water deny the medical industry their profits from unnecessary surgery and drugs.             

Awe inspiring natural beauty excludes land developers and their profit-over-people motivation. Their concrete and steel are not welcome here. The industrial decay that would lead to profits for a large assortment of unethical folks in fancy suits is denied entry by the conscious decisions of simple, intelligent farmers in overalls.             

There will never be a Wal-Mart or a crack house here. There are many guns. They are never used for anything but hunting food. People are constantly helping each other to build a barn or house, dig out snow and mud, care for the children, cook, clean, weed the garden, and feed the animals. Anything that can be done at all is usually done by a group, even if it’s actually a one-person job. Folks enjoy each other’s company. Except in the most extreme circumstances, everyone deserves inclusion.              

Parties get thrown together instantly for no other reason than that someone feels like being the host.               On a Tuesday, my friend Mike told me that he was having a party at his house on the following Saturday.              

“What’s the occasion, Mike?”              

“The occasion is that I just came up with the bright idea of having a party. I’ll get out a side of venison and buy a keg of beer. Tell everyone you see to tell everyone they see. If anyone wants to bring more food and drink, that’s good. If not, we’ll be fine with what we’ve got, I figure.”              “

OK, Mike. I’ll get everyone but the assholes informed.”              

“Inform the assholes too, buddy! Who knows? Maybe if they got invited to more parties, they’d figure out how to act better and wouldn’t be such assholes.”              

It was hard to argue with Mike’s logic, but then again it is hard to argue with much of anything in a clean, friendly village.              

During those years of having a home community and base station, a lot of work got done elsewhere. Rest time there made hitchhiking across nearly every inch of road in Northeastern America possible. I probably hitchhiked as many miles regionally during this period as the number of miles that were traveled in all the previous cross-country trips. Each full month of whistle stops working for environmental groups and charities included many towns and cities. It included talking to independent business folks all day about various causes, sleeping wherever possible, and celebrating whenever plausible. At the end of road tours like that, staring at mountains in between long naps was more of a necessity than an option. It is a lot easier to burn yourself up on the road when you know that a perfect place to revive is waiting for you.               The focal points of the road binges included Greenpeace, Citizen’s Awareness Network, and self-organized efforts to help support a Mexican orphanage, raise awareness and funding for American homeless folks, and help the victims of a very severe African famine. The results varied. My little part as a team member in the environmental efforts worked consistently for over a decade at each. The orphanage and homeless projects I organized worked minimally. The famine relief effort worked very well. It involved a governor, two senators, labor unions, school systems, businesses, major league sports teams, rock bands, and more. Thousands of people in the Northeastern section of America gave massive help.                

This is a short chapter, but it covers a long period of years. Eventually, my good friend who allowed me this cabin in paradise had to liquidate his properties. This put me back out on the street at age fifty. But for a while, my life was as close to normal as it had ever been. It included long term friends and neighbors.                 Those years seem to have gone by very quickly. ​
***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!

Solving Darkness

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

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED SO FAR

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