Dreaming Of Chad And Herb

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

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

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

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

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

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                    DREAMING OF CHAD AND HERB
                                                          

Chad            

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HERB             
          

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be well. Love, Tenzin

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

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

more from both Costa Rica and Nepal soon

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

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!

Lifeguards From Denmark And Zennessee

Hi from the road! Am on my way from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Nepal. Pokhara is a city, but reputed to be much smaller, cleaner, and more nature-y than Kathmandu. It has a big lake and is said to have a small town feel to it. I’ll let you know soon just how much of that is true.        

This week’s first bit is from the Fearless Puppy On American Road book. It was another lucky, happy rescue that happened within days of the surprisingly happy drug overdose death, revival, withdrawal symptoms, and meeting with Garuda described last week.         

The second short section is from the Tribute To Teachers chapters that will be in the new book. There are a couple dozen of these tributes. This one is a homage to Zen master Stephen Gaskin (based for many years in Tennessee) and his views on anger. Inspired by him, I have invented my own unusual but very functional way of defusing anger. It is offered at the end.          

I hope you can find the breezes of active tranquility that blow through both of these somewhat sketchy bits. I hope that only the most pleasant breezes blow through your sketchy bits as well.        

Thanks very much for reading, and for clicking on the back links.  Please 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

                                              Bucked Up by 3 Danes        

Three twenty-something year olds from Denmark give me a ride back to Earth in a rented car. They are going to Cleveland. Ollie, Dank, and Teak are on their way to school.        

It seems that Denmark gives some of its citizens an educational scholarship period. All expenses are paid. A Dane can choose to attend a university or any other form of education that will lead to that person becoming a happier, more productive member of society.         

I have to guess that there are fewer per capita heroin addicts in Denmark than in my own country.        

The crew hosting my transportation has just returned from a half year of advanced scuba training in Thailand. Round trip airfare, room, meals, and tuition were all paid for by their government’s education department. These education programs are funded by as large a percentage of Denmark’s tax dollars as America spends on its military. The Danes opted for a functional society.         

These citizens of Denmark are enjoying a training and employment cycle of their own choosing. The incidence of fatal heart attacks is very low in Denmark. In the U.S. there are more fatal heart attacks at 9 a.m. on Monday morning than at any other time. I shit you not! Look it up. Many folks would literally rather die than go back to work after their weekend. This, it seems, doesn’t happen when you choose your career on the basis of personal and societal satisfaction as opposed to being trapped in a frustrating pursuit of financial necessities.         

The Danish group is on its way to Cleveland for a second phase of education—hotel and resort management. Back in middle school, these pals had the idea of opening a diving resort together. Now they’re learning how. Soon they will actually do it.         

They have traveled far from home. They have seen incredible sights and lived through unusual situations. They were bolstered and supported by their plans for potential futures, by each other, their families, and their nation—a nation that had enough faith in them to sponsor the road to their dreams.          

Every few minutes one of the guys would manufacture a false complaint and squeak out a fake whine. “I’m tired.” “I’m hungry.” “I’m thirsty.” The guys took turns pitching make believe snarls and complaints one after the other. Each was followed by the same chorus in response. It very quickly became obvious that the complaints were just a vehicle, an excuse for the Danes to shout out the chorus that responded to those complaints.           

“You’ve got to be strong. You’ve got to buck up. You’ve got to get happy and shut the fuck up!”           

The chorus was always followed by laughter. Within a few minutes, I joined my hosts in the chorus. Eventually I got into the game enough to offer a whine to usher the chorus in. Mine wasn’t as false as the others, but I didn’t tell my hosts about that.           

My “I’m a junkie!” got a good long laugh from the Danes, followed by the usual response.

“You’ve got to be strong. You’ve got to buck up. You’ve got to get happy and shut the fuck up!”           

Many repetitions traveled with us for hundreds of miles. As many times as we sang that refrain, it never got stale. A fresh laugh followed each.            

I’ve sung that little song to myself at least once a day for the past fortyty years. A fresh smile still follows every chorus.           

“You’ve got to be strong. You’ve got to buck up. You’ve got to get happy and shut the fuck up!”             Words to live by.            

Thanks, scuba men. Thanks, Denmark.
                                                            

Anger

The book Chapter One and its author have been life preservers for many. I am one of them. Thank you, Stephen Gaskin.
             I used to get angry a lot. It was more fun than depression and seemed a functional way to vent feelings that could have turned uglier or even dangerous if repressed. We’ve all had a lot of good reasons to get angry, including:           

trusting someone and then being betrayed by them.          

doing something stupid (self-directed anger).          

being powerless to prevent injustice.           the dog eating your work or school project.          

a lover drinking up the rent money or sleeping with the neighbor.          

being sober and having a drunken stranger throw up on you.          

hiring a broker who invests in a dive-bombing stock.          

having your last dollar stolen, heart broken, a disrespect spoken…                                                   

The list goes on endlessly.
           There’s one good reason to not get angry that overrides all the reasons that make anger appear logical. Anger is toxic. Unlike other types of poisoning, anger is often more of a danger to the person firing than it is to the person being fired at—but it is damaging to everything anywhere near it. Adults, children, animals and anything else within vibratory range can feel someone else’s anger. Anger releases chemicals in bodies and brains that damage the health of participants and innocent bystanders alike.           

Everything that other people love about us and most of what we love about ourselves runs away when anger shows up. Almost any other emotion we can feel is an improvement over anger and its consequences.
          

“He made me angry!”          

 It may seem that way, but it is not really true.          

We allow ourselves to be angry or we don’t allow it to happen.          

Compassionate tolerance toward and patience with the sources that piss us off are good substitutes for anger. Forgiveness is very productive, even when approached from a selfish angle. It needn’t necessarily be done for the sake of the person who has been a jackass to us. Forgiving someone else prevents us from poisoning ourselves with anger. There is no sensible option. Once you are already wronged, why breed more harm? A simple decision to stop the bleeding often works better than any other decision.            

Appropriate countermeasures are definitely necessary in many situations. But if those countermeasures are based in anger, they are probably not appropriate.

This is an inside job. We can’t deny the existence of anger that has risen, but we can tell the anger to leave as soon as awareness of it arrives. It is best to tell it politely. Getting angry at anger doesn’t work very well.            

Calmly waving anger away may not be easy, at first. It takes some practice. Attention to our own thoughts, actions, and attitudes allows us to be aware of the anger as it is rising. Then we can practice releasing it as the bad choice that it is. With enough of this mental practice, anger will start showing up much less often. When it does arrive, it won’t stay as long as it used to.          

As Mr. Gaskin says, “The trick isn’t to not act angry, the trick is to not be angry.” Trying to deny or bury existent anger invites explosive failure whereas simply putting attention on something better could succeed quickly, and will succeed eventually.          

Stress or exhaustion can thin out patience in even the best of humans. Anger gets hold of a person more readily when that person is stressed or exhausted. Most folks try to stay as relaxed, content, and rested as possible. That’s not good enough. We may need to redefine our arbitrary and subjective definitions of “as possible.” Staying relaxed and rested “as necessary” is required.          

The extra patience afforded by a relaxed mind and a rested body can mellow out a volatile situation quickly. It helps us step away from life’s most dangerously toxic and downright unpleasant state of mind.                                                        

One Way to Fix It           

I rarely get angry anymore. Depression never was and is still not a smart option. Now I use a mechanism.            This method works!           

Using the method that I am about to describe reminds me that every action, and feeling, and thought is my own choice and creation. It reminds me that I am not a prisoner or pawn of anyone or anything that tries to anger or negatively influence me. It also reminds me that I am the captain of my own emotional ship, and just how important it is to exercise the serious obligation to myself and everyone else to adjust my sails so that they are pointed in the right direction—that direction being away from anger and toward happy sanity.            

Nowadays, if I feel anger trying to make a disturbing entrance into my life, I immediately stop whatever else I’m doing and dance the Mexican Hat Dance while tickling my own, or another consenting adult’s, genitals with my left hand. (But not in public.) While doing this I also whistle Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony through one nostril.               I like to go fishing with my free right hand, especially if there is a body of water nearby.   
             If not, casting the line into the living room rug works just as well.                       

Doing this keeps me out of trouble.            

It is almost impossible to be angry in that position.

Got a better idea?           

I’ll bet you do.

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

Is Big Bird a God?

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

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

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

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

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE
REAL?       

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

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

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

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

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

Wipe eyes. Blink.

Opened eyes after blinking see that the highway has disappeared.      

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

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

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

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

“We are Garrruda. Welcome.”        

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Within an instant, I find out why.          

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

* * *                                                         Jonah’s Frying Pan         

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

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

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

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

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

The Process

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

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

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

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

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

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                           THE PROCESS         

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pick a place you want to get to.             

Prepare wisely and diligently.             

Read a map.             

Hit the road comfortably, but with your eyes open.             

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

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

The Cherry On Top Of The Fruitcake

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

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

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

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

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

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG

 FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE                                             

The Cherry on Top of the Fruitcake          

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe I am one.           

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

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

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!

Angels From Hell In The Land Of Oz

I hope you are happy and healthy. We are winding down the 13th lunar month here in the Boudha Stupa neighborhood of Kathmandu, Nepal. The year of the Male Metal Mouse/Iron Rat 2147 is about to end. On February 12, the Tibetan new year of the Female Metal Ox 2148 begins. In honor of the occasion (and for a little lighten-up from the heavier, more esoteric writing of the past few weeks) the next few weeks will be nothing but fun. This week’s excerpt is from the Fearless Puppy On American Road book. It is a small part of the chapter about my season and a half playing a biker on the TV show OZ. I hope it is as fun for you as it was for me. Be well. Love, Tenzin   

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

FEARLESS PUPPY WEBSITE BLOG 

FEARLESS PUPPY ON AMERICAN ROAD/AMAZON PAGE

REINCARNATION THROUGH COMMON SENSE/AMAZON PAGE

FEARLESS WEBSITE

                                                                               Angels From Hell In The Land Of OZ      
      

Welcome to a TV set like no other—Oswald State Penitentiary.       

The first day on location scared the shit out of me. I would have had a more comfortable entrance into show biz had they cast me as lunch in a lion’s cage. OZ was shot on the entire sixth floor of a building that took up a full city block on Manhattan’s lower west side. A month’s rent for the space could likely feed a small nation. The whole floor was dressed up like a prison. Real cells with bars had been built into the walls. There was a common room, dining hall, infirmary, chaplain’s and warden’s offices, institutional kitchen, basketball court/exercise yard, and much more.       

Also present were three hundred of the spookiest looking people ever assembled in one place. Over two hundred of them wore prison uniforms. Thirty or so wore prison guard uniforms. A narrator, warden, chaplain, the featured stars, and a few nurses rounded out the cast. The narrator, warden, chaplain, and nurses were professional actors with years of experience. So were most of the main characters that had speaking roles. Very few other folks were. Most were people who, like myself, just answered a classified advertisement. If we walked into the agency possessing “the look” that the agents thought would fill the position, we got hired. Our look earned us pretty much the same job as the painted background scenery. We had to go where the director told us to go, and be silent.     

The agents were very good at their job. The majority of these extras had a lot of personal history that fit in with their look, and with the show. Many of the men that played gay prisoners kissed each other even when the cameras were off. A lot of the extras who played felons, gang members, junkies, and assorted criminal types were currently, or had been—felons, gang members, junkies, and assorted criminal types in real life.         

The casting department put me with the biker group. It was a select position. Unlike the gang bangers, skinhead racists, and other assorted cliques (not to mention the main general-prisoner population group), there were only about a half dozen bikers. This meant that every time a scene was to be shot that slated the biker group in it, we’d each get more individual face-in-the-camera time than the members of larger groups would. More exposure could mean that someone from the film industry might spot you, like your look, and give you a chance at some real acting.           

The possibility of making the big time never impressed me much. Having fun was most important. But during the first day, my main concern was getting over the heebie-jeebies. It didn’t take too long for me to get relaxed, thanks to my association with the biker crew. Most of that had to do with Tattoo Mike. Tattoo Mike had earned his name for obvious reasons. The biggest (and only the biggest!) of the Muslim characters would joke with him, “Glad you came in today, Mike. I needed something to read.”         

Finely crafted wording and designs covered nearly the entire body of this biker/actor. He had a tattooed necklace of skulls that summed up his body’s art museum. His long, dark beard finished in two braided strands resembling inverted horns. You didn’t have to meet Mike in a dark alley to be scared of him.           

Looks can be accurate and deceiving at the same time.           

Any so-called sane person who had been conditioned by a lifetime of media imagery would have run like hell from this man. I sat down next to him. It was the best move I made during my short show biz career.           

Don’t get me wrong here. You surely would not want to see this person pissed off! That would be ugly. But on the set, Mike was a gentleman’s gentleman. He was soft spoken, generous, and helpful to all. He had the air of a man with nothing left to prove to himself or anyone else. Mike knew that in any situation where intimidation was required, it was already accomplished. All he had to do was be present. But on set he made every effort to counteract the fear that his presence might cause in others.         

Introductions and conversation came easily. A few minutes in, I confessed about my nervous condition. “To tell you the truth, Mike, the set almost scared the shit out of me as much as the cast. At first, walking in and seeing the cells with bars, and then the guards—I mean the actors in guard’s uniforms! See, that’s the thing! The whole place is so real looking that it’s spooky.”           “Yeah, I know,” he winked.       
            I’m sure he did.       
            “C’mon,” he continued. “I’ll give you the tour.” We walked through various cell blocks, guard towers, weight rooms, etc. “The more you look around, the more real it seems, eh?”       

I nodded in silence. The production crew were masters of their craft. The place truly was way too real to be comfortable in.       

While walking back to the holding room, we passed through the kitchen section. Filming was in progress. Mike made the sshhh! sign with a finger to his lips. An absolutely chiseled brick house of a man who looked very familiar was screaming at a fellow actor and the camera. “I run the fucking kitchen. Nobody eats in this damn place unless I say so!”         

My eyes bugged out as I whispered, “Holy shit!” Mike gave me a “what’s up?” look. We walked over to where we could talk without disturbing the shoot. “Mike! Is that Sylvester Stallone? He’s on this show?”         

“Ha!” Mike laughed. “Well, that’s an easy mistake to make, man. There is a resemblance there. No, that’s not Stallone. That man there is a lot more dangerous than Stallone. He plays the head of the Mafia population in this make believe joint. In real life, he’s a Golden Gloves boxing champion and has two or three black belts in different forms of martial arts. He had to kick a famous karate-movie star’s ass on the street one night. Chuck didn’t want to do it, but the guy just kept pushing him. If possible, Chuck walks away from stupid people. A guy like him doesn’t want to fight people unless it’s in a ring. Street combat is too dangerous for opponents. The competition can get hurt very badly in that situation. He’s also my chief.”          

This surprised me. “Your chief? Neither of you looks Native American.”           

Mike laughed through his reply. “Not that kind of chief, Ten. Chuck is my road chief, and the president of the New York City chapter of the Hell’s Angels.”           

“Well, if he’s your chief that means that you…”           

Mike confirmed his status with a nod and a wink. “I’m a real one! Hey, it’s not just me. Many of the players on this set have had a lot more experience living their parts than acting them.”           

Just then, “Mother,” the two-hundred-and-fifty-pound head of Oswald State Penitentiary’s gay pain-and-abuse faction sauntered through. “Hey Mikie, who’s the fresh meat? Y’know Mikie, I’d really like to run my tongue around the bottom of your balls for half an hour or so.”           

Tattoo Mike gave that nasty Mother a stare that could have frozen a raging forest fire. Mother slithered off cautiously.            

Mike introduced me to Ron the Muslim, Terry the Homeboy, and Hector, along with several of his Hispanic Knife-Fighters. Through them I met much of the rest of the crew. Once I got to know these folks, most weren’t scary at all.            

Others were even scarier than they had originally appeared.

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