What’s happening where you are? I hope you are happy and healthy.
Here in Pokhara, the second coming of Nepali lock down has been relaxing very, very gradually. After two months of everything being shut down except food markets in the early morning, we now have many businesses legally open from 10 a.m. to 6 or 8 p.m. This only minimally helps the merchants. Most of them are dependent upon a tourist traffic that is still locked out of the country. I truly don’t know how these people are even surviving, much less smiling—but they keep doing both. Anyone selling anything has very few buyers. Many of the locals are no longer or minimally employed—but there are notable exceptions. New banks are under construction. Pharmacy business is booming. TV watching hours have no doubt doubled, so the few folks involved in media are still working. As is true in most of the world, official policies continue to allow and even encourage dangerous malnutrition and debilitating stress levels to flourish in order to keep folks from getting the flu. My guess is that there are ulterior motives behind the whole production. Yes, there is a disease that can kill people. But the intentional mismanagement that greatly profits a few while damaging the vast majority pours apocalyptic amounts of gasoline on the tragic flames that this disease produces. Yes. That’s just an opinion. No, I don’t know anything. Like everyone else, I just see what I see and then take what seems to be a logical guess as to why I am seeing it. Perhaps most obvious among the things I can see is that this is not the time to lose confidence in self, or in humanity at large. The production and transmission of joyful concern for others, and a caring nature that is actively and consistently practiced, are our best chances of plowing through this shit in style. If we do that well enough, our selves and our species can get to the other side of this doo-doo storm still remembering how to love, laugh, and touch each other. We may even remember how to hug our fellow humans, or at least how to meet them with a basic warmth instead of an icy fear! The following is from the Tribute to Teachers section of the new book and is a little unusual. Most of these bits are dedicated to an individual. Although this one was originally inspired by a Mr. John Yeshe Perks, it is dedicated to a large and amorphous group of people. 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 AUTHENTIC Dedicated with gratitude and respect to all those with the courage, perseverance, and common sense to be themselves in the face of criticism, judgement, peer pressure, scrutiny, sensationalism, and public ignorance—to all those who refuse to allow anyone else’s bullshit to prevent them from helping others or growing into themselves. People spend a lot of time talking about “the truth” as if it is a familiar old friend, but the relationship is more often like that of a fan to a celebrity they’ve never met. When these same folks actually meet the raw truth, it usually scares the living hell out of them. Outside the world of Nature itself, truth is rare and bullshit prevalent. It can sometimes take a while for truth to triumph, but it will eventually percolate right through nonsense and rise above any pile of lies it is trapped under. This percolation is facilitated by folks that are uniquely and authentically themselves. People fronting to accomplish various sorts of personal gain; those who are scared to stand out and would rather fit in; folks that act in a pretentious, artificial way in a quest for admiration, profit, or status; cannot get this job done. But authentic does not mean perfect. Throughout our history, except for maybe a few possible legendary exceptions, we have each been imperfect in reaching the absolute peak of human potential. This includes our most accomplished, famous, and even our very wisest citizens. We live on a crowded rock amidst an often unforgiving culture in fragile bodies attached to sensitive emotional mechanisms. No one stays perfect while doing it.
“Even after you reach Enlightenment, you still have to do the laundry.” Old Zen Proverb Most folks agree that making an effort to overcome or at least sand-paper the edges off of the less agreeable behaviors and attitudes we have developed is among life’s most essential jobs. Most folks also agree that this job is a lot easier to talk about than do. Personal responsibility is always the engine of any effort. But a lot of our less desirable traits, and our lack of progress in escaping them, may have more to do with the way we’ve been programmed than it has to do with any basic character flaw or inability to achieve our direction. Spiritual/emotional progress is often presented to us as being unattainable to “regular” people. It is framed as an otherworldly process that only a person born with flawless supernatural grace can possibly accomplish. Public relations men for the churches, governments, and industries that stand to profit from misdirecting the public convince us that we need products and middlemen to negotiate our spiritual as well as our physical beauty and self-worth. If people believe that they are incapable of reaching wisdom or happiness through their own efforts; if we think that our ability to become better humans is limited or even impotent when we live as our authentic selves instead of monkeying commercially motivated and manufactured images; it puts us at the mercy of external forces that pull our strings. This manufactured artificial distance between the folks we are and faith in our ability to become the folks we want to be is a truly dangerous thing. It is often used by the discouraged as an excuse to replace their sense of personal responsibility with compliance, nihilism, apathy, cynicism, and lethargy. Individual growth and planetary evolution retard under the influence of this market motivated frustration. Personal initiative gives up to empty promises and baseless blind hope. Empty promises and baseless blind hope direct us to worthless material property, prescription drugs, salvation by the dollar, and the large collection of distractions, toys, and gimmicks that have been made available to replace our painfully raped confidence and authenticity. Status quo knows that when important goals are made to seem unobtainable, many folks will relinquish partial control of their lives to forces that claim the ability to carry them toward those goals. Hollow religion, repressive governments, industry that is motivated by greed, and all the jackals that feed on scraps from these institutions then cash in on public insecurity while the wise wait patiently for the rest of us to figure out that all we need to do is cash in our own chips. It is ironic as hell that most of our heroes, teachers, and even gods placed all the responsibility in the world on singular humans in nearly all of their rhetoric! Most of them advised us to get to work on the job—not to find a politician, televangelist, or other form of middle man to do our negotiating for us.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” “The kingdom of heaven is within you.” “Seek and ye shall find.” This whole process of becoming the cultural image of a self instead of being our own selves shows up blatantly in many women that compare themselves to magazine fashion models. These “regular” women may be very intelligent, good hearted, beautiful in demeanor, and physically cute. They are most likely all-around better people to be with than the sleek models with the glorified bodies. Nonetheless, many doors are closed to them that are left open for the genetic celebrities in lingerie, alcohol, and perfume ads. Sadly, some of the lovely women that society has labeled ordinary, regular, plain, too short, tall, thin, fat, narrow-lipped, big/small breasted, or otherwise physically imperfect will drive themselves to bizarre, expensive, and unhealthy lengths striving for shallow goals that are genetically impossible to reach. “I should be like that model but it is not possible for me. I am an undesirable failure,” is a widespread and tragic side effect of the images that commercial advertising has convinced us to define as physical perfection. Many naturally beautiful people have lost their self-respect surrendering to unnatural standards of beauty. One strong similarity between these two scenarios is that the fashion model photos and the spiritual model propaganda have both been airbrushed. But the differences between the spiritual and the fashion model scenarios are very much more important than the similarities. The most important difference is that people can’t get taller or change their bone structure, but anyone can make giant strides in the direction of spiritual role models. Becoming happier and of more benefit to those around us is always a possibility wherever a human mind has a serious intention to do so. Few people can ever become a fashion model, but anyone can become a happier camper, a nicer human, and a smarter person—if they exercise their authenticity in a positive direction with diligence and determination. All humans have a core ability for great accomplishment. Most of our famous wise folk never denied that they themselves were everyday people like you and me. They worked hard to develop expanded awareness, at times used more courage than sense, and perhaps earned a bit of enhanced perception—but they were born the same start-from-scratch babies as everyone else. They each had a bit of not-all-the-way-there-yet in them, just like we do. We may consider a neighbor or work mate or our selves to be too stupid, smart-assed, fat, thin, compulsively clean or sloppy, oversexed, undersexed, gay, straight, loud, mousy, weird and unfocused, or just plain too damn lazy to accomplish much benefit for themselves or the world. Haven’t there been many saints with similar qualities?
Santideva was considered to be so lazy that he was called “Eat, Shit, Sleep” by other monks. He wrote some of the most revered and most utilized texts in Buddhism. Saint Francis and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche were very, very wild people by any culture’s standards. JFK and MLK were unapologetic sex addicts. Many of our favorite musicians, artists, and authors were consistently intoxicated. Several of our most well-known modern wisdom teachers initiated their spiritual advancement with LSD and other substances. None of these questionable actions and qualities can negate the contributions that these people made. Being authentically, honestly human (while maintaining the all-important do-no-harm internal base station) will not disturb anyone’s ability to grow personally, or the ability to make meaningful contributions to the world.
It will facilitate it.
The courage to face our own inadequacies and our own potential with an equal and non-judgmental clarity is the base station of honest introspection. This honest introspection is the base station of spiritual and emotional progress. This spiritual and emotional progress is the root system of evolution. Being authentic is a good part of what makes wise people wise. It helps them stay aware of what pieces are still missing in their goal to be whole, as well as what trash needs to be brought to the dump. It keeps them aware of what needs to be exercised and what needs to be exorcised. Do you know anyone that has sacrificed being who they really are in order to fit into an externally manufactured and induced image of whom they “are supposed to be?” If so, you have a friend, as well as a planet, that is in trouble. The popular expression “Keep It Real” may be the calling card of the 21st century. 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!