Hi! I hope you are happy and healthy, and that things are going well in your world.
Life is lovely in Pokhara, Nepal but there is really nothing happening here to add to a book or report to friends about. I’m waiting for a few physical things to heal well enough for me to get to new places so I can tell you about them. Meanwhile, I’m going to do a weird post. It may not seem weird to you, but it does to me.
Very few people in the world who are still alive have ever done as large a volume of intensely stupid things as I have done. I’m smarter now than I used to be but still very far from being the brightest bulb in the fixture. Much of life is spent smoking things and staring into space for hours at a time. I have watched a lot of smart people’s videos, and gone to many Lama teachings and wise-folk lectures. Hopefully some of those ideas stayed in my head, but basically I’m an average stoner.
Nonetheless, for some baffling reason, young people have recently been asking me deep questions and requesting personal advice. Maybe it is my age? Maybe I remind them of Grandpa? After suggesting that they really should try to find some more intelligent sources of information, I do my best to give them some semblance of an answer. I’m not worried about screwing them up. If anyone is already daffy enough to ask a walking THC molecule like myself a serious question, nothing I can say will confuse them further.
There have been enough of these requests to make a full chapter of them in what will be the second part of the new book. The chapter will be ironically called “Answers.” Folks seeking my answers to complex personal problems and deeper questions seems ironical to me — and also a little sad. Life can certainly be experienced. Whether it can be understood is questionable.
I’ve told most of these people that I don’t think there are any answers to life except maybe that we don’t control anything external to ourselves, and internally we make the whole fugging thing up. Changing personal attitudes about life will change the way we experience it — and changing how we experience life will open greater possibilities of enjoying it and helping others to do so. The thing many folks seemed to understand least was that trying to bend the world to our personal desires doesn’t work. As the old expression says, it makes a lot more sense to put shoes on your feet than it does to cover Earth in leather.
Knowing the “secret” to happiness doesn’t require a rocket scientist’s IQ. If you don’t like what you are doing or thinking, do and think something different. Make up something better. You can’t change what goes on around you, but you can change what you do and how you feel about it.
Don’t rent out space in your head to bullshit, whether it is your own domestic bullshit or someone else’s imported bullshit. It’s your head. You get to make the final decision as to what you house there.
Most problems are not much more complicated to solve than that. Some problems are more severe than others. Some may take effort to dig out from under those less immediately recognizable, more deeply buried, more strongly habituated thought patterns — and the reactions they hide under. But it still all just amounts to getting out the physical and psychological shovels and going to work.
Anyway, here are a few short ones. I hope some of my “answers” helped these people, or at least did them no harm. The same sentiment goes out to anyone reading them now. My for-real apologies if you find some of this stuff to be old news, boring, ignorant, or just plain wrong — but I think even you may get a few giggles from it.
Thank you for reading, and thank you for clicking the backlinks.
Be well. Love, Tenzin
p.s. As always, 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!
What happens when you die?
We can look at it this way. Let’s say me and you are sitting in a room smoking a doobie on the couch. The room measures 20 x 20 feet. What makes it that size? It’s the walls, isn’t it!? The walls actually define the size of the room — but the room is not the walls! The real room is the space we are sitting in. So when the house and those walls disintegrate from old age or get knocked down by a hurricane or whatever — what happens to the room? The actual space that is the room, the place we are sitting, is still there, isn’t it? No matter how good the weed is, we’re not going to think that space disappeared just because the walls have. The essence and content of the room hasn’t gone anywhere. Only the walls that defined the physical boundaries of that room are gone.
The situation might be the same with humans. Our body is the defining wall of the material creature that we are walking around as, in the same way that those walls defined the room. Just as the space within those walls is what the room really consists of, Consciousness is what we really are. The body gives our material self a physical definition but more importantly it is the motorhome that houses and locally transports Consciousness. It carries our non-physical substance and allows it to come into play within the confines of the physical world.
Who knows exactly what “non-physical substance” and “Consciousness” mean!?!? There seem to be a lot of theories about our personal consciousness and the link to our greater Universal Consciousness — or whether there is even a difference between the two. Nonetheless, most people realize that there are such things. Humanity takes a nearly universal stance of “I know something that I don’t know” regarding Consciousness, the non-physical, and the like. Most folks talking about these concepts readily admit that such ideas transcend language and can’t accurately be described in words. Most also agree that we are each really a much bigger deal than can fit in a body — any body.
Consciousness is everywhere. So when we lose the body, we reunite with our bigger self in perhaps a similar way as the room does when it loses its walls. Both the room and the consciousness reunite with the universality around them.
It may be that these notions, like so very many other things, are beyond a human being’s ability to understand until we experience them — and of course everyone will experience them, eventually.
Don’t worry about it! There are more important things to think about right now. You are currently alive on Earth. If you live well, you will be happy and make others around you happy here and now. If that works out well, whatever happens after death won’t be a problem for you.
WHY AM I FEELING OLD AND WORN AT 26 YEARS OLD?
Have you been: doing a lot of stuff you don’t want to do? dealing with annoying people you don’t want to deal with? watching a lot of violent, inane, commercial bullshit on the computer and TV? working a job that does nothing for you except pay the bills and piss you off? rapidly eating processed “food” that dogs won’t touch instead of taking in healthy, tasty, sustenance at a comfortable pace? Do you feel like you are trapped with no options and no possible relief or escape? Nothing will age you more quickly than constantly doing things that you don’t want to do while not doing the things your heart, brain, and gut truly want you to do. It’s like stepping on the gas and brake at the same time. It’ll burn your engine to a cinder!
You can start getting more energetic, motivated, and feeling more alive just by making a conscious decision to do so. You can’t deny what parts of your life suck, but you can recognize what good things you have going for you. Take steps to change what you don’t like about your life into what you do like about your life by taking action on your own behalf instead of claiming victimhood. Define what isn’t working for you and work daily toward either releasing or repairing it. Define what is working for you and strengthen it daily. Be grateful for what you do have instead of wasting energy in anger or grief about what you don’t have.
It helps to know that you cannot control anything outside of yourself. This is planet Earth. There are a lot of people on it. Not all of them are nice. Some are severely defective, dysfunctionally selfish, and mean-spirited. Shit happens even if you feel like you did nothing to deserve it. If you give up and lay down in it, you’re going to smell doo-doo forever. If you keep getting up, taking showers, and then go looking for situations with less ca-ca attached to them, things will improve. “Life isn’t fair” is not a reason to give up. It is a reason to keep overcoming adversity.
When you realize that your attitude/energy/happiness isn’t going to get shipped to you from somewhere else by FedEx or UPS, then things start falling into place. You will naturally and automatically take better care of your mental and physical health. You will nurture good relationships and get away from bad ones. You won’t let any crap that other people throw at you influence your happiness in any significant way.
In order to do anything about any situation, you first have to recognize it. A person first has to be aware of what is going on in his or her mind before she or he can make any beneficial adjustments there. Look at your mind, not your thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You are your mind. Give your mind plenty of still-&-quiet time so it can move what really needs attention up to the front of the line while moving gibberish away. The more you practice doing this, the better you get at being it. “Practice doing this” means to first recognize accurately. Then make effort to improve the way you internally deal with it all, as well as making whatever possible improvements you can in the external situations themselves. You are very capable of making your life more rewarding through your own efforts! Remind yourself of this constantly!
Be who you want to be. Sure, we all have coercive influences that can steer us in the wrong direction — but the final truth is that you are the captain of your own ship. I used to want to find the guy who gave me that first shot of heroin in 1966 so I could cut off his pecker and sledge hammer it through his teeth. Then I realized that I was the one who said yes to it. Considering that I kind of like my own pecker and teeth, it seemed best not only to face the truth but also to be a little more compassionate about it — with myself as well as with him.
Whatever happened before, you now have the power of final decision as to how you are going to think, feel, and live. Have patience with the process. Appreciate the small positive developments as you make them part of your life. Don’t give anyone else permission to “make you” feel any certain way. They can not. No one has permission to dump garbage into your life unless you give them permission to do so. Where I come from, trash goes into the incinerator. Put yours in there. If during the process a few self-limiting bridges in your mind, heart, or damaging relationships also burn, that fire may provide just the lighting you need to get where you want to go.
Instead of being pissed off at someone else, substitute a more productive thought that recognizes who really has ultimate control of your emotions, keeps those emotions more comfortable to live with, and prevents them from hijacking your intelligence and your life.
“I feel sorry for that asshole. He’ll keep having trouble. I’m going to forget him. I will make better decisions about what I get involved with from now on. ” or the old classic
“If you lend someone twenty dollars and they don’t pay you back, it was well worth the twenty dollars to know that about them.” or
“I’m going to be a better friend and find better friends.”
Recognize and keep reminding yourself that your thoughts, feelings, actions — and their results, are yours to control.
Don’t die of thirst while standing in the middle of a nice clean lake! Great stuff is all around as well as within you. Your way of seeing things may have been poisoned by some sad experience, a few bad decisions, unfortunate circumstance, or staying in an unsatisfying and frustrating rut for too long. Right now maybe you can’t see all of the better possibilities — but they exist and you know it. You must know something you don’t know or you wouldn’t have asked the question.
Treat every morning as if you are waking up on your your birthday or New Year’s Day. Recognize every day as an opportunity to: dump old concepts that aren’t working well for you, develop new ways of being and doing that benefit your self and others, make better decisions that are more conducive to happiness, and act out of your own positive inspirations, desires, and motivations instead of reacting to someone else’s negative influence — or your own. Don’t take any shit from yourself or anyone else.
Any difficulty you may experience from the ongoing process of getting where you want to go is better than staying where you don’t want to be. If you find yourself on the wrong road, no matter how far down that road you are, turn back. Do the mental, and where appropriate physical, work. It may seem like a strain at times, but it will always be better than remaining in a shit-storm life because you were too lazy or faithless to do the work. Hang in there, Bubba! Things can get better quickly if you point yourself where you want to go and stay consistently moving in that direction. Resting is great but quitting the effort is not a good option. That puts you back where you were. You left there for a reason.
If you don’t control yourself, someone else will.
How do you make meditation actually work?
Practice, practice, and more practice! Consistency and perseverance are the answers. If you want to be a good guitar player, practice every day. If you want to be good at basketball, play every day. If you want to be good at living, meditate every day.
The famous classical piano player Franz Liszt said, “If I don’t practice for one day, I know it. If I don’t practice for two days, my teacher knows it. If I don’t practice for three days, everyone knows it!”
That being said, neither should you over amp, get all stressed out, or push yourself so hard that the circuits in your brain start smoldering. A nice, relaxed, consistent installation of, familiarization with, and preservation of constructive thoughts and feelings will result in much improved mental patterns and beneficial physical habits. Those patterns, habits, and the positive changes they affect in your brain chemistry can become close friends that will eventually require less effort to maintain, give much love, and can remain a blessing to you forever.
About the Author
Doug Ten Rose has hitchhiked around America for 40 years, encountering Tibetan Lamas, Native American wise people, Senators, Governors, Junkies, Winos, Hookers, Rock stars, An all-lesbian rock band playing a concert for the deaf, The modern-day Robin Hood And a whole lot more…
These and many other amazing characters are described in Fearless Puppy on American Road.
“Ten” was also rescued and adopted by a temple full of Monks and Nuns in Southeast Asia. He stayed there for a half-year, although not studying Buddhism (certainly not in any conventional sense!).
Read more about that in his second offering: Reincarnation Through Common Sense.
Follow him on Facebook, Doug Ten Rose
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!