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  • hardie karges 7:31 am on April 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Fear and Awe, Recipes and Sutras… 

    Half of all religion is based on fear, fear of dying and fear of flying, fear of failure and fear of success. The other half is based on awe, whether awful or awesome, it really doesn’t matter to an emotion junkie, a feelings philanderer, ready to take a lashing for passion and come back for more, sight unseen. Because that’s half the rush, the adrenaline rush, that quest for novelty and the thrill of victory, over trivial obstacles and deliberate roadblocks, fear of the unknown conquered by insatiable thirst. But that’s a recipe for disaster, the craving for conditions with no concern for the consequences. Surely there must be a better way, a happy Buddhist medium between the extremes of delight or despair. Just curious: If I forgo the laughter, can I forgo the tears? Asking for a friend…

  • hardie karges 6:58 am on April 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
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    The Word and the World, Both Too Much with Us 

    You can be in the world and not be of the world, and that is important for those of us who choose other-worldly pursuits, as typically defined, with pleasure not reduced to sensation and payments largely in kind. Money is the mark of the beast and possession is his hand-maiden, the need to accumulate more and more, bigger and bigger, the ultimate swindle, as if existence cold be quantified and life codified. But total Buddhist renunciation is not possible, either, except for brief retreats, because to live in a world removed is only possible with strings and ties, so the same dreaded possession to be avoided, ultimately. The answer is to carry that beloved retreat with you, and me, in your head to be applied liberally at any convenient point of contact, and as constant reminder of the blessings of omission to which you, and I, have pledged heartfelt allegiance. Every mouthly utterance should be a word’s worth. True freedom is internal as well as external…

  • hardie karges 6:10 am on April 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Nirvana, and the Anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s Suicide 

    It’s hard now to hear Nirvana the rock band. But it’s easy to hear about Nirvana the cessation of hatred, anger, even desire, on a good day, so Buddhist Nirvana, that is. But I was once a big fan of the band, even though it was loud, raw, and anguished. That was much of the charm, at the time. But I started at the end and worked backwards, not so much because the acoustic versions were easier to swallow, which they were, but that the lyrics were understandable, and that was the point, that and the fact that I took offense at their use of the tern ‘nirvana’, not that I was Buddhist, but then neither were they. But then maybe they were Sanskritists, since they got the translation right: ‘extinction’, nothing about salvation, or even Enlightenment. So at least Kurt was honest. He just worked himself into a corner from which he couldn’t escape, not with his life. It always happens at age twenty-seven. That seems to be the threshold, the threshold between childhood and adulthood, or not. R.I.P. Kurt…

  • hardie karges 6:16 am on March 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dignity, , flattery   

    Dignity as the Price of Peace… 

    No one needs flattery. Everyone needs dignity. Because ego is the most modern of diseases, we all full of our selves and branded shamelessly for public consumption, personalities paid for their pin-ups and post-ups in likes, follows and shares, presumably to make up in brownie points (does anyone still say that?) what we lack in proper remuneration for our hard-earned bread and soup. But dignity comes with proper recognition if not proper remuneration, a dollar’s work for a dollar’s pay, and credits attributed accordingly, so that we can all feel good about what it is that we do and what it is that we struggle for. And that is not always easy. But it is never worth venting spleen at the robber barons and Internet trolls, with hatred and anger and vengeance running over. It is more important to correct the problem than to seek revenge, getting even just that and no more, because if we stoop to their level of hatred and anger, then they win, and we will never attain the peace of mind and dignity of place that we deserve…

  • hardie karges 5:44 am on March 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: abundance, ,   

    Buddhism vs. Christianity: Abundance is a flawed concept, overflowing and wasteful… 

    Abundance is the Christian rap. I’m Buddhist. I want just enough and no more. But that’s the Christian back-story for you, the myth that somehow there is an eternal fountain of life and resources available for the taking, if only we connect with the creator God and his eternal love, such that he sent his own son down to seal the deal. And Jesus did a good job. So did Buddha. But both were just men, and both had their faults, in spite of their brilliance. The times dictate the message we need, and right now we need limits, not abundance, satisfaction within and without, independent of a creator God and his need for constant creation, a growth economy to mask our inability to come to peace with ourselves. We are too abundant, and miserable because of it, fighting over turf and settling for the spoils. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes it’s better to be a little bit hungry, respectful and thankful, on a perpetual quest for truth and vision, the path…

    • Dave Kingsbury 3:45 pm on March 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Common sense, Hardie, and alas not common enough it seems!

    • hardie karges 4:07 pm on March 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m a Boy Scout at heart, haha. Thanks Dave…

  • hardie karges 7:06 am on March 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , humiliation, humility, Politeness, ,   

    Humility and the Illusions of Self… 

    Everyone should show humility. No one should be humiliated. And that is more than just linguistic word-play, given that the two words in play have a common root. But the common root is not at issue. At issue is the role of the actor versus that of an external third party, particularly with respect to issues of control and freedom, both political and social. It is a fundamental tenet of Buddhism that ego should be reduced or diminished, to the point of total elimination, since it has no fundamental role in personality, just the illusion of grandeur, to which there is no basis–ever. Moreover, humility is an act of contrition, self-contrition, a submission of oneself to the greater good of society. Humiliation is an act of violence, designed to inflict damage on another, and that is not polite, to say the least. Politeness is a dying art…

  • hardie karges 6:46 am on March 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , idelaism, nihilism   

    Buddhist Considerata… 

    Idealism and nihilism cancel each other out, so many useless frenzied speculations and false experiments, blood stains on the well-worn sheets of experience, protagonists and antagonists duking it out over who gets reproduction rights to a life not long for this world in the first place, fighting over turf as the waters rise precipitously, trying to maximize profits in a world that has no more futures markets. Such is the world of governments and politics, armies and navies. The real world is imperfect but hopeful, sometimes cruel sometimes kind. The real world is only about you, and your relation to the unconditioned source, the cause of all transient effects, the white screen upon which all is written and all is projected. This is neither idealistic nor nihilistic. This is reality, blinking on and off at the speed of light…

    • Dave Kingsbury 4:56 pm on March 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      The power of this is focused by its brevity. I particularly liked ‘a world that has no more futures markets’. Three cheers for the striking schoolkids!

      • hardie karges 9:02 pm on March 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Hear hear! The kids are alright…

        • Dave Kingsbury 1:55 pm on March 17, 2019 Permalink

          Nicest quote from yesterday: kid from Florida said, ‘There’s no better way to find hope and meaning in this trying time than working alongside fellow people who share my grief for the world.’

    • Jason Youngman 6:08 am on March 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      An enjoyable and pleasant read, thoughtful and insightful too. Thank you.

      • hardie karges 6:48 am on March 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        You are welcome…

  • hardie karges 6:30 am on March 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , madhyamaka, , Tao   

    Buddhism and the Middle Way… 

    Follow the Tao, not the Dow, prophets not profits, any path with heart, any feeling of freedom. For a Buddhist, of course, this is the Middle Path, madhya maka, that winding circuitous sweet spot between the extremes of existence and non-existence, illusions or emptiness, the conditioned or the unconditioned. Or if you’re new to the game, then you’re trying to negotiate your way between the gross illusions of everyday life, the dichotomies of poverty and wealth, sickness and health, cruelty and kindness, life and death. But that only applies if you care to open your eyes and acknowledge the truth of it. Because you can follow many narratives, just like you can follow any path. And where it leads you is largely of your own design, because there is no destination, only a path…

  • hardie karges 5:55 am on March 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Taming the Wild Heart 

    Sometimes silence is the best response to futile debates and inappropriate questions, and not a bad way of life in general. And that is the hardest thing to accept for many of us, Americans especially, loud of mouth and loose of tongue, where confrontation is currency and apologies are afterthoughts. This is the zeitgeist of the modern world, wild and chaotic, long after such activities are truly justified, and the cause of many, if not most, of the problems in this world today, in their various forms of greed, hate, and anger, all of which can cause wars, climate catastrophe, and poverty, simply because we are out of control, with our often-misplaced love of freedom/chaos, at whatever cost. Tame your heart, tame your mind, tame yourself, and you will tame the world…

  • hardie karges 5:07 am on March 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Making Do in Trumplandia: Religion and Politics… 

    Build bridges not walls, trust not fear, paths without obstacles, hope not despair. And that’s usually seen as the job of politics, economics and policy decisions, creating a more just and better world, usually by creating more money, by creating constant growth, assuming that there are no limits, and planning accordingly, as if oil flows from the ground without end, as if resources are infinite, as if populations can multiply indefinitely with no repercussions. But it doesn’t always work out that way. The obstacles are many and the heroes are few. Sometimes there is simply nothing that you can do; or at least it seems that way. Then philosophy takes over from politics, and religion grows wings. We count our blessings, not our money, and expect nothing from others. Because when the world seems like a cruel place, sometimes the only thing we can do is to change our relation to it; expect less and appreciate more. My neo-Buddhist attitude is pretty simple: If you can’t change the world, then change the narrative…

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