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  • hardie karges 6:35 am on May 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Mahayana   

    #Dharma without the Drama: #Buddhism on the Half-Shell… 

    img_0545Buddhism is not supposed to be a religion to get all excited about in the first place, if it’s even a religion at all, but just the opposite, regarding the excitement, that is. That’s Christianity, or Hinduism, singing and dancing, playing organ and banging drums, maybe even a guitar or two, if you’re lucky, and a bottle of wine, singing about Adam and Eva, “In a Gadda da Vida”…

    But Buddhism is not like that, not at all, and maybe just the opposite, a bit gloomy at times, I frequently the cheery one in the group, and I’m at least bi-polar, maybe even tri, triple Gem(ini), at least metaphorically, but who’s counting? And if Christian hymns are the paradigm for the cross, carrying you away to places you’ve never really been before, in a swoon of frenzy, for Buddhism the paradigm is meditation, focusing on the right here and right now, where you’ve never really left… (More …)

     
    • tiramit 8:37 am on May 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great, I never really thought before that the future doesn’t seem to hold as much as it did for us and therefore we’re less likely to wander off into it when we’re supposed to be in the here and now. But I see you’re writing for that kind of audience, and meditation is about sharpening our skills in ordinary presence, not so much about blissful realms. It’s this heavenly thing that Western newcomers to it think is what it’s all about, so they don’t stay with it for very long. What else can they do, it’s not everyone who has immersed themselves in a culture that’s so completely different from the mother ship for a number of decades and still be considered a farang…

  • hardie karges 8:11 am on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    On Turning 63: Peace of Mind or Piece of the Rock? Decisions, decisions… 

    IMG_0089and the little voices inside saw me ‘starving hysterical naked’ and said, “get thee to a monastery, young man, before it’s too late, while there’s still time, before you do something you’ll regret, so as to lay down your weary crosses and your over-worked swords, and your virus-ridden little laptop thingie, at once and forthwith, for I sentence you to life without parole, to suffer in silence, and be very glad for it, free of the distractions and defilements that inevitably lead to karmic rebirth…”

    and the little voices inside are usually up to no good, it’s true, trading in envy and fear and their financial derivatives, by hook or crook, nail or snail mail, those little narratives with their own lives that must have closure, if not happy endings, while biological entities crave only succor and the means of acquiring it, for future reference and global access… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:59 pm on May 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Love the way you cut loose here – how else to explore ideas of such complexity and do the inner nature justice?

  • hardie karges 6:39 am on May 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: aggression, , , , , lovingkindness, mindfulness   

    #Mindfulness and #LovingKindness: American #Buddhism–for Ex-Christians and Holy (rock-and-) Rollers… 

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    Don’t you just love the way any discussion of Buddhism in the English language tends to revolve around these two concepts—mindfulness and loving-kindness? “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…,” I guess, or why else would Buddhism need to cop new words and phrases to brand itself for people who were most likely raised on rock-and-roll and Christianity?

    But for some reason this Buddhism-now concept of ‘loving-kindness’ never appealed to me. For one thing, it’s just not a very accurate translation of the Sanskrit word metta or its cognate maitri, whose various meanings generally range from friendship to compassion. Or maybe there IS no accurate translation. I’ve communicated with several people by e-mail about my desire to formally study Buddhism at the university level, and ‘with metta‘ is a standard sign-off. So why not ‘with loving-kindness’? Good question… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 11:36 pm on May 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Homer and Me, and My Big Fat Buddhist Odyssey… 

    Live from the other side of my brain…

    Hyper-Travel: Karma Bum, Dharma Dawg, and the Ballot-Proof Monk

    IMG_0599Some things you will think of yourself; some things God will put into your mind.”–Homer

    Well, I think I finally know what I want to be when I grow up—a Buddhist; a professional Buddhist, that is, and that can only be one of two things: a monk or a scholar. So after dillying and dallying with it for almost a year now, mostly as temple boy in the Thai (Theravada) ‘forest tradition’, but also with stints in Nepal and Burma, I’ve applied and been accepted into a Chinese-style Buddhist College, here in Thailand—cool…

    It’s not that I felt no calling until now; it’s that I felt so many callings, all at one and the same time, or in rapid succession, with no clear direction shown, no clear preference known, just a morass of tangled wires and spliced-together leads, all leading into 1000 different directions from the source, an interminable…

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  • hardie karges 7:19 am on May 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: B. Alan Wallace, Beatles, Boolean logic, , Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, , metaphysics, stress, Transcendental Meditation   

    Beyond Buddhism: The Metaphysics of Meditation… 

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    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    Meditation has increasingly gained adherence in the Western world, since its initial mass-marketing roll-out as Transcendental Meditation (TM) under the guidance of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1960’s, with such illustrious disciples as the Beatles, a Beach Boy or two, and Donovan, among others, any feeling that it was all hype at the time, eventually assuaged by glowing and growing reports of its therapeutic value, BUT…

    What exactly is that therapeutic value? Stress reduction is the most obvious benefit, and the reason that many schools and business places have instituted a ‘quiet time’ of a quarter-to-a-half-hour or so, once or twice a day, or even as little as five minutes a pop. Now I’m not sure exactly how much good can be attained from so little time, but I guess anything is better than nothing… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:32 am on May 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , karma, , rebirth, reincarnation, , , ,   

    Buddhist Karma: more than just cause and effect… 

    img_2116Karma is one of the major tenets of Buddhism, and one of the most misunderstood. The issue of past lives I’ll save for later; first let’s deal with this life. The basic idea is that if you do good things, then good things will happen to you. And if you have to take at least one religious tenet on pure faith to qualify as religious, then I’ll take that one, which I firmly believe, that by doing good, the world is thereby incrementally vaccinated against evil. Thus karma is frequently called the law of ’cause and effect’, BUT…

    That’s not exactly correct. It’s better than that. It’s more than that. It’s purer than that. If I give you a five-spot and you hand me a hot dog, that’s not karma. That’s business, and bad health. Thank me for my custom, bloke. And if I pick up the neighborhood kids to take to school on Wednesday, because that’s my day to man the carpool, then ditto. That’s an agreement, therefore a transaction, maybe not business, since no money changed hands hand, but not karma, either… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:26 am on April 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , experience, meaning,   

    Buddhism, Philosophy and Life: Meaning or Experience? 

    img_1111One of the first glimpses of consciousness—self-consciousness—for any self-respecting member of angst-ridden rebellious existential youth is that, “life has no meaning.” And apparently that is a rite of passage from adolescence into adulthood, as palpable as puberty, as awkward as rolled-up jeans, as unforgiving as suicide–or so I hear…

    And there is no certain cure for it, though many treatments have been tried and many medicines prescribed. Until finally the master gurus of my own generation collectively said: “Enough!” and suspended the search until further notice, teachers like my own personal heroes Joseph Campbell and Alan Watts, the more respectable members of a club that included Timothy Leary on one hand and Alan Ginsberg on the other… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:37 am on April 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Buddhism’s First Noble Truth: Everything is broken… 

    IMG_1559So now that I’ve self-identified as Buddhist for almost a year, I figure I know pretty well the heart and mind of the Buddha, and so should begin second-guessing him, in order to clarify a few points that remain confusing after 2560 years (cue snickers). Okay, so here goes: everybody knows the Four Noble Truths, right? 1) The prevalence of suffering; 2) the cause of suffering: craving; 3) the cure for suffering: don’t do that, and 4) the way to accomplish that: follow the Middle Path, avoidance of extremes…

    So let’s do the math, and I’ll go Buddha one-up: If the cause of suffering is craving, which is normal, then suffering is normal—at least in this world, in this lifetime. And indeed many potential students of Buddhism never get past the ‘First Noble Truth’: That this world is full of suffering, first and foremost. Now deal with it. And Buddhism does—deal with it. But a lot of people find it depressing, seeing suffering before all else, when many people consider themselves quite happy, thank you… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:09 pm on April 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Philosophy and so much more … your engaged approach is encouraging and creative … and I love the idea of ‘soft power’ … “in which the subject is unimportant, usually, but the actions to which we are subjected (get it?) are paramount … Yes, passive voice: that’s a good way to describe Buddhism, reflexive verbs and indirect objects, intransitive verbs and shy unassuming subjects… “

  • hardie karges 6:56 am on April 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Easter, , , , ,   

    Easter and Buddhism: Religion of Passion, i.e. Suffering… 

    img_1893Christianity is the only modern religion based on emotion, rather than reason, submission, devotion or some other. Christians apparently LIKE suffering—read: passion—and so don’t avoid it but seek it out, with daredevil stunts, extreme sports, torrid romances and hot hot bodies, buffed and tanned and laid in the sand, for hours at the time, until well-done…

    Somewhere along the way we decided we liked all that and the word ‘passion’ took on new meaning, with a positive connotation, in life and in love. We’ll suffer for our art gladly, just like we’ll suffer for our sport, and we’ll suffer for love, just like Christ suffered for us, i.e. the ‘passion’, celebrated every year around this—Easter—time… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:23 pm on April 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , yoga   

    Buddhism and Amerika: Hopelessly at odds with each other? 

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    It seems that way at times, and the situation, indeed, may be hopeless. After all, you don’t see many American football linebackers meditating in a full lotus position, or even quarterbacks, or even half-lotus, or even punt return specialists, or even merely cross-legged on the floor, unless maybe it’s ’25 or 6 to 4′ and the mood is just right. Everything’s better after midnight, including meditation…

    And Buddhism is all about contrition and silence, while Amerikanism is all about brashness and loudness—just ask any European. We Americans aren’t a$$holes, not necessarily; we’re just full of it: full of the intoxication of life, full of the excitement of children, full of the blush and brash of youth, full of the hunt and the chase. And that’s too bad, because that’s not what is needed right now… (More …)

     
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