Friday, July 8, 2011

The 35 Buddhas of Confession

Sounds awfully Catholic, doesn't it?  Problem is, I don't think you could fit all 35 of these brightly-colored, omniscient beings into one of those little closet-sized confessionals - plus, there'd be no room for prostrations!  Nonetheless, I thought I'd ride the inspiration from my last post to explore some things I'd like to confess about myself which might shed light on why I profess such a non-traditional view of Buddhism.

One of the greatest conundrums for western Buddhists is the fact that our day-to-day lives are nothing like those of our traditional Asian counterparts.  This is problematic because the mind learns best by example.  Trying to follow an example that is completely alien to our own experience is quite difficult, if not impossible.

Most of the literature available to us and most of the teachers we have access to come from one of these perspectives: 

The "traditional" Asian, monastic perspective - A typical biography might look something like this:  A boy is born somewhere in Asia.  Usually, this boy belongs to a family living in a remote, rural area, without much in the way of worldly possessions.  Either the kid is recognized as someone's reincarnation, or is given away to a monastery at an early age because there isn't enough money to feed him.  He spends his entire adolescence growing up in a secluded monastery, surrounded by other monks, under the strict observance of novice vows.  If the kid shows some kind of intellectual promise, he's given a monastic religious education and takes up a teaching position somewhere in the world.  Maybe he spends some time meditating on retreat somewhere... but maybe not.  How can a person like this be expected to understand what it's like to be an American?  He's led a completely sheltered life, devoid of the kind of day-to-day experiences that we're all familiar with.  There's no way he can relate to us, so how can he be considered to guide us along some spiritual path?  It doesn't make sense.  Not to mention the fact that this world is completely male-dominated and rigidly conforms to traditions that have been extant for centuries. 

The "wannabe" Asian, monastic perspective - In this scenario, a middle-upper class, overly educated white guy (or sometimes girl) gets sick and tired of being a Christian or a Jew and decides to adopt Buddhism as their new religion.  What usually happens here is the person gets involved with some kind of traditional Buddhist center somewhere, adopts their teachings word-for-word, gets ordained, lives in some kind of monastic-like environment for a few years, maybe spends some time meditating, quits after having sex with one of the other monks/nuns, starts a new Buddhist center and begins teaching.  Maybe this perspective is a LITTLE more appropriate for us... but really, who the hell wants to hang out with one of these guys?  They end up being so goddamn full of themselves that their center ends up looking more like a cult than anything related to Buddhism. 

Here's a list of 6 reasons why I can't (and won't) practice traditional Buddhism. 

I feel the need to share this information with you because I'm hoping to give a voice to other people out there like me who have no interest in completely changing their entire lives to fit into some predetermined image of what it means to be a Buddhist... but still persist in trying to cling to a spiritual path.  (Also, because it's somewhat cathartic to air my dirty laundry on the internet.)

1. I just got off the phone with my little brother.  He's in prison.  I can't fully explain just why he's in prison because I don't really understand all the ins and outs of our legal system, especially as it's interpreted by the rednecks who threw him in there.  All I know is that its got something to do with heroin and the fact that he escaped from a state-run rehabilitation facility.  He spent several months living on the run, but recently he was captured.  When we spoke, he struggled to communicate how much he loves me and despite the fact he's in prison, feels so much better mentally now that he's off drugs.  He struggled with his words because it was hard for him to talk without bursting into tears and reverting back to that innocent platinum-haired child that I remember as my little brother.  Had he started crying, it was basically guaranteed that one of the toothless meth-addicts standing nearby would try to either bash his face in or make love to him. 
Wanna kiss this mouth?

So, we settled for talking about less emotional things. He asked me to send him some books.  Being the Buddhist that I am, I tried to think of a book that would help him cultivate a peace of mind that could somehow make the endless hours of confinement seem less daunting.  Here's a perfect illustration of just how BUDDHISM SUCKS:  What the hell book am I going to send my brother who's sitting on his ass in a concrete jail cell, trying his best not to lose his shit or get fucked by his homicidal cellmate?  Should I send him something by Pema Chodron?  How about a scholastic text on the prajnaparamita?  Or what about one of the million books on how to overcome anger?  Shit... the only thing he's got in there to protect himself from the onslaught of gang violence IS anger!  Fuck that.  I think I'll settle for something by Brad Warner.  At least he won't look like a pussy reading it, right? 

2. My mother and I haven't spoken to one another in over a year.  That's not entirely true.  She has been sending me emails every now and again.  In the last one, she basically told me that I'm an ungrateful sociopath, pretending to be a contributing member of society, but that eventually everyone would figure me out and I'd be in for some kind biblical-scale punishment.  Oh, and she also issued a curse on the lives of my two unborn children much like that given by the gypsy character in Stephen King's Thinner.  So I ask you, in the 21 Meditations on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lam Rim) where it explains that we as Buddhists are supposed to visualize all sentient beings as our mothers, should I imagine this guy?

3. My father, who is a toothless alcoholic and similar in behavior to Gary Busey at his finest, recently fell down a flight of stairs and broke his goddamn neck.  Don't worry, he's not paralyzed or anything.  He did however spend several weeks on the intensive care ward and was eventually discharged... not home... but to a mental institution.  I had the good fortune of visiting him there, along with the few remaining family members that haven't completely given up yet.  I'm not sure what was worse, talking to the man he shared a room with who was completely insane and thought everything in his life was a government conspiracy or watching my uncle unabashedly steal food from the trays of other patients.  Hmm... sounds like fun, huh?  So, when my suicidal father asks me (while I'm shaving his beard for him because he can't move his neck) what's gonna happen to him or where he's gonna live when he gets out of the looney-bin, what should I, as a BUDDHIST, say to him?  Here are a couple of choices:  (1) Just be mindful of your breathing, dad, and focus all your attention on the impermanence of life.  (2) Just dedicate the merit of your actions to the benefit of all sentient beings and you'll become a Bodhisattva. (3) This is karma, you old bastard.  Just hope that in the next life, you have the good fortune to be born as a Tibetan monk!

Grandma - Rockaway Beach - early 1930's
4. My 93-year-old, pink-haired, Leprechaun grandmother died recently.  Shortly after this picture was taken, she got married and basically spent her entire adult life either pregnant with or working hard to raise her eight children.  Although she was fortunate to see all eight grow well into adulthood, she spent the last five years of her life sinking steadily into the murky waters of elderly dementia.  At the very end, she was spending approximately 6-8 hours a day looking for a McDonald's hamburger that she lost sometime in the 1980's.  She looked everywhere for that son-of-a-bitch, but she never did find it.  (Of course, no one had the good sense to go out and buy her a new one.)  A few weeks before she died, I was able to sit with her for a few hours at a family wedding.  In between diaper changes (I'm serious), she sat in her wheelchair gripping my hand like a lost little girl.  I looked into her deeply lined face, searching her haunted looking, icy-blue eyes for a sign that she knew who I was.  At one point, she actually connected with me and her expression cleared for an instant.  "I'm scared," she said.  "What, grandma?" I asked.  "What are you scared of?"  "Just scared," she whispered, looking off into the distance.  She stretched the word S-C-A-R-E-D out like a parent does when they're trying to get an infant to pronounce something correctly.  I knew what she was scared of; she made that clear enough.  It was death.  It was painted on her old face like a mask.  What was I supposed to say to her?  Should I have explained the bardo?  Should I have told her to look for the Clear Light of Awareness?  No.

Death looks different in a book.  It sounds different when a Lama talks about rejecting fear and embracing it.  Death is fucking scary.  

My daughter's 2nd Birthday Party - Guest of honor: Segyu Choepel Rinpoche
5. I had a kid when I was seventeen.  It was your typical, Lifetime after-school special: unprotected sex, running away from home, dropping out of high school, collecting food stamps, etc.  The only difference in my situation was that instead of developing a major drug habit or running for the hills like many teenage fathers do, I chose to deal with what was happening to me a little differently: I became a devoted Buddhist.  Just in case you are curious about what it took to be considered a "devoted" Buddhist in my book back then, take a look at this checklist:

1. Shave your head
2. Become 100% straight-edge (no drugs, alcohol, caffeine, fun)
3. Carry prayer beads 24/7
4. Wear only monastic-style clothing
5. Take every vow possible (refuge, bodhisattva, tantric, etc)
6. Stop eating meat
7. Hang out with as many dudes in maroon robes as humanly possible
8. Only read books published by Snow Lion or Wisdom

I remember when, after a lengthy search, I was finally able to secure a bona fide Tibetan Geshe as my "root" teacher.  The excitement of being able to sit in the presence of this man, an 80-year-old monk who literally WALKED OVER THE HIMALAYAN MOUNTAINS, kept me literally on the edge of my meditation cushion.  I remember this one night in particular.  A bunch of people were at the center for a teaching on Vajrasattva.  We spent some time in between Geshe-La's bits of instruction on the sadana, meditating on the image of the deity.  At one point, I thought I felt the Geshe entering my mind while I was meditating.  I opened my eyes to find him staring directly at me with a strange grin on his lips.  This was all the encouragement I needed to think that I was someone "special" in the world of Buddhism.  Instinctually, I knew that I was on the "right" path and that hhe would teach me great things.  (Little did I know that Geshe-La always meditated with his eyes slightly opened.  The grin was nothing more than the natural shape of his lips.)  After our session, I approached his little throne feeling like I was the most special person in the entire world.  I had so many questions for him about my practice... specifically about how a seventeen-year-old father could practice while raising a little girl and sweating my ass off working in the kitchen of a shitty restaurant.  I don't remember my exact words, but it went something like this: 

I approached his little throne submissively, my palms pressed together, and said, "Geshe-La, thank you for your teaching tonight.  I think I'm really beginning to understand Vajrasattva now." 

"Good... good..." he responded, lips still curved into that pleasant grin.  

"I was wondering if I could ask you some questions... you know, about my practice?  Do you have the time?" 
"Yes, yes.  Questions good."                                                            

"Okay, great!  Here's my situation.  I have a daughter.  She was born a couple of months ago and I'm trying to decide if I should marry her mother... and you know, have sex with her and stuff.  I'm a Buddhist now and I want to do the right thing.  You know, so that I can become a Bodhisattva and all...  What do you think I should do?" 

(Hear how naive I sound?)

"Ah... yes!" he exclaimed.  "Good questions."  Again, the smile. 

He rocked back a little on the platform of his throne and took a long, knowing breath.  Looking deeply into my eyes he asked, "Do you have car?"   

"A car, Geshe-La?"  I was confused. 
"Yes, car.  Do you drive car?" 

"Yes, Geshe-La, but I don't see how..." 

"Ah, Good!  Then you take me to grocery to buy meat for my stew, yes?" 

"Take you to the store?" I asked. 

"Yes, to buy meat for stew.  Wait while I get my coat." 

With that, he bounded up off his throne and went off looking for his maroon, pull-over fleece jacket.  There's no need to go into detail about our little trip to the store.  We did exactly as he said.  We drove there in silence, I helped him find the perfect cut of top round for his stew, and dropped him off back at the house.  He did happen to give a blessing to the checkout girl, which was kinda cool, but other than that, the night was pretty uneventful, spiritually speaking.  He never did get around to answering any of my questions.  
Geshe Jampel Thardo
 My point in taking this time to recreate one of my experiences with the Geshe is to illustrate the fact of how difficult it is for a young American to relate to an elderly Tibetan Lama.  Geshe-La was a brilliant scholar, an accomplished meditator, and a well-known teacher.  If I had a question about the Guhyasamāja Tantra or about how to outwit a Cittamatra in debate, he'd be right there with me... but when it came to the everyday struggles that an American practitioner faces, he was clueless.  And how could I blame him... when he was seventeen, he'd already taken full ordination vows and was living in total seclusion at a monastery in Tibet.  How could he hope to understand the pains of a teenage father? 

6. My great-great-grandfather was arrested and fined for punching a horse in the mouth.  Twice.
Talk about some crazy-ass, non-Buddhist behavior, huh?  Someone should've told him that violence isn't the best way to become a Bodhisattva!  Be careful when doing genealogy.  You might just discover that the fruit dangling from the branches of your family tree is rotten as shit.  

In Buddhism, there's this whole tradition of the "precious human rebirth."  Supposedly, if you are born human with access to the Buddha's teachings, it means that your karma is so fucking good that you basically owe it to yourself to be the best Buddhist you can be.  The first thing you should do is meditate your ass off on just how great it is to have this precious human rebirth.  Enlightenment is on the horizon; you just gotta get out there and grab it. 

What do you do then if your DNA is riddled with predispositions to depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, narcissism, and ANIMAL CRUELTY?  Just how precious is this human rebirth exactly?  Instead of teaching people how to sit around and think about how lucky they are to be born human, I think it might be a better idea to MODERNIZE that shit and teach people how to cope with some of the problems that our society seems to be plagued with.  Then maybe we can have some Buddhists out there who are actually DOING something constructive instead of just gazing at their navels or visualizing the trillion arms of Avalokitshevara

This is an excerpt from an actual article written about my ancestor that I found in the
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, dated October 9, 1901


  1. Love your views my friend, thank you for sharing

    I refuse to practice traditional Buddhism too...


  2. My brother in law is in prison, too. He's not a Buddhist and actually thinks it's pagan bullshit. I sent him some stuff from the Prison Dharma Network and a book on Christian meditation, which suited him better. I agree that Pema is probably not ideal for an inmate.

    Got to call you - again - on acting like there's nobody out there who wants to "modernize that shit" other than you and Brad fucking Warner. The realization that the contemplative path is NOT necesarily the best people dealing with death, disease and day to day madness is not at all novel.

    Suggest you look at what some of the shit-modernizers are doing, and maybe offer critiques and suggestions rather than JUST complaining that traditional Tibetan monastic Buddhism is somewhat out of touch with modern American life.

  3. Sorry about your brother in law...

    Please let me know who these "shit-modernizers" are. I'd honestly love to find out what they're doing and offer suggestions... I just can't seem to find them...

  4. Vinny Ferraro, for one. Josh Korda, by rep... never sat with him, but I've sat with people who have. Brad Warner is a little bit too much about Brad Warner for my taste, but he is trying to open things up more, which is laudable. Ajahn Brahm, though he's a shine-head (monk, in other words) is shaking things up with his attitude about women in Buddhism, so he gets to be a shit modernizer in my book. Maybe Vincent Horn.

    People in organizations like the Buddhist Peace Fellowship and the Prison Dharma Network run the gamut, but for the most part they are characterized by DOING things, by PRACTICING THE DHARMA in the world, not just in comfortable practice halls.

    There are seeds everywhere, no real trees yet. We need more people to help them grow.

    Compassion to your brother too... to your mother and father, your kid and your kids-to-come and not least to you.

  5. A few unsolicited comments from a guy who doesn't attach to a "Buddhist" label, but will often comment on Buddhist topics. I'm sure Buddha would understand, seeing how he wasn't Buddhist...

    I really connect with posts like this rather than the usual schlock merchants on the Rainbows and Unicorns Path (though I won't throw anyone in particular under that bus, as what we get out of their words and deeds is up to us).


    1. Try a blank book & pen/pencil. He needs to get shit out of his head before dumping more in.

    2, 3, & 4. Their job to teach you things about the World, and clearly they are doing that in their own, uh, unique, ways.

    5. That trip to the market WAS your answer. You asked about family in relation to path. He asked about the car, then proceeded to get you make use of the car, as cars are made to do. The car presented, and was put to use. You were presented with a family, put that to use in/as your practice. Nothing more he needed to say, as no clearer expression could be offered. Separating anything from practice misses the point, become escapism. Whether family is to be incorporated into your life/path or not is always up to you. While it is, it is.

    6. Do you have a car?

    Just sayin'....

  6. Great words K Grey I was hoping someone would respond like you did. That was the answer. The last time i asked my teacher what 'to do' she responded, 'do nothing'. How we decide what to do and how to live is if something benefits us or others, do it. If it is not of benefit or causes harm dont do it. Simple huh? Teacher asked me something, i forget what - something unanswerable. I pondered and guessed - - - It was of course wrong. To try to answer at all was wrong, but we are programed to answer. My fellow dharma learner next up was correct. he reached up and brushed hair from the teachers face and left. You don't have to be asian to learn to let go the negative patterns that keep us all suffering. I see by you're post you learned a lot of words and phrases, but never really got it. It's okay - its all good. The dalai lama himself said if you were born to something else, it is best to stick with that.

  7. I'm so glad that so many people are writing poignant comments. I really would like this blog to turn into more of a "discussion." As a matter of fact, if you guys want to write something longer... I can post it on my blog and then respond to you. In any case, I'd like to construct a formal response to everything you've been saying. I'll try to get to it today or tomorrow. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

  8. Upon pondering your question, "Just how precious is this human rebirth exactly?" Some more - our human rebirth is precious because only as a human is it possible to become enlightened. Not all humans are prepared for it even then, obviously. To be born human is as rare as one turtle surfacing in the ocean in the middle of the one life preserver being tossed around in a storm at sea or something like that and to be enlightened as a human is even rarer.
    You will never know if someone you encounter is enlightened, because to tell you would be ego, and an enlightened person is beyond all that dirty stuff.
    And there are murderers and thieves who became teachers. Milarepa is the most famous one, he killed like 30 people before finding peace. It is possible to beat your own past for sure, and what's in your DNA matters even less.

  9. "You will never know if someone you encounter is enlightened, because to tell you would be ego, and an enlightened person is beyond all that dirty stuff."

    You encounter yourself every day roadplug. If this is so, enlightenment is impossible for you to ever realize, as surely you'd tell yourself! *L*

    You will never know, but not because there is some standard or limit of how someone speaks or acts after awakening. That is just popular nonsense about "enlightened" people only acting this way or that. Some false idea about enlightenment. A Judgement applied in ignorance or to maintain some belief (same thing).

    Realize the only "dirty" is in making such judgements.

    You simply cannot know. Besides, there is nothing to "know" but This.

  10. Luh-v the blog, because it's obviously unfiltered and raw, and thus unpretentious and real. I'm curious if you have any thoughts on Theravada Buddhism, which is what i'm currently trying to practice, but honestly, i read too many larger than life comic books and so continue to paw at the Bodhisattva ideal, so i guess i'm some kind of screwed up hybrid until i get my head out of my ass.

    Some food for thought: The Dhamma/Dharma are the 4 Noble Truths. Everything else is pretty much useless junk. Enlightenment = No more suffering. The question to ask teachers is pretty simple. "Do you suffer?" The Dalai lama answers "yes" last i heard, and so does every other human being or even Buddhist practioner I've ever asked. Even hardcore Theravada Buddhists say "yes" who i have had the privilege to ask.

    Anyway, if you're into Buddhist discussion that's live online, check out channel #buddhism, or click here for the fictionalphilosophy channel:

  11. Fun writing - thanks.
    I speak Japanese and use to speak Hindi and some others. So I am not coming from a naive place. I am amazed at the folks who study a traditional style and then start their own group but keep all the language stuff. It is such a farce -- it is the otherworldly East that attracts the airheads that fill their pockets. Nauseating.

  12. I encountered my first rude monk today, and many of the lay Buddhists are very quick to judge almost fearful and come off as mistrusting toward me. This was at a different temple than the one I usually go to but I was very disappointed. I dont want to be a monk, I just like the philosophy and enjoy applying it, but it seems since im not a Viet, like most where I live, they dont want to deal with me, did you deal with this often. There is only one temple " Bat Nha" that treats me kindly,is this what I have to look forward too? Sometimes the thought crosses my mind that because im not Asian, Im a fool that wants to be cool in their eyes, which is not the case. Seems they want to close the door on me but only dont so they dont look bad, or is all in my mind? Scratching my head today, I hope I dont have as hard a time as you did.

  13. Ha ha ha, firstly why u become a Buddhist? Did u join because u were attracted to it, someone told u & etc... Did u not know that u become a Buddhist when u know... Buddha taught his followers to investigate did he not? Oh, about rude monks, greedy monks & etc.yes they are human beings made of flesh & blood, guessed they failed to let go!

    Why not try Theravada instead, bcoz there's no such thing as do mudra, this & that?

  14. Buddhism RULES is the right title, you bitch.February 8, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    Picturing your mother would be picturing the person "you love the most"; it's metaphorical, Buddha's praises agnosticism and questioning of everything, in a positive manner. If DNA is muddled, that's also part of a person's rebirth cycle. You have a poor understanding of Buddhism, hopeless cunt. NOW I HAVE TO YOU EXIST YOU MOTHER FUCKER.

  15. give theravada buddhism a read. it changes your whole perspective. it will not hurt to try. the most it will only consume your time.

  16. its very demeaning to name the title of your blog as much. every religion has its meaning. I respect all religions as all wants us to do good. peace, my friend.

  17. This is a very refreshing read. I'm on a similar track myself and finding a voice to express stuff about Buddhism and depression, having been sorely disappointed with most of the Buddhist advice out there. As a writer, I'm mildly jealous of you have a relative who got arrested for punching a horse in the mouth. Keep it up. It's important.

  18. Tibet is without doubt one of the most remarkable places to visit in Asia. It offers fabulous monastery sights, breathtaking high-altitude treks, stunning views of the world’s highest mountains and one of the most likeable peoples you will ever meet.

    Tibet mountaineering

  19. It is such a shame to see you fall from traditional Buddhism. Granted you don't have to be hardcore devout, but it is unfortunate that you have not seen the fruits of your practice which is why I understand you left your practice.

    First things first, of course I am very sorry to hear about your brother. Drugs and stuff is not a healthy situation. What I would offer him as reading material is Sogyal Rinpoche's The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. As you know addiction is just attachment gone wild to where there seems to almost be no hope. But you don't have to be a Buddhist to extract gems of truth from that book.

    Maybe monkhood wasn't a good choice for you. However you don't have to be a monk to gain the same realizations and attainments as them. All you need is the faith and the devotion to go through with the path and never stop or give up.

    All life no matter how you want to describe it is similar. We all try to achieve and work for the same recurring samsara. We are born, raised to be a "contributing member to society," have children, die. That's life. We choose either to have meaning in our life or not. That's where dharma comes in.

    As well, I am sorry for your father. But this is why I agree with you and say that maybe monkhood was not a good choice for you. At the same time there is nothing wrong with keeping your father hospitalized, after all America is the country that invented nursing homes. So there were many options for your father, sometimes we just choose not to look at them. Yes karma is a bitch but after all, I choose to drink, I choose to deal with the consequences of DUIs, hangovers and the such. That is my karma. How can I stop it? STOP DRINKING! I choose not to.

    Death. We choose to believe that it doesn't exist. We see it happening to other people and think it will never happen to us. Unfortunately it will. As a Buddhist, our job (to ourselves) is to meditate on death and realize that at any moment, we could be dead. Our job to others regarding death is to keep their mind at peace. We have to apply skillful means to help them come to terms with it. Let's face it, no one wants to die. But why prolong the inevitable.

    As for your monk's advice on the car and your daughter, did you meditate on comparing the situations? It may seem as there is no comparision but there is. Replace car with daughter and compare the situations. My best answer is you have a daughter, raise her. She's here in this world and it is an excellent opportunity to practice dharma.

    As for our DNA and bad fruit in the geneology. Purify your karma. You have a chance for depression, alcoholism etc etc. Get help. There is nothing wrong with being diagnosed as clinically depressed and taking medication. After all, YOU have to be sound physically and mentally before you can help others.

    Whether you choose to take my advice or not is up to you. I do not claim to have all the answers or solutions. I actually feel we're somewhat similar after all, I am a bipolar 25 year old trying to make a difference in this world while trying to accept the fact that I may indeed be an alcoholic. However I choose to practice dharma and it's a very rewarding experience. I hope one day you choose to return to dharma. I know it can be of benefit to you and everyone.

  20. I find everything that your blog covers funny. I don't take it to heart, but see some logical arguments. However, I can't debate with someone who isn't willing to see the other side-even if he or she disagrees with it. It is a lose-lose situation. I hope that you do find peace in whatever you chose.


  21. As a child, I was poor at Maths. At first I blamed Maths and wanted it changed but as I grew older had to admit that it suited many other people.

    In all things, the first thing to question is my perception. Thankyou for causing me to question my perception ;o)

  22. You have not met a qualified Buddhist Master that you have strong faith in. That is the problem. Try not to shut down completely. Even though you whine like a weenie...there is always a chance that a good Guru will inspire you to develop your potential. Call me if you want to talk. Pacific time zone 928-821-2100 Sam.

  23. Before jumping to any name lableing or any kind of religious or non-religious stereotype... Go live like a yogi...and try to stay alive in the forest for a year by yourself...


    You definitely look like a jerk, who tried to go hand in hand with the learned. But obviously you failed to comprehend things in a correct way and instead you blamed the Buddhist religion. But infact its your karma or your family's karma from previous lives that you or your family are suffering. Whatever wrong doings you have done, you get punished for it. Just becoz you did bit of chanting and went to the mountains doesn't solve the problem alltogether. YOu have to give your full self in realization of the impermanence of this life, even happiness is temporary. So have to work towards the ultimate happiness that is enlightment, which is not easy. Else every Tom, Dick or Harry can just wear a buddhist rob and chant, without the deep rooted compassion inside your mind for all liveing beings. That is why you are a failure, a looser. A FAKE buddhist, looking for your own happiness and can't stand suffering of self.

  25. YOu were on the right track but unfortunately you didn't have the patience to get to the bottom of it. You need perseverience in Buddhism. If just a bit of suffering makes you loose faith shows that you are not a true follower. In such circumstances you don't receive help.
    So, therefore, think deeply, be patient and you will find your answer.

  26. every buddhists practice buddhism with a slight variance... there should be no uniformity...thru buddha's discourses n parables...we can 'find' the answer that can help us to cope with our daily 10 chanters/meditators...the realisation attained differs....acceptance of cause n effect smoothen the ride we call life...there is a buddha in all of us...namo tataghata...

  27. Why do you call your self a Buddhist when you are so far from it. There is no way a Buddhist would call his blog Buddhism sucks. I don't know what religion you are, but pls don't call your self a Buddhist. Just go to church, become a born again, if you aren't one already.

  28. looking for modernizers? Stephen Batchelor could be your man. There's a couple of good books by him: Buddhism Without Beliefs and the latest Confession of a Buddhist Atheist in which he recounts his desillusioning career as a traditional Buddhist.

  29. Well , I have been over 10 years in a dharma center, and it really made me feel violated afther realizing that it was really all about money , it is like the "lamas" business , really , they make A LOT of money , most of it not reported to the IRS and not paying taxes , ....and they "teach" and vow not to steel , hum...

  30. Buddhism; The worlds most ironic religion. There are countless handy tools within various Buddhist teachings that can help the average, "body identified" human through stressful times of extreme identification but if one wants to know WHY we are here then read "Thinking and Destiny" by Harold Waldwin Percival. Read that book, continue doing your easy meditation practice, stay the fuck away from koans and stop trying to become the perfect mind.