Archive for the Observations of a Recovering Buddhist Category

Thought for Today: 10/02/2018

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Much Too Good For Children, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone on October 3, 2018 by dreamlanddancing

If you can summons from within yourself the ecstasy, wonderment and rapture of a zealot, there is no need to invoke a deity in your own image. 

…Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 

…さよなら絶望先生

(Goodbye, Master of Despair)

 

 

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

10/02/2018

PS: (This is not to be confused with writhing in bed screaming “Oh God! I’m coming!)

Quandary

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Letting Go, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone on July 28, 2018 by dreamlanddancing

 

What do you do when you find yourself anesthetizing yourself against the discomfort of daily life?…the Pain of being Human?

It is the mantle we embraced when we traded our Instinct for Reason.

Whether it’s because of an unloving or narcissistic spouse, a job that seems to suck the life from you, disobedient or disrespectful children, indebtedness that threatens to drown you, or even writer’s block, the only person standing between you and your own happiness is you.

I used to work with someone who was constantly complaining about his wife; between alienation of affection, selfishness, and constant, nagging criticism, I often found myself vacillating between feeling pity and annoyance at the endless suffering he endured.

Then suddenly, he missed three days work. When he returned he looked more miserable than ever and later admitted had been drunk the entire time, despondent that his wife had left him.

“I don’t know what to do” he moaned.

“Be grateful” I offered.

“What?! he snapped. “I thought you were my friend…what kind of insensitive prick would say such a thing to anyone in my situation?”

“Let her go” I replied.

“I can’t…I love her too much” were the only words he could mange to choke out before he started to weep again.

As I recalled our previous conversations that inevitably centered around his misery, I found it would have been difficult not to laugh at his last remark, were it not for the compassion I felt for his suffering.

“Then be happy for her, and grateful that she won’t be spending all your money and cuckolding you any more.”

“But she says she’s in love with someone else.”

“Well, at least that would explain her behavior, and why she was such a bitch as she was to you… You should be glad; that also means she won’t be fucking up your next opportunity to be happy for once, and do whatever you want to do.”

“If she’s rally in love with someone else, she will leave you alone…Hell, when a cat gets bored with torturing a mouse, they usually kill it. If she has something new to take her attention away from her love of dominating and torturing you I’d say you got off easy.”

“She says I’ll never find anyone like her again, and I’m afraid she’s right.”

“Don’t be afraid…you should wish she’s right…make her put it in writing,”

“You know, you can be a real insensitive prick when you want to. Have no no feelings for my suffering?”

“What you don’t realize is that I have felt sorry for you for a very, very long time…don’t talk to me about suffering…you have made all your real friends suffer for far too long, watching your misery at the hands of that horrible bitch.”

“I know you don’t want to hear it, but you were the one who taught her to treat you that way.”

“Well, you’re certainly right about that! I don’t want to hear about it…”

“Think about it…as long as she withheld acknowledgement of her satisfaction, she had power over you; so the more of a bitch she was, the harder you tried to please her, all the while ignoring your needs. You need someone who enjoys giving as much as receiving, if in fact you really NEED anybody as much as you did…be glad for your freedom.”

“But I love her too much to let her go.”

“That’s how you taught her to hate you…how can you respect anyone who lets themselves do what she has done to you?…tell me something, do you really love her…would you be willing do anything for her happiness?”

“Yes.”

“Then let her go…in peace, so she doesn’t have any more excuses for hating you for making her feel guilty for being happy. You two could have been friends if you hadn’t made yourself so pathetic.”

Every hungry woman dreams of the whipping post…every slave embraces their collar.

Whether it’s your spouse, your job, your parents, your friends, or even your neighbors, there comes a time when you have to choose to not only recognize, but also accept the reality of your present circumstances.

Most people do not. They may complain, but not usually to anyone who might have the ability to change anything. They may practice some sort of sullen, resentful non-compliance or argue and criticize, but they rarely take action, speak up, or leave.

There is always an excuse that they claim prevents them from doing so, but more accurately, it allows them to continue to wallow in the interlocking series of lies and self-deceptions that constitute the fabric of the eternal suffering that provides them with their identity.

Each of our lives contains an essential enigma; a paradox so central to our being that if we could even recognize it, we might be closer to resolving it.

Suffering is an inevitable quotient of life, but denial and self-deception prevent us from realizing the wisdom needed to find the acceptance and surrender that can lead us to true freedom.  

And that excuse is at the very heart of their problem, which is inevitably unsolvable because of the fact that it has to be, because without it, there would be nothing to prevent them from facing the Great Existential Void.

And whether it’s drugs, or alcohol, or even meditation, they wallow in whatever it is that will prevent them from facing the enigma that lies at the heart of their existence.

It has been with them from the beginning of time, long before their parents’ parents were born; it is what keeps bringing them back.

Lifetime after lifetime.

 

 

 

 

 

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.

Sukina Bava.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

07/28/2018

 

Observations of a Recovering Buddhist…(what?!?!)

Posted in Buddhism, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Post-Neo Dharma Bum, The Knowledge of Good and Evil on July 28, 2018 by dreamlanddancing

 

What is a ‘Recovering Buddhist’?

No God, no Buddha.

No Heaven, no Hell.

No Sin, no Salvation.

Nothing Sacred, nothing Profane.

No mind.

No data.

No facts.

No information.

No knowledge.

No truth.

No wisdom.

No beauty.

No love.

No music.

Only the Knowing.

“Wu.”

A lifetime spent sitting at the feet of the Buddha cannot replace one second of unvarnished experience.

All facts are simply interpretations awaiting to be disproved.

The Dharma cannot be transmuted by anyone.

The Buddha never told anyone to become Buddhists, any more than Christ ever told anyone to become Christians.

It has often and long been said that “If you should meet the Buddha while traveling along the road, you should kill him and feed his body to a hungry dog.”

If you understand what this means you understand “Wu!”

No Religion.

Understanding is the difference between Knowledge and the Knowing.

Authenticity requires Living by Dharma Action.

Everyday Zen hangs poised in the ever-present/never-present present moment as Nothing Special is revealed, a small sliver of blinding Insight passes through us; holding onto nothing, we gain the entire universe.

Desiring to attain Enlightenment or seeking Attainment is like trying to swallow an entire elephant in one bite…or trying to hit the moon with a stick.

Enlightenment is not the Eternal Kiss of True Love.

No Enlightenment.

No Zen.

Just this, only this.

Each day, as I arise, The Ten thousand Things attempt to obfuscate The One.

If all things return to the One, to where does the One return?

Zero.

And when at last, the One finally returns to Zero, there will be no more sadness, no more suffering, with no one left to mourn our passing.

“First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is….”

I heard someone say “It’s a destination to make the journey worthwhile.”

More often I have heard “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”

I am on a journey that makes the destination irrelevant.

Fish swim with the tides, in and out of the lagoon as it empties itself, receives from and flows back into the sea.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

07/27/2018

Retrospective or Requiem? Well, that just Depends. Pt VI

Posted in Buddhism, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Jantor To The Temple Of The Holy of Holies, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Post-Neo Dharma Bum on June 22, 2018 by dreamlanddancing

My first novel was a recapitulation of the horrors of my experiences in emergency medical rescue.

The second proved to be a semi-prophetic fantasy that grew out of my need for more understanding of the nature of Sentience, as well as a lampoon of how corporate greed and excess has permitted Benefit Managers to highjack the entire healthcare industry.

As the dramatic action of the narrative plot of the second novel began to unfold, I noticed that what seemed to follow in my personal life I now perceive to be more synchronicity than prophesy.

Similarly, the third novel continues to unfold, and I am starting to become aware that there is a distinct possibility that what I write will precede events destined to take place in my life, not so much because the writings will cause those events, but more likely that my awareness of certain truths are themselves caused by circumstances set in motion before my parents were ever born.

So in case anyone other than the one follower of my posts here that bothered to ask has noticed my seemingly inconspicuous absence from these pages, all I can say is “I’m feeling much better now….”

A baby bird fell from its nest while its parents were gathering food. It was quite bitter and cold, and a young farm boy heard the baby bird’s cries for help.

Unable to return the bird to its lofty perch, the boy spotted a very warm, gooey pile of cow shit beneath the tree, so he made a hole in the center, placed the bird in it, and pushed the shit all around the tiny bird to help keep it warm, and left.

The almost featherless baby bird was feeling much better, and began to sing out of sheer joy.

The bird’s song was eventually heard by a hungry fox, who tore it from the pile of shit by the head and ate it.

Sometimes, it is good to remember that it is not always your enemies that get you into the shit you’re in, and it’s not always your friends who get you out of it, but if you are warm and comfortable…keep your big mouth shut.

So…I guess it all just depends.

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei…

Sayonara Y’all….

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

04/21/2018

Retrospective or Requiem? Well, that just Depends. Pt. V

Posted in Buddhism, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Zen on June 22, 2018 by dreamlanddancing

After struggling with Zen for several decades, my paradigm regarding the Past, Present, and Future has shifted so significantly that it was as if a negative mirror image has replaced my previous misconceptions, leaving me more aware of the present moment than I would have thought possible.

And all it required was for me to end the tyranny of my thinking mind.

Now it seems so obvious that I don’t know how it took so long for me to grasp it, were it not for the addictions of the mind.

While struggling with my third novel, Once in a Blue Agave Moon, the inevitability of Cyber-Terrorism displacing our country’s economy and power as well as our complacent and lavish way of life became glaringly apparent.

A series of strange co-incidents that started with an epiphany resulted in the revelation of the title of the book before the first word was written regarding any story or plot.

During this time, my research regarding private production of ethanol related to the narrative of this third story threatened to take over my life completely, but since it was pivotal to the development one of my main characters in the novel, it was a necessary but fascinating evil.

Moonshining is not the same as Bootlegging. Small-batch craft distilling for personal use became a preoccupation that still continues to fascinate me, and I remain indebted to “my sources” who were gracious enough to share their arcane and occult world with me.

Bootlegging, on the other hand involves selling illegal, untaxed whiskey, and although the appeal of high profits are hard to resist, I have learned to avoid pursuits that unnecessarily jeopardize the freedom that my anonymity affords me; knowledge and enlightenment are far more important than money.

In fact, eventually freeing myself of the addiction to money has forced me to learn how to acquire what I really desire by either making or bartering as a direct result of my own efforts.

The farther that one’s efforts are removed from direct connection with one’s life, the greater the risk of developing a sort of spiritual tunnel-vision that isolates us from union with our very existence.   

Sometimes, in the interest of authenticity, a writer may be forced to descend into dark and dangerous waters, but it can be even more dangerous for the writer if either he, or his audience confuses the Artist with his Art.

For most of my life, when I heard references to “the road less traveled” I found myself saying “Road?…you mean there’s a road?”

Some people dance to a different drummer…I am that different drummer.

Pain, heartbreak, and suffering can be a blessing; it all just depends on what you do with the temporary circumstances into which we are thrust, or   into which we thrust ourselves.

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei…

Sayonara Y’all….

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

06/21/2018

Retrospective or Requiem? Well, that just Depends. Pt. IV

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Memoires of a Post-Neo Dharma Bum, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist on June 22, 2018 by dreamlanddancing

In the course of discovering compassion, I was overcome by my recognition of how much suffering I saw everywhere I looked, yet my compassion for those who would aspire to torture me now enabled me to step away from their ability to inflict their pain onto me.

Now, my bitterness was replaced by Loving-Kindness first for myself, which allowed me to discover my ability to truly feel it for others.

I felt a euphoria previously unknown to me, but in the process, I began to become complacent and filled with a sort of false pride until I was forced once again to face my Edge…that point in all of our lives where we are presented with situations or people that challenge our ability to remain non-reactive, or unaffected by the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that suddenly threaten our spiritual arrogance.

Once again, I found myself in a tailspin; a flat spiral that threatened to screw me into the ground before I could pull out of it.

Many of us who have pursued meditation or Buddhism probably believed that somehow, eventually we would discover the Peace, Love and Happiness that is so ubiquitously absent from our society, but it is only when we face our emotional edge that we are presented with real opportunities to do the work necessary to gain enlightenment.

As I continued to struggle to extricate myself from the panic caused by my perceived fall from grace, I was blessed by a calamity that distracted me from my narcissistic self-pity long enough to be given the opportunity to begin a long and arduous process that is enabling me to overcome one of my greatest afflictions.

My parents grew up during the depression, and the effect of it was that I grew up in a household dominated by hoarding, although in fairness, despite the fact that I grew up waist-deep in clutter, the house was always scrupulously clean and free of trash or garbage, unlike the norm of most hoarders as characterized on television.

Almost everything fascinates me, and there are few things I can’t just pick up and operate on some level or another, and I have a predilection for rescuing and fixing things (and sometimes people).

If it is possible to be cursed by imagination and intelligence, I fit the paradigm to an extent that has been my undoing most of my life.

When we were forced to downsize from a spacious four-three to my simple “Cabin in the woods,” my treasures…an extensive firearms collection, a world-wide amateur radio station, my fishing tackle and camping gear, almost every book I had ever read or owned, the remnants of a recording studio I had once built, guitars, amplifiers and over a ton of automotive, electrical, electronic, and woodworking tools now filled every room of my tiny home literally to the ceiling until a neighbor offered to let me use a storage area larger than I could have afforded to rent.

Although it seemed to be at least a temporary fix, it just enabled my ability to keep things I seemed unable to organize or even use effectively.

Several months ago, my friend and neighbor suffered a stroke and went to the west coast to live with family and I was now forced to face my demons again.

I ended up building a workshop and storage shed large enough to allow me to shelter my tools, but small enough to force me to make decisions I had been avoiding for most of my entire life, and in order to do so, I had to organize, utilize or give away many things to a friend who is a junk dealer and even more afflicted than I.

We are both much happier now.

The sheer amount of objects that had languished so long seemed overwhelming, but due to circumstances beyond my control, they are now an integral part of my life again.

I was, however forced to recognize that the sheer maintenance of many of my possessions. as well as the pursuits they supported demanded more time than I could devote to all of them.

I am now involved in an ongoing process of deciding what I really want and giving up some things, rather than fail at all of them.

It has been said that desire is followed by suffering, but I would maintain that all life itself is followed by suffering, as well as joy.

Desire unfulfilled is its own suffering, so there is no escape.

Time and again, I find myself forced to re-invent and improve my existence, and by facing the Gestalt of it I have found a richness and sense of belonging that had been lost for so long that I had forgotten that it even existed at all.

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei…

Sayonara Y’all….

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

06/21/2018

Retrospective or Requiem? Well, that just Depends. Pt III

Posted in Crazy Zen Wisdom, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Zen on June 22, 2018 by dreamlanddancing

I was, and in fact still am fond of stating that I write for the same reason an alcoholic drinks.

There was a time when I was so compelled to write, that it supplanted almost everything in my life.

It was like draining a wound to let the bad blood out.

In the process I re-discovered a life I had forgotten existed.

Two years ago, a severe back injury taught me how to transform extreme pain into a form of sexual or even spiritual ecstasy, but in the process, the inactivity of prolonged hours of meditation and out-of body travel resulted in a very large blood clot that traveled to my lung.

In the course of my diagnosis and therapy, I developed pneumonia, which later revealed a tumor, which proved to be benign, but not until the biopsy caused my lung to collapse.

The ordeal seemed as if it would never end, and night after night, not knowing if I would live or die, I refused to pray to a God in which I did not believe, and so I was instead left to contemplate some meaning or direction in which to take my life if I somehow managed to survive these tests of will and spirit, and in so doing, I was transformed.

Decades of Zen meditation now seemed more theoretical than real as I reflected upon the dramatic and emotional panorama of my life thus far.

I asked myself, “What is missing?…Is it possible to ever be happy, or at peace? Is there just one thing I could change, if I was given the opportunity?”

That first night, I suddenly realized it was Compassion, and in the process, my life began to transform.

My anger and frustration were replaced with compassion.

The next day, after surgery, I discovered Gratitude in a way I had not previously known. Although previously, as much as I thought I understood gratitude, it was as if it all had been theoretical, but not so intensely personal and real.

I finally learned that I did not have to resort to intimidation to get what I thought I wanted, and that I was now naturally inclined to explore the innate persuasiveness of charm.

The angst of twenty-first century schizoid man’s existential dilemma had been replaced by Compassion and Gratitude, but I still sensed that something was missing.

A therapist I was seeing introduced me to Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”. 

For many years, I had come to believe that the present moment was a mere theoretical construct that existed in the virtual space between the Past and the Future.

Although it had allowed to transcend great pain on numerous occasions, and introduced me to the Emptiness that Tibetan Buddhists refer to as Śūnyatā, it was now as if all my philosophical constructs had been turned inside-out, and in the process, I began my quest to free myself of the tyranny of my thinking mind.

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei…

Sayonara Y’all….

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

06/21/2018

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