Archive for the Observations of a Recovering Buddhist Category

A Few Not-So-Funny Things that Kept Happening on My Way to the Word Processors

Posted in Bardo Thordol, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, That was Zen, and this is Tao, The Liberation Through Hearing on September 21, 2019 by dreamlanddancing

 

 

A few days ago, I received an anniversary notice from WordPress, congratulating me on my seventh anniversary of DreamlandDancing.

Most bloggers run out of steam in less than five years, which is curiously enough, also the make/break point for most small businesses.

Four years ago, my health went into what seemed to be a death spiral of numerous ailments, finally (hopefully) culminating in open heart surgery this last January.

Recuperation is not necessarily always as planned, and one thing just seems to lead to another…

Nervous breakdowns are inconvenient, embarrassing, and have a tendency to undermine one’s credibility, but I would be remiss not to admit that essentially all of the epiphanies, revelations, moments of clarity, and illuminations that I have experienced revealed themselves to me as the fabric of my Consciousness, Intellect, and Reason unraveled.

Suddenly faced with no A Priori assumptions, deconstructing what I perceived as Reality, allowed, if not encouraged me to let the most necessary components of my world align themselves according to their nature, rather than my previously preconceived notions.

“There are two ways to be fooled; one is to believe what is not true, the other is to refuse to believe what is.”  (Søren Kierkegaard)

I have often felt like I was playing “Chicken” with my own sanity in my search for the Truth, and eventually, I always lost because I kept playing until…so I have learned to consider myself blessed by these events.

It seems obvious to me that although I have what may well be the worst judgment in the world, the fact that I am not dead, in prison, or an asylum gives strong credence to the notion that I may also be the luckiest man in the world, or at least a strong contender for the title.

Meanwhile, I rebuilt the engine of my son’s 1987 Firebird while recuperating from a back injury in time for him to be able to drive it while on leave after returning from Afghanistan.

I fell down a very long, dangerous rabbit hole “researching” the production of moonshine for my current work Once in a Blue Agave Moon, but have done precious little writing.

In less than a week’s time, with no notice, I was forced to build a storage shed and workshop for my tools, or face losing them.

I’ve lost track of how many hurricanes have highjacked my energy, thoughts, and time these last several years.

The old adage about how when one door closes, another one opens has also proven true, and after several decades have once again begun researching, writing, playing, and recording a song cycle devoted to resonating our Chakras entitled “Ode to a Roomful of Tibetan Singing Bowls.”

Thordol Bardo, or The Enlightenment through Hearing has taken on new meaning and import for me.

I joined a drum circle, even though I have never considered myself a percussionist.

After months of intractable pain, thanks to Zen meditation and several Taoist exercises, I have learned how to successfully manage severe chronic pain, although it curiously inspired my occasional byline, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist.

(I am still an Atheist.)

Zen does not require me to invent a god in my, or anyone else’s image.

I have been a “gun-toting Pacifist” for several decades. I see no contradictions in that statement, considering that it has allowed me to save several lives other than just my own; nevertheless, ironically, the worst abuse I face on a regular basis comes from those who do not share my beliefs.

Are they or are they not also Pacifists?

I would ask them “How many people does it take to achieve World Peace?” The source of all conflict still lives within each of us, but until we learn to conquer it, there can be little hope for our mutual advancement.

That is why the Shaolin Monks devised Kung Fu.

I choose to stay alive out of love, so that I may share it with all who would appreciate it, until each of us realizes that the answer is just “One.”

Most of my life has followed trends or periods of time when a particular thought or principle seemed to predominate those events, and they have appeared to represent cycles that repeat themselves, allowing me the opportunity to correct, or anticipate events where or when my notoriously bad judgement taught me the error of my ways…hey look, regardless of judgement, I’m not STUPID!

The fact remains that so much remains undone and unwritten.

A few days ago, after meditating, I recognized a familiar state of mind that had come to me  several decades ago, a portent of what was unfolding, which involves change, and growth to face an uncertain future.

It was when I recognized my true self, my need for uncertainty and change, that I learned to embrace my fate, powered by my resolve, after understanding that I don’t have to only write the songs that make me cry.

“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”

(Søren Kierkegaard)

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

09/21/2019

Never Too Late…?

Posted in Bardo Thordol, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Observations of a Recovering Buddhist, Poetry, The Liberation Through Hearing on July 15, 2019 by dreamlanddancing

Six months dancing with Death in a dream within a dream

 

 

As finite Time hangs in the balance

All too conscious

that

as The One

returns to Zero,

just how precious

the ever-present

never-present

present moment

is

was

and will be.

Recuperation.

So many hours

for

necessary thoughts,

albeit dangerous or not

seducing me

into remembering

the regrets I could not rewrite

within my history.

Facing the shame of my wrongs

done unto others

to whom I can no longer

apologize,

yet totally eclipsed

by the magnitude

of my despair

for all that I will leave

undone.

 

Hesitation

preoccupation

self-consciousness

or cowardice

are indistinguishable

after the fact,

when

The Moment

was lost.

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

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