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    In search of...

    Friday, May 1, 2009, 1:11 PM [General]

    I'm about out of time today but hey, aren't we all?

    I've sent two emails to Houston Buddhist temples and gotten no response yet.  I've had half a dozen emails come back.  I've tried to look up web addresses and almost all of them are not working.

    Are Buddhists disappearing?

    Hey, anybody out there?

    Yoo hoo!


    tap tap tap



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    The cost of Buddhism

    Thursday, February 12, 2009, 3:27 PM [General]

    Some people can choose to follow Buddhism with no repercussions.  Not so for some of us.  Here's my blog:

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    Joy in Buddha

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 10:30 PM [General]

    The process of moving from Christianity to Buddhism was a long one.  Though not a "practicing" Christian for a long time the final step away was jarring.  It shook me a bit but once I got my balance again I discovered joy within my depression and a love inside my skeptical and reluctant heart.  Who would have thought a man who lived 2500 years ago would one day be the source of my joy and object of my love?

    Days and nights ran together.  Mom was here and not here, awake and not awake.  I was there.  She went from faltering hope to total despair.  Finally, in Hospice, she turned loose.  I watched her go.  On that night only a couple months ago I knew my strength came from Buddha.  It wasn't him, personally, for he moved on to Nirvana millenia ago.  He left behind words of beauty, of wonder, of purity and understanding, words that carried me through the loss of my mom and beyond to my final knowing, final realizing, final step to saying I am Buddhist, I love Buddha, Buddha is my life.

    My family, all Christian, pray for me.  Some hope for my "return."  My wife tolerates my new beliefs with her own brand of skepticism.  I must walk a narrow path, take careful steps, live in each moment aware that I must present the goodness and truth of Buddha within my life or I will prove myself a fraud and Buddha a deceiver.  It is my responsibility to exemplify Buddhism in a non-Buddhist world.

    This is a great challenge since I have yet to meet and converse in person with a single Buddhist.  I have no teacher, no sangha, no personal fellowship.  My beliefs arose from personal seeking, personal discovery, personal exploration.  My practice is guided by literature, audio lectures, and seat-of-my-pants.  But I am not worried.  The Buddha's words are clear, beautiful, exciting, and universal.  My family continues to see their affect on me as I continue to show them the reality of Buddha's truth.

    The day will come when I find fellowship, when I at last find refuge in all three jewels.  Or not.  I do not know.  Whether or not I find myself in a local sangha I find strength, support and refuge in the universal sangha, the great body of knowers, seekers and practitioners who, as I, find joy and love in the Buddha and the Dharma.

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    Friday, October 3, 2008, 9:22 AM [General]

    I don't know where people find the time to log and blog and chat and drift around in cyberspace the way so many do.  In the old days when we had no kids I spent too much time on this machine and neglected marriage/responsibility/lots of other things.  For years now, though, I've been trying to limit the time I'm on the computer.  I still get on here quite a bit, mostly to discover what's happening in the world, but I just don't have the time to do what so many others do, writing volumes every day.

    Maybe I'm just not inspired.  I ask, "why bother?   Who is going to read?"  Maybe some.  Maybe few.  Maybe nobody.  My personal blog gets virtually no hits unless someone stumbles on a political something I said by using a search engine.  But it's a sort of cathartic practice (does that make sense?), a way to keep up with myself.  On here I merely hope to find some like-minded souls and maybe get a few answers.

    Now, I've been reading the Dhammapada.  (Did I spell that right?)  Inspiring.  I've said before to some that Buddhism provides the answers Christianity never did.  It is true.  Christianity has always been a religion of ending... ending the "old life," ending this life for the "streets of gold," ending "sin" (but sin never did quite go away, did it?).  The Buddha's teaching has everything to do with this life and almost nothing to do with the rest.  The Buddha's teaching is not even incompatible with Christianity--if one chose to be both.  I choose not to be.  Well, I do believe Jesus was who HE said he was, not what the church said he was.  And I believe in a Creator, though I'm not quite sure the Creator is the "Creator of the whole universe."  Maybe.  But I do believe that if there is a Creator the Buddha has tapped into the Creator's Truth far deeper than Christianity (or Judaism) ever did.  In fact, I'm convinced of that.

    I love Buddha's teachings.  I revere Buddha.  My goal is to become a very solid Buddhist.  This is rather difficult since I have no person whom I can go to in the flesh anywhere near.  There's a Zen temple sixty-something miles north east of here and several temples and Sangha's in Houston, over a hundred miles away, but I have not yet found a single Buddhist anywhere near.  I am pondering putting out some adds or something.  Maybe.

    This morning I'm off to work on enclosing and enlarging our back porch.  I'm eager to get that done.  There'll be a wood stove, a few comfy chairs, and I'm hoping to make it a place of refuge, too, no TV.  By the time winter gets here my goal is to have a place to sit and watch the baren trees, think, meditate, and snuggle up with a good book.

    So, the job is calling.  Not much of an update but then life is lived in actions, not words.

    Until later...

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    The place for passion?

    Friday, September 5, 2008, 10:02 AM [General]

    Where does passion belong in belief?  When should a person be passionate about righteousness or "right living" and when should a person be passive?  Christians find "righteous war" and "God, guns and guts" easy enough to incorporate within their "Lamb of God" religion.  Buddhists, not so much. 

    Where does compassion end and belligerence begin?

    How does one precisely follow the Eight-Fold path and still take part in the political system when taking part requires passion, forceful action, direct speaking, and actions that will be perceived as unkind by the opposition?

    Power, glory,  honor... these are the banners of the Christian soldier.  They are all selfish and antithetical to selflessness.  But what of the victims in a conflict?  Does passivity and compassion preclude our standing strong for right, righteousness, or on behalf of the suffering victims?

    Is it our calling to merely stand between the gun and the target?  Are we only to take the bullet and die?  Does that not simply inconvenience an aggressor who will just reload and shoot again over our dead body?  Is it unrighteous or immoral or "not-right" to be more aggressive ourselves and take measures to stop the shooter?  ...even if it means taking part in the evil of war ourselves?

    If a man enters my house with a gun and I take a bullet for my wife am I not merely slowing the man down but not stopping him?  Is it not my responsibility to my family to do more, to stop the intruder, even if it becomes a situation of him or us?

    In the end, what is more moral, allowing an evil to overtake the weak by passive "compassion" or taking a stand against evil and stopping it?

    Inquiring minds want to know?

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    Subject goes here.

    Wednesday, September 3, 2008, 2:37 PM [General]

    Ya think?

    OK, so I killed some time and filled in the boxes of my profile.  I feel a little silly now.  Once upon a time I filled in so many profile boxes I had canned entries in text files.  How weird is that? 

    I used to think there had to be somebody somewhere who was something like me.  Now I know there probably isn't anybody like me; not in the least.  And I used to not like being so friendless.  That was before we got our kids.

    But things are different now. 

    I'd still like to find a friend or two.

    So, Hi.



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    Tuesday, September 2, 2008, 10:12 AM [General]

    I have questions.

    For the most part I've lost interest.  In almost everything.  I used to seek, to want to know, to ...what... I forget.  I used to write.  I used to think.  I used to do a lot of things.  Now I mostly sit and wait.  Or piddle.

    To be honest, I haven't any clue why I signed up on this Beliefnet thing.  Maybe there's some kind of hope in my head I don't even know about, something that won't give up.  But also to be honest I figure this, like everything else, is just useless.

    Maybe someday I'll write a bio.  Nobody will believe it.  So what else is new?

    Every day is just another day.  It's a forced effort, a struggle, dragging my ass out of bed and moving forward only because I have three kids to care for.  One of those, the 15 year old, I'm not sure anything I do or say matters, may be wasting my efforts there.  Her "old life" from before our adoption has a huge grip on her.  Anyway, I get up.

    My kids are homeschooled.  The last flame that burned in my charred soul fried my opinion of public school.  Our local school is a horrid example of "Public education," a place where kids are coddled, pampered, everything but taught.  My two little kids were so bored!  Way too easy for them.  My oldest, a recent "graduate" of the foster care system (2005) continued to get the exemptions, special treatment, push-through-school-without-brains non-education she got before and should never have gotten in the first place.  And then there was the Orwellian security system that locks all students into a prison and requires every "visitor" to have background checks done immediately.  This means every single parent has their civil rights ripped away with every visit.   And the school said, "children will NOT be released to parents if there is a crisis."  I said, "bullshit."  Now they're homeschooled.

    But now I just don't have any air in my lungs or energy in my brain to do much.  My oldest is on a self-guided program.  The little ones I limp along with, doing basic work.  They're smart and quick.  Makes my job easy.  Good thing.

    So, you know, I don't know where to go from here. 

    The internet has been a bad thing for me.  Same for the whole world, maybe.  Truth has dissipated like a drop of oil on the surface of a lake.  And now the effort to seek has become so tiresome I just don't want to fool with it any more.

    I'm tired of sitting here at this desk now.  All evening I kept sitting here, watching the radar, waiting for that Gustov blow to get here.  It never came.  Even though I know it's terrible to wish a storm on the neighborhood I am disappointed.  We worked really hard getting our place ready, digging needed drainage ditches and all that.  And I was looking forward to my wife being home one extra day.  How great for her to be here and we all together in the house, shut in from a storm, playing dominoes or some such.   But the stupid storm fizzled and she's at work. 

    I went to bed last night telling God that I loved my wife and kids over and over.  It's about all I can come up with.  I don't know who God is, really.  I wish I could talk to Jesus.  Or Buddha.  Or both.  I have questions.

    Gloomy outside.  Clouds and drizzle from Gustov the fizzle.  Look, a rhyme.

    I need a spell check on this thing.

    So, I like gloomy today.  Sunshine really would suck. 

    Time for some Earl Grey.

    371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99cI have questions.
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    Monday, September 1, 2008, 7:16 PM [General]

    We sit before the one-eyed monster watching Grease in HD and waiting for Gustov to visit.  The winds of change.


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