Author Archives: Major Tom

The Dalai Lama within us

As this blog unfolds, it will be obvious that the Dalai Lama is not THE Dalai Lama, but someone who has the Dalai Lama qualities.  He’s a combination of mythology, spirituality, religion, and a keen professor from Miami of Ohio, who we call the Dalai Lama. We called him Dalai Lama for several reasons – he was bright, calm, loving, balanced, and he practiced his craft.  He wasn’t someone to one person and someone else to another person – and, he could spot the fakes a mile away.  But, his alignment was not to judge, but to focus on what he could do – many times ignoring what others would … Continue reading

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Anger Management

When you get angry at someone else, that means you’re judging them. If we’re not supposed to judge others, then we should not get angry.  Hard to do, but something to idealize.

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The Dangling Carrot

It may be a long time between seeing someone you love or who has influenced you.  But, it’s only a few days at a time in-between, that we don’t recognize what effect those people have on our lives. Everyone, like it or not, is a teacher and a coach. Most fight for what they believe is truth and the community, and if the benefits come, then they come because of that. You know, that’s a real metaphysical approach to life.  As I get older, I see those things with more clarity. Your life is your story. Just as so many great men before us. We’re born  We live  We have challenges, temptations and … Continue reading

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Another Lama’s response

Brother, Politics, religion, and race seem to be today’s topics that most create divisions among people. Why? I think it’s because each of these broad areas is deeply rooted in core ethical values. And of course at certain points on the continuum these three areas are intertwined. When it comes to religion, it’s been easy for me to reject those friends and acquaintances who promote a religion of hatred and fear. Their morals are so clearly wrong I have no problem saying “adios, it was never really all that nice knowing you anyway.” Same when it comes to race. When a friend makes his or her hatred of an entire … Continue reading

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Your “friends” response from the Dalai

Young Buddha, First, your friends may not be racist, but they are very narrow minded, and if they are saying things like that, they may be hopeless.  I wonder what they thought of Bush 2? I too have always been an independent, although vote mostly democrat.  I am a social liberal and probably middle to slightly right on economic issues.  People like me have trouble finding candidates, but because the social justice issues are more important to me than the economic issues, I almost always vote democrat.  I did vote for Reagan the first time and once for Bush 1 (the first time).  By the way, if your friends are … Continue reading

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Help me, Dalai, how do I keep my friends that don’t share my ideology?

Dalai, OK, here’s one for you.  I need advice. There’s a line from the Big Chill, where Sam (the actor) was reminiscing about days at Michigan and he said something like: “I thought since they looked like us, and acted like us, that they were like us.” I have friends from high school and college that I still have interaction with …  all of them were by “best friends” at one point in my life.  All are very successful – One, I know, got a $110,000 bonus a few years ago (he’s a banker); Another owns his own business and recently built a second home in Florida; A third owns his own … Continue reading

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Obama Fact Checking 1/2009-3/2016

Some may respond that FactCheck.org is not objective, but if they aren’t then who is? There’s good and bad in these numbers and, as Fact Check says: “We leave it to our readers to judge how much credit or blame the president deserves for what has happened on his watch, and we caution that no single number or collection of numbers can tell the entire story. What we offer here are some key yardsticks from sources we consider solid and reliable.” http://www.factcheck.org/2016/04/obamas-numbers-april-2016-update/

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“Behind every great fortune there is a great crime.”

— Honoré de Balzac I read this today, and I’m not sure I am in full agreement.  Granted, there is truth, but does not this discount rich good people?

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Pope Vs. Trump

So, I’m going to get into the political arena again. First, I’m not Catholic and second, I’m not Republican. I’m not defending Trump and I think the current Pope is absolutely marvelous. However, it feels as though one of Jesus’s greatest teachings was being nonjudgmental. If that’s the case, isn’t the Pope judging the Donald when he alluded to the building of walls issue. The world takes all kinds, and I can accept that. That doesn’t mean I have to agree or follow, but I don’t think it’s my place to judge whether or not someone is Christian or not. In fact, we all sin, and if that logic holds … Continue reading

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Why is it?

you don’t understand cancer until you or a loved one has it you don’t understand a handicap until someone you know has one you don’t understand gun control until someone you know gets shot you don’t understand being gay until a family member or friend comes out you don’t understand homelessness until you’re homeless you don’t understand being broke until you are you don’t understand not being able to get a job until you can’t you don’t understand religions until you have an epiphany

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More Gun Control

I don’t understand how anyone doesn’t see the need for gun control. After the latest you would think … But some say it’s all about helping the mentally ill and that taking guns won’t solve anything. IT’S NOT ONE OR THE OTHER. AND IT’S NOT TAKING GUNS, IT’S ABOUT CONTROLLING THE PURCHASING AND USE OF THEM. I know some will say that limiting gun purchasing won’t make a difference, but this article seems to indicate differently: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/03/us/how-mass-shooters-got-their-guns.html Here’s some logical thinking from the Connecticut Governor Richard Blumenthal: Universal background checks on all gun sales – close loopholes of just applying to Federally licensed dealers (include unlicensed dealers) and the 72-hour incomplete … Continue reading

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Gun Reform

Can we approach this without inflaming the right? It’s not about taking your guns, it’s about reform. How do we solve the mass killings? Giving more guns to people isn’t working.

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Guns don’t kill people, people kill people

I keep hearing that, but my question is, would people without guns kill people? I know that there are a hundred responses to this and some will be hostile, but that’s not what it’s about. Some think we need to protect ourselves from the government.  We don’t trust the government. Some think we need to protect ourselves from our neighbors. We don’t trust our neighbors. Some think we need to protect ourselves from criminals.  We don’t trust … our police force.

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Passion Exposure Vs. Extreme View points

I was thinking the other day how much I admire people who can really stand up for what they believe. You know them – the Democrats that post their Hillary images on Facebook; or the Gun Law proponents. They’re actually not afraid to expose themselves. I thought, I wish I could do that, that’s admirable. But, then I started thinking – how often do those change the minds of people that are in the middle or vulnerable to listening. Probably not too much. And, then, who do you know to trust? For every lie there’s a truth, and for every truth there’s a lie. And, for every half-truth … and … Continue reading

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If you don’t get it here, you’re not going to get it.

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An introvert’s spirituality

As an introvert, we may not be able to appear as spiritual as an extrovert. It’s not in our DNA. Greeting someone in church next to you because the pastor is asking you to can be uncomfortable. Asking to be evangelical about your faith can be an overwhelming anxiety. We’re just not cut out for that. Introverts get their energy from being alone and looking inside, not necessarily projecting it outwardly. If you’re an extrovert, please don’t think that if someone is not “friendly” that it means there’s some ulterior meaning – it could be that person is an introvert and situations that an extrovert may handle with ease (and … Continue reading

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Concealing the truth with preconception

http://www.tricycle.com/insights/selective-wisdom If we go into “something” with a preconceived idea of what it will be, we could be concealing the truth.

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Trikaya

There is another subtler way to understand the trikaya, and it is this understanding that Trungpa Rinpoche taught. He did it in this way. Stepping to the blackboard, he picked up a piece of chalk and drew this figure. Then he stepped back and asked: “What is this a picture of?” Of course no one wanted to say the obvious, and there was an extended silence until finally some fellow raised his hand and said, “It’s a picture of a bird.” Rinpoche replied, “It’s a picture of the sky,” and in those six words he taught the entire trikaya. From Tricycle Magazine, Spring 2015

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Function of a Government

“The proper function of a government is to make it easy for the people to do good, and difficult for them to do evil.” — Daniel Webster

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Easter Metaphor

Once again, I’m confused by the literal meaning of Jesus dying for our sins. Today’s message from the pastor told of how a man jumped on a grenade in order to save his friend in a foxhole. I get that. It’s real. But, how does Jesus being crucified translate to that? To me, it doesn’t. But, I do get the metaphor about dying to our own sins and then being reborn as a new person … and, if you will, allowing Jesus to be the way-shower for those changes. Although over-used, I do like the WWJD thinking, because I think Jesus taught three basic principles – Peace, Love, Understanding. To … Continue reading

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China’s motive

http://www.tricycle.com/blog/china-asserts-control-over-dalai-lama-lineage This is interesting from several vantage points. What is the ulterior motive? If China doesn’t believe in the religion, then what is the need to control the next Dalai Lama? Could it be more than just political? Maybe – think of a meditative nation used for more dark purposes? We know meditation can change and group meditations on the same thoughts may have even more power … so is it possible that China is simply allotting resources to capture meditative powers in order to use them for its gain? Ironic? Subversive?

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Interpretations

This kind of says it all. 😉

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Silence

Easier said than done to train your mind to desire the silence. http://www.tricycle.com/blog/fear-silence  

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8 Mantras to help break selfishness

http://www.tricycle.com/dharma-talk/breaking-habit-selfishness Obviously easier said than done, and maybe not something that can be done all the time in our world. But, good practice for daily mediations and life living.

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Remain Constant to Zazen

Live modestly with goods and belongings Live in awareness of the environment and its fragility Practice kindness Maintain creative practice and activity in the arts Be faithful to solitude Propagate peace in the world and the surrounding communities Remain in active communication with other members of the Order http://www.tricycle.com/practice/way-ryokan

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Destroy or Sustain

Do we destroy or do we sustain the world? Of all the current worlds and previous worlds, I wonder where we stand? In some ways, is this God’s little game – his way to experience time?

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Anger – hard to manage

“If we want to succeed in life and bring about a more peaceful world, we must learn to control our emotions and not to be affected by a moment of anger.” — —Master Hsing Yun, “Don’t Get Mad, Don’t Get Even” http://www.tricycle.com/meditation-buddhist-practices/calm-abiding-shamatha/dont-get-mad-dont-get-even I know that when I get provoked, I find it very hard to not want to “get back” at that person.  Lately, I’ve tried to just not send that note with the scathing remark. Let it sit, then go back to it and remove it.  Granted, the angry energy was within me, but I did not transmit it out into the universe to to other people.  Maybe that’s … Continue reading

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The Necessity of Love & Compassion

“There is no denying that our happiness is inextricably bound up with the happiness of others. There is no denying that if society suffers, we ourselves suffer. Nor is there any denying that the more our hearts and minds are afflicted with ill-will, the more miserable we become. Thus we can reject everything else: religion, ideology, all received wisdom. But we cannot escape the necessity of love and compassion.” The Dalai Lama

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Sage advice from Mike Kincaid – the king Swigmaster:

“Attend when you want to; that’s Swigness; the flow into everything and nothingness, whatever you need at the moment you need it; nothing more, nothing less, unless you require more or less of whatever you need.”

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Poverty and Capitalism

I know that there will be those that will point out that there are those in poverty that take advantage of the system; or that for whatever reason they deserve to be there.  But, unless we’ve been in their shoes, we don’t really know what causes this or what their mentality is.  We say we give everyone the chance to succeed, but is that true?  Let’s not take an extreme attitude on this – yes, there is corruption and loopholes, and  yes, there are those that are invalids or in positions where they cannot take care of themselves at all.  Then, there’s the remaining majority that most likely need our … Continue reading

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