Sie sind auf Seite 1von 12

January- ar u

NEWSLETTER
Buddhist Correspondence Course

It seems like eons ago that I was released from prison, yet I was released from s orn orre onal enter in onne t only a li le less than three months a o ein o t has een di lt in some ways, t it has l mately een ery sa sfyin he ma or fear I had while in prison was that pro a on was oin to e a pro lem for me, that it was a trap with the ine ita le on l sion that I wo ld ha e to ome a k to prison ein that I did two years for a dr nken r lary and ha e e years of pro a on with ten years s spended o er my head, this fear was ite intense ther inmates fed my fears with pro a on horror stories that I now see were likely e a era ons, or were simply representa e of how they per ei ed it e a se they were nwillin to han e the de i ant lifestyles that landed them in prison in the rst pla e My e perien e of pro a on is that it is not di lt at all if yo are willin to li e free of dr s and a riminal lifestyle he rst pro a on o er I had was a really ni e lady who a t ally treated me like a h man ein , treatment I had ertainly not re ei ed from a thority res in prison I perhaps feared that pro a on wo ld e a on n a on of the inh mane treatment y a thori es I e perien ed in prison, t I was ery happy to reali e that it is not at all the ase My rst pro a on o er was e en ery interested in hearin a o t the medita on enters that I fre ent ed on the weekends and allowed me to o to other states to a end them sin e the area of onne t I li e in does not ha e anythin like that any where lose e ently I was swit hed to another pro a on o er he rst one was someone who sees people who ha e st o en o t of prison and need to e seen e ery week he new one sees me e ery two weeks While the new pro a on o er does not seem as interested in the e a t details of my in ol ements, she is easy to et alon with and is pleased with the pro ress I ha e made in my life She e en e pressed that I am somewhat of an anomaly in pro a on, as many people she sees o ri ht a k to the lifestyle
2)

u
1 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 6 6 6 7 7 8 9 9 10 10 10 11 12 12 12

Reentering, Philip Speirs Haiku, Louis J. Rocco My Mecca, Erik Fite True Freedom, Zachariah de la Torre umina on, Steven Hyman Nobi ity, Mike Miller Virtue, Brian Alberer Faith, the Dharma, & the Free Wor d Rev. Mujin Karuna Sin vs. Karma, Stefan Crisbasan Si ence is Loud, Wilmer Hause Truth, Gregory Howard The Now Choice, James L. Halbirt Contem a ng n ightenment, James Davie My Buddhist Journey, Angie Oakes Samsara: A Haiku, Chad Frank Le ng o, icking , Jeremy Jones (Tensin Hyon Sek) So ve the rob ems, Charles Carter Steadfast argoy e, Hans Maverick Magic, Zachariah de la Torre Natura ns ncts, Willie E. Campbell uided Medita on: James L. Halbirt Luck, Myron Stebbins Tibet, Lawrence Jay Hughes uanimity,

The BCCN is distributed at no charge to those taking the Buddhist Correspondence Course. This is your newsle er by you, about you, and for you. You are the major contributors, so send us your ues ons, problems, solu ons you ve found to di cul es in prac ce, thoughts you have on prac ce, artwork, poetry, etc. Due to limited space, some edi ng may be necessary. Let us know if we may use your full name or just your ini als. ( f you uote from published books or ar cles that you have read, please be sure to include the author s name and the tle a er the uote.) Please mail all correspondence to:

Con nued from age 1)

they lived before their arrest and are not as proac ve about se ng themselves up for success. now know that as long as don t get arrested for anything seri ous and don t do drugsthings have the power to controlproba on is just a helpful reminder of why need to move forward with my life. When was in prison, everyone told me that my medita on and interest in Bud dhism would fade away when got out. Similar to the saying, There are no athe ists in the fo holes, prison is seen as a place where there is li le to do but be spiritual in some way. Spirituality can even be essen al for a person to keep their sanity. The other side of the consensus that got from most people is that when you get out you will be too busy for such things. This has not been true at all for me, and since have go en out of prison my interest in Buddhism and medita on has only increased. While it is true that there certainly is ample me to prac ce in prison, prison is actually a very di cult place to prac ce the path, espe cially if there is no op on for Buddhism on your prison s religious designa on and no one to teach you in person, as it was for me in Connec cut. When you get out and are not behind bars, you can choose to put yourself around encouraging, posi ve people and environments. For me, doing so has really caused my prac ce to ourish. Almost every weekend since got out have been a ending various Buddhist medita on centers and retreats that found

Buddhist Correspondence Course c/o Rev. Richard Baksa 2020 Route 301 Carmel, NY 10512

We welcome your comments on the newsle er and sugges ons for ways we might improve it to serve you be er.

INFORMATION AVAILABLE
through search engines on the nternet. tried out many dierent types of Bud dhist tradi ons and while respect them all, recently found a place and tradi on of Buddhism that par cularly clicked with me and am in the process of ge ng involved there on a regular basis. n fact, this coming end of week/ weekend will be volunteering to help prepare for a Buddhist fes val taking place. really cannot emphasi e enough how wonderful it is a er being the only Buddhist knew in prison to have found a Sangha full of Buddhists. recommend trying to connect with other Buddhists somehow when you are released because the support you can give and receive is invaluable. So this is something to really look forward to when you get out, and you will nd, as have, that fellow Bud dhists tend to be very accep ng of your criminal history. The di cul es have faced being out have mainly been the crea ons of my own mind. When rst got out, literally felt like somehow everyone could tell had just go en out of prison and was incredibly an ious about it. n my head it was as if had been physically branded so everyone could see that was a felon. felt like people would judge me harshly as a good for nothing criminal and want nothing to do with me, yet the only one who has judged me harshly so far has been myself, and ve been working on being kinder to myself. also had an in tense feeling of aliena on from the world, as if were hopelessly dierent from everyone else because of where had spent the last two years of my life. As me went on this feeling has slowly diminished and is near to dissolving completely.
Con nued on age 3)

2)

j , W , ,

, , H S ,

, ( j j , ; , , , j , )

Before a single step there comes intent. he hisper of ins nct. nee . he i ea something some here must exist no ing hate er comes it s me to lea e ing olomon s eau ful songs lull some Others the pearl of great price of Joseph mith. he Bu ha s Heart utra lures one s lo e Perhaps the ish of Mary Mag alene s kiss Mean ering an erers smile a roa es na on secon ary to a enture esperate stern-face seekers caste their lot eath prefera le to faile ascension Footprints an track marks alternate as milestones It s har to tell ho far one s really come single phone call pro uces ial tones a oos unra el kni e scriptures come un one un o er patches pollinate op mism. Where stars are gaze an naps are taken unlight refracts through the min s prison Refreshe enturing forth re-a akene Incen e seekers seek incen e an ecretly fancy their arri al anquet For some the pilgrimage itself is essen al ra el y night an arri e unexpecte

, j S ,

A tree in the yard dhidhar a t i n A er hi rney

ome play it y touch some procee y force oing forth or ers on t e is nguishe he heart s compass resets its course n l the Holy rail is relinquishe

Illumination
NOBILITY
I awakened this morning in a confused malaise. Perhaps an early walk might soothe my soulmy own li le ision uest. he sun is rising and the co er of dew uiets my steps. think am alone. look up at the trees and no ce some ha e thick trunks while others, thin. Some are straight, others crooked. Some ha e rambling ines, forming a despised alliance that will e entually exhaust and kill both. n the sky see a hawk and a crow circle abo e a prey. hey are best of friends. A wounded fox lies below their ight. hey stare at each other. Who should ha e the rst strike upon the poor hapless fox? he two allies argue as to this concern. hen they turn on each other and ght in the air abo e. he wounded fox knows none of this. he two mighty warriors ba le to the end. One drops out of the hea ens two feet from the defenseless ulpine. Mr. Fox smiles at his good fortune and leisurely feeds on his unannounced dinner. Hardy and hale, he cheerfully prances away. con nue on my ourney. come across an opossum. He sees my arri al. n playing dead, he plays stupid, so many a predator has le him alone. Who would belie e that such an ugly, unintelligent, ner ous li le creature could be capable of such decep on? walk on. see two frogs si ng in a puddle. listen as they discuss their plight. Frog number 1 looks at the other and says, Our pool is drying up under the summer heat. Soon we will ha e no water or food. We should look for another home. watch as they hop away. follow not too close behind. hey pass a deep well amply supplied with water and nourishment. Frog number 2 says to his chum, Let us descend and make our abode here! he smart frog replies with great cau on, ut suppose the water should fail us. How can we get out from such a considerable depth? hey hop away in a sophis cated manner. walk on. see a s uirrel with two handfuls of nuts. One li le nut drops out of his hands. He tries to pick it up and drops 20 more. He tries to pick up the 21st and drops them all. hen he loses his temper and runs away. e sa sed with what you had! shout out to his behind. march on spo ng a meadow with a fragrant apple orchard. eing hungry from my ourney, climb a tree and select a red ripe prize. take a minute to munch my lunch when an opportunis c wasp alights on my apple. swat him o , not submi ng to his demand. he angry felon worked himself up into a iolent rage. He lost all considera on of penalty and stung my hand. As a result of his re enge, he was unable to extricate his weapon from its target. Now he was compelled to tear himself free, which entailed upon himself a lingering death accompanied by pains much greater than those he had inicted on me. Concerned not to obtain any further in ury, circle back to retrace my steps. lue ays are bickering in my path showing each other who is boss. One bold fellow an uishes his ad ersaries to y away. He stomps the ground to show his strength and glory. Look at me! he shouts. am the ictorious blue ay! At that moment an eagle di es from abo e and seizes the blue ay in his talons, pleased to carry him to the nest. lea e the woods today a be er man, only slightly confused. 4 stri e each day to li e with nobility o rise about like a supreme deity want to li e each day exercising the mind Maybe e en be a philanthropist for all of mankind. want to perpetuate irtue in all do And if youre reading this, maybe can inuence you. Right speech is a noble truth in itself Whether youre poor or li e a life of wealth. ts ne er too late to open your eyes Stop hiding from yourself behind a eil of lies Right intent starts with your ac on Just lead by example with your compassion. You will show your irtuous energy to family and friend hey will e entually see that you no more pretend You will experience happiness and much be er days Just ne er forget...its nobility that will change your ways.

VIRTUE
Brian Alberer (Smyrna, DE)

In the BCCN Volume 7, Issue 2, I wrote From Prison Blues to the o e o i er on in e then I w s s e to onsi er wri n out how m r e hel e me o e with the h llen es o n to the ree worl er m rele se s I sit here on erin how to ormu l te it in wor s, I thin I will just es ri e m own jour ne , s w s s e We ll now th t theres not one onvi t th t oesnt ut themselves throu h it when the e ome short, es e i ll on e lo e in with their out te The t o the m er is the me h s n ll ome or th t ste tow r res onsi ilit Bein le to e t, thin , n shit on our own me n when ou w nt to without n o er tellin ou To e le to o en our own oors n unlo them when ou w nt To ush the toilet without usin our oot Wow!! i e is h n in st, n theres nothin th t ou n o to sto it! We m e list o r to o when we et outmovies weve misse , new CDs to u , lothes to etsin e we h ve

h s Dh rm t its est, in the worl o u l , the Gre t C t stro he But wh t is it th t h n es when we w l throu h the m in te n into the ree worl ? It wor e or ll those e rs in rison Wh isnt it now th t Im in the worl ? One wor en e In rison we h to e ent We h no hoi e in the m er But now its ierent Where o we st rt rst, n with wh t? Wheres th t mn list? Itll hel , n Ill just hill n see wh t or who omes m w rst houl I i it with m home o s, or shoul I not tell n one n hill lone or while? Get m min ri ht? Be ore we even st rt n et out the te were oome , n weve one it to ourselves without even nowin re ll n i ou now, or those th t h ve een own more th n on e, its li e ou now e er ut ou nt sto th t min set Its m ness or re l! For me, I w s livin in the ree worl li e I w s s ll on C 2 t F P, w l in n orth in m ell, onl now m ell h s some l ss n C, e er view n ool

none now th t ll our so lle rien s h ve quire them, et The list oes on, n we h ve th t list st she w in our ootlo er, h ve h it or e rs, n the thin ee s rowin , so it woul seem On the one h n , its some unn shit On the other, its ver seriousl re l We w nt to o it ll e use we misse so mu h o wh t li e h s to oer, or h ve we? Th ts the ques on, wh t h ve ou we misse ? nswer, not mn thin ! Be use ll th t stu oesnt m er Its wh t ot us lo e u in the rst l ethe wish to in stu we ont nee In the Bu h s te hin s, he instru ts us to not e ome he to thin s th t we ont nee to live our lives, the thin s th t onl rin suerin , n we le rn this n re li e this while in rison er ll, rison is the re test l e to trul ut ones r e to the test, to see i wh t the Bu h t u ht wor s To see the Bu

to o jum in Ge n m BCCN n ll the rest o m m il, th t w s the s me ll Bu hist in n ture I oul nt st n to e roun eo le I te m oo the s me, with shovel n li e I h some l e to e With m rior re or I w s r i to o n thin Hell, I s ore out to months without new h r e, st n in s ll I oul nt trust n one or n thin n thou ht I w s oome I shoul never h ve le rison I w s e er o there It ot to the oint to where I r e to o , I w nt to o to th t shit hole Wow, how r i I e ome? How r i the s stem m e me? Well, I w s wron , theres no the , just me I i ll this to m sel , no o ut m sel I w s so s un with the me, m , n I th t I h lost o us o ever thin I elieve , the Dh rm n who I w s I lost ith in m sel , n s soon s ou o th t, its over! Be use s Bu hists,
( n n e n a e 8)

Karma
One of the strong co o g co c, p c k g of l f , l ox c . points p o l g o l c l lf . ol of o cl l o l p op ll o lp c p o f fo g, o l x l o , l g, g

SILENCE IS LOUD
Wilmer Hause (Cranston, RI)

l , l f of J ol o l c l lf , o of S G , . o c g o , cl g Gol R l , l o o l p op co c o g o l l . c o l c, o , co q g c g l . I , c pl o p o g . l of g k c cl of l f , p cl g c . I o o ox p cco g o p g of o l o pl o of ol l o cl p o c oo g o c o ol of o l c g g fo k k , o o co g o of

l , co q c fo o l g g l of o l c o p Go . k k g of l k g p g of l f . g l l, Go , o . o . o of p . p opo o : g l lo f lll o l go l l: p c l,

p c of k g, k co c p o c of l . po o o c of co q c of / Ro 6:23), g c of o p g o l f o Go c , g g of Go , o l o p Go . l o p g o g o p c olog c l, o o l, p l. o o co l o p

o l o 6

o o o ox o go of o p o , c ok . o lgo l o o o c l o g , o o l co pl l , o o ox k o o o o c p o Go . S . M x o f o , o l p f c po of p o co pl c o Go . p o o p , c g , o l .

TRUTH

Truth is neither i er n t s eet Yet a lie is m re S eet than the Nectar f the g ds .

The crossroads in your life are al ays places f ch ice. Ch sing truth means y ur decisi n ill be based n t n e ternal circumstance e pecta ns udgments r ther ed beliefs but n y ur rela nship ith y ur inner S urce. acts d n t c ns tute truth. Y u may be factual but n t tell the truth. acts are created. They are by nature f the past. Truth can nly be kn n in the here and n . The reas n e d n t kn hat e are is because f ur a en n t f rms. e create labels f near-in nite diversity. e generally live un ues ningly under the illusi n f ur separate self-e istence. hen e try t make urselves the b ects f ur n a areness e cann t. T d s st ps ur minds. e c me t a crucial insight: hat e call I r me is a kind f default mental c nstruc n that ur minds aut ma cally turn t . e assume ur n e istence is c ncrete and b ec ve yet this assump n remains valid nly as l ng as e d n t l k directly f r ur I. The m ment e d it is g ne. hen e remain in the present e have the pp rtunity t dec nstruct this false iden ty and learn t abide in the essence f the n . hen ur sense f self is based n hat e see in the mirr r e are n t c nsci us that there is a m re fundamental part f urselves that can be a are f ur selfbserva n. e spend ur h le lives chasing a er s me ideal r impr ved image never sa s ed ith h e l k ith ut realizing that in d ing s e m ve ur minds else here rather than in the present. hen e all ur minds t gr uiet and recep ve as in medita n e can appreciate the unkn ing in the face f beliefs ab ut urselves and the ay e iden fy urselves. e can create a m re fer le gr und f r disc vering m re f h e really are. Everything e are a are f implies the e istence f s mething a are f this a areness and if e try t name that hich is a are then there is s ll an ther ne that is a are. This is like standing in a mirr red r m and seeing y ur re ec n repea ng in nitely int space. hen e turn ur a areness t ard self-in uiry e must remain in the present in the n . Obvi usly e d n t kn h t stay unc ndi nally in the present un l e disc ver that this me is n t h e really are un l e realize that e are n t the feelings that enter ur minds. Ideas ab ut urselves are rela ve n t abs lute truths.

hen e nally are able t see ur true self it l ks at all e think d and e perience including ur sense f me. In this l king a rela nship is created that has the p er t transf rm ur e perience f urselves and ur rlds. Thr ugh ut ur lives the m ment e bring ur a areness fully int the n e enter the d main f the true self. In the n it is ust hat it is. In the n I g back t my riginal a areness by the ay that I have c me. e e ercise the p er f a areness and strengthen ur spiritual muscle by bringing urselves ver and ver again int the immediate present. e turn ur a en n directly t hat e are e periencing instead f staying enmeshed in feeling r blindly accep ng ur beliefs ab ut urselves and thers. e d this in ur medita n pracce and in ur daily lives. L ve f humanity and all that e ists is the backb ne f reality. N thing is in e ile fr m this. N thing in life d es n t bel ng here. Even fear. Our bsessi n ith survival and security al ays ul mately leads us back t fear and all its mini nsp er c ntr l self-righte usness eal usy neediness greed blame hate and revenge. e live in endless h pe f imagined security f r freed m fr m an endless legi n f e ternal threats. In that very h pe h ever is the r t f fear that hich e have n t turned t meet and h ld. H pe cann t break us ut f that cycle. It is nly in facing fear that e bec me free f the cycle f fear and h pe. hen e nally face ur eg s primal fear f being u erly and h pelessly e nguished e c me t realize the true s urce f ur true nature. It is never in the past r future. It is al ays in the present.

5)

faith starts with the person. Buddhist faith is not blind faith and some cop-out to us f the means to the end. ou and ou alone will be the one to make it or break it. Shugen Sensei told me while in prison that if I wanted to come to Zen Mountain Monaster for residenc , I would have to wait a ear or so un l m re-entr to the free world had se led. ell, that was too long. I would never make it that ear. e explained and opened m e es to one of the most profound teaching in Buddhism pa ence. ithout pa ence we have nothing, not even a real prac ce. e talked about pa ence and its teachings for a ver long me, and to this da I m s ll learning this harma lesson. ithout pa ence, we have nothing, nor can we come to an true reali a on of an thing, especiall the harma and the end of suering. Paence in and of itself is the harma ate to all the Buddha s teachings. nd it starts with ou. ou have to be pa ent with ourself, with life, and ever thing in it, too. See with the True harma e. To see the in mac of all Things, the Thus of life, is to see who ou are trul in the light of mp ness. In one s true light of self-nature. It s that ver change that unfolded over the ears in that cell, that change given to us b the Buddha b means of the harma teachings. That change that took us from the mind of a criminal to the mind of a Buddhist with love and compassion for the world and all its suering. That for the most part, each and ever one of us here have had a hand in. So how did I make it from prison blues to the robe of liberaon Prac ce It was b taking responsibilit as in prison and using the same point of view one has to reali e in order to be a convict and do me, and not let me do ou. The precepts are what I live b , at least the best I can. Moment to moment, in the ever-changing world of impermanence, I keep them to the front of m mind. nd it s b falling that reat oubt manifests itself. nd when I break a Precept and pick m self back up, it empowers me in the vortex of mundane condions to have faith in m self. It allows me to inves gate the ma er and see things ust as the are. hat is ust is, and there s nothing to add or take awa from that point of entr . I believe that the training precepts are the ra that will take ou out the gate and back into the world. So hold them near, as the moonlight that shone for all those ears through that cell window o the ra or wire. The light of hope, the ancient e e that shines so bright in the darkest of moments. The Mani that lls our heart to this da , kept safe under the chin of the dragon. I m no preacher man, and b far do I have it or an thing right. ust a small monk taking one step at a me. But if I had to sum it all up, and give something to take out that gate, it would be the second precept, ust as it is o not steal. Be 8

giving. This is the dharma, in which nothing can be obtained, and that means it s impossible to possess an thing. e cannot step outside to take hold of an thing. e alread contain ever thing. To possess something means to separate ourself from something. rom the viewpoint of reali a on, ever thing is unobtainable, including the Buddha a . rabbing, controlling, and domina ng are an upside down wa of understanding the nature of the universe and the self. I took a vow to this precept to take up the prac ce of the Six Perfec ons generosit , ethical discipline, pa ence, eal, medita on, and wisdom . Through this wa of prac ce I ou will cut the root of desire. Zen Master Bodhidharma said, Not giving rise to the thought of obtaining is called the precept of refraining from stealing. hen mind and ob ect are not discriminated, the gate of Libera on is open. This is the realit , and that s reali a on ood luck, and keep it real

M BU
A

IST OURN

i O k s Li c l , IL)

for about ten ears now. Not all of those ears were eas for me. Being a Buddhist in prison has been one of the hardest things I ve had to deal with. In the beginning of m ourne , I had to deal with m famil asking me wh I couldn t ust follow a hris an life. None of them understood that a mainstream religion was not what moved me or touched m heart. To this da I s ll have famil who do not accept me or m belief s stem. M next challenge was telling people I thought were m friends here in prison of m decision to prac ce Buddhism. It was ver hard for me to hear people who claimed to like and accept me call names like heathen and atheist. s I studied the books from the B and put what I learned to pracce, I learned to deal with it. I lost friends and I learned to be oka with it. I transferred rom a max prison to a medium prison a ear a er I started the B . I had enough condence not to hide m prac ce. Some people have told me at some point I ll nd the truth and I ll come to follow hrist. There have been people who have told me I m going to hell for being a nonbeliever. I meet their nega ve views with a smile and sa Thank ou. or the most part, no one reall bothers me about it here. bout two ears ago with the help of a Buddhist sta mem9)

ber I started a Sangha here. In all my years of being incarcerated I had never done anything that could help other inmates on an in mate level. I as pleasantly surprised to nd there ere other Buddhists here. Having a Sangha to lean on and turn to has become a comfort to all of us. Our teacher is kind and giving of his me. I am grateful and honored to be taught by him. I as nally able to start receiving a vegan diet. It took me a hile, but the Chaplain nally decided to allo it. I simply cannot condone the killing of animals so that I may eat. This opened the door for other inmates to receive a vegan diet if their religion calls for it. This has caused people to look at me funny because I dont eat meat. I have a dierent tray so others make nega ve remarks. I have learned from my pracce ust to be humble. I smile and simply tell them it is against my beliefs to have a helpless animal die so that I may eat. It ust doesnt bother me anymore hat other people have to say about me. I have the support of the Sangha and those ho understand my choice. I am no preparing for Jukai. My teacher has performed this ceremony for male inmates before. I ill be his rst female inmate. The Chaplain here at incoln Correc onal Center contacted the regional Chaplain in Illinois and asked if I could have rakusu. He said yes, as long as it ent through personal property and I as told I could only have it on during private prac ce and hen I as at Sangha. I ill be making my rakusu myself and giving it to the Chaplain so she can do the paper ork so I may have it. lso by comple ng Jukai, I ill obtain a (Sanskrit) Dharma name. Im looking for ard to that. I am on a nonstop ourney as a Buddhist prac oner. I look for ard to seeing here that ourney leads me. I have decided that for the rest of my stay in prison, I ill be of service to others. I ill help ith home ork. tutor in math and/or reading, be a shoulder to lean on, hatever someone needs. Prison can be a hard and lonely place. I dont ant to see anyone suer needlessly. kind act could be all the dierence to someone. So, yes, Im looking for ard to seeing here my ourney takes me.

Letting Go, Picking Up


Jeremy Jones, Tenshin Hyon Sek (Bunker Hill, IN)
If you just stopped thinking for a while and sat back to reect on your own mind, you would be surprised to realize that you are at peace. ( , Dr. Thynn Thynn, page 36) Put yourself down as you read these words. Let them ow naturally into your mind. Their truth will penetrate your existence and saturate your soul. Right now, without ego, we are at peace, not only are we at peace internally with oursel es, but we are at peace with the en re uni erse. Thus, we are able to permit the natural order of all things to carry on without inter ec ng me, mine, and out onto it. Being always there, yet seldom being aware of its reality, peace of mind is a lot like a radio signal or a sound wa e. The old American koan, f a tree falls in the woods and nothing is around to hear it, does it s ll make a sound makes me think of peace of mind. The answer is no. The tree sends out a sound wa e that has to bounce o of an eardrum to produce sound. The energy is there but the needs to be something tuned into it. Radio wa es are similar. Right now thousands of signals are reaching out for a recei er to be tuned into them. Find the right frequency and you get music. That peaceful mental state is likewise sending out its signal. Always reaching out to us, it simply awaits our recogni on. e tune into the air around us by prac cing mindful breath ing. Through mindful egoless obser a on, peace of mind appears. f peace of mind is always there, then its opposite is always there as well, which one are you tuned into right now hat path were your thoughts and emo ons tra eling down before you read this ar cle hich road will you choose once you lay this newsle er aside and walk to chow challenge you to put on the headphones of spiritual aware ness e ery day all day. challenge myself to do the same thing daily as well. Just think about how much peace and oy we ha e already missed out on in our li es. A er 3 years of life and 16 years in prison know ha e been walking around with earplugs in and blinders on. No more will dwell in the dark depths of a pissed o, angry, wa e thrash ing sea. Now will li e and walk the path of the sweet smell ing, cool blowing breeze. ues on is how long un l my feet start hur ng 9

All of us who are conned, especially those of us who have put in some years, know something is seriously wrong with this world we are living in. Everyone is for some religion, but that isnt coming close to solving the problems facing mankind. You have heat from the sun thats ge ng to levels that have never been seen before. Why? Our modern society with all our advancements is the sole problem. You have people starving in dierent parts of the world. Why? Mans greed and mans selshness. Human beings are not human anymore. Only someone who is truly mad or insane can show li le kids on starving. hen you ask people to send in money. hen when some people do send money to help, it is stolen. I dont believe society is advanced like it claims to be. You have human beings ro ng away in prisons because they have been mis-educated by a system that does not work. Prisoners are a byproduct of miseduca on imposed on them at an early age. We who are grasping the teachings of the Buddha are in line to become more aware of why things are the way they are. Yes, karma, but dont be hard on yourself for being conned. Just look within yourself. Follow the teachings and come out that new man thats within you, that hidden person who has the answers to world problems. ransforma on is awareness. You know why people do what they do, because you have taken the me to know yourself. Before you can help anyone, you have to see the problem within yourself. Understand yourself, then go out and really try to save this dying planet from its destruc ve course. he Dhammapada is an ancient Buddhist text that an cipated Freud by thousands of years. It says that what you are now is the result of what you were. What you will be tomorrow will be the result of what you are now. he consequences of an evil mind will follow you like the cart follows the ox that pulls it. he consequences of a puried mind will follow you like your own shadow. No one can do more for you than your own puried mind no parent, no rela ve, no friend, no one. A well-disciplined mind brings happiness. hats the solu on to the world problems. 10

Somewhere On the roof of an ancient building Sits a stone gargoyle How en y him! He is the ery epitome Of steadfastness and equanimity (Though fearsome in appearance, know he is harmless.) Come what may, He remains unperturbed. inter snows chill him, Spring rains wet him, Summer sun warms him, Autumn winds blow around him, Yet he keeps his seat. No ma er what, He is not disturbed Fire burns him, Air buets him, ater washes him, Yet he is as steadfast as the Earth From which he is made. But look again! Perhaps he is not so steadfast a er all. Like all things in this uni erse, Busy electrons whirl within him. Like all things in this uni erse, He is already crumbling, decaying, eroding, Returning to the Earth from which he came. Let me respec ully remind you, r. argoyle, Don t waste me!

MAGIC
Zachariah de la Torre (Okeechobee, FL)
Some people would say that there is no magic. That we only live in the reality of our senses. I would say that these persons live in delusion. Myriad delusions. And all the while, myriad dharmas stare right at them. WAKE UP! If you dont believe in magic, please tell me how you really got here

Natural Instincts
Willie E. Campbell, III (St. Gabriel, LA)
You are you, a unique individual. Only by walking, only by living your life, will you nd the Way. This is something of great value. (From The Spiritual Path: Buddha, Zen, Tao, Tantra, by Osho) There are animals trained to serve humansdogs, certain breeds of primates, cats, birdsand it is a most unique rela onship at that. Figure that these creatures are sort of tuned in to our (human) mental and emo onal energies, our a tudes and personali es. So much so that they are able to, by ins nct, grasp our most subtle ways of conduct be it our tones of voice, bodily gestures, and amazingly, they can pick up when certain elements about our nature are about to change before the change occurs. Intriguing phenomenon this is. Humans too are able to intuit things about other humans. Unfortunately, we dont o en take advantage of these natural gi s. Worst of all, we mys fy them and treat them as something apart from our natural way of being, calling these natural aspects of our character ESP. Then breaking ESP down into its smallest parts, separa ng the parts into smaller parts, trea ng them all as if they are something outside of our natural makeup. The fact is that clairvoyance, clairaudience, telekinesis, and other gi s are as natural to us as is blinking our eyes, or breathing. One would think that since these are natural for our construct as human beings, then we should have li le trouble being much more in tune with one another, to the point that we are fully capable of pu ng forth a much more focused eort in recognizing when our fellow human beings are not receiving our compassionate best. o our a tudes aect non-human beings (viz plants and animals)? What about inanimate objects like stones, soil, water air, houses, vehicles, etc.? Simple answer Yes! to all of the above. es. And since we know that our a tudes aect inanimate objects, how much so do our a tudes have an impact on our fellow human brothers and sisters. Think of it something is seriously wrong with us when we are kinder, gentler, and more though ul of plants and animals than we are toward our fellow man minding how we conduct ourselves in the presence of animals, but caring less about our conduct in the presence of other human beings. ot displaying any nega ve a tudes so as not to provoke dogs, cats, bears, moose, and snakes, yet quick are we to nd the most hur ul, insul ng, and dehumanizing things to say, do, and feel toward other humansfeeling jus ed in doing sounder the false no on that such muck is for their own good. Humanity con nues to grow in our understanding of compassion. One of the areas we are sort of uctua ng in is our understanding of the interconnectedness of all beings. This is not an easy thing to realize with the depth of a Buddha, Guru, Christ, or an Avatar. And, unlike the bears, the alligators, tortoises, and cockroaches, even though we are born with every ins nct necessary for basic survival, as our caretakers, friends, and life coaches get hold of our minds, we change into something we later need to learn that we are not and are not born to be. The struggle to truly awaken to the god-sparks we are is a long and arduous adventure that somehow has a way of introducing us to what we look like when we are not at our human best. Mainly, when that less-than-the-best part of us has digressed into something horrendous, and unpleasing to look upon with our own eyes. Ins nc vel , we just know we are much be er than the way we choose to mistreat others. Like the bears, the poodles, billy goats, and pigeons, were born just as we are made to be. Human nature doesnt change, We change and twist in our minds what nature unashamedly is. Another (and most honorable) gi we are born with is compassion. We are born blessed with love and trust for others. With care and concern for the feelings of others. With considera on for the eects our thoughts, words, and deeds can have on one another. There is always that something inside of us that tells us when we are conduc ng ourselves less than our human best toward others and ourselves. There are no magical incanta ons, spells, and no amount of prayer necessary to just stop, look, listen, and feel before we think speak and act toward others. A genuine love for our fellow man is encoded in the universe abroad and the universe within our beings. Were growing, and ge ng be er. I think were growing closer, and ge ng closer to there. Our original nature. Brotherhood. Universal Brotherhoodnot just as a concept but a fact of life, living, and being. Peace, Love, and Blessings.

11

LUCK
sat on a corner last night and discussed poli cs with a drunken derelict And couldnt believe his answers to the worlds problems actually made sense Are those who feel the pain the only ones to understand its suering? A single mother pregnant once again must sell her body and work dead-end jobs to support her kids While her signicant other sits in prison for trying to illegally support his family A soldier laying in a bunker, covered with natures surroundings ust commi ed murder with his military-issued highpowered assault rie He did this without thinking or wondering why ust following ordersSir, Yes Sir When he comes home he wishes he didnt because of the lack of state assistance The messed up economy, these crazy dreams of death The state refuses to help him, or help him help himself He then becomes the drunken derelict was discussing poli cs with who had all the answers Found in homelessness, sorrow, and disturbed reality, hopelessness, a bo le and death Could you believe his luck? by The Convicted Poet (Myron Stebbins) e-mail: convictedpoet@gmail.com ConvictedPoet on YouTube -

quanimity

y u an -

TIBET
Winged horse, hear my prayers. Mother Himalaya our homeland lays at your feet. Lungta, travel far and wide for all ears, Announce to all those who have ears to hear. The boots are on our backs, whips that tear. We are a people who know no violence or fear. Oppressors hide behind a veil of peace and compassion. Our blood stains their hands. How can we have peace when genocide is in fashion?

12