Author: Gerald "Strib" Stribling

Confessions of a Buddhist Super Villain: Buddhism at the Source

  By Gerald Stribling Knowing what matters most, matters most. I had no real intention to study Buddhism and become a Buddhist when I first went to Sri Lanka in 2002. But, immersed in Buddhist culture, I basically couldn’t help myself. I was on a volunteer mission to start up English language learning centers working out of the Buddhist temples surrounding my village. The following summer I resided at a monastery and taught English in their “international college” for 3-8 year olds and the young un-ordained monks, and I played most afternoons with a passel of little orphans. I also...

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Cultivating Fearlessness: Being a Protector Amidst the Violence

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling   Because everything in life is relative, there are no absolutes—even when it comes to the Buddha’s Five Precepts. Are you so committed to Buddhist non-violence that you wouldn’t kill the rabid dog that’s about to bite your daughter? My milieu is the Buddhist Ogichidaa, which is one of the reasons I have never felt really comfortable around most other western Buddhists. These Ogichidaa are mostly men, who are devoted to the tenets of Buddhism, but whose backgrounds, inclinations, experience and training make them the kind of people most other people can’t understand: they...

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Buddhism Shows Us We Can Choose How to React

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling I’ve been reading Stephen Batchelor’s latest book, and probably his magnum opus, After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age (Yale, 2015). By my standards, it’s a pretty important book. I’m reading it very slowly, deconstructing his thesis to contrast with the Pali Dharma I’ve been studying for 15 years, which is also for the most part Batchelor’s dharma as well. At 19 he entered the Dalai Lama’s monastery, studied all the different forms of Buddhism, and finally parted from it as a religious tradition. He became an atheist, and determined to develop...

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What I Have to Show So Far After 42 Years of Meditation

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling   In April 1975 I was working as a security guard before starting graduate school at the University of Louisville. Toting a gun was no big deal for me, as I was a former serviceman. The fall of Saigon that month affected me deeply. The day the NVA rolled their tanks into the former capital of the Republic of South Vietnam, I was standing guard all by myself in a parking lot of a paint manufacturer, listening to the war news on my car radio. I didn’t cry. Instead, I took five of the...

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The Resolution for Hate & Violence is not More Hate & Violence

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling I’ve been a big fan of Daryl Davis since I first heard his story on This American Life maybe 15 years ago. He’s the African-American musician who in 30 years has made friends with hundreds of Ku Klux Klan members. I’ve heard that he plays piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. He was playing in a nightclub somewhere in the deep South, much to the delight of a couple of middle-aged white patrons, who caught his show again the next night, and they approached Davis and told them how much they enjoyed his piano playing. They...

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Buddhism For Dudes