Author: Gerald "Strib" Stribling

How Visiting a Sacred Temple Reminded Me of My Time in the Marines

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling There is a small city high in the central mountains of Sri Lanka, a place that is arguably (mostly by Sri Lankans) the spiritual center of Buddhism. It’s called Kandy, pronounced “candy.” Since the Sinhalese language does not use stressed syllables, one could put on airs, I suppose, and call it Kan-DEE. In its enormous main temple constructed of white marble, a sarcophagus made of solid silver contains an ornate box in which resides the most sacred artifact in Buddhism: the Buddha’s molar. The place is called the Temple of the Sacred Tooth. I...

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Being a Buddhist Grandpa

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling Since I used to be a Kindergarten teacher, I have known many little girls, and in particular, Asian little girls. I have a Buddhist Sunday school full of them. Like Mark Twain, I unabashedly associate with little girls, because they’re the best company there one can find. And now I have my own little cadre of granddaughters—three of them, in fact. All hens, no cocks. A lot of times I have a hard time maintaining my Buddhist composure when they’re around, and sometimes I lose it altogether, and that makes me feel bad. What kind...

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Wanna Be a Buddhist? Put Down the Books & Go Live Buddhism

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling Man, if I had a dollar for every time somebody’s said to me that “you have to be an intellectual to get Buddhism,” I would have enough money for a case of beer. I laugh in their face and point to myself, “Do I look like an intellectual to you?” I used to be a farm hand, and broke my back doing 60-pound pours of corrosive resistant plastic at 550 degrees when I was a United Steelworker. The work was so hard and dangerous I joined the Marines to get away from it. The...

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Boot Camp Happiness Training for the Mind (Because You Can Train for Happy)

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling   Buddhist happiness isn’t like getting-laid happy, or first-drivers-license happy, or even my-wife-just-had-twins happy. I hate to keep harping about my short, uneventful two years in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, but the parallels between Buddhist and Marine Corps philosophies are striking. I’ve joked before about the two most formative times in my life, which happened in all-male environments where everybody wore the same outfits. Buddhist happy is kind of like being, or having been, a Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine. No one gets to wear the EGA but us....

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I’m Right, You’re Wrong: Buddhism & Right Thinking

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling   My first car was a 1964 Chevrolet Impala. It was a dandy. I loaned it to my fiancee in the summer of 1972 (she wrecked it), but until then it was parked outside my barracks and used only for road trips and occasional runs into the movie theater in town when they had “skin-flick Fridays” at midnight. Once, I had a contingent of three other Marines in the Chevy, headed from our duty station for a five-day liberty to Louisville and southern Indiana, to see our families and girlfriends. It was after one...

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Buddhism For Dudes