Category: Buddhism for Dudes

Thoughts on Christmas from a Grumpy Buddhist

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling I don’t like Christmas, never did like Christmas. My kids used to get me drunk to get me to help put up the Christmas tree. When I was young, Christmas used to make me feel lonely, and after I got married in 1972, Christmas was full of relatives. I couldn’t get away from them. Lots and lots of relatives—mostly relatives by marriage. My parents and sister and I, in the olden time, were a tight little group. Presents were purchased at the PX wherever dad was stationed, unless he was in Korea or Vietnam....

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The Zen of Despicable Me (and How to be Happy)

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling   My granddaughter Oona Pearl and I have a tradition of watching Despicable Me II whenever we’re alone together. For one thing, my two oldest granddaughters and my step-granddaughter are the spitting images of Margo, Edith and Agnes (Oona is Edith), and I closely resemble El Macho. I howl with laughter every time Edith and Agnes use automatic weapons to blast the bad minions with blobs of jelly. And who can forget the minion poetry reading that preceded Lucy and Gru’s wedding—the best sendup of the artsy-fartsy world yet. And then there’s that song:...

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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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Buddhism For Dudes