Category: Buddhism for Dudes

Cut Yourself Some Slack Because Compassion Starts with You.

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling   In the Metta Sutta, Buddhism talks about “loving kindness,” but the term is too much flowers-and-home-baked-cookies for my tastes. Someone else (I think it was Sylvia Boorstein) suggested instead using the phrase “unbounded friendliness” as a translation of the Pali word metta. That gets us away from, you know, touching and sharing feelings, and other things dudes don’t do. As a chant, the Metta Sutta begins along the lines of “May I be free from danger. May I be free from mental suffering. May I be free from physical suffering. May I be...

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It All Starts with Empathy.

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling   One of the most awesome physical specimens of human being I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing was a dark-skinned African-American man named Dante, who was from Louisiana and was in my training platoon at Parris Island, South Carolina, in 1970. Dante had the makings of a fine Marine. He was impressively strong and durable. None of the physical challenges of boot camp presented any problem to him. He was intelligent and had leadership potential. There was only one problem. Dante couldn’t read. We were cannon fodder in those days. A Marine in 1970...

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Is Death the End of Life? (I Mean That as a Joke)

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling   *This is the fifth and final installment of the series “Freedom from Fear” written exclusively for The Tattooed Buddha. Mark Twain called it “The wanton insult of old age.” And Buddhism sure doesn’t offer much comfort for it. Even metaphysically, where believers in the creator God and a huge number of “Pure Land” Buddhists believe that death brings eternity in paradise, the traditional Buddhist believers in samsara feel they are destined for re-birth into another cycle of suffering. I don’t care for either of those options—they both suck. If I go to heaven, will I be...

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Living Fearless: The 5 Slogans in Buddhism.

  By Gerald Stribling   Cheryl Giles, of the Harvard Divinity School, quotes Pema Chödrön in an article she wrote that is included in the anthology The Arts of Contemplative Care (Wisdom, 2012). Chödrön, in turn, was relating a story from the Tibetan tradition of a monk giving advice to a woman about ending her own suffering so that she could devote her life to the alleviation of the suffering of others. This is accomplished, the monk advised, by becoming fearless. And in order to become fearless, the monk advised her to “work with five slogans.” Reveal your hidden faults....

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Thought is Cheap.

  By Gerald “Strib” Stribling   *This is the third installment of Gerry Stribling’s “Freedom from Fear” series, exclusively for The Tattooed Buddha Even the most profound thinkers go nuts if they can’t get their minds off things. It’s why President Herbert Hoover used to go fly-fishing in a suit and tie. As you teach yourself that the majority of your thoughts are ephemeral brain farts that can be dismissed as annoyances rather than acting emotionally on them (recall “beating yourself up” in the last section), you have begun the process of objectifying and observing your thoughts. It’s the...

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Buddhism For Dudes

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