Gerald “Strib” Stribling is the author of Buddhism for Dudes: A Jarhead’s Field Guide to Mindfulness (Wisdom Publications, 2015). His past incarnations have included farm hand, steelworker, U.S. Marine, elementary school teacher, and social services professional. Strib volunteered to teach English to children in Sri Lanka as a personal response to 9-11. There he studied with some of the most highly revered monks in Theravada Buddhism. During three of his seven months in the island nation, he actually resided in a Buddhist monastery.
He wrote Buddhism for Dudes as a not-so-subtle, basic examination of the essence of Buddhist philosophy. It’s short and funny and to the point. “Way too much Buddhist information is too complicated to wade through, and some of it is fairyland voodoo, full of metaphysical improbabilities. Buddhism isn’t a religion, it’s a way to live a happy life. This is not hard stuff to understand.”
Stribling writes a blog called Buddhism for Tough Guys. “There are lots of tough guy Buddhists out there willing to take a bullet for anybody. One of their mottoes is ‘Just because I am a person who loves peace doesn’t mean that I have forgotten how to be violent’.” He once broke up an assault with a little kitchen broom. “It’s my best story,” he says.
The secret to understanding Buddhist ethics (according to the Buddha’s elevator speech) is that they all spring from one ethical foundation---harmlessness. Abstaining from killing or harming others (“Do not do evil; only do good”) [...]
In the Marine Corps we had a vulgar saying to denote people packed closely together: asshole to bellybutton. I really gained an appreciation for the terminology after the Temple of the Sacred Tooth. [...]