Archive for the ‘Dorje LIng’ Category

Kenny takes a fall

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Yesterday the Buddha was out on the deck of his house chasing Kasha the karmic kitty. He leaned on the railing which – surprise! – gave way. The Buddha did an aerial 360 and fell 12 feet, landing on his back with his legs in the blackberry bramble and his upper body on the deck.

We called 911, and from away off up the island we heard the siren coming and coming and coming. Two attractive women paramedics rushed in and found Kenny reclining in a deep bubble bath, with a lump rising off the back of his head. They sat on the edge of the tub for a full hour as the bubbles dispersed, trying to pursuade Kenny to get into the ambulance so they could take him to the Coast Guard boat which was waiting to take him to the hospital in Campbell River. (more…)

The Babbling Buddha

Monday, July 26th, 2010

The Babbling Buddha built Dorje Ling. Kenny is a failed monk and a drunken saint, now perched unsteadily on the wagon. An infuriating red-haired, red-skinned whirlwind. Dorje Ling is his heart, offered up as a gift of pure love.

Dorje Ling is a wabi-sabi dharma ranch and a tumbledown hostel, a waystation for dharma bums and wanderers. Nail-heads pop out of the greying untreated planks. All of the doors either won’t close or won’t stay open, all of them creak and bang in the wind. Hammer-heads fly off handles, the toaster burns, the shower sputters and stops. Mattresses molder and sag, mugs are chipped, power tools and new cedar planking lie rusting and buckling in the rain. Everything rising and rotting as one, a magnificent study in impermanence. (more…)

Compassion Part 2: what Darla taught me

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

I was struggling with the notion of compassion. How, I wondered, does “may I be free of suffering” lead to compassion? I didn’t understand, how aspiring to alleviate my own suffering, could relieve the suffering of others.

Then one day, as I was sitting up by the Buddha on the hill, a lovely mutt with one floppy ear appeared.

She hung around for a couple of days,  never leaving my side. Eventually I fed her a bowl of mild lentil dahl, which she gobbled up appreciatively – clearly a Buddhist dog, accepting whatever was placed in her bowl. And inevitably, I fell in love with her. But I was certain that on this small island someone would be missing her deeply, and I sternly instructed myself not to get “attached”. I started looking for her owner, and put up a poster at the store and on the local website. And I fed her and hugged her and secretly hoped no one would come to claim her.

But of course, soon enough, a nice man showed up in a pickup truck and Darla, wriggling and licking the man’s face, jumped into the truck and went home.

Fine, I said to myself, that’s good. So it goes. And I went to bed.

When I woke up the next morning, Darla was not on the rug beside my bed. I felt a sharp tug of sadness in my gut and I started berating myself. You idiot, of course the dog is gone, you knew that would happent! Don’t be a baby! Buck up! Look at your beautiful life, people out there are starving and have lost their whole families, who are YOU to feel pain? Attachment, attachment, nyah nyah nyah…And then yet another “I” stepped in and said Hey – whoa! what the fuck, you’re human. You’re lonely. Loneliness is human, you are no different from anyone else. Go ahead. Feel it.

And so I jumped back into the pit, and let myself feel as lonely as can be. I felt that gaping empty unfillable place on the rug, no warm loving body beside the bed, no warm loving body in the bed.  I felt as lonely as anyone who has ever lost a lover or a child. I cried and I cried, for myself and the world, feeling that simple lowest-common-denominator existential aloneness that connects all beings. And then finally I stopped sniffling and blew one last stream of snot into the bushes, and called up Darla’s owner and offered to dog-sit any time. He was very grateful, and said that in fact he needed to go on a trip to Victoria – and so Darla and I spent another great week together, and I felt (for the moment) so much less lonely.

I realized then, that the route to compassion is to look deep enough inside to find the true seed of commonality. Compassionate healing starts with simply accepting the base emotions that make us human, and connect us with all beings. In my moment of sadness and pain I was connected to every person who had ever been sad or hurt, to any degree, for any reason, at any time.

Connectedness is the seed that produces action. And conscious action reduces the sum total of suffering, for ourselves and for others, simultaneously. May I be free of suffering, may all beings be free.

Nothing to show

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

This is what i have to show, for these past five months which passed like water. during this time i have not watched a movie or read a novel, a newspaper or a magazine. have not surfed the Internet, have not listened to music, written many words or painted many pictures. have made very little money and spent very little money. have not started any new projects, or created any tangible legacy.

No words, no artifacts, no pictures. nothing to show, nowhere to go, no one to be.

Unconditional happiness

Friday, September 11th, 2009

This is the goal now: unconditional happiness.

Without money or goods, or property or progeny; without lovers or partners or family or friends. Without accomplishments or monuments or trophies or tributes. Without health or mobility or comfort or rest.

Any or all may arrive and be welcomed.

But I will be happy. I deserve nothing less.

Monk pesto

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

To make Monk Pesto:

1. Find all the pieces of the blender in the shed; clean and reassemble.

2. Stuff into blender:

-Basil grown in a pot from little plants brought by Wendy.
-Parmesan left behind by Shulamit.
-Organic garlic found in the cabin.
-Sunflower seeds from the large bag left by a hostel guest.
-Grainy salt left in a dish by Gaert and Robert.
-Olive oil, from my personal stash.

3. Mush up until oily, thick and fragrant.

4. Repeat 3 times:

Through the goodness of generosity and other virtues,
May I awaken fully in order to serve all beings.

5. Serve. More pasta, anyone?

All the ladies in the house

Friday, August 28th, 2009

The Babbling Buddha draws a stream of wondrous wayward women. They wander up the path, every fourth or fifth in tears – as I was, when i drifted under those prayer flags for the first time. Blinking, slightly shell-shocked. And fuck-it-all, free. I offer them a bed and a cup of tea, and then leave them to weep and unfold.

I came home to find Elena and Apple sitting at the kitchen table, finishing their blackberry-chocolate-chip pancake dinner. They had pitched their big yellow tent on one of the platforms and were almost ready for bed.

The three of us went to the Carrington Bay rave. We watched in awe as the rushing tide between the ocean and the lagoon came to a complete halt, one moment of unearthly stillness, and then – switched direction. Apple squatted on the edge of the dancefloor with me, mesmerized by the girls in flouncy tutus, fur hats and fairy wings, goofing it up with boys in fun-fur pants and spangly ties. She leaned into me and whispered conspiratorially: “it’s like christmas here!”.

This one’s for all the ladies in the house, fuck-it-all free.

All the ladies in the house

Friday, July 31st, 2009

The Babbling Buddha draws a stream of wondrous and wondering women. They wander up the path one by one, every fourth or fifth in tears (like me, when i drifted under those prayer flags for the first time). Blinking, slightly shell-shocked. And fuck-it-all, free.
I came home to meet Elena and Apple sitting at the kitchen table, finishing their blackberry-chocolate-chip pancake dinner. They had pitched their big yellow tent on one of the platforms and were almost ready for bed.

The three of us went to the Carrington Bay rave. We watched in awe as the rushing tide between the ocean and the lagoon came to a complete halt, one moment of unearthly stillness, and then – switched direction. Apple squatted on the edge of the dancefloor with me, mesmerized by the girls in flouncy tutus, fur hats and fairy wings, goofing it up with boys in fun-fur pants and spangly ties. She leaned into me and whispered conspiratorially: “it’s like christmas here!”.

This one’s for all the ladies in the house, fuck-it-all free.


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