On the other side of cowardice is bravery.

February 22, 2011

Renunciation and Daring
“What the warrior renounces is anything in his experience that is a barrier between himself and others. In other words, renunciation is making yourself more available, more gentle and open to others.

The situations of fear that exist in our lives provide us with stepping stones to step over our fear. On the other side of cowardice is bravery. If we step over properly, we can cross the boundary from being cowardly to being brave. We may not discover bravery right away. Instead, we may find a shaky tenderness beyond our fear. We are still quivering and shaking, but there is tenderness, rather than bewilderment.

Tenderness contains an element of sadness, as we have discussed. It is not the sadness of feeling sorry for yourself or feeling deprived, but it is a natural situation of fullness. You feel so full and rich, as if you were about to shed tears. Your eyes are full of tears, and the moment you blink, the tears will spill out of your eyes and roll down your cheeks. In order to be a good warrior, one has to feel this sad and tender heart. If a person does not feel alone and sad, he cannot be a warrior at all. The warrior is sensitive to every aspect of phenomena – sight, smell, sound, feelings. He appreciates everything that goes on in his world as an artist does. His experience is full and extremely vivid. The rustling of the leaves and the sounds of raindrops on his coat are very loud. Occasional butterflies fluttering around him may be almost unbearable because his is so sensitive. Because of his sensitivity, the warrior can then go further in developing his discipline. He begins to learn the meaning of renunciation.

In the ordinary sense, renunciation is often connected with asceticism. You give up the sense pleasures of the world and embrace an austere spiritual life in order to understand the higher meaning of existence. In the Shambhala context, renunciation is quite different. What the warrior renounces is anything in his experience that is a barrier between himself and others. In other words, renunciation is making yourself more available, more gently and open to others. Any hesitation about opening yourself to others is removed. For the sake of others, you renounce your privacy…p. 66

In order to overcome selfishness, it is necessary to be daring. It is as though you are dressed in your swimsuit, standing on the diving board with a pool in front of you, and you ask yourself: “Now what?” The obvious answer is” “Jump.” That is daring. You might wonder if you will sink or hurt yourself if you jump. You might. There is no insurance, but it is worthwhile jumping to find out what will happen. The student warrior has to jump. We are so accustomed to accepting what is bad for us and rejecting what is good for us. We are attracted to our cocoons, our selfishness, and we are afraid of selflessness, stepping beyond ourselves. So in order to overcome our hesitation about giving up our privacy, and in order to commit ourselves to others’ welfare, some kind of leap is necessary.” p. 68

Chögyam Trungpa

[Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior]


Warriorship here does not refer to making war on others.

February 20, 2011

“Aggression is the source of our problems, not the solution.

Here the word “warrior” is taken from the Tibetan pawo, which literally means “one who is brave.” Warriorship in this context is the tradition of human bravery, or the tradition of fearlessness. The North American Indians had such a tradition of wisdom and it also existed in South American Indian societies. The Japanese ideal of the samurai also represented a warrior tradition of wisdom, and there has been principles of enlightened warriorship in Western Christian societies as well. King Arthur is a legendary example of warriorship in the Western tradition, and great rulers in the Bible, such as King David, are examples of warriors common to both the Jewish and Christian traditions. On our planet earth there have been many fine examples of warriorship.

The key to warriorship and the first principle of Shambhala vision is not being afraid of who you are. Ultimately, that is the definition of bravery: not being afraid of yourself. Shambhala vision teaches that, in the face of the world’s great problems, we can be heroic and kind at the same time. Shambhala vision is the opposite of selfishness. When we are afraid of ourselves and afraid of the seeming threat the world presents, then we become extremely selfish. We want to build our own little nests, our own cocoons, so we can live by ourselves in a secure way.” p.28

[Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior]


The only tyrant I accept in this world is the voice within.

December 25, 2010

Mohandas Gandhi 1869 – 1948

[Of Sound and Vision]


The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

November 11, 2010

Armistice Day


Betrayals are remembered

October 13, 2010

Memories do not die. These stories exist beyond time; are passed from warrior father to warrior son.

They look dead but are waiting in silence, in solitude, in solidarity:  like a dormant tree in winter.

They act, show their vitality when the time is ripe, when spring beckons.

When the proper invocation and legitimate authority is present [click here].


(false) Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

September 16, 2010

Is preying on a military  family’s post-service vulnerability the sign of insincerity per se?

From a New York Times classified ad:

Come join a network that has pioneered and led the industry for 30 years. The UPS Store is the #1 Business and Postal Services Franchise for the 20th consecutive year (2010 Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 500 Franchise List). The UPS Store is the #1 most popular franchise with veterans in the IFA’s Vet-Fran Program (2008 International Franchise Association). With over 4300 The UPS Store and Mail Boxes Etc. locations nationwide, our network continues to lead the market.

Baiting the Fish: Note how Cialdini’s “Weapons of Influence” are used to lure pensions and life savings capital:

  1. New York Times (authority of a traditional media outlet),
  2. Entrepreneur magazines’ Top 500 franchises (McMedia: authority for the unskilled and unaware),
  3. 30 years… (franchisor success means individual franchisees will succeed, see Dunning-Kruger above),
  4. Vet-Fran program (liking: acceptance, a member of the fraternity, endorsed/vetted by the “government”),
  5. International Franchise Association (expertise/authority, funded 100% by franchisors and their friends), and are especially
  6. vulnerable to the authority siren song from 2 directions: vivid, personal success born from supporting a strict command-control structure  while lacking the airy-fairy concept of discerning legitimate from illegitimate sources of authority.

Vets believe very strongly that people get what they deserve in this life (Just World fallacy) and would, therefore, strongly but heavily discount any non-authority based advice on a pre-sale basis. Going on “civvy street” is one of  life’s major transitions involving new/strange: work, employer, location, one/two incomes, schools, income levels, physical/mental challenges, diminished family/friend support.

Setting the Hook: The next marketing stage is an “exclusive” invitation to a very sophisticated, one-day seminar at head office (a “discovery day”). Just like in a gambling casino, these environments are very, very well thought-out, for one side’s benefit only. A real investigative journalist (John Lorinc) published an excellent description of this circus in a real media outlet (The Globe and Mail) in 2000. The Sure Thing describes the extremely effective individual and social psychology that allows predatory franchising to flourish in plain sight.

I’m glad to know great spirits like Peter Thomas or Carol Cross who, by making wise choices for their future, help me make mine.

Samuel Johnson 1709 – 1784


Capable, generous men do not create victims. They nurture them.

July 27, 2010

Julian Assange, TED video


Whoever coined the term “Buyer Beware” was probably bleeding from the asshole.

July 26, 2010

caveat emptor: Let the buyer beware

Be careful of the clowns and fools. And the Irish.

On Baby Boomers and Everyone Else:

The Baby Boomers: whiny, narcissistic, self-indulgent people with a simple philosophy: “Gimme that! It’s mine!” These people were given everything, everything was handed to them, and they took it all, sold it all; sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, and they stayed loaded for twenty years and had a free ride. But now they’re staring down the barrel of middle-age burnout, and they don’t like it. They don’t like it, so they’ve become self-righteous, and they wanna make things hard for young people. They tell em abstain from sex, say no to drugs. As for rock ‘n’ roll, they sold that for television commercials a long time ago so they can buy pasta machines and StairMasters and soybean futures. You know something? They’re cold, bloodless people. It’s in their slogans, it’s in their rhetoric: “No pain, no gain,” “Just do it,” “Life is short, play hard,” “Shit happens, deal with it,” “Get a life.” These people went from “Do your own thing” to “Just say no!” They went from “Love is all you need” to “Whoever winds up with the most toys, wins”, and they went from cocaine to Rogaine. And you know something? They’re still counting grams, only now it’s fat grams. And the worst of it is we have to watch the commercials on TV for Levi’s loose-fitting jeans and fat-ass Docker pants because these degenerate, yuppie, Boomer cocksuckers couldn’t keep their hands off the croissants and the Häägen-Dasz and their big fat asses have spread all over and they have to wear fat-ass Docker pants. Fuck these Boomers, fuck these yuppies… and fuck everyone, now that I think of it.

George Carlin 1937 – 2008


Russia has a heritage of brilliant warriors

June 10, 2010

You have to know how to defeat fascists.

People of strength recognize each other.

I see war glory of the past in the feats of my grandkids!


Hold on lightly, keep the poo in the root zone

June 9, 2010

I had occasion to became acquainted with something called a rototiller as a child (not exactly as shown).

With practice, you learn not to hold on too tightly when turning shit into the soil.

If you resist the forward motion too much, the machine buries itself and the horse shit is mixed too deeply (ie. below the vegetable’s root zone).

Kind of like on every journey throughout life.


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