Drinking Alcohol taught me how to fly
Then it took away the sky....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


"Monkey Talk" is the hundreds of thoughts 
my mind keeps chattering to me.
It keeps me from what is real
-or even what is not real.


One of the most exciting adventures I have undertaken (and yes, there have been a few--grin!) began Monday January 31, 2011. Occasion was the first of a five-Monday series of two-hour sessions (classes) presenting an introduction to Buddhism. Presenter expected 18-20 people might show up. Two hundred got in line to register that first early Monday morning. Fortunately--hate standing in line--I had pre registered. At the end of class time, I am ready for two more hours.


For the few who might happen by here and read this, some will no doubt say, "Steve does not know what he's talking about". And that is entirely correct. I do not fancy myself a teacher--unless you wish to learn the art of violin playing--grin! But my enthusiasm cannot be denied its voice about a topic I am loving. Buddha. I am embarking on a new voyage, same ship, new trip!


After two meetings I'm hooked, there is no more accurate word. From the start I sensed focusing would be my problem. According to what I've learned so far (in order to meditate) focus is 'out', an empty mind is 'in'. While practicing to meditate, I need a mantra, a word to repeat. A word which means absolutely nothing will be perfect...so if anyone has a suggestion, tell me please. You'd think I--of all Peeps--could easily conjure a "nothing" word, right?--grin! (Go on, think about it!)

A mantra is helpful to relieve my mind of everything, every thought, desire, sense, every constriction of place, time, and accouterments.

OM   MA   NI   PAD   ME   HUM   is a mantra I learned, pronunciation:
ohm mah nee pahd  may hoomng

Again..."Monkey Talk" refers to all those committees in the mind which go in a thousand directions, which must be hushed, for meditation needs a clear mind--more aptly, an 'empty' mind

There is so much more, but I must write what really amazed me thus far. Class #3, Monday, we will be introduced to Quantum Physics (simple form!), in order to better understand Buddha. 

IMAGINE! Two thousand-five-hundred years BC, there was no scientific knowledge as we claim today, yet the great thinkers--who did not know of protons, neutrons, electrons, quarks, etc., really DID know, in their special way of knowing--the enlightenment. 

They knew that everything--EVERYTHING--is connected, that our known 'world' (neighborhood?) is but a part of all else, unknown. How about that?

I have not blogged for several days, just cannot get away from this computer. I'm following every thread, every link concerning Buddha. From time to time I'll keep you posted, if anyone is interested in a 'beginner's' thoughts on this topic.

Our presenter claims he is not a teacher--but he IS--grin!  At one point he was describing what we will learn as we progress further than his 'classes', and I said to myself--even wrote in my notes--"Why, THIS is about my Alcoholics Anonymous Steps, six, seven, eight, nine and ten! How about THAT?"

Good love,


  1. sounds like you are on quite the journey steve...glad to see that it has grabbed your heart...i have studied a little, but sounds like this is a great primer...wish i had a nothing word for you...hmmm....

  2. How about (nihil)
    A Latin word which means "nothing" or "nothingness"; hence nihilists, who do not believe in anything and deny existence.

    I just found it , Do not know if you like it

  3. I am not a Buddhist, but I have been attracted to the teachings as well. I have no patience for meditation. Being still, does not hold any interest for me. I wish you good luck, on this journey.

  4. Do you know that Buddha was an Indian? Most people think Buddha was from China.

  5. We have several Buddhist temples here.

  6. there is a wonderful book that helped me when learning to meditate....

    A Journey to Awakening by Ram Dass

    Very good tips, techniques, and guidance...

    I met a Buddhist Monk many years ago, at a time in my life when my mind was broken and the world was failing me... so I thought...

    Many of the concepts and practices saved me... literally. There is a great on line magazine called Tricycle, and a dharma ring also that has great resources and information...

    Once I got the hang of meditation I was able to apply to all my daily activities.... and my favorite saying comes from Sai Baba:

    Dance! Dance! Dance! (the answer to every problem... don't worry, it helps nothing. so Dance)

  7. Oh my I love that painting! Wow-
    I'm so glad for you- this new journey!
    There are as many paths in to the practice of meditation, -Buddhism- as flowers...
    You know the program has given us some very good mantra's.I shut up the chatter (gradually) with slogans/serenity prayer; and sometimes just "Peace"...The wonderful practice st meetings, of pouring/dumping 'everything inside' out onto the floor and emptying out so I could listen!
    I do hope you will continue to share your discoveries with us as you go on! -Take what you like and leave the rest-

  8. The 12 Steps and the Eightfold Path go hand in hand :)

  9. Sounds a little like my post. :) One word, one mantra. Thank you for the quick lesson and thank you for the uplifting message on my blog. Ohhh and I only wish I knew how to play the violin. It's such a beautiful instrument. It makes the loveliest music.

  10. Steve - my first visit here. I will return. Isn't it funny that what I was afraid to pursue in my youth no longer gives me pause. I shied away from Eastern teachings when younger for fear of upsetting the family apple cart. I'm so glad you are feeling renewed by this new part of your journey.
    PS Re: the "results" from In Over My Head that I was referring to were from the photography class I had taken last weekend. I love your guess of "Grapes of Bath"! Very funny.

  11. The Scottish vernacular for 'nothing' is 'nu-hun'. It's a word that teenagers here use a lot to match their numpty-heads!

    Seriously though, Steve, a friend or two of mine are now Buddhists. One left Blogland to commit more to it but the change in the one that still keeps in touch is phenomenal. Only Buddhists reach and feel true contentment. What a fabulous road you're walking down....

  12. Steve, I have something for you on my blog.

  13. steve, there is a saying by a wonderful teacher who taught in the states for many years: "The bad news is we have fallen off a cliff. The good news is there is no ground." by Trungpa...

    i am happy to read you have embarked on this journey into mindfulness and think you will find much to ponder in the teachings.. i have studied Buddhism for decades and it has saved my life more than once. What school are studying or is it a basic meditation class?...as for a mantra, my teacher taught me that the first should be, and should be means nothing, Ohm Au Hum while focusing upon the crown, throat and heart, over and over like a circle. In zen, you can count your breaths to 10 and each time you find your mind wandering from it's counting, you simply start again. One of the reasons I do not practice Zen... ;) I studied Tibetan Buddhism. Enjoy. xox

  14. BRIAN!
    Love your word: "hmmmmm"...Thanks!

    After four years of H.S. Latin,how come I didn't think of that? Could it be those four years were 60 years ago? Hmmmm? Thank you!

    I do "nothing" and "being still" well! Until the first cup of coffee, that is...

    Yes, I knew Buddha was Indian--Cherokee, I believe? Do not correct me if I'm wrong--grin!

    Thank you for a very supportive comment(s). I found the book "Journey to Awakening"--Dass and I'll get it on my Kindle. I'm gonna go to your blog and see if there's more of this stuff there...

    You each have given me encouragement to continue this pursuit of (I don't know what...yet!). Thank you SO much. Funny how some People accuse, saying, "You are not needing that kind of teachings now! etc." or "Looking for a way out, heh heh?"

    You both let me realize I am NOT on an errant course. Thank you!

    Yes, I was at your blog, and inspired to continue. Do you know, today is the FIRST time when someone asked me if I am a writer, and I answered, "Yes!" What a thrill for me to just say that, no matter WHAT others say--or not!

    I'm so glad you came in today, a spirit-lifting writer you are! Thanks.

    You call it a fabulous road--I agree, even though I know (aha) nothing!Or "nu-hun"--grin!

    What you have on your blog for me...what a surprise, really! And what a WONDERFUL gift, and I'm having trouble controlling my emotions--and I 'was' trying to learn Buddha!!!
    Thank you, thank you. You and God!

    Love that saying--LOVE it! And I tend toward Tibetan Buddha also, so does my teacher, so that's where I'll go. I'm a 'follower'...again!
    Thank YOU for all your kindnesses, believe me!

  15. your enthusiasm here is so great to read...thanks Steve...it makes me GRIN :)

  16. It sounds interesting. I have thought about going to the Temple here for classes.

  17. Getting back to the Tuesday night Sangha is on my list of to-do, now that I'm letting go of other things.