Category Archives: Buddhism

The age of the 14th Dalai Lama


Yesterday His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama celebrated his 75th birthday.

I heard this on the radio yesterday and it got me to thinking… what a tremendous age we have been living in.   In just my lifetime (the past 40+ years) there have been giants of humanity that have had a positive influence on our world. (e.g. Martin Luther King Jr, Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Stephen Hawking and the list could go on of people in science, politics and faith)

I few years ago I had the chance to hear His Holiness speak at Rice University here in Houston.  It was great. Such a wonderful talk he gave on his usual topic… compassion.

An interesting side story… while standing in line I was right behind Dr Robert Thurman, who is a highly regarded Buddhist scholar and supposedly personal friend of the Dalai Lama.

I said, “Dr Thurman?”
“Yes?”
“I… uh…”
“Yes?”
“I just wanted to say hello. I saw your interview in that movie called ‘One’. And well… hi. [and i stuck out my hand]”
He said, “hello,” and shook my hand.

Nice guy, Dr Thurman.

Anyway… that’s it. Happy Birthday Dalai Lama wherever you are.

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The Buddha a Deist?


I’ve always loved this quote from the Buddha.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.       ~ Buddha

It is similar to a quote by one of the Deist Saints (ok, so Deists don’t have a hierarchy of saints but if we did this guy would be on the list)

It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe.    ~Thomas Paine

So how ’bout that!  Who knew. Ok so perhaps my title should be the other way around… Deist saint really a Buddhist.
Either way, my Buddhist and Deist tendencies reinforced.

Happy Birthday Gautama Buddha


The paragraph below comes from a link at the History Channel’s website.

On this day, Buddhists celebrate the commemoration of the birth of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, thought to have lived in India from 563 B.C. to 483 B.C. Actually, the Buddhist tradition that celebrates his birthday on April 8 originally placed his birth in the 11th century B.C., and it was not until the modern era that scholars determined that he was more likely born in the sixth century B.C., and possibly in May rather than April.

Yesterday PBS aired a documentary on the life of the Buddha and his teachings.  I have been enjoying it immensely on YouTube.  Below is the 1st of 19 parts TheBuddhaPBS youtube channel has posted.

A life changed in 30 days


I’ve been meaning to write about this for awhile but kept feeling like I needed more time to grasp any meaning or to analyze what happened but I don’t know if there really is enough time to comprehend entirely the how and the why.  So a little more than a year later here’s my take on what happened to my dad and his wife and how their lives were upended.

You know… it can happen so quickly.   Your life as you know it completely changed; unmistakenly different from it was just the day before.  In the case of my dad and stepmother… 30 days.  It took  exactly 30 days for the transformation of their lives to be different to a point that it will never be what it was before.

In December of 2008, my dad’s wife of 30 years went to visit her brother near Dallas.  An important fact I should note is she has a disease that suppresses her immune system.  As a result she needs to be as careful she can about getting near any one who is sick or should cut herself.

Well she wasn’t as careful as she usually is and something got hold of her in December of ’08 that made her very sick.   The bacteria that attacked her body was strong and Continue reading

Jesus a student of Buddhism in Kasmir India?


Not only do I have my Deist side but I also have a Buddhist side to spirituality.  So to hear that Jesus may have been trained by Buddhist monks makes me all giddy inside.

Have any of you ever heard of this idea… that the missing years of Jesus are attributed to him having gone to India and while there, becoming a student of Buddhism.  It’s an interesting notion.

As this clip from a BBC documentary on the subject says, Jesus espoused ideas that were unheard of in Judaism of his time, yet those ideas had been taught by the Buddha 500 years earlier.

I’ve seen Christian websites saying reincarnation is not biblical.   Not being a scholar on 1st century Jewish thought I don’t know if reincarnation was something even conceived during that time but there are passages that hint that the idea was valid.

Along with that there are apparently other ideas from Buddhism that Jesus was trying to incorporate into his reform of Judaism that hadn’t been a part of it that managed to stick in Christianity.  Take a peek at the video below and see what you think.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Happy Diwali y’all


From Wikipedia:

Diwali or Dīpāvali (Sanskrit: a row of lamps[1]) is a significant festival in Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and an official holiday in India.[2] Adherents of these religions celebrate Diwali as the Festival of Lights. They light diyas—cotton string wicks inserted in small clay pots filled with oil—to signify victory of good over the evil within an individual.

And now… a song celebrating Diwali.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

half way through


so my blog hit the one year mark a couple of weeks ago and I posted a little Beatles birthday rendition in honor of that.

So with the blog hitting a milestone I thought I’d spruce things up here a little. Sorry LB… we’ll always be hand twins and like you said… now i can be your big brother. : )

At the beginning of the year i said had a little new year’s list I was hoping I could keep up with.

Well, the music thing has been going along ok. I get out at least once a month and play in public like I wanted to and have even finished a couple of songs I had noodling around in my head after joining a songwriter’s group in The Woodlands, Tx.

I’ve been riding my bike pretty regularly. I’ve really been enjoying getting on the bike the past couple of months. From the start of the year I’ve only put about 250 miles on the road though. That might explain why I haven’t lost any more weight like I said I wanted to do. So I lost about 10 pounds rather quickly but plateaued soon after hitting that mark. But getting on the bike has helped me in the last item on my list.

Walking my spiritual path hasn’t been exactly where I’d like it to be but at least I’ve been keeping the dust out of my little sacred space. Getting on my bike though gives me an hour to kinda get inside my head and think through stuff so that’s good. I step inside the Sacred Space at least enough to keep the plants in there from dying. I’ve been thinking for months I need to take some pics so I can show LB.

Wow, so we’re halfway through ’08. You know… I know what’s gonna happen. Once I get my crap together and turn into an enlightened, very svelte guitar playing god…. 2012 will come around and the whole world will end.

[Deist wonders to himself if 2012 is just hype]

the Pope’s U.S. visit


Well, I’m sure you know by now Pope Benedict XVI is coming over to pay the U.S. a visit.

You know what?….. I didn’t realize he’s been the head honcho, el jeffe, big kahuna, the-buck-stops-here of the Catholic Church for three years now. Time flies when you’re havin fun right.

Well, he isn’t coming to Texas this year. Kinda feel a little snubbed. You know like when your favorite band goes out on tour and they hit a couple of other cities in your state but decide not to swing by your city. Sucks!

I mean c’mon! We have this big new cathedral and everything that cost about a buhzillion dollars to build… well, co cathedral to be more accurate. I heard the reason they call it a co cathedral but I wasn’t really paying attention. Anyway… you’d think he’d want to come take a peek at it. Make sure the hand soap dispensers are working properly in the bathrooms. You know, give it a little test drive. (hee hee hee… holy shit! get it. Pope. bathroom. handsoap. hee hee hee)

Well, so the Pope isn’t coming and we’re missing out here in Texas.

I’m sure the Dalai Lama will swing back by. He came through last year about this time. Maybe he’ll hit the links, too. We’ve got a ton of golf courses in this area. Heck, I’d caddy for him if I could get this deal for sure.

one book meme


ugh…. i’ve been sitting on this meme for so long… sorry John. The Pageless Book (see list of blog peeps to the right) sent this to me almost a month ago. I’m embarrassed to say I’m not much of a reader so I had to push the memory cells into overdrive to try and remember any books I’ve read. That’s kinda why this took so long.

And sooo… here we go.

One book that changed my life.
Arban’s Complete Conservatory Method for Trumpet

It’s the book i used when I first started learning how to play music. It gave a really good foundation as I transitioned into high school and college with music.

I haven’t thought about it in forever.

Continue reading

philosophy from the stoners next door


A couple of houses down I have a neighbor who is for lack of a better label a stoner. The guy next to him is a stoner. And they have a buddy who is over every day.

Every single day.

And every single day they sit in the driveway or (when it’s too cold) in the garage with door open and drink beer and smoke dope.

They wax existential Continue reading