What’s What goes “Upstate”

Summer Retreat 2005

While recently in Palyul Retreat Center I was able to distribute a whole bunch of free copies of my book What’s What, asking people for the reviews. Many took a copy and I am very happy with this, if later on any of you forget to make a review or dislike making a review, this is still just perfectly fine.

A Lama who I bow to the feet of, a master of appearances and realizations when I asked them if it is alright to leave a copy asked me if I have an extra copy to spare…

-Simplicity beyond any idea of simplicity. I just pray to be even a little bit like that and because I seem to have seen a master like this, maybe my life is not completely wasted.

Now several people had surprizing rejection towards taking a fee copy or a copy at all.

Some one said they do not read books.

Some one said they do not know English.

And some one said they object to the idea of a fee copy.

Some other person expressed  that was very hard for them to reach an understanding in regards to who wrote the book and why. –I kept saying that I wrote it but do not like the idea of saying that I did “write” it. Rather that I “made” it because it came about in somewhat organic way, is based on talking to people online and in person and does not establish my understanding as anything special, but rather shows off my willingness to write, comment, think out loud and to think of these as serious and not serious in same time, but possibly worthy of a book.

As example of a conversation that I heard, It is based on a quotation passed online. It goes something like this.

In order to understand what this is about one has to know definitions of:

Theism and Atheism, these can be summed up as “Belief in a solid, substantial god or entity “above” reality of this life” and conversely in the case of Atheism rejection of belief in any such entity. So, for example to say “Buddhism is atheist” is fine because it is possible to term Buddhism as religion, philosophy, spirituality, discipline of meditation, anything along these lines. But within this “Buddhist doctrine” (Buddhist as in awakening) we do not teach or learn of any entity like that, it is simply not there in no way similar to the idea of a “god” or creator.

Then to the discussion:

Some one said “Can you imagine, I heard that Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche said that if an Act of Buddhist Refuge is uninformed it is a theistic action!”

-My thoughts on this, within Buddhism we have a very important idea of learning and getting used to new information and new points of view on already available information.

It can be done in a complex way of memorization of whole books or in a simple way of meditating on a single point.

So, it is very likely a possibility that “Act of Buddhist Refuge” is not really explained all that clearly in common, every day language beyond offering of water bowls to the images of awakening or bowing down.

And that is my selfish “claim to fame” I somehow would like to not be a bridge builder but that very bridge that will bring people that are moving towards learning contemplation and meditation on what other much greater scholars and practitioners have already made available in many languages, all conveniently available everywhere, all you need is an interest and an open mind.

So, please support the book by getting a copy, recommending it, reviewing it, and obviously supporting your coffee mug with, as I said earlier, it is of that perfect size to do the job.


Then there is an attempt to write at least one more book, that speaks to the today and here is the fundraiser for that: