Thoughts on Buddhism on amazon

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On auspicious 25th day of the 12th month of the lunar earth dog year What’s What has gone into 2nd edition, under new title “Thoughts on Buddhism” and it is bigger by about 50 pages as well.

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/172391083X

e-book: https://www.amazon.com/Thoughts-Buddhism-Stories-ebook/dp/B07N8SZV3H

Preface to the second edition

This volume was not planned but came together from various writing here and there, on the blogs and on social media. Then, when I saw that material accumulating is starting to look more and more as if there is enough for a book, the book came about. Initially as What’s What, 1st edition through Createspace Publishing in June of 2016.

thoughts_on_buddhism_on_amazonAs of autumn of 2018 Createspace is merging into Kindle Direct Publishing and it looks appropriate to update What’s What with a few pages in addition for the new, 2nd edition.

So, meanwhile, whole two years came and went, while life presented a very rare opportunity of almost retreat like, very restful time and it does not feel like 2016 was long ago and similarly not really yesterday, not anymore.

Special mention for Orgyen Cho Dzong Sangha of upstate New York, where for first time I was able to join in with Kyabje Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche, family and disciples at the end of summer of 2016. Especially fortunate is that Rinpoche’s son Namgyal Dawa Rinpoche saw it fit to offer a comment on this piece of writing and now I can include it as a review for 1st edition on the back cover.  It is a type of review that I personally like and it goes much a like what my friend Migmar Tsering said to me after reading a copy I gave him during Summer Retreat at Palyul Retreat center: “It is as if you a       re talking to me”. So, in some way, this is it, mission accomplished! -Simple, personal voice, without any status or authority but with a wish of positivity to increase, for everyone. Then, in a glory of miraculous displays Kyabje Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche displayed passing from this life on April 15th of 2018 and I have written a short obituary that offered me a chance to contemplate on situations like this, how do we feel when our Lama passes away? This short piece of writing is added to this current edition, may it all be virtuous and may our confidence be renewed if it wavers, unfailingly so!

-NY State September 2018

Picture is by Hyunju Lee at Jackson Heights NY,

while attending teachings of Palyul Khenchen Tsewang Gyatso Rinpoche

New in this edition:

Preface to 2nd Edition

Passage of Time

On Seeming separation from the Master

Short Glossary

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Unexpected Result

By now I should have expected something like that. But every time something of s sort happens there is a slight feeling of surprise. As i wrote in more then one article here already, my father in-law without much interest or expectation has discovered to his surprise what i told him now and then, for years. I still view myself as somewhat of an artist and there was a time when I exhibited, sold and even answered questions, all in regards to my artwork.

Much has changed since then. America is where I am now and I read, write and speak in English with some degree of proficiency. Computers came and took over, pay ohones all but disappeared, together with music and book stores. Cell phones now are viewed as ultimate gateway to happiness (just think of azure coast line screen saver that one can get with a purchase of a $1,000 device that can do invariable more and more of the things that never needed to be ever done). All this is here not just for me but for many.

And so my father in law asked me on several occasions to paint his portrait, -that sounded really good to me. I have not painted for 18 years at that point but never thought that I have laid down the brushes, it’s just that I was not in the right place to do so. And so, I bought a few canvases, a pallet knife and investigated into new paint producers to add to the selection of now antique tubes of paint (all purchased in Pearl Paint in NYC – art materials point of pilgrimage that only exists in the realm of memory of so many).

My 1st attempt at the painting did not result in anything that I felt I could finish, although the composition came together neatly and character of the old man somewhat reflected in the moment. Still I was playing with the ideas, colors, brush-strokes too much after all these years and I had to abandon the canvas. Quickly painting just a prominent portrait with noting much in the picture in a way of distraction.

However when the old man came over he said that he is intending to take the half finished, half erased, half not meant to be canvas home and i can come and work on it there, finishing it as i please. I was amused, telling myself: “Guess what I will have to do something to finish this one as well, to some degree, he wants two portraits now”

And here we have it, yet another canvas lives to be signed as a finished work.

An actual signed return

IMG_20180528_181150I hope so, there were always plans to paint things, but when you pay astronomical rent, run a restaurant or have to merchandise 2,000 Lbs of cheese, all invariably 6, not five days a week, all these painting plans have no chance to take hold, none at all. Finally father in law after looking at many of my older canvases had a eureka moment: “you are classically trained artist”. I was like: “you can say that, in some past life, – I had not painted for about 18 years”. He could not resist and asked for a portrait. So, here it came to pass, I am painting again, not as “seriously” but obviously just as seriously.

Baby elephant mind

IMG_20180613_134219Title: Baby Elephant Mind. Media: oil on canvas. Size: 40 by 30 inch. #elephant #elephants #elephant_painting #painting_of_nature #sherabpainting

This is some of the best of everything. Legendary NYC art supply dealer of 20 years ago David Davis stretchers, -mine have Mercer Street address, it is from the time when they had a store in the basement of “Guggenheim Soho”, then canvas from fabric wholesaler (that does not exist for many a year) on Lower Broadway, and a finished painting that was started 18 years ago, all feels very, very special.

Man-Cave

I love, love idea of this term “man-cave”. If you twist it around enough and away from popular American culture, you arrive at most surprising things, as in somewhere there is “Vajrayogini Cave”, or a cave in which Milarepa meditated, or whole Maratica Cave where Guru Rinpoche the Padmasambhava meditated on Amitayus, demonstrating accomplishment of that practice. IMG_20180611_142805

Alas “man-cave” is usually in the basement of the house where one lives. ut ability to bring an occupation of life-long interest into that with healthy degree of solitude, that is just breathtaking.

Somewhere along the lines of the effort to make more room, while still in NYC I lost my easel. But then again, my best paintings were somehow painted on the floor.

 

Do not forget to throw some money away

We love, treasure our efforts and results of our labors. With complete appreciation of all that, here in is a chance to throw away some of these perfect results.

It can be same as throwing paper printed with green images into a fire, up into the sky to have the wind pick it up and carry away, scattered. Or a wave of water carry it off into wast expanse of an ocean. And in same time not the same. As our mind dictates our personal phenomena and so we can regret the money to be wasted or view it all as offering mandala transforming into pure vision of spiritual practice.

What donations are used is much like that, light, fire, smoke offerings. Blessings going up in smoke, to be carried off by the wind and swept away by the rain.

IMG_20180531_141742There is persistent purpose and beauty to it all. So, if you are unable for one reason or the other leave your work, sit down on a bench to bask in the sunlight, might as well sponsor any of these activities that without doubt always  have focused and sustained the elusive, indescribable positivity in this world.

2018 Summer retreat will present me with opportunities to engage in some of the study, contemplation, prayer and meditation, praising and offering and dedicating, all in a well known location. Palyul Retreat Center, upstate NY, for a month starting around July 10 and winding down around August 10. My attendance is in no way contingent on donations received. But all donations received will be offered to the various activities during the retreat.

gofundme link for this year: https://www.gofundme.com/summer2018retreat

-With dedication of all past, current and future merit of all beings towards clarity and wisdom inseparable within all of us.

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Paintings of sounds

I really miss Pearl Paint art supply store. Throughout 1990ties shopping there for oil paints, brushes and sometimes print paper as well as anything else from woodcutting chisles to gold leaf. That was really the store that had all sorts of art materials all at good prices, I will never forget that they had sale on some Old Holland oils 3 for $10, more then once. I still have some.IMG_20180529_124520

Here is one of my personal favorites. This was painted as a result of a purchase of a perfect stiff bristle brush (I usually use soft sable), I was so inspired to work with it that I finished this “Flying sax player” working through the night some time in winter of 1993. Missing Pearl Paint a lot, best location, best prices and best selection of art materials that I ever saw. #sherabpainting #paintings_of_sounds #nyc_paintings #jazz #music