Archive for December 4th, 2015


Money talks. Who we choose to do business with matters. You choose.  I don’t think anything more needs to be said.  Boycott FedEx.  Please.

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The world’s gone mad. . . or we’re all mad and the planets suffering. . . Ok, I think, sadly, it’s both.

According to HuffPo, the US has had 352 mass shootings in this past year, meaning in the past 336 days.  What the heck has happened to us?  And will we ever be able to fix it?

I lived in Co when Columbine happened.  Lived in WI and had clients in IL when the shooting at NIU  (Northern IL University) happened.  I went to high school less than 15 minutes away from Sandy Hook (Newtown, CT).  But that’s been the span of 16 years.  According to Global Research, (global research.ca) 90% of mass shootings from 1980-2005 were conducted by US, non-Muslim people.   Can we say it altogether now folks?  Non-Muslim people.

But we kid ourselves if we think the US government can change the mental health system.  It shouldn’t be the job of government per se, but perhaps a joint effort between the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, and NASW (National Association of Social Work).  But how do we do that when we give more and more to defense, to helping other countries, to Big Banks, etc and we keep getting more and more of our education AND social services budgets cut?  Whose got the chutzpah to say, 1% of the US budget is NOT ENOUGH for effective education services in this country and we need to take from somewhere else?  Even if someone like Bernie Sanders said, come on, our kids are getting less and less education and are falling further behind the rest of the world, who would agree with him and take a red pen to other budgets?

I was an adjunct for 2 semesters at a community college and I was absolutely floored.  I taught Psych 101 and the majority of the students in my class had middle school reading/writing levels or had so much of their own mental health, health, vocational problems (or someone in their family did) that they couldn’t be in class.  They wouldn’t stay for extra help.  I had a few students that asked me if I could counsel their families, which obviously I couldn’t.  I didn’t realize at the time how sparse the services were in this particular area until I had co-workers and friends tell me about their nightmares of trying to get through the system.  It was deplorable.  And the services they did fine were not interdisciplinary.  Two young people (under 21) given anti-psychotics as the first line of defense for mood problems.  Really?  That’s good help?

After the horrendous nightmare in Paris, I watched my Facebook feed.  I had a lot of people, even in my sangha or associated with that sangha or root teacher, kept asking in so many words, “How do we fix these people in the Middle East?”  And it was exasperating.  There were those of us who said you can’t change others, only yourself. . . and the question came more frequently, “Right, but how do we fix those people?”  It was a bit troubling to me that so many people connected to or influenced by Buddhism kept asking the same question.  Not because Buddhism is so special but because we have the Four Noble Truths and this should maybe be the first place we look.  The Four Noble Truths are:

  • Life has inevitable suffering.
  • There is a cause to our suffering.
  • There is an end to our suffering.
  • The end to suffering is within the Eight-Fold Path.

Okay, so first things first, life has inevitable suffering.  Okay, if we are breathing and have a pulse, we’re going to come in contact with or experience suffering.    There is no way to avoid suffering.  We suffer when our children are hurt or ill, when we feel betrayed, or when when we have physical illness or pain.  But one thing that you learn to do is to separate pain from suffering.  Sounds like a huge task, huh?  Some days it feels like that.  And I think (like they teach people in AA, you fake it until you make it) meaning that you say the words, think the thoughts, whether you believe them or feel them and with practice, you get to the point that you are actually living it.

For more about the Noble Truths and applying them to our current world, check back in a day or so for my next blog post where I continue to look at the Four Noble Truths.  In a few more days, I will also post about the Eight-fold Path as well.

May all beings everywhere find and experience peace.

May all beings everywhere accept that what is is what is.

May all beings everywhere feel loved, supported, and at ease in their worlds.

May all beings experience happiness.

May the merit of our words, actions, good deeds, compassion, understanding, and love help us and the world to find peace.

With deep respect and hope,










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