About

My name is Richard and I was born in America and currently live in England. I am 41 years old and am a Buddhist. This blog is about Zen Buddhism interwoven with some adventures throughout my life so far. For a longer (but still short!) autobiography please see my first post ‘A Short Autobiography’. http://wp.me/p2BjT4-a

All the photos used in my posts are my own images (except where stated). (The photos of myself were all taken by my wife). I love taking photographs, and the images I choose are meant to relate to the post it is attached to. Please feel free to send me a message, ask a question, provide corrections, or share me along if you feel it would help other people!

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43 thoughts on “About

  1. HEY RICH!! JUST DISCOVERED YOUR WEBSITE.REALLY COOL TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH OTHERS.I AM ACTUALLY RE-READING THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS BY THE DALI LAMA.ONE POINT HE MAKES IS THAT THE ENTIRE TEACHING OF BUDDHA IS FOUNDED ON COMPASSION.CLEARING THE MIND OF NEGATIVE AND VIOLENT THOUGHTS EVERYDAY OF YOUR LIFE.IT IS A DAILY CHALLENGE HERE IN THE U.S. BECAUSE THE LOUDEST MOST OBNOXIOUS AND OVERBEARING ARE ADMIRED THE MOST.YOU ARE PERCEIVED AS WEAK IF YOU ARE QUIET,THOUGHTFUL,COSIDERATE,AND YES COMPASSIONATE.BUT THIS IS THE REAL CHALLENGE,TO BE AT PEACE WITH YOURSELF AND NOT HARBOUR ANGER AND HATE TOWARDS OTHERS ,EVEN WHEN THEY ARE MENTALLY VIOLENT TOWARDS YOU.AND KNOWING PEOPLE ACT THIS WAY BECAUSE OF CONFLICTED INSECURITY AND THE NEED TO FIT IN TO A SOCIAL GROUP.THIS IS A DAILY DISCIPLINE.TO QUIET THE MIND AND BE AT PEACE WITH ONESELF.
    TIM IN FLORIDA

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    • Hey Tim. Many thanks for your kind words my friend! The Dali Lama is a very wise man, isn’t he? Buddhism’s foundation is compassion, and sometimes this simple truth is difficult to be seen. So, what is compassion? We all know what it is, so it is important to help nuture our compassionate mind.
      Your words about the perecption of being weak for those who are quiet reminds me of a story I once heard about the Bible. I understand it is said in the Bible that the meek shall inherit the Earth. I remember someone saying it is important to understand it says ‘meek’ and not ‘weak’, which often gets confused nowadays. There is a mountain of difference between the two, a very important difference which your words clarify. Thank you Tim!

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  2. There are times when you should be outspoken and convey an opinion.But from what the Dali Lama teaches,in a positive and constructive way.Not an angry,righteous,arrogant, and condescending manner.You can be straightforward and direct without being mean to others.Meak not weak!!A person who is at peace with themselves will be at peace with others around them.

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  3. Rich your thoughts and observations are great insight in this life.It is important to see beyond the immediate noise and distraction on a daily basis,and elevate the mind a notch or two.

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  4. There is in Zen nothing to explain,nothing to teach,that will add to your knowledge.Unless it grows out of yourself no knowledge is really yours,it is only a borrowed plumage.
    -D.T. Suzuki-

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  5. -Humanity’s War-
    All men are each other’s brother
    Why do we continue to kill one another?
    We have fractioned into illogical religions and political mind
    Peace and understanding escapes us in this time
    We continue to touch each other and break the bonds that bind our violent hand
    Savage violence and patriotic religious warfare takes a stand
    We awake to a new dawn everyday and take two steps backward and drift into the grey
    The truth enlightened mind we smother
    Love one another,my sisters,my brothers
    -peace and love for all-

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  6. Rich maybe this planet of Earth will be a planet of Buddhas one day.We all hope that mankind will find an end to war,poverty,and famine.Maybe there are beings out there amongst the stars who have found a peaceful and enlightened existence.Maybe your dream is a reality.

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  7. Rich,keep thinking and reaching for the light.There are bright and positive minds on this planet Earth living amongst us right now.You are one of them.I meet folks everyday here in Florida that have Buddha nature.The Dalai Lama says in the Four Noble Truths “Wherever there lives a compassionate person,there is always a positive and pleasant atmosphere.” These are difficult ideals to live by but this is the answer.

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    • Thank you Tim. The Dali Lami is correct! Many, many people have Buddha-nature, in fact, who does not have this inherent quality waiting to be unearthed like a precious diamond we have always had? Your deeply compassionate heart-mind helps others to dig up their diamonds of truth and love!

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  8. Rich that is great that you have stopped eating meat.Yeah I remember the old “chick parm hero” and taco bell too!! hah!! I am part vegetarian these days.I have cut back and eating more of a high fiber fruit and veggie diet.Trying to eat well.My sister Liz has influenced me,she has been a vegetarian since age 14 or so.I remember when I was with you and your wife in Glastonbury and we were looking for a place to eat that served vegetarian dinners.We found a place and to my surprise they had a Cajun buffett!!! So I ate the Cajun food and it was authentic and delicious!!
    But you are right about the best thing an individual can do for the environment is to go vegetarian.

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    • There is a great diner in NYC called Curly’s that does a fantastic veggie chicken parm hero. I dream about it often! lol.
      I remember that place in Glastonbury.. it was an excellent meal!

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  9. Rich I was thinking about what you wrote about seeking the ox.I suppose you have to discipline yourself and your heart mind everyday.Keeping your mind calm and clear is difficult in this world.Every morning I go outside the building I work in and sit under a huge oak tree.This helps calm my mind from the stresses at work.Just listening to the birds sing and seeing the sun shinning through the palm trees brings a sense of peace and calmness.I suppose my co-workers think I am a little odd!!! heh, but this is a form of mini meditation for me.

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  10. Yeah man it is hard to stay on the right path everyday.Some folks are totally cool and mellow and some folks just want violent mind.A calm mind is hard to keep,it takes focus and discipline.There are always others around and also elements in nature that show the path to enlightened mind.I think we always have to seek these elements in our daily travels.I think about the vastness of the universe everyday and it keeps me in check.There are galaxies out in the the cosmos that are 6 million light years across.Our Milkyway galaxy is 100,000 light years across.Here we are on planet earth, orbiting this one star in a small galaxy.It seems we are grasping at God’s mind.
    I work with a man named Jack.He is from Haiti.He always has a smile on his face and very amicable.He has endured many hardships in his life but he is always smilling and friendly.This is a lesson to me,be happy with your life and what you have.The Dali Lama lost his country but he forgives the oppressors.This is a great lesson too.He teaches us not to be angry but be happy with what you have now.
    Jesus also taught us to forgive,and most importantly to love one another.These are the challenges we are presented with everyday.

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  11. Yeah man my mother Janice ran a soup kitchen out of the basement of the Catholic church at St. Patricks in Bay Shore for 30 years.She helped all of the drunks,drug addicts,poor,and street people find a better day.Mom is a true believer in the good of humanity.But she always believed in giving and not receiving.Mom is a Buddhist,but in a Catholic way.Janice,the Compassionate One.

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    • Your mom is one amazing person! She always has a huge open heart full of love and compassion. I like how you say she is a Buddhist, but in a Catholic way!
      All the major faiths/religions of the world.. they all have tried to explain the path to Enlightenment, just each one used different metaphors, different terms, and different Prophets and teachers. I am pretty sure if Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the other great sages got together, they would all speak with the same tongue, probably without even speaking a word.
      Many thanks for your reply Tim!

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  12. Rich I was reading Oxherding Interlude and and you mentioned your friends thought about starting each day clear of mind.Letting go of yesterdays angst,finding higher mind ground today.Yeah man every day waking up and trying to be centered and focused is difficult.Not being a ball of mental knots and twisted and angry is a challenge.Hard to achieve man.This is what Buddhism is all about.
    It is funny,but my father who is an old school Brooklyn guy,always tells me to pray,think,and work everyday.I suppose he is saying in other words,to meditate,think,and work everyday!!That is old school New York Catholic philosophy!!Heh!!

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    • You wrote of ‘Letting go’.. and that this is what Buddhism is all about… This is so wise and true… When we ‘let go’ we are letting go our our clinging mind, our attachments, and it is exactly our clinging mind that creates suffering. This is one of the Four Noble Truths in the Buddhist Dharma.

      And your Pop… He is fantastic! And, I think you are right… real prayer is real meditation. Deep faith. This then leads us to think critically and then to work and practice. Wonderful!

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  13. Rich, everyday I think about the vastness of the universe.Every living thing that comes to being,must be borne and to die.This is the natural order of the universe.Stars go super nova to create the elements that make up our bodies and the food we eat.The materials that we construct our homes and cars,the trees and plants we see everyday.The air we breath too.I always remember you remarking that we are the conscience of the universe.Us as beings.We are here to take joy in creation and also to question our existence.God’s mind.

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  14. Rich, practicing Zen is often taken as being stupid here in the U.S.
    Huang-Po a Zen master said “Don’t you realize that if you simply have no concepts and no anxiety,you’ll see the Buddha standing before you.”

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  15. Spring flowers,autumn moon,summer breeze,winter snow-
    When the mind is free from unnecessary thoughts,
    Every season is just perfect
    Zen master -Ekai-

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    • I like this a lot. I also like the subtly of him saying ‘unnecessary’ thoughts…. In Zen, people may think the goal is to eliminate thoughts, but this is not the case! We evolved a thinking brain for a reason! It is when we become attached to these thoughts when we start to suffer.. I like Ekai’s distinction. 🙂

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  16. Thank you for your visit to my blog and for introducing your world to me. I like the name Oxherder which conjures an image of a patient but observant person who has consciously slowed his pace through life in order better to experience and observe.

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  17. Rich I contemplated this thought as I was staring into the Florida morning sky as the birds were chirping in the palm trees
    “To study Buddhism is to study your own self.To study your own self is to forget yourself.”
    -HASHIDA-

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  18. Rich this to our enlightened brothers and sisters.Always with us and around us everyday,we just have to be aware of our kindred spirits who are with us every day.
    “There are many people in this world quietly trying to fulfill the Way,our unknown companions on the path.Everywhere are Bodhisattvas who will be our friends and guide us through the storm of troubles”
    -Thich Thien-An-.

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