A Fireside Chat, September 19, 2009
Guest GARY GACH has been blessed by wonderful teachers, beginning with his parents. As a boy, he avidly read an uncle's copies of transcripts of talks at Ojai by Krishnamurti. He first practiced silent meditation with a group at a Quaker retreat in 1964. Saladin Paul Reps taught him meditation at a shop on Sunset Boulevard a couple of years later. In San Francisco, he was introduced to zazen by Dainin Katagiri Roshi. He was fortunate to hear the chuckle in Alan Watts' voice, to see the twinkle in Shunryu Suzuki Roshi's eye, and to dance to the singing of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. His Buddhist root lineage is in the tradition of the Thich Nhat Hanh.
I'm presently studying his recent best selling work, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buddhism", Third Edition, which we'll be discussing among other spiritual principles to live by. His writing is truly brilliant, and easy to grasp. I highly recommend this book for even the most advanced students. In addition, it contains jewels of wisdom and historical information that I wasn't aware of.
In tonight's show, we delved into the nature of Buddhism, the basic problems with dualism as represented by fundamentalism, and Gary turned the tables on me and asked what I thought about 2012. That evoked an interesting meandering discussion of the amazing times we're in, and he emphasized the amazing gift of happiness which we all have access to, and is our birthright. We also discussed the need to separate necessary suffering from what many of us perpetuate, which is "unnecessary suffering", an important distinction for us all. Gary has joined Awakening Cosmic Consciousness, and I'm delighted to have such a wise and wonderful member join our little group. Many thanks, Gary, for a great show!
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