Old Folks

September 16, 2010 by     Print This Post Print This Post

Mad Monks

For discussion of matters related to the aging front of the greater sangha, including resource issues, such as mutual support, finances, accomodations. As John Perks recently wrote (on 2010/09/16):

Sometimes as we get older and have health problems, we also have financial problems. I was wondering if there is any Shambhala sangha organization that helps out with older Shambhalians in terms of giving some monthly stipend for healthcare, or food for that matter. If not, maybe we should start something.


94 Responses to “Old Folks”

  1. John Perks on March 2nd, 2011 6:39 pm

    You had better see Commodore Gilkerson for them,tell him Black Dog sent ye

  2. Stuart on March 2nd, 2011 7:59 pm
  3. Judy on March 2nd, 2011 9:44 pm

    Mr. John Perks, You have an astonishing amount of gentleness, love, joy, and wisdom in you. Would you say that being around Trungpa-Rinpoche brought that out in you..?

  4. John Perks on March 3rd, 2011 8:01 am

    Dear Judy,
    Yes he beat me up pretty badly,we used to joke,”I was severley wounded at the battle of ego” of course you have to be killed,then we would sing”you always hurt the one you love you crush them till the petals fall”
    Yes Chogyam he’s to blame..I remember I was just a quiet and simple librarian living in Plainsville Kansas it was Sunday and I was on my way home from church,and then….well thats a long story.
    but you know I am not all that gentle or wise,
    love to you ,

  5. Judy on March 4th, 2011 7:39 am


  6. Rob Graffis on March 4th, 2011 8:17 am

    Anybody can teach us gentleness if you allow them to.
    Anybody can take advantage of us as well, if you allow them to.
    Given the opportunity, most people want to do the right thing.
    The original dharma brat concept was created out of thin air.
    It never existed.
    In the four noble truths, there is birth, old age sickness and death.
    I never saw anything about dharma brats
    Dharma Bums?? Maybe..

  7. Sr Gryphon on March 5th, 2011 10:19 am

    Hi all.

    I am party crashing… like a cat shedding on furniture that it should not be up on. Please forgive me.

    First, I think the idea of yogi village is excellent!! Intentional communities are popping up all over the place in the US. It is the most economical and envionmentally friendly way to go. I studied long term successful intentional communities years ago when I was actually a member of one.
    Recently, quite a number of my Zen NYC sangha have gotten together and bought apartment buildings- hence the entire building becomes not only a place where you know and trust your neighbors, (and the rent doesn’t go up) but a place supportive of practice. I, myself, keep wishing my Celtic Buddhist teacher would sell his place and move to Maine and let his monks look after him and his family. But he is such a stubborn chap.
    I’m looking right now at 100 acres that’s selling for $24,000. Yes, that’s right, $24,000. That’s less than $300 an acre. Anyone want in on this property? Seriously. I am not kidding. Let’s talk.

    Ok now for a small request.

    Recently at AnaDaire we entertained and were entertained by a very sweet college student who is writing a thesis on religion and the food we eat- how they inform or don’t inform each other. She needs about 50 more people to take her survey in order to have enough data for the paper to be completed..
    The survey is confidential and takes only 5 minutes. If you consider yourself a practicing Buddhist and would like to earn nirvana points, please click on the link below and help out our friend Taylor. Many thanks!!


    OK nuff said.
    Thank you for allowing me onto your forum.

    Sr Gryphon

  8. edward on March 5th, 2011 11:12 pm

    More older people with dignity:

    You might enjoy this clip, showing a different side of Spanish Flamenco


  9. felix on March 19th, 2011 6:28 am

    “At this very moment, for the people and the nations of the earth, may not even the words disease, famine, war and sufferings be heard; but rather may their moral conduct, merit, wealth and prosperity increase and may supreme good fortune and well being always arise for them.”

    HH Dudjom Rinpoche

  10. Stuart on March 19th, 2011 7:34 am

    It’ll all come down to one person being brave and believing in basic goodness, and doing something. They will inspire others, which will have a chain reaction—whether it’s in a family, in a business, in social work, in politics. What we have to do is have a community where that is acknowledged as being good, as opposed to that it’s a joke.

    Thank you. Okay!

    The Sakyong, Jampal Trinley Dradül
    2011 Shambhala Day address
    5 March 2011
    Boulder, Colorado


  11. Rob Graffis on March 21st, 2011 1:58 am

    Sr Grypon has a good idea. Communual Buddhism seems to have dissipated, at least within Shambhala Buddhism. LA Zen Center still may have one. I wonder why communial Buddhist living situations have been discouraged within Shambhala International?
    They weren’t big money makers, but then again, they aren’t big money makers now.

    Maine would be a difficult place though for people to do communual living unless they are very rugged, unless you live near a big town.

  12. Gail Harris Amara on March 31st, 2011 9:23 pm

    Hi all —

    I found this forum quite by serendipity. I’m an old time follower of VCTR. A few of you may remember Gail Harris.

    Speaking of sick people, my lungs are in wretched shape from all those cigarettes we used to smoke. I’m on O2 most of the time. Since I’ve been told there is not much else western medicine can do for me, my plan is to go see a healer I’ve known for years, whose office is in San Rafael.

    I’m living in Portland OR and looking for a room to stay in the East Bay or Marin for about 10 days for myself and my husband. We can pay rent.

    Marlene Fornagiel and Becky Hazell have been trying to help me but so far we haven’t found anyone with a spare bedroom. My need is a door to close because the oxygen concentrator makes noise, and reasonable proximity to ‘San Rafael. Oh, and no indoor cats. I love them but I’m allergic. .

    Please, if anyone wants to pick up some extra cash and do a great favor, reply to amara@hevanet.com.

    Oh, and PS I’m on board for the co-op housing for oldfartz.

    Love, Gail

  13. felix on April 4th, 2011 10:45 am
  14. Viliam Gomes on May 23rd, 2014 2:24 pm

    Olá. Sou Viliam e estou tentando me encontrar melhor através da leitura de experiências vividas por outras pessoas pela mesma fase que passo.
    Tenho um filho que está em tratamento por dependencia química (cocaína), . O mesmo esta a 15 meses “limpo”.
    Em função disso, eu também me internei por 60 dias em uma clinica psiquiátrica para deixar o alcool e o tabaco, dos quais estou em abstinência a 150 dias.
    Alguem pode contribuir com algo a respeito?

    Gratíssimo. Viliam

  15. John Perks on August 7th, 2014 6:12 am

    Ground control to Major Perks is there anyone still alive out there?Major Perks to ground control I’m not sure I have to keep my dipers on! I once asked the boss about old age, He replied “as long as the mind is clear its ok to hang around in the body”…so anyone still kicking how do you like old age?

  16. John Perks on August 7th, 2014 7:01 am

    Question Is there sex after 80?,problem is when I wake up in the morning my whole body is stiff,but my dick is as limp as a wet herring,so is the body practicing for rigor mortis?another thing is when I look in the mirror there is this old guy smiling at me so I smile back,how about them teeth anyone with any left? but I am very horney but can’t remember what for!

  17. john tischer on August 7th, 2014 11:15 am

    why not appreciate old age, the spectacle of the slow demise? At least, it’s natural and organic. Then, there’s the Joan River’s approach of perpetual denial…that must get tiresome after a while. I’m beginning to see subtle loss of
    function, which my training as an alcoholic has given me some perspective on.
    There’s no ideal state of existence in a human body….when we’re young, we feel the illusion of immortality, don’t we?

  18. John Perks on August 8th, 2014 6:44 am

    Perhaps I can’t remember whats immortality?I think I am in love with you,do you have a name ?or we could make one up like the indians do based on your aspects,and energy,do you still have hair?hows the teeth?

  19. John Perks on August 8th, 2014 10:58 am

    But then I remember John Tischer who writes beautiful poetry,and lives in Mexico.Hows old age JT?

  20. john tischer on August 9th, 2014 1:00 pm

    It’s fine because I’m not suffering physically and have no chronic problems.
    The joints are starting to go, because I did plumbing for 30 years, but, I don’t think `i’ll need any replacements soon.My state of mind is the best in my life, so, as long as I can function ok, I feel very lucky. How’s about you?

  21. john tischer on August 9th, 2014 1:15 pm

    Still got hair, but every time I get it cut, what’s left is grayer. Capped most of my teeth 10years ago, so, they’re holding their own. My intestines seem surprisingly copacetic. My stomach is the most nagging reminder of my
    indulgencies. I’m shooting for stomach or liver…..I’d hate to get lung cancer, for example. Any place where I can get a spinal block for the pain if necessary My face is starting to look old…that’s rather strange. Frankly, I believe I’ll die here in an earthquake.

  22. John Perks on August 10th, 2014 7:52 am

    Thank you John,We are advocating in CelticBuddhism for green burial which you can do in Vermont,all that good manure going back to the soil.
    on another topic we are starting up a Butler Household Manager school,which we will take on the road in North America,and Europe,Sophie is off to organize households for DKR in India,so even in oldage can keep busy excersize mind,body seems petty good.

  23. john tischer on August 10th, 2014 3:52 pm

    even petty good is pretty good.

  24. john tischer on August 10th, 2014 4:04 pm

    Burma Shave poem #365

    You think you’re here…

    ain’t that strange…..

    you’re just passing by…

    (check Buddhism for further details)….

    Burma Shave

  25. John Perks on August 11th, 2014 6:59 am

    I love that! is that a real add for Burma Shave? could be close shave,did not know about their poems.

  26. john tischer on August 11th, 2014 12:49 pm

    In the 50’s and 60’s Burma shave would advertise putting road signs on major highways…..4 in a row with a 4 part slogan…the fifth was Burma Shave. I just like the form.

  27. Jean F. on August 11th, 2014 4:39 pm
  28. Jon D. Do on August 11th, 2014 5:58 pm

    A man who drives

    When he’s drunk

    Should put his coffin

    In his trunk

    Burma Shave

  29. John Perks on August 12th, 2014 6:26 am

    thank you,hav’nt shaved for many a year,but thats quite interesting about Burma Shave,when I started used a strait razor,and brush of bager hair,and soap in a mug,my dad showed me how,good lord how the world has changed,for the better,but still along way to go I have alot of confidence in the young people I see,they call them selfes,Dharma Brats.

  30. John Perks on August 12th, 2014 11:00 am

    Many of my older Dharma friends suffer from depression some times its quite debilitating I am never quite sure how to help them except for taking care of them cooking,companionship,cheering up,that kind of thing,getting them involved in the garden,any other Idea’s?

  31. john tischer on August 12th, 2014 12:19 pm

    Robin Williams just killed himself after rehab….Maybe he should have stayed on the drugs and alcohol.

  32. John Perks on August 13th, 2014 6:35 pm

    Yes he drown in a glass pond.

  33. John Perks on August 16th, 2014 5:54 pm

    When a person commits suicide,the consciousness has no choice but to follow its negative karma,and it may well happen that a harmful spirit will seize,and possess its life force.In this case of suicide,a powerful master must perform special kinds of practices,such as fire ceremonies,and other rituals,in order to free the dead persons consciousness.
    Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

  34. R Assaly on August 16th, 2014 9:18 pm

    Thank you for the larger perspective!

  35. John Perks on August 17th, 2014 5:18 am

    You are welcome,I think that statement by DKR has alot to say about enlightened society?

  36. matt on August 17th, 2014 12:29 pm

    John, I struggle to understand that quote from Dilgo Khyentse. The word “suicide” refers to lots of different scenarios. It’s not some kind of discrete, unitary “thing,” surely?

    Are those monks who self-immolated during the Vietnam War now possessed by demons? Does it matter if their entire intent was to make a sacrifice of themselves in order to draw attention to, and help end, mass murder?

    If someone’s body and mind are not functioning adequately enough to provide for any kind of quality or dignity of life, and they decide to end it, while trying to cultivate an attitude of all-embracing love for others, are they now all the same likely to be possessed by demons?

    Even in the case of someone suffering purely in mind: isn’t it possible to imagine a person in unbearable pain arising out of a lifetime’s experience of, perhaps, far more than the average share of trauma or brutality, simply unable to keep going? And doing so not in anger but in a calm assessment — as perverse as it may seem to someone else — that their presence on the earth is a net loss, not benefiting anyone. If there are bodhisattvas as well as demons out there/here, why isn’t it just as likely that one of the former might scoop up such a being into the immensity of their compassion?

    I’m asking this only as a desultory and poor practitioner of, I guess, “ordinary Buddhism” who has never quite understood the Tibetan system. Any further thoughts you have on this would be most appreciated!

  37. felix on August 17th, 2014 1:08 pm

    ”When a person commits suicide,the consciousness has no choice but to follow its negative karma,and it may well happen that a harmful spirit will seize,and possess its life force.In this case of suicide,a powerful master must perform special kinds of practices,such as fire ceremonies,and other rituals,in order to free the dead persons consciousness.
    Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.”

    here he is referring to someone in a negative despairing state….

    there is this unusual case of a practitioner very close to arahatship…..


    But on the other hand the Buddhist monks’ Vinaya. cover situations of causing harm ranging from murder — which is universally accepted as a crime — to such things as destroying plant life.

    The third Defeat (Paaraajika) Offence deals with murder. The original story describes how some bhikkhus wrongly grasped the Buddha’s meditation teaching on the loathsome aspects of the body[38] and, falling into wrong view, committed suicide or asked someone to end their lives for them.
    The precept can be summarized like this:
    “Intentionally bringing about the untimely death of a human being, even if it is still a foetus, is [an offence of Defeat.]” (Summary Paar. 3; BMC p.78)

    A bhikkhu must not recommend killing, suicide or help arrange a murder.[39] Also, because in this rule a human being is defined as beginning with the human foetus, counting “from the time consciousness first arises in the womb,” he must not advise or arrange an abortion.

  38. felix on August 17th, 2014 1:16 pm
  39. john tischer on August 17th, 2014 1:30 pm

    Well….rehab didn’t seem to help Robin or Seymour Hoffman very much…in fact, they died shortly thereafter. If these people could have handled their drugs better, they probably wouldn’t have killed themselves. Look at the Stones…they already look like desiccated corpses, but they handled their drugs well…except for Brian. And William Burroughs did junk his whole life and lived into his seventies. Who thinks cocaine didn’t fuel Robin’s career? A good worker doesn’t blame his tools.

  40. John Perks on August 18th, 2014 7:31 am

    Matt,Thanks,I also do not know much about this,one would have to know the mind of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche [very vast] what is interesting is the phrase “consciousness has no choice but to follow its negative karma” so one might ask is the reverse also true,one with very possitive karma has no choice but to follow that,and perhaps a good spirit might capture that!…I did ask CTR about this also,and he said “as long as the mind is functioning,and awake one should remain in the body” he was talking to me,he might have said something else to another person dependent upon the situation.Felix has done a good job of explaining this.
    John,I do not know much about rehab,I only know the pain of being imprisoned in dispair,and suffering must be real hell,and that the only way to end it might be to kill yourself.but we know there is no end.The big “NO” was of course about not killing.for us we just have to help beings as best we can.

  41. john tischer on August 18th, 2014 11:54 am

    I know what mental illness is like. I was very paranoid from about college ’till
    after many years of meditation. When I was in that state, it seemed endless..
    like a bad LSD trip…in fact, I really didn’t think it would change, but I practiced
    because there seemed to be nothing else I could do. One would think with all the information out there, an intelligent person could find some kind of help
    in that situation. Severe depression is so awful, though, that it’s very hard to deal with…or even know that someone is going through it.

  42. John Perks on August 18th, 2014 1:07 pm

    Wow John I did not know this about you thanks for sharing,I have been very lucky only the odd day of depression like the weather,or Churchill’s black dog,is it not more than fortunate we ran into the Boss?
    How rare is that.

  43. felix on August 18th, 2014 3:46 pm


    thought you guys would enjoys this

  44. matt on August 18th, 2014 10:13 pm

    Thanks John! And that’s a great resource you linked to Felix.