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In Peter Dale Scott , the Canadian-born poet and professor emeritus of English at the University of California, Berkeley , published a poem dedicated to Fronsdal entitled Breathing exercise: a how-to poem. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Gil Fronsdal. Middle Way August Academic OneFile.

Spirit Rock Insight Meditation Center. Retrieved June 4, Urban Dharma - Buddhism in America. Insight Meditation Center. Prebish, Kenneth K.

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International Journal of Hindu Studies. Jan 9, Journal of Contemporary Religion. Journal of Contemporary Religion published This is not to say that despair and cynicism is in vogue, but that sometimes ambiguous or even bad endings have as much to teach us as good ones. Yet there are some stories that mix the mystic with the moral, seeming more recognizable as fables with something a lesson or ethical instruction that one can take away.

And there are those tales that are straightforward in their good-heartedness: avatars of innocence, usually children, abandoned by figures of trust and pursued by murderous creatures, before being saved by a benevolent, powerful force like a magical dragon. There is another informal category of the Burmese tales that I find to be straight-up comedy.

Some of the stories in this collection are the funniest I have ever read in world mythology. Finally, what would an anthology be without bittersweet, melancholic fables? Not everything in life can be resolved: it is too late for the prince to correct the misunderstanding that caused the naga princess to leave the human world in anguish.

Yet the regret of a broken promise becomes motivation to honor the memory of possibilities lost. Murdered in the forest by thieves, she is reborn as a python because of her last moments of feeling hatred and vengeance. There is no revenge, no justice served. Just a journey concluded, and two lives reunited. The Long Path to Wisdom is universal in the sense that its tales speak of universal human themes: love, faith, greed, trust, betrayal, and forgiveness. Yet it retains a unique, distinctly Burmese touch: a world of ambiguity, of living spirits influenced by the Buddhist presence in Old Burma, and feelings of longing echoing over many lifetimes.

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Long Reads. People and Personalities. At the same time, with the assist of the other man, they pulled me out of the sleeping area and threw me, uncooperatively, into the bed of what appeared to be military vehicle with a canvas covered back. One of the men got in front of the truck apparently as the driver while the other man crawled into the back with me.

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In the dark I could just barely make out the figures of three other people sitting along the part way up metal sides of the truck bed. Hours went by, sometimes on rough roads, other times smooth. Sometimes curvy other times straight. Mid morning we stopped and the dropped canvas rear cover was untied from the outside and we got out. The two men that I figured were my abductors wore military fatiques with no patches or markings. The other three men riding in the back with me surprisingly enough, were dressed in the garb of buddhist monks, with shaved heads and all.

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Each of the five were of asian stock and not one seemed to have any command of the english language although it was quite clear, combined, they were on some kind of mission that included me. The monks were met by a few other monks, the truck with the two soldiers drove away, and I was escorted into a building apparently to sleep. The next morning I was met by a man, a monk, that spoke english who told me I was at the Mahasi Meditation Center in Rangoon and brought there for, among other things, my safe keeping and overall well being. By the end of the day, over a period of several hours, I met with the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw, the center's meditation master and Principal Preceptor.

The whole thing, well intentioned or not, possibly even as an effort to detox me back to normalcy from my time in the monastery, was short lived. Within several weeks or so, but most assuredly before I could turn around and really start making sense of things, the two Australians showed up along with a couple of Burmese government suit-types looking for me nothing gets by the authorities.


I told them I was not complacent in any of the endeavors that brought me to the center and it was, from start to finish, all done so without any previous knowledge or instigation on my part. They seemed to agree and soon we were back on our journey as though nothing happened. In the beginning of the whole operation, when I first went to Chiang Mai, a couple of days before the Laotian warlord's contingent caught up with me, and unrelated to any of their forthcoming actions, to cover my own back, I secretly moved the gold all of it in pure, untraceable rough cast bars and quite heavy to a second more secure spot known only to me.

The gold being missing wasn't found out until others, thinking they were sitting on the gold, and bypassing me, went to finalize the deal only to find it gone. By then I was long on my way to China and, at least initially, involuntarily so high on drugs I didn't know anything about anything one way or the other anyway. Not trusting the Australians I kept my mouth shut until we returned to Chiang Mai and was able to meet with higher members of the team investigating what happened.

Once I told my side of the story and the gold was where I said it was, although I didn't escape without repercussions, I was officially absolved of any misdeeds.

When I was found in Chiang Mai by the Buddhist monk and ended up at the monastery I was actually in the Army, albeit having been processed out as a civilian. As for me having been gone or missing for any length of time, time that if added together could have contributed to a charge of AWOL or even worse, in reality, as far as any authorities were concerned, I didn't miss any time. On the day I was abducted in Chiang Mai I was doing my duty assignment. When I returned from the Meditation Center and awaiting arrangement in regards to the whereabouts of the missing gold that had been in my care, the start of that waiting for arrangement put me back on official time.

When I returned to start that official time, calendar date wise, no unaccounted real-world measurable time in hour, days or weeks had elapsed between the time of my actual physical abduction and the start of my waiting time for arrangement. In other words, since the moment of the abduction in Chiang Mai butted right up against me arriving for my arrangement it was like none of it ever happened.

Once the gold was accounted for and my reasons for hiding it were accepted as being sound, no charges were filed. See UCMJ below, Sub Chapter 01, Article 2 10 and Sub Chapter 10, Article please click image It must be said that for our purposes here, except for being the primary thrust-medium that put into motion all the events that unfolded as they did, the main interest here is not me being in the Army, having been Sheep Dipped , the opium, or any remote drug aspect of it all, but my stay at the Zen monastery.

There are many strong, notable, and well respected members of the Buddhist, Zen Buddhist, and Enlightenment commmunity that have gone to, studied under, written books about, and run a number of excellent and fine Centers both in America and abroad. Many of the notables went to India or Japan and studied for months and possibly years under highly venerable teachers. Other teachers came to the U.

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However, very little of what has been gleaned or passed on bubbled up untainted and unlayered from the unspoiled roots of their ancient past. I am the only person I am aware of operating at the level that I do that truly bypassed most of the layers primarily because where I was none of the layers existed. While at the monastery, I studied under the direct bold, unbending hand of a non-English speaking Chinese master of Zen and Enlightenment. The monastery itself was a cold, stark environment high in the mountains above the tree line, far removed from the western world and civilization, operating beyond the bounds of time, whose lineage, rituals, and beliefs hearkened straight back unbroken and unfettered to the likes of Hui Neng, Bodhidharma and the Buddha.

Doing so enabled me to be guided, via the master's skillful means, through to the full level of the unveiled truth, springing unhindered and unencumbered from it's original grounding source. Returning to America I have, because of that experience, through comparison and similes, been able to cut through and discard the trappings overlayed over the centuries, stripping bare to the undiluted core. Now while it is true the monastery followed, implemented and enforced physically harsh and sometimes mentally arduous rules, they never strayed beyond the central underlying reason.