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Luminous Jewel, Blake Walton


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Posted By Luminous Jewel, Blake Walton

Fearless Puppy on American Road


"Actual horrors notwithstanding, life on Earth is a lot friendlier than we have been led to believe, and can be made friendlier still. Many of us regular folks have realized this and chosen to do something about it."

-- Doug "Ten" Rose (


FP Cover


June 1, 2008

I serendipitously found this book in my local coffee shop the day before my dog and I headed out on our summer road trip. I felt it was an auspicious theme for our journey to adventures unknown in the wild blue yonder of New Mexico.

The actual "puppy" (my dog Shadow) is pretty fearless, the exception being loud noises like thunder.  I, despite my bravado and seeming love of "adventure", am the more chicken-hearted and prone to worrying type. I all too often allow my imagination to be influenced by the insidious negativity of the mass media that seeps in despite my best efforts. This coupled with my tendency to indulge in existential doubts (why? why me? what now?) can tip me over into the fear zone. And tip I did! What if my car breaks down? What if I have an accident and die? What am I-- nuts!-- to leave friends and a job for adventure? What if I lose my wallet? (This actually happened to me once on a road trip. The responding state trooper gave me $20 and my wallet was eventually found and returned intact!)

I was humbled by how much suffering my mind was creating!

Meanwhile, the beauty of the American landscape boldly but unassumingly unfurled itself outside my car windows. The scents of dew-laden earth, trumpeting honeysuckle and the bursting glory of spring green life flooded my senses. Beauty started winning out over fear. Pleasure and curiosity opened me to the moment. And the next. And the next. Five days and 2000 miles on the American road with no air "conditioning" to blunt the experience, no radio or music to distract the mind.  Mile after mile of mind looking at mind, moment after moment of restful alertness in the "what is-ness" instead of the "what next". I felt humbled AND overjoyed by the preciousness of this Earth and our innate ability to experience its beauty.


In Buddhist teachings, fear is foremost among the reactive emotions that produce the Three Poisons (aversion, attachment, ignorance) that are the root of our suffering. Fear can make us AVERSE to the "other" (people, experiences, emotions) and lead to separation and oppression. Fear of loss, of death, of what meaning our lives may have can lead to an addictive ATTACHMENT to material things and experiences to fill our emptiness. And fear can overwhelm us into head-in-the-sand IGNORANCE.


Meanwhile, the beauty of life on Earth unfolds moment after moment. Why not be a fearless puppy? YOU CAN CHOSE.