the world of animality

we love animals.  they have much to offer to us humans.  In Buddhist cosmology, there’s no argument about the benefits of the animal kingdom.  The point is that animals’ behavior links itself more to instinct than to self-awareness. Human beings need to develop their self-aware virtues in order to lead a happy life more than do animals.

Animals can feel debts of gratitude, people need appreciate others more than do animals need the feeling of appreciation in order to feel joy. One of the basic Buddhist debts of gratitude we need to repay, if we subscribe to this teaching, supplies us with plenty of those to whom we can busy ourselves repaying:  the debt of gratitude to all living beings.

giving directions to a stranger – altruism

this is the image i originally meant for today’s blog.  I’m still looking for the cool alligator scene i used to illustrate the world of animalism.DHW Giving directions to a stranger001

hell or hunger?

DHW  A garment snatching demoness001This is a garment-snatching demoness.  If I’m naked and cold, she’s just the one to snatch out of my hands the clothing i’ve just found.

Would that activity be best described as the world of hell?  The world of hunger?    Hell is a life state of total misery, devoid even of desire, so sure is one that all is hopeless. Hunger is a world of insatiable wants. Like greed, hunger can not be satisfied. Most often, in the Buddhist texts, Hunger is portrayed as a reallm of the starving.  Every time a skeletal hand takes hold of food, the sunken eyes witness fire consuming the morsels that could have nourished the hungry being.  But in the world of hunger, one can’t have what one craves.

So,the garment-snatching demoness is a denizen of the world of hunger, an emblem of the horror of greed and voracious wants.

I erred.  I thought I was uploading a photo of a woman giving directions to a stranger, an altruistic activity that elevates one’s state of being up, certainly, from the Three Evil Paths.  I believe they’re considered evil because neither hell nor hunger nor animality have humanity’s self-awareness, in which one has the capacity to alter one’s circumstances.

Instead, I picked an image of animality, in which one ‘s  instincts govern one.  One fawns before the stronger and lords it over the weaker.


Here’s a picture of a fighting spirit.  Hell can be a place like pre-liberation Auschwitz or Hiroshima, the day the A bomb dropped and it can also be a state of mind in which nothing exists except misery and maybe a dull anger at one’s own powerlessness to change circumstances.

I read about a great he-man spirit who wrote to his friend (Paraphrase) if you were in Hell for some unimaginable offense, I’d rather be there with you than in heaven.  I know that, together, we’d transform that land so that everyone in heaven would want to move there with us.

Keep that fighting spirit.hippie and politico, bridging the gap between 001

Images to Fit Into New Book: Great Spirits of He-Men and She-Women

This is one of the illustrations that’ll show up when the plan is realized.  It’ll be part of the personal story that illustrates the world of humanity in which one feels at peace with oneself and one’s surroundings.DHW Sleeping Hill Synagogue and Escape Bus small file

Busy in Summer

Do I get as much done as winter?  I’ve begun working on a new book: Great Spirits Of He-Men and She Women.  It’s based   on my understanding of the philosophy of Daisaku Ikeda and focuses on friendships. G.Forss Portrait of Donna for Facebook  EOS small file

Cory, Sarah, Piper, Sadie come to visit

The family was kind enough to come to visit with me and george at my apt.  we had light refreshments, coloring crayon on paper sessions from the kids, good vibes, laughs and jokes.  Then noon approached, george had to get home to open the gallery and the get-accory.sarah family me foregroundcory, sarah, piper, sadie, Jan 191421598910056.1piper sadie me jan 19,2015quainted party ended.

Art exhibit on Saturday at Southern Vermont Arts Center

There we are, George and I with Katrin Waite the artist standing proudly in the middle.  On the walls are her creations. I like them.  And I like then today as i think about having seen them yesterday.  I like the title of her exhibit’s collection: The Illusion of Simplicity.  The only thing is that up close the paintings have so much texture and pattern that they  really don’t look simple.  They look textured  and patterned.  The paint is layer upon layer, twenty layers on one, for example. 

I’m very happy to count  Katrin AND HER HUSBAND/PARTNER BOB as among the  friends that I and George enjoy hanging out with.  And I’m happy we made it to her opening.  We got to ride on that beautiful sunny picture-perfect sky-day with Val Reagan who is seeking a second term as mayor.  please, if she asks you, allow her to run by signing her petition.DSCN0713

To illustrate Thoughts on Friendship

For purchase:  $120. apieceDHW art  Wisdom and Compassion small fileDHW art  Yeah, Im getting approval for my hairdo  small  file

Thoughts on Friendship – blogforJan.13,2015

Thoughts on Friendship


Let’s realize how important kindness remains, how compassion sticks in memory, how encouragement breathes hope and courage into a heart. Thinking of these points can start a journey of friendship that you might not have had before.


Virtue is its own reward because it pays off in good feelings about yourself and good feelings about you from others.


More time than you would like to see pass may pass before you see the mutuality of, the reciprocity of, the give and take of your virtuous efforts.  Maybe you need more practice until you come across as sincere, genuine and in possession of those noble traits that wiin friends.  Just keep at it.


In January of 1975, the then Sec. of State of the USA Henry Kissinger met the president, Daisaku Ikeda, of an already large and growing lay Buddhist organization.


Kissinger asked Ikeda about his affiliations. This was in the middle of the Cold  War.  First, Ikeda explained his affiliations with a list of not-affiliated-withs and then Ikeda summed up the Buddhist invitation to friendship for all saying, “We are a force for peace and we ally ourselves wiih humankind.


Then, even though Ikeda knew first hand the tiring travels separating necessary destinations, Ikeda pledged his own help to Kissinger saying, ”If necessary, I am willing to go wherever I may be of help.”


Ikeda also encouraged Kissinger with understanding words about the difficulties of Kissinger’s job as well as assuring Kissinger of his sympathy with the aim of Kissinger’s work: peace.

Because of his presentation of himself and his ideas through the medium of the voice, Ikeda won and earned and enjoyed many more meetings with Kissinger.


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