STEFAN  SCHINDLER

    BUTTERFLY DREAM BUFFALO THUNDER 

    OX HERDING

     SEARCHING

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    BIO BRIEF

     

              A graduate of Dickinson College, Stefan Schindler taught philosophy, psychology and religion for 40 years at institutions of higher learning, including The University of Pennsylvania, La Salle University, Berklee College of Music, The Boston Conservatory of Music, Dance and Theater, Salem State University, and the Boston and Brookline Centers for Adult Education.  For six years, he also taught language and computer skills in a state-sponsored program for immigrants and the unemployed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

             Co-founder of The National Registry for Conscientious Objection, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a recipient of The Boston Baha’i Peace Award, and a Trustee of The Life Experience School and Peace Abbey, Dr. Schindler received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Boston College in 1975; worked one summer in a nature preserve; lived in a Zen temple for a year; did the pilot’s voice in a claymation video of St. Exupery’s The Little Prince; and acted in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.  He has also performed as a musical poet in Philadelphia, Boston and New York City with the world-beat jazz band The Psychic Pioneers.

             Stefan wrote The Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Awards for Howard Zinn and John Lennon, and co-wrote the Courage of Conscience Awards for Ram Dass, Thich Nhat Hanh, and the Dalai Lama.  He has guest-lectured on Buddhisn at Boston University and on The Vietnam War at Brandeis University.  He is now retired and living in Salem, Massachusetts.

             Stefan is best known for his essays “The Tao of Teaching,” “A Brief History of Zen,” “The Transpersonal Revolution,” and his youtube lecture on “A Reawakening of Bicameral Mind.”  He currently teaches courses on "Biblical Buddhism" at Salem State University’s Lifelong Learning Institute.  His YouTube musical videos include Ox Herding Searching and Butterfly Dream Buffalo Thunder.  His poetry music CD is Coyote Chris and Don Stefan.  His books include The Tao of Socrates: Eastern Wisdom and The Birth of Western Philosophy; America’s Indochina Holocaust: The History and Global Matrix of The Vietnam War; Discoursing with The Gods: The Art and Practice of Tarot Divination; and Space is Grace.  His newest book, Buddha’s Political Philosophy, is scheduled for publication by Political Animal Press in 2021.

             He has published essays in the journals College Teaching, Process Studies, Lies of Our Times, and Socialism and Democracy.  While in Philadelphia, he published op-ed essays in The Philadelphia Enquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News.  Stefan is a frequent contributor to the website Engaging Peace.  He also writes for the website Political Animal Magazine.

    SCHINDLERIAN MAXIMS

     

    Humans are walking question marks.

     

    Philosophy is the journey from the love of wisdom to the wisdom of love.

     

    Writing without passion is lifeless; writing without rigor is nonsense.

     

    The Socratic soul is a partner in the quest; the Platonic soul is the wisdom sought.

     

    Mono-polytheism is no more contradictory than the colors of a rainbow.

     

    The flame of Eros is fanned by Thanatos.

     

    Individual innocence is no protection against collective responsibility.

     

    You can’t be a peace-maker if you’re walking around in a rage all the time.

     

    The primary function of American education is to ignorate.

     

    It is better to swim against the current than to be swept over the cliff.

     

    If the gods didn't have a sense of humor, we wouldn't be here.

    SOARING TO FREEDOM

    The active side of infinity is a tremor in the air.

    Spirit’s intent, inviting us to dare to stretch our wings.

    That’s why Chuang Tzu dreamed he was a butterfly.

    GRECO-PRUSSIAN HAIKU

    Nietzsche quotes Pindar:

    “Become who you are.”  Then adds: "A dancing star!”

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    THREE BY NIETZSCHE

    1. "Life without music would be a mistake."

    2. "There is nothing more necessary than cheerfulness."

    3. "Those who were seen dancing were thought to be                insane by those who could not hear the music."

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    THE RULE 

    in Toltec shamanism:

     

              The first precept of the rule is that everything that surrounds us is an unfathomable mystery.  The second precept of the rule is that we must try to unravel these mysteries, but without ever hoping to

    accomplish this.  The third [precept] is that a warrior [on The Path

    of Knowledge], aware of the unfathomable mystery that surrounds

    him and aware of his duty to try to unravel it, takes his rightful place

    among mysteries and regards himself as one.

             Consequently, for a warrior [on The Path of Knowledge] there is no end to the mystery of being, whether being means being a pebble, or an ant, or oneself.  That is a warrior’s humbleness.  One is equal to everything.

                                                                    Carlos Castaneda,  THE EAGLE'S GIFT

    THREE BY NAGARJUNA

    1. "Do not build fifty palaces, your highness. 

          After all, you can only be in one room at a time."

    2. "Those who think the world is real are dumb as a cow.

          Those who think the world is not real are even dumber."

    3. "When you throw upon me all of your own faults, you are

          like a man riding a horse who has forgotten where his horse is!"

    WEB POSTED ESSAYS:

            VIDEO OF LECTURE ON:

     ZEN OX-HERDING

         SONG VIDEO:

    SONGS FROM THE CD  COYOTE CHRIS & DON STEFAN:

    STEFAN'S BOOKS:

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        GRECO-BUDDHIST           NAVAJO VIDEO:

    BUDDHA'S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 

    Appearing in 2021

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    PATH TO THE PEACEABLE KINGDOM

    "The demand to abandon illusions about our condition is a demand to abandon the conditions which require illusion."  -  Karl Marx, echoing Plato, Buddha, Rousseau, Kant, Emerson, Blake, and Eckhart

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    PYTHAGOREAN BUDDHISM

    The purpose of life is learning and service, and karma is the teacher.  Karma teaches that Wisdom and Compassion are two names for the same.

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    BEATLES BUDDHISM

    Love is all you need on the magical mystery tour to enlightenment.

    Behold Lucy in the sky with diamonds, graceful and serene.

    I am you, you are me, and we all live in a yellow submarine.

    Dear Prudence, won’t you join the dance?

    All we are saying is give peace a chance.

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    THE CROSS AND THE BODHI TREE

         The cross as symbol of suffering parallels Buddha's first and second noble truths.

         The cross as symbol of redemptive awkening parallels Buddha's third and fourth noble truths.

         Buddha's 1st noble truth: The unenlightened life is fraught with anxiety, sorrow, and suffering.

         Buddha's 2nd noble truth: The cause of suffering is ignorance, manifest as misdirected and excessive desires.

         Buddha's 3rd noble truth: Nirvana -- equanimity and joy -- is possible.

         Buddha's 4th noble truth: The 8-Fold Path (to nirvana) -- Right thinking, speaking, intention, action, vocation, effort, concentration, and meditation.

    BUDDHA  AND  THE  LEAVES

    Shakyamuni was sitting in the forest beneath a tree, in front of a small group of disciples.  Shakyamuni picked up a handful of leaves, and asked – "Which is greater?  The number of leaves in my hand, or the number of leaves in the forest?"  The disciples replied – "There are more leaves in the forest."  Shakyamuni said – "Just so.  What I know is more

    than what I have taught."

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    DREAMING

     

    In my dreams, I've met John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Seth, Jean-Paul Sartre, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Maurine Stuart Roshi.

     

    I was gifted with a night-long dream about the entire history of Tibetan Buddhism.

     

    I woke up one morning to see a white leopard sitting on the end of the bed, staring at me, then fading into a cloud of photons.

     

    Once in "real" life, Lewis and I were strolling the green pastures of The Peace Abbey.

     

    Lewis stopped and said:

     

    "You know, Stefan, my life is more interesting than I am."

     

    I replied:

     

    "I know what you mean.  My dreams are more interesting than my life."

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    KARMIC ROOTS AND FRUITS

    What we do to each other we do to ourselves.

    What we do to animals we do to ourselves.

    What we do to the planet we do to ourselves. 

    Buddha's political philosophy in a seashell.

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    TANGERINE  NYKTERINE

     

    Geist is the gusto

    in the spice of life.

    Once, twice, thrice

    Hermes Trismegistus

    shaman, healer, sage.

    Turn the page.

    See the lily of the field

    how it sprouts

    from the strife

    of being and becoming.

    Pythian priestess

    on Apollo’s steed

    stirs the soul of Socrates,

    and teases

    somnabulating Athens

    to a brighter,

    more lucid dream.

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    PERCHANCE TO DREAM OF I AND THOU

    Usually just a humble gawker,
    sometimes a philosophic squawker,
    riding samadhi carpet

    to samadhiville I wander in wonders

    too sublime to tell, chanting

    to the chimes of a distant bell,

    knowing that

    with Beauty

    all is well.

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    GNOSTIC AGNOSTIC

     

    If nirvana is communion

    with that circle

    whose circumference

    is nowhere

    and center

    everywhere,

    whence then

    the cosmic song,

    whose origin

    is nowhere

    and echo

    everywhere,

    eternal return

    of the same

    in the dance

    of difference?

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    ODE TO SHAKYAMUNI

    Consciousness and karma like the wind.

    Mind like space.  All beings becomings.

    Born of grace.  Beauty the goal.

    Every atom of the whole a song of bliss.

    Every finite part by infinity kissed.

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    PROTEAN FELINE

    Lion, tiger,

    panther, leopard,

    lynx I’ve been.

    Not sure where.

    Not sure when.

    Akin to Sphynx,

    and Phoenix too.  Always glad

    to meet again you.

    Shape-shifting trickster.

    Wild and free.

    So many wonders

    to see and be.  Haven’t you heard?

    Once we too

    were a hummingbird.

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    JEWEL IN THE LOTUS
    Here be dragons.  There be dragons.
    Inside each a butterfly of peace.
    I am you.  You are me.

    One plus one is three.
    Tree of Life – see how it sprouts
    from kindness, fructified

    in the juice of justice.
    Bliss Wisdom Grace the space
    beyond beyond.

    OM MANI PADME HUM

    May the Jewel of Wisdom

    blossom in

    the Lotus of the Heart

    so that each may see

    we are all each other.

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    BUDDHA'S FLOWER SERMON

     

    On Vulture Peak, Shakyamuni Buddha

    delivered his sermon for the day

    in front of a great assembly of disciples.

    Buddha held up a flower.

    This was his famous Flower Sermon.

    Alone among the assembly,

    Mahakashyapa smiled.

    Later that night, Buddha transmitted

    to Mahakashyapa deepest wisdom

    in silent, mind-to-mind transmission

    called abisheka.  Mahakashyapa thus became

    first Zen Patriarch.  He later transmitted abisheka to Ananda, who became

    the second Zen patriarch,

    in a long and succeeding line

    from Naragarjuna to Hui Neng.

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    SUKHAVATI

     

    Meadowlark

    at dawn,

    gold dust

    of knowledge

    on the dew.

    Aphrodite dances with gardenias.

    Moonflowers

    on the vines.

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    RECOLLECTING

    THE BETWEEN

     

    Sun glow, moon glow.

    Hermes with a halo.

    Iris rides a rainbow.

    Butterfly stalks

    orchid at dawn.

    Behold the beauty

    of the roots

    of the tree of life

    spreading

    beyond

    beyond.

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    TARA'S DELIGHT

     

    A daily rainbow of curiosity,

    grace and glee.

    Behold Lady Rachel Sophia Marie.

    Surfing to samadhi,

    her bodhisattva service

    a safari

    to the palace of the soul,

    warmed and made bright

    by the light

    of the fire

    that heats

    the sacred heart

    that is

    both origin and goal.

    ODE TO SOPHIA

     

    If philosophy

    is the journey

    from the love of wisdom

    to the wisdom of love,

    is not compassion

    The Path,

    as well as the fruit?

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    SURFING SAMADHI

    Comes a day, if the bell of truth

    perchance to ring, each birdsong

    chanting the Tao Te Ching.

    Karma like the wind, mind like space.

    Dancing star, born of grace.

    Each atom sings its bliss,

    every finite part by infinity kissed.

    Here be dragons, there be dragons.

    Inside each a butterfly of peace.

    Shape-shifting trickster, wild and free,

    so many wonders to see and be.

    Sun glow, moon glow.  Hermes with a halo.

    Iris rides a rainbow, surfing samadhi,

    bodhisattva service a safari

    to the palace of the soul,

    chambers lit

    by the fire that heats

    the sacred heart’s

    origin and goal.

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    THUNDER’S ECHO

    Enlightenment is a dance

    with the light of the fire

    that heats the heart

    of the dragon that surfs

    the waves,

    from foam emerging

    Aphrodite rising

    on a sunlit evening

    at the dawn

    of civilization,

    2001 A Space Odyssey

    ending with

    the possibility of

    The Peaceable Kingdom on Earth,

    if we all give birth

    to the fire that ignites

    dragon dreams.

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    OAK AND RAVEN

    The dance of sound and silence weaves

    the tapestry of time. Three together,

    for each other, on the path to the wizard

    for whom the bells chime.

    Photons, feathers, flight of a cloud.

    Mystic smile in the blood-stained shroud.

    Returning now, beyond the cedar

    that shades the tomb, what if,

    in being born, we nevertheless

    never left

    Shakti’s womb?

    Cloud gazing hermit on a cliff

    adrift in eucalyptus,

    hawk ascending

    the crack between the worlds.

    Music echoes in the breeze

    so gentle it barely ripples

    the rising moon

    on the water’s surface

    where dragonflies dart

    between bud, blossom and bloom.

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    CAT

    Sebastian sprawls

    on my essay

    on Tibetan Buddhism,

    his fur a luminous gold;

    in the glow of the lamplight,

    almost

    too beautiful

    to behold.

    SEBASTIAN

    Sun glow, moon glow,

    Hermes with a halo,

    Iris rides a rainbow,

    I and Thou and emptiness too.

    Space is grace

    is known only to the few.

    Birdsong dawn

    awakens the fawn,

    sky

    sings the blues.

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