BUTTERFLY DREAM BUFFALO THUNDER
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.
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.
Nietzsche quotes Pindar:
“Become who you are.” Then adds: "A dancing star!”
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."
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:
SONGS FROM THE CD COYOTE CHRIS & DON STEFAN:
GRECO-BUDDHIST NAVAJO VIDEO:
BUDDHA'S POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Appearing in 2021
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
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.
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.
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."
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 know what you mean. My dreams are more interesting than my life."
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.
Geist is the gusto
in the spice of life.
Once, twice, thrice
shaman, healer, sage.
Turn the page.
See the lily of the field
how it sprouts
from the strife
of being and becoming.
on Apollo’s steed
stirs the soul of Socrates,
to a brighter,
more lucid dream.
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,
all is well.
If nirvana is communion
with that circle
the cosmic song,
of the same
in the dance
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.
lynx I’ve been.
Not sure where.
Not sure when.
Akin to Sphynx,
and Phoenix too. Always glad
to meet again you.
Wild and free.
So many wonders
to see and be. Haven’t you heard?
Once we too
were a hummingbird.
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
OM MANI PADME HUM
May the Jewel of Wisdom
the Lotus of the Heart
so that each may see
we are all each other.
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,
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.
on the dew.
Aphrodite dances with gardenias.
on the vines.
Sun glow, moon glow.
Hermes with a halo.
Iris rides a rainbow.
orchid at dawn.
Behold the beauty
of the roots
of the tree of life
A daily rainbow of curiosity,
grace and glee.
Behold Lady Rachel Sophia Marie.
Surfing to samadhi,
her bodhisattva service
to the palace of the soul,
warmed and made bright
by the light
of the fire
the sacred heart
both origin and goal.
ODE TO SOPHIA
is the journey
from the love of wisdom
to the wisdom of love,
is not compassion
as well as the fruit?
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,
by the fire that heats
the sacred heart’s
origin and goal.
Enlightenment is a dance
with the light of the fire
that heats the heart
of the dragon that surfs
from foam emerging
on a sunlit evening
at the dawn
2001 A Space Odyssey
the possibility of
The Peaceable Kingdom on Earth,
if we all give birth
to the fire that ignites
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
Cloud gazing hermit on a cliff
adrift in eucalyptus,
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.
on my essay
on Tibetan Buddhism,
his fur a luminous gold;
in the glow of the lamplight,
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.
awakens the fawn,
sings the blues.