Book Review

Meeting the Dalai Lama: an excerpt from Memories, Dreams, and Reflections of THE American Buddhist

(This is an excerpt from the first book of the Hard Times Review Press: Memories, Dreams, and Reflections of THE American Buddhist as shouted to Matthew Vernon Whalan, available for sale here)

Meeting The Dalai Lama 

What about, at the psychic level, the fact that all I am, all the images in this room, everything you see, depends on what only your visual consciousness is focused on? You don’t see the rest. Right now you’re looking at my face. Is my face an identity? Well, if that’s what they put on your driver’s license, yes. Your face is just a piece of meat. That’s no identity whatsoever. It’s just a form, and when you die, it’s going to fall off, then you’ll just be a skull. 

Is your face YOURself? The government thinks so. Again, they don’t put your ass or your dick on your driver’s license. It’s just as unique. They don’t put your fingerprints on there yet. There’s no barcode on there yet. But that’s coming. There’s no implant in your body to know where you are at all times, but that’s coming. 

“It’s for your own good,” right? That’s what Hitler said, what Mussolini said. “The Jews are destroying the country. It’s for your own good.” “The Mexicans are coming over the wall, crazy rapists and murderers. Let’s put their kids in concentration camps and take their parents away from them and let them die on the other side of the wall with no water, unable to get into the country to get water,” and by the way, they’re from Guatemala and Nicaragua and Honduras and other places that we have destroyed for decades, fighting for Dole Pineapples. Where do you think we got all that fruit? That’s the fruit bowl, man, where the sugar comes from that we got everybody addicted to. All of it’s “for your own good.”

What do you think Cuba was over? The war. Cuba was our playground for the rich and famous, full of casinos that weren’t legal here, but they were there, while we used all their people as slaves to — HULLO — make sugarcane to addict people to Baby Ruths and other candy bars. There is sugar in everything. 

Coca-Cola, by the way, CERTAINLY DID have cocaine in it when it started out, lots. That pepped it right up, didn’t it? It also addicted you to cocaine, caffeine, and sugar, Coca-Cola, which is nothing but fizzy brown sugar, but they’re one of the largest corporations on the planet. 

As an antiques dealer, if I find an old Coca-Cola machine — fuck, man, CHACHING CHACHING CHACHING. If you restore it, it’s worth 10 thousand dollars. Why? Because a corporation decided they were going to addict America to cocaine and they got caught and they had to take it out. They still call it Coca-Cola, though. Coca is the name of the plant — there it is — and Cola’s the name of the other plant, calona. 

Now what do they dose it with? They add caffeine. They jack it up good. What’s that do? Fires you up just like cocaine. Actually, there ain’t much difference at high levels, except cocaine is more fun. I wouldn’t eat a box of No Doze, like I did one time, because you’ll trip your brains out and you’ll think monsters are killing you for three weeks. Oh I had to call my shrink. 

He’s like, “Yeah, don’t do that. That’s poison. Caffeine’s poison at high doses. Fuck you up, man.” I was shitting my brains out, fuckin screaming, thought monsters were chasing me, hallucinating, fuckin blinding lights everywhere, because we were trying to paint a house, my buddy Tom and I, Tom Lampert, and we each ate a box of No Doze, and boy did we regret doing that. We thought we’d paint like monsters. Well, we did for about 10 minutes, then it was like, “HEY, YOU GOT A JOINT, MAN? YOU GOT SOME LIQUOR?” I drank a quart of vodka and it didn’t do anything to me, DIDN’T EVEN SLOW ME DOWN. So, I called my shrink and I go, “THE MONSTERS ARE KILLING ME. THIS IS WORSE THAN ACID. ALL I DID WAS FUCKING CAFFEINE,” and he goes, “Well, you know, in the middle ages, they used to trip on caffeine and it wasn’t a pleasant experience for them either, so drink as much vodka as you can. Smoke lots of weed. You won’t be able to sleep for two days but the monsters will stop by morning, but in the morning, when you want a cup of coffee, drink decaf. Otherwise, it’ll start all over again.”

Heart of Darkness, it keeps looking at me over there from your shelf. I’ve read that. Yep, I’ve been up that river. I met Kurtz, actually. 

Kurtz is at the head of every human service organization. Kurtz is every Native American Guru that sells the sweat lodge and the pipe to White girls to fuck them and then gets on the cover of New Age Magazine as the Lakota guru, and in the meantime — know what he’s doing? — paying MY FRIEND to run hard liquor onto the Res, because he’s part of the Indian Mafia, paying the guy he’s teaching sweat lodge to, his student, the Jewish guy (I won’t say his name because you might know who he is, might not) to run liquor in his trunk onto the Reservation, because if Kurtz gets caught doing it himself, his Indian brothers will kill him because that is what was used to wipe them out. 

Ok, fine, yeah, let’s go back to MY pain. Yeah, oh, let’s forget about the pain of the universe. Sure alright fine whatever ok, not like it matters. “REdirect” me. GO ahead. 

After graduation, I became a painting contractor and stopped doing art, and — wait — this is where the other part comes in that I haven’t talked about yet: 

BECAUSE I was a direct emissary of His Holiness the Dalai Lama almost who was one of my personal teachers and I’ve had personal teachings with him, just me and him, and his teacher, Serkong Rinpoche, who died and came back, who I’m also going to see again when I go back to India (you’re free to come with me, you’ll love it, everything’s cheap, a dollar’s eight bucks over there, and trust me, you won’t need any fuckin money anyway because I’ll keep you fed and feed you the best hash you ever smoked constantly), I was asked to drive a decoy car for the Dalai Lama after graduating college.

I was living with two girls, one of whom was the most beautiful girl in Amherst, who I wanted to fuck and I did but she turned out to be crazy, but I did fuck the most beautiful girl in Amherst because Robert Thurmond was fucking a blond model and I wanted to be like him and everyone wanted Lydia, so I just fucked her. It was fun. But she was crazy. 

She was American royalty, some corporation like Bose or something, granddaughter of some huge electronics firm, something REALLY well known, like ALL of Walmart or ALL of the insurance industry or something, very, very one percent kid, totally fucked up, raped by her father no doubt, most gorgeous blond woman you’ve ever seen in your life. You look at her and your dick just goes ZING danananana ZING, and she fucked my socks off. All I had to do was ask her. I didn’t realize yet, “Oh, shit, I guess sometimes all you have to do is ask.” 

But she was friends with Corki because Corki had her brain all screwed up because she believed he was Jesus because she was fucked up. 

A lot of people believed Corki really was Jesus, by the way. He had a whole crew believe in him and he believed a guy who thought he was Mohammed. Rich White people are fucked up, man, and the kids who go to these colleges have no life experience. They’ll believe anything. 

Anyway, let’s get back to whatever. Ok, Dalai Lama. Here we go: 

I met him personally in 1980 in India, when I went over there to see Serkong Rinpoche, but the first time I saw him up close is when Robert Thurmond brought him for the first time to New York City, and to Amherst College the same day, where I was one of the three cars to pick up the whole retinue. It was Robert Thurmond’s three best Buddhist students who already graduated: David Gardner, who became a Buddhist teacher out west at graduate school, Joe McGrath, who is STILL an insurance salesman — he always has been — and me. We were Thurmond’s greatest students, so he said, “Look, I know you graduated, but listen. We need three drivers. Would you like to have the honor of driving the cars for the Dalai Lama?” 

Well, Gardner got the job of the car with the Dalai Lama, only because he was fucking Thurmond’s secretary. So, she got him the job, actually, a minor distinction. So, Joe McGrath and I got to drive the other two. 

I got to drive the head of the Tibetan Government in exile and Joe got to drive the security car at the rear because the Dalai Lama’s life was still being threatened by the Chinese. They wanted him dead. DUDE, this was like James Bond shit. I had to dress up in a suit and tie. I was all dirty and shit, had to fuckin get a haircut and everything. They had to clean me up, and I drove the second car, and Gardner got in trouble because Dalai Lama was in the back chanting mantras and David Gardner got excited. Well, Gardner’s a Leo. He’s an asshole. I HATE Leos anyway. I hope you’re not a Leo, Matty. It’s like having a — 

Huh?

You CAN’T be a Leo, Matthew. No, there’s something imbalance. No, all Leos are assholes. No, you CAN’T be a Leo. All Leos think they know everything.

No, wait. What’s your rising sign? Maybe there’s a balance. What’s your rising sign? What’s your moon sign, your ascendant? Oh you had your girlfriend figure out your signs for you. Well, that’s pretty fuckin Leo of you right there, actually. No wonder she left you AND you don’t remember your signs, man. Go figure. You’re a fuckin Leo. This guy. Gimme a break. Psh. 

Well, you’re the only good Leo I ever met in my entire life, Matty.

No, I hate Leos, ESPECIALLY Leo men. No, they’re arrogant. 

Robert Thurmond is a triple Leo. That’s his problem: Sun sign, rising sign, and moon sign, all Leo, no one more arrogant on the face of this Earth than Robert Thurmond. Know why?

My planet is Venus, right? Others have different planets. EXCUSE ME. What is your planet, Matty? Leo’s planet, what is it? THE SUN. IS THAT A PLANET? NO. IT’S THE SUN. So, LEOS EXPECT EVERYBODY TO REVOLVE AROUND THEM LIKE PLANETS, but since their planet is actually the sun, they forget one little problem with that: They are at the center of just one particular thing they own, which is why they call it “the solar system,” but guess what. 

What is the sun? 

Right, and what do we call a ball of fire in space that has planets around it? A STAR. 

And how many of those are there? BILLIONS AND BILLIONS AND BILLIONS, and that’s just in THIS reality. 

Science has not yet proven the alternate realities next to ours and there are infinite numbers in those too. So, you have to multiply the number of stars by alternate and infinite realities.

So, in other words, there’s no end to the number of stars that exist, which means you Leos can fuck off. You think you are the center of the universe and you’re only one of billions of fucking stars. Alright? There are so many of you it’s ridiculous, which makes you really, really little. 

You ever look out in space? You think you guys look big to me? NO, no no no no no, and if you get close to a star, you get burnt up. 

Oh also: Leo means what in Latin? And what is the lion? KING OF BEASTS. 

So, NOT ONLY are you the center of the solar system as the Sun God, which is why we worship gold, by the way, because it looks like the sun (you cause a lot of trouble with the gold thing), not only do you think you’re the center of everything, just because a few planets revolve around you (meaning all the other signs revolve around the Leo, or at least YOU think they do, even though you’re only one of billions of stars), not only do you feel powerful because you can burn the shit out of everything (one solar flare and look, you’re fucked), plus you don’t quite live forever but pretty close to it, so not only are you terrified of death and not only do you simultaneously think you are immortal, you are ALSO A LION, on top of everything else, so you feel the need to control everyone around you. 

Oh don’t mind that noise coming from your kitchen, Matty. No, it’s me. You’ll have to forgive me. I’ve got 13 Yamantakas. 

Don’t worry. It’s Dalai Lama stuff, Hindu stuff, Tibetan stuff. I’ll explain later. 13 little Yamantaks, they’re my friends. They’re good. Don’t worry. They’re on our side. You don’t have to worry about it. No, they’ll catch up with me outside after the interview. They’ll protect me. 

They are from an initiation I had with the Dalai Lama’s 13 Yamantakas. Write this down. I can’t spell in Tibetan, because you don’t understand the letters: Chusum Yamantaka. “Yama” is the Hindu god of death, and “ntaka” means the “destroyer thereof.” So, Yamantaka is the thousand armed, heavily weaponed, bloody skull wearing, pig faced monster with Manjushri’s head on top, and is the tutelary protected deity of the Gelug because he is an emanation of Manjushri, the Buddha of learning, and is what we call “a wrathful deity,” meaning he looks angry but he is what we call “Buddhist tough love.” Ok? So, Yamantaka looks like a demon but he is simply an imaginary projection of Manjushri and what he does is: He’s stomping on this bloody body, and the bloody body is death, which is A JOKE because there is no such thing as death. 

So, what Yamantaka is doing is: You imagine yourself as Yamantaka and you go through the whole ritual with the doors and the bell (I have all that stuff, some of it was stolen but I’ll buy it back), and I was given an initiation in a group of Tibetans, about 200 Tibetans in a large auditorium with His Holiness in 1980 in March, a group initiation into the Chusum, or “13 deity Yamantaka,” so there’s 13 little Yamantakas that you get to imagine yourself as. You get to imagine their mandala and do various tantric things, like turn shit into gold and blood and guts into delicious food. You transmute negative energy into positive. This is the level we’re talking about here. Now, Kriya Tantra was a cleansing tantra. That’s Avlokiteshvara, bodhisattva of compassion, and the two daughters, White and Green Tara, and I have those initiations from Tsenshab Serkong Rinpoche, but my real super-duper tantric initiation was in a group of Tibetans. So, I have a full initiation from His Holiness to practice the Sadhana, but I need to learn it in Tibetan, which will take many years, but still, the power of Yamantaka has been put into me, but it is a joke. 

By the way, he’s a lot like our cartoon character, the Tasmanian Devil, “Taz,” because the real Tasmanian Devil looks like a rat, doesn’t look like Tas, but Tas looks like Yamantaka, and he’s got that spinning energy and goes out and fucks up evil. So, he’s like to Buddhism what St. Michael is to the Catholics: He’s gonna fuck with the demons, looks like a demon to scare them off, and he’s got a big hard on and a big consort that he fucks constantly, which brings me to the tantric sexual realm, which is fun but I haven’t got there yet. I already experienced Kundalini, however, through the Hindu teachings.

Yamantaka will be the tattoo on my right arm and that’ll be a yang, and Mother Mary will be on the inside coming down my arm here. There will be a Mandala tattooed on my back with all my power animals in the four directions, an overlay of the basic tantric mandala with the five Dhyani Buddhas, and the Native American Medicine Wheel, which correlates with all of that, will also be tattooed on my back, and those tattoos explain the THIRD book that is already written in my head. 

What else you wanna know?

So, I said “hullo” to the Dalai Lama within 20 feet before he got in the car and we drove him to Amherst College. David was in the first car but he got in trouble for getting too excited from the mantras and then stepping on the gas really hard because His Holiness was chanting in the back because he meditates. So, that’s the first time.

Now I will tell you how I met the Dalai Lama:

In 1980, I was in India. John Lennon was assassinated in New York City while I was in India.

Dr. Robert Thurmond knew I was going to India. My parents sent all their kids anywhere they wanted to go in the world after graduation, the one thing I did get for it. I said “India” and they freaked out and I said, “Well, I’m going.” They wanted me to go to France or Italy, some safe place like Europe. “No, straight to India.” “Very dangerous,” they’d say. 

Very dangerous indeed, especially with me, smoking pot and getting in with the wrong people. I got in with the Indian Mafia right away. Where do you think I got my weed? 

They were stealing cameras from tourists. They had to have 800 Sony cameras in there. I rented from them. I rented from their grandfather. I did it on purpose, man. They were giving me weed just to keep me quiet, keep me from giving them up to the army, not the police. Turn in the Indian Mafia to the army and they’d die for that and they know that. Oh I had that mob by the balls right away, man. I mean, I’m not STUPID. 

So, there I was in Dharamshala. John Lennon was killed THE MINUTE I got there. All the hippies were crying their fucking eyes out. Man, even the Tibetans were crying. They loved John Lennon. They love that song, “Imagine.” The Dalai Lama loved that song. That was a big blow. After losing Annie and my grandmother? Then we lose John Lennon? While I’m in India? Just like they did? Like, woah, there’s another weirdness. I can’t explain it. I think I’m dead. I’m dreaming you. I’m dreaming everything. You think I made this shit up? 

Ok. Here it is. Here I am. Ok. I’ll explain it. Here’s the truth. I never tell a lie. I don’t have to. 

Ok. Here’s the deal, and give me a minute and don’t interrupt me, because I WILL fuck this up:

There was a pack of dogs I befriended, who were left behind by hippies who would befriend a little Indian puppy and then leave it there and go home. They were all male dogs because the Dalai Lama kept them from breeding by taking the female dogs and giving them to the nuns in the female girl’s school. 

Every Tibetan kid goes to school in a monastery first. They’re not monks. They don’t have to become monks. That’s just school. Every kid in Tibet goes to college and learns mathematics, science, medicine, practical things for life, every kid. When they’re done with college, they can decide whether to be a monk or not, and not all orders are celibate. In some, you can marry, just like the Christians. 

They got laypeople teaching. I’m a teacher. I qualify almost for a Geshe Degree. That’s like a graduate degree in Buddhism. I can answer most of those questions, but since I can’t read them in Tibetan, I can’t get a Geshe Degree. When I learn Tibetan, I will have my Geshe Degree. That means I pretty much am a Buddhist priest and teacher, a layperson, NOT ordained. 

I don’t WANT to be jointly ordained in the Gelug, because that would mean I have to give up pussy. Fuck that. I THINK NOT. You think I’m going to take relationship advice from the Dalai Lama, who’s been 14 lifetimes without a woman? I don’t FUCKIN think so. He’s a fuckin IDIOT about women and I’ll tell him so when I see him again. “You’re a fool, man.” 

It pisses him off. Women ask him, “Well, why don’t you come back as a woman, Dalai Lama?” He goes, “Maybe I will next time. Why not? But I’m gonna be hot.” Boy, did that piss em off. “You mean you can’t be an ugly woman, Dalai Lama? Do you mean people who listen to you have to be beautiful?” And they caught him on a sexist thing, which he meant in a purely sexist way, for which they were right to call him out. 

What I’m trying to say is: Before I met the Dalai Lama, this pack of dogs I was friends with turned out to be all male, and I asked, “Why aren’t these with the boy monks like the girl dogs are with the girls?” and the Dalai Lama’s answer (through other people) was, “Well, because the boys would be distracted and more interested in the dog and won’t study,” then I found out the Indian Army regularly poisons the male dogs with steaks laced with strychnine, from which they die by writhing in agony for hours, and Dalai Lama could prevent that, but instead HE’S A GIGANTIC FUCKING ASSHOLE FOR FUCKING WITH MY FRIENDS, the dogs, who all loved me. So, I was COVERED WITH FLEAS from befriending this pack of dogs. The Tibetans called me “Dog Boy.” 

These dogs were just like Justin’s dog, man. They were trained, good dogs. They were NOT some pack of wild dogs, but they’d OCCASIONALLY take down a sheep BECAUSE THEY WERE HUNGRY AND THEY’RE PACK ANIMALS, SO — HULLO — THAT’S HOW THEY HUNT. THEY’RE WOLVES. But, to protect the farmers, the Indian Army would get the dogs a nice fat juicy steak, lace it with strychnine and throw it to em. And these poor things would have blood gushing out of their mouths. It takes hours to die from that, man, in horrible agony. Dalai Lama’s a piece of shit for doing that to my friends. I tried to get something to treat them but you couldn’t get anything shipped there because it’d be stolen at the docks by the Indian Mafia because they were so strong back then. Everything was stolen from the boats and sold, all for double the price, through the Siqs because India still has a caste system. 

Well, let me tell you about how I met the Dalai Lama: 

So, my friend Mikey was actually probably an emanation of Serkong Rinpoche. They do that, send little split-offs of themselves to help you out, and I had two meetings with Serkong Rinpoche, very intense, very helpful, the Dalai Lama’s teacher. 

He knew too much and then so did Mikey. I met the Dalai Lama because I was covered with fleas, depressed, sleeping in a sleeping bag soaked with Indian Raid, which was visibly burning my skin, trying to get the fleas off, worrying about the dogs constantly, not getting the flea collars, because my parents sent them and they were stolen at the docks, when Mikey goes, “Dalai Lama’s having an audience today. Wanna come?” I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” 

I’m like, “Dude, I’m out of weed. I’m filthy. I stink. I’m covered with fleas. I am NOT going to see His Holiness today.” Mikey doesn’t care. 

“You’re coming,” he says. 

I go, “How’d you get in?” He wouldn’t tell me. 

He was just IN because he was not him, was not Mikey, but rather, an image sent to me by Serkong Rinpoche. 

It’s nothing new and I’m not crazy and he sent Mikey as part of himself to teach me while he was busy teaching other people. It’s just how it works. There are already thousands of Buddhas. Buddha is not a god. Buddha is you when you wake up all the way. Well, these guys are pretty FUCKIN awake. Dalai Lama’s teacher when he was a kid? My teacher. 

(They made Yoda out of Rinpoche’s face, by the way, because he was THAT important. That’s Yoda. There he is. Rinpoche is Yoda. Don’t believe the other stories. They went over there and I got pictures of the guys from Star Wars modeling Yoda from Rinpoche’s face, making Yoda with the three big lines, the three jewels, because Yoda was born with the sign: Buddha, the awake one, Dharma, the teaching, Sanga, the community of teachers. Rinpoche was born with those three marks and they are the three most prominent things in Yoda’s face, so Rinpoche IS Yoda and I studied with Rinpoche, which makes me a Jedi. I’m a Jedi. 

This is all written down, by the way. I’m not making it up. I can show you where it is: It’s on studybuddhism.com by my friend who is Serkong Rinpoche’s handler in Berlin, appointed by the Dalai Lama and now dealing with him in his new body and younger than the both of us. He was 90 when he died, gave his life in a ritual. He died on purpose. He said exactly what town he’d be reborn in and that’s right where they found him. That is his hometown. He is leaving the order, by the way, and going back to live there with his wife. 

I’m gonna go see him. We’re gonna hang out. You wanna come? He likes Trailer Park Boys. He grew up in Canada, speaks English perfectly. You think the Dalai Lama would send any of his students to AMERICA when Trump is President? No way. Dalai Lama says there’s “something very broken” about Donald Trump. “America first? This is very wrong.” 

People first, love first, compassion first. “America first” is the same as “Germany first.” What do you think they sang to Hitler? Deutschland, Deutschland, uber alles!  — “Germany, Germany, over all.” But Trump is too stupid to be Hitler, or Hitler wasn’t quite stupid enough to be Trump, something like that. Trump’s a failed rapist totally failed businessman rich prep school kid. Why do you think we don’t see the taxes? And his supporters go beat up the Capitol on the President’s watch? How stupid are they? He’s still there. You’re gonna go over there and smash windows? That’s what the Brown Shirts and the Nazis did. EUGENICS was in AMERICA FIRST.) 

OK, so AS I WAS SAYING:

I met the Dalai Lama by walking up to him in a line of people, holding a box of incense I wanted to give him as a gift, which I’d wrapped in the red cord you get when you arrive to meet him, which he SUPPOSEDLY has blessed, but I didn’t believe he did bless it (they can throw any red cord at me), so I wrapped the cord around the incense I was giving him, so he would have to touch it and hand it back to me, because I didn’t trust the motherfucker after he fucked with my dogs. “Did you REALLY bless that red string, or did they just throw some red strings in a box? No, YOU have to give it to ME.” 

So, I stood in front of him, took his hand. (You’re not supposed to touch The Dalai Lama but he takes everyone’s hand.) 

He took my hand, and shook it very warmly. 

I said, “My name is Kenneth Ganam, Jr. I studied with Dr. Robert Thurmond. He sent me here to study with Serkong Rinpoche, etcetera, etcetera.” 

He just didn’t say a word, not one word. I stood there and talked. I thanked him for the work he’s done in the world, not one word, and he just started squeezing my hand a little tighter, until it started to hurt.

Then I thought, “Ya know what? I’m in front of an enlightened master. Maybe I can get enlightened. What if I look right into his enlightened eyes and get what they call ‘Baraka?’ What if I can get a zap?” So, I’m standing there talking, then we lock eyes and I go into the deepest Dzogchen meditation I learned from him and Serkong Rinpoche, and our eyes are LOCKED, and we meditated like that for — I don’t know, a 10th of a second? — and he started to HURT my hand by squeezing. When I didn’t get enlightened, I said to myself, “Psh. You know what? He’s probably bullshit.” 

Then I gave him a look like, “You know what? I think you’re bullshit. My girlfriend is dead. You couldn’t stop that. You couldn’t stop my grandmother from dying. You’re killing dogs with poison. YOU’RE doing that. You could teach those boys compassion with those animals, just like you do with the female dogs for the girls in school. They give animals to crazy people to teach them compassion. Why don’t you give the boys the dogs just like the girls get the dogs? Oh because if girls are distracted, it doesn’t matter because they’re girls? It’s the boys that’ll become masters? Really? Thought you said you weren’t sexist. Gotcha, checkmate,” didn’t say any of that, but he was reading my mind the whole time. He still didn’t say one single word. 

I did all the talking. I stood there talking for maybe five minutes, and five minutes of radio time is a looooong time. Five minutes is an hour if you’re a DJ. Fifty seconds of silence and you’re fucked. Ten seconds of silence, it ROARS. 

Well, five minutes of me talking and not The Dalai Lama? And he just wouldn’t let me go. 

So, then I went, “Psh, fuck it.” I mean I gave him that look, like, “You know what? YOU’RE THE DALAI LAMA. I’M HERE, DOING MY BEST. I’VE DONE ALL YOUR TEACHINGS. I’VE HELPED THE HOMELESS. I’VE HELPED RETARDED PEOPLE. I’VE DONE YOUR WORK. I WAS RAPED, I WAS MURDERED, I WAS KILLED, I WAS DESTROYED. I SPENT MANY LIFETIMES AS A WARRIOR, so you’ll have to forgive me for all the murders I did in past lives, please, oh and I paid for an abortion in this life and you call an abortion murder, just like a Catholic, SO THERE IT IS.” 

And I’m COVERED with fleas, which are literally JUMPING OFF OF ME AND ONTO THE DALAI LAMA. I STINK to high heaven, got armpits smell like a snake died in a road, and my hair is all fucked up and I’m STONED OUTTA MY FUCKING GOURD — my eyes are BRIGHT RED — and I’m going “fuck you” to the Dalai Lama. 

Oh by the way, I go, “Here, take the incense.” 

He goes, “Nah, you keep it.” He wouldn’t touch it. He knew what I was doing. He knew I was telling him I didn’t trust him at all, because Buddha said not to trust him.

The most important teaching ABOUT teaching in Buddhism is the four reliances: First, “Rely on the teaching, not the teacher.” Oh Robert Thurmond taught me that, the piece of shit. Oh I studied all his teachings but I didn’t listen to that piece of shit for ONE SECOND in his personal life. 

So, THERE I AM: Now my hand hurts because Dalai Lama is squeezing the fuck out of it. And he still hasn’t said a fucking word. All he said was, “You keep it,” the only words I got out of him the whole time. 

He was not going to touch that red string, and he was not gonna accept that incense as a gift. You know what he’s saying? “I touched the incense. YOU burn it. It’s good now. You keep it,” which is all I wanted, something he touched. 

But he touched the incense, not the string, because he was telling me: “YES I DID bless that string, ya little shit.” 

(I kept that string until it was stolen by rednecks up here the other day, up at my campsite. They got everything, all my gifts. Dalai Lama gave me other gifts too, and they got my pipe. They’re probably in trouble now, probably dead, because you can’t steal a pipe that’s been consecrated in a Blackfoot and Lakota lodge without getting sick. If they put weed in it, they’re dead meat, and I love pot, but you just don’t do that with a Red Stone pipe. When I put that pipe together the first time, there was a thunderbolt outside that rocked the fucking house and split a tree in my yard, the second, the millisecond I assembled it. No thunderstorm, no lightning storm, no rain outside, and I went out into my yard and pointed at the sky and the eagle was circling overhead.)

So, HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED: He gives me back the incense. 

I go, “Psh, you’re not gonna touch the string? Fuck off, man,” and basically I was very disappointed, because I figured, “I did all this work for you. I did the intelligence work, did the compassion work, drove you to fucking Amherst College, gave my life to working with Chester ‘The Giant’ DeMarcus (he’s another story for another day),” but so here’s the deal: 

I tried to let go of him, tried to walk away, and he fuckin MASHED me till I thought he was gonna break the bones in my hand, then he pulled me back and he looked me in the eye again. And he just kept doing that until I calmed down. 

Then he let me go, and I walked away. 

The only words he ever said to me were, “No, you keep it.” 

I did all the talking.

He knew that Annie was dead. He knew that I was a broken human being.