the Wanderling

The Second Patriarch of Zen, Hui-k'o, who received the bowl and robe from the First Patriarch that signified the Transmission of the Lineage of the Dharma, after some forty years, passed them on to the Third Patriarch. He then went around everywhere drinking and carousing like a wildman and partaking in the offerings of the brothel districts. When people asked how he could do such a thing, being a Patriarch of Zen and all, he would respond with: "What business is it of yours?"
HUI-K'O: The Second Patriarch in the Chinese Lineage

So, is Zen Enlightenment possible for Paris Hilton --- or is it the barest of all possibilites that a genuine Zen adept on one hand clapping and/or a Buddhist monk on the other, and Ms Hilton, whose financial net worth in 2018 is said to be $302 Million dollars with an annual income of $28 Million dollars as well as reporting in 2012 that her fragrances alone had produced more than $1.3 billion in revenue since 2005, ever find themselves meeting on common ground?

Some people say it doesn't matter much one way or the other, who cares about her anyway? Over and over it is repeated she is nothing more than a spoiled brat. Rwanda or other social causes or not, the same crowd intimate her seeming lack of interest, inability, or desire to sink below the level of her so-called social standing to a more common plane of existence would inhibit or stop any serious attempt by her to gain insight along any spiritual path --- Zen, Buddhism, or otherwise. Those who say so tend to forget the all time champion of Awakening to the Absolute and Enlightenment, Shakyamuni Buddha, was born into a rich and wealthy royal family. The Buddha's father was a king and he himself was a prince. Yet still, even though it took years, he sought out and found Enlightenment.

Now, while it is true not everybody follows Ms Hilton's every move microscopically, her interest in Buddhism and things Zen have been reported quite readily in some areas, attested to by oft-time photographs of her holding the best-selling quasi Zen Buddhist text The Power of Now, as well as several books by Deepak Chopra and being seen with Buddhism for Dummies, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Meditation. In-depth or shallow interest on her part for things spiritual one way or the other it is questionable at best that she will, as would be most beneficial for her in the long run, avail herself of actually incorporating into her lifestyle much of what has been reported she has been studying recently.

As stated in the opening quote above, Hui-k'o was the Second Patriarch in the Ch'an lineage --- the seal of approval having been bestowed upon him by Bodhidharma himself --- so, if it would be OK with Hui-k'o and Paris, then why not Paris and any other Zen adept? Right or wrong, merit is not a criteria for Enlightenment. One's intent is much closer.

When it comes to matters such as Zen or Enlightenment, typically Paris would not find herself placed very high up on the spectrum of things. However, considering what has been attributed to Hui-k'o, above, it sounds as though such an event could easily have transpired between himself and someone such as Paris and her minions; AND Hui-k'o was not just some bottom of the line Zen looser either. More than likely the areas Hui-k'o went around "drinking and carousing like a wildman and partaking in the offerings of the brothel districts" were 6th century AD Chinese precursors to the much later 19th century Follies Bergere and Pigalle satrapies wherein luminaries such as Toulouse Lautrec and others were habitual patrons --- all-in-all, nightlife and party environs not too different, albeit not nearly so creative for it's denizens, than what Ms Hilton, Britney Spears and her Britney Spears-like cohorts most likely find themselves.

On her social network sites, socialite, heiress, and consumate party goer Paris Hilton lists thousands of friends. Of those thousands claiming to be a friend it is not known how many if any, have an interest in Zen or Buddhism --- or if, because of their interest in Ms Hilton as a friend, and knowing of her growing need and disposition toward things spiritual, have themselves developed an interest.

For the most part, however, people with even a little working knowledge of what Buddhism is, at least on a general level, know that the Buddha, as part of his teaching method, presented his deeply held spiritual and philosophical concepts to those so interested through the use of comparisons, allegories, similes, and metaphors. The following is presented in the same comparison, allegory, simile, and metaphor fashion for the same reasons. To wit, the following extract about a man strung out on years of drug abuse and how he turned his life around as found in a footnote to Doing Hard Time In A Zen Monastery:

"Years later I was waiting between trains at the major railroad terminal in Los Angeles, California called Union Station.[1] Directly across the street from the terminal is a small Mexican-themed tourist area called Olvera Street. Walking over from Union Station, just on the left as you enter the street, is a small open-air stand that sells the best tacquitos in the world --- at least for me they always have been. My Stepmother used to take me there when I was just kid, and being at the train station with some time to spare I could not resist going over and indulging myself.


"The man behind the counter handed me my tacquitos almost as soon as I placed my order and I sat down on a little wall close by to eat them. Within a micro-second of even taking my first bite a hulking homeless-looking man in ragged clothes and reeking with the sour smell of a unhygienically clean body stepped up basically out of nowhere and said that he knew me.

"Without the remotest chance to reply he rattled off some story of where we first met, a story that only someone who DID meet me under the circumstances he described could have possibly known. Seems when I was in the military I had the opportunity to interact with a couple of Asian warlords, both of whom the man was familar with. I bought him a double order of tacquitos and an iced tea, then, carefully positioning myself upwind from him, I sat down and we began to talk.

"He told me while other low-ranking members in the military contingent I was with were off trading cheap hand-mirrors and pocket combs for favors with the local tribeswomen, in that we were all Sheep Dipped I had gone off on my own volition passing myself off like some Peace Corps volunteer rather than a heavily armed GI, to lend a hand in repairing and building an irrigation ditch and fresh water conduit that supplied drinking water to one of the villages. An advisor to the warlord, a shaman, informed the general of my actions and the general invited me join him for dinner.[2] Knowing only high-status people were included in such get togethers I asked the now apparently homeless man, who must have participated in the dinner, how it was he found himself in his current situation. Rolling up his sleeve he graphically showed me the scarred up chicken tracks all across the upper inside of his forearm. He told me it started with opium, then heroin. He said he had ended up with the section of the team I was with in Chaing Mai but got separated in the den after being abducted by the warlord's men. He never knew what happened to me specifically, but figured that a similar fate had befallen me. From there, for him, it was nothing much more than a downhill sprial. Now, until recently, given the chance, he injected and used just about anything. He had lived on the streets for years, eating scraps, begging food, stealing to support his habit. Then sometime back his longtime close female companion OD in a cement hole along the L.A. River. He carried her lifeless body for miles crunched up in a shopping cart to a church of her demonination and left her in front of the main doors on the stairsteps. Before he had barely even crossed the street someone had taken her shoes and jacket. That day he quit shooting up cold turkey. For weeks he had been trying to get his life back together without any luck. Then he saw me.

"We talked for a long while. Then needing to catch a train I had to go. Before we parted I called a person I knew who attended a local Zen center on a regular basis and he promised he would come by for him. I also wrote down several URLs to my websites. I told him as soon as possible go to the library and look up the websites and follow some of the suggestions as they might help. I handed him the slip of paper along with a few bucks for himself and some for the Zen center, then, taking him at his word, darted across the street at the last minute to catch my train.

"Two years passed. Then out of the blue I received an email from him. In it he told me at first he had not done so well. He didn't feel comfortable at the library or the Zen center. Then one day he was walking along outside a Starbucks and saw a woman working on her laptop computer. He asked if she could look up some URLs for him, and unbelievably, she did. He said he tried to read them, but, as nice as the woman was, he couldn't really absorb anything considering the circumstances. She said she could print them out for him that night and bring them by the next day at a certain time and give them to him. The next day he came by, but no woman. He hung around hoping she would show up, but nothing. After awhile the Starbucks manager came out and thinking he was going to be chased off he started to leave. The manager asked if he was waiting for a woman to give him some paperwork. When he nodded yes the manager handed him a large manilla envelope. Inside were all the URLs on the list printed out. He never saw the woman again, but he read the papers over and over. He cleaned up his act, started doing study-practice first at the Zen center, then on his own, all along following what he could in the paperwork as extracted from the URLs I gave him.

"He tried to get a job with a local school district as an instructional assistant working with individuals with severe disabilities, but because of his rather sketchy background, they wouldn't hire him. An instructional assistant who just happened to drop by the the school district office to sign some papers recognized him from the Zen center. He told him a nearby group home that served adults with disabilities had been looking for a person to work there. He went by the group home and they hired him on the spot. He had been there ever since. He also wrote he felt he was very close to a spiritual breakthrough. Although I haven't seen or heard from him personally for quite sometime it has been brought to my attention through intermediaries that while attending sessions at an affiliate center of the man I sent him to, and of which the man was associated with --- a center high in the mountains above Los Angeles --- the onetime homeless smell-like-a-garbage-truck man attained a state of immortality. If it happened I don't know. However, I like to think that it did."

The Zen center so mentioned located high in the mountains above Los Angeles was the Mount Baldy Zen Center and the local center affliated with it being the Rinzai-ji Zen Center, in those days under the auspices of:


Now, although Paris Hilton may not have personally ever seen a garbage truck in her life, let alone know that the sour smell of a unhygienically clean body smells like one, it still doesn't take away from the fact that given the right effort, she, like the female Zen adept Chiyono, or anybody else for that matter, such as the man described above, could become fully realized IF her mind was ripe, thus allowing the bottom of the pail to break through. What is important is to have set into motion the correct set of principles in the past, so the fruit from those endeavors would be impacting one's present. To have that present be a positive experience, the following, given to me by my spiritual guide and Mentor when I first started study-practice, but originally extracted from the Sutras, should be considered:

1.) From the first generate only thoughts with the right escort.

2.) Support right thoughts already risen.

3.) From where thoughts arise, generate no thoughts that carry negative escort.

4.) Dispel any negative thoughts already risen. (source)

There is an old saying found in classical Zen and Buddhist literature that goes: We are the results of what we were; we will be the results of what we are. If the above four endeavors are coupled with an escort of the right intent the outcome WILL be favorable. A Pali text called The Anguttara says it best:

"It cannot come to pass that the fruit of a deed well-done by the body, speech, and thought should have for a result that which is unpleasant, hateful or distasteful. But that it should be otherwise is quite possible." (source)

It is the first light that illuminates the room initially. Ms Hilton, by talking and thinking about things in the right frame of reference has at least struck the first match. If it goes out before she places that initial flame into a situation that will allow it to continue to glow is in her hands, then that's it. You can't expected her to be someone like a Hope Savage or to make it to full or partial Attainment without the help of someone like the female Zen adept, Pulyan's Teacher, but you should remember, if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always gotten.


When it comes to well known personalities, if you want something a little heavier in the Enlightenment, Buddhism, or Zen area other than Paris Hilton may seem to offer, below are links to five people who may fit the bill. Although the first may seem to be similar to Paris because both are women and both are associated with the Hollywood-entertainment complex, except for the fact that their first names start with the letter "P" they are leagues apart. As for the other three, all males, even though they are high profile known celebrities in their own way and their own fields, none are connected with the Hollywood-entertainment scene in any direct fashion.

Phyllis Davis, pictured and linked below, after initially experiencing a toe in the water with mediums, psychics and such she began a much deeper spiritual search, eventually in her later years heading into the jungles of Asia alone, becoming a frequenter of lonely places in an ever expanding attempt to enhance a deepening Awareness.

"According to the Buddha and how the sutras are said to present it, to manifest or execute the abilities of Siddhis, a stringent regimen of meditation and concentration MUST meet certain levels of accomplishments. To reach such a level the meditator must be perfect in the precepts (Sila), bring his thoughts to a state of quiescence (Samadhi), practice diligently the trances (Jhana), attain to insight (Prajna) and be frequenter to lonely places."

SIDDHIS: Supernormal Perceptual States

Unlike most, in an honest assessment of herself, Davis questioned if she could meet such criteria, that is, being masterful in Sila, Samadhi, Jhana, and Prajna and be frequenter to lonely places. However, as time passed and people in her life she cared for and loved began to come and go, some on a more-or-less permanent basis by pushing up daisies, she began reevaluating just where she was finding herself in the overall scheme of things. See:

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NOTE: It should be brought to the attention of those who may be interested that photographs depicting Paris Hilton accompanied by a person who appears to be a Shaman or Buddhist monk, that the Shaman or Buddhist monk so shown is NOT, repeat, not the Wanderling. The man in the photos, published recently in a variety of media and shown below, is Maxie Santillan, a very fine character actor who has appeared in a number of TV programs and movies, including the Pirates of the Caribbean.


Fundamentally, our experience as experienced is not different from the Zen master's. Where
we differ is that we place a fog, a particular kind of conceptual overlay onto that experience
and then make an emotional investment in that overlay, taking it to be "real" in and of itself.










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As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.


Although as a young boy I never lived in the downtown area of Los Angeles I did grow up in the suburbs as well as the 20 mile away beach towns and the even further away farm and ranch areas that surrounded the city in those days. Unlike now, during those same growing up years, traveling by train was big, with the main railroad terminal in Los Angeles being Union Station, a place that figured large in my life on several occasions. In Footnote [12] in The Code Maker, The Zen Maker I write about how a series of four black and white photographs of my brothers and me figured prominently in my life. On the back of one of the photos of the series of four, in cursive writing, most likely in my mother's or grandmother's hand and using fountain pen ink, was the first names of my two brothers and myself along with the words 'Union Station' with the date 1942-43 which is the first time and earliest date and year I can confirm being at Union Station, the next being July of 1944.(see)

About five years later, following the death of my mother and by then living with my stepmother, I met an elderly (to me) Chinese man that washed dishes and swamped a bar not far from where I lived. During slow times he used to meditate in the alley near the back door of the bar. The two of us met while I was traveling with a couple of kid-friends from school collecting and turning in beer and pop bottles for the deposit. One day I came by without my friends and he asked why I was traveling without my buddies.

I told the Chinese man come dish washer that several days before, just as I was leaving the garage with a wagon to catch up with my two friends to collect bottles my godfather stopped me and asked if I was going to meet up with the "Jew-kid" and the "(explicative)," using the N-word in that one of my school buddies was Black. If I had ever heard either word before I don't remember, but I remember well the day my godfather said them. Although I usually fell under the auspices of my uncle, my godfather was still an adult figure in my life and when he said what he said I could tell by the inflection in his voice that somehow, at least as he viewed, something was wrong with both my friends. Continuing, I told the dish washer the following from the source so cited:

"A couple of days later I was at Union Station in Los Angeles with my stepmother who was either meeting someone or seeing someone off. I was on the platform some distance behind dawdling along when out of nowhere, using one of my newly learned words, I said, 'Woo, woo, here goes the (explicative)-train,' using the same N-word my godfather had used. The next thing I knew a Redcap was bending over with his face in mine, grabbing my shirt around the collar at the neck with one hand and waving the index finger of his other hand inches from my nose and loudly saying, 'Don't you ever use that word again!' Having never been grabbed like that before, by a black man or otherwise, I was scared shitless. Before I could respond in any fashion my stepmother was on the scene with her bodyguard asking what was going on. The Redcap, recognizing who my stepmother was, quickly reinstituted his Redcap role and using her first name by prefacing it beforehand with Lady almost as if she was royalty, related what happened. It was easy to tell my stepmother was totally aghast, fully unable to believe I would use such a word and insisted I apologize immediately not only to the Redcap but to all within earshot. She scribbled something on the back of her business card and handing it to the Redcap thanked him for what he had done telling him if there was ever anything in her power she could help him with, to call. Back in the car she demanded to know where I was learning such words. I told her what my godfather had said. Not long after that, under my stepmother's request, he was gone."

The Chinese man asked if I read comic books. When I nodded yes, he asked me to wait, got up and went through the back door of the bar returning in a few minutes with a handful of six or eight comics, all of which were in pristine condition. He went through the stack until he came to a specific issue, then he thumbed through that issue until he found what he was looking for. The comic book was called the Green Lama and the story he was looking for was about discrimination in the Army during World War II, how wrong it was and how it was resolved. The story was long for a comic book, ten or eleven pages. The full story as well as the source for the quote above can be found at the Green Lama site so linked, however the page below pretty much sums up the gist of the story:

The Green Lama was a 1940s superhero. Sporting an everyday guise as Jethro Dumont, a rich New York City resident and man about town, if necessity demanded it and he recited the Jewel in the Lotus Mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum", Dumont underwent a startling and dramatic change, becoming the Green Lama, gaining super strength, invulnerability, and the ability to fly.



In the above main page as well as a footnote on another page where the story originally came from, refering to my stay at the warlord's compound, I explain how I was initially brought to his attention in the firstplace because of my volunteer efforts to assist some local tribespeople. From that I was invited to join in a rather large gathering for dinner which lead to the opium ritual:

"(W)hile other low-ranking members in the military contingent I was with were off trading cheap hand-mirrors and pocket combs for favors with the local tribeswomen, in that we were all Sheep Dipped I had gone off on my own volition passing myself off like some Peace Corps volunteer rather than a heavily armed GI, to lend a hand in repairing and building an irrigation ditch and fresh water conduit that supplied drinking water to one of the villages."

What is laughable about it all is my youthful naivete. Here I was, being said by others (and possibly thinking so myself) I was like some Peace Corps volunteer lending a hand building a fresh water conduit to supply drinking water for one of the villages --- when actually it came out later that the increased water supply offered by the conduit was just exactly what was needed for the successful operation of a newly established heroin refinery, including the ability to increase the output level of product.

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Following the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu in March of 1954, in order to ensure western interests would continue to be maintained in the general greater southeast Asian sphere, the U.S. and/or allies or closely allied mercenaries or surrogates continued to keep their hands in the pie at some level or the other.

One of those closely allied mercenaries relative to American interest was an otherwise minor Laotian warlord that through his association with the U.S. grew much more powerful than otherwise would have been ordained. Through a series of events I found myself in the court of that same warlord, as so pictured below. The downstream outflow from that encounter, an encounter of which was put into place by others well beyond my control, later found me miles and miles away high in the mountains of the Himalayas outside the confines of any warlord, in one of those ancient monasteries truly beyond the reach of time.



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(photo courtesy Arizona Republic)

After the death of my mother, as a very young boy, following a series of events that for me were both fortunate and unfortunate and of which are fully articulated in M.V. Tulagi and elsewhere, I was left off alone and totally unannounced at my grandmother's on my father's side in Pennsylvania --- a grandmother I had never met nor ever even heard of.

I am not sure how long I was there, but from her place I was eventually returned to the west coast to be with my grandmother on my mother's side. It was during the return trip to my grandmother's in California that another interesting aspect in my young life unfolded.

Sometime around the very last day of June or so 1944, I was put on a passenger train in Pennsylvania headed toward Chicago, traveling with who I do not know. If it was or was not the couple described in The Last American Darshan who took me to India without approval of my family and then just left me in Pennsylvania has never been determined.

In Chicago I boarded the Number 19 Santa Fe Chief westbound to Los Angeles. Toward midnight of July 3, 1944, between Flagstaff, Arizona and Williams, on a high speed downhill run and behind schedule, the Chief's locomotive, a powerful Baldwin built 4-8-4 Northern with 80 inch drive wheels and clocking out at over 90 miles per hour, hit a marked 55 mph speed limit curve, with the locomotive derailing and sliding in the dirt on it's side off the tracks for well over 500 feet before coming to a stop. The rest of the 14 car train ended up in various stages of derailment and wreckage on and off the track, some cars remaining upright with two actually staying on the tracks undamaged. The fireman and three passengers were killed. 113 passengers along with 13 train employees injured, among them the severely injured engineer.


Although I was unhurt, the person or people I was traveling with was among the injured and taken, with me along with them, to either Williams or Flagstaff. Because of the nature of their injuries, whoever I was traveling with was held-up under doctors care for several days, leaving me without direct adult supervision. My grandmother, who had been contacted by the railroad, called my uncle in Santa Fe. He inturn contacted a nearby tribal spiritual elder to oversee me until someone figured out how to get me through to Union Station in Los Angles and my grandmother's home in California.

Three years later, within a day or two of the third year anniversary of the train wreck, July 3, 1947, found me with my uncle traveling in the desert southwest having passed through Williams, Arizona on our way to Fort Sumner, New Mexico to visit the gravesite of Billy the Kid. We stopped at the crash site to pay reverence to those that died and my survival. While my uncle sat in the truck I walked the tracks where the wreck occurred. In the three short years since the derailment barely a sign of anything having happened remained, the wind along with the heavy downfall of summer monsoons nearly erasing the 500 foot groove and other marks caused by the huge Baldwin locomotive and passenger cars. If a person was unfamiliar with what happened it would have been unobservable.

Just as my visit at the train wreck site ended and my uncle and I headed toward Fort Sumner the Fourth of July weekend of 1947 was upon us. Any deep reverence or importance by me being at the train site was quickly overshadowed by a much larger event of earthshaking and monumental proportions when in the middle of the night of that weekend an unidentified airborne object of unknown origin began disintegrating, spreading debris and foil in a long swath out over the New Mexico flatlands only to eventually slam into the northern face boulders and rocks of the lower upslope of the Capitan Mountains --- an event that soon became known worldwide as the Roswell UFO.






Madame Nguyen Cao Ky was, during the height of the Vietnam war, married to the onetime Air Vice Marshal come vice president of Vietnam, Nguyen Cao Ky. After the fall of Saigon and the South Vietnamese government the two of them settled in Orange County, California.

Sometime during the spring of 1982 I had gone to Silicon Valley intending to stay only a few days. While there I ran into a long lost friend, Adam Osborne, who I had not seen since our childhood, having first met at the ashram of the venerated Indian holy man the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi when Osborne and I were both kids. Osborne was at the time on his way to becoming a multi-quad-zillionaire with his personal computer, being a sort of a precursor to the eventually much more financially successful and arch enemy Steve Jobs of Apple Computer fame.

My initial stay of several days in Silicon Valley turned into several weeks, then several months, eventually extending into a period pushing nine months. However, I wasn't there totally from day one day-after-day around the clock through to my departure. During that period I was sort of using the area as a base of operations just like I would almost anywhere, coming and going as needed doing any number of things. Plus, for most part, the people who requested my presence had regular day jobs and mostly unavailable during working hours and just as well, often not able to put together several days back-to-back over any extended span on a regular basis either.

It was under the above circumstances that during a trip to Southern California I ran into Madame Ky, the former Dang Tuyet Mai, at her boutique in Orange County. The two of us knew each other through her husband, I just didn't know she had opened a boutique. As it was, typically I would have no call to be at the particular mall her business was located, but on the day we ran into each other I had gone there specifically looking for someone. The daughter of a couple I knew who lived on the east coast had only just graduated from college and moved to Southern California and started the very first year of her very first job as a special needs teacher. The school, Gill Special Education Center, an Orange County Department of Education school site, was located in a residential area in a former elementary school about three blocks south of the mall. I had told the parents, given a chance, that when I was in Orange County I would go by to see how she was doing. The day I went by the school she had taken her class on a community outing to have lunch at the mall. While at the mall I just happened to come across Madame Ky. We made arrangements to see each other again and after that I saw Madame Ky several times, usually for tea and chat.

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During one of those meetings I told her that on that particular afternoon, as soon as we were done with our tea, I would be heading out to Cabo San Lucas for a few days to stay at a hotel resort located basically right on the tip of Baja California called the Twin Dolphin owned by a friend of mine, David J. Halliburton, Sr. Embellishing the story a bit, although still true, I told her that one of Halliburton's first loves was a niece of my Stepmother who was babysitting me for the summer, a girl he always held in high regard. In turn Halliburton made it a point to ensure my stay at the Twin Dolphin was always special. With that Madame Ky said she wanted to go too. So she did, the two of us spending several days or more together at the Twin Dolphin. General Ky, thinking of me more as a monk and apparently slipping his mind that I was a onetime G.I., it presented no problem. Hah!