Transcript – History

I’m 71. I am watching my fame and fortune slip away in the distance. As of, I used to build ponds and waterfalls and was, you know, actually well known and still get calls that I have to say no these days. And so that has been receding into the distance as my physical health didn’t allow me for these big projects. It would take, you know, month at one point I was three years behind doing projects and tremendous amount of pressure. You have people and equipment and men in safety and owners and homeowners associations. Oh goodness. So that part of my life was very rich, so creative. I just actually loved the the whole then that I did what you should take. I’ll take pictures of the backyard. You’ll you’ll enjoy that. But I had a very traditional upbringing, born in Pittsburgh, mostly, so they could my mom could have my father was a electrical engineer. He got called back into the service. So we lived in Hawaii. And I’ve lived in Colorado and California a lot of time in Illinois, kind of a community church type of arrangement. 

But my sister has more Pentecostal at this point and, you know, we don’t have enough time to talk about brothers and sisters, so we’ll just let that one slide by and then and how things happen in a lifetime. I played the trumpet. My father was a strict disciplinarian, and I and he made me practice 2 hours a day. And so with that kind of training, growing up from, you know, the grade school on, I became very good at the trumpet. And at one point I actually played taps for military funerals while I was in high school, and my teacher was second chair of the Chicago Symphony, Peggy Fox of just a brilliant, brilliant musician. Then she’d bring me along to play second, and we’d play personnel for weddings all over Chicago. You know, very strange part of my life, but when I went down to college, our our household was run like the military. I received a towel and a top sheet and a pillow case and the bed was checked with a quarter. And I have skills that you can’t believe I can roll underwear. You know, and the tiniest little balls like a paper sack this big I can a year’s worth of underwear. It’s so when I went down to the University of Illinois to New NUS, New Student Week, I had already discovered some of the joys of drinking at the high school bashes and this and that. And I went absolutely crazy. I went off I the freedom that I felt was just beyond belief, but it wasn’t very good for studies. And then the family story, which has been greatly exaggerated over the last 50 years, but it wasn’t when 

I’ll be happy when and there is nothing, anything wrong
with any of the those things.
But I made my happiness depend on it,
which was, you know, constant grasp and
constantly suffering, trying to get get something out there.

I got my midterms of my freshman year, according to the story, I had all F’s and one D and my parents didn’t know what to say. They said, We we think maybe you’re spending too much time in one subject. So but because I played the trumpet for military funerals, I realized that this is the Vietnam time. So early sixties, late sixties, early seventies. And so dawned on me that as soon as I flunked out of the University of Illinois, I go to Vietnam. And that was one of the first times that I realized the mind can completely change. I went back after my midterms and I became a student, ended up with a 4.0. So it’s just that it it was just the switch of the mind. And I always kind of looked at that piece and and said, what happened there? You know, what could sit there and pull the rug out from under an entire story of of who I was? And I started drinking in seventh grade. And I remember having one of the best times of my life. Here I am drinking out of Bob Benoit’s liquor cabinet, little eighth grade girl and we’re having laughing and this, that. And I just felt so open. It was like there was this huge opening. And later on when I wrote about that, I called it liquid spirituality because I got a glimpse of something that was very free and very open, having no idea that by the time I was in seventh grade, I was already wound up tighter than a drum. And because of our military way, we did things in our family. I created what I also called later on stained glass. Dave, here’s the image you have for the family. 

On Mindtraining

I would it would, it would just it was like a very slow process of, of learning how my mind was working and see my reactions the and just invaluable.

This is who I had to be. And then behind the scenes, there was a really, truly kind of a mess. Yeah, I could snap to like this screens up and I could function really well in our society. It was very successful in business to this, but behind the scenes, a feeling of complete poverty that was never going to be enough, never going to be right, just constantly grasping. And so, you know, I was at the University of Illinois and I actually heard about meditation back then. I actually heard, you know, starting to know that it was starting to creep into the you know, just the early pieces were creeping into the society. And I was like, of all things in a fraternity where the wars were going on between people who just drank and the people who like to drink and smoke, you know, you know, never mind the the utter ridiculousness of both people, you know, getting loaded. But I remember once I sat down on a pillow, smoked a joint, put Jethro Tull on, sat there for 15 minutes and nothing happened at all. And I said, Oh, I just I just know. So that was the first very feeble attempt. And I had no idea that 12 years later I was going to have to sit there and go into it with a sense of urgency that could not have happened in my early twenties. There was just too it was just a light touch twenties. I kind of did everything I was supposed to do. I had the images from growing up. I watched the black and white TV shows, The Lone Ranger, Mighty Mouse, Yul Brynner riding into the Mexican towns of you know, all of those are in my mind. And so I’m sitting in the basement of this house in Illinois watching these shows kind of coming up with what I’m supposed to do as a man. I’ll save, you know, Oh, I can’t pay the rent. You must pay the rent on the Mighty Mouse song. Here I come to save the day. And so this white male Midwest flavor of how I’m supposed to be is a man and what would would be acceptable became deeply entrenched and quite frankly, invisible to me until later on when we get under the hood, so to speak, with the Dharma. And then the actual I had married, I lived on Herrington Drive. I had a house with a white picket fence and a red door, and I had 3.4 kids, the boxer and a Volvo station wagon. And I was involved with everything and on and on and out of that, literally everything I was supposed to do. But my poor first wife was miserable in Illinois. We were down in Champaign-Urbana, a University of Illinois down there. So we moved back to Denver and here she was much happier, but our marriage was going down the tubes. I’m in this. You’re on the board of this. And you know, all this stuff that you do where you’re your everybody knows your name type of thing. Never home came home and would pat the kids on the head. I she complained that I can’t do all this stuff around the house by myself. And so I hired this man paid them 895 an hour and he he serviced everything, including my wife.

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