Sunday, November 8, 2015

On The Anniversary Of Ten Years Living In Mexico: A Letter To The World

I am so fortunate to have spent the last
ten years of my life living in Tepoztlan,
Mexico. With all it's chaos and lack of a
strong central government, Mexico is really 
much more of a free society than the
United States has become. My Buddhist
teacher, Chogyam Trungpa, a Mahasiddha
of the Twentieth Century, encouraged his
students to leave the USA in the late 
Eighties, because he saw what was coming
to America, the insanity, and wanted them
to go to Nova Scotia, where he felt people
there still retained a sort of naive human
goodness by nature, by the way they just 
were. He decided against Mexico, because
the people here are less sophisticated than
Canadians and less similar to Americans, so,
the enculturation process would have been 
much more difficult. I chose to move to 
Mexico instead, because it was always warm,
and it was cheaper...I could afford to live on
social security here, which would not have
been the case had I moved to Canada. 

I haven't watched television, except on rare
occasions, for the ten years I've been here.
i have been on the internet constantly, both
to publish my poetry and to observe the 
continuously degrading spectacle which is
called "The United States", as well as the
worldwide disintegration of environment and
decent human values. This is an old, Spanish
conquered, Catholic town, but the values of
the indigenous ancestors never really 
disappeared from Mexico, as they did in the
USA. The Spanish weren't very efficient in
destroying culture the way the English and 
Germans were in the USA. In fact, many 
Mexicans are conflicted because many
Spanish married the local people. It's why
they don't like to lie, but also, don't like to tell
the truth. 

I live directly behind a church, in a house that
is down a private alley, about three hundred 
feet off a side street, and at the end of that 
alley, so, I don't see anyone if I don't want to.
What a luxury. My neighbors are incredibly 
decent and kind people. I sometimes watch
American football at the local tienda, run by
a family of four, and have become fond of the
owner....a sort of neighborhood go-to-guy. 
The family I was going to rent the house (I'm
now in) from took me to him so he could check
me out and make sure I was OK....which he
immediately did. I love living in the middle of
lush trees, bougainvillea, many flowers and
many colored birds. If I feel a little lonely, I walk
a short distance to the center of town, where
anyone will talk to you, and there is a feeling
of life as unpressured....which can be 
inconvenient, at times, but which I'll take any day
over the speed, aggression and general lack 
of awareness of the people of the big US cities. 
I've learned to relax here incredibly, because
any other approach just doesn't work. Things
get done...usually not perfectly, but good enough
and in their own time. 

When I became an adult in the USA, I learned
plumbing, because it seemed one of the last
refuges of an outlaw in America. And I drank,
to put distance from Americans that, already,
seemed branded and molded into their lives
like they were all produced in some weird
factory somewhere. They seemed like fish that
had grown up in polluted waters, but, since that's
all they knew, they accepted that as if it were 

The people of Tepoztlan cherish their 
independence and their way of life. There was
a documentary done about them not allowing
a golf course to be built here...the whole town
physically getting in the way of its construction.
Another time, they threw out a corrupt mayor of
the town (some versions say they killed him),
and bulldozed his house and got rid of all the 
police. For at least two years, there were no 
police in Tepoztlan. Even now, they are 
mistrusted. When someone I knew died from
an overdose, the ambulance drivers told the 
people around him not to call the police....that
they would take care of it...and they did. 

I'm sixty six, and I quit drinking and smoking 
pot two weeks ago. This came as a sort of
painful revelation during my Buddhist practice.
But, after it occurred, I realized that I didn't have 
to drink anymore to mitigate and counteract
the effects of the poisonous culture of the
United States that I had grown up in. I'm having
a great time in my newfound life, and it wouldn't
have happened if I had stayed in the USA. 

I read some articles in CNN today...mostly about
celebrities and their various problems. The one 
that grabbed me the most was the ongoing fiasco
of Tom Cruise and the "Church" of Scientology,
invented in whole cloth by a writer of science
fiction. That Church controls billions of dollars
they got based on a fairy tale. And I cannot express
strongly enough my contempt and sorrow for Tom
Cruise, whom, with all his success, is perhaps the
poster child for sociopathic brainwashing. All their
money and luxury lifestyle is only pushing them
further down the drain. They will not be happy
campers in the long, and maybe in the short run,

I have a great bed to sleep in, plenty of simple 
space,  locally grown non-Monsanto food, am
around people who have not lost their minds.
When someone who has comes to town, they
are made to leave. I can't think of a better paradise
on earth at this time. I am so lucky to have stuck
to the Buddhist path for over forty five years, and
followed the teachings of one of the most incredible
beings you'll never meet, if you hadn't. But his
Wisdom lives on clearly in his books and his
videos....Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche. If you want
the truth, try starting there. 

And, on this anniversary, I wish, specifically, for
my fellow US citizens the good fortune to begin
to break free from the bonds of mentally slavery
that have been developed and imposed on you,
seriously, since, at least, the 
beginning of the Twentieth century.

Put that in your i pod and tweet it.


At November 9, 2015 at 12:16 PM , Blogger John Tischer said...

Interesting coincidence? My editor in Romania has confirmed
he's sending me two copies of my first book...a collection of poems in English and in Romanian translation that he's published. Once I get a hard copy, I can begin to raise the money for a plane ticket to Romania, since he wants me to come there.


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