2021 in Bob’s computer: Buddhist philosophy for Rhobin

Rhobin Courtright wants to know: What is on your writing to-do list for this year? Do you have any long-range goals or just wrap-ups?

Look at a river. Flick your eyes away, and back again. It seems identical, but the water has moved on.

When I can place myself into this mindspace, I am at peace nothing can disturb… except by hauling me out of the forever-now into the illusion of planning and hoping, and attachment to outcome.

This is not to say we should lie down on our backs, four paws up in the air. It is good to strive. Passionate involvement in a project can make that NOW into a galaxy of diamonds, only, beware of hoping for outcome. That’s something I slip into much of the time, even though I know the consequences: all suffering is from attachment.

I used to enjoy making jigsaw puzzles. (English is a strange language! Someone else made the puzzle. I assembled it.) There is a great deal of inherent satisfaction in the activity, but once the picture is completed, it’s taken apart, and put back into the box.

Seeing all of life like a jigsaw puzzle would be permanent armour against anything. Do our best, but who cares about outcome?

All right, with this long prologue, I can now give a short answer. Here are my current projects:

1. Michael Amos of Sleepy Lion Publishing has spent an impressive amount of time and effort in working with me to revise Guardian Angel. We have significant improvements in the story, there is a new cover coming, and the title will be Maraglindi — soon.

2. Victor Volkman of Loving Healing Press is a long term friend and comrade in working for a better world. He has a full time job in IT, so he runs his publishing company pro bono.

About August 2020, I asked if he was open to marketing Sleeper, Awake, in the way he is doing for others of my books, for example Aniko. Instead, he has accepted it for his own list, so it is also being reissued, with a new cover, but the same title.

3. My From Depression to Contentment has done so well that I am writing a companion volume, Lifting the Gloom: An antidepressant primer of writings. The two books go together like main course and dessert. I have a few things to add, then I’ll send it off to wait in Victor’s long list of projects.

4. Then there is The Doom Healer. This is where attachment sneaks up on me, because the series would be a force for the good if it could grab the world. I can’t help wanting it to succeed, not because I want to make lots of money, not because I want to be famous, not because of all the work I’ve put into it, but because it is the best tool I have devised for carrying on my job as a Professional Grandfather.

5. I have quite a few projects sitting around and occasionally add to them. One is The Protector, the sequel to Guardian an… oops, Maraglindi.

6. And then things like this frequently happen. This morning, I woke with the following demanding to be recorded:

    Monday night, Michael went to sleep as usual.

    Tuesday morning, he woke as an octopus.

    At first he thought it was a dream — who wouldn’t?

I have no idea where it is going. It may end up as a new story in Lifting the Gloom, or an independent short story, or a new novel, or an unfinished file gathering dust within my computer.

All those possible outcomes are fine. For now, it is fun.

People who comment on this post will be rewarded with a big blast of inner peace. Whether you do comment or not, please visit my fellow round robiners below:

Beverley Bateman
Diane Bator
Marci Baun
Victoria Chatham
Judith Copek
Rhobin L Courtright
Fiona McGier
Anne Stenhouse
Skye Taylor
Connie Vines

About Dr Bob Rich

I am a professional grandfather. My main motivation is to transform society to create a sustainable world in which my grandchildren and their grandchildren in perpetuity can have a life, and a life worth living. This means reversing environmental idiocy that's now threatening us with extinction, and replacing culture of greed and conflict with one of compassion and cooperation.
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18 Responses to 2021 in Bob’s computer: Buddhist philosophy for Rhobin

  1. Dr Bob Rich says:

    Fiona, for some reason there is no “reply” link to your comment on my response to Diane. I haven’t come across the Gandhi comment, but it’s wonderful and apt.


  2. Connie Vines says:

    I agree with Marci, I don’t think you can be truly human and have a human experience without the suffering from attachment. Even Mr. Spock (Star Trek) rejected emotion for logic and he found himself involved in ‘a human’ experience. Also, without ‘attachment and suffering’ we would be writing a textbook instead of a emotion-packed-readers-can-put-it-down novel 🙂


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Oh, that’s not what Buddhists mean my “attachment.” You can passionately care about something, and do your best to achieve it, and yet be free from attachment to outcome.
      Muslims express the same concept with Ins’Allah.
      Christianity has the same concept, as does Taoism.


  3. Diane Bator says:

    Look at a river… I love it! One thing I’ve done a lot more of over the past 6 months is meditation and letting things go. Yup, still a few bad days in there, but for the most part I’m allowing the good to wash ashore in my life and catching the great opportunities before they float past. Happy Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Excellent, Diane. All this Buddhist stuff is what enables me to stay on this planet. In addition, I keep coming across magnificent people who inspire me. “I love people. It is humanity I hate,” as someone sang in the 1960s.


      • fionamcgier says:

        Bob, you might be thinking of a Peanuts cartoon, when one of the characters says, “I like humanity–it’s people I can’t stand. Kind of similar to Ghandi saying “I like your Jesus–but his followers are so unlike him.”

        Liked by 1 person

  4. okwriter says:

    Thanks for sharing, Bob/ Your philosophy has me thinking. I realize life is continual movement – hopefully with growth. I hadn’t thought of attachment and it’s relationship to suffering, but I am thinking about it now. You have an interesting list of projects for the next year. I look forward to seeing Maraglindi . I’ve read Guardian Angel.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you Beverley. It is the same story, with the opening improved, and certain facts about the Aboriginal people changed because I managed to find new information.


  5. fionamcgier says:

    Don’t you just love when you wake up from a dream that demands you write it? I’ve got at least 4 novels that came to me in dreams–some with entire plot arcs that I “lived” as I was sleeping. That’s my favorite way for my muse to influence my writing. It’s so much easier. But alas, she’s been slacking off lately.

    To me the only attachments worth having are to people. Love is my all. That’s what the hardest part of quarantining has been–no seeing my kids, my grandkids–even my close friends. So I sew them all masks, chat with them on-line, and dream of the day when I can see, and hug them, in person again.


    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Thank you, Fiona. Usually, the details of my dreams fade with extreme rapidity. Michael the octopus has stayed, as did Molly in a motel: https://wp.me/p3Xihq-20l
      Here in Australia, things are easing up, but still tricky. My daughter and grandbabies were about to come to visit interstate, and there was a new infection, with a new lockdown. So, I know what you mean.


  6. Skye-writer says:

    I love this bit of wisdom you offered. “Passionate involvement in a project can make that NOW into a galaxy of diamonds.” It almost, or perhaps does justify my lifelong openness to each new adventure that offers itself, and the joy and satisfaction I get from throwing myself into it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Victoria Chatham says:

    Wise words indeed, Bob. Looking forward to the products of your efforts.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Marci says:

    Oh, goodness, I don’t think you can be truly human and have a human experience without the suffering from attachment. Either we’re trained to have hopes and dreams, or it’s inherent in us as humans to do so. All of that attachment does cause suffering, but great joy can come with it as well. Without one, there isn’t the other I suppose.

    How wonderful you have so many irons in the fire! I hope they exceed your hopes, and, instead of suffering, you are rejoicing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr Bob Rich says:

      Well, Marci, the people I am trying to copy managed it. I can, sometimes, for brief periods, but then there is only this moment.
      You’ve just triggered an amusing thought: When Siddhartha Gautama was sitting under the Bodhi tree, determined to reach enlightenment, was he attached to becoming non-attached?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Rhobin says:

    Yes, Bob, all suffering comes from attachment, but it also provides joy and attainment and even failure teaches us. I’m looking forward to reading the new Maraglindi and Lifting the Gloom!

    Liked by 1 person

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