Inauguration of Series “Through the Looking Glass”

 I have been working on a literary project, a book, tentatively entitled Through the Looking-Glass: How to Become a Buddhist Monk or Nun, which describes autobiographically how and why one would do such an odd thing, in an attempt to inspire others to follow this noble pursuit. I have now begun to serialize it on this site and each new episode can be found:


Two short prefaces appeared there yesterday, as downloadable pdf’s. I will post the first chapter in a couple of days, and after that chapters will appear at irregular intervals, probably averaging about two per month. I plan 16 chapters (most of which already exist in a rough form). I’ll post to this blog to announce each new episode. See what they do for you, and let me know.


4 Responses to “Inauguration of Series “Through the Looking Glass””

  1. don Says:

    Venerable Cintita,

    Good reading and very interesting. Do I understand correctly that you are saying inward vision reflects outward circumstance?

    I identify with the feeling of being an outsider. I also would say things that were meant with stunned silence but I was always told by my peers that I was weird. I can’t see the weirdness so it is frustrating. I am not an introvert but I wonder if I suffer from some sort of mild autism. My emotions always seem to be a bit amped up, more so that others. So I tend to look a bit like an introvert but I dont have the same thought processes you describe. However being ” the fool on the hill” seems attractive but for me it would be more of an attemp to escape life. I know from experience life finds me no matter where I hide.


    • bhikkhucintita Says:

      Hi, Don.
      About inward vision::outward circumestance: I think what you are referring to is my off-hand claim that our internal world is the only data we have about anything. Anything we know of external reality is mediated through the mind. When I experience a sight of a dog, for instance, it is already in the mind, it has been mediated by the neural circuitry of the eye and brain. In fact, that an outer world exists at all is an inference we commonly make. I could all be mind. After that inference is made we begin to have a personal stake in things out there.
      Probably most people feel like outsiders. We are each alone. I can’t reliably comment on personality types recognized in Western psychology. I’ve always know I fit the category “introvert.” Reading what this means I learned that I seem to be a classical example in all aspects. I also learned that about 30% of everybody is an introvert. Probably most people cannot be pidgeonholed as well as me, and you may be a mix of types, for all I know. It is actually important, though, not to feel limited by what categories we fit into.
      “Life finds me no matter where I hide”: You cannot escape life, only adjust your relationship to it. The Buddhist approach is to try not to have a personal stake in everything (=attachment), which is a personal skill that comes through Buddhist training.


  2. Don Medford Says:

    Venerable Cintita,
    Anything we know of external reality is mediated through the mind.After that inference is made we begin to have a personal stake in things out there.

    Wonderful, I do believe what you stated was a big part of Christ’s teaching. It is my hope that Buddhism will help me learn a deeper understanding of attachment and how to let it go. I really feel the path for me is to learn to be a more compassionate person. I hope I make some honest progress.


  3. MWT Says:

    Good luck with this project.


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