Writing Like a Buddha Lessons

Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy’s haunting Western

The genius of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian is how starkly the book details its violence while leaving so much to the reader’s imagination. It tells the story of the Kid, a runaway who joins up with the barbarous Glanton gang on its trek into 1840’s Mexican-United States border country in search of Apache scalps that […]

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Plot Twists: 10 Rules for Twisting your Story’s Plot

Every story deserves a Plot Twist. But what makes an effective twist for your novel or short story? I’ve been looking into this in my own work, and have come up with the following list. If you want to understand plot twists, tell a joke. Both for the laughs it gets, and to understand the plot twist in its barest form. Jokes have two parts—setup and punchline. Punchlines pack

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Good Karma Book Critiques: 9 Lessons

Writing book reviews is good karma. Do it. Authors enjoy the feedback, and appreciate the possibility your review may just entice someone to check out their book. You don’t need to start a blog or land a steady gig at some national publication. Instead, focus on two well-read sources: Amazon and Goodreads.

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jim ringel buddhist

Why Writing Like A Buddha?

Writing Like a Buddha is a blog for writers. It includes thoughts, meditations and writing exercises to help authors see the world anew.

In Buddhism, every moment is a rebirth. A step outside of the normal into a burst of reawakening. We call these bardo moments—time in between past and future, between where we’ve been and where we are heading.

That is what we do as writers. Reimagine the ordinary as something new. Writing Like a Buddha is meant to help us experience the world fresh, and not as we already know it. Whether you are a poet or prose writer, a fiction or non-fiction writer, I invite you to engage in the exercises, offer comments, ask questions, and contribute ideas. Let’s create a mindful exchange of tips and practices to benefit us all.

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Lama Rinzen Mystery Series

The Buddha teaches us to see the world as it is, without the overlay of our egos or prejudice. Like how a detective views a crime scene. With an open mind, properly sniffing out clues and avoiding delusions.

How does one open their mind? These are the lessons of the Six Realms of Tibetan Buddhism. The Hell Realm teaches us to cope with confusion and anger. The Hungry Ghost Realm helps us overcome greed and feelings of inadequacy. The Animal Realm teaches about our ignorance and self-obsession. The Human Realm steers us from being guided solely by our passions. The Realm of the Warring Titans confronts our jealousy, while the God Realm teaches us compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Each Lama Rinzen Mystery begins with the lama being reborn in Colorado into one of the Six Realms. The lama must learn the realm’s lesson in order to progress into the next mystery and into the next realm.

How does Lama Rinzen learn? By solving a murder, which gives a glimpse into his own suffering. While chasing down the killer, Rinzen himself is killed. If he has learned the lesson, he will then progress toward enlightenment. If not, he is condemned to yet another rebirth into the very realm he is trying to escape.

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A Thought

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Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt