Old Roshi

Joan Halifax with Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dala...

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I once heard Joan Halifax Roshi say that there is no path, you just lay it down as you walk. Part of my path is the next blog post and the one after that until there are no more. I’ll listen to my heart and the sounds of nature for what’s deeper, and sometimes buried very deep in my soul. Perhaps there’s even something sacred. I hope I know it when I feel it.

I’m beginning to accept that I’m an older man now with a very sentimental heart and, hopefully, a wiser approach to life. A throwback to another era. I am, however, committed to not telling too many stories from times past.

My life was kick-started when I finally chose to stop chasing things that society says I must have to be happy.  What I felt next, almost instantly, was a giant, “Whew.”

Buddhist practice helps me  look at things a different way. Like my blog, it only requires more time just sitting with periods of voluntary, solitary outings.   Somehow a first draft manifests.

I read a lot of things. In a recent blog post Roshi Karen Mazen Miller said of her reading:  “It is me reading, me responding, me concurring, me finding solace in shared experience, me finding solidarity in a stranger’s familiar story. It is only me; it can only ever be me.”

So if that’s true, why don’t I participate as best I can, as honestly as I can, as candidly as I can… and see what happens  while truckin’ on down the road? It’s only for me, for God’s sake. Who else cares?

Roshi Miller went on to say, “We’re all looking always for the external acceptance, the validation, the scattered applause rippling to a crescendoed ovation. I will blog to myself!” she pronounced.

Maybe that’s what is so unsettling. I am beginning to see a free man.  Free to simply be there in the unfolding of each new moment and every new day. Just laying it down as I walk.

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