What my dog taught me about Zen

“My dog doesn’t worry about the meaning of life.” So begins Charlotte Joko Beck’s classic book Everyday Zen. This simple statement began my fascination with Zen. I had already had direct experience of what Joko was talking about. For roughly 10 years I walked, day and night, with our dog, Bo. During that  period I had suffered a series of setbacks, …

The world can be a cruel place

An apparition? A mirage? Both? Neither? She was wearing a gossamer-thin blouse and jeans and came floating across the parking lot like an apparition. I was sitting at an outdoor table, drinking coffee from a paper cup. As she headed straight toward me I figured I was in for an adventure, and quietly wondered what kind. “Do you have a …

Sometimes you just have to sit back and take a deep breath

I’m sitting on my veranda this morning in what is an incredible day. It’s 72 degrees or so, the breeze is cool and coming from the ocean and is washing every part of my body with a sense of being alive on this beautiful day. The ibis are feeding in a foot or so of water at the base of …

With a guitar on his back

In a way, Chris the troubadour is still trying to fulfill his father’s dream. Chris was playing his guitar at the Old Salty Dog last night and, outside the noise and hubbub of the bar, talked about his family. There were a fair amount of people in the place-nothing extraordinary, but the crowd seemed into it. He played old Neil …

A young man’s thoughts

By using her inate tool of curiousity Barbara discovers a unique event: the Cincinnati Reds, who play their spring training games here in Sarasota, are due to play the Boston Red Sox for the only time this year on Saturday, a mere 24 hours away. Both Jordan and Lesley (two of our children) are extremely excited about this coincidental juxtaposition …

A bug the size of Cincinnati

Last week I was brushing my teeth, getting ready for bed, when I thought I saw something running across the floor. Sure enough, there was a huge bug, about 2.5 inches long, scurrying under the sink. My rapid response system went into action. I grabbed a tube of toothpaste and hurled it at him. He was huge, I swear the …