Being a Jerk and Not Being a Jerk

Being a Jerk and Not Being a Jerk

It appears to me that there are as many people who use “progressive” ideology as an excuse for being jerks as who use “conservative” ideology as an excuse for being jerks. Conservatives who act like jerks are being jerks. Progressives who act like jerks are being jerks. Their respective ideologies are just an excuse to […]

Sometimes Silence is Louder

Sometimes Silence is Louder

My mom died in January 2007 and my whole family freaked out. When I got to my dad’s place I realized I had only one job and that job was to be the guy who wasn’t freaking out. When everyone is going crazy and someone steps into the room and simply refuses to go crazy […]

One of these people is not like the others, and it's me.

Us and Them

In light of recent events I started thinking about my own life in terms of being an immigrant. For 15 years of my life I was an immigrant and a racial minority; four years as a child in Kenya and eleven years as an adult in Japan. For the rest of my years I’ve lived […]

Big Bags of Stinking Skin

Big Bags of Stinking Skin

One of the times I visited Tassajara Zen Mountain Monastery in Northern California, I discovered, in their library, a little folder full of translations of articles written by Kodo Sawaki. There was no information about who translated the articles or where they came from. There was just a handwritten note that said the folder was […]

I Hate Myself

I Hate Myself

One of my relatives made the words “I hate myself” her Facebook status today. She’s 20. I totally get it.  Probably the main reason I got into Zen was because I hated myself so much for plenty of good reasons. I thought maybe Zen would fix that. It didn’t. I still hate myself. What has […]