Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Path With Heart Jan 2011

When I was in the fourth grade Joanne Goto died.

She was my classmate in our Catholic school
and she had developed a brain tumor at the
unbearable age of 11.

Joanne and her family were Buddhist.
The nuns told us — and the Goto family —
that Joanne's soul would "burn in almighty hell for all eternity".
 How comforting for the Goto family that must have been.

From that event forward,
the faith, grace, and dignity of the Goto family
ignited a Buddhism pilot light deep within my soul
that has flickered and flamed for 50 some odd years.

As a child in Hawaii, I learned diversity and appreciation for people who were
different from me from my parents.
We had friends of all cultures, racial backgrounds, and beliefs.
Many were Buddhists and we attended ceremonies and celebrations
with them.
I remained interested.

In school I read as much as I could find about the life of the Buddha
and once wrote a paper that was well received by my instructors.

I veered off of this path in my youth,
favoring the philosophy of
live fast, die young, and have a good looking corpse.

From there I went directly to sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

I was a spiritual loss in my 40s.
Adrift in a stew of dysfunction, confusion,
and not being able to make anything in my life work right.
Not much of a stretch as to why. . .

But that Buddhism pilot light roared to life in my 50s!

While living in northern California, I stumbled upon
a place called Spirit Rock Meditation Center,
five minutes from my home. 
All were welcome.

I began a meditation practice and went on
Monday nights, along with 50 plus other kind people,
for Dharma talks and 30 minute meditation sitting.
I meditated with the monks at the San Francisco Zen Center
and celebrated the earth at their Green Gulch Farm.

I read more books, like A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield
— one of the founders of Spirit Rock —
and an eloquent, humorous, and articulate Dharma speaker
at Monday night meditation.

When I moved to Mexico 
I found myself on my own again in terms of spirituality.
I continued to read but rarely meditated.

A few months ago a friend mentioned she was enjoying
a small meditation sangha that met on Tuesday evenings
in Ajijic for Buddhist discussion and 30 minutes
of meditation facilitated by the knowledgeable and articulate 
Kevin Knox.

I have found another home.

We are currently reading and discussing another
Jack Kornfield book The Wise Heart.

Email me for more information on the Tuesday night
Ajijic sangha and sit if you are interested in adding compassion,
mindfulness, and loving-kindness to your path.

All are welcome!

Some basic information:
What is Buddhism?
Who was the Buddha?
What do Buddhists believe?
Buddhism - religion or philosophy?


  1. It is interesting of how much damage the various religions of the worlds do in the guise of internal peace and worship of the " master power". Finding purpose and meaning for one's self is more important, no matter what name one may put on it!
    Bravo for finding what you believe and trust.
    Too bad more people are not able to do that in their lives.....
    Go for it! , to use an old 60's mantra.....

  2. Thanks, Tancho, I agree totally. It certainly doesn't matter what name you put on it, most religions teach peace, love, and respect for fellow man. It's that 'my way or the highway' mentality that I object to. I never could understand that, why is YOUR way the only way?
    Yes, oceans of blood have been shed in the name of religion. Again, my way or the highway.
    What's up with that, anyway?

  3. I did not know you'd walked this path before! Wishing you much happiness along the way!

  4. I just discovered your blog, and it looks like I am going to appreciate it. I have some reading-backwards to do. Keep at it.