April 6, 2016

I am back to blogging, I apologize for the delay. I had technical problems that were slow to be resolved due to….various fears, and what I am afraid that I must also call “procrastination”.  Let me be humble!  It amazes me these days how childish we all are. Growing up seems to be what life is about.  Now in my fifties, I don’t think I have accomplished much by finally realizing this.

It seems to me a blog is a place to write what interests you in your everyday life: many of us encounter things that might be of interest to somebody else, though not all of us are lucky enough to be able to “blog”, or care to tell, or are allowed to do so, or…

Topics that most interest me these days are:

  1. My Zen practice and what investigations transpire during and after it,
  2. Spreading the word about my book and all the interesting encounters I have because of that (its title is Being Seen, website,
  3. Working at the freelance translation gigs from English to French or vice versa — that I first have to find, a challenging task.

I am not sure whether any of these subjects are interesting to you, which is exactly where I wonder about the validity of the “blog trend” of these days.  What matters most to me is that you are well, and I am not sure that my blogging will help any of that…  I must have faith that maybe, if you are like me, there is something in what I read that will be of help somehow.  Since my zen practice is the heart of all of my activities, that is what I will talk about here.

Over six months ago I was fortunate to be able to start and facilitate a meditation group for people on the autism and neurodiverse spectrum; it meets once a month at Dominican University in San Rafael (Northern California), in a beautiful calm environment.  For more information about it, see  This has been an extremely rewarding adventure: so far I have met several autistic people who also like to sit. Afterward, somehow “mellowed” by our time sitting, we have sweet little discussions in the safety of our shared autism and different ways.  Oh, and let me not forget the latest nurturing development: we now have a BYO bag lunch outside on the sunny (most of the time) porch afterwards.

This morning during my daily zazen, my mind wandered, as the mind often does, toward the subject of how quickly we are forgotten once we die: one or two generations down, and unless your name left a mark in history for a somewhat random reason, we are all eventually forgotten.  Sometimes I think, say, about my grandmother and my grandfather: at least I still have a little physical trace of them to bring them to my memory.  But then, what about my great great grandmother and father, and even further back…all these people who existed, who had a life basically like mine (take away the environment’s new developments) and are no longer thought of on a one-to-one basis?  If I start to think in this light, not only are you possibly “blood-related” to me, but in fact if I go further and further in the past, chances multiply that we are related!  Several months ago I visited the Paris catacombs, and all those bones really brought this to mind.

I could say more about the above musings, but I am sure you get the picture (and “your picture” 🙂 ), and I want to say that as far as the “after” effect of zazen, I can’t explain how they come to pass, BUT THEY DEFINITIVELY DO: my life is transformed by this simple upright sitting practice, take my word, and forgive me for not describing further how it comes to pass: I can’t.  Please don’t expect that once you start sitting, all will be well and all your problems will suddenly be resolved.  It won’t do that; the image of stormy waters comes to mind, and they eventually calm down.