It has been a year! I just have not had time to write here, and my zen meditation practice is what interests me most these days. With each Mail Chimp campaign I have sent in the past 2 years I think I ought to copy and paste them here, and from now on I vow to do this…. here is the most recent one:
The following announcement is not directly about my book, but since it is an event I will be presenting at on the topic of “autism and Zen”, I thought some of you might be interested. On Thursday November 15, 2018, (between 8:45 and 9:30 am) my partner and I will be presenting in Houston, Texas, during the 5th World Autism Organisation (WAO) International Congress 2018. The conference runs November 12-15, and our presentation is scheduled in the morning of Thursday 15.
In WAO’s words:
…“this congress will offer people with autism, their families, friends and relevant professionals a comprehensive programme of well-informed and respected speakers. Diversity of topics, with focus on latest research, practical skill upliftment and personal experiences will be the backbone of the congress programme.”…
In case you or somebody you know want to attend, a few days ago I received an email from WAO about their LIMITED TIME OFFER:
“The WAO2018 Congress has just received funding from a very generous donor who has asked to remain anonymous. The opportunity is NOW to receive a $200 discount off any full registration fee! The discounts will be awarded on a first come first serve basis and the promotion will only last until the funding runs out! Don’t miss out and apply today!”
December 2, 2017
With the upcoming Holidays, many of us may have to find gifts for our loved ones. Judging by the comments of people after they have read my book, it might make a great gift: an easy and enjoyable read that tells its reader something about autism. It occurred to me that I ought to let you know about the review that listed my book for this matter:
I have not sent out a MailChimp campaign lately because unfortunately I am not so « technology-savvy », I try and try but I keep having to ask for help with it. Greg, my partner for the last 7 years, is the one who has done so much for me in this realm. He is also the one who helped me start my website, http://www.anlordavin.com. There is a lot more information on it than what I manage to tell you via these campaigns: reviews, interviews, etc.
Greg has some experience with MailChimp because he is the co-president of AASCEND.org, a support group for autistic adults (yes I am a member), their families and professionals, based in San Francisco. Thank you Greg for all the work with this, I am extremely grateful.
Lately I got so fed up with so often asking for his help that instead of using this program I sent a few emails to many: I pasted and copied my email to many, a time-consuming task….and I am afraid many of you did not know about their contents. The events they told about are now past (and they were sweet), however, while I am sending a campaign, let me already list here the 3 upcoming events about Being Seen for which dates are already set, I hope you can join one or more of them or let your friends know about them.
DATE: March 7, 2018
HOURS: 1-2:30 pm
LOCATION: College of Marin library, William Keith Room
ADDRESS: 839 College Avenue, Kentfield, CA 94904
DATE : April 6 & 7, 2018
National French Conference on Autism
LOCATION: France, Euro Disney near Paris
DATE: April 28, 2018
HOURS: 1-3:30 pm
AUTISM AWARENESS 3RD ANNUAL CELEBRATION
LOCATION: St. Luke Presbyterian Church
ADDRESS: 10 Bay View, San Rafael CA 94901
Finally, many of you may not be aware of a major interest of mine, in fact it is the direction of my life I most cherish: the bringing together of meditation and autism. Once a month I facilitate at Dominican University (in San Rafael, California) a meditation group for people on the autism and neurodiverse spectrum. Once a year toward the end of May Greg and I host in the Sierra a 3-day “Autsit” meditation retreat for autistic adults. Our website (another site Greg helps me with!) for this is autsit.net.
April 6, 2017
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:
- My Zen practice and what investigations transpire during and after it,
- Spreading the word about my book and all the interesting encounters I have because of that (its title is Being Seen, website anlordavin.com),
- 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 www.autsit.net. 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.