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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Zen Stories

My latest collection of short stories is called Zen Stories: The Art of Caring. These stories are Westernized versions of traditional Zen stories told from a humorous or sometimes a poignant point of view. Some of my favorites are The Sign and A Butterfly Picnic.

These stories are inspired by life... by my experiences in practicing Zen over the last three decades, and by the meager reading I have done concerning Buddhism. One of the first teachers I had told me to never read anything about Buddhism. Just practice. And for the most part I have followed his advice.

These stories seem to pop into my head at the oddest of times... when I am working, walking, taking a shower... times when I am alone and my mind is still. With The Butterfly Picnic, I was sitting beside a slow-moving creek, deep in meditation, eyes half closed, looking at nothing in particular, when suddenly I was surrounded by a swarm of white butterflies with black spots on their wings dancing all around me, landing on me, caressing my face. When I got home and sat down in front of the computer, the story appeared on my screen as if on its own... a lost moment in time fleeting past.

For those who are into Robert Pirsig's work, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Value, and Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals, I have just finished updating Lila's Child: An Inquiry Into Quality. It is available for purchase on Amazon.com as an e-book. The traditional paper book is still available as well.

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