Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

Zen Master and Zen Mum

I have been an amateur Zen Buddhist for almost eight years now, with absolutely no formal training whatsoever.  It was on the eve of Chinese New Year when I had the epiphany.  I was in the kitchen with my folks when the light bulb lit up in my head.  Dad saw “it” and he knew what had happened.  Without me saying a word, he just knew.  And he became my Zen Master.

While Dad has always been Buddhist, Mom has always been Catholic but she can’t remember the last time she went to church.  Both were cooks in Mom & Pop shops for as long as I can remember, and they retired over three years ago.  Now they both work part-time in the cafeteria of public schools.

When friends and family hear that we all live under the same roof, it’s comforting to hear their support. 

“Oh my God, really?”

“Oh my goodness, you have such patience!”

“You are such a good daughter!”

“I wouldn’t be able to do it.  I need my space.”

“There goes your sex life.”

Originally from New York, we ultimately migrated and settled in Baltimore, Maryland.  Zen Master has never pushed his religion on me or my brother while we were growing up.  He was too busy bringing home the bacon in those days.  But I knew enough to understand that God is good and Heaven is the place to be. 

Zen Master doesn’t preach; he lectures.  He lectures about everything.  Taxes are too high.  Inflation stinks.  Common courtesy to everyone is forefront, especially to our elders.  Eating salmon without capers is just wrong. 

So by the time I had my epiphany, it was a foregone conclusion.  I think I’ve always been a Zen Buddhist but I never really thought much about it growing up. 

Now I pay attention. 


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