Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

Happy New Year

From our family to yours, we wish you a very Happy New Year!

Golden party hat

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Farewell Year 2011

It was just November a moment ago.  Then I blinked, and sneezed, and December 31st was staring me in the face.

I read somewhere that there are chances for do-overs, chances to try to do something over again.  While I somewhat believe that, I also realize that a true do-over is not possible. 

That we have only one chance to live and breathe in that one space of time, in that one moment of day and hour and second before it truly disappears into our past. 

Do-overs just happen in a different space of time.

Interesting stuff to mull over on this New Year’s Eve.

And on this last day of Year 2011, I mediate and reflect on all the gifts in my life.


Simple things, really.

But the most important in my life.

Thank you, Guan Yin, for blessing me with these precious things.

And thank you for another new year to spend with them.

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I’m not a believer in love-at-first-sight.  That’s just full of hooey.

Hooey, I say again.

But I need to disclaimer that when it comes to food.  Sometimes I just can’t help myself. 

When a luscious plate of chicken marsala comes my way, I melt. 

And drool.

When Zen Mum makes a batch of homemade pork dumplings, I swoon. 

And devour the little morsels like a champ.

But when it actually comes to people, specifically men, well, I’m just a little bit more fickle.


Eye candy, the whole lot of them.

And this includes you, Keanu Reeves. 

And you too, Jet Li.

No man is ever going to make me soft or swoon or coo or do anything remotely related to love-sickness.

Uh-ha, that’s right.  You heard me.

Not.  Doing.  It.

And then last night, I met Benny.

My Handsome Nephew

And I was a goner.

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Early Arrival

He’s coming!  He’s coming!

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A Sentimental Fool

Riddle me this.

What is bright, golden white, something that I crave with a fiery passion of a supernova that leaves a scorcher of intense color?

Why, the beach, of course!


There’s absolutely something about the the warm sand and the cold ocean under my feet that leave me speechless in awe.  The salty air.  The ocean wind, the mouthwatering smell of greasy broadwalk fries and grilled onions wafting on it. 


I can honest-to-goodness almost smell those onions!






Ok, I’m finished now.



Zen Master, Zen Mum and I recently spent a glorious week at Rehoboth Beach, DE.

It was wonderful.

On the morning of our last day, Zen Master and I woke up at 5:00 AM to catch the sunrise.  When I asked Zen Mum if she wanted to join us, she just grunted at me before rolling over and falling back to sleep. 

Call me a romantic sentimental fool, but I just wanted to breathe in the morning salt air and witness a sunrise on our last day at the beach.  Zen Master certainly thought so.

Until he started walking the broadwalk with me that early morning.

We didn’t speak much.  We just meandered in the cool morning air, listening to the sea gulls screeching, the ocean waves crashing. 

It was relatively empty, except for the occasional jogger or power-walker.

It was lovely. 

So after strolling up and down the broadwalk, it finally was time for the brilliant sunrise.

According to the weather almanac, it was supposed to rise at 5:58 AM. 

And was it brilliant?

Did we witness the fiery ball of golden nature?!

Was the sky blazing with phoenix fire?

Uh, nope.

Not this morning.

C’est la vie.

“This is the first time that I’ve seen a sunrise at the beach.” Zen Master said.

“Really?”  I asked.  Although it really was quite overcast and nary a hint of orange sunlight.  We watched as the skies lightened.

“Since I’ve been in the United States.”  He murmured.  “The last time I saw a sunrise was when I was still in China.”

That was food for thought, really, because he’s been in the US for over forty years. 

To be a witness to a first for my Dad.

Yes, I am a sentimental fool.

And I thank Grace for allowing me to give that to my Zen Master.

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The Question

I am officially one year old today.  YEA ME!

I read somewhere that in order to truly move forward, one needs to reflect back and remember where one came from. 

A year ago:

  • I was a year younger.
  • I was blogging regularly.
  • Zen Master and Zen Mum puttered along with me, when they’re not working at their schools.


  • I’m a year older. 
  • I blog not so regularly because I’m in between mini-projects.
  • Zen Master and Zen Mum are going to be grandfolks in a couple of months.
  • I’m going to be a first time auntie.
  • Zen Master and Zen Mum are still puttering along with me, when they’re not working at their schools.
  • According to Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News, we’re living in a year with record-breaking weather-related events, such as the most hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes ever in history.

The other day a friend and I were at the gym, chatting as we stood in line to get into the Zumba class. 

She (discussing her reason for going back to school for nursing):  I’m 30 years old and I was going nowhere.  I hated my job and I just wanted to do something that would give me meaning.  I mean, time was just going by and if I didn’t do something about it now, it was just going to fly right by me and I’ll never get another chance like this again!  I mean, I’m 30 years old!

Me:  Wow.  That’s great.

She:  I mean, my husband and I had a long talk about it because I would have to quit my job and go to school full-time with student loans.  It’s going to be tough on us for awhile, but I mean, it’s a long term investment.  I just had to do it!  I mean, I’m 30 years old!

I’d wondered how she would take it if I told her that I was ten years older than her?

But that’s beside the point because what she was saying was the point.

I’ve actually been pondering on my own direction for the last few months.  Hence, that’s why I’ve been throwing myself into a handful of personal projects that have been eating away at my time away from blogging.

All for the purpose of trying to figure out the answer to the Question.

Question:  what’s next?

Which has ultimately lead me to think about my bucket list.  Maybe I should stop thinking about it and start doing something with it.

Am I going through a mid-life crisis?

Maybe, but here begins the pursuit of answering the Question.  Is it a coincidence that I start this on my one-year birthday?

So, what’s next?

I’m going skydiving.


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Morning Glory

So I’m sitting there, minding my own business, when I hear a chirp! chirp!

Glancing down at my phone, I see that someone sent me a text message.

I didn’t recognize the number but I still click on the message and open it.

See the penis sticking out?  He’s proud and showing off his penis!


Some sick pervert just spammed me!


I opened a message that probably had a virus and was now bugging my phone!


What the *&^%$ is this crap? 

Then I scrolled down further on the message and a black & white picture rolled up.

I squinted at it, completely confused and truly befuddled.


Then I realized that I was looking at an ultrasound, with something highlighted in white in the middle of the shot.

And then I remembered that just a few minutes before, my brother had texted me that he and E were having a boy!  They had been at the doctor’s office and finally found out the gender.  It’s official!

It’s a boy!

Hello, my nephew!  Thank you so much for flashing me with your morning glory.

Uh, I didn’t mean to call you a sicko.

Or a pervert.

Nephew:  Auntie, what’s a pervert?

Me:  uh…

Nephew:  Auntie, what’s *&^%$?  What does it mean? 

Me:  uh oh

Nephew:  one

Auntie Sally in the Zen:  zero

Kid’s not even here yet and he’s winning.

What’s up with that?

Happy Monday, Everyone!

So glad to be back.

Sally in the Zen

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Easter Sunday

Zen Master looked at me with distress. 

“We have to go back to work tomorrow!”  He wailed loudly.

Zen Mum nodded.  “Sucks.”

Yes, my friends, Spring Break 2011 is finally over and the kids are upset.

Spring Break 2011 was a staycation for them, puttering around town and just staying local.

Some time ago, while Zen Master was waiting to pick Zen Mum up from work, he observed a track and field down the hill.  And decided to see if they could use it during their vacation.

Which they did throughout the week, when it wasn’t raining.

So where were we on that beautiful and warm Easter Sunday morning?

Yup, we were trekking all around that track.

After one lap, I stepped it up and mixed in light jogging and power-walking, and when I saw the concrete stairs leading up from the field, I powered up the stairs until I reached the top, huffing and puffing as if I just ran a marathon.  And when I finally caught my breath, I jumped up and punched the air with my fists, hooting and hollering like Rocky.

Because I made it up there without passing out!

Mount McKinley, here I come!

Uh, not.


When I caught up with Zen Master and Zen Mum, they were sweating and red-faced. 

And grinning like fools.

“This is better than walking around the neighborhood.”  Zen Master stated as a matter-of-factly. 

“How you figure?”  I asked.

“No pollution from cars driving by.”

Hm.  Never thought about that.

So for an entire hour, we trekked around that track, panting and gasping for breath, puffing with other like-minded people who wanted nothing but a good run.

Zen Master counted twelve laps when we finally called it quits.

Let me state for the record that I am a Zumba fan, shaking body parts that cry in protest. 

I am all about Step Class, stumping and jumping like nobody’s business.

And I live and breathe Body Pump, for I vow to get myself a JLo butt.

I am an athlete who gets ragged but bounces back with always my second wind.

Okay, so I’m using the word athlete quite liberally and loosely.

So when we finally got home, what did I do?

I washed up and went straight to bed.

The kids actually puttered me out.

And my bed never felt so good.

The End.

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