Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

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 need to share an observation.

In my younger years, people would ask me the usual coming-of-age rites of passage life questions. 

What do you want to be when you grow up?


When are you going to get yourself a boyfriend?

Why, next week.  I penciled it into my calendar.  Thanks for asking.

When are you going to get married?

As soon as Jet Li or Keanu Reeves pop the question.  I’m quite patient.

How many kids are you going to have?

Sorry, nothing gonna squeeze out of this puppy.

But I’ve found that I’m not getting those questions anymore.  Instead, the one constant inquiry that’s replaced all these questions is: 

Do you have kids?


When I’m standing in line at Starbucks…

Do you have kids?

When I’m sitting there minding my own business…

Do you have kids?

When I’m getting a filling done at the dentist office…

Do you have kids?

I guess it’s a way to make polite conversation, but it’s fascinating! 

Can you imagine if this was a pick-up line?

How would it rank against the others?  (Not that I’ve ever got asked any of them.)

Hey Baby, what’s your sign?

Man, you got a hot body!  Would you hold it against me?

Do you have a map, ’cause I keep getting lost in your eyes?

Do I know you?  ‘Cause you look like my next girlfriend!

Do you have kids?

Nope, nope. 

Doesn’t have quite the same panache.

Ah, well.

Story of my life.

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I enjoy blogging.

I may actually have a couple of readers.  I think.

YES!  I am now Queen of blogging!



I find blogging to be my self-serving way of talking about my family and stuff that interests me.

And I can talk about Zen Master and Zen Mum all day, but they would probably try to hide my laptop to get me to shut up about them.

But lucky for them, they don’t need to do a thing.

I’m taking a step back from blogging because of other personal projects.  The frequency will definitely be less than what it is now, but I’ll still be here.  I’ll still be blogging about my little family.  Just not as regularly. 

Once my projects are finished, I’ll be back blogging at full steam. 

And with that note, I’m shifting it down a notch, to half steam.

See you around the next bend.

Sally in the Zen

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John Grisham

Every now and then, I go through phases where I would be utterly enthralled with a particular author or a particular subject that I just can’t get enough of.

And when the interest wanes, away go the books back to library.

The last time was JD Robb.

A long time before that was cookbooks.

This time around?

John Grisham.

I finished his latest novel called The Confession.

It was a non-stop read for me. 


I would read it while eating breakfast.  While getting ready for bed.  While getting ready for the day. 

While in the bathroom.

Ok, I’ll stop there.  I’m sure you get the picture.

He makes law fun.

So as soon as I was finished with The Confession, I picked up The Testament.

Finished that in two days.

Then picked up The Street Lawyer.

Finished that in another two days.

Right now I’m in the middle of The Rainmaker.

I haven’t read this one in years!

No, John Grisham did not pay me to write this post for him.  As if he really needs me to spread the word about his books.  He’s just a really great read.

Most especially in the bathroom.

Enough said.

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Sleeping In

One of the absolute best things about the weekend is waking up to no alarm clock.

I would slowly wake up to the quiet and the morning light and a brightened bedroom.  I would peek at my windows and see the bright blue morning sky.

I would bask in the morning silence from the warmth of my bed, the cocoon of my blankets.

That’s absolutely no other feeling that could top this one.

That is, until I smell the freshly brewed Starbucks coffee wafting in the air from the kitchen.

Then all bets are off.

Yes, I’m a simple person.  It really doesn’t take much to entertain me.

I am Sally in the Zen. 

Hear me snore.

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One of those moments

In the middle of one recent night, I arouse out of deep sleep.  I pop one eye open and rove around the dark room and see nothing.  Then I open the other eye and scan the room a bit more thoroughly, trying to figure out what woke me up.

There wasn’t anything in the room, not even a sound.

So what woke me up?

I turn my head over to the window and notice the pale luminous moon outside, its bright light streaming through my windows.  And it was angled right over my bed.

It’s strange how I’m awoken out of deep sleep from the touch of moonlight on my face.

It’s actually cool, the more I think about it.

Unwittingly the song flows through my head.

Breakfast at Tiffany\’s – Moon River

I ponder the strangeness of nature and the moon for one more second before letting it go.

And turning over to go back to sleep.

Just one of those moments that make me go hmm.

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Songs in my head

Sometimes I wake up with songs in my head.

Lately it’s been Keisha.

Ke$ha – Blow

It would be blaring in my head as if I standing right next to loud speakers.

I like the song.  It has a really catchy beat.

But I really don’t know why I wake up with songs playing in my head.

It would play while I brush my teeth.

It would play while I gulp down my home-brewed Starbucks coffee.

It would continue to play as I get dressed for work.

The mind is unexplainably the strangest thing in the universe.

Because Ke$ha would switch off and then…

. . . then . . .

Boy George would pop in.

Culture Club – Karma Chameleon

Happy Monday!

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Graceful is a ballerina.

Elegant, slender, trim and lean.  When the ballerina walks, she’s grace in motion.  Effortless, sleek, like poetry floating in air.  Every movement is smooth, every motion is mesmerizing.

When I see grace is motion, I find myself thinking Wow, that was grace in motion.

Now that we got that out of the way, let me just say…

…that’s so not me.

Just so we’re clear.

I dribble food on my shirt constantly.  If there’s a crumb hanging, I slurp it up. 

Just because, you know, waste not, want not.

My most favorite sweatshirt that I sleep in is thread-worn and quite faded.  It doesn’t matter to me that I have to wear another sweatshirt with this sweatshirt.  It’s just so comfortable and soft.

And not even Zen Master can get me to toss that lovely item away. 

My sneaker size is a 8 1/2. 

Yup, I’m a big foot.

And I don’t dance.

I have absolutely no rhyme or rhythm.  When I dance, people think I’m twitching. 

Enough said.

So, with my rhymeless, twitchy self, I walked to my new gym and shuffled into a Zumba class.

I know it’s dancing, with hips-shaking, butt-wagging, arms-flaring movements but I need the cardio.  If it wasn’t for the fact that I needed the cardio, I wouldn’t even touch Zumba.

What you gonna do?

When I walked into the room, it was packed with anxious and eager ladies who were ready to get rolling.  There were so many of them in the room, that it left little personal space around me.  And when the lights dimmed and the instructor walked onto the raised platform with her microphone and headset on her head, she pushed a button and the music began. 

This was my first Zumba class and I checked my inhibitions at the door.  I was resigned to the fact that it was useless to be embarassed about my twitching because I just needed the cardio.

I couldn’t see the instructor so I followed the ladies in front of me.  Let me just state for the record that there are so ladies who take their Zumba quite seriously.  They mimic their movements just so, toss their hair back just so, and reach their arms out just so.



It was ok.

Because it was so packed with people, I ended up in a corner right under the speakers.  After an hour of jumping, doing grapevines, strutting forward and back, doing endless butt wriggles, arm flares and lots of twitching, I left that place soaked with sweat and winded.  I think the sweat was more from heat that came from that mass of bodies waggling in that room.

And my left ear was deaf.

At the start of the class, I overheard someone say that the more you do Zumba, the better it becomes.  I would become more familiar with the movements and the instructor who was commanding such a packed house was top-notch. 

All good to hear.

Would I go back?


Because my twitchy self needs the cardio.

And it was fun.

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