Daily Zennist

March 2024

Daily Zen has been in my life (and accompanied me on my life journey) for well over 20 years: throughout my mid twenties, all of my thirties and the continued shifting and settling of my forties; Daily Zen has been both a comfort and an invaluable resource for those of us who are on the Zen path, deepening and adding to our spiritual knowledge bases over the course of many years.

Despite dramatic and more subtle life changes (and experiencing the illusion of life not changing when it is in a constant state of flux), Daily Zen was always something that was a fixture and something I looked forward to and, I shared it with my mother (who passed away unexpectedly) a little over a year ago.

One of our rituals included me reading one of the lessons (usually the monthly lesson) to her over the phone and then discussing and contemplating its meaning–it’s one of the many memories that I carry with me and in my heart.

When loss and tragedy came to visit not that long ago, it became apparent that the years of studying Buddhism (both Zen and Tibetan) had been in preparation for these life events and that there was a cumulative effect (including the Daily Zen teachings and its presence in my life) and that was that the container had gotten bigger without me realizing it.

I was able to meet loss and grief on its own terms and at times observe it with curiosity and at other times, when I was in the throes of what I refer to as “grief tsunamis,” was able to experience them fully as frightening and overwhelming as it felt and to come through the other side.

When I had to make difficult decisions at the onset of these events, I was able to stay connected to my moral and ethical core, and this is due to the effects of Buddhism. 

I will continue to look forward to Daily Zen continuing to be a part of my life and to continue helping to make the container bigger—this is part of the magic of Buddhism. 

Hallie O.