Happy New Year, 2020. 只今は朝５時。It's is now 5 am Jan. 1, 2020.
I would like, as a New Year's present for you, give you my own story about an early Zen episode in my life.
This is a true story...
When I was about 14 or 15 years old, I told my mother that I wanted to move to Japan to become enlightened and become a Zen Buddhist priest.
I expected that she would be very pleased with me but was surprised by how angry she was!
She exclaimed, "No son of mine is going to go live in some mountain cave on an island and study with a bunch of crazy Buddhist priests. No way!"
I was surprised and gave up on this idea.
Many years later I would move to Japan and I became close friends with some very famous Zen Buddhist priests. Some even have their photos on the walls of their offices with the Dalai Lama.
To this day, I enjoy meeting with them and talking about life, getting their advice, and drinking at a bar with them. They have taught me many things and they always seem to be very happy and contented...
Nothing bothers them because this life is temporary.
Today is Jan. 1, 2020... I have come to the immediate conclusion that our world and society has become so insane, that to be truly happy, one should become like the crazy priests my mother warned me about.
I realize, now many years later, that I DID go to live in a cave on an island...
Just not the way my mom or I envisioned it at 14.