If my father ever heard the word “Zen” in his life, I’m sure it was just in passing.  But I’m convinced that he secretly lived a double life as a Zen Master. 

Why am I convinced?

Because he didn’t have much use for the past or future, which allowed him to stay present in the immediate moment most of the moments of his life.

Because he practiced Lovingkindness by showing compassion and empathy to others.

Because he practiced his Zen breathing, especially when one of his four children did something wrong.

Because he could plop in the recliner, pop on the headphones, turn up the music, and he was gone.

Because he was peripherally interested in Eastern Philosophy.

Because he attempted yoga in the living room until his four young children laughed him right out of his lotus position.

Because he used his senses to enjoy, appreciate, and participate in the world.

Because one of his greatest gifts—that he passed on to me—was that, like Buddha, he saw the humor in the everyday world, things so much funnier than anyone could ever write.

Because almost every night, he used music to meditate. 

And those moments with The Stones, The Beatles, Joe Cocker, CCR, Percy Sledge, Aretha Franklin, and The Band, calmed him and created peace in his life, his world, and his soul. 

And mine.

Yes, there was always music.  Really, really good music. 

In fact, I would say that music was his Zen Practice.

It soothed the soul, minimized the stress, and placed him in the present moment.

And it’s hard to imagine something more Zen than that. TZT