I'm thinking about going camping. I haven't camped in a very long time. Michele does not camp. I have a friend that can hook me up with good camp sites at Joshua Tree. Anybody up for a little camping in the desert in March?
Here's a great TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert author of the insanely successful Eat, Pray, Love that I stole from my friend Luisa's new blog on literature/writing. She really does a nice job of taking a new look at the creative process. Very inspiring.
Sailing Home by Norman Fischer is the best "spiritual" book I've read a quite a while and fortunately for us he will be in town next Thursday night giving a talk as part of the LA Central Library's ALOUD Series. I've given you all one weeks notice so if anybody would like to ride up with me please let me know. I'll be leaving right after work next Thursday evening. I'm sure it will be great and well worth your time.
Zoketsu Norman Fischer is a poet and Zen Buddhist priest. For many
years he has taught at the San Francisco Zen Center, the oldest and
largest of the new Buddhist organizations in the West, where he served
as Co-abbot from 1995-2000. He is presently a Senior Dharma Teacher
there as well as the founder and spiritual director of the Everyday Zen
Foundation, an organization dedicated to adapting Zen Buddhist
teachings to Western culture.
To understand dharma and attain the way can only be the result of studying with a teacher. However when practicing and inquiring of a teacher, listen to his words without matching them with your previous views. If you understand his words in terms of your own views, you will not be able to grasp his teaching. - Dogen
I'm looking for a home. A Zen Center home that is. It's time for me to find a teacher, to deepen my practice. It's time I commit to a teacher student relationship. To see where it takes me. I'm not really sure how you go about that but I'm going to be checking out a couple of a different centers over the next several weeks. I've been putting this off for awhile because the the teachers I really want are far and far away and not conducive to a more consistent relationship. There's some fears I have around the commitment to a path or a specific teacher but they are old ideas and no longer serve me. It's time.
First stop is an all day Sesshin this Sunday at Hazy Moon Zen Center. I've heard about this center for a while and actually an artist friend of mine is a priest there. I have high hopes. And I'm looking forward a day of sitting. Wish me luck.
So there's a meme rolling around Facebook that asks for 25 random facts. I thought I'd post it over here too because I can't think of anything else to post.
1. I'm a High School drop out. I attended HB High School until they
threw me out my sophomore year. I tried to go to continuation school
but couldn't seem to make the 3pm start time.
2. The first concert I attended was Social Distortion at Harris Studios
in Costa Mesa around 80/81. My mom dropped me and my little brother off
and picked us up. Yep.
3. I've been clean & sober for nearly 16 years now. This is the most important fact about me.
4. I'm an entrepreneur. My two business partners and I started Two
Roads Professional Resources (technical staffing) in Nov. 96 and have
had a great ride ever since. We've made multiple fastest growing
company lists and have been recognized by Ernst & Young's
Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
5. On the side I'm an artist, curator, former gallery director and art
blogger. I ran the Orange County based alternative art space The Office
(www.theofficeart.com) for 4.5 years and I also still manage the OC Art
Blog ( www.theocartblo.typepad.co
I also serve on the Art Forum Board of CSU Fullerton's Grand Central
Art Center. I've shown my artwork here and in Europe. I don't make art
6. I'm a published poet and have won awards for my poetry. I've been
suffering from writers block for a while now although I did have a poem
published in a literary journal last year.
7. I'm a practicing Buddhist and a daily meditator. I hope to teach
meditation workshops to non-meditators. I did my first public
meditation workshop last year. It was a blast.
8. My favorite city is Paris and one day hope to live there with my wife.
9. My favorite surf spot is Bolsa Chica beach. I grew up surfing there
and still feel most comfortable there. I miss the old Bolsa crew.
10. I've been married over ten years and I'm happier now then the day I got married. Who knew?
11. We have no kids. My wife didn't want them and I knew that going in.
12. I never really left Huntington Beach until I met my wife. She has dragged my ass all over the globe and I'm grateful for it.
13. My wife and I started a Foundation last year that supports
individual artists and arts organizations. www.thehofffoundation.org
14. I learned a long time ago that there is a power in giving of your time, money and energy. Try it!
15. My life changed completely in the summer of 79 when my best friend
Richard's older brother let us listen to the first Sex Pistols album. I
haven't been the same since.
16. My wife thinks I'm a 16 yr old girl because I have a personal blog www.dharmabum.typepad.com, I twitter and I'm on FB. I think I'm just technologically savvy.
17. I always have a stack of books on the nightstand but it's rare that
I actually make it all the way through a book. The last two books that
held my attention were Sailing Home by Norman Fischer and The
Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan.
18. My wife is the most unique, self-assured person I know. How she
ended up with a basket case like me is a mystery of the universe.
19. I'm a die-hard Angels fan but secretly liked them better when they were losing all the time.
20. I hold an active Secret Clearance with the Dept. of Defense. I could tell you why but then you'd probably disappear.
21. I started Grad school this year at Pepperdine University. I'm going
for a MA in Clinical Psychology. My goal is to become a therapist,
start a private practice and work in hospice care.
22. If I could be anywhere right now it would be arm in arm with my
wife walking along the bank of the Siene River in Paris at night. From
the Eiffel Tower to our little hotel in the Latin Quarter. Heaven on
23. Against my wife's wishes I will someday have a cabin in the woods. My own little isolation station.
24. I've been pretty amazed lately how once you make a decision in your
life that you've been putting off because of fear, etc. The doors of
opportunity start flying open.
25. I'm pretty happy about where I'm at right now. Even though everything is in flux.
So you all probably remember this post where I was getting hit with the desire to get away. Well it looks like that's going to happen. I have a two week spring break coming up at the end of April and Michele and I decided to do a road trip. It looks like we'll head up the Cali and Oregon coast to Portland. Then head over to Sun Valley Idaho for a few days then take off to Yellowstone National Park where I have never been before. Then we'll spend a little time in Montana eventually making it to the Badlands of South Dakota where I'll get to visit Little Big Horn and see the big rock with the Presidents faces on it. Then we'll boogie over to Denver and most likely head to New Mexico for a few days and finish it up in Sedona, AZ. I'm very excited.
So now it's time to start putting the road trip music playlist together. Whenever we travel you're always going to find some Son Volt playing. Here's Highways & Cigarettes for a little taste of some great road tunes...
Meditation practice is an approach to life that promotes
self-awareness, self-kindness, and self-forgiveness and brings us the
clarity to see what we need to do in our lives and the forbearance to
stay the course. - Norman Fischer
So ever since Health Scare 2008 I have been quietly shedding some pounds. Mostly by a combination of eating better, hot yoga and ice cream deprivation. So far I'm down nearly 30lbs. This morning Stacey, Michele and I did the Surf City 5k, a 3.1 mile run down PCH. I haven't done an organized run in a decade so I was a little apprehensive. Everything went great. I finished in a "decent" time and my knee only killed for part of the race. Now I can eat like crap and smoke multiple cigars during the Super Bowl guilt free!! Here's some pics: