A Buddhist And A Nun Walk Into A Church.

I hear her cackle first thing in the morning. I come in at 6:30 am and she has been up for three hours already, two of which are spent praying in the chapel downstairs. I sit down at my desk and hear her laughing—cackling if you will—with the nurses. She is almost 80 and yet, when she laughs you can hear that tinge of mischief in her voice.I can hear her shuffle as she makes her way down the hall. When she is about 20 feet away and knows she is near, she calls out, “Ty, are you up there toda … [Read more...]

The Vidyadhara Dream.

In 2011 I was ordained in the Celtic Buddhist lineage. The lineage, much like the pioneer that created it are controversial. The Celtic Buddhist lineage is an offshoot of the Chogyam Trungpa lineage, itself somewhat controversial. It seemed like a perfect fit for me—both my background and my story are somewhat cloudy at best. The decision to take ordination was not an easy one. I had spent years as a hard-nosed atheist, a man of science and skepticism. The lack of deity and faith in the tra … [Read more...]

You Left Me: When Their Words Hurt.

“I don’t like you anymore,” she says, her lip quivering. “You’re not my daddy.” I look down at her blue eyes and the pain of her comments feels like a boot heel to the gut. I am caught reeling. Tears fill my eyes as I see her fighting back the tears in hers. Going back to work was a hard decision. For the vast majority of the past four years, I was a stay at home parent.My daughter and I were largely inseparable and the long hours I now spend at work seem to have created more than a little rift … [Read more...]

Is Your Glass Empty or Full?

Editors' Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Engaging the New Year. Read other perspectives here.The New Year is once again upon us. Our revelries have come and gone and what seems like an impossible date when I remember watching Flashback to the 80’s as a kid, is here. It is 2016. How do we approach our ideas of the new year? Resolutions? Diets? A long list of of what we want to change or what we wish we did and will now do? Do we see the glass as half empty or half f … [Read more...]

The Buddhist And The Blind Nun.

She is blind.She is this little old nun I have come to know from where I work. Soft spoken, portly, and a slight hypochondriac, she makes me laugh. She finds her way from her room to my desk and asks me to read her mail to her. She sits in rapt attention listening to the inflection in my voice. I cannot help but think about the amazing level of mindfulness her life must now require.I will watch her from time to time and see her head cock or move to noises that I think would be … [Read more...]

My Four Year Old Guru.

“BELLY BUTTON!” My daughter stands on the ottoman, shirt pulled up over her head and pointing at her tummy, screaming, “Belly button!” I don’t know why, but these two words and that tiny indent or outdent that we all share, is her new obsession. At least twice an hour she will make a point to show you hers and try and stick her finger in yours. To be quite frank, it has become a tad obnoxious. We’re going on three weeks of top of her lungs screaming, BELLY BUTTON and poking her fingers in bell … [Read more...]

Of Doubts And Fears.

My childhood, like many others, was not filled with dreams of content and solace. Instead my dreams were largely comprised of nightmares of loss and separation, fears and doubts, and the wishes of a home that would never come to be.As a young adult, I grew into a codependent personality, always motivated by fear of loss and rejection, seeing the world through eyes tainted by fears of hellfire and the abuses of a tyrannical father figure. I eventually found myself immersed in Gestalt therapy … [Read more...]

Sacrifice the Sacred Cow: The Need for Religious Criticism

As a Buddhist, it is usually shocking for people to hear or see me criticize something that others may hold sacred. As an engaged Buddhist, it is often common to be involved in issues like civil rights, global warming and animal welfare, yet, we seem to stop when it comes to addressing issues of moral lapse in religious traditions. After all, people hold these ideas as sacred and base their lives on them. Somehow, we don’t see how connected these very ideas are to the rest of our decisions on c … [Read more...]

Sit With Me: A Friendship

The weather is perfect. It’s one of those days where everything seems just right—the temperature, the breeze, the fall leaves making that soft wooshing sound, like waves in the sky. I close my eyes and sigh. Everything feels just right and I am happy and grateful to have this moment. As soon as I recognize that I am aware of this moment, I ruin it. Do I feel okay? I’ll probably be sick later. A list of negative self talk rushes in and that perfection is lost. I try and get it back but of cours … [Read more...]

Deciphering The Teenage Girl: A Dad’s Struggle

MehehIDK?whateverHaving a conversation with a teenage girl is like having a conversation with a neanderthal.You just try and decipher the grunts and facial cues and hope they don’t bite your head off for looking at them in direct sunlight where they don’t have good angles and filters; #nofilters, #wokeuplikethis...my ass.I look at my oldest kids and then look at my four year old and wonder what happened. They were all so cute and nice and needed me at one point. Now i … [Read more...]