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A highlight from Mangala Sutra - Part Six
"This episode is called the mangala sutra, part 6. In part 6 of the mangala sutra, we look at the importance of having a teacher guide or spiritual friend. We're obviously going to face obstacles and hindrances on the path. So having someone with experience to support us is essential. You may be a secular Buddhist and not wish to join any group club or organization. Because you don't want to be tied to any belief system. Or you may be someone who doesn't like groups or would soon study from books. There is no problem with either of these. However, I strongly believe you still need a teacher or mental to help you along your spiritual path. But this teachings aren't about blindly believing a set of principles, or being given a practice and told to get on with it. It's about working on your own mind and experiences. Sorting through your own problems and difficulties and challenges. Sometimes we're going to come across obstacles that will need help navigating. This is where teachers come in handy. They can guide us through our difficult times, and encourage us to persevere. Even though Buddha encouraged us to be a refuge to ourselves, and not look for external refuge, he wasn't talking about going in alone. He meant that we should not be looking outside of ourselves for God's or higher beings to take responsibility for our lives. That responsibility is ours, and ours alone. So, a teacher is a guide mentor and spiritual friend, not a God or higher being. Their job is to help us along the way. It states this in the Dharma padre verse two 7 6. You yourselves must strive. The masters only point the way. Those who meditate and practice apart are free from the bonds of destructive emotions. There have been many reports of abuse by teachers recently, especially of a sexual nature, so it's clear we must choose our teachers very carefully. I would suggest a good teacher is someone who doesn't profess to have all the answers, because that's not possible. Good teachers are themselves simply working on their own practice, and willing to share their experiences with others.
A highlight from Introduction: What Buddhist Boot Camp is All About
"Let's begin this podcast with the backstory of Buddhist boot camp and how it came to be. Over ten years ago, when I left the corporate world and moved to Hawaii, I started emailing my Friends every month to let them know what's going on in my life, about 8 years later, my friend Kim suggested that I share those emails with the world because she found the letters inspirational, and she figured other people would benefit from reading them as well. That's how the emails became a blog and the blog became the book. That is now a Buddhist boot camp. It turns out that Kim was right. People all over the world have found the message in Buddhist boot camp refreshing inspirational. And more importantly, motivational. I think motivation is a lot more important because inspiration without action is just entertainment and my invitation is for us to go beyond thinking that something is a good idea to actually implementing it into our daily lives. What I love about Buddhism is that it isn't a religion. There is no creator theory nor a story about the beginning or the end of times. It also doesn't require other beliefs to be wrong, but rather strengthens your existing faith, whatever it may be. Buddhism is all about training the mind. And boot camp is an ideal training method that compresses a lot of information into a shorter period of time without losing any of its integrity. You don't need to be a Buddhist to find the Buddha's teachings motivational. As the Dalai Lama says, don't try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist. Just use it to be a better whatever you already are. So whether it's Mother Teresa's acts of charity, Gandhi's perseverance or even your aunt Betty's calm demeanor. As long as you're motivated to be better today than you were yesterday, then it doesn't matter who inspires you. Buddhism is not just about meditating. It's about rolling up your sleeves to relieve some of the suffering in the world, both within and around us. After years of studying Buddhism, I remember sitting there in my maroon robes in front of the Tibetan Llama, and I said, with all due respect, I don't believe the Buddha ever intended for his teachings to get this complicated. My teacher looked around at all the statues of deities with multiple arms and he himself chuckled. He said, the Buddha didn't do this. The Tibetan culture did. This is their way. Why don't you try zen? I think you'd like it. And so I bowed out of the temple. I took off my robes and I moved into a zen monastery far from home. Zen was simpler. That much was true. The walls were blank, and I loved it. But the teachings were still filled with all the dogma that sent me running from religion in the first place. There are many incredible books out there that cover all aspects of religion, philosophy, psychology, and physics, but I was looking for something less academic, so to speak. I was looking for something inspirational that people today would not only have the attention span to read all the way through. But actually understand and implement into their daily lives. I actually pictured a simple guide to being happy and in it just two words. Be grateful. And that's because gratitude has a way of turning what we have into enough. And that is the basic idea behind Buddhist boot camp. It's not about being Buddhist at all. It's about being Buddha like or Christ like or whoever inspires you, like, because you see your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does. So it's totally fine if you love Jesus and repeat a Hindu mantra. Still go to temple after your morning meditation. In fact, my altar at home has the Buddha on it. Jesus and Saint Francis of
How to Say Yes to Life
"Take few moments if you'd like to. Maybe adjust higher sitting so. Your posture supports meditation. The guidelines for sitting. Meditation are simple in the sense that the posture upright so that there's a quality of being tall alert and also relaxed alert and relaxed alert and relaxed. Eyes are closed. Unless you'd prefer to have them open that's fine too. There's no rules on it. Often the mind quiets more easily with the is close. You might feel this life breath and fuelled at your heart and bring a kind of inner listening to your heart syncing. What mood is here.
A Guided Tour of the Four Jhanas, With Kenneth Folk
"Now. The first thing. I always wanted to do when i start. A concentration practice is recognized that i'm not yet meditating because of the last thing i want to do is say it's time time myself into a ball into a not which is not conducive to. I'm trying to so what i do. Go to move. I feel what's going on. And i noticed a one of the things that's going on this. I'm distracted selden at all which is fine now mind. But i don't want to lie about it so i fidget a look around cy. Oh jeez meditate. Now in at this point already. I'm starting to feel a little bit. Reigned in in other words to feel like the attention is coalescing little bit because after all i'm trying to find out what's going on and that's that's bringing me Calming me down a feeling. What's going on am i monitoring. I'm asking over and over again. What's my experience feeling. It and if i were to put a label on this kind of experience of having right now pre concentration i could say this is Melted make something up. Call this pre jonah. Jonah flavor and recognize the flavor because it's a particular combination of sensations
Vesna Wallace on Exploring the Kalachakra Tantra
"Has now welcome to the wisdom dhamma chat and thank you for joining us. Thank you pleasure when introduce me is expected to become literate because feel like when civil life. So yeah it is. It's cover next such profound in vast tundra right. And i was thinking maybe we could start with you telling us a little bit about the background in the history of the tundra. You know win. Was this tantrum popula. What type of communities practicing The tundra so maybe we'll start there. Good question specially. If we seven audience people who have not familiar with the tradition. So can we not only for legends so to speak for worcester. Differences are not too much other sources that are available to a missing. According to the tradition. It was told by with their mundi. In what is now under these In his food but manifestation where he was to select few including keeps each under who was king of shumba lion time and so. The tradition says tender statement taken into some Tables propagating it teaching gate dinner at some point it was deducted by magician actions another king of samba and then both tweeting via inevitably eleven's century tradition lives at a time when i defend with currencies social political crises india in also when the tradition claiming. This was a time when people could listen to the doctor.
Taking the Exquisite Risk': An Undefended Heart
"One of the metaphors for spiritual transformation that we hear a lot is that we're like a caterpillar in a cocoon and that the awakening comes as we feel the sense of the cocoon and realize it's time to Go beyond and then we into a butterfly and fly into freedom. And it's really actually very useful metaphor individually and as a species in the sense that you know we live in this familiar. Cocoon of our ego thoughts and behaviors and so on and they serve us the cocoon service earlier stages of development and then at the time comes to go beyond and if we don't the cocoon creates a pressure and we start getting more more squeeze because we're living in to small space for growing spirit and so that pressure is a reminder to take the chance and break open and it's damaging if we don't it's arrested development it's even more useful if you think of it in terms of as for these for these humans that we are. It's not a one shot that were continually waking up out of a cocoon of illusion cocoon of limiting beliefs. Cocoon of in some way behaviors. That are keeping us small that it's a continual ongoing process of coming into contact with a wider reality so it's like shedding skin and each round that we shed a skin we become more that vulnerability you know the new skins more porous than the old skin.
Guy Armstrong on Illuminating Emptiness
"And guy i wanted to thank you for joining us and welcome. You will thank you very much for having me that happy to be here with your love talking about this topic and all the other dharma that i know you and i might share wonderful and so i thought you know you've had a long history with the insight tradition and i was wondering how you You know. I got into practicing in that tradition. Well it's kind of a long story. I started off reading about buddhism. And i bought my first book on buddhism when i was sixteen years old i knew nothing about it. I was in the middle of the country growing up in a suburb of missouri. And for some reason. I picked up this book in a bookstore called the way of sam. I alan watts. I didn't read it right away. But when i got into college in all these kind of new ideas were floating through the counterculture and i got interested in started reading what i could find and mostly at that time it was about Zan by alan watts of dt suzuki. So i did a lot of reading but unfortunately nobody told me. I needed to meditate and so it was all conceptual and intellectual or mid that point but it did it did establish from me a real interest in asia A strong poll. Jj from from that time. and so. After i graduated from college. I went into the peace corps in malaysia which was right next door to thailand so when i visited thailand i really felt a good connection i felt at home and then when i got back to the states settled in palo alto and i met a meditation teacher who was a student of the tide teacher. Dear bamba who not a lot of people have heard about but she was teaching for pasta in nineteen seventy four in palo alto so i became interested in. That's where i got my start in. Actually sitting down and meditating
The Beauty of Not Knowing
"In his book the compass of zen zen master singson said. I do not teach buddhism. I only teach don't know this is a quote that i like And i want to share some thoughts regarding this notion of. Don't know what does that mean. I only teach know not knowing the beauty of not knowing arises when we understand that reality as a complete picture is unknowable. I because it's always changing and second because we are limited in our perspective of where we stand in terms of space and time and this is tot with the story and buddhism the story of the six blind men and the elephant which i've brought up multiple times on the podcast where you have six blind men trying to describe an elephant and they're all describing different parts of the elephant and none of them can give an accurate picture of the whole elephant because they're limited with where they stand right. I if i'm standing at the foot versus at the back versus the front versus sitting on top of versus standing under. You know the what. I what i perceive and what i'm going to describe that i'm perceiving is different than what someone else will be experiencing at a different part of the elephant and the key teaching with the six blind men and the elephant is the understanding that nobody has the full picture. And that's how reality is reality in. General is a picture that can't be seen as a whole. It's just literally impossible for example. I know what it's like to be me living and two thousand twenty one To be a male of forty two years of age. I know what it's like to be a parent. I know everything that i perceive is based on where i am in space and time and the interdependent connections of all the things that make me what i am right now. I know what it is to be a twin. I know it is to be a a brother A son adad. You know all of these things but that's in today's day and age. I don't know what it's like to be someone who lived in the middle ages or someone who lived You know. I don't know hundred two hundred thousand years ago. I don't know what that would have been like. I can imagine. But i can't
Relaxing Back Into Full Presence
"Lee began with a very simple reflection. the increase. What your intention is for practicing for meditating for being here. What's your what's sincerity in your heart. Right now what really matters to let your shop be aware of the whole experience of sitting here. Sensations of the body wherever your body breathing consciously extending the in breath so it's a nice full deepen brea and then a slow out breath slow enough so you can feel the sensations of letting go then again a full deepen in breath dealing the chess filling the lungs and slow out breath feeling the sensation. Just they release the breath going out continuing with full deepen breath. Long slow out breath sheer matching the length of the in breath and the out breath not pausing in between breathing in opening to receive and breathing out releasing out or relaxing letting go
Writing and Haiku as Spiritual Practice
"So natalie on behalf of our community a really big heartfelt to thank you. I'm actually thrilled. My little hard is bitter. Pattering is likewise. I've known about tara forever. And i've heard she's a really good teacher which is so important to me and that. She's a fine meditation teacher and she doesn't skirt around psychology that she's deeply rooted in it so the combination is unbeatable married cited. Well it's fun this is we finally get to like intersect. And we've these lives. And so i wanted to start by saying that. You really have awakened whole generation of us to the power writing as a spiritual practice and speaking personally. It takes me a really really long time to complete a book and you really helped me understand that. Of course we have listen inwardly in order to really be coming from that present so i kind of wanted to start here. If that's okay with you rating as a meditation a spiritual practice and just to ask you just to share with us. What makes it a spiritual practice. Well you know we can all be stuck on the zolfo. Do you call him. Sophos in your christian whatever. We can't just be stuck on them all the time so i used rioting as a way to translate the dorm but you couldn't use painting or running or grocery shopping but okay. I'll come back to writing.
Lineage, Renunciation, and Engaged Buddhism
"So rampage a welcome and thank you for joining us on the wisdom. Thank you for inviting seven. I was thinking that Maybe we could start with talking a little bit about the shrunk by lineage and perhaps You could start with talking about the Founder of the chungbuk lineage. And then also maybe a little bit How trump. Akagi differs from mapa kagyu. Okay festival daniel and the whole team wisdom publication all online participants In thank you very much for this wonderful in brief introduction about myself and my predecessor appreciate a lot so so the founder of this book julian agent. What the distinction between the martha in So since that is you're pushing I my onset is I think people have done to stand that. Lineage is not just like one particular practice that defines unin edge. Lineage comes down to combining all the different practices from the great different. It does and putting together and then transmitting that to the next generation that defines as such as mark buckeye ju- gunma guidry. Sean guide drew and all the different images you know. So it's not just a one practice and therefore distinguished as lineage. It is different in moscow. Does practice combined together than transmitting to the next generation so so therefore i just wanted to say that the founder of the shumpert guy drut is Trump landreau himself. Because he is the one that who extra league public or or broader to the to baton and an indian and nepalis and and then also the chinese and mongolian. You know over the time.
Meditating in the Goldilocks Zone, With Vince Horn
"So i think everybody probably heard the goldilocks and the three bears story growing up. I won't repeat the whole tail but the gist of the basic point. I wanna draw out in. The story is the part where goldilocks goes and tries to porridge. And she tries papa. Bear's origins too hot on. She tries the other porridges to cold in. She finds one. That's just right so today we're gonna be talking about. I'm going to be talking about meditation and how to bring the goldilocks principle intimidation. And the goldilocks. Principle is just the right amount. What's that just right amount this needed. And the goldilocks principle. It's interesting. It's applied to multiple domains because in multiple domains. This is an issue funding economy funded and developmental psych In astro biology. There's a notion of the goldilocks zone. And this is how i i heard about it. Actually the idea that there is a sort of habitable zone around a star in that zone That's where the possibility of life emerging Could happen because it's not too hot. Not too cold just the right kind of conditions at least in terms of the relationship to the sun
Moving With the Absence of Judgment
"Giving talks over zoom. I had my first in person speaking engagement at a local unity church although it was over stimulating for me to be in a room filled with so many people in live music after such a long stretch of peaceful solitude. I somehow managed to maintain composure. And keep my cool. Transitioning back into social events is going to be a gradual exercise for me. I had one event this month. There are two next month and then half a dozen that involves some travel the month after that while some people have anxiety about businesses opening up again distance travel restrictions being lifted and facemasks no longer being a requirement in some areas. There are also many people who are excited to get back out there to socialize and mingle let's be gentle and understanding with one another check with someone if they are open to hugging before assuming that they are and honor. Everyone's comfort level prior to my talk on sunday. The minister said our life. Experience is directly affected by our mythology. This got me thinking about what a difference perspective can make when it comes to our ability to love everyone on the one hand a friend recently told me he believes in our human nature to judge others and that my entire premise of non judgment is therefore idealistic and unrealistic. Wife fight nature. Is my friends. Go to reasoning for humans being so selfish on the other hand. The dalai lama says that love is the absence of judgement. So what's in question is no longer whether or not we can love freely. It is suddenly a discussion about us. Judging compulsively it doesn't matter if loving or judging is in our inherent nature because we aren't concrete and nothing is permanent only fixed above all else it's ultimately in our nature to evolve like all beings so we are not limited restricted or confined by our past. We are shaped but what we decide to do. In the
Ven. Sangye Khadro on How to Meditate
"So venerable. Welcome and thank you for joining us on the wisdom chat so great to have you here. Thank you for inviting me. I was just reading your bio and a mentioned that you were in you. I met the dhamma or studied with the debate and llamas in dharmsala indiana's wondering wondering how you what motivated you and how you ended up going to india to study buddhism. Well i guess salaam story that. I'll give short so his born in california and grew up in a roman catholic family but i went to catholic schools but as a teenager i became disillusioned with catholicism and i was interested in still interested in spirituality and now back in those days that was in the early seventies. There weren't many buddhist books available. But i read a few and i've had the strong feeling of wanting to go to india that seemed to be replaced where always spiritual teachers happened spiritual teaching so yeah so i started going university but then i felt. It's not really what i wanted to do with my life. I really strong pull towards finding a spiritual teacher in spiritual path so i decided to leave university and just head off to india. But i didn't go immediately. I went first to europe and had some fun there and eventually made my way to india at those days. I mean there is no willie. Planet guide. No internet facebook and so on. But i'd meet people along the way. And that's how i found out about Dharmsala
Nourishing Happiness With RAIN
"It's just as important to open to the moments of goodness in your life as the moments of suffering tech not on Many of you know vietnamese meditation master. He said it's not enough to suffer. You also have to touch peace and happiness and injuries. So that's all to say that we're going to be doing a short meditation and that's really had nourished. Happiness nourish our hearts with rain. Please find a comfortable position. You may already be in it but do whatever adjustments allow you to feel. Perhaps that you're sitting in a way that's alert you're upright but there's also some ease you're comfortable let your attention go inward takes a moment to settle with the brass. You might san says. The breath comes in that. You're receiving this life breath opening to receive feel it enter your body into the cells nourishing and then with the out breath. Essentially of releasing letting go whatever's not needed kind of like a balloon opening to receive expanding and then the deflating releasing letting go unnoticed. You can really relax with the press to relaxing open and a relaxing as you release
Alan Wallace: Solitude and Resilience
"So much contempt. Whether in buddhism christianity or any other tradition is about how to in a way the very nine lever benevolently how to empower the individual how to empower when his own mind and not feel a victim of circumstances which on occasion we're bound to do and so many of us are experiencing enforced isolation liscensing things which were all very familiar. And it's very easy to say. Well i wish happening. Feeling that one is a victim of pan-demic the economic challenges going and and how can with this as if coping is the best thing. We can do But i was suggest that we can just shift or refrain the entire situation and see this time of solitude isolation's on punishment quarantine sounds like punishment that solitude. It's it's an open term. It could be something that we go out of our way to cultivate To be and so to see this as an opportunity for reassessing our lives kind of world. We live in our values our priorities since we can't maintain the status quo because of external circumstances. So i look at this pandemic that has been active now for what eight months or so and i see. This is something very transient. Sooner or later they will come up with the wrecks. Sooner or later will subside could to be eternal but it's something that's covering over much deeper issues that have been going on for decades and decades and decades and this how we which include myself in this as a person who until this you're flying a lot driving are using electric how we have been maltreating. One say how we've been ravishing or harming. Our natural environment are ecosphere
Living Presence With Body Scan
"One of the direct gateway to pression news waking up our attention in a relaxed way through the body you might begin by sensing the area of the brow. The is if you could smile into the is since the outside corners of the is uplifted. Some the is soft the brow smooth receptive to this and sation aliveness in the region of the is you might let that receptivity spread feeling the scalp and the skull sensations. That arrived slight smile at the mouth. The inside of the mouth smiling and receptivity to this stations and the time. The gums the teeth the lips meta magin throat filling the neck feeling in receptive the sensations and alive in in the neck
Why the Future Is Not up to You
"Think that because we all like to feel in control we even get a false sense of security and comfort from the illusion that we think we know what the future holds. We intellectually understand that many factors can get in the way of our assumptions yet. We brushed them aside. So we can cling to our perceived reality at best. We make plans for tomorrow because we assume we will still be alive but at its worst we presume to know other people will behave or respond to us. Even though intention and impact don't always ally it doesn't matter how good the intentions behind our actions. Maybe their impact is subject to elements that are out of our control like unforeseen circumstances and or other people's perception. It's been said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But don't let that discourage you. I see it as a reminder that even though i can decide on a course of action i need to completely let go of my attachment to any expected outcome or reaction when i used to manage online art gallery for example regardless of how the artists and i tried to price the paintings the value of the work was ultimately determined by the collector. Who wanted to buy it not by us every once in a while. Nobody wanted to buy complex. Drying pat took many hours of love and skilled labor yet pieces that the artists consider downright juvenile sold for thousands of dollars. The value of the art was not up to us. Does that mean. The art that didn't sell is worthless not necessarily a few years ago. My friend got into a terrible car accident. That sent her to the hospital for x-rays which was great because that's how and when the doctors found her cancer early enough to remove it before it spread if it wasn't for the car accident who knows if or when she would have discovered the tumor. So was the car
Three Core Reminders for Spiritual Practice
"So i am recording here from cape cod. Where it's drizzling. And i send all my heartfelt best wishes to those that have been going through these incredible heat waves but i wanted to talk about for this class is something i've discovered over the decades of spiritual practice and that is that there are three particular reminders about practice that come up over and over again and that have i'd say most guided my practice and many others. I've talked to have felt the same. That these three are the kind of key remembrances and the first one is wake up from thoughts. Move from that space of being lost in thought to witnessing the fact of thoughts so that we can release the grip of of judgments and stories and beliefs that are keeping us small. Wake up from stocks. No one elderly woman recently. Spoke very a wistfully to me about how this gift of learning to see. Oh it's just a bod. How much not having to believe for. Thoughts has made a difference in our life and how many years went by that. She really felt imprisoned by the circling stories and judgments. So that's the first. Wake up from box by the way that doesn't mean get rid of the hot suggest means no they're going on. The second is fuel the fumes that are here. You know open to the vulnerability that's often in our bodies and hearts and when we get the knack of that of of staying present with vulnerability or difficult emotions what happens is our presence intensifies. It becomes more spacious more tender. And there's a real quality of freedom that comes with that
Meditation to Stay Relaxed and Alert
"Imitate moments to feel the movement of the breath in the area of the heart era. Attention be at the heart kind of listening attention listening inwardly since your deepest intention practicing right. Now what is it. your heart really longs for. Let's the quality of france in shephard awareness. That really would feel like home connecting with your own charity feeling with others practicing that shared intention that our moment of meditation might serve awakening ripple out really touch others in our world in a healing way. Be part of the healing. You might gently bring the palms together. The heart and we open together collectively asked community. We chant the mantra own. Which is a sound current of connectedness lieutenant. Three times and begin by taking a nice full in breath.
Rima Fujita Illustrates the Dalai Lamas Life
"You are a descendant of the last sim- awry and i was wondering what what is the story there. Oh yes so. You've seen the last summer. The movie with tom cours. yes i know. They're my ancestors. Wow yes and so. I grew up hearing about it so much from my especially from my grandmother. She was so proud and as a child. You know i was like Two three years old and she would give me the ski wilder of the shogun's face on a and as a small charlie. It's not something you would and see what. Give it to me that this is so important you keep it forever with you. Okay and then. I said who is this. This is the last summer and we come from that clan and so and over and over she would talk about how dignify that they were my ancestors and but it didn't really i was like okay. So what but much later in. My life I started to read about about summarize code and and the way the summarize our were i would say and they i found some good qualities like We have in buddhism like compassion. Loyalty justice Honesty all this. The summarize lived by those codes. So I started to have some interesting it in But it only happened later in my
Shifting From Limbic to Liberating Intention
"Now. I'm a stay in welcome. I begin tonight with one of my favorite stories that took place in two thousand and one and this was a three weeks before the twin towers were bombed in new york. There was a conference that i attended in the twin towers. I still have the little pen that i took from the building. It was a buddhist conference. And i was asked to help open. The conference with six other are five other teachers and they were all elders. I was by far the young end of the spectrum in my dorm experience and also the only woman and i was really nervous about this. This is this is stressing me out. We at ten minutes each and we're asked to address really the question of what is it that most helps to serve awakening and freedom so we at ten minutes to riff on that one and i was the second second person in line and i thought that's great. I get a chance to kind of compose and collect and so on. But i get the thing done with you know and so The first person went up. There was richard baker. Rocha who has suzuki rochus dharma heir very very well-known and and beloved. And so he gets up there to do his talk and he said awakening comes down to two things intention and attention. Thank you very much and all of a sudden. Like oh my god. I'm on cyrus done in frozen. And i got up. I have no idea what i said. I wish i had said like. He said i did remember what he sad. That awakening comes down to intention
Chris Ives: Meditations on the Trail
"Suzanne on the trail meditations on the trail. Your books with wisdom have focused around the connection between nature and spirituality. And so i was thinking we could start with you know when full you because you've trained in zen tradition and you have this law of hiking and being in nature win for you. Did these to come together. I think it happened. Probably back when. I was in college in the nineteen seventies and started sittings ause in in many ways in the zone on the trail book partly. What i'm doing is not just thinking about hiking. In sort of a zen mode not just thinking about traditional religious pilgrimage relative. The backpacking is kind of pilgrimage. But in part what. I was doing in. That book is trying to get clear for myself in my late fifties early sixties. When i was working on the book what are the connections between my practice zan. From the time. I was a college student seventies. And what i do when i'm out hiking in part of that was thinking about how growing up as a kid in rural connecticut. The son of scoutmaster spending a lot of time with my brothers just playing in the woods with my dad and the boy scouts hiking. How my love of being out in the woods. Hiking fishing goofing around may have made me in a sense predisposed to resonate with certain aspects of zen when i first encountered the tradition as a college student and so partly what i was doing in the book is looking at how my upbringing my love of the woods of new england spending so much time outside may have had me resonate with zen and then going the other direction partly. What i'm doing in that book is thinking about how over the years my practice of zen might time in japan going to a lot of sacred mountains japan which usually involved hiking how that experience may have influenced how i hike later in life