But I went to this bookstore, I got there and I was soaking wet with sweat, and I went to the bathroom and I’m standing in the stall and I’m take off my clothes and I’m flapping my clothes trying to dry them off, you know, and and I was like, God, this is just not a way to live, you know? And and the reason I was going to this, bookstores, I love books, but also they had a Starbucks and I was going to get my Frappuccino and my chocolate chip cookie, you know, and as I came out of the bathroom and headed for that Starbucks there, as I passed by an end cap of books, and there was this white cover book with a slice of an orange on it, and it just said, savor mindful eating, mindful living. And I don’t know why that caught my attention. I don’t know why I even bothered picking it up. And, you know, I don’t know. But I picked up that book and I saw it was by this Buddhist monk and a Harvard nutritionist.
I was going through the process of 12 step, got a sponsor, did those things that we're supposed to do. But I wasn't feeling it at all. I was just going through the motions and I was not it was not working. And so I asked someone at the treatment center when I was outpatient about how to what what I could do, like what are my options. And he gave me two names and I called both of them. And the first one to call me back was Alejandro Trouble. And that was the beginning of my of my path.
Tibetan Buddhism resonates so strongly with me firstly, because of karma. It is well known to me from past lives and now I am remembering. So it is very dear to me and has stirred deep emotion from my first exposure. I think it is probably this way with most practitioners, once it grabs a hold of you, it’s like welcoming a dear old friend back into your life after a long absence.
And that's when I said, I need a break. It is a flier with one of the reverend's doing a retreat at the one Dharma Center, which is like four hours from here in upstate New York. That is my beginning of real, you know, waking up to ways of really cultivating myself under this long spiel. But now that's by way of introduction.
I was raised Roman Catholic and my grandfather was a fourth degree Knight of Columbus. So, I was very intrenched with a fixed Idea of what God was and was not. As well as a lot of dogma and beliefs that I wasn’t even sure were real, that the people telling me weren’t eve sure were real either. I always suffered because I was trying to force myself to believe in a God or higher power.
Joking in 1980 as I introduced myself to the workshop leader of a weeklong seminar entitled “Owning your Religious Past”, I described myself as a Zen-Baptist. It was an attempt at the time to show off my witty nature to the attractive teacher. She and I remain married.