Masculine Journey Blog

Where Is Your Ox?

In those early days of Zen with Sifu Dr. Kim, I was preoccupied constantly with the koan he had given me, “Where is your ox, Do Chun?  You have a BIG ox, Do Chun! You have to find your ox!” I was fully perplexed by the challenge of finding my ox. Walking down the street,  Read more

June 7, 2019 in Blog Post, Book Excerpt by Patrick O'Connor

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Putting Out Into the Deep

The interior of the sweat lodge was pitch black, hot, and humid. The air, a combination of sweat spiced with the scent of the black soil of an Ontario forest, was difficult to breath. Sitting cross-legged, I lowered myself toward the wet earthen floor of the lodge to breath whatever cool air I might find  Read more

May 24, 2019 in Blog Post by Patrick O'Connor

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More Than A Bike

In navigating the masculine journey, emotional memories from the past come to the surface for healing. Some of these memories can be life-altering ones. “More Than A Bike,’ represents an emotional crisis I experienced as a 10 year-old. I have had to process this disappointment, and accept that I had a complex need that did  Read more

November 15, 2018 in Blog Post, Book Excerpt by Patrick O'Connor

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A Prayer of Longing

I am preparing a talk for a men’s conference in January of next year. Below is my prayer to God to help me know what I am to say to these men. Father, I open my heart to you and beg you to speak through me the message you want these men to know from  Read more

June 23, 2018 in Uncategorized by Patrick O'Connor

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Who Even At Night Directs My Heart

“I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel, who even at night directs my heart.”  Psalm 16:7 I was never one to have recurring dreams, though I have often had recurring thematic dreams: driving cars or buses, trying to hit a golf ball, and ones that always get my interior attention, end of the  Read more

January 23, 2018 in Blog Post by Patrick O'Connor

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What Was On The Left….

As Fr. John and I began to work together, I would meet with him in his office inside the monastic enclosure. Not many people were privileged to go inside, so I felt rather proud to walk through the door that had a sign on it saying: “Monastic Enclosure. Monks Only.” I still did not trust  Read more

January 10, 2018 in Blog Post by Patrick O'Connor

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Holding the Universe in the Palm of My Hands

Dr. Kim, in his strong martial arts voice, commanded “Sit up straight, happ close your eyes (he meant ‘half’ close;’ the ‘f’ sound is difficult for first language Koreans), and look out to the floor one metre ahead of you. Breathe in very slowly. Feel the air on the tips of your nostrils as you breathe  Read more

January 8, 2018 in Blog Post by Patrick O'Connor

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Zen Meditation and Catholic Contemplation

Having poured out my story to Fr. John, he sat back in his chair, straightened his black Trappist scapular ( he did this habitually when he was about to say something important), and said, “Well, that is an interesting story. We have many monks who try Zen meditation and find themselves having emotional difficulties with  Read more

January 7, 2018 in Blog Post by Patrick O'Connor

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God Is Love, I Know It

I stared at the large crucifix hanging on the wall behind the alter, focusing on my breathing, doing my Zen best to be in the present moment. I knew every little nuance of the large plaster corpus of Christ (it must have been 7 feet tall), his eyes open, the crown of thorns, nails in hands  Read more

December 26, 2017 in Blog Post by Patrick O'Connor

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Saying Good-bye To My Father

My wife, Ysabel, and I walked through the wet night, past the shopping mall, toward Chelsey Park Retirement Home, where my father Dennis was living out his last days.  The weather, unusually mild for January in Canada, was a perfect reflection of how I was feeling inside: dark, misty, and sad.   I knew, as  Read more

February 12, 2017 in Blog Post by Patrick O'Connor

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