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Between Sanity and Insanity

In those days, the strain of long hours of meditation – “hard practice,” as Sifu Dr. Kim called it – began to take a toll on my psyche. In the early days of meditation, I simply was learning how to meditate, was simply learning the breathing, the play of thought and feeling, and the physical  Read more

August 28, 2019 in Book Excerpt, Uncategorized by Patrick O'Connor

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Up From The Deep

The wine flowed all too freely during and after dinner at Tim and Sandy’s. As if glass upon glass of cabernet-sauvignon washed away my interior dam of reticence, I opened up to my brother and sister-in-law, allowing my frustration and angst to flow freely from the reservoir of my deep hurt, complaining that my father Dennis  Read more

August 5, 2019 in Uncategorized 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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The Harrowing of Hell – Book Excerpt

I was in a state of turmoil.  Here I was was back in London, my childhood home, living with my parents, out of work and out of my beloved Zen practice, separated from my teacher, Dr. Kim, with whom I had invested so much of the past 2 years of my life, and I was  Read more

December 2, 2016 in Uncategorized by Patrick O'Connor

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What The Old Lady Said – Book Excerpt

Though I knew the Old Lady from Calgary had said something very important to Dr. Kim about me, having spent 10 minutes discussing what she had learned from her ‘reading’ of my energy, I had no idea what it was about.  Dr. Kim simply responded with lots of nodding and u-hums, but beyond this, I  Read more

December 2, 2016 in Uncategorized by Patrick O'Connor

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Reverse Psychology Reversed – Book Excerpt

Though I had been reading Thomas Merton’s books on Zen Buddhism and Carmelite spirituality, and had found them intriguing, I still had not seen the irony in reading books about Catholic mysticism to strengthen my resolve to shave my head and go to a Zen monastery as a monk.  And though Dr. Kim had read  Read more

December 1, 2016 in Uncategorized by Patrick O'Connor

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The Old Lady From Calgary – Book Excerpt

The early fall evening was warm and the lower forests of the Bow Valley still yellow, as I drove the winding road up to Dr. Kim’s house for meditation class on Cougar Creek Crescent in Canmore.  I was still excited about meditation class at Dr. Kim’s, despite the fact that it was painful to sit  Read more

December 1, 2016 in Uncategorized by Patrick O'Connor

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Road Lesson #3, You Will Meet Angels

Meeting someone even once can change your life.  Here’s a story about one such encounter with a man who changed the way I saw myself – all in 30 minutes. I was cycling the first leg of a 250km trip from Jasper, Alberta to Canmore, Alberta, through the most stunning scenery in the world, the  Read more

January 3, 2013 in Blog Post, Uncategorized by Patrick O'Connor

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Descent Into Ashes…

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust;” ancient words we’re not used to hearing these days.   Ashes are dry, lifeless flakes of things once living and now dead.  Christians are anointed with them on Ash Wednesday. In navigating the masculine journey, ashes are a symbolic reminder that many of our goals, dreams, and desires don’t turn  Read more

March 8, 2012 in Blog Post, Uncategorized by Patrick O'Connor

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Give yourself the present moment

For New Years, my sweetheart and I took a road trip to the Muskokas in Ontario.  We had no plan, no reservations, no timetable to follow, except to see where we ended up.  It was, as we called it, “our adventure.” The simple pleasure of asking, “You want to try that? You want to got  Read more

January 9, 2012 in Blog Post, Uncategorized by Patrick O'Connor

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