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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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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Jumping Off A Cliff, Book Excerpt

Having signed up for my classes, I committed to 3 nights per week of Zen practice: martial arts Tuesdays and Thursdays and meditation classes on Wednesdays nights, 7:30 sharp.  Just $60 a month for spiritual enlightenment- and, I would get in shape and learn how to beat people up too (or at least defend myself  Read more

January 8, 2015 in Blog Post by Patrick O'Connor

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A Most Unexpected Visitor, Book Excerpt

Author’s note: this is a true story.  It happened to me over the July 1st long weekend, 1985.  I have been reluctant to publish it, thinking it was too ‘out there’, but it did in fact happen. “We’re sending you to New York – Newark, New Jersey. Your group leaves from Toronto at 8:00p.m., Friday  Read more

December 18, 2014 in Blog Post by Patrick O'Connor

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Crossing a Threshold, Book Excerpt

There was nothing in the air, nothing on my mind or in my heart that morning, that gave me even the slightest impression my life was about to change forever. It was a mid-spring day, May 14th, 1987, and, not having to work until the afternoon, I went for a walk to Main Street, Canmore,  Read more

December 8, 2014 in Blog Post by Patrick O'Connor

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“Who Are You?”

In my Zen days in Canmore, Alberta, my teacher Sifu Dr. Kim would look at me sternly, crunching his eyebrows, and say, “Do Chun (my Zen name), you have a big ox.  You must find your ox!”   And I would look back at him earnestly and with all seriousness, nodding my head in the  Read more

August 8, 2014 in Blog Post by Patrick O'Connor

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More Road Lessons: “Just Peddle, No Push”

“Just peddle, don’t push!” in Road Lesson #3, You Will Meet Angels got a lot of response from readers.   Here’s more on it. As I rode further on the Icefields Parkway south of Jasper, and away from my meeting with Sanryo Kim, I was filled with joy and delight.  Mr. Kim’s  joyful spirit, moved  Read more

January 14, 2013 in Blog Post by Patrick O'Connor


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


Ken Bovey: Part 7 Saying Good-bye

June 13th, 2011 was the 20th anniversary of the death of a friend of mine, Ken Bovey.   Ken died at the age of 32 from scleroderma, a rare auto-immune disease.  This is the story of the last 10 months of Ken’s life.  It is a story of how one man prepared for his own death.  Read more

August 7, 2011 in Blog Post, Uncategorized by Patrick O'Connor


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