1. What year/how old were you when you joined the military?
1986, I entered the military 3 months after my 18th birthday
2. Why did you enlist in your branch of service?
My dad and uncle both served in the army (WW II and Korea) and my older brothers preceded me in the Army. It seemed like the thing to do as I was clueless about life after High School.
3. How many years did you serve and what unit/units?
I served three years active duty, after basic training and Airborne school, in B CO 2/75th (Ranger) Battalion
4. Which practice forms (sitting, walking, working, eating, or Deep Listening and Mindful speech) have been important and supportive in your daily life?
All have been supportive. The most supportive has been sitting/breath awareness practice, where I’ve learned that I have access to my breath any time, especially when I’m not sitting in a formal way. The breath has given me an anchor, especially during extreme distress and discomfort!
5. What drew you to Zen practice?
It was AnShin - his example and perspective of practice as practical.
6. How does Zen Practice influence your daily life?
Today, I think it is around my emotional life as feeling steadier, less dramatic and a feeling of more space around my feelings, and a different awareness of my reactions and impulses. wow, that’s a lot!
7. What does it mean to you to be a part of this practice community?
I don’t see the practice community as anything other than my close relations, and in some sense, my chosen family.
8. Who is/was the most inspirational person in your life and why?
Mr. Bennett in High School, my math teacher who very clearly kept me from getting into trouble with the school and more importantly, my dad - at a critical time in my life.
9. What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to feel safe and feel ease in my life and family. Besides that, I still want to be an astronaut.
10. What one word would you use to describe your Zen practice?