Apologies for the lack of updates. Most of my writing time is chewed up by new projects I'm working on (a novel, and stuff for the hopefully upcoming Dating for Shy Guys website)
For those wondering what California was like, it was a lot like the Manitoba tour in that so much happened every day, it was hard to keep up with. It's a strange quirk of my personality that often the most interesting, meaningful and adventurous things that happen to me are the ones I DON'T write or talk about, but there you go. I know what happened, and the fact that it did is good enough for me.
I will say this about a Buddhist monastery. Some say the Catholics have think complicated services with all their stand up/sit down/shake hands/give money/stand in line and eat bread, but the Buddhists have them beat. There's standing up and sitting down. There are also bows, bells, and enough hand signals to confuse a third base coach.
One of things this particular tradition believes in is something called Working Meditation--which was cool. I did many things I wouldn't normally get a chance to do, working in an eco-friendly kitchen, hauling fallen trees and piling firewood, learning how to cook in a second monastery that had no hot water, starting fire in a wood burning stove, and others.
Oddly enough, the place I found most stressful was the kitchen even though most of the jobs I was given there were among the easiest ones I had to do.
As always, I blame Dan's Brain:
DAN'S BRAIN: I can't believe they gave me a job this easy. They must think I suck at everything. Everyone else has got a cool job and I'm stuck on cracker-arranging detail. And why did they give me such detailed instructions? They must really think I'm useless. Oh crap...one of the crackers is broken. Where do I put it? They won't let me waste food, but this is also supposed to look good. AUUGH! They gave me this super-easy job and I can't even do that right. Novice monks can do this job. I'm a comedian/writer/pro-wrestling announcer/salsa dancer and may very well have had more sex in the last four years than everybody else in this kitchen combined and yet when it comes to putting Vegetable Thins--a rather optimistic name for a cracker, by the bye, since these things are neither vegetable nor slimming--on a sheet of orange tupperware I can't even measure up to a second string candle-jockey. I SUCK at Buddhism!
My brain is an unusual place.
Thursday, April 8 - Yuk Yuks, Edmonton
Wednesday, April 21 - The Laugh Shop, Edmonton
Tuesday, May 4 - The Hydeaway, Edmonton
Saturday, April 17 - OSCW - Hazeldean Community Hall, Edmonton
Meditation Instruction (all at at 10:00 am at the Strathcona Public Library 8331 - 104 Street Edmonton)
Saturday April 10
Saturday, April 24
Saturday, May 8