Thursday, May 16, 2002

Spent the early morning watching dog Faith for signs of illness (she'd pooped, quite neatly, on our wooden kitchen floor at 4 am), and signs of illness did appear. Another bunch of poop. Another pool of vomit. All neatly delivered on the wood, not carpet, areas of our little home. Murphy's oil soap spray: that's the ticket.

When Faith gets sick, it mellows Jeff and me out. We get kinder to her. We get kinder to each other. Our dog is our Zen teacher, except, of course, when she's convinced that other dogs are trying to kill her. But maybe even then.

Speaking of American Zen, check out Byron Katie. I know, I know, another flipping self help book. Byron Katie is a California woman who fell down one day in an eating disorders rehab, and woke up, just like St. Paul, with a new view of things. Her "teaching," which is bare bones simple, involves writing down your pettiest judgments, the pettier the better. And then you apply four questions to those judgments. She isn't reinventing the wheel; the questions, and the process, owe a lot to the 12 steps, and to a number of Zen teachers. But she asks a question we all need to ask ourselves: who would you be without your story?


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