Tag Archives: God

project 30 – katie

4 Sep


Katie, 35

What would your 30 something self tell your 20 something self if you could?

Don’t give so much power to what others think of you. What do YOU think? Spend your energy deliberating on whether you will be proud of the choices that you’re making. You’re the one who has to live with yourself every day.

What do you wish you took more seriously in your 20’s?

Not much. I was more Type A than I probably needed to be. It was easy to feel like every choice was monumentally precious.

What do you wish you took less seriously in your 20’s?

Every romantic relationship… until the day that I met my husband.

Favorite memory from your 20’s?

I ran my first marathon when I was 23. I trained with a fabulous group of people, who were so completely different from me. Different ages, career paths, socio economic backgrounds. It was such a beautiful reminder that we are a world community, created to support and love one another. As humans we are more alike than dissimilar, and often find exactly who we need in the most unlikely places.

In your early 20’s where did you think you would be (work, live etc) by 30?

I hoped that I would be a stage manager in NYC, working my way towards Broadway. My vision was pretty singular, though. I only saw success on an individual, professional level. No thoughts of being married or having a family. I wasn’t opposed to it; I just didn’t factor it into my picture.

And where were you by 30? What did your life look like?

At 30 I was married to my best friend. We’d bought our first place in Boston, shared in one another’s mounting professional and personal triumphs, reveled in the joys of our friends, stood beside one another through the deaths of family members. And a year later we met the baby boy that we would eventually adopt. Life was complex and trying, tiring and tiresome at moments, but so much fuller and richer than I could have imagined.

Were you ever worried that it wouldn’t all fall into place?

Not really. I’ve always had faith that life would work out exactly the way that God intended it for me, even if it was far different from what I would have constructed for myself.

What is the greatest gift about being a woman in your 30’s?

Your 30s offer such a sense of peace and confidence that I was never able to harness in my twenties. Even as I continue to take risks, having no idea where tomorrow may land me, I do so with the confidence that, sink or swim, it’s all going to be worthwhile. Brazenness is couples with bravery in my thirties.

When you look out onto the horizon. What do you hope your life looks like at 40?

Passion, fervor, constant laughter (both at life and myself), taking joy in the joy of others.

What’s a quote/ saying you try to live your life by?

And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.




11 Aug


When I got home last night I opened the door to find a letter from Tassajara! I ripped it open with excitement and out dropped a pamphlet titled “Pure Standards ( guidelines of Conduct ) for Zen Training”

Here are some highlights…



• Please make a commitment to completely follow the zendo (meditation hall) schedule at 5:20 am & 8:50 pm. This means attending morning and evening zazen, morning and evening service, soji (pre-breakfast temple cleaning), lectures, and all special ceremonies.

• Muffle sounds such as coughing, sneezing, blowing the nose, yawning, or clearing the throat.

• Wear clean clothes to the zendo and be sure that your face, hands and feet are clean. Appropriate zendo clothing is neutral and subdued in color, and extends beyond the shoulders and below the knees.

• If you have long hair, tie it back and wear it off the neck.

• Refrain from wearing scented lotions or perfume, jewelry, watches, or mala beads in the zendo.


• Observe silence from evening zazen through the breakfast silent period the following day.

• Observe the period of silence at breakfast and lunch after the meal chant, ending at the double hit of the clackers.

• Observe silence in and around the zendo, in the bathhouse during residents’ silent bathing time  (4:30 – 5:45 p.m.), and at the back door snack area in the kitchen.

• Refrain from singing, humming, or whistling within Tassajara; do not call to others from a distance.


• Stop and bow in gassho (with palms joined) when passing other practitioners outside (not in the courtyard, the bathhouse, on the zendo walkway, or in other enclosed spaces).

• Stop and bow to the toilet altar when entering and leaving toilets.


Sweet baby Jesus! 3 hours a day meditating! Oy is all I have to say…oy. I’m barely up to 5 minutes and it’s infrequent…like once a week and for 5 minutes, not to mention I spend a lot of time thinking about what I need at the grocery store. I think I am going to need to up my game a bit this next month to prepare. So tonight my mother and I will be going to a meditation workshop. You would move fast  too if this was a month away.

The other part of the pamphlet that stood out to me was this whole “bowing to the toilet altar” thing. I am definitely going to need more information on that one


“If you want to find God, hang out in the space between your thoughts.”

 Alan Cohen