Friday, October 29, 2010


A year ago tomorrow, October 30, 2009, I received an e-mail from Kathy saying that she had set up a blog for me. When I went to the site, I saw the blog title: Roger's Daily Dharma. I'm still not sure if it was intentional on her part to force me to write something every day (it's quite possible, since she is one heck of a good writing teacher), but it worked. 

I loved the title. It reminded me of The Daily Word from the Unity Church that I used to read religiously (pun somewhat intended). It contains a daily dose of spiritual wisdom based on a single word or phrase. I have a lifetime subscription. However, the Buddhist publication, Tricycle, already has a blog called "The Daily Dharma," so I decided to change it to Dharma 365, the intention always being to create 365 blogs in one year.

And so, here it is. Three Six Five. 

A year ago, this moment seemed so far away. So unattainable. So daunting! What would I find to write about every day? It reminded me of a scene from Our Town by Thorton Wilder in which the parents of a young man about to be married discuss their own marriage over breakfast on the day of the wedding:
Dr. Gibbs: (After a slight pause; laughing) Julia, you know one of the things that I was scared of when I married you?
Mrs. Gibbs: Oh, go along with you! (Eats)
Dr. Gibbs: I was afraid we didn't have material for conversation more'n'd last us a few weeks. (Both laugh heartily) I was afraid we'd run out and eat our meals in silence, that's a fact. Well, you and I been conversing for twenty years now without any noticeable barren spells. (Eats)
Mrs. Gibbs: Well, good weather, bad weather, 'tain't very choice, but I always find something to say.
Then there was the matter of discipline. Would I be able to keep this kind of thing up for a year? My pattern has always been to maintain some project or lifestyle change quite diligently for a short period of time, but then to lose interest, or get lazy and quit. One thing that writing this blog has shown me is that this is not necessarily true when it comes to the Dharma. I've been practicing vipassana pretty diligently since approximately 1997, and teaching it every week since January, 2002. So in one area of my life, at least, discipline does not seem to be an issue.

Now it seems that the year has gone by rather quickly and fairly effortlessly. I've never run a marathon, but I would imagine that the mind tells those who do that the finish line is too far away and they must stop. For me as well, at some points along the way, it seemed like I could not go on another step. Indeed, there were days when I had nothing in particular to say, and those were usually the days when I found a poem or quote to fill the space. Thank you to all the poets and collectors of quotations from whom I borrowed so freely.

Thank you, as well, to my students from whom I also borrowed. Many times, a chance comment during a class or sangha would be filed away and expanded upon the next day. As best I could, while maintaining anonymity, I always gave credit where credit was due for these nuggets of wisdom. If you were one of those inspirational folks and I did not give you proper attribution, I apologize.

Of course, my greatest inspiration over this year has been Kathy - my life partner, my best friend, my lover, my wife, and my Dharma. (Come closer so she doesn't hear this, but you see, she is the real writer. I am merely reflecting her brilliance.) She has influenced me on this journey beyond measure. She was always there to answer the most basic questions when I had them, and to give me praise when I wrote a particularly good posting. As she once wrote:
One of the ways I try to figure out if I'm on the right track is to ask myself - without fear or ambition - whether it's the path with heart. The answer is always immediately apparent. What I do with that knowledge is up to me.
And so, for putting me on this path, and for starting my feet moving in front of me, I dedicate these 365 blogs to Kathy. 

Finally, thank you for reading this, whoever you are. Feel free to leave a comment, good, bad, or indifferent. It has been a great joy and totally unexpected surprise when people tell me they read this stuff. My gratitude is infinite.

So, in the spirit of invoking help from great writers, I will close this last blog of the project with the last line from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I think it sums things up rather nicely:
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.


  1. Don't think I've missed a single one. They have often been a source of inspiration or solace. Thank you. And I am trying not to cling to the hope that you will continue ;-).

  2. Thank you Roger, for all you do --- not just this blog but everything else. I've enjoyed the blog a lot too, and like Pam said, hope you'll continue to post from time to time. Right Hope.
    With metta,

  3. Wow - congrats on a great achievement - your discipline is admirable.
    I too am a fan of The Daily Word mixed up with Buddhist reading every morning to set me on my way with the right attitude!
    I am grateful to YOU for your inspiration!