I am a Soto Zen priest, and Abbot and one of the four guiding teachers of Boundless Way Zen. I worked at the Center for Mindfulness at UMass Medical School for many years, and have now retired to full-time Zen teaching and residency at Boundless Way Temple in Worcester, MA. I also have a private practice in contemplative counseling. www.worcesterzen.org, www.melissablacker.com
A friend recently sent me an interview with Joni Mitchell from 5 years ago. (thanks Joanne!) It's so inspiring to see a woman at 70 who is uncompromising in her sense of herself. She talks about how much she loves life, and, with a laugh, how sometimes she gets sad, frustrated and angry, too. One of her most famous songs, and a particular favorite of mine, is called "Both Sides Now," in which she sings about the impossibility of knowing anything (clouds, love, life). The heart of my practice is reflected in these lyrics, which I first heard as a teenager, listening alone in my bedroom on my vinyl album playing on my little portable record player. Life is so complex, challenging and wonderful. How can we ever know it or anything completely? Here is a version of that song done when Mitchell was in her 50's, on the amazing album called "Both Sides Now."