I kept going to the Rime Center. I started taking my daughter Nissa to the Dharma School. It’s like a Sunday School for children of Buddhist parents. I also started volunteering there once in a while. I met a lot of great people.
Practicing at the Rime Center inspired me to write a book. I wrote and published: “Unleash Your Buddha Nature”. Some of my friends bought it.
Also, I had a book signing at a store that doesn’t exist anymore called Stone Spirit Lodge. At that book signing I met a Zen teacher, the first one I would meet, but not the last. I’ll come back to that later.
The book was mediocre at best. But, I suppose it was a pretty good representation of what I was feeling about Buddhist practice at the time.
(I’ve written three books since then. The only good book that I’ve written is “Notes From a Buddhist Mystic”. Look for it on Amazon)
Ultimately, the guy that was running the Dharma School that my daughter attended and I occasionally volunteered in decided he was going to quit. He had been doing it for two years (which seemed like a long time at the time. HA.)
I didn’t take over Dharma School then. My friend Amanda did. (she was and is a dear friend. I introduced her to the man she would marry).
But, I did become her assistant, her second in command. That’s when I started going to Dharma School every week. She was a natural at teaching kids. That was a skill I had to cultivate.
It was during this period that my practice split into two parts. I would continue practicing at the Rime Center, although that mainly consisted of teaching children, but I also joined a Zen Order.
But my first experience with Zen was not to last.