Wednesday, January 3, 2018


I remember when I started Silence and Light years ago. I was very excited by what I had been learning from Buddhism and I was once again disillusioned with paganism so sought to share my thoughts and experiences with others. After I gave up on the whole project, I deleted all of my old posts, so I don't remember or have access to the specific kinds of things I wrote about, but I do remember the posturing I did to cover up my doubts. The content of the blog shifted religious and spiritual topics as I struggled with my religious identity. I tried to compensate for the floundering I was doing by trying to exude confidence and authority when I felt neither.

It was a difficult time of great uncertainty that I decided to share with my friends online in a quite embarrassing fashion. It eventually came to a point where it seemed prudent to stop sharing my struggles publicly so I gave up on writing a blog. But here I sit, staring at the bare bones of my old blog and wonder if I might give it another go at writing. Maybe, hopefully, time and experience have made me a little wiser and humbler.

Given that this first post of a new Silence and Light blog is likely to only be read by friends of mine, it likely will not be noteworthy to those reading that I have returned to Buddhism after a prolonged absence. I have spoken publicly about that absence and how I came out of it with the deepest respect for the personally transformative power of Buddhism. I even gave a talk about it at the International Buddhist Meditation Center in Los Angeles. The talk was recorded and may be of interest to some, so I will include it at the bottom of this post. While I will not go over the whole story again in written form, I will say that I am ultimately glad for the time I spent away from Buddhism, despite the bumpy nature of those years. I went through a crucible fire that burned away all my doubt so that what remained was the confidence necessary to finally take refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha and to take on the lifetime precepts with an understanding of them I did not have before.

I cannot adequately put into words how rewarding my return to Buddhism has been and the journey since. And I cannot convey how truly fulfilled I feel right now. My hope is that it is evident to all those who meet and know me today. I suppose that is why it feels appropriate to return to blog writing. I am so vastly different from the person who started this blog and the person who ended this blog. I feel grateful for those people I used to be, otherwise this person typing today wouldn't exist. Yet I can only sigh with relief that they are dead, with only the occasional stirring of the cobwebs in my mind to let me know that their ghosts are paying me a visit.

So, here I am writing in 2018, wiping some of those cobwebs away to make room for something new. Stay tuned.