This month my husband, Seth Greenland,
whose new book, The Angry Buddhist,
just came out, pitched in and wrote this guest-post about how mindfulness ended up playing a large part in his life.
One evening, in my single days, I found myself having dinner with an attractive woman who had been the singer of a band I had seen playing at a friend’s wedding. We were exchanging the usual palaver one does on a first date when she informed me she was a Buddhist. This was early in the Reagan years and back then American Buddhists were like bald eagles – you knew they existed, but you rarely saw one. It was as if the wedding singer had identified herself as a Zoroastrian or one of the Theosophical followers of Madame Blavatsky. Sure, I knew about the dharma from reading the Beat writers, but those guys were all drug addicts or alcoholics or alumni of mental institutions. It was a deal-breaker for me and, needless to say, our last date. If you are a Zoroastrian or a partisan of Madame Blavatsky’s, I apologize. No angry emails, please. It was a different time and I was not as open-minded as I am today. A Catholic, a Protestant or a Jew would have been fine, but a Buddhist was a bridge too far for this provincial New York City boy. Why do I tell a story that makes me look like such a biased simpleton? Because I love irony! Years later, I co-founded Inner Kids
with my wife Susan
and the mindfulness principles IK teaches are based on age-old Buddhist precepts.