Welcome to Mondo Samu - Questions and Answers about my self-work.

Mondō: "questions and answers"; a recorded collection of dialogues between a pupil and teacher.
Samu: Work service; meditation in work.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

MondoSAMU, Now With More Samu & 26% Less Fat!

I have not been writing as much as I would like lately. There are a number of reasons for this, but primarily it has been my deeper exploration of the Buddhist path.  Since starting this weight loss process, when I read "Savor", I have taken quite an interest in the Buddhist aspect of it, and I have grown in that area steadily.  In fact, I would say that the weight loss has taken a back seat to the exploration of Buddhism in the  last several months as I slowly realized that the weight loss was a simple and natural by-product of my mindfulness and Buddhist efforts.  At the time of my post, some months ago, about my visit to the Dallas meditation center, I saw that I was at a critical juncture in the Buddhist aspect of my journey. 

That experience solidified a number of thoughts I'd been pondering such as my feelings about meditation and how beneficial I thought that it might be for me and my thoughts on Buddhism as it fits in to my life.  Most of all, I now had to decide what tradition of Buddhism I was interested in pursuing, if any. 

With those things solidified, new questions unfolded before me.  To assist with these, I really dove in to reading a lot of books, listening to a lot of audio books and podcasts, and talking with as many other Buddhists as I have been able to.  I also continued trying to find Buddhist groups that I could visit with to see which appealed to me.  When I was last at the Dallas meditation center, brother ChiSing suggested that I do this, and it has been excellent advice.  Specifically, he said that I wouldn't find anything exactly like the DMC but that there would be numerous similar groups and that I should try them all until one felt comfortable.

I'm still in the process of doing so, but it's becoming clear to me that I will ultimately need to try and get a Sangha started in my area if I want a group close to home.  But that's another story.  And a story I am working on!

So, I guess the reason I am writing today is that I feel like I have an overwhelming amount of things to share, and I am hoping to get back to writing here more often.  Due to my submersion in reading, I have tons of experiences and books to review.  Appropriately, I am writing this post as I am 38,000 feet in the air, heading to Dallas, where I expect to visit the DMC again and sit with them.  I'm sure I will write about that experience again as well.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to share my experiences, but at least equal to that was the goal of any readers sharing their thoughts and experiences with me as well.  So it is my hope that anyone reading this will chime in and share their stories, questions and advice as well.  Here's just a few of the things I am exploring at the moment.  Any feedback or suggestion is most welcome.

- What has been your experience finding a Sangha near you?
- If you didn't have one close to home, how have you dealt with that?
- What tradition do you follow, if any, and why?
- How do you use technology and the Internet in your practice?

Lastly, I'd like to share two more things.  Today, I stepped on the scale before leaving for the airport (exactly as I did 10 months ago) and found that I have officially lost 90 pounds of my 100 pound goal so far!  Also, Happy Mothers day to all of the Moms out there!

Be well,


  1. Hello MS,

    I'm a Brazilian colleague. I already apologize for my English mistakes, but at the end is the communication between us that matters!

    I'll try to tell you briefly my story; I hope it can be a valuable feedback for you.

    I attended a Soto Zen meditation center since 2009, but I discovered Thich Nhat Hanh's books just a year ago and I've been practicing mindfulness meditation by my own according to his teachings. I left the last soto zen center and a became a Sangha orphan! At this moment, I tried to practice by my own, withou anyone to share the good and bad experiences (which makes so much difference!...). Since January (2011) I attend a Sangha in my city, São Paulo. I cannot tell you how much my life (especially my meditation practice) have changed until now... My practice became more stronger, my mindfulness moments during the day are more often, the happiness of being present are growing more and more, I'm closer to my family and now that I discovered the "Savor" site, the Sangha meeting is like a "battery" (I'm sorry for the word, but I don't know how to express, it gives me a lot of healthy and calm energy) that can charging me, preparing me for the challenges and the entire week.

    I don't know how to buy books from Amazon (I'm trying to understand it!) to buy the Savor. I've always had weight problems and all the books I've read about weight loss seems to contradict Thay's teachings. I thought: "If I had a chance, I'll ask hum to overcome it, if it is possible to lose weight 'buddhistly'". You cannot imagine my happiness when I discovered this website. As soon as I find out how to buy it, I can have a happy journey as you've had.

    Wow! My comment seems bigger that I planned. Sorry about that! That's all, buddy! I wish you happiness and a happy continuation!

    Juliana Leone

  2. Juliana,

    I was so happy to be sitting at the computer, working, when you message came in! There is no need to apologize for your english - it is about 1000% better than my Portuguese! ;-)

    Your story is wonderful, and I greatly appreciate you sharing it with me and any readers of this blog. It's exactly the kind of story I hope to share in the hopes of helping others learn from one another and further them on their own journey!

    I have passed your comment along to Dr. Lilian Cheung to see if she can point us in the right direction or offer any advice to assist you in acquiring the book. I'll let you know if I hear anything.

    Juliana, I want to stress to you that my experience is that Mindfulness is ALL you need to lose weight! If you can get "Savor" I HIGHLY recommend it. It is very helpful, and useful, but mindfulness is the key. I'm SO very happy that finding this site and Savor has - and will continue to - help you!! Please keep in touch and let me know how your journey progresses! Thank you, deeply, for sharing!

    I wish you happiness as well.

  3. MS,

    Fist of all, I want to thank your support and kindness! I feel already part of your Sangha, even if you still don't have a one! We can be a Sangha of two! =)

    I have the best new ever to share with you and your readers! Yesterday I had a Sangha meeting, a very beautiful moment of my week. I told to my brothers and sisters about this book, which isn't known in Brazil, as you can imagine. The person responsible for the Sangha meeting, a very kind and gentle woman, told me that she had the book and she would borrow it if I want to. I was so, so, SO happy, so affected by her generosity... that she gave it to me! Can you believe this? Her kindness to offer not only this wonderful book but her own house every week for the Sangha is something that we don't see everyday.

    That's the kind of experience we have when we're part of a very good and wise group of friends. I'm very happy to share this with you, Mondo Samu, because it's a very deep facet of my life and I fell very comfortable to tell here. I hope this happiness and generosity spread to you and all readers!

    Juliana Leone

    PS: I just don't know how to connect Dr. Lilian Cheung and tell her that the book came to me in this beautiful way! Would you please warn her about this? Even so, I feel very grateful to you and her for the try!

  4. Oh, Juliana, your posts warms my heart and brightens my smile! Thank you so much, and I'm so happy that you have found the book and such a welcome here and with your Sangha!!!

    Please, please stay in touch and let me know how things are going with your journey on this Savor path.

    Dr. Cheung has let me know that she was looking in to where you could most easily find her book there. I have also let her know that you have already found it. I'll keep you posted regardless.

    Thanks again, and best of luck to you. I stepped on the scale today and have lost 95 pounds in 11 months! Mindfulness is the key, Juliana!

    My best wishes to you!