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Close the the Ground: Fashionista as Monk

In honor of spring, I decided to buy a new pair of pants. Usually, I head for St. Vincent de Paul for gently reused clothes, partly to keep the cloth out of landfills a bit longer and partly because St. Vinnie’s is so . . . well . . . cheap. This year, though, coupon in hand, I headed for Macy’s, where I found a perfect pair of black cotton pants. I took a pair in my usual size into the dressing room but found I couldn’t get them past my hips. Confused, I looked at my body in the full-length mirror, only to discover that someone or something had lobbed ten pounds of fat onto my butt over the course of the past year.Not a little undone, I asked myself how that possibly could have happened. We are healthy eaters in my house. Fruits, nuts, oatmeal, rice, vegetables. A few cookies here and there. Not many. Thanks to years of Zen practice, where dharma “combat” with my teachers called for instant responses to their interview questions, the answer was right there: “You eat too much.”Walking home from the store, a new pair of mega-pants under my arm, I thought of an old Zen story that has kept me company for y …

About the Author

Geri Larkin is the founder and former head teacher of Still Point Zen Buddhist Temple, a Zen meditation center in the heart of inner-city Detroit. She is the author of many books including Stumbling Toward EnlightenmentBuilding a Business the Buddhist Way,Tap Dancing in ZenFirst You Shave Your Head, and The Still Point Dhammapada

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