Julia, thank you for your frankness. I am already in my sixties. I have been through several job losses, death of my wife and other unfortunate events. But I have never lost my interest in life. Yes, I am a Zen teacher. I have taught a course called “The Zen Art of Happiness” several times. Once as a continued education course at my local high school back in the 90s. It could be that happiness is in my temperament. But I think culture is also very important. When I was a teenager in Hong Kong, I once worked at a refugee camp which housed refugees from Vietnam. I met a man who was blinded during the war. Yet, he remained jolly. There is something in our Asian culture which teaches us to be resilient and be happy despite the circumstances. My wife died five years ago. I lived alone for over 5 years. But I never felt lonely. I learned when I was a teen that one has to learn how to generate one’s happiness, from within. I treasure my solitude. It is my belief that a real writer has to learn to spend much time in solitude. An environment of silence and solitude is ideal for reflections and writing. So, I write everyday. Writing makes me happy. I also read profusely. I love reading because I have a very curious mind. Even at my age, I am constantly learning about new things. New ideas about spirituality, culture, God and sex. My life is never boring, not because I have many external things to stimulate me. Rather, it is because I know how to make my life exciting. Recently, I also take in a new tenant who is also a friend. He and I have started playing tourists in Manhattan. Living in NYC with its various museums and cultural events, I don’t see how one can get bored. In fact, even after my retirement, I find myself busy everyday, sometimes doing paperwork, but other times doing things I love. So, Julia, life is full of exciting possibilities. You just have to be aware of their existence.

Written by

Published author, Zen teacher, professor, scientist, philosopher, social commentator, socially-engaged human

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store