Zen and Me: Confessions of an Assassin
April 3, 2015
MY GUEST BLOGGER this week is the star of my first and third novels, Claudia Barry.
She’s a boomer.
She’s a knockout.
She’s a killer.
Zen and Me by Claudia Barry
I never knew many of my cousins, but one of them, Wayne, a photographer, introduced me to Zen. He was a big fan of the book, Zen in the Art of Archery by a German named Herrigel. My cousin’s interest in Zen had a noteworthy influence on his photography.
My grandfather was a motorcycle repairman. By the time he and my grandmother adopted me as their own, he had retired. He wasn’t a Zen practitioner, but he always had a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance on his mantle.
Wherever I travel, a copy of 365 Zen is always with me. There’s a reading in it for every day of the year.
My closest friends, the only two people who know what I do for a living, have asked how I manage my sanity—what little of it there is—and the answer is compartmentalization. I seal every assignment into it’s own compartment.
Because of that ability, this reading from 365 Zen is one of my favorites, “We have created such insulation between the whole of life and ourselves—not just a thin membrane, but a whole suit of armor—because we do not want to face impermanence and experience suffering, especially the suffering of others.”
I practice Zen—with every squeeze of the trigger.
Here’s an excerpt from The Tourist Killer to prove it:
“The butt of the rifle was comfortable against the shooter’s shoulder.
A deep breath.
The shooter, the rifle, the bullet, the target all meshed together into one single entity.
The moment arrived.
Nothing moved except the shooter’s right index finger.
I may not be a Zen master, but I’m a master of my profession.
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