A Quick Review

So far, there have been three steps: 



Answer the Questions 

       1.   How do I define:
a. Spirit?
               b. Ego?
               c. Divine/Unconditional Love?
               d. Fear?
               e. Forgiveness?

        2.   Who am I really?

        3.  What do I value? and How much do I value it?

        4.   How do I find peace?

Take some time to sincerely contemplate and to write down your answers to the questions above. 

This activity may take a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days, but I sincerely hope you will take the time to answer each of the questions as thoroughly as you can based on your interpretation of the question. 

You may even want to have some discussions with your friends about the questions and get their insights and thoughts. 

​The purpose of the exercise is to begin to establish a foundation for the thought system you design that will create the peace and joy you seek. We will delve deeper into each question in Step 5.


STEP 5 is about going inward; hearing the voice that is within you. Go there when you are ready to concentrate on the content of STEP 5.


The purpose of this website is to help create positive, life-changing experiences. The best way to experience something is to do it.

After each of the Seven Steps, a “CALL TO ACTION” is provided which recommends an activity, or activities, to perform in order to experience the concept presented in the step.

The recommended activity for STEP 4 is:

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Webmaster: Elaine Lombardi


Ask Jeanne

Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

“Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. “We monks don’t go near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”

“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?” 

2 Reps, Paul. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection Of Zen And Pre-Zen Writings (p. 39). Pickle Partners Publishing. Kindle Edition.


Tanzan’s and Ekido’s Choices

I love the parable above of the Muddy Road; it says so much! First, it identifies a CHOICE

we often face. If there is a conflict between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law, do we

risk choosing to do the loving, caring thing and potentially face the negative consequences of

breaking the law and potentially creating social chaos by ignoring the rules, or do we choose to

adhere to the rules in order to maintain social order and to avoid the negative consequences?

Tanzan decided to help the young lady even though Monks are not supposed to place themselves in potentially tempting circumstances around women. Ekido did not understand that choice and made it obvious that he would not have chosen to help the “damsel in distress.”

There are pros and cons to each decision, and that’s why it is important to make some clear, concrete, conscious choices about your perceptions and beliefs even before specific circumstances require them.

Look at the consequences of the choices Tanzan and Ekido made with regard to their perceptions and beliefs.

                         Tanzan perceived a person with a problem;
                         Ekido perceived something to fear - a woman – a temptation, and a rule to follow or break.

                        Tanzan believed he could solve the problem without being tempted;
                        Ekido did not see it as possible to assist a pretty woman without temptation.

The fabulous irony

Even though Tanzan chose to ignore the very reasonable rule set down for monks, he was free emotionally and psychologically from the moment he put the young lady down; however, Ekido was imprisoned all day and into the night by his fears. Ekido fell into the trap of obsession though he followed the rule. I love the irony!

Important Questions

  1. Is there something, or someone, you are still carrying that you could put down by the side of the road and walk onward in life totally free?

  2. Is there a prison you have created for yourself from which you can free yourself today by putting down something you have been needlessly carrying for so long?

Please take a moment to examine these questions. If the answer is yes, but you don’t know how to let something go, please follow the detour suggested in a CALL TO ACTION below.

Vital Choices

Everyone has important choices to make in life, and those choices lead us to love or fear, peace or war, joy or sorrow, “heaven” or “hell.”

What are the key choices we need to make? How do we make the “right” choice? Where do we go to find the answers?

In order to make a choice, you must first have options. What options are there to choose from for the questions below?

Heaven or Hell?

My personal journey has led me to ask and answer certain key questions about life.

The choices you make to answer the four questions below will determine how quickly,

or slowly, you will achieve the lasting peace and complete joy you seek.

       1.   How do I define:

               a. Spirit?

               b. Reality?
               c. Ego?

               d. Divine/Unconditional Love?
               e. Fear?

               f. Forgiveness?

        2.   Who am I really?

        3.  What do I value? and How much do I value it?

        4.   How do I find peace?

The CHOICE is yours ...

Muddy Road: A Zen Parable

STEP 1 – making a definitive decision with a committed willingness to make the changes in your life that will lead to peace and joy, which will unveil the love and freedom that you already are.

STEP 2 – understanding that perceptions plus beliefs create our emotions and our actions, and if we want to change how we feel and/or what we do, we must change our perceptions and beliefs.

STEP 3 – it is important for us to empty our cup of the attacking thoughts we have toward ourselves, others, the world, and ideas that disturb us.

STEP 4 – now it is time to examine choices we get to make; using the formula P+B=E=A, we can begin to brew a different kind of tea for our tea cup.

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