1-25-08 - Dear David Chadwick and the Folks Putting Together Alumni Reunion,

Any time to squeeze in one more letter??
Not able to get anything together in time to mail...hope you can print this out and post ­


Have lots of fun!

Barbara Horn

Am sending a few photos separately just in case you might be able to print them out too!

January 25, 2008 -First Day of Tassajara Alumni Reunion

Hello ZC Alum!

A big fat gassho to everyone!

Greetings from the land of multi-tasking! In a fast-paced environment!

With attention to detail and the ability to handle a diversity of tasks under pressure while accomplishing all goals in a timely manner.


Yes, I live in New York.

Yes, I am working for a company that holds such truths to be self-evident.

No, not a big corporation. Jobs in all the sectors, private, public, community ­they all spout the same gibberish! And they get hordes of us to comply, or at least say, "Oh yes, multi-tasking is my specialty. The more things you put on my desk, the happier I am!"

Let me tell you, I haven’t come across anyone enlightened in this crowd, not that I’d be able to recognize ‘em. No, I am too focused on THE LIST…of what needs to be done in a timely manner, of course. This may be fodder for the Trungpa crowd (word spell wanted to replace Trungpa with "Trump"!!!).

Didn’t this Tibetan teacher exhort his students to immerse themselves in the real world? You’d have to tie a line to me so you could pull me back in the evening for meditation, cause there is no way I’d be able to extricate myself from THE LIST.

This predicament reminds me of two Zen Center folks: Lew Richmond and Miriam Bobkoff.

First, Lew. I vividly remember him lecturing one day about why we bow.

Bowing, said Lew, provides transition space from one activity to another, something we need. Transition does happen of itself but is often undetectable because of how quickly we race from one thing to another (aka, The RAT RACE). When we acknowledge transition via the bow we invite mindfulness. And when we practice such mindfulness, the possibility of actually being one with what we are doing increases enormously. (Wow, what might be the implications for the office environment? Hey, if it could be demonstrated that mindfulness impacts positively on office productivity, what would this do to Multi-tasking?)

Now for Miss Miriam. Well I remember how she shuddered at the prospect of having an outside job and living outside the community. She deeply feared she would be swallowed up by the madness ­now I know what she meant!

I live twenty minutes from John F. Kennedy Airport with my active 87 year old Mom. We are in a little apartment overlooking the Big Atlantic. I have two masters degrees, temporarily shelved while I run around in this fast paced environment. Post September 11th, I returned to New York and helped in the recovery effort. My involvement with the September 11th Families Association led to friendships with Japanese victims of the Sarin Gas Tokyo Subway Attacks. I was invited to be part of their Tenth Anniversary Commemoration Symposium. To everyone’s surprise (especially mine) this fearful flyer DID board the plane and spend two weeks in Japan, in Tokyo and then touring the Japanese countryside meeting families who had lost loved ones in the World Trade Center attacks. My last three days I spent in Bukkokaji Temple in the lovely town of Obama. It was so cool to jump in to practice at this monastery; I want to go back (yes, I will get on the plane. In dokusan (I got to have it on the third day!), the Roshi said "We are all on a biiiigggg airplane") and then we laughed for about ten minutes.

Zen Center is always in my heart. Anyone remember Baker Roshi instructing us to

"Memorize Tassajara, that way you will always have it with you wherever you go."

I did what he said. You are always with me. And invited to stop by the next time you pass through. My cell phone: (516) 984-7144 and my email (couldn’t forget that!):


Barbara, aka "Ata"

Tassajara Resume:

Worked in the Kitchen during Tenzo Teah Strozer's reign

In the Guest Dining room and as Baker in summer

On Doan Ryo (amazed how quickly all the terms return!) under Ino Michael Sawyer

Had a shoe taken by the Bobcat!

Was in the search party for Alan Cohen

Linda Ruth my first Shuso

Departed Tassajara just before Deborah Madison’s Shusoship

PS Still a card carrying member of David Chadwick’s "World Suicide Club," ­ unfortunately, this card is probably more on target than ever!

[DC note: WSC, the largest most successful organization on earth, working toward the extinction of the human race - used to be "working toward global thermonuclear war" but now that's only one of three species threats in my opinion. See Species Threats. - plan to revitalize the WSC with new material someday soon]

In Tokyo

Barbara in Kamakura - hit thumbnail to enlarge


In Tokyo - there's Barbara bottom row - guess which one