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May 20, 2013 / A Mindful Traveler

Metta Monday: Thoreau and the Versatile Blogger Award

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

-Henry David Thoreau, Walden

This is a perfect description of why I meditate, travel, teach, and blog.  One piece of unexpected success that has just befallen me is the Versatile Blogger Award.  It comes from Tiramit, the author of the incomparable dhamma footsteps.  I’m therefore delighted to take this opportunity to tell you seven things about myself, as the award requests.  But first, here’s the award itself (or rather the pixels)…


1. I try to do 15 minutes of walking meditation followed by 15 minutes of sitting vipassana meditation each day.

2. I’ve visited 44 countries besides my native United States.  Each has something to offer, but I think most fondly of Uruguay for a number of reasons.  It’s where I took the picture of footsteps on sand that I use as a logo of sorts for this blog.

3. My religious upbringing was within the Society of Friends (Quakers), but I would characterize myself now as a secular Buddhist (essentially Theravada Buddhism without the belief in the supernatural).

4. I speak Spanish sufficiently fluently to have taught it to a few students.  (Or rather I did before living in Korea for two years!)

5. I gratefully wear a bracelet made for me by a Lao friend of mine who at the time was a novice monk (sāmanera) but no watch or jewelry.

6. I love walking, both when I’m traveling and along familiar routes, because it allows me to experience my surroundings at their pace and mine.

7.  I don’t have a specific favorite book, but the ones I return to most are Walden and Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are.

The award gives me the privilege of making a number of nominations of several other versatile blogs:


Leave a Comment
  1. tiramit / May 20 2013 11:43 am

    Interesting, your meditation pattern, your travelling and relationship with the Society of Friends are all things I’m familiar with. In Switzerland we used to have the use of a Quakers hall for Buddhist groups. And I’m learning about Secular Buddhism for the first time – all this from passing on the Blog Awards! Another thing is that I have a copy of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are on my bookshelf too. So thanks for sharing these details, it really is quite something…

    • A Mindful Traveler / May 20 2013 11:53 am

      Thank you very much for your kind words… and once again for the award. I’m currently reading Rodney Smith’s Stepping Out of Self Deception which deals with the concept of anatta. Of the three marks of existence, it’s the one I have most trouble intuitively understanding. I’ve found your writing to be of great benefit in helping me on this path and the the path in general.

      • tiramit / May 20 2013 12:16 pm

        You’re right of course, anatta is a hard one to understand and accept. I found it easier to take this on with the contemplation that ‘mind’ is one of the senses, together with seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching – the self is a sensory experience. I’m now going to see what I can find out about the Rodney Smith book, thanks for the reply…

  2. Missy Lipsett / May 20 2013 12:53 pm

    Absolutely,fantastic,Owen! I love the awards because I learn from them more about you and where you at the moment than in any other way!

    Have a great week! Only 4 more left! The Leopard was even better than last time ( my 3rd viewing on the big screen). They ave cleaned it and digitized it, I think, because of the crispness.

    Looooooove you! Interesting about the JZC book…maybe you can do a workshop with him…though Susanne said that he did not blow her away. Xoyfppss-lm

    Sent from my iPad

  3. alexander johnny / May 20 2013 3:33 pm

    Thank you so much for this. Your honesty of yourself and support of my own writings is much appreciated. I will be sure to get this nomination in order as well soon. Thanks. – a

    • A Mindful Traveler / May 20 2013 10:14 pm

      Thank you for your kind words and support Al! I look forward to reading your post 🙂

  4. Nevra / May 20 2013 6:54 pm

    Thank you very much for this award, Owen! I love your list of 7 things about you. It reminds of the beginning of Amelie, the film, in which Amelie describes some interesting things about herself, my favorite of which is the enjoyment she gets from submerging her arms into a big container full of dried beans!

  5. Summer / May 22 2013 7:18 am

    Congratulations! Keep on blogging : ) Wish you a nice day

    Love and Peace, Summer


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Wandering Earl

The Life of a Permanent Nomad

Metta Refuge

Loving-kindness to Heal and Transform the World

dhamma footsteps

postcards from the present moment

Story Archaeology

Combining mindfulness and travel for the benefit of all.

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