In Defense of the Mundane

“I live my life to the fullest; I am always doing something new; I’m looking for an independent woman who has her own life and only want’s to share her profound thoughts and hot body while having zero expectations of me. She will be thrilled with my huge dick and I know exactly how to please a woman. I have the biggest bucket list of anyone you have ever met and I am so super together you will be astounded, in fact, I astound myself”

This is usually how most personal ad read on dating sites. The other common one is:

“I’m recreating my life; I don’t have everything figured out yet; I’m not sure what I’m looking for; I think I’m attractive and I love sex. I’m looking for a woman who can teach me special secrets in bed, who I can lean on for all the emotional support I need, who is always understanding, loving, generous and never needs support herself, because I would just fall apart. I often feel like a looser because I realize I’m not as cool as these other guys on here with their huge bucket lists, but when I find the right person I know I will become magically uber cool.”


This is the world of dating, where people expect you to paint yourself as always exciting and always emotionally competent. You can choose the tack of the braggart or feign false humility to hide your shortcomings. Just don’t ever allow yourself to look mundane.

Finding fulfillment in the mundane is a strangely Zen concept for most of the Western world.

ZEN IS JUST ZEN. There is nothing comparable to it. It is unique — unique in the sense that it is the most ordinary and yet the most extraordinary phenomenon that has happened to human consciousness. It is the most ordinary because it does not believe in knowledge, it does not believe in mind. It is not a philosophy, not a religion either. It is the acceptance of the ordinary existence with a total heart, with one’s total being, not desiring some other world, supra-mundane, supra-mental. It has no interest in any esoteric nonsense, no interest in metaphysics at all. It does not hanker for the other shore; this shore is more than enough. Its acceptance of this shore is so tremendous that through that very acceptance it transforms this shore — and this very shore becomes the other shore: This very body the buddha; This very earth the lotus paradise.

Hence it is ordinary. It does not want you to create a certain kind of spirituality, a certain kind of holiness. All that it asks is that you live your life with immediacy, spontaneity. And then the mundane becomes the sacred. The great miracle of Zen is in the transformation of the mundane into the sacred.–

This is my idea of a valuable relationship: An acceptance so profound that it transforms the mundane into the extraordinary. When I think of it this way, the details of a person become both more important and less important. Like the idea of Zen itself. If you have ever looked at a Japanese garden you will understand exactly what I mean. If you can’t make it to a Zen garden today to experience the moment, try looking in your kitchen.

This is a recipe I made last night. It wasn’t new and unique, overly exciting, it wasn’t hard, it didn’t look fabulous or tickle my taste buds like a dish from a 5 star restaurant. It was not homegrown organic, vegan, salt-free, free-range super-food that will magically make you thin in two weeks and add years to your life.

It was just dinner.

Mini Frittatas with Quinoa

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1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 6 muffin cups.
  3. Combine cooked quinoa, eggs, egg whites, zucchini, cheese, onions, rosemary and salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Spoon mixture to the top of each prepared muffin cup.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until the edges of frittatas are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes in the pan before serving. Serve hot or cold.

In a moment of spontaneity I threw in a handful of chopped dandelion greens.


I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.
Joseph Campbell



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