What did the Buddhist say to the Hot Dog Vendor? – (on banishing writer’s block)


Make me one with everything

medium_3431365556The zen approach to writing is simple: There is no such thing as writer’s block. It’s all in your mind. If you tell yourself that you can’t write, your mind believes what you say.

Years ago, I had what I thought was writer’s block. In those pre-Internet days, I sought the advice of writing coaches to find my way clear of the mental bricks and mortar, as opposed to mindlessly surfing the Internet looking for other answers. The advice I got was varied.

  • Read for inspiration
  • Research your subjects
  • Write an outline
  • Get out of the house
  • Exercise
  • Get drunk

A lot more advice followed, yet none of it worked. I told myself I was blocked, and thus it was true. Oddly enough, if I had believed in any of those cures, they would have worked. But since I thought the block much stronger than any cure, thus it was so. (I love using the word thus!)

Over the years, I put writing aside. I drank more beer. I studied philosphy. I thought great and stupid things.

One day, it dawned on me. My own personal enlightenment.

The Stuff of Stars

I’ve got Buddha in my lungs,
and bits of Jesus on my soles. One
foot is Ghandi’s, and what’s left
of my life Kali splits with those waking

this moment and passing the next: I am Cherry
Cohen Kalil Gonzales, catholic on my father’s
side. My pagan mother’s generational gift,
my tongue, black and lolling, has her taste

for blood and the good earth beneath my feet.
In three — Mother, Father and Me — a trinity
of spirit, and the breath of gods.

And that, my dear friends, is my realization. I am one with everything that ever was and everything that ever will be. And that includes people who do not (and will not) suffer the illusion of writer’s block. Since I share the fortunate minds of so many prolific writers, likewise, there are no bricks and mortar in front of me – only hot dogs.


The rest of the story: The Buddhist paid for his meal, and then inquired about his change. The hot dog vendor raised one eyebrow. He smiled, and said: 

Change comes from within

photo credit: zenonline via photopin cc


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2 responses to “What did the Buddhist say to the Hot Dog Vendor? – (on banishing writer’s block)

  1. Wow, that was a long ride to get to the punchline about change!
    I take it you’re writing again?

    • I am writing and enjoying every moment. I’m scattered in several directons – poetry, short stores, novellas and blogs – but at least I’m committing words to digital ink. Thanks for letting me know what you think!

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