"One of the main purposes of my coming here was to get my mind and body in the same place at the same time. More than three months into this adventure, it's happening more frequently — certainly more so than when I first arrived. By making my focus smaller and smaller, everything is getting bigger and bigger. Just rinsing out the breakfast dishes, I am happy. There's a vast space around things in which anything is possible. A sense of rapture permeates even the smallest activities of the day.

"This word 'rapture' is not one we are accustomed to using because it typically is reserved for the most rarified of moments of pleasure like great sex or a gorgeous beach or a wonderful piece of music. Why not let that kind of joy into all the 'little' things, like smelling the air, hearing the insects on a spring evening, washing the dishes, or seeing our family at the end of a day's work? Isn't that what our whole life is?

"Joy comes from appreciation. Appreciation comes from paying attention. Paying attention is the practice of Zen. It's so simple, yet look how I have to strip away everything, come out here in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, adhere to an unforgiving schedule, and stick it out through all the ups and downs in order to discover it.

"It's very humbling.

"At the same time, it's inspiring, because it means I don't have to wait for rapture to come at only the 'rarified' moments. It's possible to change my habit from dreaming to waking up. Then this rapturous joy will enter my life more regularly. What's going on 'outside' will match the 'inside.' I won't just be going through the motions of living — I' ll actually be alive.

"Having the mind and the body in the same place at the same time solves about ninety-nine percent of the matter.

"The other one percent, of course, is what you do with it."