It’s Jack Kerouac’s birthday today, in 1922 (his parents were French Canadian, so “Ti Jean” was the family nickname for him).

I blame Kerouac (and Salinger) for nurturing my hippie tendencies–open any page of The Dharma Bums at an impressionable age, read about hitchhiking and backpacking and mountain climbing, and then throw in something like this? No surprise there.

There were now early spring mornings with the happy dogs, me forgetting the Path of Buddhism and just being glad; looking around at new little birds not yet summer fat; the dogs yawning and almost swallowing my Dharma; the grass waving, hens chuckling. Spring nights, practicing Dhyana under the cloudy moon, I’d see the truth: “Here, this, is It. The world as it is, is Heaven, I’m looking for a Heaven outside what there is, it’s only this poor pitiful world that’s Heaven.”