Hello, there!  Thanks for coming to my little blog and seeing into my head.  I hope you enjoy your stay.

A little about me:  I’m a 40+ year old man, married to the mother of my children for close to 20 years.  I became an ordained minister through the Universal Life Church in Modesto, California on September 1, 1993  (I was a practicing Wiccan at that time) and have taken a few classes with the Universal Life Church Seminary (separate entity from the Modesto office).  I hope to complete the Chaplaincy program in the moderately near future, but I still have a bunch of classes to go for that.

I started studying Druidry about 10 years ago, signing up to take the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids‘ Bardic study program.  I ended up putting it aside for a number of years, for a number of reasons, but it was always in the back of my head, and I’ve always loved the woods and fields, even when I was but a lad.  Sadly, I have little opportunity to visit actual wild places, but I make due with forest preserves in the area.

I have been studying Zen Buddhism for at least 10 years, and have recently become an associate of Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery. IU do as I can on my own, and listen to recorded dharma talks and read Buddhist texts.  Right now, I’m starting to make my way through Buddha-Dharma translated and compiled by Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai – America, as well as several different sutras.

Update 2 JUL 2015.

I have spent more than a couple of days thinking about this, and I have decided that I will not take extraordinary steps to keep this blog detached from my more public identity in the greater Web.  I will also not be making any efforts (at this time) to merge this into my public persona.

This may be a dumb move, but I hardly think that religion, regardless of the majority/minority status can be separated from public and private life.  Like many American presidential candidates are wont to proclaim, my faith informs my work.  However, I also prefer to have my communications remain unmolested by the NSA and the FBI.

In light of that, I have set up a public identity over at Keybase.io that I would ask you to use if you want to contact me directly.  Go to this page: https://keybase.io/gvantassle and click on the “Encrypt” button to turn your message to me into scrambled encrypted text.  Paste that into an email to me, and Bob’s your uncle.

Update 9 MAY 2017 Over the past couple of years and several months, I have been adding devotion to the Goddess Hekate into my mix. I am associating with the Covenant of Hekate as a Devotee member. She has been walking with me for a long time, longer than I can definitely but a time on it. On the night/early morning of May 10/11, I will be taking formal devotions to Her as part of the process for membership in the Covenant.

Update 3 DEC 2017 On this day, I took lay precepts, jukai from Meido Moore, the Abbot of Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery.  A detailed commentary about the day can be found on the post Hello, my name is Shoshin 正心.