Michiko Rolek On Her Lunch Conversation With Leonard Cohen & Their Menu

From right to left: Leonard Cohen, Michiko Rolek, her husband, Ron, and a Mount Baldy monk

After was posted on this site, I received these photos with this gracious message from Michiko:

Hello Allan,

Thank you for inspiring me to revisit my experience with Leonard Cohen.

A couple of things came to mind from a conversation I had with Leonard that I tuned out until very recently, and I thought you might find them interesting. As he mentions,

“You might even be able to skip having to visit a place like this, or if you are already in one, perhaps with this valuable information you can slip away…She has made some important matters wonderfully clear.”

Leonard’s teacher,  Joshu Sasaki Roshi, was sitting with us after lunch and shared that I was fortunate to be born into a famous zen family, but I felt a little uncomfortable and just smiled and listened.

Looking back, I recalled hearing from a head monk that Joshu Sasaki asked Leonard to write the foreword because I shared zen secret tools to nurture our original nature.

My recent “Aha moment” was realizing that Leonard used the zen secret tools (brilliant basics) that we discussed at lunch to leave the zen monastery and go back on the road. Now, his words about actually “slipping away” from a zen monastery rang true with deeper meaning.

He also made a comment about my bandana and the connection between zen and the art of mindfulness training being rigorous like the military. I agree wholeheartedly. Leonard lived his practice and he manifested mastery of the fundamentals like focus, dedication, discipline, and fearless confidence to stay in the zone.

I am grateful, Allan, for you inspiring me to have these insights re. my mindful moments with Leonard.

My passion is re-ignited to share zen and the art of mindfulness in a whole new light, a diamond sky of wonderment.

Michiko

Leonard Cohen Food Files: Salmon Sandwich, Ice Cream, & Tequila Cocktail

In an earlier email, I had asked Michiko “What Leonard prepared for the lunch you shared?”  She responded

I recall Leonard preparing a delicious sandwich served on homemade bread with salmon, a fresh salad with spring greens. I recall his warm smile when he served ice cream for dessert. And, since it was a day off for the monks, he had a tequila cocktail.

Joshu Roshi & Michiko Rolek

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