dharma monkey

embrace the monkey

About me

Quito, Ecuador, November 2009

Sean is a writer/PR-type originally from the Deep South. He moved to Washington, D.C., in 1994, convinced that he could save the world through his craft of awe-inspiring letters to disgruntled customers. When that didn’t work, he switched to awe-inspiring speeches for corporate executives trying to shape telecommunications policy. And then journalism…and then public service.

He eventually realized that the world was not his to save, so he turned his gaze inward. Sean practices (as in, ‘repeats in an effort to improve at something’) Buddhism, learning to peacefully co-exist with the monkeys that inhabit his mind.

By day, Sean is an executive manager in the District of Columbia government, where he still writes and PRs while he juggles the flaming chainsaws that keep local bureaucracy moving forward. He has established himself as a go-to executive who can get things done – not exactly saving the world, but still, creating a better quality of life for residents and business owners in the Nation’s Capital.

Sean likes to blog about spirituality and enjoys reading about the religious traditions of ancient cultures. He is an ambitious polyglot, speaking, studying or cursing to a varying degree in Spanish, German, Japanese, Arabic and now Taiwanese Mandarin. He is an ENFP — though his “E” is not as big as it used to be — and lives in the U Street neighborhood of Washington with his spouse and their two dogs.

‘About Me’ from a few years ago:

I am Sean, a writer originally from the Rural South who grew up and settled down in Washington, D.C.

I have many interests including local politics, Eastern philosophy, foreign languages and reality television.

I am 6’0″ and have dark brown hair and my Grandma’s blue eyes.

I have a partner spouse, Shawn, who I married in Canada in 2007. We have two dogs, Gaia and Terra, who remind me everyday that there is happiness to be found in a simple, humble and mindful life.

I worked as a journalist for four years, covering politics and features in Montgomery County, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C., where I primarily covered Takoma Park, Md., known as the “Berkeley of the East” for its uber-progressive take on life, politics and all things social.

I am a struggling vegetarian. I grew up on a diet of pork products, which is a hard habit to break, hence the “struggling.”

I came up Roman Catholic, lost my faith after the start of the war in Iraq and the death of my parents, become agnostic, and now practice Tibetan Buddhism. I have, for the first time in my life, found true spiritual satisfaction.

I have a slight Southern accent, except when I drink, talk about South Carolina, visit Georgia or watch daytime talk shows. Then I have a thick Southern accent.

I lost my Mom and Dad in May 2003.

I lost my Grandma, the person I loved more than any other in the world, in June 2006.

I grew up in and around Rock Hill, S.C., including a lot of time during my formative years on my grandparents’ farm.

I like reality television, including The Amazing Race, though I also watch Ugly Betty and my guilty pleasure, Privileged. My other favorites are Real Time with Bill Maher, South Park and Iron Chef.

I try (struggle, really) to meditate (hence the theme of this site, embracing the beast that is Monkey Mind), and I love yoga and qi gong.

I am a big supporter of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and believe that the Earth gives us everything we need to heal ourselves, though in actuality, I’m not nearly as crunchy as that makes me sound.

I am currently studying Mandarin, and have a Chinese name: Sha Tian-Shi, or 沙天施.

I tend to be an optimist, striving to see the positive aspect of any situation, and I honestly believe that one single act of random kindness has the potential to create a chain reaction that could change the entire world as we know it.

I have several heroes, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Rosa Parks, Piggy from Lord of the Flies, and my Grandma, the only person I’ve ever known who actually found the serenity to accept the things she could not change, the courage to change the things she could and the wisdom to know the difference.

“I” don’t exist. And neither do you. 😉




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