My entire life I’ve searched for a place of stillness. A place of peace and tranquility. First outside myself, then within. Not an easy thing to come by, as I’m sure you’re all aware.
While I found satisfaction in my work and in my family & friends, I was always seeking that place of zen. An avid outdoorsman, I have sought the reconnection of my mind, body and spirit in nature. Through the practices of camping, hiking and floating down the river, I learned to find stillness within myself. And in doing so, began to realize my connection to the universe and to the world around me. This is of course, a lifelong process and learning experience. And while all these things were good, I still didn’t understand how to find my zen in the moment. So I continued to search.
Then one day, my great friend Terrence Bumgarner invited me to his home for scotch and a cigar. Little did I know, my life was about to change.
My son had begun to play paintball with Terrence, and while unable to play myself I enjoyed the camaraderie of the team, and the sport of paintball.
Before a tournament on Saturday, Terrence invited my son and I over to hang out Friday evening. This is when he turned me on to my first “proper” drink of scotch, and my first premium cigar. Now, while it is true that I didn’t care for the scotch, (I’ve never been much of a drinker), I enjoyed the cigar immensely! I’ll never forget that first cigar. It was a Drew Estate Java Maduro. I realize to some of you, that may sound like a strange cigar for such an epiphany, but it changed my life nevertheless.
From that moment on, I was all in. I started with a 40 count humidor that Terrence gave me, then found another 40 count, and then a 80. Soon after I built a 500 count wineador. Soon, we were trading sticks back & forth and building our collections.
That was about the time he introduced me to the Cigar Dojo. Wow! I couldn’t believe how welcoming the Dojo community was. I began communicating daily with my Dojo family. I joined the Dojo in June of 2017. On July 4th Cigar Curt, (Curt Anderson), threw his own contest and I won 3rd place! I was hooked! I’ve won several more contests since then, and expanded my social media to accommodate my new love of cigars. And free stuff!
Terrence and I now have our own forum, the Table Rock Tokers, and are more involved than ever. It is truly a blessing to be a part of this great community. My love for cigars continues to grow. And I am constantly humbled by the kindness and generosity of this, our cigar family.
I don’t think I’ve heard a quote that sums up my feelings about cigars better than this one from Raul Julia.
“Maybe it’s like becoming one with the cigar. You loose yourself in it. Everything fades away. Your worries, your problems, your thoughts. They fade into the smoke, and the cigar and you are at peace.”
This is my place of zen. Lost in the cigar… focused on this moment. My life forever changed because of the humble cigar.
I hope everyone can find their peace in this moment. But if you’re having trouble, my advice is try smoking a great cigar!